Alternate Compliance Program: Vessel Inspection Alternatives, 28650-28653 [E7-9840]

Download as PDF 28650 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 98 / Tuesday, May 22, 2007 / Proposed Rules DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 46 CFR Parts 2, 8, and 189 [USCG–2004–19823] RIN 1625–AA92 Alternate Compliance Program: Vessel Inspection Alternatives Coast Guard, DHS. Notice of proposed rulemaking. AGENCY: jlentini on PROD1PC65 with PROPOSALS ACTION: SUMMARY: The Coast Guard proposes to amend the vessel inspection regulations to expand the Alternate Compliance Program (ACP). These amendments would update the list of certificates the Coast Guard issues, incorporate Coast Guard policy regarding eligibility requirements for classification societies participating in the ACP, recognize classification societies other than the American Bureau of Shipping, and expand the ACP to include oceanographic research vessels. DATES: Comments and related material must reach the Docket Management Facility on or before July 23, 2007. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments identified by Coast Guard docket number USCG–2004–19823 to the Docket Management Facility at the U.S. Department of Transportation. Two different locations are listed under the mail and delivery options below because the Document Management Facility is moving May 30, 2007. Please note dates when certain submission options will not be available. To avoid duplication, please use only one of the following methods: (1) Web Site: http://dms.dot.gov. Note, however, that because the computers housing this electronic docket are being moved to a new location, this submittal option will not be available from Wednesday, June 13, 2007, through Sunday, June 17, 2007. (2) Mail: • Address mail to be delivered by May 24, 2007, as follows: Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC 20590–0001. • Address mail to be delivered on or after May 25, 2007, as follows: Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., West Building Ground Floor, Room W12–140, Washington, DC 20590. (3) Fax: 202–493–2251. (4) Delivery: • Before 5 p.m., Thursday, May 24, 2007, deliver comments to: Room PL– VerDate Aug<31>2005 17:18 May 21, 2007 Jkt 211001 401 on the Plaza level of the Nassif Building, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC 20590. • From Friday, May 25, through Tuesday, May 29, 2007, this delivery option will not be available. • On or after Wednesday, May 30, 2007, deliver comments to: Room W12– 140 on the Ground Floor of the West Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC 20590. At either location, deliveries may be made between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The telephone number is 202– 366–9329. (5) Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Submissions you make through this Federal eRulemaking portal from June 13 through 17, will not be received in the electronic docket until June 18. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: If you have questions on this proposed rule, contact Mr. William Peters, U.S. Coast Guard Office of Design and Engineering Standards, telephone 202– 372–1371, or e-mail address William.S.Peters@uscg.mil. If you have questions on viewing or submitting material to the docket, call Ms. Renee V. Wright, Program Manager, Docket Operations, telephone 202–366–9826. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Table of Contents I. Public Participation and Request for Comments A. Submitting Comments B. Viewing Comments and Documents C. Privacy Act II. Public Meeting III. Acronyms IV. Background and Purpose V. Discussion of Proposed Rule VI. Regulatory Evaluation A. Small Entities B. Assistance for Small Entities C. Collection of Information D. Federalism E. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act F. Taking of Private Property G. Civil Justice Reform H. Protection of Children I. Indian Tribal Governments J. Energy Effects K. Technical Standards L. Environment List of Subjects Amendatory Text I. Public Participation and Request for Comments We encourage you to participate in this rulemaking by reviewing the proposed rules and submitting comments and related materials. All comments received will be posted, without change, to http://dms.dot.gov/ and will include any personal information you have provided. We PO 00000 Frm 00029 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 have an agreement with the Department of Transportation (DOT) to use the Docket Management Facility. Please see DOT’s ‘‘Privacy Act’’ paragraph below. A. Submitting Comments: If you submit a comment, please include your name and address, identify the docket number for this rulemaking (USCG– 2004–19823), indicate the specific section of this document to which each comment applies, and give the reason or justification for each comment. You may submit your comments and material by electronic means, mail, fax, or delivery to the Docket Management Facility at the address under ADDRESSES; but please submit each set of comments and material only once (e.g., mail, electronic, or fax). If you submit them by mail or delivery, submit them in an unbound format, no larger than 81⁄2 by 11 inches, suitable for copying and electronic filing. If you submit them by mail and would like to know that they reached the Document Management Facility, please enclose a stamped, selfaddressed postcard or envelope. We will consider all comments and material received during the comment period. We may change this proposed rule in view of them. B. Viewing Comments and Documents: To view comments or documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket, go to http://dms.dot.gov/ at any time and conduct a simple search using the last five digits of the docket number. You may also visit the Docket Management Facility in room PL–401 on the Plaza level of the Nassif Building, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. C. Privacy Act: Anyone can search the electronic form of all comments received into any of our dockets by the name of the individual submitting the comment (or signing the comment, if submitted on behalf of an association, business, labor union, etc.). You may review the Department of Transportation’s Privacy Act Statement in the Federal Register published on April 11, 2000 (65 FR 19477), or you may visit http://dms.dot.gov/. II. Public Meeting We do not plan to hold a public meeting. You may submit a request for one to the Docket Management Facility at Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC 20590–0001 explaining why it would be beneficial. If we determine that a public meeting would aid this rulemaking, we will hold one at a time and place E:\FR\FM\22MYP1.SGM 22MYP1 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 98 / Tuesday, May 22, 2007 / Proposed Rules announced by a later notice