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December 19, 2003

USCG issues slew of security NVIC's

The U.S. Coast Guard has just published a batch of Navigation and Vessel Inspection Circulars (NVIC's) related to implementation of the Marine Transportation Security Act and ISPS. They are available at http://www.uscg.mil/hq/g-m/nvic/index00.htm.

The NVIC's are:

  • Guidelines for development of area maritime security committees and area maritime security plans required for U.S. ports
  • Coast Guard Port State Control targeting boarding policy for vessel security and safety
  • Implementation guidance for the maritime security regulations mandated by the Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002 for outer continental shelf facilities
  • Guidance for verification of vessel security plans on domestic vessels in accordance with the regulations mandated by the Maritime Transportation Security Act (MTSA) of 2002 and International Ship & Port Facility Security (ISPS)
  • Implementation guidance for the regulations mandated by the Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002 (MTSA) for facilities

A Navigation and Vessel Inspection Circular (NVIC) provides detailed guidance about the enforcement or compliance with a certain Federal marine safety regulations and Coast Guard marine safety programs. While NVIC's are non-directive, meaning that they do not have the force of law, they are important "tools" for complying with the law. Non-compliance with a NVIC is not a violation of the law in and of itself, however non-compliance with a NVIC may be an indication that there is non-compliance with a law, a regulation or a policy.

NVIC's are used internally by the Coast Guard to ensure that inspections and other regulatory actions conducted by field personnel are adequate, complete and consistent. Likewise, mariners, the marine industry and the general public use NVIC's as means of determining how the Coast Guard will be enforcing certain regulations or conducting various marine safety programs.

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