Department of Homeland Security


From the United States Coast Guard: As a reminder, the amendments to the regulations in 46 CFR Part 4 for Marine Casualty Reporting Property Damage Thresholds published in the Final Rule March 19, 2018, became effective on April 18, 2018.

As a result:
• The property damage threshold for a marine casualty that requires immediate notice under 46 CFR 4.05-1 and the written report under 46 CFR 4.05-10 is now $75,000.
• The property damage threshold for an incident to be classified as a serious marine incident (SMI) as defined in 46 CFR 4.03-2 is now $200,000.
• In addition, technical amendments were made to update various references to the CG-2692 form and its appendixes throughout 46 CFR Part 4.

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Via Coast Guard Maritime Commons

Coast Guard Form CG-835, Vessel/Facility Inspection Requirements, has been used to document deficiencies on Coast Guard inspected vessels and facilities. Recently, the Coast Guard completed development of a new form, CG-835V: Vessel Inspection Requirements, which was specifically tailored to capture more detailed deficiency data in a manner that is aligned with globally accepted Port State Control methodologies. The CG-835V was developed in conjunction with corresponding enhancements to the Coast Guard’s internal database, MISLE, in order to support better data analytics and the development and monitoring of Key Performance Indicators for the U.S. flag fleet and the Recognized Organizations (ROs) that perform statutory certification and services on the Coast Guard’s behalf.

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Via Workboat.com

Coast Guard raises marine casualty report threshold to $75,000

The Coast Guard has raised the limit on damages that trigger a marine casualty report to keep pace with inflation, and eliminate the burden of chronicling and investigating relatively minor mishaps.

The new property damage threshold is $75,000, up from $25,000 and $3,000 higher than originally proposed. The limit for a serious marine incident, which requires mandatory drug and alcohol testing, is $200,000, up from $100,000 but still lower than many industry advocates sought.

The final rule published Monday – the first change since the amounts were established in the 1980s – is effective April 18.

“This is a big step forward. We welcome these improved thresholds,” said John Groundwater, executive director of the Passenger Vessel Association (PVA). “We would have liked to see higher numbers, but we’re generally pleased. It will be helpful.”

The American Waterways Operators (AWO) also supported the increase.

Continue reading this article at Workboat.com >>>

From United States Coast Guard Headquarters
Inspections and Compliance Directorate

During a recent inspection, U.S. Coast Guard Port State Control examiners discovered a significant flaw involving almost all of a vessel’s immersion suits. The examiners noted that the glue used to attach the main zipper to the body of the suit had failed. Failure of the suit at this location will prevent the suit from achieving a watertight seal. Such conditions present serious risk to crewmembers in a survival situation.

Due to the high failure rate discovered during the Coast Guard exam (35 out of 40 suits were defective), the Coast Guard strongly recommends that vessel operators inspect their Immersion Suits for this potential unsafe condition. Do not wait to discover the problem during a real emergency. As a reminder, any replacement survival suits need to be approved by the vessel’s Flag State.

Distributed by the Office of Investigations and Casualty Analysis, Washington DC. Questions may be sent to HQS-PF-fldr-CG-INV@uscg.mil.

Click here for images of defective suits (PDF)

From Bryant’s Maritime Blog

The US Coast Guard issued a policy letter providing US merchant mariners with guidance for requesting harmonization of expiration dates of merchant mariner credentials and mariner medical certificates. CG-MMC Policy Letter 01-18 (2/28/18)

(Editor’s Note: The first page of the PDF is blank but the policy itself comes through. If you find a better version, please share in the comments below)

From Bluewater Maritime Consulting:

For Masters and Mates:

The National Maritime Center is now evaluating mariners under the full STCW code. This forces them to apply stricter accounting for sea service and assessment completion in regard to STCW (international) credentialing. To set your crew up for the most efficient path to STCW ratings, new crew should be trained and assessed in RFPNW (Rating Forming Part of a Navigational Watch) skills as soon as possible.

For a mariner to be approved for RFPNW, they need to have completed the assessment checklist, as well as earned 6 months of sea service (or 2 months from an accredited school) and taken Basic Training. Only after they complete their assessments and 180 days of sea service will their days at sea begin counting towards an AS-D (able-seafarer deck) rating.

I recommend all that masters/mates encourage and facilitate the completion of the RFPNW checklist by new crew as soon as possible if they are interested in a career as a merchant mariner.

By encouraging and facilitating early assessment completion, we as masters/mates are jump-starting a new mariner’s professional credentialing process. A crew member who waits several years to work on this checklist is substantially delaying their opportunity to earn an AS-D….<<more>>

Continue reading at Bluewater Maritime Consulting

On behalf of the inspections office Sector Southern New England, please read the below announcement:

My office has recently received reports of commercial entities directly contacting vessel owners and offering to manage the Certificate of Documentation renewal process for a fee. Some of the notices these companies send could lead a vessel owner to believe the correspondence is coming directly from the Coast Guard’s National Vessel Documentation Center (NYDC). These companies are also present in internet search results for the NVDC and for Certificate of Documentation renewal.

While using these companies is an option, the Coast Guard does not endorse any of them, and they do not operate on behalf of the Coast Guard in any way. Any fees charged or agreements offered by such companies are in no way associated with the NYDC certification process, and these companies are not authorized to issue official NY DC Certificates of Documentation or any other forms of documentation that permit operation of a vessel.

The NVDC, located in Falling Waters, West Virginia, is the only entity authorized to issue Certificates of Documentation (CODs). This documentation is required for vessels engaged in commercial trade and is optional for vessels five net tons and over engaged in recreational use/activities. Persons interested in conducting business directly with NYDC should visit https://www.uscg.mil/nvdc/.

Persons interested in conducting business directly with NYDC should visit the official NYDC website or contact the NVDC at (800) 799-8362 or (304) 271-2400. Phone hours are 9:00 a.m. to 3 :00 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday. Phones are not manned on Thursdays.

Certificate of Documentation renewal requests are accepted at VDC-PF-NYDCRENEW ALS@USCG.MIL.

Questions regarding the information in this bulletin should be directed to my Prevention Department at (207) 899-6279 or SecNNE-Prevention-Domestic@uscg.mil .

Read the official announcement here (PDF)

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