The Coast Guard announced in the Federal Register that it is updating the type approval requirements for certain types of equipment that survival craft are required to carry on U.S.-flagged vessels.
The purpose of this rule is to update the requirements for 12 types of equipment required to be carried onboard survival craft on certain U.S.-flagged vessels—bilge pumps, compasses, first-aid kits, fishing kits, hatchets, jackknives, signaling mirrors, emergency drinking water, sea anchors, provisions (food rations), knives and fire extinguishers. For nine types of equipment (bilge pumps, compasses, first-aid kits, fishing kits, hatchets, jackknives, mirrors, sea anchors, and emergency drinking water), this rule will replace the requirement for these equipment to be Coast Guard type approved, and instead require that the manufacturer self-certify that the equipment complies with a relevant consensus standard. This means that the product is marked as meeting the relevant consensus standard, e.g. ISO 18813, and the product will not receive a USCG approval number or Certificate of Approval. For rations, the Coast Guard is retaining approval, but aligning with the ISO standard 18813. For PFDs, the Coast Guard is updating the ratings to align with a previous rulemaking. In conjunction with these updates, the Coast Guard has also harmonized the survival craft equipment required for sailing school vessels with the requirements for other inspected vessels. Updating type approval requirements for survival craft equipment is expected to result in cost savings to equipment manufacturers, vessel owners and operators, and the Coast Guard.
46 CFR Parts 121, 160, 169, 184, and 199 are affected.
This final rule is effective 14 December 2022 and can be viewed on the Federal Register under Docket number USCG-2020-0107.