The Coast Guard wants to increase the damage threshold that triggers a marine casualty report from $25,000 to $72,000, a move designed to reduce both operators’ and investigators’ expenses.
The agency also suggests raising to $200,000 from $100,000 the serious marine incident (SMI) reporting requirement for accidents that require mandatory drug and alcohol testing.
The regulations setting the dollar limits date to the 1980s and have not been updated, the Coast Guard said in its proposal. Because the amounts have not kept pace with inflation, “relatively minor casualties must be reported,” which the agency said was never its intent.
The Coast Guard recently updated Navigation and Inspection Circular (NVIC) 01-15, which covers marine casualty reporting, including form 2692. Operators have complained there’s confusion about when to submit a report and concern about the threat of a fine if they don’t submit one and the Coast Guard later decides they should have.
The new guideline cleared up several important issues but not the dollar damage amount.
The proposed changes would benefit the industry and the Coast Guard so both “would be able to focus efforts on higher consequence incidents,” the agency said. They estimate the rule would save the industry and federal government about $6.8 million over 10 years.
They expect 316 fewer reports annually, for example, because “of the 5,967 marine casualty reports, approximately 5.3 percent” were for an incident only involving minor property damage.
Comments may be submitted online (Docket No. USCG-2016-0748) through March 24.