Hull Identification Numbers for Recreational Vessels, 14193-14195 [E8-5326]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 52 / Monday, March 17, 2008 / Proposed Rules Cessna Aircraft Company: Docket No. FAA– 2008–0331; Directorate Identifier 2008– CE–009–AD. Comments Due Date (a) We must receive comments on this airworthiness directive (AD) action by May 16, 2008. Affected ADs (b) None. Applicability (c) This AD applies to the following airplane models and serial numbers that are certificated in any category: Models Serial Nos. 208 ...... 208B .... 20800001 through 20800415. 208B0001 through 208B1299. Unsafe Condition (d) This AD results from reports of chafed wiring found on wire bundles in the left and right wings containing the auto-control wing 14193 de-ice system, fuel quantity indication, and low fuel annunciation on several Cessna Model 208B airplanes. We are proposing this AD to detect and correct damaged wiring of the auto-control wing de-ice system, fuel quantity indication, and low fuel annunciation systems. This condition, if not corrected, could result in incorrect fuel quantity indications, loss of low fuel quantity annunciations, or loss of the auto-control wing de-ice system. Compliance (e) To address this problem, you must do the following, unless already done: Actions Compliance Procedures (1) Inspect the left and right wing electrical wire bundles at the anchor attach points for loose and damaged wiring. Within the next 200 hours time-in-service after the effective date of this AD, or within 12 months after the effective date of this AD, whichever comes first. Before further flight after the inspection required by paragraph (e)(1) of this AD. Follow Cessna Aircraft Company Service Bulletin CAB08–02, dated February 4, 2008. Before further flight after the inspection required by paragraph (e)(1) of this AD. Follow Cessna Aircraft Company Service Bulletin CAB08–02, dated February 4, 2008. (2) If, as a result of the inspection required by paragraph (e)(1) of this AD, damaged wires are found, repair or replace damaged wires and properly attach wire bundle. (3) If, as a result of the inspection required by paragraph (e)(1) of this AD, loosely attached wires were found, secure any wires that are loosely attached and properly attach wire bundle supporting hardware. Alternative Methods of Compliance (AMOCs) DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY (f) The Manager, Wichita Aircraft Certification Office, FAA, has the authority to approve AMOCs for this AD, if requested using the procedures found in 14 CFR 39.19. Send information to ATTN: Daniel Hilton, Aerospace Engineer, FAA, Wichita ACO, 1801 Airport Road, Room 100, Wichita, Kansas 67209; telephone: 316–946–4173; email address: daniel.hilton@faa.gov. Before using any approved AMOC on any airplane to which the AMOC applies, notify your appropriate principal inspector (PI) in the FAA Flight Standards District Office (FSDO), or lacking a PI, your local FSDO. Related Information pwalker on PROD1PC71 with PROPOSALS (g) To get copies of the service information referenced in this AD, contact Cessna Aircraft Company, One Cessna Boulevard, P.O. Box 7706, Wichita, KS 67277–7704; telephone: (316) 517–5800; fax: (316) 942–9006. To view the AD docket, go to U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M–30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12– 140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC 20590, or on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov. Issued in Kansas City, Missouri, on March 11, 2008. David R. Showers, Acting Manager, Small Airplane Directorate, Aircraft Certification Service. [FR Doc. E8–5269 Filed 3–14–08; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P VerDate Aug<31>2005 16:11 Mar 14, 2008 Jkt 214001 Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 181 [Docket No. USCG–2007–29236] Hull Identification Numbers for Recreational Vessels Coast Guard, DHS. Request for public comments. AGENCY: ACTION: SUMMARY: The Coast Guard announces it is again requesting comments on the costs and benefits of expanding the existing 12-character Hull Identification Number (HIN) in order to provide additional information identifying vessels. The Coast Guard requests public comments on this issue and on the specific questions in this Notice. DATES: Comments and related material must reach the Docket Management Facility on or before June 16, 2008. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments identified by Coast Guard docket number USCG–2007–29236 to the Docket Management Facility at the U.S. Department of Transportation. To avoid duplication, please use only one of the following methods: (1) Online: http:// www.regulations.gov. (2) Mail: Docket Management Facility (M–30), U.S. Department of Transportation, West Building Ground PO 00000 Frm 00005 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 Follow Cessna Aircraft Company Service Bulletin CAB08–02, dated February 4, 2008. Floor, Room W12–140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC 20590– 0001. (3) Hand delivery: Room W12–140 on the Ground Floor of the West Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The telephone number is 202–366–9329. (4) Fax: 202–493–2251. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: If you have questions on this notice, call Philip Cappel, Office of Boating Safety, Recreational Boating Product Assurance Division, Coast Guard, telephone 202– 372–1076. If you have questions on viewing or submitting material to the docket, call Renee V. Wright, Program Manager, Docket Operations, telephone 202–366–9826. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Public Participation and Request for Comments We encourage you to submit comments and related material on this notice. All comments received will be posted, without change, to http:// www.regulations.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. Submitting comments: If you submit a comment, please include the docket E:\FR\FM\17MRP1.SGM 17MRP1 14194 Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 52 / Monday, March 17, 2008 / Proposed Rules pwalker on PROD1PC71 with PROPOSALS number for this notice (USCG–2007– 29236), and give the reason 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 your comments and material by only one means. We recommend that you include your name and a mailing address, an e-mail address, or a phone number in the body of your document so that we can contact you if we have questions regarding your submission. For example, we may ask you to resubmit your comment if we are not be able to read your original submission. 