USCG warns on data plate requirements for LSAs

Malcolm Latarche

Malcolm Latarche · 19 February 2019


A requirement for data plates on livesaving appliances is the subject of a new Marine Safety Information Bulletin issued by the USCG.

MSIB 19-02 reiterates that data plates are required for lifesaving appliances, as outlined in MSIB 17-02. To allow the offshore industry time to verify compliance, deficiencies will not be written until July 1, 2019.

As a follow-up to Marine Safety Information Bulletin (MSIB) 17-02, this MSIB re-iterates that data plates are required to be affixed to each approved lifesaving appliance as stipulated in each Subpart of 46 C.F.R. Subchapter Q.

Despite the requirement for data plates and/or equipment marking, in some instances, prior practice allowed operators to forgo restoration of marking and/or reinstallation of data plates and allowed various alternate means to attest to suitability.

As of the date of this MSIB, alternate means of approval documentation cease to be an acceptable means of demonstrating equipment approval.

A notice of the new MSIB issued by the USCG encourages operators to survey their installed approved lifesaving appliances to ensure compliance with marking and/or data plate requirements and seek Coast Guard assistance when in doubt. Replacement data plates, when required, will only be accepted when issued by the original equipment manufacturer or as outlined in Marine Safety Manual Volume II, Section C, Chapter 2, Paragraph H.2.e (page C2-25).

To facilitate compliance in consideration of prior practice, an abeyance period will be observed.

During this abeyance period, deficiencies will not be issued to document previously accepted equipment nonconformities. Beginning July 1, 2019, Coast Guard inspectors will begin issuing deficiencies when nonconformities are discovered or have not yet been resolved.

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