As such, USCG is seeking public input and responses to specific questions on the feasibility, applicability, and nature of SMSs for potential use on US-flagged passenger vessels. The Coast Guard may use this information to develop a proposed rule regarding SMS.

An SMS is a structured and documented set of procedures enabling company and vessel personnel to effectively implement safety and environmental protection policies that are specific to that company or vessel. An SMS may include, among other things, procedures and policies for vessel operations, maintenance of equipment, responding to specific types of incidents, for reporting accidents or other non-conformities, and for conducting internal audits and reviews.

The Coast Guard views public participation as essential to effective rulemaking and will consider all comments and material received during the comment period. Comments and related material must be received by the Coast Guard on or before April 15, 2021.