Equipment Approval Information
COAST GUARD TYPE APPROVAL
Type Approval is the primary process
for equipment and materials to receive Coast Guard approval. For
equipment or materials to
receive Type Approval, they must be demonstrated to comply with the
relevant requirements in the regulations, successfully complete the
specified tests, and be enrolled in a quality control or follow up
program as required. The quality control or follow up program
product uniformity to ensure that it does not deviate from the approved
design. Depending on the type of equipment, the follow up program
is generally arranged with the same
laboratory that conducted the initial testing or in some cases is
carried out by Coast Guard marine inspectors. Since the Coast
Guard does not have its own certification laboratory, it relies on
Accepted Independent Testing Laboratories to test materials for
compliance with the applicable criteria. Such acceptance is given
for each approval category and test apparatus individually.
Acceptance of a testing laboratory is not retroactive, i.e. testing
previously conducted by the laboratory is not automatically accepted.
There is presently no charge by the
U. S. Coast Guard for issuing a certificate of approval. However,
all costs at the testing laboratory for testing and for any factory
follow-up inspections are the responsibility of the applicant.
Where the Coast Guard supervises tests and inspections outside the
United States, the applicant must agree to reimburse the Coast Guard
for the travel and subsistence expenses of the inspector.
See NVIC 02-06
additional guidance covering follow-up programs for fire safety type
After the successful completion of the required testing, and after all
necessary drawings, specifications, and proof of a follow-up program
have been received, reviewed and approved by the Coast Guard, a
Certificate of Approval will be issued to the applicant
manufacturer. The certificate is valid for five years, and the
approval will be listed on the internet at http://cgmix.uscg.mil.
Certificates of Approval may be
renewed upon request provided that the equipment or material and the
relevant requirements have not changed, and the item has been under a
continuous follow-up program where required. If the material is
covered under the
Accepted Independent Testing Laboratory's follow-up inspection program
and the test standard has not been changed, a new certificate with
another five year expiration date may be issued. In all other
cases the material must be retested to the standard in effect at the
time of the request for renewal before a new certificate can be issued.
For information on specific Lifesaving and Fire Safety equipment Type
Approval requirements, see the equipment approval guidance links
located on the CG-ENG-4 home page.
CASE BY CASE APPROVAL
“Case-by-Case Approval” is an
approval procedure that was created to facilitate industry and ensure
vessel safety. This process requires the Coast Guard to consider
the circumstances surrounding the request on an individual basis for a
specialized product that will be installed on a specific ship and will
not be mass produced. Equipment or products approved under this
unique procedure are not issued a Coast Guard Certificate of Approval,
as is issued after the completion of Coast Guard Type
Approval. In addition, a follow-up program is not required to
monitor product uniformity because there is no mass production of the
product or equipment approved under this process.
Case-by-Case Approval may be used for
items that are specially made for a certain vessel project and the
manufacturer believes that the unique nature of the product may limit
its use on other vessels. It can also be used by manufacturers of
equipment that require a Coast Guard Certificate of Approval but have
not yet obtained the approval certificate. Products and equipment
submitted for Case-by-Case Approval are still required to meet the
applicable safety regulations and standards.
It should be noted that repeated
requests for Case-by-Case Approval of the same product or equipment
will not be approved because they are contrary to the intent of this
process. If a case-by-case approval
request is denied for this reason, it will be recommended to the
manufacturer to obtain a Coast Guard Certificate of Approval via the
Type Approval Process.
The following are some of the factors that are considered by the Coast
Guard when the request is based on existing test reports:
* Was testing conducted at a USCG Accepted
* Was the laboratory accepted by USCG at time of
* Was the most current test method used?
* How old is the test report?
* Was the laboratory involved in selecting the
* How was it verified that the test specimen was
representative of the actual manufactured product?
* Are there similar products available that already
have a Coast Guard Certificate of Approval?
The manufacturer should provide the following when submitting a
Case-by-Case Approval request:
* Proof that the Testing was conducted at a Coast
Guard Accepted Independent Laboratory.
* The location and approximate date of the testing.
* Information confirming that the Laboratory was
involved with selecting the specimen to be tested.
If the laboratory will not be involved with specimen selection, then
the alternative should be discussed with our staff.
If approval of a range of products is sought based on limited testing,
prior agreement should be first obtained.
Contact CG-ENG-4 if you have any additional questions about the Case by
Case Approval process.
Please send the request for a Case-by-Case Approval to the following
U.S. Coast Guard
2100 Second Street, S.W. Stop 7126
Washington, DC 20593-7126