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e-CFR data is current as of October 16, 2020

Title 46Chapter ISubchapter MPart 137 → Subpart B


Title 46: Shipping
PART 137—VESSEL COMPLIANCE


Subpart B—Inspections and Surveys for Certification


Contents
§137.200   Documenting compliance for the Coast Guard inspection option.
§137.202   Documenting compliance for the TSMS option.
§137.205   External survey program.
§137.210   Internal survey program.
§137.212   Coast Guard oversight of vessel survey program for vessels under the TSMS option.
§137.215   General conduct of survey.
§137.220   Scope.

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§137.200   Documenting compliance for the Coast Guard inspection option.

A towing vessel subject to this subchapter and choosing the Coast Guard inspection option, or required to have the Coast Guard inspection option, must undergo an annual inspection within 3 months before or after the COI anniversary date.

(a) Owners and managing operators must contact the cognizant Officer in Charge, Marine Inspection (OCMI) to schedule an inspection at a time and place the OCMI approves. No written application is required.

(b) Annual inspections will be similar to the inspection for certification but will cover less detail unless the marine inspector finds deficiencies or determines that a major change has occurred since the last inspection. If the marine inspector finds deficiencies or finds that a major change to the vessel has occurred, he or she will conduct a more detailed inspection to ensure that the vessel is in satisfactory condition and fit for the service for which it is intended. If the vessel passes the annual inspection, the Coast Guard will endorse the vessel's current Certificate of Inspection (COI).

(c) If the annual inspection reveals the need, the owner or managing operator must make any or all repairs or improvements within the time period specified by the OCMI. The OCMI may use Form CG-835, “Notice of Merchant Marine Inspection Requirements,” to record deficiencies discovered during the inspection. The OCMI will then give a copy of the completed form to the master of the vessel.

(d) Nothing in this subpart limits the marine inspector from conducting any tests or inspections he or she deems necessary to be assured of the vessel's seaworthiness or fitness for its route and service.

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§137.202   Documenting compliance for the TSMS option.

The owner or managing operator of a towing vessel that chooses the TSMS option for a towing vessel must document compliance with this subpart as follows:

(a) Prior to obtaining the vessel's initial COI, the owner or managing operator must provide a report to the Coast Guard of a survey as described in §137.215 that demonstrates that the vessel complies the requirements of this part.

(b) For the re-issuance of the vessel's COI, the owner or managing operator must:

(1) Provide objective evidence of an external survey program as described in §137.205; or

(2) Provide objective evidence of an internal survey program as described in §137.210.

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§137.205   External survey program.

(a) The owner or managing operator of a towing vessel that has selected the TSMS option and who has chosen to demonstrate compliance through an external survey program must:

(1) Have the vessel surveyed annually by a surveyor from a TPO;

(2) Ensure the survey is conducted in accordance with §137.215;

(3) Ensure the survey is conducted within 3 months of the anniversary date of the COI;

(4) Ensure the TSMS applicable to the vessel includes policies and procedures for complying with this section; and

(5) Make the applicable sections of the TSMS available to the surveyor.

(b) The TPO must issue a report that meets the requirements in §137.135.

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§137.210   Internal survey program.

(a) The owner or managing operator of a towing vessel that has selected the TSMS option and who has chosen to demonstrate vessel compliance through an internal survey program must ensure that the TSMS applicable to the vessel includes:

(1) Procedures for surveying and testing described in §137.215;

(2) Equipment, systems, and onboard procedures to be surveyed;

(3) Identification of items that would need repair or replacement before the vessel could continue in service, such as deficiencies identified on Form CG-835, “Notice of Merchant Marine Inspection Requirements,” noted survey deficiencies, non-conformities, or other corrective action reports;

(4) Procedures for documenting and reporting non-conformities and deficiencies;

(5) Procedures for reporting and correcting major non-conformities;

(6) The responsible person or persons in management who have the authority to:

(i) Stop all vessel operations pending the correction of non-conformities and deficiencies;

(ii) Oversee vessel compliance activities; and

(iii) Track and verify that non-conformities and deficiencies were corrected;

(7) Procedures for recordkeeping; and

(8) Procedures for assigning personnel with requisite experience and expertise to carry out the elements of the survey.

(b) The owner or managing operator is not required to survey the items as described in §137.220 as one event, but may survey items on a schedule over time, provided that the interval between successive surveys of any item does not exceed 1 year, unless otherwise prescribed.

