[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 227 (Monday, November 26, 2012)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 70390-70400]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-28492]


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DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY

Coast Guard

46 CFR Parts 160 and 164

[Docket No. USCG-2010-0048]
RIN 1625-AB46


Lifesaving Equipment: Production Testing and Harmonization With 
International Standards

AGENCY: Coast Guard, DHS.

ACTION: Supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking.

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SUMMARY: The Coast Guard proposes to amend the interim rule addressing 
lifesaving equipment to harmonize Coast Guard regulations concerning 
release mechanisms for lifeboats and rescue boats with recently adopted 
international standards affecting design, performance, and testing for 
such lifesaving equipment, and to clarify the requirements concerning 
grooved drums in launching appliance winches. The Coast Guard seeks 
comments on this proposal.

DATES: Comments and related material must either be submitted to our 
online docket via http://www.regulations.gov on or before January 25, 
2013 or reach the Docket Management Facility by that date.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments identified by docket number USCG-
2010-0048 using any one of the following methods:
    (1) Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov.
    (2) Fax: 202-493-2251.
    (3) Mail: Docket Management Facility (M-30), U.S. Department of 
Transportation, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New 
Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590-0001.
    (4) Hand delivery: Same as mail address above, between 9 a.m. and 5 
p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The telephone 
number is 202-366-9329.
    To avoid duplication, please use only one of these four methods. 
See the ``Public Participation and Request for Comments'' portion of 
the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section below for instructions on 
submitting comments.
    Viewing incorporation by reference material: You may inspect the 
material proposed for incorporation by reference at U.S. Coast Guard 
Headquarters, 2100 Second Street SW., Washington, DC 20593-0001 between 
9 a.m. and 3 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The 
telephone number is 202-372-1385. Copies of the material are available 
as indicated in the ``Incorporation by Reference'' section of this 
preamble.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: If you have questions on this proposed 
rule, call or email Mr. George Grills, Commercial Regulations and 
Standards Directorate, Office of Design and Engineering Standards, 
Lifesaving and Fire Safety Division (CG-ENG-4), Coast Guard; telephone 
202-372-1385, email George.G.Grills@uscg.mil. If you have questions on 
viewing or submitting material to the docket, call Renee V. Wright, 
Program Manager, Docket Operations, telephone 202-366-9826.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Table of Contents for Preamble

I. Public Participation and Request for Comments
    A. Submitting Comments
    B. Viewing Comments and Documents
    C. Privacy Act
    D. Public Meeting
II. Abbreviations
III. Regulatory History
IV. Background
V. Discussion of Proposed Rule
VI. Incorporation by Reference
VII. Regulatory Analyses
A. Regulatory Planning and Review
B. Small Entities
C. Assistance for Small Entities
D. Collection of Information
E. Federalism
F. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act
G. Taking of Private Property
H. Civil Justice Reform
I. Protection of Children
J. Indian Tribal Governments
K. Energy Effects
L. Technical Standards
M. Coast Guard Authorization Act Sec. 608 (46 U.S.C. 2118(a))
N. Environment

I. Public Participation and Request for Comments

    The Coast Guard encourages you to participate in this rulemaking by 
submitting comments and related materials. All comments received will 
be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov and will include 
any personal information you have provided.

A. Submitting Comments

    If you submit a comment, please include the docket number for this 
rulemaking (USCG-2010-0048), indicate the specific section of this 
document to which each comment applies, and provide a reason for each 
suggestion or recommendation. You may submit your comments and material 
online or by fax, mail, or hand delivery, but please use only one of

[[Page 70391]]

these means. The Coast Guard recommends that you include your name and 
a mailing address, an email address, or a phone number in the body of 
your document so that the Coast Guard can contact you if it has 
questions regarding your submission.
    To submit your comment online, go to http://www.regulations.gov and 
insert ``USCG- 2010-0048'' in the ``Search'' box. Click ``Search.'' 
Click on ``Submit a Comment'' in the ``Actions'' column. If you submit 
your comments by mail or hand delivery, submit them in an unbound 
format, no larger than 8\1/2\; by 11 inches, suitable for copying and 
electronic filing. If you submit comments by mail and would like to 
know that they reached the Facility, please enclose a stamped, self-
addressed postcard or envelope.
    The Coast Guard will consider all comments and material received 
during the comment period and may change this proposed rule based on 
your comments.

