Houston-based ABS, a leading provider of classification and technical services to the marine and offshore industries, has been awarded a Third Party Organization contract by The Great Lakes Towing Company (GLT), Cleveland, Ohio, to support its compliance with Coast Guard Subchapter M regulations.

“Every organization operating towing vessels in US inland waterways will have to comply with Subchapter M,” said Jamie Smith,  president of ABS Americas Division. “As an industry leader in towing vessel safety, ABS helps guide companies through the available compliance services to find the solution that best meets their unique needs.”

The recently signed contract with GLT, which is a member of the American Waterways Operators (AWO), establishes ABS as the company’s Third Party Organization (TPO), providing surveys for its fleet and audits of its Responsible Carrier Program (RCP). By partnering with ABS, GLT is on course to achieve complete Subchapter M compliance through a customized strategy of solutions specialized for its fleet.

“GLT has spent the past several years planning for the adoption of Subchapter M requirements into our operation and tug fleet,” said GLT President Joseph Starck. “We looked to ABS as our exclusive Sub M partner based on their commitment to vessel safety, specialized technical understanding of towing vessels, and comprehensive range of services conveniently available to cover all our Subchapter M compliance requirements.

“We have enjoyed an excellent working relationship with ABS for years and feel certain that, with the addition of Subchapter M compliance services, ABS will continue to contribute to our success.”

ABS was recognized early on by the Coast Guard and approved as a third party organization, providing integrated solutions to help owners and operators achieve and maintain Subchapter M compliance. Compliance can be realized through a suite of services, which includes Towing Safety Management System (TSMS) implementation and auditing, and comprehensive plan review on behalf of the Coast Guard, avoiding the need for additional submissions to the agency. ABS class, in conjunction with the International Safety Management Code (ISM), and ABS Nautical Systems, provides a digital platform for fleet management.

Additionally, ABS can administer RCP audits — an approved TSMS option on behalf of the AWO — and has developed Coast Guard-recognized rules and guides to support owners and operators that choose classification as their compliance option.