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USCG Load Line Technical Manual



In 1990, the U.S. Coast Guard commissioned the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) to prepare a report that integrated U.S. load line regulations & policies, ABS and IACS interpretations, IMO circulars, and the International Convention on Load Lines (ICLL) into a single reference document.

The "Load Line Technical Manual" is the result of that effort. It sets forth the technical procedures for evaluating, calculating and assigning ICLL load lines, using USCG and ABS policies where the Convention leaves certain requirements "to the satisfaction of the Administration" or is open to interpretation.

This manual applies to U.S. vessels seeking an international ICLL assignment or a domestic U.S. load line assignment for unrestricted voyages by sea; it does not cover U.S. load line regulations for other types of domestic voyages (such as coastwise or Great Lakes).

The Technical Manual was originally prepared in 1990; therefore, it only incorporates material up to that time. Since then, there has been further evolution of load line policies, additional IACS interpretations, new IMO Circulars, etc. The ICLL itself has been amended by the 1988 Protocol (which entered into force on February 3, 2000) as well as subsequent amendments (the most recent of which entered into force on January 1, 2005).

Accordingly, the LL Technical Manual has been annotated to indicate where the ICLL amendments have affected its technical content.

Organization of the Load Line Technical Manual

This web version of the Tech Manual has been divided into five Adobe .pdf files:

Contact the Naval Architecture Division:

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Last reviewed 5 Oct 2015