National Centers of Expertise (NCOE's), a key part of the Marine Safety Enhancement Plan, were initiated in 2007 and documented in a string of ALCOAST messages, culminating with ALCOAST 131/09 which established overarching expectations for all NCOE's. The purpose of the NCOE's was formally established in law with H.R. 3619, Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2010, Section 521 which amended Title 14 USC Chapter 3 by adding paragraph 58

The Commandant of the Coast Guard may establish and operate one or more centers of expertise for prevention and response missions of the Coast Guard.Each center shall:

  1. Promote and facilitate education, training, and research;
  2. Develop a repository of information on its missions and specialties; and
  3. Perform any other missions as the Commandant may specify.

The Cruise Ship National Center of Expertise (CSNCOE), located in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, is the repository of Coast Guard expertise and best practices on the FPVE program and is focused on raising the competency, capabilities, and consistency Coast Guard wide in the field of cruise ship safety, environmental, and security requirements and examinations. As the industry liaison, the CSNCOE provides training and mission support to the Coast Guard and industry alike by memorializing a blend of these mentioned activities thus ensuring the lines of communication and interaction continue. These responsibilities are carried out efficiently through regular communication and facilitative roles with industry stakeholders, Coast Guard inspectors/investigators at Sector units, District, Area, FORCECOM and Coast Guard Headquarters offices.