Site Feedback

Title 50

Displaying title 50, up to date as of 9/16/2021. Title 50 was last amended 9/16/2021.

Title 50

eCFR Content

The Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) is the official legal print publication containing the codification of the general and permanent rules published in the Federal Register by the departments and agencies of the Federal Government. The Electronic Code of Federal Regulations (eCFR) is a continuously updated online version of the CFR. It is not an official legal edition of the CFR.

Learn more about the eCFR, its status, and the editorial process.

Subpart Q - Vessel Monitoring System Type-Approval
Source:

85 FR 40921, July 8, 2020, unless otherwise noted.

§ 600.1500 Definitions and acronyms.

In addition to the definitions in the Magnuson-Stevens Act and in § 600.10, and the acronyms in § 600.15, the terms and acronyms in this subpart have the following meanings:

Authorized entity means a person, defined at 16 U.S.C. 1802(36), authorized to receive data transmitted by a VMS unit.

Bench configuration means the configuration of a VMS unit after it has been customized to meet the Federal VMS requirements.

Bundle means a mobile communications service and VMS unit sold as a package and considered one product. If a bundle is type-approved, the requestor will be the type-approval holder for the bundled MCS and VMS unit.

Cellular communication means the wireless transmission of VMS data via a cellular network.

Communication class means the satellite or cellular communications operator from which communications services originate.

Electronic form means a pre-formatted message transmitted by a VMS unit that is required for the collection of data for a specific fishery program (e.g., declaration system, catch effort reporting).

Enhanced Mobile Transceiver Unit (EMTU) means a type of MTU that is capable of supporting two-way communication, messaging, and electronic forms transmission via satellite. An EMTU is a transceiver or communications device, including an antenna, and dedicated message terminal and display which can support a dedicated input device such as a tablet or keyboard, installed on fishing vessels participating in fisheries with a VMS requirement.

Enhanced Mobile Transceiver Unit, Cellular Based (EMTU-C) means an EMTU that transmits and receives data via cellular communications, except that it may not need a dedicated message terminal and display component at the time of approval as explained at § 600.1502(a)(6). An EMTU-C only needs to be capable of transmission and reception when in the range of a cellular network.

Latency means the state of untimely delivery of Global Positioning System position reports and electronic forms to NMFS (i.e., information is not delivered to NMFS consistent with timing requirements of this subpart).

Mobile Communications Service (MCS) means the satellite and/or cellular communications services used with particular VMS units.

Mobile Communications Service Provider (MCSP) means an entity that sells VMS satellite and/or cellular communications services to end users.

Mobile Transmitter Unit (MTU) means a VMS unit capable of transmitting Global Positioning System position reports via satellite. (MTUs are no longer approved for new installations on VMS vessels).

Notification Letter means a letter issued by NMFS to a type-approval holder identifying an alleged failure of a VMS unit, MCS, or the type-approval holder to comply with the requirements of this subpart.

Position report means the unique global positioning system (GPS) report generated by a vessel's VMS unit, which identifies the vessel's latitude/longitude position at a point in time. Position reports are sent from the VMS unit via the MCS, to authorized entities.

Requestor means a vendor seeking type-approval.

Service life means the length of time during which a VMS unit remains fully operational with reasonable repairs.

Sniffing means the unauthorized and illegitimate monitoring and capture, through use of a computer program or device, of data being transmitted over a network.

Spoofing means the reporting of a false Global Positioning System position and/or vessel identity.

Time stamp means the time, in hours, minutes, and seconds in a position report. Each position report is time stamped.

Type-approval holder means an applicant whose type-approval request has been approved pursuant to this subpart.

Vendor means a commercial provider of VMS hardware, software, and/or mobile communications services.

Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) means, for purposes of this subpart, a satellite and/or cellular based system designed to monitor the location and movement of vessels using onboard VMS units that send Global Positioning System position reports to an authorized entity.

Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) data means the data transmitted to authorized entities from a VMS unit.

Vessel Monitoring System Program means the Federal program that manages the vessel monitoring system, data, and associated program-components, nationally and in each NMFS region; it is housed in the Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Marine Fisheries Service's Office of Law Enforcement.

Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) Unit means MTU, EMTU or EMTU-C, as well as the units that can operate as both an EMTU and an EMTU-C.

Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) Vessels means vessels that operate in federally managed fisheries with a requirement to carry and operate a VMS unit.

§ 600.1501 Vessel Monitoring System type-approval process.

(a) Applicability. Unless otherwise specified, this section applies to EMTUs, EMTU-Cs, units that operate as both an EMTU and EMTU-C, and MCSs. Units that can operate as both an EMTU and EMTU-C must meet the requirements for both an EMTU and an EMTU-C in order to gain type-approval as both. MTUs are no longer eligible for type-approval.

(b) Application submission. A requestor must submit a written type-approval request and electronic copies of supporting materials that include the information required under this section to the NMFS Office of Law Enforcement (OLE) at: U.S. Department of Commerce; National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; National Marine Fisheries Service; Office of Law Enforcement; Attention: Vessel Monitoring System Office; 1315 East-West Highway, SSMC3, Suite 3301, Silver Spring, Maryland 20910.

(c) Application requirements.

(1) EMTU, EMTU-C, and MCS Identifying Information: In a type-approval request, the requestor should indicate whether the requestor is seeking approval for an EMTU, EMTU-C, MCS, or bundle and must specify identifying characteristics, as applicable: Communication class; manufacturer; brand name; model name; model number; software version and date; firmware version number and date; hardware version number and date; antenna type; antenna model number and date; tablet, monitor or terminal model number and date; MCS to be used in conjunction with the EMTU/EMTU-C; entity providing MCS to the end user; and current global and regional coverage of the MCS.

(2) Requestor-approved third party business entities: The requestor must provide the business name, address, phone number, contact name(s), email address, specific services provided, and geographic region covered for the following third party business entities:

(i) Entities providing bench configuration for the EMTU/EMTU-C at the warehouse or point of supply.

(ii) Entities distributing/selling the EMTU/EMTU-C to end users.

(iii) Entities currently approved by the requestor to install the EMTU/EMTU-C onboard vessels.

(iv) Entities currently approved by the requestor to offer a limited warranty.

(v) Entities approved by the requestor to offer a maintenance service agreement.

(vi) Entities approved by the requestor to repair or install new software on the EMTU/EMTU-C.

(vii) Entities approved by the requestor to train end users.

(viii) Entities approved by the requestor to advertise the EMTU/EMTU-C.

(ix) Entities approved by the requestor to provide other customer services.

(3) Regulatory Requirements and Documentation: In a type-approval request, a requestor must:

(i) Identify the NMFS region(s) and/or Federal fisheries for which the requestor seeks type-approval.

(ii) Include copies of, or citation to, applicable VMS regulations and requirements in effect for the region(s) and Federal fisheries identified under paragraph (c)(3)(i) of this section that require use of VMS.

(iii) Provide a table with the type-approval request that lists in one column each requirement set out in §§ 600.1502 through 600.1509 and regulations described under paragraph (c)(3)(ii) of this section. NMFS OLE will provide a template for the table upon request. The requestor must indicate in subsequent columns in the table:

(A) Whether the requirement applies to the type-approval; and

(B) Whether the EMTU, EMTU-C, MCS, or bundle meets the requirement.

(iv) Certify that the features, components, configuration and services of the requestor's EMTU/EMTU-C, MCS, or bundle comply with each requirement set out in §§ 600.1502 through 600.1509 and the regulations described under paragraph (c)(3)(ii) of this section.

(v) Certify that, if the request is approved, the requestor agrees to be responsible for ensuring compliance with each requirement set out in §§ 600.1502 through 600.1509 and the regulations described under paragraph (c)(3)(ii) of this section over the course of the type-approval period.

