Marine Safety Information Bulletins

MSIB: Suspension of USCG inspection fees for TSMS Option – Subchapter M Towing Vessels

Effective March 15, 2022, the U.S. Coast Guard may not charge vessel inspection user fees for towing vessels using the Towing Safety Management System (TSMS) option for documenting compliance with Title 46 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Subchapter M. TSMS option vessel owners who have received an invoice for a period after March 15, 2022 should not remit payment to the Coast Guard’s Financial Center (FINCEN).

This action is directed by Sec. 231 of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2022 (FY22 Omnibus), which was signed into law on March 15, 2022. The FY22 Omnibus prohibits the Coast Guard from charging inspection user fees for TSMS option towing vessels until the requirements of Section 815 of the Frank LoBiondo Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2018, Public Law 115–282 (CGAA 2018) are met, including the update of TSMS option inspection user fees.

The Coast Guard has initiated a rulemaking to revise its inspection user fees for towing vessels regulated under 46 CFR Subchapter M. Under this proposed rule, vessels using the TSMS option will pay a lower fee than vessels that use the Coast Guard inspection option. The Coast Guard published the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on January 11, 2022, and the comment period closed on April 11, 2022.

The Coast Guard is currently updating its financial system to suspend the processing of user fee invoices. In the interim, TSMS option owners may receive a notification that user fee payment is due. Please disregard any invoice for inspection fees incurred after March 15, 2022, for vessels certificated under the TSMS option of 46 CFR Subchapter M. Further notice will be sent to correct any discrepancies. Please note that the FY22 Omnibus does not prohibit collection of user fees that were due before March 15, 2022.

Please send questions regarding vessel inspection fee payment, billing, appeals, and refunds to the USCG Finance Center (FINCEN) via FIN-SMB-CustomerService@uscg.mil or visit this website for more information at https://www.uscg.mil/fincen/VIF/

MSIB 04-22 is available for viewing online.

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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