Commercial Vessel Inspection Alternatives and Delegated Functions

The Inspector by Ralph Starr, Courtesy of CG Art Program
The Inspector by Ralph Starr, Courtesy of the Coast Guard Art Program


To promote an efficient marine transportation system by providing increased flexibility in the construction and operation of U.S. flag vessels, while maintaining equivalent levels of safety and environmental protection. The U.S. Coast Guard has entered into formal agreements with certain classification societies under the authority of Title 46, United States Code (USC) Section 3316. These agreements cover the delegation of certain statutory survey and certification functions for U.S. flagged vessels. Delegated function means a function related to Coast Guard commercial vessel inspection, which has been delegated to a recognized classification society. Delegated functions may include the authorization to issue international convention certificates and participation in the Alternate Compliance Program (ACP). Delegated functions performed by, and statutory certificates issued by, an authorized classification society will be accepted as functions performed by, or certificates issued by, the Coast Guard, provided that the classification society maintains compliance with all provisions of its agreement with the Commandant. Any agreement between the Commandant and the recognized classification society authorizing the performance of delegated functions will be written and will require the classification society to comply with the provisions of Title 46 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Part 8. All authorized classification societies are subject to the same qualification and oversight processes and each is given equal status within their delegated authority and recognized function. The U.S. Coast Guard provides no advantage or special privilege to any one authorized classification society over another.

ACP Classification Societies in the Alternate Compliance Program

Authorized Classification Societies


Current U.S. Supplements



ACP - Vessel Enrollment - Contact the ACP Program Manager:

    Office of Commercial Vessel Compliance
    Domestic Vessels Division (CG-CVC-1)
    U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters
    2703 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. SE STOP 7501
    Washington, D.C. 20593-7501
    (202) 372-1222 or (202) 372-1251
    CG-CVC: Domestic Vessels

ACP Standards and Classification Society authorizations -
Contact the ACP Program Coordinator:

    Office of Design & Engineering Standards
    Human Element and Ship Design Division (CG-ENG-1)
    U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters
    2703 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. SE STOP 7509
    Washington, D.C. 20593-7509
    (202) 372-1360 or (202) 372-1374

Contact Your Local Officer in Charge, Marine Inspection (OCMI)