From Holland and Knight
The US Coast Guard released its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on vessel requirements for notices of arrival and departure (NOAD) and the Automatic Identification System (AIS). The requirement to electronically submit an advance notice of arrival or departure would, under this proposal, be expanded to include all foreign vessels regardless of size departing to or coming from a US port or place and all US commercial vessels regardless of size coming to a US port or place from a foreign port. The AIS carriage requirement would be expanded for US vessels.

AIS would be required on all domestic vessels of 500 GT or greater, regardless of its destination; all domestic vessels of 300 GT or greater on an international voyage; and all domestic vessels of 150 GT or greater when carrying more than 12 passengers on an international voyage. The exemption for fishing vessels and for small passenger vessels would be revoked. Dredges and floating plants operating near channels and vessels moving or carrying certain dangerous cargoes (CDC) would be required to carry AIS. The geographic limitation of the AIS requirement to VTS areas would be eliminated, making the carriage requirement applicable for covered vessels operating anywhere on the navigable waters of the United States.

A handout was also released summarizing proposed changes to the AIS carriage rules. A public meeting (currently unscheduled) is planned to take place in Washington, DC.

Comments on the proposal should be submitted by April 15, 2009.

Note: This proposal has been in development for some time. The recent events in Mumbai, India emphasize the importance of enhanced maritime domain awareness, particularly with regard to vessels at the lower end of the spectrum, which were previously ignored. 73 Fed.
Reg. 76295
(December 16, 2008).