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 Facility, please enclose a stamped, self-addressed postcard or envelope. We will consider all comments and material received during the comment period. Viewing the comments: To view the comments, go to http:// www.regulations.gov at any time, click on ‘‘Search for Dockets,’’ and enter the docket number for this notice (USCG– 2007–29236) in the Docket ID box, and click enter. You may also visit the Docket Management Facility in Room W12–140 on the ground floor of the DOT West Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. 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://DocketsInfo.dot.gov. Background and Purpose The existing Hull Identification Number (HIN) is a unique 12-character serial number required on each recreational vessel manufactured in or imported into the United States for the purposes of sale. The Coast Guard assigns the first three characters, a Manufacturer Identification Code (MIC), which identifies the manufacturer or importer; characters four through eight are a manufacturer serial number; characters nine and ten indicate date of certification for vessels subject to safety standards or the date of manufacture for vessels not subject to standards; and VerDate Aug<31>2005 16:11 Mar 14, 2008 Jkt 214001 characters eleven and twelve indicate the model year. The proposed expanded HIN would consist of five additional characters. Four of the additional characters would indicate length, hull material, principal means of propulsion, and vessel type. The fifth additional character would be a check digit. The expanded HIN with its check digit would reflect additional information useful to law enforcement authorities, marine bankers, marine insurers, boating accident data analysts, and marine investigators, and also provide a useful means of identifying vessels in the Vessel Identification System (VIS). The VIS is only applicable to recreational vessels that are registered by a State (see 33 CFR 187.3). The Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security is required to establish the VIS (46 U.S.C. chapters 125, 131 & 313) for use by the public and law enforcement officials. The Secretary has delegated to the Commandant, U.S. Coast Guard, the authority to implement VIS. VIS will provide a nationwide pool of vessel and vessel owner information that will help in the identification and recovery of stolen vessels, deter vessel theft, and will aid in homeland security. Regulatory History We published a Request for Comments in the Federal Register on November 16, 1998 (63 FR 63638), soliciting comments on: (1) The expected benefits of an expanded HIN with vessel-specific characters and a check digit; (2) the manner in which the Coast Guard should exempt small entities and the builders of highvolume, low-cost vessels, such as canoes, kayaks, and inflatables; and (3) the estimated burdens and costs to boat manufacturers if the HIN regulations were revised to require vessel-specific characters and a check digit. The comment period closed on February 16, 1999. We received 31 comments, only one of which contained any economic data that could be used to determine the benefits of a requirement for an expanded HIN containing vesselspecific characters and a check digit. Only four comments were in favor of allowing exceptions for small entities and the builders of high-volume, lowcost vessels, such as canoes, kayaks, and inflatable boats. None of the comments contained information about the estimated burdens and costs to boat manufacturers. Discussion States, bankers, insurers, and theft and accident investigators favor an PO 00000 Frm 00006 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 expanded format. With vessel-specific characters and a check digit it would deter both vessel theft and the alteration of HIN’s for fraudulent purposes and could allow for more in-depth analysis of accident data. In addition, there are other people who favor the existing 12character HIN format. A rulemaking to increase the number of characters in the HIN to include vessel-specific information could aid in the recovery of stolen vessels, reduce fraud, improve the accuracy of accident data analysis, and help in the remote identification of a ‘‘suspect’’ vessel. In addition there may be other benefits associated with expanding the existing 12-character HIN to include certain vessel-specific information. Investigations of lost and stolen vessels depend, in large part, on the proper authorities’ ability to identify a vessel. The proposed regulations would aid in this pursuit by expanding the current 12-character HIN to include detailed information about each vessel. In addition, a check digit in the expanded HIN would make alteration of an HIN more difficult thereby helping to prevent fraud in the sale of vessels. Boating accident statistics are compiled annually by the Coast Guard from data received from the States and territories through the Boating Accident Report Database (BARD). These statistics are analyzed to, among other uses, determine the different causes of accidents and what course(s) of action, if any, may be taken by the Boating Safety Program to reduce the number of accidents. The accident analyses, however, have been hindered by the lack of specific descriptive information regarding the vessels involved in the accidents and/or the inaccuracy of the vessel descriptive data provided in the BARD system. Boating accident reports are submitted by the owner/operator of the vessel or, in the case of serious accidents, by an investigating officer. Since the accident information is being provided by thousands of different individuals the reports may not always be accurate as to the exact description of the vessel, which leads to inaccuracies in the analyses of the accident database. A 17-character HIN with the additional descriptors built into the HIN is expected to improve both the scope and the accuracy of the data analyses. Adding vessel description information to the HIN could also improve the personal safety of State water patrol officers by enabling them, prior to boarding a vessel, through the use of computer lookup of the vessel registration number, to get an accurate description of the vessel via the HIN E:\FR\FM\17MRP1.SGM 17MRP1 pwalker on PROD1PC71 with PROPOSALS Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 52 / Monday, March 17, 2008 / Proposed Rules and alert them