Cargo Securing Manuals to be Required on Cargo Vessels on International Voyages
The Coast Guard has issued an interim rule that, effective June 8, will align its regulations with requirements in the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea by requiring U.S. and foreign self-propelled cargo vessels of 500 gross tons or more, traveling on international voyages and carrying cargo that is other than solid or liquid bulk cargo, to have cargo securing manuals on board. However, the Coast Guard expects very few vessels to be affected by this requirement because most foreign vessels operating in U.S. waters are already subject to their flag state’s SOLAS CSM-aligned requirements and all U.S. vessels already voluntarily comply with those requirements to obtain SOLAS certificates necessary for entering foreign ports.
The Coast Guard is requesting public comment no later than Aug. 8 on its intention to extend the CSM requirement to self-propelled cargo vessels under 500 gross tons if they carry dangerous goods in packaged form on international voyages.
This interim rule also (a) requires any accidental loss or deliberate jettisoning of a container or other cargo at sea to be reported immediately and (b) authorizes recognized classification societies or other approval authorities to review and approve CSMs on behalf of the Coast Guard.