Domestic & Offshore Compliance (CG-CVC-1)


Commercial Diving

The current commercial dive regulations are found at 46 C.F.R. Part 197. These regulations are applicable to commercial diving operations as follows (See § 197.202, Applicability):

“[C]ommercial diving operations taking place at any deepwater port or the safety zone thereof as defined in 33 CFR part 150; from any artificial island, installation, or other device on the Outer Continental Shelf and the waters adjacent thereto as defined in 33 CFR part 147 or otherwise related to activities on the Outer Continental Shelf; and from all vessels required to have a certificate of inspection issued by the Coast Guard including mobile offshore drilling units regardless of their geographic location, or from any vessel connected with a deepwater port or within the deepwater port safety zone, or from any vessel engaged in activities related to the Outer Continental Shelf; except that this subpart does not apply to any diving operation—

  • (1) Performed solely for marine scientific research and development purposes by educational institutions;
  • (2) Performed solely for research and development for the advancement of diving equipment and technology; or
  • (3) Performed solely for search and rescue or related public safety purposes by or under the control of a governmental agency.”


All commercial dive variance requests will be processed by CG-CVC-1 according to § 197.206 of the regulations. Under the current regulations, commercial diving operations conducted from a DP (dynamically-positioned) capable OCS unit or vessel will be considered “liveboating” and an approval for a variance from the requirements in § 197.436 will be necessary.

Using the U.S. Coast Guard Commercial Dive Variance Checklist provided below, provide responses to all 16 checklist items and submit the request electronically to; In the subject line of your email, please type "Commercial Dive Variance (CG-CVC-1)."  It may take up to 2 weeks to process a request. A request may also be mailed using the following address (although this may unduly delay processing time):

ATTN: Office of Commercial Vessel Compliance
2703 Martin Luther King Jr Ave SE STOP 7501
WASHINGTON DC 20593-7501

A dive variance approval letter will be issued to a single OCS unit or vessel and will remain valid as long as the conditions in that letter continue to be met.

All dive variance inquiries should be directed to Mr. Quentin C. Kent at or (202) 372-2292.