B. Viewing Comments and Documents

    To view comments, as well as documents mentioned in this preamble 
as being available in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov and 
insert ``USCG-2010-0048'' in the ``Search'' box. Click ``Search.'' 
Click the ``Open Docket Folder'' in the ``Actions'' column. If you do 
not have access to the internet, you may view the docket online by 
visiting the Docket Management Facility in Room W12-140 on the ground 
floor of the Department of Transportation West Building, 1200 New 
Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., 
Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The Coast Guard has an 
agreement with the Department of Transportation to use the Docket 
Management Facility.

C. Privacy Act

    Anyone can search the electronic form of comments received into any 
of our dockets by the name of the individual submitting the comment (or 
signing the comment, if submitted on behalf of an association, 
business, labor union, etc.). You may review a Privacy Act notice 
regarding our public dockets in the January 17, 2008, issue of the 
Federal Register (73 FR 3316).

D. Public Meeting

    The Coast Guard does not plan to hold a public meeting. You may 
submit a request for one to the docket using one of the methods 
specified under ADDRESSES. In your request, explain why you believe a 
public meeting would be beneficial. If the Coast Guard determines that 
one would aid this rulemaking, the Coast Guard will hold one at a time 
and place announced by a later notice in the Federal Register.

II. Abbreviations

CFR Code of Federal Regulations
DHS Department of Homeland Security
FR Federal Register
IMO International Maritime Organization
LSA Life-saving Appliance
MISLE Marine Information for Safety and Law Enforcement database
MSC Maritime Safety Committee of the International Maritime 
Organization
NPRM Notice of Proposed Rulemaking
SNPRM Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking
SOLAS International Convention for Safety of Life at Sea, 1974, as 
amended
Sec.  Section symbol
    USCG United States Coast Guard

III. Regulatory History

    On October 11, 2011, the Coast Guard published an interim rule 
titled, ``Lifesaving Equipment: Production Testing and Harmonization 
With International Standards'' (interim rule) in the Federal Register. 
See 76 FR 62962. As part of that interim rule, which became effective 
on November 10, 2011, the Coast Guard issued new subparts of 46 CFR 
part 160, including subpart 160.115 addressing launching appliance 
winches, and subpart 160.133 addressing release mechanisms for 
lifeboats and rescue boats, which are approved to the requirements of 
the International Convention for Safety of Life at Sea, 1974, as 
amended (SOLAS).
    The Coast Guard issued an interim rule because in May 2011, the 
International Maritime Organization's (IMO) Maritime Safety Committee 
(MSC) amended its international standards regarding release mechanisms. 
See 76 FR 62962.
    Additionally in the interim rule, the Coast Guard announced plans 
to publish in a future Federal Register document proposed changes to 
Coast Guard regulations to implement the IMO amendments regarding 
performance requirements for lifeboat and rescue boat release 
mechanisms that the Coast Guard determines appropriate for purposes of 
harmonization and consistency with international standards, and to 
finalize the interim rule at the same time the Coast Guard issues any 
final rule for those proposed changes. 76 FR 62962.
    The Coast Guard is issuing this supplemental notice of proposed 
rulemaking (SNPRM) to address amendments to international standards 
affecting the design and performance of release mechanisms that were 
adopted by the IMO, and that will enter into force on January 1, 2013. 
The IMO amendments to the international standards affect 46 CFR part 
160, subpart 160.133. The interim rule removed longstanding separate 
subparts for release mechanisms (46 CFR 160.033) and lifeboats (46 CFR 
160.035) approved strictly for domestic service. 76 FR 62975. 
Therefore, this SNPRM potentially affects any U.S.-flagged vessel 
required to carry a lifeboat after the finalization of this proposed 
rule.

IV. Background

    As discussed in the ``Basis and Purpose'' section of the interim 
rule, the Coast Guard is charged with ensuring that lifesaving 
equipment used on vessels subject to inspection by the United States 
meets specific design, construction, and performance standards, 
including those found in SOLAS, Chapter III, ``Life-saving appliances 
and arrangements.'' See 46 U.S.C. 3306; 76 FR 62963. The Coast Guard 
carries out this charge through the approval of lifesaving equipment 
per 46 CFR part 2, subpart 2.75. The approval process includes pre-
approving lifesaving equipment designs, overseeing prototype 
construction, witnessing prototype testing, and monitoring production 
of the equipment for use on U.S. vessels. See 46 CFR part 159. At each 
phase of the approval process, the Coast Guard sets specific standards 
to which lifesaving equipment must be built and tested.
    The Coast Guard's specific standards for release mechanisms are 
found in 46 CFR part 160, subpart 160.133 (Release Mechanisms for 
Lifeboats and Rescue Boats (SOLAS)). Subpart 160.133 implements current 
SOLAS requirements for lifeboat release mechanisms by incorporating by 
reference the IMO standards referenced by Chapter III of SOLAS. The 
primary IMO standards referenced by Chapter III of SOLAS are the 
``International Life-saving Appliance Code,'' IMO Resolution 
MSC.48(66), as amended (hereinafter ``IMO LSA Code''), and the 
``Revised recommendation on testing of life-saving appliances,'' IMO 
Resolution MSC.81(70), as amended (hereinafter ``Revised recommendation 
on testing''). The IMO updates these standards by adopting MSC 
Resolutions promulgating amendments to these standards.
    Subpart 160.133 incorporates by reference the latest published 
version of the IMO LSA Code and the Revised recommendation on testing. 
Sections 160.133-5(c)(2) and (c)(3) incorporate by reference the parts 
of IMO's publication ``Life-saving Appliances, 2010 Edition'' that 
include the IMO LSA Code and the Revised recommendation

