Commercial Vessel Compliance

Policy Letter: Exercise of enforcement discretion with regard to MARPOL Annex VI Regulation

The Office of Commercial Vessel Compliance has published Policy Letter 21-01: “Exercise of enforcement discretion with regard to MARPOL Annex VI Regulation” to outline how the U.S. Coast Guard will enforce MARPOL Annex VI Regulation, the Tier III NOx limits, for certain engines installed on recreational vessels above 24 meters in length and less than 500 gross tonnage (“large recreational vessels”).

Officers in Charge, Marine Inspection (OCMI), affected Companies, and Recognized Organizations (RO) that issue International Air Pollution Prevention (IAPP) certificates on behalf of the United States are encouraged to apply this Policy Letter as it relates to the certification of qualifying engines (engines of 130 – 600 kW) that are required to meet International Maritime Organization (IMO) Tier III performance standards and their installation on large recreational vessels. This policy letter expires on December 31, 2023.

Policy letter 21-01 may be viewed in its entirety on the Office of Commercial Vessel Compliance(CG-CVC) policy letter website.

Questions concerning this policy letter and guidance should be directed to the Office of Commercial Vessel Compliance, COMDT (CG-CVC), Domestic Compliance Division at

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 publications, such as the Federal Register, Homeport and the Code of Federal Regulations. These publications remain the official source for regulatory information published by the Coast Guard.

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