to approach with caution if the description does not match the vessel they are planning to board. However, the Coast Guard lacks detailed information about the anticipated costs and benefits of the expanded HIN format. Also, we still believe that, if an expanded HIN format, consisting of vessel-specific characters and a check digit, is adopted, the Coast Guard should be allowed to except manufacturers that are small business entities, and manufacturers of highvolume, low-cost vessels to minimize costs and information collection burdens. Federal agencies with regulatory programs are subject to regulations implementing the Paperwork Reduction Act which are enforced by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). The intent of the Act is to ensure that the Federal Government imposes only the minimum burden on the public in collecting information and requiring the maintenance of records, and that the information collected or maintained is necessary and useful. A regulation requiring manufacturers to display labels, such as HIN’s, is an example of a collection of information requirement. The Coast Guard encourages you to comment on: (1) The expected benefits and costs of an expanded Hull Identification Number with vesselspecific characters and a check digit; (2) the manner in which the Coast Guard should except small entities and the builders of high-volume, low-cost vessels, such as canoes, kayaks, and inflatables; (3) the estimated collection of information burdens to boat manufacturers if the current 12character HIN regulation were revised to require additional vessel-specific characters and a check digit; and (4) possible alternatives to an expanded HIN. Data is needed to support a decisionmaking process. Therefore we particularly need your help in answering any of the following questions (please provide arguments or data to support each answer): 1. What are the expected benefits if the HIN on a vessel included vesselspecific characters (e.g. vessel length, hull material, means of propulsion, boat type, and check digit)? 2. What are the estimated numbers of thefts that might be prevented? 3. What are the estimated numbers of additional lost or stolen vessels that might be recovered? 4. What is the estimated value of insurance company losses that might be prevented? 5. What are the estimated numbers of fraud attempts that might be prevented? VerDate Aug<31>2005 16:11 Mar 14, 2008 Jkt 214001 6. What are the estimated reductions in investigatory expenditures? 7. What are the expected benefits from improved accident data analyses? 8. How long will it take and what will it cost to determine a 17-character HIN? 9. How long will it take and what will it cost to affix a 17-character HIN to the hull of a vessel? 10. What are the measurable resources such as labor and capital that you would include in a cost-benefit analysis of a 17-character HIN implementation? 11. Should the Coast Guard consider excepting all builders of non-powered vessels? 12. Should the Coast Guard consider excepting manufacturers of boats that sell for less than a certain dollar value? 13. What alternatives are available that would reduce adverse impacts on small entities and builders of highvolume, low-cost vessels? 14. Should the Coast Guard consider a phase-in period for compliance with a 17-character HIN regulation? What time frame would be appropriate? 15. What are effective alternatives to a 17-character HIN? Examples could include the following: a. Leave the current 12-character HIN as is. b. Implement the Vessel Identification System in lieu of implementing a 17character HIN. c. Develop a regulation requiring uniform State titling/registration policies. d. Develop a regulation requiring a uniform method to affix the HIN that would reduce the likelihood of tampering. e. Increase security around shore and harbor facilities (more officers, tracking/ monitoring devices). f. Require other security measures during vessel construction, such as barcode HINs, radio frequency identification tags, etc. Dated: March 7, 2008. James A. Watson, Rear Admiral (Lower Half), U.S. Coast Guard, Director of Prevention Policy. [FR Doc. E8–5326 Filed 3–14–08; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–15–P PO 00000 Frm 00007 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 14195 DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 50 CFR Parts 223 and 224 [Docket No. 080229341–8367–01] RIN 0648–XF89 Listing Endangered and Threatened Species and Designating Critical Habitat: Notice of Finding on a Petition to List Five Rockfish Species in Puget Sound (Washington) as Endangered or Threatened Species Under the Endangered Species Act National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Notice of finding; request for information, and initiation of status review. AGENCY: SUMMARY: On October 29, 2007, we, NMFS, received new information and a request to reconsider our ‘‘not warranted’’ finding on a petition submitted in April 2007 to list bocaccio (Sebastes paucispinis), canary rockfish (S. pinniger), yelloweye rockfish (S. ruberrimus), greenstripe rockfish (S. elongatus) and redstripe rockfish (S. proriger) in Puget Sound (Washington) as endangered or threatened species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). We consider this a new petition and find that this new petition presents substantial scientific or commercial information indicating that the petitioned actions may be warranted. Accordingly, we are initiating a status review of these five rockfish species. To ensure that the status review is complete and based upon the best available scientific and commercial information, we are soliciting information regarding the population structure and status of these rockfish species. DATES: Information and comments on the subject action must be received by May 16, 2008. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by the code 0648–XF89, addressed to: Chief, NMFS, Protected Resources Division, by any of the following methods: • Electronic Submissions: Submit all electronic comments via the Federal eRulemaking Portal http:// www.regulations.gov • Facsimile (fax): 503–231–5441 • Mail: 1201 NE Lloyd Boulevard, Suite 1100, Portland, Oregon, 97232. • Hand delivery: You may handdeliver written comments to our office E:\FR\FM\17MRP1.SGM 17MRP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 73, Number 52 (Monday, March 17, 2008)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 14193-14195]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E8-5326]


