The 2013 VGP will not be reissued prior to its December 18, 2018 expiration date but will be administratively continued and remain in effect until a new permit is issued. Owners/operators of vessels operating under the administratively continued permit are expected to comply with the terms and conditions of that permit.  The EPA stands ready to assist those applying for VGP and continues to work on reissuing the permit, with a target timeframe of permit proposal in spring 2019.

Read more here>>>>


Via Coast Guard Maritime Commons:


For the convenience of our readers, Maritime Commons will occasionally announce when the Marine Safety Center (MSC) publishes updated Plan Review Guidelines and Design Verification Guidelines.

The following Plan Review Guidelines were updated in October 2018:

GEN 05 – “Stability Test Procedures

This Plan Review Guideline provides general guidance and information for conducting successful stability tests and submitting stability test procedures to the MSC. It applies to vessels certificated under any subchapter of 46 CFR.

Plan Review Guidelines were developed by MSC staff and are provided as an aid in the preparation and review of vessel plans and submissions. They were developed to supplement existing guidance and are not intended to substitute or replace laws, regulations, or other official Coast Guard policy documents. For more information about PRG, contact the MSC at msc@uscg.mil or 202-795-6729. When contacting MSC, reference the PRG by procedure number, e.g. GEN 05.


From the Environmental Protection Agency:

The 2013 VGP will not be reissued prior to its December 18, 2018 expiration date, but will be administratively continues and remain in effect until a new permit is issued. Owners/operators of vessels operating under the administratively continued permit are expected to comply with the terms and the conditions of that permit. EPA stands ready to assist those applying for VGP and will continue its work on reissuing the permit, with a targeted timeframe of permit proposal in spring 2019.  

Continue reading this article (PDF) EPA_ VGP Will Not Be Reissued This Year>>>


Via MarineLink.com

Via The Practical Sailor

Coast Guard Warns of Radio Interference from LEDs

Back in 2010, Practical Sailor and others raised the alert that a conversion to LED navigation lights can have some unintended consequences, including distorted color shifts (see PS January 2016 “USCG Issues Alert on Uncertified Nav Lights” and PS October 2017  “Converting an Anchor Light to a Tricolor Light” ). And we’ve long been concerned about LED lights, both interior and exterior, interfering with VHF and AIS radio transmissions (see PS February 2010 “Practical Sailor Tracks Down the Best LED Tri-color Light” see PS June 2014, “LED Interior Lights Part 2”).

The problem with radio interference has recently gotten the attention of the U.S. Coast Guard, which released the following Marine Safety Alert on August 15, 2018.

“The U.S. Coast Guard has received reports from crews, ship owners, inspectors and other mariners regarding poor reception on VHF frequencies used for radiotelephone, digital selective calling (DSC) and automatic identification systems (AIS) when in the vicinity of light emitting diode (LED) lighting on-board ships (e.g., navigation lights, searchlights and floodlights, interior and exterior lights, adornment).

– Continue reading the article on the Practical Sailor website –

The Ship Operations and Safety Committee of Tall Ships America is always working to provide our membership with important and up to date information on regulatory compliance, operational best practices, and USCG Licensure and STCW Endorsement.  As part of this mission, where possible, we actively support individual and organizational members that are working to further this effort.  We are pleased to be able to underwrite Captain Sarah Herard’s participation in the USCG Examination Working Group, and look forward to a her reports as a guest blogger on the Navigating the Regulatory Seas posts shared with our members.


Via Bluewater Maritime Consulting:

Since 2015, the National Maritime Center has enlisted the help of merchant mariners to review their exam question bank. Captain Sarah Herard recently joined this Coast Guard Examination Working Group and took a trip to the NMC Headquarters in Martinsburg, West Virginia to participate in the Review Process. 

Have you ever wondered who looks at the exam bank questions for relevancy? Are you curious about what goes on at the National Maritime Center? Captain Herard shares her experience in this short, 6 minute video and you can read the entire post on the Bluewater Blog:  https://www.bluewatersafety.com/blog/reviewing-the-uscg-exam-question-bank


The CG Examination Working Group is volunteer-based. Tall Ships America has provided financial support for Sarah’s participation in the working group and values the opportunity to participate in the review process.




USCG – change to Inland Navigation Rules
The USCG National Maritime Center (NMC) issued a notice reminding mariners of a recent change to the Inland Navigation Rules. The word ‘danger’ has been removed from Rule 34, aligning it with the 1972 COLREGS and alleviating potential ambiguity. (6/21/18)

Click here for the full press release. 

USCG – the role of SMSs
The US Coast Guard issued a bulletin discussing the role of safety management systems (SMSs). (6/21/18)

Click here for more information.

This safety alert raises awareness of a potentially dangerous circumstance involving Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs). During several inspections involving different vessels, Coast Guard personnel discovered a significant number (>100) of unwearable type 1 PFDs that would have presented a problem for users if needed in an emergency. Owners and operators are reminded that regulations require PFDs onboard vessels to be wearable and in serviceable condition.

Click here to continue reading the press release (PDF)