Contact Us

 Type Approval

This email should be used to: submit formal request(s) for a new approval(s); request a renewal of an existing approval; follow-up on an open project; or inquires involving type approved equipment. See acceptable file formats below. If applicable, please also note our section below entitled, “What to submit when corresponding with ENG-4 regarding equipment approvals/renewal.” ENG-4 can accept electronic submissions via e-mail up to 10 MB in file size. For larger files, see section Internet File Exchange below.

Inquiries pertaining to known lifesaving or fire protection equipment, please include the approval number, e.g,, and date of manufacture (month/year) marked on the equipment. This will help us determine the correct certificate of approval as well as find any applicable plans, specifications, or other documents that might assist us with your query.


We are unable to accept submissions via a commercial file-share site or company’s ftp site.  Additionally, we cannot accept executable files, most zip files, or very large attachments to email (generally over 10 MB). If your files do not meet these limitations, please contact us about transferring your files with the U.S. DoD's "SAFE" (Secure Access File Exchange site which allows us to transfer up to 8GB securely. You must contact us first and indicate you wish to send us files electronically before using SAFE.  Please ask your assigned staff engineer to obtain a request code for SAFE.  Once we have done this, the code will be sent to you and then you will be able to “drop-off” your files.  Request codes last approximately 14 days and your uploaded files will only stay on the File Exchange for 4 days at which point the system automatically deletes them.  Again, please review our formatting and approval submission requirements below prior to submittal by reviewing What to submit when corresponding with ENG-4 regarding equipment approvals/renewal.

Occasionally, submissions under 10 MB are rejected by our e-mail server. If your submission is rejected by e-mail multiple times, or you do not receive a confirmation email within 5 business days indicating that your submission has been processed and assigned a Project Number, please send a follow-up email to without any attachments for assistance.



*** Please do not mail us USB flash drives, a.k.a. thumb drives. We are prohibited from retrieving information from them with our IT hardware.***

You may send us your paper documents or a CD/DVD containing all documents/files by mail. See acceptable formats below and our section below entitled, “What to submit when corresponding with ENG-4 regarding equipment approvals/renewal.” Our mailing address:

WASHINGTON DC 20593-7509

The Coast Guard, by direction of the Department of Homeland Security, no longer accepts deliveries from DHL. The only acceptable parcel carriers for submitting plans and supporting information to CG-ENG-4 are now:

  • United States Postal Service (USPS)
  • United Parcel Service (UPS)
  • Federal Express (FEDEX)

DHS has instituted a mandatory screening program for all incoming mail. As a result, most mail that is submitted to USCG HQ is subjected to this screening process. There is a possibility that digital media and certain forms of paper may be damaged during the screening process. We recommend that submitters avoid sending CDs or DVDs in plastic “jewel” cases. Paper CD sleeves or protective mailing envelopes are currently the best option for sending electronic information via conventional mail or courier.

 Questions from the field

We are here to help answer questions from the field regarding:

  • type approvals of fire safety and lifesaving equipment,
  • Subchapter Q,
  • SOLAS Chapters II-2 & III,
  • the LSA and FTP Codes, and
  • carriage requirements in Subchapter W and other subchapters specific to vessel type.

However, before you contact us at our type approval email address, we suggest you first discuss your issues with your SMIs, MITO, ACID, CID, PDH, District Office, and/or applicable NCOE. If your unit still needs assistance, please route any inquiries through the CID/MITO or unit equivalent.

For inquires related to type approved equipment or standards on a specific vessel, please provide:

  • the vessel's name, build date, an official number (e.g., IMO or CG), and certificated route;
  • the applicable Subchapter and/or regulation pertaining to the vessel;
  • SOLAS applicability; and
  • whether the vessel is enrolled in ACP and/or MSP.
 What to submit when corresponding with ENG-4 regarding equipment approval.

Please provide a brief description of what it is you are requesting, e.g., a request for a new approval, a request for renewal, case by case approval or clarification. If your request involves a specific vessel, please also include the information requested above.