=======================================================================
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY

Coast Guard

33 CFR Part 181

[Docket No. USCG-2007-29236]


Hull Identification Numbers for Recreational Vessels

AGENCY: Coast Guard, DHS.

ACTION: Request for public comments.

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

SUMMARY: The Coast Guard announces it is again requesting comments on 
the costs and benefits of expanding the existing 12-character Hull 
Identification Number (HIN) in order to provide additional information 
identifying vessels. The Coast Guard requests public comments on this 
issue and on the specific questions in this Notice.

DATES: Comments and related material must reach the Docket Management 
Facility on or before June 16, 2008.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments identified by Coast Guard docket 
number USCG-2007-29236 to the Docket Management Facility at the U.S. 
Department of Transportation. To avoid duplication, please use only one 
of the following methods:
    (1) Online: http://www.regulations.gov.
    (2) Mail: Docket Management Facility (M-30), U.S. Department of 
Transportation, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New 
Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC 20590-0001.
    (3) Hand delivery: Room W12-140 on the Ground Floor of the West 
Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC 20590, between 9 
a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The 
telephone number is 202-366-9329.
    (4) Fax: 202-493-2251.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: If you have questions on this notice, 
call Philip Cappel, Office of Boating Safety, Recreational Boating 
Product Assurance Division, Coast Guard, telephone 202-372-1076. If you 
have questions on viewing or submitting material to the docket, call 
Renee V. Wright, Program Manager, Docket Operations, telephone 202-366-
9826.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Public Participation and Request for Comments

    We encourage you to submit comments and related material on this 
notice. All comments received will be posted, without change, to http:/
/www.regulations.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.
    Submitting comments: If you submit a comment, please include the 
docket

[[Page 14194]]

number for this notice (USCG-2007-29236), and give the reason 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 your comments and material by only 
one means. We recommend that you include your name and a mailing 
address, an e-mail address, or a phone number in the body of your 
document so that we can contact you if we have questions regarding your 
submission. For example, we may ask you to resubmit your comment if we 
are not be able to read your original submission. 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 
Facility, please enclose a stamped, self-addressed postcard or 
envelope. We will consider all comments and material received during 
the comment period.
    Viewing the comments: To view the comments, go to http://
www.regulations.gov at any time, click on ``Search for Dockets,'' and 
enter the docket number for this notice (USCG-2007-29236) in the Docket 
ID box, and click enter. You may also visit the Docket Management 
Facility in Room W12-140 on the ground floor of the DOT West Building, 
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 
p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.
    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://DocketsInfo.dot.gov.

