News Archives from 08-22-2013 to 10-01-2013

Severe Weather Guide Published for Aleutians and Bering Sea . . . Oct 1, 2013

The U. S. Coast Guard Captain of the Port for Western Alaska promulgated the updated severe weather guide for the Aleutians and Bering Sea. The guide contains safety guidelines for anchoring and being prepared for heavy weather now that the winter storm season is about to begin. See the full document linked below.

Heavy Weather Guide

Non Tank Vessel Final Rule Published . . . Sep 30, 2013

The US Coast Guard promulgated a final rule regarding nontank vessel response plans (NTVRPs) and other response plan requirements. The rule requires owners and operators of covered nontank vessels to prepare and submit oil spill response plans. It specifies the content of a response plan and addresses, among other issues, the requirement to plan for responding to a worst case discharge and a substantial threat of such discharge. Additionally, it updates the regulation relating to the international Shipboard Oil Pollution Emergency Plan (SOPEP) requirements as they apply to certain nontank vessels and tank vessels. Finally, the final rule requires vessel owners or operators to submit their vessel response plan control number as part of the already-required advance notice of arrival (ANOA) information. The final rule comes into effect on October30,2013.Complete details are in the Federal register notice linked below.

Non Tank Vessel Federal register

Clarifications Regarding Implementation dates and notices of arrivals

USCG Proposes SEMS for OCS Vessels . . . Sep 12, 2013

The Coast Guard issued an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking saying that it intends  to promulgate regulations that will require vessels engaged in OCS activities (defined in 33 CFR Chapter I, Subchapter N) to develop, implement, and maintain a vessel-specific Safety and Environmental Management System (SEMS) that incorporates the management program and principles of the American Petroleum Institute’s Recommended Practice for Development of a Safety and Environmental Management Program for Offshore Operations and Facilities, Third Edition, May 2004 (API RP 75). The Coast Guard is seeking comments on the proposal. Complete details are in the federal register linked below.

OCS SEMS Federal Register Notice

USCG Amends Bulk Packaging Rules for Hazmat Cargo . . . Sep 6, 2013

The Coast Guard issued a final rule amending its regulations concerning the transfer of hazardous materials to and from bulk packaging on vessels. The Coast Guard is expanding the list of bulk packaging approved for hazardous material transfers to include International Maritime Organization (IMO) Type 1 and Type 2 portable tanks, United Nations (UN) portable tanks, and Intermediate Bulk Containers (IBCs). The Coast Guard is also expanding the list of allowed hazardous materials to provide greater flexibility in the selection and use of packaging in the transportation of hazardous materials. This rule will eliminate the need to obtain special permits or Competent Authority Approvals to use IMO Type 1 or Type 2 portable tanks, UN portable tanks, or IBCs. These changes are important for offshore supply vessels that routinely carry these types of bulk packaging and transfer hazardous materials from them to offshore drilling installations. Complete details are in the federal register notice linked below.

Federal Register Notice Bulk Packaging

Seagoing Barges Not Required to be Inspected . . . Aug 29, 2013

The US Coast Guard promulgated a rule revising several inspection and certification regulations to align them with the statutory definition of “seagoing barge” and with the statutory exemption from inspection and certification requirements for certain seagoing barges. The revisions come into effect on 30 September. Complete details are in the federal register linked below. This final rule is related to the proposed rule the Coast Guard floated for these barges in January.

Federal Register Notice Seagoing Barges Final Rule

Oil Record Book Required Changes . . . Aug 29, 2013

The US Coast Guard issued a Letter to Vessel Masters and Chief Engineers regarding continued use of the 2007 Oil Record Book (CG-4602A). In 2009, the IMO adopted amendments to MARPOL Annex I making changes to various entry requirements in the oil record book (ORB). The USCG proposal to implement the MARPOL amendments for US-flag vessels (including a proposed new US ORB) has yet to be implemented. In the interim, the Coast Guard recommends in its Letter that a copy of the Letter and its enclosure (Annex 3 to Res. MEPC.187(59)) be attached to the vessel’s existing ORB. Additionally, the ORB should be amended to add the entries provided for in the enclosure. A copy of the new daft Oil Record Book is provided for guidance.

Letter to Vessel Masters and Chief Engineers

Draft Oil Record Book

Canadian Manning Regulations to Apply to U.S. Vessels . . . Aug 22, 2013

Canadian Marine Personnel Regulations which will require licensed engineers onboard all vessels with propelling machinery larger than 1000 horsepower calling in Canadian ports will start to be enforced on October 26, 2013. The Marine Safety Information Bulletin linked below provides detailed information on the program and how U.S. vessels can comply with the Canadian requirements. Also linked below is a message from U.S. Coast Guard headquarters with guidance to U.S. Coast Guard Marine Safety Units on how to assist U.S. vessel owners to comply with the Canadian regulations. It appears that vessels transiting the Inside Passage from Puget Sound to Alaska are not required to comply if they do not stop in any Canadian ports. If you have any questions you are encouraged to work with your local Officer in Charge, Marine Inspection to ensure that your operations are either exempt or that you have the proper documentation to show compliance with the Canadian regulations.

Marine Safety Information Bulletin - Canadian Manning Requirements

Canadian Manning Requirements - Guidance for USCG Marine Safety Units