Flag State Control Division (CG-CVC-4)

USCG CVC2 seal

USCG 5P seal


USCG Main seal

Alternative Inspection Programs

Vessel Inspection Alternatives are voluntary programs which may be advantageous to traditional commercial vessel inspection.  These programs include the Alternate Compliance Program, Maritime Security Program, and Streamlined Inspection Program.


Alternate Compliance Program ACP

The Coast Guard's Alternate Compliance Program (ACP) is one of the most significant regulatory reinvention programs of the 1990s. As contained within Title 46, Part 8, Subpart D of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), the ACP is intended to reduce the regulatory burden on the maritime industry while maintaining existing levels of safety and providing increased flexibility in the construction and operation of U.S. flag vessels. In this voluntary program, Classification Society Rules, International Conventions, and an approved U.S. Supplement provide an alternative that is equivalent to the CFR. Compliance with this equivalent alternative standard is administered through survey and inspection conducted by authorized classification society surveyors. A Certificate of Inspection (COI) is issued by the Coast Guard to a vessel enrolled in the ACP based upon the classification society reports.

Guidance on the ACP program is found in Marine Safety Manual (MSM), Vol. II, Sec. B, CH 9, and Navigation and Vessel Inspection Circular (NVIC) 2-95, CH-3. Links to the MSM, NVIC and other marine inspection documents are found at: http://www.dco.uscg.mil/About-Us/

Please see the Alternate Compliance Program webpage for additional information.  

Maritime Security Program MSP

The Maritime Security Act of 1996 (MSA) authorized the establishment of a Maritime Security Fleet under the Maritime Security Program (MSP), which serves as a means for establishing a fleet of commercially viable and military useful vessels to meet national defense as well as other security requirements.

Please see the Maritime Security Program webpage for additional information.

Supporting Documents:

Streamlined Inspection Program SIP

SIP is an alternative to traditional Coast Guard inspections that was developed in response to the Maritime Regulatory Reform Initiative. The Maritime Regulatory Reform Initiative challenged the Coast Guard to re-evaluate its regulatory programs and to develop alternatives that would ensure the same level of safety.

Please see the Streamlined Inspection Program webpage for additional information.