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Posted: April 4, 2018

U.S. Coast Guard raises monetary threshold for reporting of marine casualties

The U.S. Coast Guard has published a final rule raising the minimum monetary threshold for the reporting of marine casualties and for classification of a 'serious marine incident' (SMI). The final rule takes effect April 18, 2018.

According to the Federal Register, "The Coast Guard is amending the monetary property damage threshold amounts for reporting a marine casualty and for reporting a type of marine casualty called a 'serious marine incident.' The original regulations that set these dollar threshold amounts were written in the 1980s and have not been updated since that time. Because the monetary thresholds for reporting have not kept pace with inflation, vessel owners and operators have been required to report relatively minor casualties. Additionally, the original regulations require mandatory drug and alcohol testing following a serious marine incident. As a result, vessel owners and operators are conducting testing for casualties that are less significant than those intended to be captured by the original regulations. Updating the original regulations will reduce the burden on vessel owners and operators, and will also reduce the amount of Coast Guard resources expended to investigate these incidents.

"This final rule changes the reportable marine casualty property damage threshold amount in 46 CFR 4.05-1(a)(7) from $25,000 to $75,000. In the NPRM (notice of proposed rulemaking), we proposed to make this threshold $72,000, but chose $75,000 for reasons explained in the next section of this preamble. This final rule also changes the SMI property damage threshold in 46 CFR 4.03-2(a)(3) from $100,000 to $200,000. This change is the same as that proposed in the NPRM."

The complete final rule is available online.