Coast Guard Type Approval


CG-ENG-4 manages the Coast Guard Type Approval program in the areas of:

Additionally, CG-ENG-4 manages the Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) between the US, EC and EEA EFTA.  For more information on this, please visit our MRA page


Type Approval

Type Approval is the primary process for equipment and materials to receive Coast Guard approval. For equipment or materials to receive Type Approval, they must be demonstrated to comply with the relevant requirements in the regulations, successfully complete the specified tests, and be enrolled in a quality control or follow up program as required. The Coast Guard establishes technical and testing requirements for approved equipment found in 46 CFR Subchapter Q (Note – For the carriage and arrangement requirements for this equipment, please refer to the applicable Subchapter for the vessel in question). Equipment manufacturers are responsible for having the testing done, often by an independent laboratory.

Coast Guard engineers evaluate the design features of the device and the laboratory's test report. If the device passes the tests and meets all of the other requirements, the Coast Guard issues a formal approval certificate with a number that the manufacturer will affix to each approved device of the same design. After a design is formally approved, the manufacturer conducts certain production inspections and tests to make sure that production runs of approved items continue to meet the requirements for the device that was originally approved. The Certificate of Approval is valid for five years, and the approval will be listed on the Coast Guard Marine Information Exchange (CGMIX).

If the manufacturer changes any part of an approved item, the Coast Guard evaluates the changes before they are included in any device which is claimed as Coast Guard approved. Sometimes, this means that additional testing is required.

There is presently no charge by the U. S. Coast Guard for issuing a certificate of approval. However, all costs at the testing laboratory for testing and for any factory follow-up inspections are the responsibility of the applicant. Where the Coast Guard supervises tests and inspections outside the United States, the applicant must agree to reimburse the Coast Guard for the travel and subsistence expenses of the inspector.

For a complete listing of USCG Type Approved Equipment, please visit the Coast Guard Marine Information Exchange (CGMIX).


If you have any Type Approval related questions, please see our Contact Us page or send an email to