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US Pollution Control Regulations and Smart Travel

5 November 2019

During a lunch hosted by The Marine Industries Association of South Florida, officers from several U.S. government agencies were discussing current issues with captains and crew. 

Remaining compliant with Non-Tank Vessel Response Plans

An increase in the number of vessels without a valid ‘Non-Tank Vessel Response Plan’ and/or a valid Certificate of Financial Responsibility caused the United States Coast Guard (USCG) to issue a Marine Safety and Information Bulletin (MSIB) in May 2019. According to the USCG, a non-tank vessel is defined as a self-propelled vessel of 400 gross tons or greater, that carries oil of any kind as fuel for main propulsion and that operates on the navigable waters of the United States.

In a report published by The Triton, the central issue causing many vessels to be non-compliant is the fact that approval of proper documentation takes time. The USCG said that new plans must be approved at least 60 days before a vessel intended to operate in U.S. waters, while revised or amended plans require at least 30 days.

Crew need to plan ahead for these timelines. Failure to show a plan to mitigate and respond to an oil spill when submitting an Advanced Notice of Arrival can lead to denial of entry into the U.S. In addition, failure to comply can result in a civil penalty of $47,353 against the owner or operator, according to the bulletin.

Using technology to make travel simpler for crew

The officers also emphasised that they’re trying to work with crew to make travel to and from ports easier. For example, the US Customs and Border Protection agency (CBP) is investing in facial recognition technology, said Michael Silva, Public Affairs Officer.

“You’ll be able to travel from reservation to destination just with the face,” he said. The agency also stressed that they’re continuing to make the Reporting Offsite Arrival – Mobile (ROAM) app easier to use to help prevent problems, such as illegal bareboat charters. 

Officers stressed that they’re listening to multiple other issues raised relating to the travel of crew and Captains in the yachting industry and hope to go back to their departments to help find solutions.

Read the full article here.


Image by The Triton

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