Commercial Vessel Compliance

10/6/2014: The Coast Guard promulgates Navigation Rules and Regulations Handbook

The Coast Guard published Alcoast 411/14 announcing the promulgation of the Navigation Rules and Regulations Handbook, Commandant Instruction 16672.2.

As a result of several changes to the International Regulations for Prevention of Collisions at Sea, otherwise known as COLREGS, 1972, and the Inland Navigation Rules, an update to the publication “Navigation Rules” was required.

The updated handbook refers to laws and regulations that are legally binding and all users of the waterways must follow the laws and regulations that have been reprinted in the handbook and compiled for easy reference.

No paper distribution will be made of these publications.

You can find the handbook on the Coast Guard Navigation Center’s Navrules website.
The handbook is also available on the Coast Guard’s directives website .

The Coast Guard confirmed that the Government Printing Office will make the handbook available on a print on demand basis.

The operator of each self-propelled vessel 12 meters or more in length shall carry on board, and maintain for ready reference, a copy of these Rules.

The impediment to allowing an electronic copy of the Navigation Rules is the requirement for access and ready reference. The rule of thumb for ready reference means that vessel operators must be able to open up the book in two minutes or less. Such access is challenging for many electronic devices, especially if they are on a computer or laptop.

This blog is not a replacement or substitute for the formal posting of regulations and updates or existing processes for receiving formal feedback of the same. Links provided on this blog will direct the reader to official source documents, such as the Federal Register, Homeport and the Code of Federal Regulations. These documents remain the official source for regulatory information published by the Coast Guard.