[[Page 70392]]

on testing. The ``Life-saving Appliances, 2010 Edition'' includes all 
amendments to the IMO LSA Code and Revised recommendation on testing 
adopted through 2010. These amendments are discussed in the NPRM 
published in the Federal Register on August 31, 2010, titled 
``Lifesaving Equipment: Production Testing and Harmonization with 
International Standards.'' See 75 FR 53458.
    On May 20, 2011, IMO adopted two new MSC Resolutions further 
amending the IMO LSA Code and the Revised recommendation on testing: 
IMO Resolution MSC.320(89), ``Adoption of amendments to the 
International Life-saving Appliance (LSA) Code,'' and IMO Resolution 
MSC.321(89), ``Adoption of amendments to the Revised Recommendation on 
Testing of Life-saving Appliances (Resolution MSC.81(70)), as 
amended.''
    Resolution MSC.320(89) amends the IMO LSA Code and enters into 
force on January 1, 2013. This Resolution amends the design and 
performance requirements for release mechanisms by requiring--
     The hook portion to be ``stable'' such that when the hook 
is in the closed and reset position and under load from the lifeboat, 
no forces are transmitted back to the release handle;
     specific components within the system to be made of 
corrosion-resistant materials without the need for galvanizing;
     that, for moveable hook designs that are not of the ``load 
over center'' type (i.e., that are designed to rotate when a load is 
applied to the hook face), the moveable hook component is kept fully 
closed by the hook locking parts so that it is capable of holding its 
safe working load under any operational conditions until the hook 
locking part is deliberately caused to open by means of the operating 
mechanism;
     that if a hydrostatic interlock or similar device is 
provided to indicate that the lifeboat or rescue boat is waterborne, it 
automatically resets upon lifting the boat from the water;
     multiple actions to perform on-load release, including the 
deliberate destruction of a ``break glass'' or similar arrangement;
     operational capability of up to 100 percent of the release 
hook's design load under conditions of trim of up to 10 degrees and a 
list of up to 20 degrees either way;
     release mechanisms of the hook tail and cam type to remain 
closed and hold their design load through rotation of the cam of up to 
45 degrees in either direction, or 45 degrees in one direction if 
restricted by design, from its locked position; and
     operating links and cables to be waterproof and not have 
exposed or unprotected areas.
    Resolution MSC.321(89) amends the Revised recommendation on testing 
and enters into force on January 1, 2013. This Resolution specifies 
revisions to the prototype testing of release mechanisms supporting the 
amendments to the IMO LSA Code. The revisions to the testing include:
     a demonstration that the moveable hook component, when 
disconnected from the operating mechanism, remains closed while under a 
load equivalent to the B-weight of a lifeboat (see ``Full load'' 
definition in 46 CFR part 160, subpart 160.135-3) at a speed of 5 
knots.
     a demonstration that a lifeboat release mechanism loaded 
at 100 percent of the design load of the release hook will successfully 
release under load 50 consecutive times, as well as simultaneously in 
the case of twin-fall systems;
     a demonstration that the moveable hook component, when 
disconnected from the operating mechanism, remains closed when tested 
10 times with a cyclical loading from no load to 110 percent of the 
design load, or 1 percent to 110 percent of design load for load over 
center designs, at 10 seconds per cycle;
     a demonstration that the actuating force under the design 
load of the release mechanism is between 100 N and 300 N (22.5 lbf and 
67.5 lbf); and
     prototype testing of a second unit, repeating the 
actuation force test before undergoing a tensile test at six times the 
design safe working load.
    The Coast Guard proposes to revise subpart 160.133 to incorporate 
by reference IMO Resolutions MSC.320(89) and MSC.321(89). Beyond the 
obligations to adopt the changes to the IMO LSA Code and Revised 
recommendation on testing as a signatory to the SOLAS convention, the 
Coast Guard desires to incorporate by reference the amendments in IMO 
Resolutions MSC.320(89) and MSC.321(89) because they provide a higher 
standard of safety and performance than that of the existing 
requirements incorporated by reference in Sec.  160.133-5. Further, for 
manufacturers, harmonization with current international standards will 
facilitate marketing of their products internationally.
    The United States actively participated in the negotiations that 
led to the development of these IMO standards. The Coast Guard 
considers these IMO standards to represent the best available standards 
for the design and performance of release mechanisms and to be 
appropriate for lifeboats and rescue boats subject to inspection by the 
United States. In order to facilitate international commerce with other 
contracting governments to SOLAS that follow IMO standards, and to 
achieve the benefits of the increased safety of adhering to these IMO 
standards, the Coast Guard has, pursuant to 46 U.S.C. 3306 and 46 CFR 
159.005-7(c), deemed compliance by U.S.-flagged ships with the IMO 
standards as compliance with Coast Guard domestic regulations.
    The effect of this proposed change would be that all davit-launched 
lifeboats for Coast Guard approval under subpart 160.135, and SOLAS 
rescue boats and fast rescue boats for Coast Guard approval under 
subpart 160.156 (other than those fitted with automatic release hooks 
under approval series 160.170), would be required to have a release 
mechanism approved under this revised subpart 160.133. See Sec.  
160.135-7(b)(17) (``Each release mechanism must be identified at the 
application for approval of the prototype lifeboat and must be approved 
under 46 CFR part 160, subpart 160.133'') and 160.156-7(b)(18) (``Each 
release mechanism fitted to a rescue boat, including a fast rescue 
boat, must be identified at the application for approval of the 
prototype rescue boat and must be approved under subparts 160.133 or 
160.170 of this part.''). Davit-launched lifeboats and SOLAS rescue 
boats and fast rescue boats already installed prior to the 
implementation of this SNPRM will not be affected.
    Beyond the new IMO Resolutions discussed above, the Coast Guard is 
also proposing amendments to Sec.  160.115 to clarify the winch drum 
design requirements, and editorial amendments to correct non-
substantive errors in 46 CFR part 160, subparts 160.133, 160.135, and 
160.156.