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§137.212   Coast Guard oversight of vessel survey program for vessels under the TSMS option.

If the cognizant OCMI has reasonable cause to believe that a vessel's survey program is deficient, that OCMI may:

(a) Require an audit or survey of the vessel in the presence of a representative of the cognizant OCMI;

(b) Increase the frequency of the audits;

(c) For vessels under the internal survey program, require that the vessel comply with the external survey program requirements of §137.205;

(d) Require any other specific action within his or her authority that he or she considers appropriate; or

(e) For repeatedly deficient surveys, remove the vessel and or owner or managing operator from using the TSMS option.

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§137.215   General conduct of survey.

(a) When conducting a survey of a towing vessel as required by this subpart, the surveyor must determine that the item or system functions as designed, is free of defects or modifications that reduce its effectiveness, is suitable for the service intended, and functions safely in a manner consistent for vessel type, service and route.

(b) The survey must address the items in §137.220 as applicable, and must include:

(1) A review of certificates and documentation held on the vessel;

(2) A visual examination and tests of the vessel and its equipment and systems in order to confirm that their condition is properly maintained and that proper quantities are onboard;

(3) A visual examination of the systems used in support of drills or training to determine that the equipment utilized during a drill operates as intended; and

(4) A visual examination to confirm that unapproved modifications were not made to the vessel or its equipment.

(c) Beyond the minimum standards required by this section, the thoroughness and stringency of the survey will depend upon the condition of the vessel and its equipment. If a surveyor finds a vessel to have multiple deficiencies indicative of systematic failures to maintain the installed equipment, he or she will conduct an expanded examination to ensure all deficiencies are identified and corrective action is promptly taken.

(d) The owner or managing operator must notify the cognizant OCMI when the condition of the vessel, its equipment, systems, or operations, create an unsafe condition.

(e) The cognizant OCMI may require that the owner or managing operator provide for the attendance of a surveyor or auditor from a TPO to assist with verifying compliance with this part.

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§137.220   Scope.

The owner or managing operator of a towing vessel that has selected the TSMS option must examine or must have examined the following systems, equipment, and procedures to ensure that the vessel and its equipment are suitable for the service for which the vessel is certificated:

(a) TSMS. (1) Verify that the vessel is enrolled in a TSMS that complies with part 138 of this subchapter.

(2) Verify that the policies and procedures applicable to the vessel are available to the crew.

(3) Verify that internal and external audits are conducted in accordance with the approved TSMS.

(4) Verify that recordkeeping requirements are met.

(b) Hull structure and appurtenances. Verify that the vessel complies with part 144 of this subchapter, examine the condition of, and where appropriate, witness the operation of the following:

(1) All accessible parts of the exterior and interior of the hull, the watertight bulkheads, and weather decks.

(2) All watertight closures in the hull, decks, and bulkheads, including through hull fittings and sea valves.

(3) Superstructure, masts, and similar arrangements constructed on the hull.

(4) Railings and bulwarks and their attachments to the hull structure.

(5) The presence of appropriate guards or rails.

(6) All weathertight closures above the weather deck and the provisions for drainage of sea water from the exposed decks.

(7) Watertight doors, verifying local and remote operation and proper fit.

(8) All accessible interior spaces to ensure that they are adequately ventilated and drained, and that means of escape are maintained and operate as intended.

(9) Vessel markings.

(c) Machinery, fuel, and piping systems. Verify that the vessel complies with applicable requirements contained in part 143 of this subchapter, examine the condition of, and where appropriate, witness the operation of:

(1) Engine control mechanisms, including primary and alternate means, if the vessel is equipped with alternate means, of starting machinery, directional controls, and emergency shutdowns;

(2) All machinery essential to the routine operation of the vessel, including generators and cooling systems;

(3) All fuel systems, including fuel tanks, tank vents, piping, and pipe fittings;

(4) All valves in fuel lines, including local and remote operation;

(5) All overboard discharge and intake valves and watertight bulkhead pipe penetration valves;

(6) Means provided for pumping bilges; and

(7) Machinery shut-downs and alarms.

(d) Steering systems. Examine the condition of, and where appropriate, witness the operation of:

(1) Steering systems and equipment ensuring smooth operation;

(2) Auxiliary means of steering, if installed; and

(3) Alarms.