(vi) Provide NMFS OLE with two EMTU/EMTU-Cs loaded with forms and software, if applicable, for each NMFS region or Federal fishery, with activated MCS, for which a type-approval request is submitted for a minimum of 90 calendar days for testing and evaluation. For EMTU-Cs, the forms and software may be loaded onto a dedicated message terminal and display component to which the EMTU-C can connect. Copies of forms currently used by NMFS are available upon request. As part of its review, NMFS OLE may perform field tests and at-sea trials that involve demonstrating every aspect of EMTU/EMTU-C and communications operation. The requestor is responsible for all associated costs including paying for: Shipping of the EMTU/EMTU-C to the required NMFS regional offices and/or headquarters for testing; the MCS during the testing period; and shipping of the EMTU/EMTU-C back to the vendor.

(vii) Provide thorough documentation for the EMTU/EMTU-C and MCS, including: EMTU/EMTU-C fact sheets; installation guides; user manuals; any necessary interfacing software; MCS global and regional coverage; performance specifications; and technical support information.

(d) Certification. A requestor seeking type-approval of an EMTU/EMTU-C to operate with a class or type of communications, as opposed to type-approval for use with a specific MCS, shall certify that the EMTU/EMTU-C meets requirements under this subpart when using at least one MCSP within that class or type of communications.

(e) Notification. Unless additional time is required for EMTU/EMTU-C testing, NMFS OLE will notify the requestor within 90 days after receipt of a complete type-approval request as follows:

(1) If a request is approved or partially approved, NMFS OLE will provide notice as described under § 600.1510 and the type-approval letter will serve as official documentation and notice of type-approval. OLE will publish and maintain the list of type-approved units on their Vessel Monitoring System web page.

(2) If a request is disapproved or partially disapproved:

(i) OLE will send a letter to the requestor that explains the reason for the disapproval/partial disapproval.

(ii) The requestor may respond to NMFS OLE in writing with additional information to address the reasons for disapproval identified in the NMFS OLE letter. The requestor must submit this response within 21 calendar days of the date of the OLE letter sent under paragraph (e)(2)(i) of this section.

(iii) If any additional information is submitted under paragraph (e)(2)(ii) of this section, NMFS OLE, after reviewing such information, may either take action under paragraph (e)(1) of this section or determine that the request should continue to be disapproved or partially disapproved. In the latter case, the NMFS OLE Director will send a letter to the requestor that explains the reasons for the continued disapproval/partial disapproval. The NMFS OLE Director's decision is final upon issuance of this letter and is not appealable.

§ 600.1502 Communications functionality.

(a) Unless otherwise specified, this subsection applies to all VMS units. Units that can operate as both an EMTU and EMTU-C must meet the requirements for both an EMTU and an EMTU-C in order to gain type-approval as both. The VMS unit must:

(1) Be able to transmit all automatically-generated position reports.

(2) Provide visible or audible alarms onboard the vessel to indicate malfunctioning of the VMS unit.

(3) Be able to disable non-essential alarms in non-Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) installations.

(4) EMTU/EMTU-Cs must be able to send communications that function uniformly throughout the geographic area(s) covered by the type-approval, except an EMTU-C only needs to be capable of transmission and reception when in the range of a cellular network.

(5) EMTU/EMTU-Cs must have two-way communications between the unit and authorized entities, via MCS, or be able to connect to a device that has two-way communications.

(6) EMTU/EMTU-Cs must be able to run or to connect to a dedicated message terminal and display component that can run software and/or applications that send and receive electronic forms and internet email messages for the purpose of complying with VMS reporting requirements in Federal fisheries. Depending on the reporting requirements for the fishery(s) in which the requester is seeking type-approval, an EMTU-C type-approval may not require the inclusion of a dedicated message terminal and display component at the time of approval, but the capability to support such a component must be shown.