in the Federal Register. III. Acronyms ACP Alternative Compliance Program CFR Code of Federal Regulations DHS Department of Homeland Security DMS Docket Management System DOT Department of Transportation FR Federal Register IMO International Maritime Organization NEPA National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 NPRM Notice of Proposed Rulemaking NTTAA National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act PSSC Passenger Ship Safety Certificate HSC High-speed Craft RIN Regulation Identifier Number SOLAS International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea US United States USC United States Code USCG United States Coast Guard jlentini on PROD1PC65 with PROPOSALS IV. Background and Purpose This rulemaking would revise and update the regulations for the Alternate Compliance Program (ACP). The ACP was launched as a pilot program in 1995. A notice was published in the Federal Register on February 3, 1995 and can be found at 60 FR 6687. It was an element of a larger initiative to harmonize domestic and international marine safety and environmental protection standards. Other goals of the initiative were to reduce the regulatory burden on industry and improve the efficiency of the vessel plan review and inspection process. Under the ACP, owners and operators of eligible vessels were allowed to request inspection by an authorized classification society, as defined in 46 CFR 8.100, using an equivalence to the requirements in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) comprising classification society rules, provisions of International Maritime Organization (IMO) treaties, and a supplementary list of requirements from the CFR that were not in IMO provisions or classification society rules. A classification society gained eligibility to participate in the ACP by meeting the standards described in the regulations and, as a result, was delegated authority to conduct plan review and inspections and issue, on the Coast Guard’s behalf, certain IMO certificates documenting compliance with IMO treaty provisions. An interim final rule establishing new 46 CFR part 8, ‘‘Vessel Inspection Alternatives’’ was published in the Federal Register on Friday, December 27, 1996. This interim VerDate Aug<31>2005 17:18 May 21, 2007 Jkt 211001 final rule can be found at 61 FR 68510. The pilot program was concluded in 1997 and the ACP was fully implemented via the final rule published on Wednesday, December 24, 1997. This final rule may be found at 62 FR 67526. The ACP has proven to be extremely successful for both the Coast Guard and ship owners and operators. As expected, the program has evolved since 1997 and the lessons learned have typically been documented and implemented through Coast Guard policy decisions. This Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) describes the Coast Guard’s proposals to incorporate into the CFR those policy decisions as well as other revisions that expand the ACP. When the ACP was initiated, the Coast Guard chose to retain issuing authority for the SOLAS Passenger Ship Safety Certificate (PSSC). This decision was intentionally conservative, given the newness of the ACP, and was based on our experience with the complexities of the passenger vessel plan review, inspection, and certification process. Subsequent experience has shown that retaining this issuing authority creates confusion over the roles of the Coast Guard versus the authorized classification society under the ACP. Experience with the ACP has also allowed us to gain confidence with the ACP process and its undeniably successful results. Therefore, we feel granting authorized classification societies issuing authority for the PSSC is now appropriate. For similar reasons, we are also proposing to allow authorized classification societies to be delegated the authority to issue the High-Speed Craft (HSC) Safety Certificate. In May 2000, we determined that the HSC Code is equivalent to the 46 CFR Subchapter H requirements for large passenger vessels. As the Coast Guard and several classification societies have now gained significant experience with the HSC Code, we feel it is logical that the ACP include this document. Our experience with the success of the ACP has also given us the flexibility to explore applying the program to other types of vessels that were originally excluded under our measured implementation approach. Positive feedback and recommendations from the U.S. maritime industry demonstrate broad support for this idea. As a result, we propose the ACP be expanded to encompass Oceanographic Research Vessels that engage on international voyages. Soon after the current rule went into effect, we recognized that a classification society needs PO 00000 Frm 00030 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 28651 authorization to issue five basic IMO certificates before it can comprehensively fulfill its role in the ACP, namely: • The Cargo Ship Safety Construction Certificate from the International Convention for Safety of Life at Sea, 1974; • The Cargo Ship Safety Equipment Certificate from the International Convention for Safety of Life at Sea, 1974; • The International Load Line Certificate from the International Convention on Load Lines; • The International Tonnage Certificate from the International Convention on Tonnage Measurement; and • The International Oil Pollution Prevention Certificate from the Protocol of 1978 relating to the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, 1973. While we have implemented this concept as part of our operating policies, it has not been incorporated into 46 CFR part 8. Therefore, this proposed rule would also accomplish this change. The initial version of the ACP only applied to the American Bureau of Shipping with whom the Coast Guard had collaborated to develop the first U.S. Supplement (the list of differences between the CFR and the combination of IMO treaty provisions and classification society rules). As the program has expanded, we have engaged in similar partnerships with other classification societies resulting in their approval to participate in the ACP. Consequently, our specific references to the American Bureau of Shipping in 46 CFR part 2 are outdated. Therefore, we proposed to replace specific references to the American Bureau of Shipping with a more general reference to authorized classification societies. The term ‘‘authorized classification society’’ is already defined in 46 CFR 8.100. V. Discussion of Proposed Rule This NPRM proposes to amend 46 CFR 2.01–25(a) to: • List all IMO certificates required to be maintained aboard ships; and • Update the lists of IMO certificates issued only by the USCG and those that may be issued by an authorized classification society on the Coast Guard’s behalf. In § 2.01–25, we would change the phrase ‘‘American Bureau of Shipping’’ to ‘‘authorized classification society.’’ In § 8.320(b), this NPRM would add the following IMO certificates to the list of those that can be issued by an authorized classification society: E:\FR\FM\22MYP1.SGM 22MYP1 28652 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 98 / Tuesday, May 22, 2007 / Proposed Rules • Passenger Ship Safety Certificate (PSSC) • High-Speed Craft (HSC) Safety Certificate This NPRM would also, in § 8.420(c), add to the list of conditions for eligibility to participate in the ACP, a requirement that a classification society must have been delegated issuing authority for the Cargo Ship Safety Construction Certificate, Cargo Ship Safety Equipment Certificate, International Load Line Certificate, International Tonnage Certificate, and International Oil Pollution Prevention Certificate. Finally, in new § 189.15–5, we would expand the ACP to include Subchapter U ‘‘Oceanographic Research Vessels.’’ jlentini on PROD1PC65 with PROPOSALS VI. Regulatory Evaluation This proposed rule is not a ‘‘significant regulatory action’’ under section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866, Regulatory Planning and Review, and does not require an assessment of potential costs and benefits under section 6(a)(3) of that Order. The Office of Management and Budget has not reviewed it under that Order. It will not impose any mandatory costs on the public because it enables a voluntary alternative to the traditionally prescribed method of inspection. However, we anticipate that vessel owners and operators may realize an economic benefit in the form of cost savings as a result of this proposed rule as outlined in the final rule published December 24, 1997. See 62 FR 67525 and 67530. We request comments from the public on how much they believe the proposed rule would save them. A. Small Entities Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601–612), we have considered whether this proposed rule would have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The term ‘‘small entities’’ comprises small businesses, not-for-profit organizations that are independently owned and operated and are not dominant in their fields, and governmental jurisdictions with populations of less than 50,000. This rule does not change any requirements in the regulations. It simply updates and expands an existing voluntary program for alternate compliance with Coast Guard regulations. Therefore, the Coast Guard certifies under 5 U.S.C. 605(b) that this proposed rule would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. If you think that your business, organization, or governmental VerDate Aug<31>2005 17:18 May 21, 2007 Jkt 211001 jurisdiction qualifies as a small entity and that this rule would have a significant economic impact on it, please submit a comment to the Docket Management Facility at Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, 400 Seventh Street SW., Washington, DC 20590–0001. In your comment, explain why you think it qualifies and how and to what degree this rule would economically affect it. B. Assistance for Small Entities Under section 213(a) of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (Pub. L. 104–121), we want to assist small entities in understanding this proposed rule so they can better evaluate its effects on them and participate in the rulemaking. If the rule would affect your small business, organization, or governmental jurisdiction and you have questions concerning its provisions or options for compliance, please consult Mr. William Peters, U.S. Coast Guard Office of Design and Engineering Standards, telephone 202–372–1731. The Coast Guard will not retaliate against small entities that question or complain about this rule or any policy or action of the Coast Guard. C. Collection of Information This proposed rule would call for no new collection of information under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501–3520). D. Federalism A rule has implications for federalism under Executive Order 13132, Federalism, if it has a substantial direct effect on State or local governments and would either preempt State law or impose a substantial direct cost of compliance on them. We have analyzed this proposed rule under that Order and have determined that it does not have implications for federalism. E. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act The Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (2 U.S.C. 1531–1538) requires Federal agencies to assess the effects of their discretionary regulatory actions. In particular, the Act addresses actions that may result in the expenditure by a State, local, or tribal government, in the aggregate, or by the private sector of $100,000,000 or more in any one year. Though this proposed rule would not result in such expenditure, we do discuss the effects of this rule elsewhere in this preamble. F. Taking of Private Property This proposed rule would not affect a taking of private property or otherwise PO 00000 Frm 00031 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 have taking implications under Executive Order 12630, Governmental Actions and Interference with Constitutionally Protected Property Rights. G. Civil Justice Reform This proposed rule meets applicable standards in sections 3(a) and 3(b)(2) of Executive Order 12988, Civil Justice Reform, to minimize litigation, eliminate ambiguity, and reduce burden. H. Protection of Children We have analyzed this proposed rule under Executive Order 13045, Protection of Children from Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks. This rule is not an economically significant rule and would not create an environmental risk to health or risk to safety that might disproportionately affect children. I. Indian Tribal Governments This proposed rule does not have tribal implications under Executive Order 13175, Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments, because it would not have a substantial direct effect on one or more Indian tribes, on the relationship between the Federal Government and Indian tribes, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities between the Federal Government and Indian tribes. J. Energy Effects We have analyzed this proposed rule under Executive Order 13211, Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use. We have determined that it is not a ‘‘significant energy action’’ under that order because it is not a ‘‘significant regulatory action’’ under Executive Order 12866 and is not likely to have a significant adverse effect on the supply, distribution, or use of energy. The Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs has not designated it as a significant energy action. Therefore, it does not require a Statement of Energy Effects under Executive Order 13211. K. Technical Standards The National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act (NTTAA) (15 U.S.C. 272 note) directs agencies to use voluntary consensus standards in lieu of government-unique standards in their regulatory activities unless the agency determines use of these standards would be inconsistent with law or are otherwise impractical. Agencies not using voluntary consensus standards in lieu of government-unique standards E:\FR\FM\22MYP1.SGM 22MYP1 Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 98 / Tuesday, May 22, 2007 / Proposed Rules must provide Congress, through the Office of Management and Budget, with an explanation of why using these standards would be inconsistent with applicable law or otherwise impractical. Voluntary consensus standards are technical standards (e.g. specifications of materials, performance, design, or operation; test methods; sampling procedures; and related management systems practices) that are developed or adopted by voluntary consensus standard bodies. This proposed rule does not use voluntary consensus standards as there are none that meet the objectives of this rulemaking, and, therefore, we did not consider the use of voluntary consensus standards. L. Environment We have analyzed this proposed rule under Commandant Instruction M16475.lD, which guides the Coast Guard in complying with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) (42 U.S.C. 4321–4370f), and have made a preliminary determination that this action is not likely to have a significant effect on the human environment. A preliminary ‘‘Environmental Analysis Check List’’ supporting this determination is available in the docket where indicated under the ‘‘Public Participation and Request for Comments’’ section of this preamble. We seek any comments or information that may lead to discovery of a significant environmental impact from this proposed rule. List of Subjects 46 CFR Part 2 Administrative practice and procedure, Incorporation by reference, Organization and functions (Government agencies), Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Vessels. 46 CFR Part 189 Marine safety, Oceanographic research vessels, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements. jlentini on PROD1PC65 with PROPOSALS § 2.01–25 International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, 1974. (a)* * * (1) * * * (ix) High Speed Craft Safety Certificate * * * * * 1. The authority citation for part 2 continues to read as follows: Jkt 211001 * * * * * (c) A recognized classification society: (1) Will be eligible to receive authorization to participate in the ACP only after the Coast Guard has delegated to it the authority to issue the following certificates: (i) International Load Line Certificate; (ii) International Tonnage Certificate; (iii) Cargo Ship Safety Construction Certificate; (iv) Cargo Ship Safety Equipment Certificate; and (v) International Oil Pollution Prevention Certificate; and (2) Must have performed a delegated function related to general vessel safety assessment, as defined in § 8.100 of this part, for a two-year period. * * * * * SUBCHAPTER U—OCEANOGRAPHIC RESEARCH VESSELS PART 189—INSPECTION AND CERTIFICATION 6. The authority citation for Part 189 continues to read as follows: Authority: 33 U.S.C. 1321(j); 46 U.S.C. 2113, 3306, 3307; E.O. 12234, 45 FR 58801, 3 CFR, 1980 Comp., p. 277; E.O. 12777, 56 FR 54757, 3 CFR, 1991 Comp., p. 351; Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1. § 189.15–5 [Added] 7. Add new § 189.15–5 to read as follows: 3. The authority citation for part 8 continues to read as follows: § 189.15–5 [Amended] 4. In § 8.320, amend paragraph (b)— a. In paragraph (b)(8), remove the word ‘‘and’’; b. In paragraph (b)(9), remove the period and add, in its place, a semicolon; and c. Add new paragraphs (b)(10) and (11) to read as follows: * For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Coast Guard proposes to amend 46 CFR parts 2, 8, and 189 as follows: § 8.420 Classification society authorization to participate in the Alternate Compliance Program. PART 8—VESSEL INSPECTION ALTERNATIVES § 8.320 Classification society authorization to issue international certificates. Amendatory Text PART 2—VESSEL INSPECTIONS [Amended] 2. In § 2.01–25— a. Add a new paragraph (a)(1)(ix) to read as set forth below: b. In paragraph (a)(3), remove the words ‘‘the American Bureau of Shipping may issue the Cargo Ship Safety Construction Certificate to cargo and tankships which it classes.’’ and add, in their place, the words ‘‘an authorized classification society may issue international convention certificates as permitted under part 8, subpart C, of this title.’’ and; c. In paragraph (b)(1), after the word ‘‘Cargoes),’’ remove the word ‘‘and’’, and after the words ‘‘Passenger Vessels)’’, add the words ‘‘and Subchapter U (Oceanographic Research Vessels),’’. § 8.320 46 CFR Part 8 17:18 May 21, 2007 § 2.01–25 Authority: 46 U.S.C. 3103, 3306, 3316, 3703; Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1. Marine safety, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Vessels. VerDate Aug<31>2005 Authority: 33 U.S.C. 1903; 43 U.S.C. 1333; 46 U.S.C. 2110, 3103, 3205, 3306, 3307, 3703; 46 U.S.C. Chapter 701; E.O. 12234, 45 FR 58801, 3 CFR, 1980 Comp., p. 277; Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1. Subpart 2.45 also issued under the Act Dec. 27, 1950, Ch. 1155, secs. 1, 2, 64 Stat. 1120 (see 46 U.S.C. App. Note prec. 1). 28653 * * * * (b) * * * (10) SOLAS Passenger Ship Safety Certificate; and (11) High-Speed Craft Safety Certificate. * * * * * § 8.420 [Amended] 5. In § 8.420, revise paragraph (c) to read as follows: PO 00000 Frm 00032 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 Alternate compliance. (a) In place of compliance with other applicable provisions of this subchapter, the owner or operator of a vessel subject to plan review and inspection under this subchapter for initial issuance or renewal of a Certificate of Inspection may comply with the Alternate Compliance Program provisions of 46 CFR Part 8. (b) For the purposes of this section, a list of authorized classification societies, including information for ordering copies of approved classification society rules and supplements, is available from Commandant (CG–3PSE), 2100 Second St., SW., Washington, DC 20593–0001; telephone (202) 372–1371; or fax (202) 372–1925. Approved classification society rules and supplements are incorporated by reference into 46 CFR 8.110(b). Dated: May 11, 2007. Craig E. Bone, Rear Admiral, U.S. Coast Guard, Assistant Commandant for Prevention. [FR Doc. E7–9840 Filed 5–21–07; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–15–P E:\FR\FM\22MYP1.SGM 22MYP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 72, Number 98 (Tuesday, May 22, 2007)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 28650-28653]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E7-9840]



