Commercial Vessel Compliance

Coast Guard Regulatory Reform Accomplishments: FY17-FY20

Editor’s note: The Coast Guard Headquarters Office of Standards Evaluation and Development has provided the below post to explain the process for evaluating deregulatory actions, discuss those completed between FY17 – FY20, and highlight those currently under review.

Submitted by: Caleb O’Kray, Office of Standards Evaluation and Development
Chief Economist

On January 30, 2017, President Trump signed Executive Order (EO) 13771, “Reducing Regulations and Controlling Regulatory Costs” with the goal of reducing the regulatory burden on individuals and businesses.

EO 13771 accomplishes this through two mechanisms:

  • Requiring executive departments and agencies to remove two existing regulations for each new significant regulation they promulgate.
  • Setting an annual regulatory budget which all executive departments and agencies must meet. The total incremental cost for significant regulatory activities must below the total regulatory budget.

As stated above EO 13771 only applies to significant regulations and guidance documents as defined by EO 12866, “Regulatory Planning and Review.”[1] However, all deregulatory actions may be counted toward the regulatory budget and the two for one totals, even if they are non-significant. For fiscal year 2020, the Department of Homeland Security has a budget of $35.2 billion for significant regulatory actions, and all of Coast Guard’s deregulatory efforts will be counted toward this budget.[2]

What has the Coast Guard Done to Identify Deregulatory Actions?  

The Coast Guard sought to engage a variety of different stakeholders when identifying potential deregulatory actions. We reached out to subject matter experts within Coast Guard at both the headquarters and the field level. We also tasked our Federal Advisory Committees (FACAs) with finding potential deregulatory suggestions from their members. Finally, we issued a request for public comments on from July 10, 2017, to September 11, 2017, seeking suggestions from the regulated industries and the general public.[3] Table 1 summarizes the number of responses we received from these efforts.

Table 1: Summary of Deregulatory Suggestions
Table 1: Summary of Deregulatory Suggestions

The Coast Guard reviewed and analyzed these suggestions for their potential costs savings, while also considering the potential impact any deregulatory effort may have on maritime safety, security, and environment. We selected suggestions that were likely to reduce the burden to industry and the general public without compromising the Agency’s safety, security, and environment missions, as potential deregulatory projects.

What Deregulatory Actions has the Coast Guard Completed?

From FY17 through FY19, the Coast Guard has published 9 final deregulatory rules, and 1 deregulatory guidance document with a total annualized cost savings of approximately $37.5 million.[4] As shown in Figure 1, the Coast Guard leads DHS components in finalizing deregulatory actions. In addition, our cost savings comprises approximately 69 percent of DHS’s total deregulatory cost savings from FY17 through FY19. Some highlights of the completed actions include:

  • Reducing the burden to 8,040 vessels by allowing them to carry electronic charts instead of paper charts, which vessels must purchase and manually update.
  • Eliminating ballast water reporting requirements for 278 vessels.
  • Reducing National Preparedness for Response Exercise Program (PREP) drill requirements for 26,919 vessels annually.
Figure 1: Number of Final EO 13771 Deregulatory Actions by DHS Component, FY17-FY19
Figure 1: Number of Final EO 13771 Deregulatory Actions by DHS Component, FY17-FY19

What are the Coast Guard’s Ongoing Actions?

To date in FY20 the Coast Guard has published 1 final deregulatory rule and 1 deregulatory policy document with a total annualized cost savings of more than $2 million. We expect to publish 1 more final deregulatory action in FY20. The Coast Guard estimates this action will generate an annualized cost savings of approximately $26.3 million. In addition, the Coast Guard has 3 deregulatory projects in the notice of proposed rulemaking phase and 1 in the pre-rule phase. The deregulatory activities for FY20 cover a wide variety of topics including, but not limited to:

  • Reducing training and credentialing requirements for some mariners.
  • Accepting certain marine equipment that meet international standards instead of needing Coast Guard approval.
  • Revising requirements for the person in charge of a fuel transfer of an inspected vessel and offers additional means of satisfying the PIC through a Letter of Designation (LOD).

The U.S. Coast Guard Regulatory Reform Accomplishments Summary Sheet: FY17-FY20 is available for viewing and download from the Office of Standards Evaluation and Development website.

For Additional Information:

[1] A “significant regulatory action’’ means any regulatory action that is likely to result in a rule that may: (1) Have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more or adversely affect in a material way the economy, a sector of the economy, productivity, competition, jobs, the environment, public health or safety, or State, local, or tribal governments or communities; (2) Create a serious inconsistency or otherwise interfere with an action taken or planned by another agency; (3) Materially alter the budgetary impact of entitlements, grants, user fees, or loan programs or the rights and obligations of recipients thereof; or (4) Raise novel legal or policy issues arising out of legal mandates, the President’s priorities, or the principles set forth in [EO 12866].
[2] The FY2020 regulatory budgets for all executive department and agencies is located here:
[3] Available at
[4] All cost savings values are in 2016$ and annualized with a 7% discount rate.

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