Background and Purpose

    The existing Hull Identification Number (HIN) is a unique 12-
character serial number required on each recreational vessel 
manufactured in or imported into the United States for the purposes of 
sale. The Coast Guard assigns the first three characters, a 
Manufacturer Identification Code (MIC), which identifies the 
manufacturer or importer; characters four through eight are a 
manufacturer serial number; characters nine and ten indicate date of 
certification for vessels subject to safety standards or the date of 
manufacture for vessels not subject to standards; and characters eleven 
and twelve indicate the model year.
    The proposed expanded HIN would consist of five additional 
characters. Four of the additional characters would indicate length, 
hull material, principal means of propulsion, and vessel type. The 
fifth additional character would be a check digit. The expanded HIN 
with its check digit would reflect additional information useful to law 
enforcement authorities, marine bankers, marine insurers, boating 
accident data analysts, and marine investigators, and also provide a 
useful means of identifying vessels in the Vessel Identification System 
(VIS). The VIS is only applicable to recreational vessels that are 
registered by a State (see 33 CFR 187.3).
    The Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security is required to 
establish the VIS (46 U.S.C. chapters 125, 131 & 313) for use by the 
public and law enforcement officials. The Secretary has delegated to 
the Commandant, U.S. Coast Guard, the authority to implement VIS. VIS 
will provide a nationwide pool of vessel and vessel owner information 
that will help in the identification and recovery of stolen vessels, 
deter vessel theft, and will aid in homeland security.

Regulatory History

    We published a Request for Comments in the Federal Register on 
November 16, 1998 (63 FR 63638), soliciting comments on: (1) The 
expected benefits of an expanded HIN with vessel-specific characters 
and a check digit; (2) the manner in which the Coast Guard should 
exempt small entities and the builders of high-volume, low-cost 
vessels, such as canoes, kayaks, and inflatables; and (3) the estimated 
burdens and costs to boat manufacturers if the HIN regulations were 
revised to require vessel-specific characters and a check digit. The 
comment period closed on February 16, 1999.
    We received 31 comments, only one of which contained any economic 
data that could be used to determine the benefits of a requirement for 
an expanded HIN containing vessel-specific characters and a check 
digit. Only four comments were in favor of allowing exceptions for 
small entities and the builders of high-volume, low-cost vessels, such 
as canoes, kayaks, and inflatable boats. None of the comments contained 
information about the estimated burdens and costs to boat 
manufacturers.

Discussion

    States, bankers, insurers, and theft and accident investigators 
favor an expanded format. With vessel-specific characters and a check 
digit it would deter both vessel theft and the alteration of HIN's for 
fraudulent purposes and could allow for more in-depth analysis of 
accident data. In addition, there are other people who favor the 
existing 12-character HIN format.
    A rulemaking to increase the number of characters in the HIN to 
include vessel-specific information could aid in the recovery of stolen 
vessels, reduce fraud, improve the accuracy of accident data analysis, 
and help in the remote identification of a ``suspect'' vessel. In 
addition there may be other benefits associated with expanding the 
existing 12-character HIN to include certain vessel-specific 
information.
    Investigations of lost and stolen vessels depend, in large part, on 
the proper authorities' ability to identify a vessel. The proposed 
regulations would aid in this pursuit by expanding the current 12-
character HIN to include detailed information about each vessel.
    In addition, a check digit in the expanded HIN would make 
alteration of an HIN more difficult thereby helping to prevent fraud in 
the sale of vessels.
    Boating accident statistics are compiled annually by the Coast 
Guard from data received from the States and territories through the 
Boating Accident Report Database (BARD). These statistics are analyzed 
to, among other uses, determine the different causes of accidents and 
what course(s) of action, if any, may be taken by the Boating Safety 
Program to reduce the number of accidents. The accident analyses, 
however, have been hindered by the lack of specific descriptive 
information regarding the vessels involved in the accidents and/or the 
inaccuracy of the vessel descriptive data provided in the BARD system. 
Boating accident reports are submitted by the owner/operator of the 
vessel or, in the case of serious accidents, by an investigating 
officer. Since the accident information is being provided by thousands 
of different individuals the reports may not always be accurate as to 
the exact description of the vessel, which leads to inaccuracies in the 
analyses of the accident database. A 17-character HIN with the 
additional descriptors built into the HIN is expected to improve both 
the scope and the accuracy of the data analyses.
    Adding vessel description information to the HIN could also improve 
the personal safety of State water patrol officers by enabling them, 
prior to boarding a vessel, through the use of computer lookup of the 
vessel registration number, to get an accurate description of the 
vessel via the HIN