V. Discussion of Proposed Rule

Revision to 46 CFR Part 160, Subpart 160.115

    The Coast Guard proposes to replace 46 CFR 160.115-7(b)(5)(i) with 
text that requires winch drums to either be grooved or otherwise 
designed to wind the falls evenly on and off each drum. The Coast Guard 
is proposing to make this change because winch drum designs are 
increasingly being shown to be effective at winding the falls on and 
off the drum without grooves, (i.e., winch drums with a smooth drum 
design instead of the traditional grooved drum design). The proposed 
change in Sec.  160.115-7(b)(5)(i) does not modify the

[[Page 70393]]

standard of design or performance for winch drums. Rather, the proposed 
change is intended to clarify the current regulation text which 
requires drums to be grooved ``unless otherwise approved by the 
Commandant.'' The primary standard by which the Coast Guard evaluates 
the design and performance of launching appliances, IMO LSA Code 
Chapter VI, ``Launching and embarkation appliances'' (referenced in 
Sec.  160.115-7(a)(1)), does not require drums to be grooved, but 
requires the falls to wind evenly on and off the drum(s).
    For many years, the Coast Guard has approved winches with smooth 
drums under approval series 160.115 as providing equivalent performance 
to grooved drums. However, there remains some confusion on the 
interpretation of existing Sec.  160.115-7(b)(5)(i) with respect to the 
approval of winches without grooved drums. The Coast Guard believes 
this proposed change would reduce confusion about the Coast Guard's 
criteria for acceptance of non-grooved drums in launching appliance 
winches by providing manufacturers with clearer language regarding the 
intended design performance.
    The Coast Guard proposes to add a new paragraph (4) to Sec.  
160.115-13(d), which would support the proposed revision to 46 CFR 
160.115-7(b)(5)(i) by ensuring that any non-grooved drum design is 
still shown at the prototype testing phase to be as effective at evenly 
winding the falls on and off the drum surface as a grooved drum.