[[Page 28650]]

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DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY

Coast Guard

46 CFR Parts 2, 8, and 189

[USCG-2004-19823]
RIN 1625-AA92


Alternate Compliance Program: Vessel Inspection Alternatives

AGENCY: Coast Guard, DHS.

ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The Coast Guard proposes to amend the vessel inspection 
regulations to expand the Alternate Compliance Program (ACP). These 
amendments would update the list of certificates the Coast Guard 
issues, incorporate Coast Guard policy regarding eligibility 
requirements for classification societies participating in the ACP, 
recognize classification societies other than the American Bureau of 
Shipping, and expand the ACP to include oceanographic research vessels.

DATES: Comments and related material must reach the Docket Management 
Facility on or before July 23, 2007.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments identified by Coast Guard docket 
number USCG-2004-19823 to the Docket Management Facility at the U.S. 
Department of Transportation. Two different locations are listed under 
the mail and delivery options below because the Document Management 
Facility is moving May 30, 2007. Please note dates when certain 
submission options will not be available. To avoid duplication, please 
use only one of the following methods:
    (1) Web Site: http://dms.dot.gov. Note, however, that because the 
computers housing this electronic docket are being moved to a new 
location, this submittal option will not be available from Wednesday, 
June 13, 2007, through Sunday, June 17, 2007.
    (2) Mail:
     Address mail to be delivered by May 24, 2007, as follows: 
Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, 400 
Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC 20590-0001.
     Address mail to be delivered on or after May 25, 2007, as 
follows: Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, 
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 
Washington, DC 20590.
    (3) Fax: 202-493-2251.
    (4) Delivery:
     Before 5 p.m., Thursday, May 24, 2007, deliver comments 
to: Room PL-401 on the Plaza level of the Nassif Building, 400 Seventh 
Street, SW., Washington, DC 20590.
     From Friday, May 25, through Tuesday, May 29, 2007, this 
delivery option will not be available.
     On or after Wednesday, May 30, 2007, deliver comments to: 
Room W12-140 on the Ground Floor of the West Building, 1200 New Jersey 
Avenue, SE., Washington, DC 20590.
    At either location, deliveries may be made between 9 a.m. and 5 
p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The telephone 
number is 202-366-9329.
    (5) Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. 
Submissions you make through this Federal eRulemaking portal from June 
13 through 17, will not be received in the electronic docket until June 
18.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: If you have questions on this proposed 
rule, contact Mr. William Peters, U.S. Coast Guard Office of Design and 
Engineering Standards, telephone 202-372-1371, or e-mail address 
William.S.Peters@uscg.mil. If you have questions on viewing or 
submitting material to the docket, call Ms. Renee V. Wright, Program 
Manager, Docket Operations, telephone 202-366-9826.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Table of Contents

I. Public Participation and Request for Comments
    A. Submitting Comments
    B. Viewing Comments and Documents
    C. Privacy Act
II. Public Meeting
III. Acronyms
IV. Background and Purpose
V. Discussion of Proposed Rule
VI. Regulatory Evaluation
    A. Small Entities
    B. Assistance for Small Entities
    C. Collection of Information
    D. Federalism
    E. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act
    F. Taking of Private Property
    G. Civil Justice Reform
    H. Protection of Children
    I. Indian Tribal Governments
    J. Energy Effects
    K. Technical Standards
    L. Environment

List of Subjects
Amendatory Text

I. Public Participation and Request for Comments

    We encourage you to participate in this rulemaking by reviewing the 
proposed rules and submitting comments and related materials. All 
comments received will be posted, without change, to http://
dms.dot.gov/ and will include any personal information you have 
provided. We have an agreement with the Department of Transportation 
(DOT) to use the Docket Management Facility. Please see DOT's ``Privacy 
Act'' paragraph below.
    A. Submitting Comments: If you submit a comment, please include 
your name and address, identify the docket number for this rulemaking 
(USCG-2004-19823), indicate the specific section of this document to 
which each comment applies, and give the reason or justification for 
each comment. You may submit your comments and material by electronic 
means, mail, fax, or delivery to the Docket Management Facility at the 
address under ADDRESSES; but please submit each set of comments and 
material only once (e.g., mail, electronic, or fax). If you submit them 
by mail or delivery, submit them in an unbound format, no larger than 
8\1/2\ by 11 inches, suitable for copying and electronic filing. If you 
submit them by mail and would like to know that they reached the 
Document Management Facility, please enclose a stamped, self-addressed 
postcard or envelope. We will consider all comments and material 
received during the comment period. We may change this proposed rule in 
view of them.
    B. Viewing Comments and Documents: To view comments or documents 
mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket, go to 
http://dms.dot.gov/ at any time and conduct a simple search using the 
last five digits of the docket number. You may also visit the Docket 
Management Facility in room PL-401 on the Plaza level of the Nassif 
Building, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 
p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.
    C. Privacy Act: Anyone can search the electronic form of all 
comments received into any of our dockets by the name of the individual 
submitting the comment (or signing the comment, if submitted on behalf 
of an association, business, labor union, etc.). You may review the 
Department of Transportation's Privacy Act Statement in the Federal 
Register published on April 11, 2000 (65 FR 19477), or you may visit 
http://dms.dot.gov/.

II. Public Meeting

    We do not plan to hold a public meeting. You may submit a request 
for one to the Docket Management Facility at Docket Management 
Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, 400 Seventh Street, SW., 
Washington, DC 20590-0001 explaining why it would be beneficial. If we 
determine that a public meeting would aid this rulemaking, we will hold 
one at a time and place

[[Page 28651]]

announced by a later notice in the Federal Register.