(e) Pressure vessels and boilers. Verify that the vessel complies with applicable requirements in part 143 of this subchapter.

(f) Electrical. Verify that the vessel complies with applicable requirements in part 143 of this subchapter, examine the condition of, and where appropriate, witness the operation of:

(1) All cables, as far as practicable, without undue disturbance of the cable or electrical apparatus;

(2) Circuit breakers, including testing by manual operation;

(3) Fuses, including ensuring the ratings of fuses are suitable for the service intended;

(4) All generators, motors, lighting fixtures, and circuit interrupting devices;

(5) Batteries including security of stowage;

(6) Electrical equipment, which operates as part of or in conjunction with a fire detection or alarm system installed onboard, to ensure operation in case of fire; and

(7) All emergency electrical systems, including any automatic systems if installed.

(g) Lifesaving. Verify that the vessel complies with applicable requirements contained in part 141 of this subchapter and examine the condition of lifesaving equipment and systems as follows:

(1) Verify that the vessel is equipped with the required number of lifejackets, work vests, and immersion suits.

(2) Verify the serviceable condition of each lifejacket, work vest, and marine buoyant device.

(3) Verify that each item of lifesaving equipment found to be defective has been repaired or replaced.

(4) Verify that each lifejacket, other personal floatation device, or other lifesaving device found to be defective and incapable of repair was destroyed or removed.

(5) Verify that each piece of expired lifesaving equipment has been replaced.

(6) Examine each survival craft and launching appliance in accordance with subchapter W of this chapter.

(7) Verify the servicing of each inflatable liferaft, inflatable buoyant apparatus, and inflatable lifejacket as required by subchapter W of this chapter.

(8) Verify the proper servicing of each hydrostatic release unit, other than a disposable hydrostatic release unit, as required under subchapter W of this chapter.

(9) Verify that the vessel's crew conducted abandon ship and man overboard drills under simulated emergency conditions.

(h) Fire protection. Verify that the vessel complies with applicable requirements contained in part 142 of this subchapter, and examine or verify the fire protection equipment and systems as follows:

(1) Verify that the vessel is equipped with the required fire protection equipment for the vessel's route and service.

(2) Verify that the inspection, testing, and maintenance as required by §142.240 of this subchapter are performed.

(3) Verify that the training requirements of §142.245 of this subchapter are carried out.

(i) Towing gear. Verify that the vessel complies with the applicable requirements in parts 140 of this subchapter, and examine or verify the condition of, and where appropriate, the operation of the following:

(1) Deck machinery including controls, guards, alarms and safety features.

(2) Hawsers, wires, bridles, push gear, and related vessel fittings for damage or wear.

(3) Verify that the vessel complies with 33 CFR part 164, if applicable.

(j) Navigation equipment. Verify that the vessel complies with the applicable requirements in part 140 of this subchapter, and examine or verify the condition of and, where appropriate, the operation of the following:

(1) Navigation systems and equipment.

(2) Navigation lights.

(3) Navigation charts or maps appropriate to the area of operation and corrected up to date.

(4) Examine the operation of equipment and systems necessary to maintain visibility through the pilothouse windows.

(5) Verify that the vessel complies with 33 CFR part 164, if applicable.

(k) Sanitary examination. Examine the quarters, toilet and washing spaces, galleys, serving pantries, lockers, and similar spaces to ensure that they are clean and decently habitable.

(l) Unsafe practices. (1) Verify that all observed unsafe practices, fire hazards, and other hazardous situations are corrected, and that all required guards and protective devices are in satisfactory condition.

(2) Verify that bilges and other spaces are free of excessive accumulation of oil, trash, debris, or other matter that might create a fire hazard, clog bilge pumping systems, or block emergency escapes.

(m) Vessel personnel. Verify that the:

(1) Vessel is manned in accordance with the vessel's COI;

(2) Crew is maintaining vessel logs and records in accordance with applicable regulations and the TSMS appropriate to the vessel;

(3) Crew is complying with the crew safety and personnel health requirements of part 140 of this subchapter; and

(4) Crew has received training required by parts 140, 141, and 142 of this subchapter.

(n) Prevention of oil pollution. Examine the vessel to ensure compliance with the oil pollution prevention requirements in §140.655 of this subchapter.

(o) Miscellaneous systems and equipment. Examine all items in the vessel's outfit, such as ground tackle, markings, and placards that are required to be carried in accordance with the regulations in this subchapter.

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