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MSIB: Commercial fishing vessel alternative-to-class requirements

The Coast Guard Office of Commercial Vessel Compliance, Fishing Vessel Safety Division has issued Marine Safety Information Bulletin 08-21 “Commercial Fishing Vessel Alternative-to-Class Requirements” to apprise fishing vessel owners/operators of requirements that apply to the new construction, survey, and maintenance of certain commercial fishing vessels.

In lieu of the commercial fishing vessel classing requirements in Title 46 United States Code (USC) §4503(a), certain vessels may meet alternative requirements as specified in 46 USC §4503(d).

46 USC §4503(d)(2) states that the construction of the vessel must be overseen and certified as being in accordance with its design by a marine surveyor of an organization accepted by the Secretary. The Coast Guard accepts select Classification Societies to oversee all aspects of construction and post-construction verification as outlined in 46 USC §4503(d)(1)-(7). In alignment with 46 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Subpart 8, the Coast Guard Office of Commercial Vessel Compliance (CG-CVC) maintains the list of Coast Guard accepted Classification Societies, which can be accessed at: USCG.Flag.State.ClassSoc.List 1

The Coast Guard authorizes Accepted Organizations to verify compliance with post-construction condition surveys, out-of-water surveys, and verification of compliance measures as outlined in 46 U.S. Code §4503(d) (5), (6), and (7). These authorized Accepted Organizations are listed at: USCG.FV.AcceptedOrg.List2

The Coast Guard provides oversight of vessels built, being built, or maintained to 46 USC §4503(d) to verify compliance with relevant construction, survey, and maintenance requirements. Vessel owners/operators are reminded to maintain records for the life of the vessel that demonstrate compliance with the program and be prepared to make these records available for Coast Guard oversight.

Questions concerning this notice may be directed to the Office of Commercial Vessel Compliance, Fishing Vessel Safety Division (CG-CVC-3) 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. 5P/Inspections-Compliance-CG-5PC-/Commercial-Vessel-Compliance/Flag-State-Control- Division/ClassSocAuth/ 5P/Inspections-Compliance-CG-5PC-/Commercial-Vessel-Compliance/Fishing-Vessel-Safety- Division/THIRD-PARTY-ORGANIZATIONS-FV-construction-oversight/

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