PVA's Flagship SMS gains Coast Guard recognition

JUNE 26, 2017 — The Passenger Vessel Association (PVA) reports that on June 12, 2017, the Coast Guard's national Director of Inspections and Compliance formally recognized PVA's Flagship Safety Management System (SMS) as an acceptable method for developing and implementing a company specific voluntary SMS.

In a letter to PVA's Executive Director, Captain Jennifer Williams stated, "The U.S. Coast Guard completed its review and has determined that Flagship SMS meets the objectives and functional requirements of a SMS as per 33 Code of Federal Regulations Part 96, and this voluntary program can be accepted by the Coast Guard as it endeavors to enhance regulatory compliance and safety on domestic passenger vessels."

Captain Williams' letter also acknowledged that vessel companies that effectively implement PVA Flagship SMS will be recognized and considered by local Coast Guard inspection offices for reduced scope of inspections under the Coast Guard Risk Based Decision Making policy for small passenger vessels.

In response to the letter, PVA's Executive Director John Groundwater stated, "We are pleased with the Coast Guard's formal recognition of the PVA Flagship SMS program. This voluntary program was developed in partnership with the Coast Guard, and exemplifies PVA's commitment to safety. PVA member companies work to continuously improve upon their already excellent safety record."

The PVA Flagship SMS is a voluntary alternative safety management system, created by PVA members specifically for vessel operators to utilize in implementing their own SMS. It is tailored for domestic passenger and small passenger vessels.

A safety management system is a structured and documented system enabling both shoreside and vessel personnel to effectively manage safety through a proactive culture of continual improvement. Overall, it is the commitment, competence, attitudes, and motivation of all personnel at all levels within a company that will determine the successful implementation of any safety management system.

CAPT Williams closed her letter by acknowledging the acceptance of the PVA Flagship SMS as "an important first step in instilling a culture of safety industry wide, and I greatly value PVA's partnership and commitment to achieving this common goal."

The complete recognition letter can be found HERE.


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