ACCEPTANCE GUIDANCE & INFORMATION
The general requirements for Acceptance of an independent laboratory are listed in Title 46 CFR § 159.010-3, with additional product-specific requirements found in the applicable subparts.
(a) To be accepted by the Coast Guard as an independent laboratory, a laboratory must—
(1) Be engaged, as a regular part of its business, in performing inspections and tests that are the same as or similar to the inspections and tests required in the applicable subpart;
(2) Possess or have access to the apparatus, facilities, personnel, and calibrated instruments that are necessary to inspect and test the equipment or material under the applicable subpart; In addition, for testing under the FTP Code, have ISO 17025 accreditation from accreditation body who is a full member of the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC) or a recognized accreditation body by the National Cooperation for Laboratory Accreditation (NACLA).
(3) Not be owned or controlled by—
(i) The manufacturer of the equipment or material to be inspected or tested under this subchapter or any manufacturer of similar equipment or material;
(ii) A vendor of the equipment or material to be inspected or tested under this subchapter or a vendor of similar equipment or material; or
(iii) A supplier of materials to the manufacturer;
(4) Not be dependent on Coast Guard acceptance under this subchapter to remain in business; and
(5) Not advertise or promote the manufacturer’s equipment or material that the laboratory inspects and tests under this subchapter.
APPLICATION FOR ACCEPTANCE
The process is initiated when the independent laboratory applies for Acceptance, according to 46 CFR 159.010-5. As part of the application, the laboratory must specify which equipment or material it wishes to test, and submit evidence that it meets the requirements for that equipment or material, as specified in the applicable subpart. If the laboratory is not government-owned or a classification society, they must also provide details of their business structure, including any owners or officers, to demonstrate independence.
(a) Each application for acceptance of an organization as an independent laboratory must contain the following:
(1) The name and address of the organization.
(2) A list of the equipment or material that the organization would inspect, or test, or both, under this subchapter.
(3) A description of the organization’s experience and its qualifications for conducting the inspections and tests required in the applicable subpart. Often, laboratories send in resumes while the application is aimed at the ability of the laboratory to meet the requirements for the positions. The information should reflect what the lab would require when filling the position, not the current occupant. However, the current occupant is expected to at least meet or exceed the requirements given in the application.
(4) A description of the apparatus and facilities available to the organization for conducting those inspections and tests.
(5) If instruments are used in the required tests and inspections, a description of the instrument calibration program applying to those instruments
(6) The position titles of personnel who are to perform, supervise, or witness those inspections or tests, along with the training and experience required for personnel in those positions.
(Position titles and qualifications for these positions should be identified rather than identifying individuals.)
(7) A statement signed by the chief officer of the organization or the chief officer’s representative, that an official representative of the Coast Guard is allowed access upon request to the place where tests and inspections take place, to verify the information submitted in the application, or to witness tests and inspections.
(b) Each application for acceptance as an independent laboratory that is not submitted by an agency of a state or another national government, or by a classification society, must also contain the following:
(1) The name and address of each subsidiary and division of the organization, or a statement that none are involved in the testing or manufacturing of equipment approved under this subchapter.
(2) The name, title, address, and principal business activity of each of the organization’s officers and directors, and the name, address, and principal business activity of each person, company, or corporation that owns at least three percent interest in the organization or in a company or corporation that controls the organization.
Please send the Submittal Package and other related information to TypeApproval@uscg.mil.
After we have completed a review of the submittal package, we will contact the laboratory to arrange on site inspection of the testing facility. For laboratories located outside the United States, the laboratory is required to pay travel expenses for the facility inspection.
Once the laboratory has been accepted, it will be issued an acceptance letter, and its name will be listed under the U. S. Coast Guard Accepted Independent Laboratory Database.