Revisions to 46 CFR Part 160, Subpart 160.133

    The Coast Guard proposes to amend the title of subpart 160.133 by 
removing ``(SOLAS).'' As stated in the interim rule published on 
October 11, 2011, the Coast Guard removed the standard for domestic 
release mechanisms under 46 CFR 160.033 and created one standard for 
release mechanisms under 160.133. Therefore the use of ``SOLAS'' in the 
title is unnecessary and may be misleading when installing release 
mechanisms approved under subpart 160.133 in lifeboats serving U.S. 
vessels only on domestic routes. Changing the title would make it 
consistent with other subparts affected by the interim rule. The Coast 
Guard also proposes changing the title of subpart 160.135, which will 
be discussed in the section below titled, ``Revisions to 46 CFR part 
160, subpart 160.135, and subpart 160.156.''
    The Coast Guard proposes to correct the misspelling of ``life-
saving'' in the title of the ``Revised recommendation on testing of 
life-saving appliances'' in Sec.  160.133-5(c)(3) which was incorrectly 
spelled as ``live-saving''.
    The Coast Guard proposes to revise Sec.  160.133-5(c) to 
incorporate by reference IMO Resolutions MSC.320(89) and MSC.321(89) in 
new paragraphs (c)(6) and (c)(7), respectively. Because of the 
incorporation by reference of these Resolutions in Sec.  160.133-5(c), 
references to the IMO LSA Code in Sec. Sec.  160.133-3, 160.133-
7(a)(1), 160.133-7(b)(8), and 160.133-7(b)(9) would be revised with 
``as amended by Resolution MSC.320(89),'' and references to the Revised 
recommendation on testing in Sec. Sec.  160.133-7(a)(2) and 160.133-
13(d)(2) would be revised with ``as amended by IMO Resolution 
MSC.321(89).'' Revising these incorporations by reference would affect 
the provisions in Sec. Sec.  160.133-7 and 160.133-13, which refer to 
the Revised recommendation on testing, as discussed in part IV above.
    Because IMO Resolution MSC.320(89) requires ``all components of the 
hook unit, release handle unit, control cables or mechanical operating 
links and the fixed structural connections in a lifeboat [to] be of 
material corrosion resistant in the marine environment without the need 
for coatings or galvanizing,'' the current ASTM standard for structural 
carbon steel incorporated by reference in Sec.  160.133-5 is a 
conflicting standard. This standard would no longer be appropriate 
because these steels require coatings or galvanizing to be corrosion 
resistant. Therefore, the Coast Guard proposes to remove Sec.  160.133-
5(b)(1), incorporating by reference ASTM A 36/A 36M-08, ``Standard 
Specification for Carbon Structural Steel,'' and to remove the 
accompanying standard for galvanizing in Sec.  160.133-5(b)(5), 
incorporating by reference ASTM A 653/A 653M-08, ``Standard 
Specification for Steel Sheet, Zinc-Coated (Galvanized) or Zinc-Iron 
Alloy-Coated (Galvannealed) by the Hot-Dip Process.'' Because Sec.  
160.133-5 already contains three standards for stainless steel that 
meet the non-galvanized, corrosion-resistant material requirement of 
IMO Resolution MSC.320(89), the Coast Guard further proposes to retain 
and renumber Sec.  160.133-5(b)(2), (3), and (4), incorporating by 
reference the three ASTM stainless-steel standards. The Coast Guard 
seeks public comment on other corrosion-resistant material standards 
for possible incorporation by reference in Sec.  160.133-5(b).
    The Coast Guard proposes to amend Sec.  160.133-7(b)(3) to remove 
reference to ASTM A36 and ASTM A653, as these standards would no longer 
apply as described above. As proposed, the references to the ASTM 
standards would be replaced with language requiring each major 
structural component of each release mechanism to be constructed of 
corrosion-resistant steel that meets the standards for type 302 
stainless steel in ASTM A 276, ASTM A 313, or ASTM A 314 (incorporated 
by reference, see Sec.  160.133-5 of this subpart). The proposed 
language would also permit other corrosion-resistant materials to be 
used if accepted by the Commandant as having equivalent or superior 
corrosion-resistant characteristics without the need for coatings or 
galvanizing.
    The Coast Guard proposes to remove Sec.  160.133-7(b)(15), which 
requires each release mechanism to have mechanical protection against 
accidental or premature release that can only be engaged when the 
release mechanism is properly and completely reset. The Coast Guard 
recognized that the requirements in this paragraph were already 
addressed in the existing IMO LSA Code (incorporated by reference in 
Sec.  160.133-5(c)(2)), paragraph 4.4.7.6.4, related to lifeboat 
fittings, and are not affected by IMO Resolution MSC.320(89) that 
amends the IMO LSA Code. Therefore, removing existing Sec.  160.133-
7(b)(15) would eliminate a redundancy with the incorporation by 
reference of the IMO LSA Code.
    The Coast Guard proposes to remove Sec.  160.133-13(d)(2)(iii), 
which contains a stipulation regarding galvanizing, because galvanizing 
is no longer an acceptable form of metal treatment for corrosion 
resistance under IMO Resolution MSC.320(89) and its removal is 
consistent with the proposed removal of ASTM A 653 in Sec. Sec.  
160.133-5 and 160.133-7 discussed above. The Coast Guard would re-
number paragraphs consistent with the removal of these items. The Coast 
Guard proposes to remove the last two sentences in paragraph (e) of 
Sec.  160.133-15, consistent with the proposed removal of ASTM A 653.
    The Coast Guard proposes to amend Sec.  160.133-15(e) by removing 
the last two sentences, which require each approved release mechanism 
to be constructed with non-corrosion-resistant steel that meets the 
coating mass and bend tests requirement specified under ASTM A 653 
after galvanizing or other anti-corrosion treatment has been applied. 
This amendment is consistent with the changes to Sec.  160.133-5, Sec.  
160.133-7 and Sec.  160.133-13 discussed above as related to the use of 
galvanized steel.

