COVID-19 – Vessel Inspections, Exams, and Documentation

USCG Navigation Circulars(NVICs) and Policy

Document Number:09-20
Type of Document:MSIB
Published Date:March 26, 2020
Effective Date:March 26, 2020
Current Status:Effective
During this National emergency for COVID-19 it is paramount that the Coast Guard safeguards the continued operation of the Marine Transportation System (MTS) to ensure the domestic supply chain continues uninterrupted. Commercial vessel compliance activities should, to the extent possible, continue so as to safeguard the MTS and prevent an undue backlog from causing future delays. To facilitate the safe flow of commerce, the Coast Guard will liberally use remote inspection techniques to verify vessel compliance and, if needed, defer inspections.

The attached Marine Safety Information Bulletin (MSIB) is the Coast Guard's current position on commercial vessel compliance activities: Prior to boarding a vessel or immediately prior to conducting a pre-exam/inspection meeting, Marine Inspectors, Port State Control Officers (PSCOs), and Commercial Fishing Vessel Examiners will verify with the vessel representative that there are no ill persons onboard. Coast Guard personnel will practice the appropriate protective measures as outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The MSIB contains instructions for U.S. Flagged Vessel and OCS Inspections, Recognized Organizations (ROs) and Third Party Organizations (TPOs) conducting surveys and audits on behalf of the Coast Guard, Port State Control (PSC) Exams, and other items.
    View this regulation in PDF format.

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