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Office of Auxiliary CG-BSX-1
Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)
and Joint Action

Memorandum of Understanding(MOU) and Joint Action Plan for Utilization of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary (Vessel Safety Program - Addendum #4) In Support of the United States Coast Guard's National Recreational Boating Safety (RBS) Program


This addendum to the basic Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) defines and describes the role and duties of the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary (USCGAUX) with respect to the Vessel Safety Program (VSP), formerly termed the Courtesy Marine Examination (CME) program.

USCGAUX developed the Courtesy Motorboat Examination program in 1947 to provide recreational boaters an advisory review of their vessel. s legally required equipment and additional recommended equipment essential for safe boating. It also served to provide one-on-one education of recreational boaters regarding the use of safety equipment, legal requirements and regulations, etc.

The program evolved with the addition of sailboats and the name was changed to Courtesy Marine Examination. Recently, personal watercraft (PWC) were added to the population of eligible vessels and the name has been changed to Vessel Safety Program (VSP). This program has two key subprograms; (i) the Marine Dealer Visitor (MDV) program and the Vessel Safety Check (VSC) program.

In concert with these outreach efforts in safety education, this program provides significant benefits to recreational boaters. Indeed, the United States Coast Guard (USCG) is interested in seeing this program grow by increasing the number of trained vessel examiners.

Having originated this program and having acquired, since 1947, the requisite experience and administrative skills, the USCG Auxiliary is in an excellent position to oversee its expansion and enhancement. Therefore, this addendum to the MOU establishes USCGAUX as the National Director for the VSP and as the Executive Agent for the USCG in the overall operation and administration of the program, and defines the accompanying duties and responsibilities.

USCG Auxiliary Duties and Responsibilities

The duties and responsibilities of the USCGAUX as the VSP. s National Director and Executive Agent for USCG include:

Subject to the availability of government funds, or funds from a source external to the USCGAUX, coordinate and consult with the Office of Boating Safety (G-OPB) to accomplish the assigned tasks and responsibilities listed below.

Establish and periodically revise the requirements of VSCs, the eligibility of various types of watercraft for these checks, and the criteria for award of the VSC decal.

Identify other organizations that might participate directly in the VSP as authorized providers. Develop and execute memoranda of understanding with new authorized providers, detailing policies to effectively integrate these new providers into the VSP.

Create necessary training materials and establish procedures to report results, reward performance, and ensure program integrity.

Develop a standardized national training program and provide assistance in necessary program training for authorized providers.

Establish and maintain oversight over all authorized providers to ensure the integrity of the program meets the needs of the boating public and USCG. Upon consultation, and with the concurrence of G-OPB, USCGAUX may revoke the authority of any authorized provider to conduct VSCs.

Design and develop necessary and appropriate materials (e.g., manuals, videotapes, brochures, and decals) to support the VSP. Work with other authorized providers as necessary to develop and approve specific materials for their programs.

In coordination with G-OPB and the Office of Auxiliary (G-PCX), prepare estimates of the budget required to carry out the national VSP, including the resources required to support the efforts of other participating organizations.

Conduct customer surveys to obtain facts and data on the actual and perceived value to such customers of the VSC and other watercraft safety checks. Utilize surveys and data collected to identify the approaches most likely to increase customer awareness of boating safety and safe boating practices.

Develop and implement an effective marketing outreach program to promote the interest of the boating public in the VSP. Solicit the cooperation and support of relevant organizations representing recreational boaters in increasing boater awareness and appreciation of the benefits of vessel safety checks.

In coordination with G-OPB and G-PCX and all participating organizations, develop a system of reporting program contributions of all authorized providers to the USCGAUX.

In coordination with G-OPB, develop improved measures of effectiveness (MOEs) for the VSP. Provide G-OPB annual and quarterly reports covering the relevant data to USCG on program achievements and benefits--including the contributions of all authorized providers.

Perform any other duties as necessary to ensure the efficient operation of the VSP.

US Coast Guard Duties and Responsibilities

The Office of Boating Safety, (G-OPB), in overseeing the program, agrees to the following duties and responsibilities:

In coordination with USCGAUX, establish annual VSP goals and objectives.

Work with the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators(NASBLA) to increase the recognition of and appreciation for the VSC decal.

Take steps within the USCG to enhance CG district and unit level support and respect for the VSP, to include increased marketing support by boarding officers, fix-a-ticket program, short boarding check for boats displaying a current VSC decal, etc.

Facilitate data collection from accidents and boardings so that additional MOEs for the VSP program can be established and utilized.

Work with other members of the recreational boating community, such as trade organizations, user groups, boat manufacturers, dealers, and insurance companies as well as the states and other governmental entities, to publicize and enhance the recognition of the VSP's importance.

In coordination with G-PCX, review proposed program budgets submitted by the VSP Executive Agent (USCGAUX) for consistency with RBS program goals and anticipated levels of funding. To the extent government funds are available, support approved budgets. In coordination with G-PCX and USCGAUX, seek and develop sources of external funding (i.e., sources other than the government or the USCGAUX) to augment government funding.


The undersigned USCG and USCGAUX officials agree to the premises stated in this Addendum #4 to the Memorandum of Understanding and Joint Action Plan for Employment of USCGAUX in Support of the National Recreational Boating Safety Program, and to the duties and responsibilities of each party as set forth above.

This Addendum #4 shall remain in effect until cancelled in writing by either party.


RADM Terry M. Cross, G-OP
COMO Everette L. Tucker, Jr, NACO

CAPT Michael F. Holmes, G-OPB

Mr. John M. Malatak, G-OPB-2
COMO L. Daniel Maxim, NADCO-RBS


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Last Modified 1/12/2016