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Classification Society Authorizations

Please note: Some of the Web sites listed below are not federal government Web sites, and may not necessarily operate under the same laws, regulations and policies as federal Web sites.

The Coast Guard allows vessel inspection alternatives to comply with Title 46 of the Code of Federal regulations.  46 CFR Part 8 lists the various programs for classification societies to act on the Coast Guard’s behalf in caring out certification and inspection activities.  CG-ENG-1 is responsible for coordinating Coast Guard recognition, authorization, or approvals associated with classification societies in the following areas:

Classification Society Recognition- A classification society must be recognized (see 46 CFR 8.220) before it may request to receive statutory authority delegation from the Coast Guard.  CG-ENG-1 is responsible for ensuring reciprocity requirements under 46 CFR 8.120 are met, allowing the same access to ABS by the classification society country of origin.  Additionally, CG-ENG-1 is responsible for ensuring that the requesting classification society meets the minimum standards for a recognized classification society required by 46 CFR 8.230.

International Convention Certificate Authorization- A classification society must request authorization (see 46 CFR 8.320) to issue international convention certificates on behalf of the Coast Guard. 

U.S. Supplement Approval- In lieu of complying with the U.S. regulations, vessels that enroll in the Alternate Compliance Program can be constructed/operated in accordance with certain Classification Society Rules.  This allowance requires that Class Societies develop a Supplement (see 46 CFR  8.430) for CG approval to ensure that class rules corresponded to U.S. regulations. Current approved U.S. Supplements can be found here.

Classification Society Approval- Under 46 CFR 2.45-10, a classification society (including an employee or agent of that society) must request approval to review, examine, survey, or certify the construction, repair, or alteration of a vessel in the United States.   CG-ENG-1 is responsible for reviewing and approving these requests to ensure they meet the approval requirements under 46 CFR 2.45-15. 

If you have questions regarding classification society authorizations, please contact the Program Coordinator at (202) 272-1360.


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Last Modified 6/10/2014