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November 3, 2010

USCG sets out policy on banning substandard ships

The U.S. Coast Guard has released policy letter 10-03, Banning of Foreign Vessels. It outlines Coast Guard procedures for denying entry of certain foreign flagged commercial vessels into any port or place in the United States as a result of the vessel's history of operating in a continuous substandard condition in waters subject to United States jurisdiction.

This policy became effective on September 1, 2010.

The U.S. Coast Guard says that occasionally it intercepts vessels arriving into U.S. waters that consistently demonstrate a substandard condition and, thus, fail to comply with the requirements found in international conventions and domestic regulations. Previously, there was no mechanism in place to effectively and consistently respond to repeat offenders. The U.S. Coast Guard's Banning of Foreign Vessels policy should provide a systematic approach to addressing these vessels. This policy aligns the U.S. Coast Guard with other SOLAS signatory flag States who currently have policies and procedures in place for processing vessels that repeatedly operate in a substandard condition.

Policy Implementation

The U.S. Coast Guard will continue to screen, prioritize, and coordinate all foreign vessel exams in accordance with existing policies. When a vessel has been repeatedly detained (meaning three or more detentions within twelve months) and it is determined by the U.S. Coast Guard's Foreign and Offshore Vessels Division (CG-5432) that failure to effectively implement the SMS was a contributing factor for the substandard condition(s) that led to the detentions, the vessel will be denied entry into any port or place in the United States in compliance with 33 U.S.C. 1228 and 1223(b) until specified actions are completed to the satisfaction of the Coast Guard.

Read the policy letter HERE


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