6/6/2018: Updated Subchapter M Frequently Asked Questions now available

The Towing Vessel National Center of Expertise recently published the latest additions and updates to the Frequently Asked Questions regarding Subchapter M, inspected towing vessels. As a convenience for our readers, in this post Maritime Commons is providing a compilation of those changes, made as of May 29, 2018.


10/4/2016: Safety alert – Towing operations

The Coast Guard issued a safety alert reminding owners and operators of businesses and vessels associated with the towing of large drilling rigs, such as semi-submersibles, conical or other types of non-standard tows, of the importance of planning for such significant towing operations.


9/2/2016: Subchapter M – Updated FAQs

The final rule to establish safety regulations for commercial towing vessels (known as “Subchapter M”) became effective July 20, 2016, with many of the requirements to be phased in over time. The final rule to establish safety regulations for commercial towing vessels (known as “Subchapter M”) became effective July 20, 2016, with many of the requirements to be phased in over time.


7/19/2016: Correction notice for subchapter M: Inspection of towing vessels

The Coast Guard announces the publication of a correction notice for the Inspection of Towing Vessels final rule published on June 20, 2016. The Coast Guard is issuing this correction notice to correct three dates that were listed incorrectly in the original rule. These corrections align these sections with the final rule’s amended definition of “new towing vessel” and the delayed implementation of most requirements in parts 143 and 144.


7/7/2016: Policy for credentialing officers of towing vessels

The Coast Guard announced the availability of Navigation and Vessel Inspection Circular (NVIC) 03-16, Guidelines for Credentialing Officers of Towing Vessels.


6/20/2016: Publication of subchapter M: Inspection of towing vessels

Today, the Coast Guard published subchapter M of title 46 of the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations, which establishes new regulations and requirements for owners and operations of tows and towing vessels.


6/10/2016: Update on Subchapter M from the Towing Vessel National Center of Expertise

Today, the Office of the Federal Register posted notice of the Subchapter M rule to the public inspection webpage. Once published, Subchapter M will establish safety regulations governing the inspection and standards of towing vessels, while providing a safety management system compliance option.


1/21/2016: Offshore supply vessels, towing vessel and barge engine rating watches

The Coast Guard published a direct and final rule to the Federal Register to amend merchant regulations to allow oilers, serving on certain vessels, to be divided into at least two watches.


11/19/2015: Collection of information under review by Office of Management and Budget – Voyage planning for tank barge transits in the northeast United States

The Coast Guard seeks comment on the approval of a revision to a currently approved collection for request for voyage planning for tank barge transits in the northeast United States.


10/26/2015: New FAQ on bridge-to-bridge certificate for towing vessels

A new FAQ has been posted on when towing vessels are required to have the bridge-to-bridge radiotelephone station inspected and obtain a bridge-to-bridge certificate.


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