5/10/2019: Subchapter M requirement for Health and Safety Plan

TVNCOE issued a reminder that on or before July 22, 2019, owners and managing operators of Subchapter M towing vessels must implement a Health and Safety Plan (HSP) and the associated record-keeping procedures regardless of whether or not the vessel has been issued a Certificate of Inspection.


5/9/2019: Summary of latest Towing Safety Advisory Committee meeting

The committee deliberated on current tasks, discussed new business, and received public comments. Attendees represented the Coast Guard, the towing and barge industry, engineers, pilots/masters, port authorities, terminal operators, offshore operators, and the public.


4/18/2019: Subchapter M – Only a few days left to schedule inspections to meet July 22, 2019 compliance requirements

In this post, Rear Adm. John Nadeau reminds towing vessel owners and operators of the responsibility to ensure 25 percent of their fleet has received a COI before July 22, 2019. In addition, at least 30 days before the inspection, the owner or operator must submit a completed “Application for Inspection of a U.S. Vessel” to the OCMI indicating if the Coast Guard or Towing Safety Management System option will be used to meet these requirements.


4/10/2019: Recognized auditor/assessor courses

The Towing Vessel National Center of Expertise posted a notice on its website that the Third-Party Organization webpage has been updated to reflect current auditor/assessor courses recognized by the Coast Guard as of April 10, 2019.


4/8/2019: Policy Letter 19-01 – Enforcement guidance for harbor assist vessels when operating beyond the boundary line

This policy letter provides guidance for the OCMI to exercise discretion with enforcing regulations, as appropriate, related to manning schemes, credentialing, and watchkeeping requirements so that the relatively few towing vessels that conduct harbor assist operations outside the Boundary Line have additional time to develop a workforce and business model to achieve compliance.


3/18/2019: Reminder – Subchapter M certificate of inspection and marine firefighting requirements

The Office of Commercial Vessel Compliance would like to remind the owners and operators of towing vessels that intend to participate in marine salvage or marine firefighting contingency plans and operations to note this on their Certificate of Inspections and ensure the vessel complies with the appropriate requirements for the waters on which they will operate.


2/5/2019: Update to Policy Letter 17-04, “Subchapter M Third Party Organization Guidance”

This post provides information on updates to the Coast Guard’s Subchapter M Third Party Organization Guidebook.


11/20/2018: Towing Safety Advisory Committee teleconference scheduled

The Coast Guard announced in the Federal Register that the Towing Safety Advisory Committee will meet via teleconference Dec. 5, 2018, to discuss the three current tasks assigned to the committee. This teleconference will be open to the public.


11/9/2018: Engineering Design & Testing (EDT) approved as third party organization under Subchapter M

The Towing Vessel National Center of Expertise posted on its website Nov. 7, 2018, that the Coast Guard has approved Engineering Design & Testing (EDT) as a third-party organization to carry out certain functions in accordance with Subchapter M.


10/9/2018: Two work instructions related to Subchapter M published recently

These instructions provide guidance to both Coast Guard field offices and the maritime industry on the Coast Guard’s interpretations regarding the application and implementation of regulations applying to towing vessel inspections for certification under 46 CFR Subchapter M and the Towing Safety Management System option.


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