Commercial Vessel Compliance

U.S. Supplement to International Conventions and Classification Society Rules for Ships Enrolled in the Alternate Compliance Program

On March 11, 2021, the Coast Guard in consultation with the Alternate Compliance Program (ACP) authorized Recognized Organizations (RO), released a single U.S. Supplement for vessels enrolling in the ACP.  The single U.S. Supplement meets the intent set out in the Commandant’s Final Action Memorandum following the tragic loss of the EL FARO and the requirements contained in the Save Our Seas Act of 2018. 

The ACP is a voluntary Coast Guard program designed to reduce the regulatory burden of compliance and enhance the competitive position of U.S. flag vessels. It does this by taking advantage of the survey and certification functions performed by ROs. The ACP promotes flexibility in vessel construction and reduces duplicative inspections and surveys. It is designed to maintain an equivalent level of safety to the standards required by Title 46 of the Code of Federal Regulations.

The single U.S. Supplement is focused primarily on requirements related to critical ship safety systems necessary for the issuance of a Coast Guard Certificate of Inspection that are in addition to the requirements found in International Maritime Organization instruments and the ROs’ rules.  The single U.S. Supplement is the result of a multiyear collaborative effort between the Coast Guard and the ACP-authorized ROs.  The new supplement replaces twelve existing supplements and reduces the complexity of the ACP.     

The single U.S. Supplement will be used by all ACP-authorized ROs for vessels enrolling in the ACP from March 11, 2021 forward. The U.S. Supplement can be found 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 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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