USCG – Credentialing Officers of Towing Vessels


The Coast Guard has issued guidances for credentialing officers of towing vessels. They are pointing mariners back to Navigation and Vessel Inspection Circular (NVIC) 03-16 which provides the guidelines. The NVIC contains FAQs and information related to the transition of the Towing Officer Assessment Record (TOAR) from NVIC 04-10 to the information in NVIC 03-16.

Click here to review the USCG guidance published on 02/24/2017.

Click here to download NVIC 03-16 Guidelines for Credentialing Officers of Towing Vessels.

SAFETY ALERT-Suspect and Counterfeit Items


Excerpt from Safety Alert Number 03-17 published 04/06/2017

The USCG issued a Safety Alert regarding potential suspect and counterfeit items. Such items lack the quality and capabilities of authentic ones and can lead to marine casualties and unsafe conditions. Stakeholders should implement policies to ensure that items purchased are authentic.

Suspect / Counterfeit Items (S/CIs) are products represented as meeting specified manufacturing and quality requirements when, in fact, they do not. S/CIs have been a known problem to industry and the government since the early 1980s. This concern initially focused on fasteners and over time has been expanded to include many items, both electrical and mechanical. The Coast Guard is routinely made aware of various types of counterfeit equipment and products in the marine industry. Oftentimes, such items are lifesaving products and fire-fighting equipment, which represent an extreme hazard. S/CIs can cause:

  • marine casualties causing extensive damage to equipment, vessels and the environment;
  • unsafe conditions that put people at risk of injury or death; and
  • delays that impact vessel schedules and create additional operating costs.

Click here to review and download the full document.

SUB M – Policy Letter – Endorsement for Tankerman PIC Restricted to Fuel Transfers on Towing Vessels

One of the unintended consequences of Subchapter M is the triggering of 33 CFR 155.710(e)(1) which requires the PIC onboard an inspected vessel transfering fuel oil requiring a Declaration of Inspection (DOI) hold an MMC authorizing service as a master, mate, pilot, engineer, or operator as per 46 CFR Part 11 OR a valid MMC endorsed as Tankerman PIC as per 46 CFR Part 13.

A towing vessel’s transition to inspected status triggers the above requirement.

On 03/10/2017 the Coast Guard issued a policy letter providing guidance for issuing Merchant Mariner Credential (MMC) endorsements of Tankerman Person In Charge (PIC) Restricted to Fuel Transfers on Towing Vessels.

Click here to download the policy letter.