On January 30, 2015, the US Coast Guard passed a Final Rule (80 Fed. Reg. 5281) regarding requirements for notices of arrival and departure (ANOA) and AIS for commercial vessels. Written into the Federal Register, volume 80, number 20, the Final Rule became effective March 2, 2015 (except for amendments to 33 CFR part 160 which become effective April 30). The rule was amended to improve security, safety and environmental protection in US ports. As well, the Coast Guard believes that maritime and navigational safety will be enhanced through the synergistic effect of NOA and AIS and the ability to monitor vessel-specific movements in real time. AIS data will also enable the authorities to quickly locate, track and intercept vessels, if necessary, due to security risks.
This rule expands the requirement for ANOA to include commercial vessels 300 gross tons or less which come to the US from a foreign port (or place) and covers all US navigable waters or deepwater ports. It also sets forth a mandatory method for electronic NOAD submission, and modifies related reporting content, timeframes, and procedures. Five new data fields are required: A vessel's MMSI number, whether a vessel is 300 gross tons or less, whether a voyage is less than 24 hours, last port of departure, and arrival and departure date for the last port of departure.
The Coast Guard estimates that 3,430 US-flag and 14,947 foreign-flag vessels will be affected by the ANOA requirement. Certain salvage vessels, submersible vessels, and ferries on fixed routes are exempted.
This Final Rule requires electronic submissions to expedite processing of NOAD information, including data about a vessel, its voyage, cargo and persons on-board. The Coast Guard may additionally create regulations that require receipt of pre-arrival messages from vessels on their way to the US in order to permit advance vessel traffic planning.
AIS installations must be completed within 18 months.
AIS must now be installed and be in operation on most commercial vessels when on the navigable waters of the US. Smaller vessels will not need to adhere to the additional AIS related requirements. All vessels moving dangerous cargo must be equipped with AIS, no matter what their size. It extends AIS requirements beyond VTS areas and to non-VTS users to include all US navigable waters or deepwater ports. The Coast Guard estimates that new AIS provisions will affect 5,848 US vessels and 74 foreign-flag vessels.
The rule also allows for AIS to be installed on offshore fixed structures. Previously AIS ATON systems were prohibited on certain fixed structures, such as bridges. This is now allowed. The reasoning in this area is that the primary benefit of AIS is to provide near real time dynamic information. Fixed and charted structures do not move; however, some are used by vessels as navigational aids, based on their position and proximity to shipping lanes. This Final Rule recognizes that reality.
The Federal Register material makes for interesting reading and provides much detail about the changes in the rules. It also covers comments and the Coast Guard response to the proposed rules in the run up to this Final Rule.
PortVision supports legislation that results in increased visibility of vessel movements within ECDIS, VTS, and shore-side systems such at PortVision Plus and PortVision Advantage. The benefits of AIS towards increasing safety, security, and efficiency are well documented since its mandate in 2005. We believe that the additional AIS carriage requirements will further these benefits.