The Coast Guard's Towing Vessel National Center of Expertise in Paducah, Ky., has created a Third-Party Organizations (TPOs) webpage. The webpage lists TPOs that have been approved to conduct audits, surveys, and other functions for towing vessels regulated by Subchapter M.

TPOs that conduct audits, surveys and other TPO functions for towing vessels under Subchapter M must be Coast Guard approved. Classification societies that are recognized and/or authorized will also be able to perform certain functions of a TPO.

Towing vessel owners or operators who select the Towing Safety Management System (TSMS) option to comply with Subchapter M must obtain a TSMS Certificate from a TPO. The TSMS certificate will be issued after the vessel owner or operator's management demonstrates compliance with the TSMS. In addition to obtaining the TSMS certificate, the company will need to maintain a list of vessels covered by the TSMS Certificate.

Companies that are qualified to perform work as a TPO and approved TPO are Marine Compliance LLC, Humble, Texas; Sabine Surveyors Ltd., Metairie, La.; and WaveCrest Offshore Solutions Inc., Katy, Texas.

David Krapf has been editor of WorkBoat, the nation’s leading trade magazine for the inland and coastal waterways industry, since 1999. He is responsible for overseeing the editorial direction of the publication. Krapf has been in the publishing industry since 1987, beginning as a reporter and editor with daily and weekly newspapers in the Houston area. He also was the editor of a transportation industry daily in New Orleans before joining WorkBoat as a contributing editor in 1992. He has been covering the transportation industry since 1989, and has a degree in business administration from the State University of New York at Oswego, and also studied journalism at the University of Houston.