III. Acronyms

ACP Alternative Compliance Program
CFR Code of Federal Regulations
DHS Department of Homeland Security
DMS Docket Management System
DOT Department of Transportation
FR Federal Register
IMO International Maritime Organization
NEPA National Environmental Policy Act of 1969
NPRM Notice of Proposed Rulemaking
NTTAA National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act
PSSC Passenger Ship Safety Certificate
HSC High-speed Craft
RIN Regulation Identifier Number
SOLAS International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea
US United States
USC United States Code
USCG United States Coast Guard

IV. Background and Purpose

    This rulemaking would revise and update the regulations for the 
Alternate Compliance Program (ACP).
    The ACP was launched as a pilot program in 1995. A notice was 
published in the Federal Register on February 3, 1995 and can be found 
at 60 FR 6687. It was an element of a larger initiative to harmonize 
domestic and international marine safety and environmental protection 
standards. Other goals of the initiative were to reduce the regulatory 
burden on industry and improve the efficiency of the vessel plan review 
and inspection process.
    Under the ACP, owners and operators of eligible vessels were 
allowed to request inspection by an authorized classification society, 
as defined in 46 CFR 8.100, using an equivalence to the requirements in 
the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) comprising classification society 
rules, provisions of International Maritime Organization (IMO) 
treaties, and a supplementary list of requirements from the CFR that 
were not in IMO provisions or classification society rules. A 
classification society gained eligibility to participate in the ACP by 
meeting the standards described in the regulations and, as a result, 
was delegated authority to conduct plan review and inspections and 
issue, on the Coast Guard's behalf, certain IMO certificates 
documenting compliance with IMO treaty provisions. An interim final 
rule establishing new 46 CFR part 8, ``Vessel Inspection Alternatives'' 
was published in the Federal Register on Friday, December 27, 1996. 
This interim final rule can be found at 61 FR 68510. The pilot program 
was concluded in 1997 and the ACP was fully implemented via the final 
rule published on Wednesday, December 24, 1997. This final rule may be 
found at 62 FR 67526.
    The ACP has proven to be extremely successful for both the Coast 
Guard and ship owners and operators. As expected, the program has 
evolved since 1997 and the lessons learned have typically been 
documented and implemented through Coast Guard policy decisions. This 
Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) describes the Coast Guard's 
proposals to incorporate into the CFR those policy decisions as well as 
other revisions that expand the ACP.
    When the ACP was initiated, the Coast Guard chose to retain issuing 
authority for the SOLAS Passenger Ship Safety Certificate (PSSC). This 
decision was intentionally conservative, given the newness of the ACP, 
and was based on our experience with the complexities of the passenger 
vessel plan review, inspection, and certification process. Subsequent 
experience has shown that retaining this issuing authority creates 
confusion over the roles of the Coast Guard versus the authorized 
classification society under the ACP. Experience with the ACP has also 
allowed us to gain confidence with the ACP process and its undeniably 
successful results. Therefore, we feel granting authorized 
classification societies issuing authority for the PSSC is now 
appropriate.
    For similar reasons, we are also proposing to allow authorized 
classification societies to be delegated the authority to issue the 
High-Speed Craft (HSC) Safety Certificate. In May 2000, we determined 
that the HSC Code is equivalent to the 46 CFR Subchapter H requirements 
for large passenger vessels. As the Coast Guard and several 
classification societies have now gained significant experience with 
the HSC Code, we feel it is logical that the ACP include this document.
    Our experience with the success of the ACP has also given us the 
flexibility to explore applying the program to other types of vessels 
that were originally excluded under our measured implementation 
approach. Positive feedback and recommendations from the U.S. maritime 
industry demonstrate broad support for this idea. As a result, we 
propose the ACP be expanded to encompass Oceanographic Research Vessels 
that engage on international voyages.
    Soon after the current rule went into effect, we recognized that a 
classification society needs authorization to issue five basic IMO 
certificates before it can comprehensively fulfill its role in the ACP, 
namely:
     The Cargo Ship Safety Construction Certificate from the 
International Convention for Safety of Life at Sea, 1974;
     The Cargo Ship Safety Equipment Certificate from the 
International Convention for Safety of Life at Sea, 1974;
     The International Load Line Certificate from the 
International Convention on Load Lines;
     The International Tonnage Certificate from the 
International Convention on Tonnage Measurement; and
     The International Oil Pollution Prevention Certificate 
from the Protocol of 1978 relating to the International Convention for 
the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, 1973.
    While we have implemented this concept as part of our operating 
policies, it has not been incorporated into 46 CFR part 8. Therefore, 
this proposed rule would also accomplish this change.
    The initial version of the ACP only applied to the American Bureau 
of Shipping with whom the Coast Guard had collaborated to develop the 
first U.S. Supplement (the list of differences between the CFR and the 
combination of IMO treaty provisions and classification society rules). 
As the program has expanded, we have engaged in similar partnerships 
with other classification societies resulting in their approval to 
participate in the ACP. Consequently, our specific references to the 
American Bureau of Shipping in 46 CFR part 2 are outdated. Therefore, 
we proposed to replace specific references to the American Bureau of 
Shipping with a more general reference to authorized classification 
societies. The term ``authorized classification society'' is already 
defined in 46 CFR 8.100.

V. Discussion of Proposed Rule

    This NPRM proposes to amend 46 CFR 2.01-25(a) to:
     List all IMO certificates required to be maintained aboard 
ships; and
     Update the lists of IMO certificates issued only by the 
USCG and those that may be issued by an authorized classification 
society on the Coast Guard's behalf.
    In Sec.  2.01-25, we would change the phrase ``American Bureau of 
Shipping'' to ``authorized classification society.''
    In Sec.  8.320(b), this NPRM would add the following IMO 
certificates to the list of those that can be issued by an authorized 
classification society:

[[Page 28652]]

     Passenger Ship Safety Certificate (PSSC)
     High-Speed Craft (HSC) Safety Certificate
    This NPRM would also, in Sec.  8.420(c), add to the list of 
conditions for eligibility to participate in the ACP, a requirement 
that a classification society must have been delegated issuing 
authority for the Cargo Ship Safety Construction Certificate, Cargo 
Ship Safety Equipment Certificate, International Load Line Certificate, 
International Tonnage Certificate, and International Oil Pollution 
Prevention Certificate.
    Finally, in new Sec.  189.15-5, we would expand the ACP to include 
Subchapter U ``Oceanographic Research Vessels.''