(7) Have messaging and communications mechanisms that are completely compatible with NMFS vessel monitoring and surveillance software.

(b) In addition, messages and communications from a VMS unit must be able to be parsed out to enable clear billing of costs to the government and to the owner of a vessel or EMTU/EMTU-C, when necessary. Also, the costs associated with position reporting and the costs associated with other communications (for example, personal email or communications/reports to non-NMFS Office of Law Enforcement entities) must be parsed out and billed to separate parties, as appropriate.

§ 600.1503 Position report data formats and transmission.

Unless otherwise specified, this subsection applies to all VMS units, MCSs and bundles. Units that can operate as both an EMTU and EMTU-C must meet the requirements for both an EMTU and an EMTU-C in order to gain type-approval as both. To be type-approved in any given fishery, a VMS unit must also meet any additional positioning information as required by the applicable VMS regulations and requirements in effect for each fishery or region for which the type-approval applies. The VMS unit must meet the following requirements:

(a) Transmit all automatically-generated position reports, for vessels managed individually or grouped by fleet, that meet the latency requirement under § 600.1504.

(b) When powered up, must automatically re-establish its position reporting function without manual intervention.

(c) Position reports must contain all of the following:

(1) Unique identification of an EMTU/EMTU-C and clear indication if the unit is an EMTU-C.

(2) Date (year/month/day with century in the year) and time stamp (GMT) of the position fix.

(3) Date (year/month/day with century in the year) and time stamp (GMT) that the EMTU-C position report was sent from the EMTU-C.

(4) Position fixed latitude and longitude, including the hemisphere of each, which comply with the following requirements:

(i) The position fix precision must be to the decimal minute hundredths.

(ii) Accuracy of the reported position must be within 100 meters (328.1 ft).

(d) An EMTU/EMTU-C must have the ability to:

(1) Store 1,000 position fixes in local, non-volatile memory.

(2) Allow for defining variable reporting intervals between 5 minutes and 24 hours.

(3) Allow for changes in reporting intervals remotely and only by authorized users.

(e) An EMTU/EMTU-C must generate specially identified position reports upon:

(1) Antenna disconnection.

(2) Loss of positioning reference signals.

(3) Security events, power-up, power down, and other status data.

(4) A request for EMTU/EMTU-C status information such as configuration of programming and reporting intervals.

(5) The EMTUs loss of the mobile communications signals.

(6) An EMTU must generate a specially identified position report upon the vessel crossing of a pre-defined geographic boundary.

§ 600.1504 Latency requirement.

(a) Ninety percent of all pre-programmed or requested Global Positioning System position reports during each 24-hour period must reach NMFS within 15 minutes or less of being sent from the VMS unit, for 10 out of 11 consecutive days (24-hour time periods).

(b) NMFS will continually examine latency by region and by type-approval holder.

(c) Exact dates for calculation of latency will be chosen by NMFS. Days in which isolated and documented system outages occur will not be used by NMFS to calculate a type-approval holder's latency.

§ 600.1505 Messaging.

(a) Unless otherwise specified, this section applies to all VMS units, MCSs, and bundles. Units that can operate as both an EMTU and EMTU-C must meet the requirements for both an EMTU and an EMTU-C in order to gain type-approval as both. Depending on the reporting requirements for the fishery(s) in which the requester is seeking type-approval, an EMTU-C type-approval may not require the inclusion of a dedicated message terminal and display component at the time of approval, but the capability to support such a component must be shown. To be type-approved in any given fishery, a VMS unit must meet messaging information requirements under the applicable VMS regulations and requirements in effect for each fishery or region for which the type-approval applies. The VMS unit must also meet the following requirements:

(b) An EMTU must be able to run software and/or applications that send email messages for the purpose of complying with VMS reporting requirements in Federal fisheries that require email communication capability. An EMTU-C must be able to run or connect to a device that can run such software and/or applications. In such cases, the EMTU/EMTU-C messaging must provide for the following capabilities:

(1) Messaging from vessel to shore, and from shore to vessel by authorized entities, must have a minimum supported message length of 1 KB. For EMTU-Cs, this messaging capability need only be functional when in range of shore-based cellular communications.

