As of October 1, 2015, the United States Coast Guard has implemented the use of the new CG-719 series of forms (B, C, K, K/E, P, and S) that will replace the forms displaying a June 30, 2012, expiration date.

The Coast Guard will not stock the CG-719 series of forms in paper format. These forms may be obtained electronically in a PDF fillable format on the National Maritime Center (NMC) website. Additional updates to the NMC website will occur as quickly as possible to reflect the new forms.

The Coast Guard encourages providers and applicants to purge the old forms from inventory and to begin using the new forms as soon as possible. In order to avoid penalizing mariners who have already completed their forms, the NMC will continue to accept the old forms for a period of time.

With the exception of forms K and K/E, the Coast Guard will no longer accept outdated CG-719 forms after April 1, 2016. For the K and K/E, forms signed by a physician after December 31, 2015, must be the new form version. In accordance with 46CFR10.304(d), the K or K/E must be submitted within 12 months of the date signed by a licensed medical professional, therefore, the Coast Guard will no longer accept outdated K or K/E forms after December 31, 2016.

Here is the entire announcement from the National Maritime Center

Maritime Commons attended an open house hosted by the Coast Guard’s National Maritime Center to provide updates on the credentialing process, future credentialing policies and their impacts on mariners and industry.

The National Maritime Center’s Commanding Officer, Capt. Jeffrey Novotny, provided opening remarks and updates on the NMC’s operations and initiatives.

For those of you who were unable to attend, Maritime Commons is providing a condensed version of Novotny’s remarks in a four-part series. These remarks are not ‘as delivered’ but provide a condensed version of the highlights for your informational purposes…

Delivered by Capt. Jeffrey Novotny, Coast Guard National Maritime Center commanding officer:

We are here to serve and assist the mariner in getting credentials. Our goal is to do this as efficient and effectively as possible.

The Coast Guard’s credentialing program is a three-legged stool:

The Office of Operating and Environmental Standards, Maritime Personnel Qualifications Division creates the regulations

The Office of Commercial Vessel Compliance, Mariner Credentialing Program Policy Division works with regulations to create policy

The National Maritime Center implements the regulation and policy

These program elements meet regularly because there’s nothing worse than a program that isn’t aligned. (more…)

Survival Craft Display at 2014 Tall Ships(r) Conference in San Diego.

Survival Craft Display at 2014 Tall Ships(r) Conference in San Diego. (Tall Ships America)

Please be aware of the upcoming changes regarding Out Of Water Survival Craft (OOWSC). The attached MSIB provides information and notification of the laws that govern the use of OOWSC on commercial vessels, effective February 26, 2016. Please note that the Coast Guard is currently developing a Policy Letter to assist with the implementation of the new requirements. The USCG stands ready assist; please contact your inspection office if you have any concerns or questions.

USCG – AIS Encoding Guide

The US Coast Guard has posted an AIS Encoding Guide. International and domestic regulations require that mariners maintain each Automatic Identification System (AIS) in effective operating condition, which includes accurate data input and upkeep of AIS data parameters. The Guide may assist in meeting those requirements. (7/8/15).

Editor’s Note: The current locations of Tall Ships America Member Vessels with AIS capabilities can now be viewed on Tall Ships America’s new Fleet Tracker (updates in progress).

Tall Ships America member vessels represent a broad spectrum of vessel types, programs, and missions.The guidelines provided here attempt to cover a wide range of application and are necessarily general in nature. This document is aimed at providing a variety of options for implementation of a vessel-specific aloft safety regimen. This document offers some discussion and context for the provided options. It aims to provide resources for both training and equipment suitable for use in aloft work in sailing vessels, with emphasis placed on both training and safety. Effective training and practice are the primary means of ensuring safety aloft. Harnesses, lanyards, and related safety equipment provide protection in the event of the unexpected.

Sailing vessels, by nature of their design, require that personnel go aloft as part of the regular care and operation of the ship. Whether for routine rig inspections and maintenance or for the operation of the sailing rig, this aloft work carries with it a measure of risk. Although falls from aloft are rare, the implications of such a fall are dire. All sail training vessels must provide effective safety aloft training, gear, and operational protocols to their trainees and crew. All successful sail training operators place safety at the core of their program. Tall Ships America encourages a culture of safety and seeks to assist where it can in enhancing safety practices.

To continue reading the Guidelines for Safety Aloft, click here (PDF)


The US Coast Guard posted a notice reminding stakeholders of their ability to electronically check on the status of their vessel documentation paperwork at the USCG National Vessel Documentation Center (NVDC). (4/16/15).

Check your paperwork status here. Please allow up to two weeks after their receipt of your submission before inquiring about the status.

DOT – drug testing programs
The Department of Transportation (DOT) promulgated a final rule expanding the definition of the chain of custody and control form (CCF) with regard to DOT-regulated drug testing programs to include both paper and electronic forms. The rule enters into effect immediately. It should be noted that the USCG drug testing program for US merchant mariners operates within this system. 80 Fed. Reg. 19551 (4/13/15).

Note: This item was brought to my attention by Richard Wells of the Offshore Marine Service Association via Captain Jonathan Kabak.


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