VI. Regulatory Evaluation

    This proposed rule is not a ``significant regulatory action'' under 
section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866, Regulatory Planning and Review, 
and does not require an assessment of potential costs and benefits 
under section 6(a)(3) of that Order. The Office of Management and 
Budget has not reviewed it under that Order. It will not impose any 
mandatory costs on the public because it enables a voluntary 
alternative to the traditionally prescribed method of inspection. 
However, we anticipate that vessel owners and operators may realize an 
economic benefit in the form of cost savings as a result of this 
proposed rule as outlined in the final rule published December 24, 
1997. See 62 FR 67525 and 67530. We request comments from the public on 
how much they believe the proposed rule would save them.

A. Small Entities

    Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601-612), we have 
considered whether this proposed rule would have a significant economic 
impact on a substantial number of small entities. The term ``small 
entities'' comprises small businesses, not-for-profit organizations 
that are independently owned and operated and are not dominant in their 
fields, and governmental jurisdictions with populations of less than 
50,000.
    This rule does not change any requirements in the regulations. It 
simply updates and expands an existing voluntary program for alternate 
compliance with Coast Guard regulations. Therefore, the Coast Guard 
certifies under 5 U.S.C. 605(b) that this proposed rule would not have 
a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small 
entities. If you think that your business, organization, or 
governmental jurisdiction qualifies as a small entity and that this 
rule would have a significant economic impact on it, please submit a 
comment to the Docket Management Facility at Docket Management 
Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, 400 Seventh Street SW., 
Washington, DC 20590-0001. In your comment, explain why you think it 
qualifies and how and to what degree this rule would economically 
affect it.

B. Assistance for Small Entities

    Under section 213(a) of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement 
Fairness Act of 1996 (Pub. L. 104-121), we want to assist small 
entities in understanding this proposed rule so they can better 
evaluate its effects on them and participate in the rulemaking. If the 
rule would affect your small business, organization, or governmental 
jurisdiction and you have questions concerning its provisions or 
options for compliance, please consult Mr. William Peters, U.S. Coast 
Guard Office of Design and Engineering Standards, telephone 202-372-
1731. The Coast Guard will not retaliate against small entities that 
question or complain about this rule or any policy or action of the 
Coast Guard.

C. Collection of Information

    This proposed rule would call for no new collection of information 
under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520).

D. Federalism

    A rule has implications for federalism under Executive Order 13132, 
Federalism, if it has a substantial direct effect on State or local 
governments and would either preempt State law or impose a substantial 
direct cost of compliance on them. We have analyzed this proposed rule 
under that Order and have determined that it does not have implications 
for federalism.

E. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

    The Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (2 U.S.C. 1531-1538) 
requires Federal agencies to assess the effects of their discretionary 
regulatory actions. In particular, the Act addresses actions that may 
result in the expenditure by a State, local, or tribal government, in 
the aggregate, or by the private sector of $100,000,000 or more in any 
one year. Though this proposed rule would not result in such 
expenditure, we do discuss the effects of this rule elsewhere in this 
preamble.

F. Taking of Private Property

    This proposed rule would not affect a taking of private property or 
otherwise have taking implications under Executive Order 12630, 
Governmental Actions and Interference with Constitutionally Protected 
Property Rights.

G. Civil Justice Reform

    This proposed rule meets applicable standards in sections 3(a) and 
3(b)(2) of Executive Order 12988, Civil Justice Reform, to minimize 
litigation, eliminate ambiguity, and reduce burden.

H. Protection of Children

    We have analyzed this proposed rule under Executive Order 13045, 
Protection of Children from Environmental Health Risks and Safety 
Risks. This rule is not an economically significant rule and would not 
create an environmental risk to health or risk to safety that might 
disproportionately affect children.

I. Indian Tribal Governments

    This proposed rule does not have tribal implications under 
Executive Order 13175, Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal 
Governments, because it would not have a substantial direct effect on 
one or more Indian tribes, on the relationship between the Federal 
Government and Indian tribes, or on the distribution of power and 
responsibilities between the Federal Government and Indian tribes.

J. Energy Effects

    We have analyzed this proposed rule under Executive Order 13211, 
Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply, 
Distribution, or Use. We have determined that it is not a ``significant 
energy action'' under that order because it is not a ``significant 
regulatory action'' under Executive Order 12866 and is not likely to 
have a significant adverse effect on the supply, distribution, or use 
of energy. The Administrator of the Office of Information and 
Regulatory Affairs has not designated it as a significant energy 
action. Therefore, it does not require a Statement of Energy Effects 
under Executive Order 13211.

K. Technical Standards

    The National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act (NTTAA) (15 
U.S.C. 272 note) directs agencies to use voluntary consensus standards 
in lieu of government-unique standards in their regulatory activities 
unless the agency determines use of these standards would be 
inconsistent with law or are otherwise impractical. Agencies not using 
voluntary consensus standards in lieu of government-unique standards

[[Page 28653]]

must provide Congress, through the Office of Management and Budget, 
with an explanation of why using these standards would be inconsistent 
with applicable law or otherwise impractical. Voluntary consensus 
standards are technical standards (e.g. specifications of materials, 
performance, design, or operation; test methods; sampling procedures; 
and related management systems practices) that are developed or adopted 
by voluntary consensus standard bodies.
    This proposed rule does not use voluntary consensus standards as 
there are none that meet the objectives of this rulemaking, and, 
therefore, we did not consider the use of voluntary consensus 
standards.