(2) There must be a confirmation of delivery function that allows a user to ascertain whether a specific message was successfully transmitted to the MCS email server(s).

(3) Notification of failed delivery to the EMTU/EMTU-C must be sent to the sender of the message. The failed delivery notification must include sufficient information to identify the specific message that failed and the cause of failure (e.g., invalid address, EMTU/EMTU-C switched off, etc.).

(4) The EMTU/EMTU-C must have an automatic retry feature in the event that a message fails to be delivered.

(5) The EMTU/EMTU-C user interface must:

(i) Support an “address book” capability and a function permitting a “reply” to a received message without re-entering the sender's address.

(ii) Provide the ability to review by date order, or by recipient, messages that were previously sent. The EMTU/EMTU-C terminal must support a minimum message history of 50 sent messages - commonly referred to as an “Outbox” or “Sent” message display.

(iii) Provide the ability to review by date order, or by sender, all messages received. The EMTU/EMTU-C terminal must support a minimum message history of at least 50 messages in an inbox.

§ 600.1506 Electronic forms.

Unless otherwise specified, this subsection applies to all EMTUs, EMTU-Cs, MCSs, and bundles.

(a) Forms. An EMTU/EMTU-C must be able to run, or to connect to and transmit data from a device that can run electronic forms software. Depending on the reporting requirements for the fishery(s) in which the requester is seeking type-approval, an EMTU-C type-approval may not require the inclusion of a dedicated message terminal and display component at the time of approval, but the capability to support such a component must be shown. The EMTU/EMTU-C must be able to support forms software that can hold a minimum of 20 electronic forms, and it must also meet any additional forms requirements in effect for each fishery or region for which the type-approval applies. The EMTU/EMTU-C must meet the following requirements:

(1) Form Validation: Each field on a form must be capable of being defined as Optional, Mandatory, or Logic Driven. Mandatory fields are those fields that must be entered by the user before the form is complete. Optional fields are those fields that do not require data entry. Logic-driven fields have their attributes determined by earlier form selections. Specifically, a logic-driven field must allow for selection of options in that field to change the values available as menu selections on a subsequent field within the same form.

(2) A user must be able to select forms from a menu on the EMTU/EMTU-C.

(3) A user must be able to populate a form based on the last values used and “modify” or “update” a prior submission without unnecessary re-entry of data. A user must be able to review a minimum of 20 past form submissions and ascertain for each form when the form was transmitted and whether delivery was successfully sent to the type-approval holder's VMS data processing center. In the case of a transmission failure, a user must be provided with details of the cause and have the opportunity to retry the form submission.

(4) VMS Position Report: Each form must include VMS position data, including latitude, longitude, date and time. Data to populate these fields must be automatically generated by the EMTU/EMTU-C and unable to be manually entered or altered.

(5) Delivery and Format of Forms Data: Delivery of form data to NMFS must employ the same transport security and reliability as set out in § 600.1507 of this subpart. The forms data and delivery must be completely compatible with NMFS vessel monitoring software.

(b) Updates to Forms.

(1) The EMTU/EMTU-C and MCS must be capable of providing updates to forms or adding new form requirements via wireless transmission and without manual installation.

(2) From time to time, NMFS may provide type-approved applicants with requirements for new forms or modifications to existing forms. NMFS may also provide notice of forms and form changes through the NMFS Work Order System. Type-approved applicants will be given at least 60 calendar days to complete their implementation of new or changed forms. Applicants will be capable of, and responsible for translating the requirements into their EMTU/EMTU-C-specific forms definitions and wirelessly transmitting the same to all EMTU/EMTU-C terminals supplied to fishing vessels.

