Structural Fire Protection
GENERAL APPROVAL REQUIREMENTS
Most structural fire protection (SFP) materials may be submitted for approval under various approval series codified in Title 46 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Subchapter Q, Part 164 "Materials". All current Federal Regulations may be found at https://www.ecfr.gov. Additionally, SFP materials classified as H-class are approved under 4 additional approval series. See below list of "SFP APPROVAL SERIES".
All of the SFP approval series below are approved principally to IMO standards, however, they may be used on U.S. flag vessels subject to SOLAS (international routes) or domestic routes.
The SFP approval series in Subchapter Q incorporate by reference the 2010 Fire Test Procedures Code (2010 FTP Code). In addition to the fire tests, the FTP Code contains pass/fail criteria as well as additional requirements. The FTP Code includes requirements for follow-up inspections at the manufacturer's plant by an acceptable third party. For the Coast Guard, these third parties are independent laboratories.
SFP APPROVALS COVERED BY A MUTUAL RECOGNITION AGREEMENT
Several SFP approval series are eligible for reciprocal approval covered by a mutual recognition agreement. See NVIC 02-19 ch1. Eligibility is also discussed below for each SFP approval series.
TESTING AND APPROVAL PROCESS
For those manufacturers seeking approval through the Coast Guard, we do not test materials or systems for approval but rather specify the required test methods and minimum performance criteria for approval which must be performed by an independent testing laboratory. Product testing must be performed by a Coast Guard Accepted or Recognized Independent Laboratory. Some products may require an active third-party quality control (follow-up) program before approval is issued. NVIC 02-06 provides information on acceptable practices for a follow-up program between the manufacturer and an overseeing third party.
Additional information on the Coast Guard’s approach to structural fire protection can be found in Navigation and Vessel Inspection Circular NVIC 9-97 (replaces NVIC 6-80). This document, while not regulations, is intended to explain the regulations and provide guidance as well as examples of accepted constructions.
SUBMITTING AN APPROVAL REQUEST TO US
Please send the Submittal Package and other related information to TypeApproval@uscg.mil. For details, please see What to submit when corresponding with ENG-4 regarding equipment approvals/renewal. Submission of emails with file attachments above 10MB will not be received. For files over 10 MB, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will send you a request to drop-off files at DoD SAFE (Secure Access File Exchange).
SUBMITTAL PACKAGE: Please submit the follow information in the Submittal Package:
- A cover letter requesting Coast Guard Type Approval of the equipment.
- A test report from the Accepted Independent Laboratory showing compliance with the above standard.
- Evidence that an acceptable follow-up factory inspection program with the Accepted Independent Laboratory is in place
- Required plans and a copy of the installation instructions.
CERTIFICATE OF APPROVAL (COA)
If the material meets the appropriate test criteria and follow-up services to the satisfaction of the Coast Guard, the manufacturer will be issued a Certificate of Approval (COA) for the product. The COA will be issued for up to 5 years and will remain valid during that time period if the product meets the testing of the Quality Control Program. The approval will also be listed on the Coast Guard’s Approved Equipment website: http://cgmix.uscg.mil/Equipment/. Approvals found in CGMIX may be used to select materials for ship construction.