The US Coast Guard informed that it will begin issuing Certificates of Inspection (COIs) to any vessel that uses the Towing Safety Management System (TSMS) option to comply with 46 CFR Subchapter M.
To obtain a COI, the owner or managing operator of the towing vessel should follow the steps outlined in 46 CFR 136.210. The local Officer in Charge, Marine Inspection (OCMI) can issue a COI based upon an onboard inspection or a valid Uninspected Towing Vessel (UTV) decal as provided in CG-CVC Policy Letter 17-01.
The USCG will not issue COIs to vessels choosing the Coast Guard inspection option in Subchapter M., yet.
An announcement will be made on Maritime Commons if the Coast Guard is ready to issue COIs before July 20, 2018. Meanwhile, operators intending to use the USCG inspection option may submit Form CG-3752, “Application for Inspection of U.S. Vessel,” to the cognizant OCMI and start to schedule inspections between July 20, 2018 and July 22, 2019.
These inspections apply for vessels required to receive a COI during the first year of the phase-in period as outlined in 46 CFR 136.202. When scheduling an inspection under the USCG option, operator are asked to be prepared to offer a variety of dates and times the vessel may be available. An OCMI may have greater flexibility to accommodate a desired date if multiple vessels are scheduled for inspection in the same geographic region on the same day.
“Operators should be aware that it is their responsibility to ensure their towing vessels comply with the provisions in 46 CFR Subchapter M as of July 20, 2018. Towing vessels may continue to operate without a COI after July 20, 2018 until the vessel’s phase-in period has passed,” the USCG notes.