§ 600.1507 Communications security.

Communications between an EMTU/EMTU-C and MCS must be secure from tampering or interception, including the reading of passwords and data. The EMTU/EMTU-C and MCS must have mechanisms to prevent to the extent possible:

(a) Sniffing and/or interception during transmission from the EMTU/EMTU-C to MCS.

(b) Spoofing.

(c) False position reports sent from an EMTU/EMTU-C.

(d) Modification of EMTU/EMTU-C identification.

(e) Interference with Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) or other safety/distress functions.

(f) Introduction of malware, spyware, keyloggers, or other software that may corrupt, disturb, or disrupt messages, transmission, and the VMS system.

(g) The EMTU/EMTU-C terminal from communicating with, influencing, or interfering with the Global Positioning System antenna or its functionality, position reports, or sending of position reports. The position reports must not be altered, corrupted, degraded, or at all affected by the operation of the terminal or any of its peripherals or installed-software.

(h) VMS data must be encrypted and sent securely through all associated cellular, satellite, and internet communication pathways and channels.

§ 600.1508 Field and technical services.

As a requirement of its type-approval, a type-approval holder must communicate with NMFS to resolve technical issues with a VMS Unit, MCS or bundle and ensure that field and technical services includes:

(a) Diagnostic and troubleshooting support to NMFS and fishers, which is available 24 hours a day, seven days per week, and year-round.

(b) Response times for customer service inquiries that shall not exceed 24 hours.

(c) Warranty and maintenance agreements.

(d) Escalation procedures for resolution of problems.

(e) Established facilities and procedures to assist fishers in maintaining and repairing their EMTU, EMTU-C, or MTU.

(f) Assistance to fishers in the diagnosis of the cause of communications anomalies.

(g) Assistance in resolving communications anomalies that are traced to the EMTU, EMTU-C, or MTU.

(h) Assistance to NMFS Office of Law Enforcement and its contractors, upon request, in VMS system operation, resolving technical issues, and data analyses related to the VMS Program or system.

§ 600.1509 General.

(a) An EMTU/EMTU-C must have the durability and reliability necessary to meet all requirements of §§ 600.1502 through 600.1507 regardless of weather conditions, including when placed in a marine environment where the unit may be subjected to saltwater (spray) in smaller vessels, and in larger vessels where the unit may be maintained in a wheelhouse. The unit, cabling and antenna must be resistant to salt, moisture, and shock associated with sea-going vessels in the marine environment.

(b) PII and Other Protected Information. Personally identifying information (PII) and other protected information includes Magnuson-Stevens Act confidential information as provided at 16 U.S.C. 1881a and Business Identifiable Information (BII), as defined in the Department of Commerce Information Technology Privacy Policy. A type-approval holder is responsible for ensuring that:

(1) All PII and other protected information is handled in accordance with applicable state and Federal law.

(2) All PII and other protected information provided to the type-approval holder by vessel owners or other authorized personnel for the purchase or activation of an EMTU/EMTU-C or arising from participation in any Federal fishery are protected from disclosure not authorized by NMFS or the vessel owner or other authorized personnel.

(3) Any release of PII or other protected information beyond authorized entities must be requested and approved in writing, as appropriate, by the submitter of the data in accordance with 16 U.S.C. 1881a, or by NMFS.

(4) Any PII or other protected information sent electronically by the type-approval holder to the NMFS Office of Law Enforcement must be transmitted by a secure means that prevents interception, spoofing, or viewing by unauthorized individuals.

§ 600.1510 Notification of type-approval.

(a) If a request made pursuant to § 600.1501 (type-approval) is approved or partially approved, NMFS will issue a type-approval letter to indicate the specific EMTU/EMTU-C model, MCSP, or bundle that is approved for use, the MCS or class of MCSs permitted for use with the type-approved EMTU, and the regions or fisheries in which the EMTU/EMTU-C, MCSP, or bundle is approved for use.

