Coast Guard Headquarters staff attended a special session of the Cruise Lines International Association’s (CLIA) Committees on Maritime Safety and Marine Environment Matters in Washington, D.C., Oct. 20, 2017. Other federal agencies in attendance included the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Department of State, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Transportation Safety Board, and the Environmental Protection Agency. The objective of the meeting was to further the government-industry partnership between U.S. government agencies and CLIA through ongoing discussions on matters of mutual interest related to maritime safety and protection of the marine environment.
“We’ve been engaging with the members of CLIA for several years now through these committee meetings, and have found them to be extremely beneficial for encouraging two-way dialogue on key issues related to cruise ship safety, security and environmental protection,” said Capt. Benjamin Hawkins, chief of the Office of Design and Engineering Standards. “Whether discussing passenger safety or novel technologies, these discussions directly support our role and responsibility as regulators.”
The meeting included a series of staff briefs on a variety of Coast Guard programs and initiatives.
- The Office of Port and Facility Compliance updated the group on the draft cyber security Framework for Passenger Vessel Operations, which is a collaborative effort between the Coast Guard, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and industry to manage cybersecurity risks in a cost-effective way based on business needs.
- The Office of Commercial Vessel Compliance discussed port state control issues, such as Exhaust Gas Cleaning System temporary exceedances and the use of LNG and other low flashpoint fuels.
- The Coast Guard’s Chief Traveling Inspector gave an overview of the Cruise Ship National Center of Expertise, addressing its role in policy and regulatory development and its communication process with headquarters.
- Lastly, the Office of Operating and Environmental Standards finished up the Coast Guard briefs with a discussion about mitigating measures to carrying heavy fuel oil in the Arctic, ballast water extensions, alternate management systems, type approvals, 24-hour hold time, and several IMO matters related to safety and greenhouse gas emissions.
Coast Guard staff heard briefs from the other federal agencies in attendance on many related topics important to maritime safety and marine environmental stewardship. FEMA provided a brief on emergency contingency operations and Dept. of State gave an update on the work of the Arctic Council and the Antarctic Treaty. NOAA discussed issues related to national marine sanctuaries, nautical charts and electronic charting, and feedback on ocean weather data provided by the National Weather Service. NTSB discussed marine casualties and investigations and priorities related to transportation safety. Finally, EPA updated attendees on the 2018 draft of the Vessel General Permit.
“CLIA’s long-standing partnership with the U.S. Coast Guard as well as engagement with other government agencies continues to tackle the most prevalent issues regarding safety, security and environmental protection facing the cruise industry,” said Rob Griffiths, vice president, maritime policy, CLIA. “The cruise industry remains committed to ongoing dialogue with regulators and other stakeholders on matters of mutual interest.”
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