News Archives from 6-16-2011 to 8-19-2011

Western Alaska Marine Safety Information Bulletin Load Line Requirements . . . 8/19/2011

The Officer i n Charge, Marine Inspection issued a Marine Safety Information Bulletin concerning Load Line Requirements for Vessels on Domestic Vessels as Sector Anchorage had noted an increase in vessels operating out of compliance with these requirements in recent days. A copy of the bulletin is linked below. Complete information on the applicability of these regulations is found in 46 CFR 42.03-5 which can be accessed through the Marine Exchange's Regulations tab above.

Marine Safety Information Bulletin Load Line Requirements for Vessels on Domestic Voyages

Citizenship Waivers for Fishing Vessel Manning . . . 8/18/2011

On August 18, 2011 the Coast Guard published a notice in the federal register that it is proposing to add to its regulations a description of the process for requesting and processing waivers of the citizenship requirements on commercial fishing vessels. Relief from these citizenship and permanent resident status requirements is provided in 46 U.S.C. 8103(b)(3)(C). If the Secretary of Homeland Security determines, after an investigation, that qualified seamen who are citizens of the United States are not available, the Secretary may waive these citizenship requirements. In this proposed rule, the Coast Guard proposes to make satisfactory completion of a dockside safety examination under the Coast Guard’s Commercial Fishing Industry Vessel Safety program a condition for receiving a waiver from the citizenship requirements. For complete details on the proposal see the federal register linked below.

Federal Register Fishing Vessel Manning Citizenship waivers

USCG Releases Towing Vessel Notice of Proposed Rulemaking . . . 8/11/2011

On August 11, 2011, the Coast Guard released its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking regarding the inspection program for towing vessels. The complicated program will involve some combination of a safety management system and/or a vessel inspection program depending on the company preferences. The program will eventually apply to all towing vessels of more than 26 feet in length. Initial emphasis will be placed on vessels towing oil or hazardous materials laden barges. The 76 page proposal is posted below. The Coast Guard will be accepting comments on its proposal until December. Complete details are in the federal register linked below.

Federal Register Towing Vessel Inspection Program

USCG Proposes Licensing Endorsement Changes IAW STCW Amendments . . . 8/1/2011

On August 1, 2011, the Coast Guard published a federal register notice regarding the implementation of amendments to the International Convention pn the Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers, 1978, and changes to domestic endorsements for licenses. These changes have been in the works since 2009 and the latest proposal intends to clarify the Coast Guard’s domestic and international mariner license endorsement regulations to implement provisions related to the amended STCW Convention. This 175 page proposal will simplify domestic licensing requirements and separate them from STCW requirements; provide alternative means for demonstrating competence; clarify oversight requirements for approved courses; amend lifeboatmen requirements; allow for acceptance of sea service on vessels serving the Great Lakes and inland waters to meet STCW requirements; and permit acceptance of maritime academies’ documentation in compliance with national accreditation bodies to meet STCW requirements. The SNPRM will also give the public an opportunity to comment on these changes. Full details are in the federal register notice linked below.

STCW Federal Register Notice

National Weather Service Seeking Comments On Weather Observing Network . . . 7/13/2011

The National Weather Service (NWS) in Alaska has published an assessment of surface weather observation needs and drafted a plan for modernizing and optimizing the weather observing network in Alaska. NWS is seeking your comments on the assessment and the draft plan through August 15. The plan and the way of submitting comments can be accessed via the following link.

U.S. EPA Vessel General Permit One-Time Report . . . 6/16/2011

The Vessel General Permit (VGP) issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency requires owner/operators to submit a one-time report for each vessel between 30 months and 36 months after obtaining permit coverage (see Part 4.4.4 of the VGP). EPA is requiring this information to assure permittees are complying with the provisions of this permit, to learn how owner/operators are implementing the permit, and to gain a better understanding about the universe of permittees covered by this general permit. All vessels covered by the VGP are required to submit one-time reports, regardless of whether or not NOIs were required to be submitted to EPA. By June 19, 2011, the report form will be available electronically through EPA’s eNOI system available at EPA’s website at

The eNOI system will include several features that will save vessel owner/operators and certifiers time and will expedite the processing of the report. EPA strongly advises permittees to complete the reports electronically. A copy of the report form is posted below.

Copy of one-time report for EPA VGP

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