(b) The NMFS Office of Law Enforcement will maintain a list of type-approved EMTUs/EMTU-C, MCSPs, and bundles on a publicly available website and provide copies of the list upon request.

§ 600.1511 Changes or modifications to type-approvals.

Type-approval holders must notify NMFS Office of Law Enforcement (OLE) in writing no later than 2 days following modification to or replacement of any functional component or piece of their type-approved EMTU, EMTU-C, or MTU configuration, MCS, or bundle. If the changes are substantial, NMFS OLE will notify the type-approval holder in writing within 60 calendar days that an amended type-approval is required or that NMFS will initiate the type-approval revocation process.

§ 600.1512 Type-approval revocation process.

(a) If at any time, a type-approved EMTU/EMTU-C, MCS, or bundle fails to meet requirements at §§ 600.1502 through 600.1509 or applicable VMS regulations and requirements in effect for the region(s) and Federal fisheries for which the EMTU/EMTU-C or MCS is type-approved, or if an MTU fails to meet the requirements under which it was type-approved, OLE may issue a Notification Letter to the type-approval holder that:

(1) Identifies the MTU, EMTU, EMTU-C, MCS, or bundle that allegedly fails to comply with type-approval regulations and requirements;

(2) Identifies the alleged failure to comply with type-approval regulations and requirements, and the urgency and impact of the alleged failure;

(3) Cites relevant regulations and requirements under this subpart;

(4) Describes the indications and evidence of the alleged failure;

(5) Provides documentation and data demonstrating the alleged failure;

(6) Sets a response date by which the type-approval holder must submit to NMFS OLE a written response to the Notification Letter, including, if applicable, a proposed solution; and

(7) Explains the type-approval holder's options if the type-approval holder believes the Notification Letter is in error.

(b) NMFS will establish a response date between 30 and 120 calendar days from the date of the Notification Letter. The type-approval holder's response must be received in writing by NMFS on or before the response date. If the type-approval holder fails to respond by the response date, the type-approval will be revoked. At its discretion and for good cause, NMFS may extend the response date to a maximum of 150 calendar days from the date of the Notification Letter.

(c) A type-approval holder who has submitted a timely response may meet with NMFS within 21 calendar days of the date of that response to discuss a detailed and agreed-upon procedure for resolving the alleged failure. The meeting may be in person, conference call, or webcast.

(d) If the type-approval holder disagrees with the Notification Letter and believes that there is no failure to comply with the type-approval regulations and requirements, NMFS has incorrectly defined or described the failure or its urgency and impact, or NMFS is otherwise in error, the type-approval holder may submit a written objection letter to NMFS on or before the response date. Within 21 calendar days of the date of the objection letter, the type-approval holder may meet with NMFS to discuss a resolution or redefinition of the issue. The meeting may be in person, conference call, or webcast. If modifications to any part of the Notification Letter are required, then NMFS will issue a revised Notification Letter to the type-approval holder. However, the response date or any other timeline in this process would not restart or be modified unless NMFS decides to do so, at its discretion.

(e) The total process from the date of the Notification Letter to the date of final resolution should not exceed 180 calendar days, and may require a shorter timeframe, to be determined by NMFS, depending on the urgency and impact of the alleged failure. In rare circumstances, NMFS, at its discretion, may extend the time for resolution of the alleged failure. In such a case, NMFS will provide a written notice to the type-approval holder informing him or her of the extension and the basis for the extension.

