The Coast Guard is seeking public input on possibly expanding
requirements for vessels to install Automatic Identification Systems
and is convening three public meetings around the country in November and
December to facilitate discussion on this issue.
Currently, Coast Guard regulations require AIS be installed on commercial
vessels that are on international voyages. Other commercial vessels
also required to have AIS when they are operating in U.S. waters that have
Vessel Traffic Systems
or Vessel Movement Reporting Systems. The deadline
for installation of this equipment is either July 1, 2004, or Dec. 31, 2004,
depending on the vessel. The Coast Guard asks the public to comment on the
expansion of the AIS requirement to other vessels and waterways.
The Maritime Transportation Security Act
of 2002 specifies requirements for
vessels to use AIS. AIS is a type of vessel-tracking equipment that
automatically sends detailed ship information to other ships and shore-based
agencies, allowing for comprehensive, virtually instantaneous vessel
tracking and monitoring, increasing security and safety in our shipping
The public meetings will be held in New Orleans; New Bedford, Mass.; and
Seattle, as follows:
* November 5, 2003, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., at 8th Coast Guard District,
Hale Boggs Federal Building, Room B100, 501 Magazine Street, New Orleans.
* November 13, 2003, 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., at New Bedford Whaling
Museum, Museum Theater, 18 Johnny Cake Hill, New Bedford, Mass.
* December 9, 2003, 1 to 4:30 p.m., at 13th Coast Guard District,
Federal Building, 915 Second Avenue, 4th Floor, Northern Auditorium,
The Coast Guard asks the public to respond to ten specific questions that
address issues such as security and safety considerations, possible waivers
and exemptions and costs. The Coast Guard encourages the public to submit
comments on the ten questions and any additional AIS issues. The comment
period ends on Jan. 5, 2004. To submit comments and read associated
materials, including the questions, visit