Revisions to 46 CFR Part 160, Subpart 160.135, and Subpart 160.156

    The Coast Guard proposes to amend the title of Sec.  160.135 by 
removing

[[Page 70394]]

``(SOLAS).'' As stated in the interim rule published on October 11, 
2011, the Coast Guard removed the standard for lifeboats for merchant 
vessels under 46 CFR 160.035 and created one standard for lifeboats 
under 160.135. Therefore the use of ``SOLAS'' in the title is 
unnecessary and may be misleading when installing lifeboats approved 
under Sec.  160.135 on U.S. vessels only on domestic routes. Regardless 
of domestic or international service, U.S. vessels must carry lifeboats 
approved under approval series 160.135. See 46 CFR 199.201 and 199.261. 
Changing the title to subpart 160.135 will make it consistent with the 
title of other subparts affected by the interim rule. The Coast Guard 
does not propose to remove ``SOLAS'' from the title of 46 CFR 160.156 
for rescue boats and fast rescue boats because the Coast Guard retained 
the domestic, locally approved rescue boat standard in 46 CFR 160.056.
    The Coast Guard proposes to amend Sec.  160.135-15(e)(2) and Sec.  
160.156-15(e)(2) to include the reference to the Revised recommendation 
on testing part 2, paragraph 5.3 and to remove the redundant statement, 
``At a minimum, each [lifeboat/rescue boat] must be operated for 2 
hours during which all [lifeboat/rescue boat] systems must be 
exercised.'' Under existing Sec.  160.135-15(e)(2) and Sec.  160.156-
15(e)(2), the Coast Guard expected all of the production tests of IMO 
Revised recommendation on testing part 2, paragraph 5.3, as applicable 
to the type of boat, to be performed on all approved lifeboats and 
rescue boats. By amending Sec.  160.135-15(e)(2) and Sec.  160.156-
15(e)(2), the Coast Guard will make this requirement clear. The 
requirement to operate each production lifeboat and rescue boat for 2 
hours is already included in the IMO Revised recommendation on testing 
part 2 (incorporated by reference in Sec.  160.135-5 and Sec.  160.156-
5), paragraph 5.3, and thus the Coast Guard proposes removal of this 
sentence from Sec.  160.135-15(e)(2) and Sec.  160.156-15(e)(2). 
Because of the existing incorporation by reference of the Revised 
recommendation on testing in Sec.  160.135-15 and Sec.  160.156-15, 
these sections would be added as approved incorporations by reference 
in Sec.  160.135-5(d)(4) and Sec.  160.156-5(d)(4), respectively.
    The Coast Guard also proposes to amend Sec.  160.135-15(d), which 
sets forth independent laboratory responsibilities, by amending the 
reference to paragraph (e)(2) so that it references all of paragraph 
(e). This amendment would correct a typographical error; Sec.  160.135-
15(d) was intended to have the same language as 46 CFR part 160, 
subpart 160.156-15(d), which correctly references paragraph (e) in its 
entirety. Without this correction, it may be misinterpreted that the 
independent laboratory does not have responsibility for witnessing the 
lifeboat in-process tests and inspections outlined in Sec.  160.135-
15(e)(1).
    The Coast Guard proposes to amend Sec.  160.135-15(e)(1)(iv) to 
correct the typographical error referencing Sec.  160.135-
13(c)(2)(i)(B), which does not exist, and replace it with the correct 
reference, which is Sec.  160.135-11(c)(2)(i)(B).
    Additionally, the Coast Guard proposes to correct typographical 
errors in Sec.  160.156-7(b)(13), Sec.  156-9(b)(22)(iv), and Sec.  
156-9(d)(2) by replacing the word ``lifeboat'' with the correct term, 
``rescue boat,'' because Sec.  160.156 applies to rescue boats only. 
The Coast Guard also proposes to amend Sec.  160.156-15(e)(1) by 
removing the phrase ``In accordance with the interval prescribed in 
paragraph (d)(1) of this section.'' Part of the Coast Guard's original 
intent when drafting this rule was consistency of language throughout 
the affected subparts where possible. This phrase does not appear in 
any other subpart affected by the interim rule and inadvertently 
remained in 160.156-15(e)(1) when the interim rule was published. 
Removal of this phrase will also eliminate the typographical error in 
Sec.  160.156-15(e)(1) by removing reference to Sec.  160.156-15(d)(1), 
which does not exist.
    Finally, the Coast Guard proposes to remove the cite to 49 CFR 1.46 
in the authorities section of part 160 and part 164 because that 
authority applies to the Department of Transportation, under which the 
Coast Guard no longer operates. The Coast Guard currently operates 
under the authority of the Department of Homeland Security.

