US Coast Guard expands review
A MEMORANDUM of understanding (MOU) has been signed by the United States Coast Guard and the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) that expands the scope of review and inspection procedures delegated to the ABS.
The document is the foundation of the Coast Guard's ABS based Alternate Compliance Programme, designed to increase the US maritime industry's international competitiveness by reducing national regulations.
The programme will eliminate duplication by the Coast Guard and the ABS when verifying whether or not ABS classed US-flag vessels conform to the required safety standards.
Admiral Robert Kramek, commander of the Coast Guard, and ABS chairman Frank Iarossi signed the MOU that delegates authority and sets guidelines for co-operation between the two organisations last week.
The MOU stipulates requirements for information exchange, programme oversight, contacts in the respective organisations, and the qualifications required for ABS personnel.
It also provides for the ABS to conduct tonnage measurement of US-flag ships for the Coast Guard according to the International Convention on the Tonnage Measurement of Ships 1969.
'This is a positive step in the promotion of Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) and toward protecting the marine environment,' Mr Kramek said.