News Archives from 1-25-05 to 5-03-06

USCG Interim Policy re MARPOL Annex VI - 05/03/2005

On May 3, 2005, the U.S. Coast Guard issued a Policy Letter providing interim guidance regarding voluntary compliance with MARPOL Annex VI by U.S. vessels. Annex VI outlines international requirements for vessel air emissions and air pollution prevention measures for vessels. The Annex enters into force on 19 May. The U.S. has not yet ratified Annex VI. Regardless, the Annex will apply to commercial vessels of 400 gross tons ITC engaged in international voyages. Eligible and qualified U.S. vessels may obtain Statements of Voluntary Compliance (SOVC) from their cognizant USCG Officer in Charge Marine Inspection (OCMI) or classification society. The SOVC will serve as proof of compliance until such time as the U.S. ratifies the Annex.

MOC Policy Letter 05-02 (May 3, 2005).

MOC Policy Letter

US Coast Guard MTSA Help Desk - 04/28/2005

The Coast Guard has updated it's MTSA-ISPS informational website to a new clean look with easy navigation to information regarding MTSA and current Coast Guard Policy.

This internet site, as an element of the MTSA-ISPS Help Desk, provides a “one-stop-shop” for up-to-date information on implementation and enforcement of the maritime transportation security regulations found in Subchapter H of Title 33, Code of Federal Regulations, the various parts in Title 46 dealing with the Automatic Identification System, and the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code. As lead agency for maritime security in the U.S., the Coast Guard works closely with our international trading partners to promote reasonable and consistent implementation and enforcement of the ISPS code for enhanced maritime security in countries (and ports) that participate in global trade.

This site includes MTSA-ISPS regulations and policy information, Forms, Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ/Best Practices), Presentations, Training Modules, and Public Affairs Guidance to assist in CG education initiatives with maritime transportation system stakeholders.

If you are unable to find the desired information on the web sites, a “MTSA-ISPS Help Desk” is staffed from 8:00 AM-5:00 PM, EST. The Help Desk staff can be reached at 1-877-MTSA-Aid (1-877-687-2243) or 202-366-9991. Email queries may be sent to Help Desk Staff will either immediately respond to questions or will research the issue and promptly provide a written response.

Follow the link below to the MTSA-ISPS Help Desk

MTSA -ISPS Help Desk


On February 4, 2005, the U.S. Coast Guard published Interim Guidance for the Development and Review of Response Plans for Nontank Vessels. A nontank vessel is defined as a self propelled vessel of 400 gross tons or greater that carries oil of any kind as fuel for main propulsion and that is a vessel of the United States or that operates on the navigable waters of the United States. The deadline for submittal of these vessel response plans is August 8, 2005. Complete details are in the Navigation and Vessel Inspection Circular No. 01-05 below.

Navigation and Vessel Inspection Circular 01-05

NVIC 01-05

Marine Exchange of Alaska visits newest U.S. tanker - 04/21/2005

On April 18, 2005, the Alaska Tanker Company brought its newest tanker the MV ALASKAN EXPLORER to Juneau. The Marine Exchange of Alaska staff was given a tour of the ship from the navigating bridge to the shaft alley. See the link below for more details on the ship and the Marine Exchange visit onboard.


Photos of Marine Exchange of Alaska visit onboard ALASKAN EXPLORER

Coast Guard Proposes Inspections for Towing Vessels - 01/25/2005

Inspection of Towing Vessels: Notice; Request for Comments, and Notice of Public Meetings,

In the recently enacted Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Act of 2004, the Congress directed the Coast Guard to add towing vessels to the list of vessels subject to inspections, and to consider the establishment of a safety management system appropriate for towing vessels. The Coast Guard is seeking public and industry involvement as they consider how to proceed. Issues that are of specific concern to the USCG, and for which input is requested, include:

Towing vessels of a certain size (300 or more gross register tons) are already inspected vessels and are subject to a variety of existing requirements. Should the Coast Guard use any of these existing standards (or standards for other types of inspected vessels) for incorporation into the new regulations regarding the inspection of towing vessels? If so, which regulations or standards should be incorporated into these new regulations

Title 46, United States Code, specifies the items covered with regard to inspected vessels including lifesaving, firefighting, hull, propulsion equipment, machinery and vessel equipment. However, the legislation that added towing vessels to the list of inspected vessels, authorized that the Coast Guard may prescribe different standards for towing vessels than for other types of inspected vessels. What, if any, different standards should be considered with regard to inspected towing vessel requirements from other inspected vessels

Towing vessels vary widely in terms of size, horsepower, areas of operation, and type of operation. Under what circumstances, if any, should a towing vessel be exempt from the requirements as an inspected vessel?

Should existing towing vessels be given time to implement requirements, be "grandfathered" altogether from them, or should this practice vary from requirement to requirement?

Should existing towing vessels be treated differently from towing vessels yet to be built?

The same act that requires inspection of towing vessels authorizes the Coast Guard to develop a safety management system appropriate for the towing vessels. If such a system is developed, should its use be required for all inspected towing vessels?

Examples of existing safety management systems include the international safety management (ISM) code and the American Waterways Operators Responsible Carrier Program. If a safety management system is used, what elements should be included in such a system?

Public meetings will be held on the following dates in the following cities:

January 26, 2005, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. (noon), in Washington, DC; DOT/Nassif Building, 400 Seventh Street SW., Room 2230, Washington, DC 20590.

February 2, 2005, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. (noon), in Oakland, CA; Ronald V. Dellums Federal Building, 1301 Clay Street, Third-Floor North-Tower Auditorium Oakland, CA 94612.

February 10, 2005, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. (noon), in New Orleans, LA; 8th Coast Guard District, Hale Boggs Federal Building, 500 Poydras Street Basement Conference Room, New Orleans, LA 70130.

February 17, 2005, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. (noon), in St. Louis, MO; Robert A. Young Building, 1222 Spruce Street, Room 2.308 (Auditorium) St. Louis, MO 63103.

You may submit comments identified by Coast Guard docket number USCG-2004-19977. Comments and related material must reach the Docket Management Facility on or before March 23, 2005.

If you have questions on this notice, contact Thomas Scott Kuhaneck, Domestic Vessel Compliance Division (G-MOC-1), U.S. Coast Guard, telephone 202-267-0240, or e-mail: