USCG Policy Addresses Navigation Equipment Requirements

Monday, July 26, 2004
The Coast Guard has extended its policy for resolving conflicts between domestic regulations and the 2002 amendments to the International Convention for Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS). Until the Coast Guard aligns domestic regulations on navigation equipment in titles 33 and 46 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) with the SOLAS requirements, vessel owners and operators do not need to comply with existing Coast Guard regulations in cases where they conflict with or duplicate SOLAS requirements, according to a July 14 Federal Register notice. This policy applies to automatic identification systems (AIS) and electronic chart display and information systems (ECDIS), and will remain in effect until titles 33 and 46 CFR are aligned with SOLAS. The policy affects U.S.-flag vessels of 150 or more gross tons engaged on international voyages, U.S.-flag vessels certificated solely for service on the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River, and foreign flag ships operating in U.S. waters. The new policy is not applicable to U.S.-flag vessels engaged only on domestic voyages. For a copy of the policy statement, contact Amy Brandt at (703) 841-9300. (Source: AWO Letter, July 23, 2004)

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