CRUISE SHIP NATIONAL CENTER OF EXPERTISE (CSNCOE)
Foreign flagged passenger vessels must participate in the initial Certificate of Compliance exam process if they meet the following conditions:
FPVs that embark passengers at U.S. ports or that visit U.S. ports with U.S. citizens embarked as passengers must be verified on an annual basis before the COC expires, and at least once during the period of validity of the COC.
The USCG performs examinations to ensure FPVs continue to maintain all systems per applicable regulations. Examinations also ensure the systems examined during the Initial Control Verification Exam (ICVE) are maintained and the recognized organization (RO) and flag administration have performed annual renewal surveys as required by reference (d), SOLAS: Consolidated Text of the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, 1974, and its Protocol of 1988: Articles, Annexes, and Certificates, (Incorporating all amendments in effect from 1 July 2009), International Maritime Organization (IMO) regulations.
Exams are conducted in a holistic manner, viewing shipboard materiel condition combined with ship operations as a single system. This system when combined with the aspects of human factors and influences form the overall ability to operate safely.
The USCG performs periodic exams to ensure passenger vessels are operated in a safe manner. These exams focus on the performance of officers and crew with specific attention to their training and proficiency.
As a best practice, port state control (PSC) examiners test equipment or systems only if there is evidence they are not in full compliance after an annual/initial exam has been conducted. Periodic exams typically include a document check, a vessel walkthrough, and drills performed by officers and the crew.