L. Environment

    We have analyzed this proposed rule under Commandant Instruction 
M16475.lD, which guides the Coast Guard in complying with the National 
Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) (42 U.S.C. 4321-4370f), and 
have made a preliminary determination that this action is not likely to 
have a significant effect on the human environment. A preliminary 
``Environmental Analysis Check List'' supporting this determination is 
available in the docket where indicated under the ``Public 
Participation and Request for Comments'' section of this preamble. We 
seek any comments or information that may lead to discovery of a 
significant environmental impact from this proposed rule.

List of Subjects

46 CFR Part 2

    Marine safety, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Vessels.

46 CFR Part 8

    Administrative practice and procedure, Incorporation by reference, 
Organization and functions (Government agencies), Reporting and 
recordkeeping requirements, Vessels.

46 CFR Part 189

    Marine safety, Oceanographic research vessels, Reporting and 
recordkeeping requirements.

Amendatory Text

    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Coast Guard proposes 
to amend 46 CFR parts 2, 8, and 189 as follows:

PART 2--VESSEL INSPECTIONS

    1. The authority citation for part 2 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 33 U.S.C. 1903; 43 U.S.C. 1333; 46 U.S.C. 2110, 3103, 
3205, 3306, 3307, 3703; 46 U.S.C. Chapter 701; E.O. 12234, 45 FR 
58801, 3 CFR, 1980 Comp., p. 277; Department of Homeland Security 
Delegation No. 0170.1. Subpart 2.45 also issued under the Act Dec. 
27, 1950, Ch. 1155, secs. 1, 2, 64 Stat. 1120 (see 46 U.S.C. App. 
Note prec. 1).


Sec.  2.01-25  [Amended]

    2. In Sec.  2.01-25--
    a. Add a new paragraph (a)(1)(ix) to read as set forth below:
    b. In paragraph (a)(3), remove the words ``the American Bureau of 
Shipping may issue the Cargo Ship Safety Construction Certificate to 
cargo and tankships which it classes.'' and add, in their place, the 
words ``an authorized classification society may issue international 
convention certificates as permitted under part 8, subpart C, of this 
title.'' and;
    c. In paragraph (b)(1), after the word ``Cargoes),'' remove the 
word ``and'', and after the words ``Passenger Vessels)'', add the words 
``and Subchapter U (Oceanographic Research Vessels),''.


Sec.  2.01-25  International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, 
1974.

    (a)* * *
    (1) * * *
    (ix) High Speed Craft Safety Certificate
* * * * *

PART 8--VESSEL INSPECTION ALTERNATIVES

    3. The authority citation for part 8 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 46 U.S.C. 3103, 3306, 3316, 3703; Department of 
Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1.


Sec.  8.320  [Amended]

    4. In Sec.  8.320, amend paragraph (b)--
    a. In paragraph (b)(8), remove the word ``and'';
    b. In paragraph (b)(9), remove the period and add, in its place, a 
semicolon; and
    c. Add new paragraphs (b)(10) and (11) to read as follows:


Sec.  8.320  Classification society authorization to issue 
international certificates.

* * * * *
    (b) * * *
    (10) SOLAS Passenger Ship Safety Certificate; and
    (11) High-Speed Craft Safety Certificate.
* * * * *


Sec.  8.420  [Amended]

    5. In Sec.  8.420, revise paragraph (c) to read as follows:


Sec.  8.420  Classification society authorization to participate in the 
Alternate Compliance Program.

* * * * *
    (c) A recognized classification society:
    (1) Will be eligible to receive authorization to participate in the 
ACP only after the Coast Guard has delegated to it the authority to 
issue the following certificates:
    (i) International Load Line Certificate;
    (ii) International Tonnage Certificate;
    (iii) Cargo Ship Safety Construction Certificate;
    (iv) Cargo Ship Safety Equipment Certificate; and
    (v) International Oil Pollution Prevention Certificate; and
    (2) Must have performed a delegated function related to general 
vessel safety assessment, as defined in Sec.  8.100 of this part, for a 
two-year period.
* * * * *

SUBCHAPTER U--OCEANOGRAPHIC RESEARCH VESSELS

PART 189--INSPECTION AND CERTIFICATION

    6. The authority citation for Part 189 continues to read as 
follows:

    Authority: 33 U.S.C. 1321(j); 46 U.S.C. 2113, 3306, 3307; E.O. 
12234, 45 FR 58801, 3 CFR, 1980 Comp., p. 277; E.O. 12777, 56 FR 
54757, 3 CFR, 1991 Comp., p. 351; Department of Homeland Security 
Delegation No. 0170.1.


Sec.  189.15-5  [Added]

    7. Add new Sec.  189.15-5 to read as follows:


Sec.  189.15-5  Alternate compliance.

    (a) In place of compliance with other applicable provisions of this 
subchapter, the owner or operator of a vessel subject to plan review 
and inspection under this subchapter for initial issuance or renewal of 
a Certificate of Inspection may comply with the Alternate Compliance 
Program provisions of 46 CFR Part 8.
    (b) For the purposes of this section, a list of authorized 
classification societies, including information for ordering copies of 
approved classification society rules and supplements, is available 
from Commandant (CG-3PSE), 2100 Second St., SW., Washington, DC 20593-
0001; telephone (202) 372-1371; or fax (202) 372-1925. Approved 
classification society rules and supplements are incorporated by 
reference into 46 CFR 8.110(b).

    Dated: May 11, 2007.
Craig E. Bone,
Rear Admiral, U.S. Coast Guard, Assistant Commandant for Prevention.
 [FR Doc. E7-9840 Filed 5-21-07; 8:45 am]
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