|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.