Outer Continental Shelf National Center of Expertise (OCSNCOE)
Policy and Guidance - Vessels involved in OCS Activities
The following content is available on this page (content is organized under the respective tabs):
1) USCG Marine Safety Manual (MSM), Vol II;
2) Reference Books and Guides (compiled by subject);
3) Code of Federal Regulations (CFRs), including "Old" CFRs;
4) National Policy;
5) District Eight (Gulf of Mexico) Policy; and
6) Navigation and Vessel Inspection Circulars (NVICs).
Marine Safety Manual
Vessels that support or conduct OCS Activities fall under numerous vessel types and categories. The majority of the vessels that are involved in this work are Offshore Supply Vessels (OSVs), Industrial Vessels or Small Passenger Vessels. These vessels are mostly regulated under 46 CFR Subchapters L, I and T, respectively. 46 CFR Subchapters D, F, J, O and S and 33 CFR also have applicabilities to these vessel types. For vessels involved in OCS Activities, the following chapters in the Marine Safety Manual (MSM), Volume II: Section G - OCS Activities apply:
○ Chapter 1, Regulations, Policy and Guidance for a Unit Conducting an OCS Activity, and
○ Chapter 6, Procedures Applicable to Other Vessels Engaged in OCS Activities.
Reference books and guides (compiled by subject)
Reference "Books" and Guides (by subject):
○ Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) Guide
○ Introduction to Dynamic Positioning (DP) Systems
○ Vessel General Permit
Code of Federal Regulations (CFRs)
CFRs that pertain to support vessels are as follows:
Primary subchapters for the vessel type -
○ 46 CFR Subchapter I - Cargo and Miscellaneous Vessels (often referred to as Industrial Vessels)
○ 46 CFR Subchapter L - Offshore Supply Vessels
○ 46 CFR Subchapter T - Small Passenger Vessels (Under 100 Gross Tons)
Additional subchapters that apply (not all will apply to each of the vessels inspected under the subchapters listed above) -
○ 46 CFR Subchapter A - Procedures Applicable to the Public
○ 46 CFR Subchapter B - Merchant Marine Officers and Seamen
○ 46 CFR Subchapter E - Load Lines
○ 46 CFR Subchapter F - Marine Engineering
○ 46 CFR Subchapter G - Documentation and Measurement of Vessels
○ 46 CFR Subchapter J - Electrical Engineering
○ 46 CFR Subchapter Q - Equipment, Construction and Materials: Specifications and Approval
○ 46 CFR Subchapter S - Subdivision and Stability
Note that 46 CFR Subchapters D, I-A, N, O, V or W, or portions thereof, may also be utilized for vessels with specific arrangements/equipment or involved in specific operations.
○ 33 CFR Subchapter D - International Navigation Rules
○ 33 CFR Subchapter E - Inland Navigation Rules
○ 33 CFR Subchapter F - Vessel Operating Regulations
○ 33 CFR Subchapter H - Maritime Security (Parts 101, 103 and 104)
○ 33 CFR Subchapter N - Outer Continental Shelf Activities
○ 33 CFR Subchapter O - Pollution
○ 33 CFR Subchapter P - Ports and Waterways Safety
Also note that 33 CFR Subchapter A also has applicability in regards to administration and legal actions.
CFRs can be viewed at ecfr.gov (regularly updated online version) or govinfo.gov (annual editions).
"Old" CFRs are available as follows (click on the "year" to open the document):
○ 46 CFR Subchapter I, 1995 edition ("Old I") and 1963 edition ("Old-Old I")
○ 46 CFR Subchapter J, 1995 edition ("Old J") and 1981 edition ("Old-Old J")
○ 46 CFR Subchapter T, 1995 edition ("Old T")
National policy letters that apply to support vessels (OSVs, to include Liftboats, and small passenger vessels supporting oil and gas operations) are listed in the table below, grouped by issuing authority and ordered from newest to oldest (by policy number/original issue date). Click on the policy number to open the document (opens in a new window).
District Eight (Gulf of Mexico) Policy
D8 policy letters that apply to support vessels (OSVs, to include Liftboats, and small passenger vessels supporting oil and gas operations) are listed in the table below, grouped by issuing authority and ordered from newest to oldest (by policy number/original issue date). Click on the policy number to open the document (opens in a new window).
Note that policy letter numbers for all policies listed from 1999 and earlier do NOT have a policy number referenced on the letter itself, but the policy number listed was assigned by D8 for tracking purposes.
Navigation and Vessel Inspection Circulars (NVICs)
NVICs that apply to support vessels (OSVs, to include Liftboats, and small passenger vessels supporting oil and gas operations) are listed in the table below, ordered from newest to oldest (by NVIC number). Click on the NVIC number to open the document (opens in a new window). ALL NVICs can be found on the Official NVIC Page.
Inspection Job Aids
The following Job Aids pertain to support vessels that work on the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf. Job Aids replaced the replaced the legacy CG-840 Books and can be a valuable tool for owners and operators to maintain regulatory compliance on their vessels.
Job Aids are developed for use by the CG Marine Inspector, following internal CG procedures, and are provided as a convenience (and transparency) to industry. The Pre-Inspection/Pre-Exam and Follow-Up sections mainly pertain to administrative tasks of the Marine Inspector. While "if applicable" is NOT annotated within the Job Aid, there are inspection/exam items listed that may not apply to a particular vessel.
Additional Job Aids and Marine Inspector Performance Qualification Standards (PQS) are available on CVC's MI Resources page.