Commercial Vessel Compliance

2/25/2016: Transportation Research Board releases report on Coast Guard regulations

From the desk of the U.S. Coast Guard Assistant Commandant for Prevention Policy, Rear Adm. Paul Thomas

The Transportation Research Board (TRB) of the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine has released its report titled “Impact of the United States Coast Guard Regulations on United States Flag Registry.”  This report was commissioned by the Coast Guard in response to a congressional mandate in the Howard Coble Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Act of 2014.

The report concludes that compliance with Coast Guard regulations is not an impediment to the competitiveness of the U.S. flag registry. Similar to other recent studies, the TRB found costs associated with regulatory compliance are a fraction of a percent those associated with other operating expenses.

The TRB did make several recommendations aimed at further harmonizing Coast Guard regulations with international standards and further reducing the cost of compliance without increasing safety risks. The Coast Guard welcomes these recommendations  and looks forward to working with industry and classification societies to this end.

Many of the TRB recommendations are focused on the Maritime Security Program (MSP), and many of those have already been implemented by the Coast Guard. Other recommendations touch on Coast Guard oversight of classification societies performing work on behalf of the Coast Guard. These recommendations will be carefully considered along with lessons learned from the EL FARO investigation and the Coast Guard’s internal review of 3rd party oversight. We will continue to work with all stakeholders to optimize these processes.

I thank the Chairman of the committee that produced the TRB report, Mr. Keith Michel, and all of his committee members for lending their expertise and extensive maritime experience to this important initiative. I look forward to reporting on progress toward implementing the recommendations.

You can view the report here.

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.