Your request can be included in the body of an e-mail, or in an attached “cover letter”. If you are submitting a CD/DVD, an electronic “cover letter” on the CD/DVD (or hard copy mailed with it) outlining your request is still greatly appreciated. Please see review our recommendations for how to properly mail CDs, etc.

Where the relevant regulations or guidance require the submittal of engineering drawings or manuals in triplicate please, do so only if you are mailing hardcopies of your application submission. If submitting electronically, a single copy of any document or file is sufficient.

If a Project Number has not yet been assigned, we suggest including in the text of the subject line “New Request”. If you are responding to a reply to an open project, or following-up with additional information, please include the ENG-4 Project Number (in the format 20xx-xxxx) in the subject line.

Once the Project Number has been assigned, including it on all correspondence will greatly improve the accuracy and shorten the time required to process your requests!

The following listed information should be included in your submission regarding equipment approval or renewals.

  • Project Number (if already assigned, otherwise “New Request” in subject block);
  • Contact information (name, phone, e-mail, address);
  • If the request is a renewal or a modification, please include the existing approval number, and identify any plans, specifications, calculations, and manuals that have changed since the last approval.

If a submitter has questions about what must be submitted, we highly encourage you to send your questions to our type approval email address before submitting your request.

 Acceptable formats for document submissions

Acceptable formats for electronic submittals include Microsoft Office application files, and Adobe Acrobat. We have limited capabilities to review AutoCad files, and would prefer if you convert them to Adobe Acrobat. Additionally, we cannot accept executable files, most zip files, or very large attachments to email (generally over 10 MB). If your files do not meet these limitations, please contact us about transferring your files with the U.S. DoD's "SAFE" (Secure Access File Exchange site which allows us to transfer up to 8GB securely.  Please also consider converting .jpeg or other file-format photos to Acrobat as well to reduce file size. We also need the capability to electronically comment, combine and stamp drawings, therefore please ensure any security settings on electronic files submitted allow these functions. Before sending us files by email, consider reaching us at our type approval email address to discuss document formats or to resolve concerns about the security of the information you submit to us.

 Common elements left out of some submissions
The following list of items is often not included in the initial submission for approval/renewal. Please ensure that you include them when applicable:
  1. Name of the independent laboratory that will perform the required oversight;
  2. A list of drawings, specifications, manuals, and any other documentation submitted, with each document identified by number, title, revision issue, and date. This is commonly referred to as a “master drawing list”;
  3. A complete material list, with each material referenced to a U.S. national standard or, if a copy is provided in English, an equivalent international standard;
  4. Sufficient documentation to establish equivalency for materials not incorporated by reference in the applicable regulation pertaining to the equipment. It is the responsibility of the submitter to demonstrate another material has equal or superior characteristics to that of the material incorporated by reference;
  5. If completed at the time of application,
    • Operations and Maintenance Manual required by the applicable regulations, e.g., follows the general format and content specified in MSC.1 Circ. 1205;
    • Specifications for marking and labeling that meet the requirements in the applicable regulations.
When the independent lab has performed preapproval plan review, the submitter should send to ENG-4 the following:
  • A cover letter requesting Coast Guard Type Approval of the equipment;
  • The Independent Laboratories Report indicating compliance with the applicable regulations, e.g., “Design Assessment”, or “Design Verification Report.”
  • Top level assembly drawings, specifically the main General Assembly drawings, stamped by the independent lab; and
  • If completed at the time of application, the Operations and Maintenance Manual in the format required by the applicable regulations.
 Return correspondence from Commandant (ENG-4)
  • All submissions to ENG-4, whether by e-mail or written correspondence, which establish new business, will receive an e-mail to the submitter stating that the submission was received.
  • Most submissions will receive a Project Number, in the format 20xx-xxxx. Typically only questions or comments requiring brief responses will not receive a Project Number.
  • Unless otherwise requested, ENG-4 will respond to all submissions by e-mail and formal correspondence from us will by digitally signed and returned electronically.