(f) If the failure to comply with type-approval regulations and requirements cannot be resolved through this process, the NMFS OLE Director will issue a Revocation Letter to the type-approval holder that:

(1) Identifies the MTU, EMTU, EMTU-C, MCS, or bundle for which type-approval is being revoked;

(2) Summarizes the failure to comply with type-approval regulations and requirements, including describing its urgency and impact;

(3) Summarizes any proposed plan, or attempts to produce such a plan, to resolve the failure;

(4) States that revocation of the MTU, EMTU, EMTU-C, MCS, or bundle's type-approval has occurred;

(5) States that no new installations of the revoked unit will be permitted in any NMFS-managed fishery requiring the use of VMS;

(6) Cites relevant regulations and requirements under this subpart;

(7) Explains why resolution was not achieved;

(8) Advises the type-approval holder that:

(i) The type-approval holder may reapply for a type-approval under the process set forth in § 600.1501, and

(ii) A revocation may be appealed pursuant to the process under § 600.1513.

§ 600.1513 Type-approval revocation appeals process.

(a) If a type-approval holder receives a Revocation Letter pursuant to § 600.1512, the type-approval holder may file an appeal of the revocation to the NMFS Assistant Administrator.

(b) An appeal must be filed within 14 calendar days of the date of the Revocation Letter. A type-approval holder may not request an extension of time to file an appeal.

(c) An appeal must include a complete copy of the Revocation Letter and its attachments and a written statement detailing any facts or circumstances explaining and refuting the failures summarized in the Revocation Letter.

(d) The NMFS Assistant Administrator may, at his or her discretion, affirm, vacate, or modify the Revocation Letter and send a letter to the type-approval holder explaining his or her determination, within 21 calendar days of receipt of the appeal. The NMFS Assistant Administrator's determination constitutes the final agency decision.

§ 600.1514 Revocation effective date and notification to vessel owners.

(a) Following issuance of a Revocation Letter pursuant to § 600.1512 and any appeal pursuant to § 600.1513, NMFS will provide notice to all vessel owners impacted by the type-approval revocation via letter and Federal Register notice. NMFS will provide information to impacted vessel owners on:

(1) The next steps vessel owners should take to remain in compliance with regional and/or national VMS requirements;

(2) The date, 60-90 calendar days from the notice date, on which the type-approval revocation will become effective;

(3) Reimbursement of the cost of a new type-approved EMTU/EMTU-C, should funding for reimbursement be available pursuant to § 600.1516.

§ 600.1515 Litigation support.

(a) All technical aspects of a type-approved EMTU, EMTU-C, MTU, MCS, or bundle are subject to being admitted as evidence in a court of law, if needed. The reliability of all technologies utilized in the EMTU, EMTU-C, MTU, MCS, or bundle may be analyzed in court for, inter alia, testing procedures, error rates, peer review, technical processes and general industry acceptance.

(b) The type-approval holder must, as a requirement of the holder's type-approval, provide technical and expert support for litigation to substantiate the EMTU/EMTU-C, MCS, or bundle capabilities to establish NMFS Office of Law Enforcement cases against violators, as needed. If the technologies have previously been subject to such scrutiny in a court of law, the type-approval holder must provide NMFS with a brief summary of the litigation and any court findings on the reliability of the technology.

(c) The type-approval holder will be required to sign a non-disclosure agreement limiting the release of certain information that might compromise the effectiveness of the VMS operations.

§ 600.1516 Reimbursement opportunities for revoked Vessel Monitoring System type-approval products.

(a) Subject to the availability of funds, vessel owners may be eligible for reimbursement payments for a replacement EMTU/EMTU-C if:

(1) All eligibility and process requirements specified by NMFS are met as described in NMFS Policy Directive 06-102; and

(2) The replacement type-approved EMTU/EMTU-C is installed on the vessel, and reporting to NMFS Office of Law Enforcement; and

(3) The type-approval for the previously installed EMTU/EMTU-C has been revoked by NMFS; or

(4) NMFS requires the vessel owner to purchase a new EMTU/EMTU-C prior to the end of an existing unit's service life.

(b) The cap for individual reimbursement payments is subject to change. If this occurs, NMFS Office of Law Enforcement will publish a notice in the Federal Register announcing the change.