Proposed Impacts to Certificates of Approval

    If these proposed changes to incorporate by reference IMO 
Resolutions MSC.320(89) and MSC.321(89) are finalized, any manufacturer 
of SOLAS release mechanisms who wants to continue to manufacture such 
release mechanisms under a Certificate of Approval issued under 
existing subpart 160.133 would have to provide the Coast Guard with an 
application for pre-approval review in accordance with Sec.  160.133-23 
(Procedure for approval of design, material, or construction change). 
The application would have to indicate how the existing release 
mechanism, or a new or revised design, meets the requirements of 
proposed Sec.  160.133-7 incorporating by reference the amendments to 
the IMO LSA Code from IMO Resolution MSC.320(89). If the information 
submitted in accordance with Sec.  160.133-23, for changes to existing 
designs, or Sec.  160.133-9, for new designs, is satisfactory to the 
Commandant, the manufacturer would be permitted to proceed with 
fabrication of the prototype release mechanism and the approval 
inspections and tests required under proposed Sec.  160.133-13 
incorporating by reference the amendments to the Revised recommendation 
on testing from IMO Resolution MSC.321(89). The Coast Guard would 
document compliance with Resolutions MSC.320(89) and MSC.321(89) by 
means of amended Certificates of Approval under subpart 160.133.
    Similarly, if these proposed changes are finalized, any 
manufacturer of davit-launched lifeboats and those manufacturers of 
SOLAS rescue boats or fast rescue boats with installed release 
mechanisms approved under existing subpart 160.133 who want to continue 
manufacturing such boats under a Certificate of Approval issued under 
subpart 160.135 or 160.156, respectively, would have to provide the 
Coast Guard with an application for pre-approval review in accordance 
with Sec.  160.135-23 or Sec.  160.156-23 (Procedure for approval of 
design, material, or construction change). This application would have 
to indicate the proposed installation of a release mechanism meeting 
the requirements of the proposed Sec.  160.133-7 incorporating by 
reference the amendments to the IMO LSA Code from IMO Resolution 
MSC.320(89). If the information submitted in accordance with Sec.  
160.135-23 or Sec.  160.156-23 is satisfactory to the Commandant, the 
manufacturer would be permitted to proceed with fabrication of the 
prototype lifeboat or rescue boat, and would be notified of the extent 
of any prototype testing needed for reissuance of the Certificate of 
Approval under 160.135 or 160.156. The Coast Guard would document 
compliance with Resolutions MSC.320(89) and MSC.321(89) by means of 
amended Certificates of Approval under subparts 160.135 and 160.156 
indicating installation of a release mechanism demonstrated to meet 
Resolutions MSC.320(89) and MSC.321(89).

VI. Incorporation by Reference

    Material proposed for incorporation by reference appears in 
proposed 46 CFR 160.133-5(c)(6) and (c)(7). You may inspect this 
material at U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters where indicated under

[[Page 70395]]

ADDRESSES. Copies of the material are available from the sources listed 
in paragraph (A) of that section.
    Before publishing a final rule, the Coast Guard will submit this 
material to the Director of the Federal Register for approval of the 
incorporation by reference.

