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National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for FY2023 (H.R. 7776) – SEC. 11508: ATB Manning

March 7, 2023

The James M. Inhofe National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2023 was signed into law December 23, 2022.   SEC. 11508 (H.R. 7776 – page 1743) Articulated Tug-Barge Manning reads:

(a)  In General.—Notwithstanding the watch setting requirements set forth in section 8104 of title 46, United States Code, the Secretary shall authorize an Officer in Charge, Marine Inspection to issue an amended certificate of inspection that does not require engine room watch setting to inspected towing vessels certificated prior to July 19, 2022, forming part of an articulated tug-barge unit, provided that such vessels are equipped with engineering control and monitoring systems of a type accepted for no engine room watch setting under a previously approved minimum safe manning document or certificate of inspection for articulated tug-barge units.

(b) Definitions. –In this section:

(1) Certificate of Inspection.—The term “certificate of inspection” means a certificate of inspection under subchapter M of chapter I of title 46, Code of Federal Regulations.

(2) Inspected Towing Vessel.—The term “inspected towing vessel” means a vessel issued a certificate of inspection.

If you are an owner or managing operator of a towing vessel that makes up an Articulated Tug-Barge (ATB) unit and have objective evidence that your vessel meets this legislation, please contact the local Officer in Charge, Marine Inspection (OCMI) and submit your objective evidence in accordance with the statute, to be considered for a Certificate of Inspection amendment. 

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