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USCG issues FAQs on towing vessel radiotelephone

The USCG Towing Vessel National Center of Expertise posted new FAQs to provide information on when a towing vessel is required to have its bridge-to-bridge radiotelephone station inspected and obtain a bridge-to-bridge certificate.
The USCG Towing Vessel National Center of Expertise posted new FAQs to provide information on when a towing vessel is required to have its bridge-to-bridge radiotelephone station inspected and obtain a bridge-to-bridge certificate.

All towing vessels 26 feet in length or greater subject to the Communications Act of 1934 (CA) , the Great Lakes Agreement (GLA) or other vessels that have been inspected for compliance with the Bridge-to-Bridge Act (BBA) per the below guidance.

requirement_summary_table

The requirements for having a radiotelephone station inspected and when a Bridge-to-Bridge certificate must be obtained are found in FCC regulation 47 CFR 80.1005. Based on this FCC regulation a towing vessel will fall into one of four categories:

1. Seagoing towing vessel 300 GRT or greater and 26 feet in length or longer.

This vessel is subject to the CA and the BBA. The radiotelephone station needs to be inspected for compliance with the CA and BBA every 12 months. The CA inspection would be documented in the ship’s log by the inspecting technician. The BBA inspection would be documented by issuance of a Bridge-to-Bridge certificate. To show compliance with applicable laws and regulations the vessel representative should be able to produce the inspecting technician’s entry in the ship’s log as per 47 CFR 80.59(a)(2), the Bridge-to-Bridge certificate per 47 CFR 80.1005 and the Station License required by 47 CFR 80.13.

2. Great Lakes towing vessels 26 feet in length or longer.

This vessel is subject to the GLA and the BBA. The radiotelephone station needs to be inspected for compliance with the GLA and BBA every 13 months. The GLA inspection would be documented in the ship’s radiotelephone log. The BBA inspection would be documented by issuance of a Bridge-to-Bridge certificate. To show compliance with applicable laws and regulations the vessel representative should be able to produce the inspecting technician’s entry in the ship’s radiotelephone log as per 47 CFR 80.953(b), the Bridge-to-Bridge certificate per 47 CFR 80.1005 and the Station License required by 47 CFR 80.13.

3. Seagoing towing vessel less than 300 GRT and 26 feet in length or longer or an inland towing vessel of any GRT and 26 feet in length or longer.

This vessel is NOT subject to CA or the GLA. This vessel would only have to comply with the BBA. The FCC inspection and certification requirements for this type of vessel state, “…bridge-to-bridge stations will be inspected from time to time.” The FCC and CG-652 (Telecommunications Policy Division) consider this to include an inspection of the radio station that was required for reasonable cause. Evidence showing a radiotelephone station meets BBA specifications would include labeling on the radios or other documentation provided by the vessel representative indicating the equipment is 47 CFR Part 80 certified. If the vessel has the properly labeled equipment and the radio passes a radio check, there should be no further inspection requirements needed. If, after examining the radio installation the towing vessel examiner finds that the system is malfunctioning, requirement for prompt rectification should be considered in following with 33 CFR 164.72(a)(3). If the towing vessel examiner finds other reasonable cause, not posing an immediate hazard to navigation, which may merit a radiotelephone station inspection to confirm compliance with the BBA, the examiner should notify the FCC so they can take action as they deem appropriate. If the vessel has had an inspection to show compliance with applicable laws and regulations, the vessel representative should be able to produce the inspecting technician’s entry in the station log or a Bridge-to-Bridge certificate per 47 CFR 80.1005 and the Station License required by 47 CFR 80.13. If the vessel has not had a radiotelephone station inspection it will only have the Station License required by 47 CFR 80.13

4. Towing vessels less than 26 feet in length.

This vessel would not be subject to the CA, GLA or the BBA. No inspections or documentation required for compliance.

Read further details by clicking here

Source & Image Credit: USCG

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