The first step in every approval (or modification to an existing approval) is the pre-approval design review. Several of the accepted independent labs have the authority to perform this review on our behalf, with pre-approval from our office. If you chose this option, we will work with you and the selected lab to ensure that everyone agrees to the correct process before you begin.
Once the design review is complete and we have accepted the results, prototype testing is typically scheduled with the nearest Coast Guard inspection office in coordination with our office. All prototype testing must be witnessed by a USCG inspector with very limited exceptions. We require prototype testing even if you have made the same model previously for other Administrations. We may also require a new prototype test for modifications to a USCG approved product if we determine that the proposed modifications warrant repeating the test. For example, an increase in safe working load, change in materials for load-bearing parts, etc, would typically require repeated prototype testing.
After satisfactory prototype testing, you must submit the completed test forms, and any other remaining items from the design review phase, to our office for final approval. At this point we will provide an approval certificate.
All production testing for subsequent units must be witnessed by an independent lab. You must identify this lab in advance, and the lab you select will be listed on the approval certificate. Please note that when you search for an independent lab at http://cgmix.uscg.mil/EQLabs/
, you must include the 'approval series' in your search. For example, the approval series for winches is '160.115'.
The lab may have additional requirements before agreeing to take on production testing for your winches. For example, they may want to do plan review to their own (or IACS) standards, attend prototype testing and/or issue their own approvals. We recommend that you discuss this with the lab you select before proceeding with the approval process.