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USCG issues FAQs on life-saving appliances

USCG issues FAQs on life-saving appliances

USCG Office of Design and Engineering Standards, released FAQs focused on IMO Resolution MSC.402(96) and Navigation and Vessel Inspection Circular (NVIC) 03-19.

Through the FAQs, USCG provides guidance on “Maintenance, Thorough Examination, Operational Testing, Overhaul And Repair Of Lifeboats And Rescue Boats, Launching Appliances And Release Gear”.

In order to best serve our customers, we have compiled a list of answers to frequently asked questions. The guidance in these FAQs are not a substitute for applicable legal requirements and are not intended to impose legally-binding requirements on any party.

… as USCG stated.

What is the significance of MSC Resolutions 402(96) and 404(96), and NVIC 03-19?

Resolution MSC.404(96) amended SOLAS Chapter III to incorporate requirements for maintenance, thorough examination, operational testing, overhaul and repair of lifeboats and rescue boats, launching appliances and release gear, adopted by the Maritime Safety Committee by resolution MSC.402(96).

NVIC 03-19 was published to provide the U.S. Coast Guard’s recommendations with complying with the amendments to SOLAS III and resolution MSC.402(96). These resolutions apply to vessels subject to SOLAS, including those vessels enrolled in the Alternate Compliance Program (ACP) and/or the Maritime Security Program.

For those vessels that are not subject to the requirements of SOLAS, the United States Coast Guard (USCG) recommends they also follow the guidance in NVIC 03-19 when servicing their lifesaving equipment. (See paragraph 5 of NVIC 03-19).

What do these Resolutions and NVIC update or replace?

MSC.402(96) replaces MSC.1/Circ.1206/Rev.1 and MSC.1/Circ.1277. NVIC 03-19 cancels and replaces NVIC 04-07.

Who is the intended audience of NVIC 03-19?

US Flag Vessel owners and operators, USCG marine inspectors, class societies authorized under USCG’s ACP, lifesaving equipment manufacturers, servicing and repair facilities, and associated personnel.

Do these Requirements apply to fixed or floating platforms?

MSC.402(96) and NVIC 03-19 are not required for fixed/floating platforms, however, the USCG recommends that all vessels and platforms that have equipment holding approval under series 160.115, 160.132, 160.133, 160.135, 160.156, and 160.170 conduct the maintenance outlined in MSC.402(96) according to the guidance in NVIC 03-19.

How does the USCG define “make” and “type”?

The USCG definitions of make and type are outlined in Enclosure 3 of NVIC 03-19.  In fact, “make” is refers to the equipment manufacturer.

While, the “type” refers to the US Coast Guard approval series for the equipment, e.g., 160.135. An Authorized Service Provider (ASP) authorized to work on a type of LSA is therefore authorized to work on any equipment under that approval series. See also Q&A in the section below on “AUTHORIZED SERVICE PROVIDERS”.

How do I provide feedback to USCG about their implementation?

In order to provide supporting documentation for future discussions concerning the application of IMO Resolution MSC.402(96), you are encouraged to inform the Commandant (CG-ENG-4) of any practical problems encountered in the implementation of its provisions, particularly with regard to availability of Authorized Service Providers. (see paragraph 6.f. of NVIC 03-19). This feedback should be submitted to

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