[[Page 14195]]

and alert them to approach with caution if the description does not 
match the vessel they are planning to board.
    However, the Coast Guard lacks detailed information about the 
anticipated costs and benefits of the expanded HIN format. Also, we 
still believe that, if an expanded HIN format, consisting of vessel-
specific characters and a check digit, is adopted, the Coast Guard 
should be allowed to except manufacturers that are small business 
entities, and manufacturers of high-volume, low-cost vessels to 
minimize costs and information collection burdens.
    Federal agencies with regulatory programs are subject to 
regulations implementing the Paperwork Reduction Act which are enforced 
by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). The intent of the Act is 
to ensure that the Federal Government imposes only the minimum burden 
on the public in collecting information and requiring the maintenance 
of records, and that the information collected or maintained is 
necessary and useful. A regulation requiring manufacturers to display 
labels, such as HIN's, is an example of a collection of information 
requirement.
    The Coast Guard encourages you to comment on: (1) The expected 
benefits and costs of an expanded Hull Identification Number with 
vessel-specific characters and a check digit; (2) the manner in which 
the Coast Guard should except small entities and the builders of high-
volume, low-cost vessels, such as canoes, kayaks, and inflatables; (3) 
the estimated collection of information burdens to boat manufacturers 
if the current 12-character HIN regulation were revised to require 
additional vessel-specific characters and a check digit; and (4) 
possible alternatives to an expanded HIN.
    Data is needed to support a decision-making process. Therefore we 
particularly need your help in answering any of the following questions 
(please provide arguments or data to support each answer):
    1. What are the expected benefits if the HIN on a vessel included 
vessel-specific characters (e.g. vessel length, hull material, means of 
propulsion, boat type, and check digit)?
    2. What are the estimated numbers of thefts that might be 
prevented?
    3. What are the estimated numbers of additional lost or stolen 
vessels that might be recovered?
    4. What is the estimated value of insurance company losses that 
might be prevented?
    5. What are the estimated numbers of fraud attempts that might be 
prevented?
    6. What are the estimated reductions in investigatory expenditures?
    7. What are the expected benefits from improved accident data 
analyses?
    8. How long will it take and what will it cost to determine a 17-
character HIN?
    9. How long will it take and what will it cost to affix a 17-
character HIN to the hull of a vessel?
    10. What are the measurable resources such as labor and capital 
that you would include in a cost-benefit analysis of a 17-character HIN 
implementation?
    11. Should the Coast Guard consider excepting all builders of non-
powered vessels?
    12. Should the Coast Guard consider excepting manufacturers of 
boats that sell for less than a certain dollar value?
    13. What alternatives are available that would reduce adverse 
impacts on small entities and builders of high-volume, low-cost 
vessels?
    14. Should the Coast Guard consider a phase-in period for 
compliance with a 17-character HIN regulation? What time frame would be 
appropriate?
    15. What are effective alternatives to a 17-character HIN? Examples 
could include the following:
    a. Leave the current 12-character HIN as is.
    b. Implement the Vessel Identification System in lieu of 
implementing a 17-character HIN.
    c. Develop a regulation requiring uniform State titling/
registration policies.
    d. Develop a regulation requiring a uniform method to affix the HIN 
that would reduce the likelihood of tampering.
    e. Increase security around shore and harbor facilities (more 
officers, tracking/monitoring devices).
    f. Require other security measures during vessel construction, such 
as barcode HINs, radio frequency identification tags, etc.

    Dated: March 7, 2008.
James A. Watson,
Rear Admiral (Lower Half), U.S. Coast Guard, Director of Prevention 
Policy.
[FR Doc. E8-5326 Filed 3-14-08; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-15-P