Policy and Guidance - Mobile Offshore Drilling Unit (MODU)

The following chapters of the Marine Safety Manual, Volume II: Section G - OCS Activities are applicable to MODUs:
  ○  Chapter 1, Regulations, Policy and Guidance for a Unit Conducting an OCS Activity,
  ○  Chapter 2, Procedures Applicable to U.S. MODUs, and
  ○  Chapter 3, Procedures Applicable to Foreign MODUs.

U.S. Flagged MODUs are inspected to applicable portions of 33 CFR Subchapter N (Outer Continental Shelf Activities) and 46 CFR Subchapters I-A (Mobile Offshore Drilling Units), F (Marine Engineering), J (Electrical Engineering) & S (Subdivision and Stability). Note that additional portions of 33 CFR relating to Navigation and Pollution and 46 CFR relating to licensing/manning, lifesaving/firefighting type approvals and dangerous cargoes also apply.


Foreign-Flagged MODUs engaged in OCS activities must comply with one-of-three 'options' for "Design and Equipment" (see 33 CFR 143.207(a), (b) and (c)) AND one-of-three 'options' for "Operations" (see 33 CFR 146.205(a), (b) and (c)). Additional details related to these examination options and applicable regulatory cites are available by clicking on the following links (opens a pdf in a separate window):
  ○  Option A MODUs - examined to specific parts of the U.S. MODU regulations
  ○  Option B MODUs - PANAMA (Flag State equivalency)
  ○  Option B MODUs - MARSHALL ISLANDS (Flag State equivalency)
  ○  Option C MODUs - examined to the MODU Code, 1979
  ○  Option C MODUs - examined to the 1989 & 2009 MODU Codes ( note that 33 CFR 143.207(c) and §146.205(c) both reference the Code for Construction and Equipment of Mobile Offshore Drilling Units (1979 MODU Code), but the 1989 and 2009 MODU Codes have been accepted as equivalencies under this examination option)

Policy Letters that apply to MODUs are listed in the tables below, grouped by issuing authority and ordered from newest to oldest (by policy number).

National Level Policy
Office Policy Number Date Issued Subject

Office of Commercial Vessel Compliance
18-04 03Apr2018 Guidance on Implementation of New Standards for Fire Protection, Detection and Extinguishing Equipment
CG-CVC 17-09 27Nov2017 Issuance and Acceptance of Electronic Certificates
CG-CVC 13-02 05May2013 MARPOL Annex VI International Energy Efficiency (IEE) Certificate Implementation Guidance
CG-CVC 13-01 26Feb2013 Interim Guidance for Revised MARPOL Annex V Implementation
CG-CVC 12-08 15Oct2012 Guidance Implementing the International Convention on the Control of Harmful Ant-Fouling Systems on Ships (CANCELLED, see MSM Vol II)
CG-CVC 12-05 11Oct2012 Hours of Rest – Implementation of the 2010 Amendments to the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers, 1978
CG-CVC 12-04 25Jul2012 Guidelines for Compliance and Enforcement of the Emission Control Areas Established within the United States Jurisdiction as Designated in MARPOL Annex VI Regulation 14
CG-543 11-06 08Jun2011 Risk-Based Targeting of Foreign Flagged Mobile Offshore Drilling Units (MODUs) (CANCELLED, see MSM Vol II)
11-04 13Apr2011 Compliance Verification of Alternative Security Program for MTSA Regulated Vessels and Facilities
CG-543 11-01 11Feb2011 Guidelines for Coast Guard Evaluations of Compliance with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Vessel General Permit (VGP) for Discharges Incidental to the Normal Operation of Vessels
CG-543 10-05 26Nov2010 Electronic Navigation Publications onboard U.S. Vessels
CG-543 10-01 04Mar2010 Use of Single Voyage Load Line Authorizations
CG-543 09-02 12Aug2009 Industry Guidelines for Requesting Alternate Planning Criteria Approval, One Time Waivers and Interim Operating Authorization
CG-543 09-01 04Feb2009 Guidelines for Ensuring Compliance with Annex VI to the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL) 73/78; Prevention of Air Pollution from Ships
G-MOC 05-02 03May2005 Guidelines for Interim Voluntary Implementation of Annex VI to the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL) 73/78; Prevention of Air Pollution from Ships
G-MOC 04-13, Rev-1 24Mar2005 Guidelines for the Inspection of Oily Water Monitor and Separator Systems
G-MOC 04-06 10Aug2004 Guidance for Ballast Water Regulations
G-MOC 04-05 29Mar2004 Guidance when Considering Exemptions from the SOLAS Requirement to Carry Voyage Data Recorders (VDR)
G-MOC 04-02 17May2004 Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) Operator Requirements
G-MOC 03-03 08Sep2003 Guidelines for Equivalent Compliance with (Revised) MARPOL 73/78 Annex IV (Sewage)
G-MOC 02-01 08Feb2002 Regular Compliment Crew Determinations for Vessels Engaged in OCS Activities (CANCELLED, see MSM Vol II)
G-MOC 01-03 18Oct2001 Pressure Vessel Internal Examination and Relief Valve Testing for Foreign Flag MODUs Operating on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) (CANCELLED, see MSM Vol II)
G-MOC 01-01 13Apr2001 Cargo Ship Fixed Fire-Extinguishing System SOLAS Exemptions
G-MOC 1-99 15Dec1998 Guidance on Port State Control ISM Code Enforcement

Office of Design and Engineering Standards
CG-ENG 01-18 01May2018 Equivalency Determination – FRP Gratings Conforming to ASTM F3059
CG-ENG 01-16 29Apr2016 Portable Accommodation Module (PAM) Guidance
CG-ENG 03-15 03Sep2015 Acceptance of CAP-437, Standards for Offshore Helicopter Landing Areas
CG-ENG 02-14 30Apr2014 Approval of Equivalencies to the Requirements for Odorizing Units on Fixed Carbon Dioxide Fire Extinguishing Systems
CG-ENG 01-14 04Mar2014 Lifeboat Release Mechanisms: Policy on Implementation of New SOLAS Regulation III/1.5 and IMO Circular MSC.1/Circ.1392
CG-ENG 05-12 07Sep2012 Policy on the Implementation of Additional Personnel Safety Requirements for Carbon Dioxide Fire Suppression Systems
CG-ENG 02-12 07May2012 Acceptance of the 2009 MODU Code

National Maritime Center
NMC 05-01 06Mar2001 Lifeboatmen and Proficiency in Survival Craft (PSC) Qualifications for Service on Vessels not Equipped with Lifeboats


District Eight (D8) Policy
Policy Number Date Issued Subject
30Sep2003 Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Emergency Evacuation Plan (EEP) Approvals
01-2002 25Oct2002 Delegation of Authority to OCMIs to Grant Drydock Extensions
07-1999 14Jul1999 Loadline Extension Authority up to 150 Days for Approved Assignment Authority
09-1998 25Sep1998 Detainment of Vessels after a Serious Marine Incident
04-1998 06Apr1998 Drug and Alcohol Testing
08-1997 13Aug1997 Testing of Liferaft Hydrostatic Release
11-1995 20Nov1995 Eighth District Drug and Alcohol Policy
08-1989 22Aug1989 MODU Tailshaft Drawing Intervals


For a pdf of the applicability flowchart displayed below, click here.