VII. Regulatory Analyses

    The Coast Guard developed this proposed rule after considering 
numerous statutes and executive orders related to rulemaking. Below the 
Coast Guard summarizes its analyses based on 14 of these statutes or 
executive orders.

A. Regulatory Planning and Review

    Executive Orders 12866 (``Regulatory Planning and Review'') and 
13563 (``Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review'') direct agencies 
to assess the costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives 
and, if regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that 
maximize net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, 
public health and safety effects, distributive impacts, and equity). 
Executive Order 13563 emphasizes the importance of quantifying both 
costs and benefits, of reducing costs, of harmonizing rules, and of 
promoting flexibility.
    This SNPRM has not been designated a ``significant regulatory 
action'' under section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866. Accordingly, the 
SNPRM has not been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget. A 
draft regulatory assessment follows:
    The proposed rule would amend the existing regulations for release 
mechanisms for lifeboats and rescue boats in order to harmonize Coast 
Guard regulatory requirements with the international standards 
established by the IMO. The proposed rule specifically requires U.S. 
standards regarding design, construction, performance, and testing of 
release mechanisms to be harmonized to the IMO's standards. This 
harmonization is required--
     For the U.S. to comply with its treaty obligations as a 
contracting government to SOLAS by harmonizing Coast Guard requirements 
for release mechanisms for lifeboats and rescue boats with the 
international standards established by the IMO LSA Code; and
     To clarify requirements and remove inconsistencies between 
the requirements for SOLAS compliance and the sections of 46 CFR 
regulating release mechanisms on lifeboats and rescue boats.
    In addition, the proposed rule would add wording to 46 CFR 160.115-
7(b)(5)(i) that would clarify the Coast Guard's acceptance of non-
grooved winch drums as an alternative to grooved drums on launching 
appliance winches. Currently that section states, ``A winch must have 
grooved drums unless otherwise approved by the Commandant.'' The 
section would be reworded to state, ``Winch drums must either be 
grooved or otherwise designed to wind the falls evenly on and off each 
drum.'' As such, this change clarifies requirements by specifying 
criteria used by the Coast Guard in historic approvals directly in the 
regulations, thereby reducing paperwork and regulatory uncertainty. The 
proposed change in Sec.  160.115-7(b)(5)(i) would not modify the 
standard of design, performance, or testing for winch drums. Approval 
requests for non-grooved winch drums are a component of the application 
process for all winch drums (grooved and non-grooved), along with many 
other lifesaving appliances (i.e., davits, lifeboats, etc.), that must 
be approved by the Coast Guard. The Coast Guard estimates that any time 
saved associated with this clarification to the winch drum approvals 
would be minimal. In addition, there are already manufacturers of non-
grooved or smooth winch drums. For these reasons, there are no cost 
implications for industry from the rewording of Sec.  160.115-
7(b)(5)(i). The purpose of the modification of the wording in Sec.  
160.115-7(b)(5)(i) is to clarify the Coast Guard's criteria for 
acceptance of non-grooved or smooth winch drums as an alternative to 
grooved drums.
    Table 1 provides a summary of the proposed rule's applicability, 
affected population, costs, and benefits. Each of these factors is 
discussed in greater depth in the sections following the table.

          Table 1--Summary of the Impacts of the Proposed Rule
------------------------------------------------------------------------
           Category                             Summary
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Applicability................  U.S. manufacturers of release mechanisms
                                for lifeboats and rescue boats, U.S.
                                manufacturers of non-grooved or smooth
                                winch drums, and U.S.-flagged vessels
                                required by the Coast Guard to carry
                                lifeboats and rescue boats.
Affected Population..........  One U.S. manufacturer of release
                                mechanisms, five U.S. manufacturers of
                                non-grooved or smooth winch drums, 102
                                non-SOLAS-certified vessels, 289 SOLAS-
                                certified vessels.
Costs........................  None.
Quantified Benefits..........  None.
Qualitative Benefits.........  Benefits Associated with Harmonizing
                                Standards:
                                Fulfilling U.S. treaty
                                obligations to the IMO;
                                USCG and vessel owners and
                                operators would face less uncertainty
                                and more efficient USCG inspections;
                                Manufacturers and users of non-
                                grooved or smooth winch drums will face
                                less uncertainty regarding the Coast
                                Guard criteria for approval of non-
                                grooved or smooth winch drums.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Affected Population and Cost Impacts

    The proposed rule would potentially affect three groups. The first 
consists of U.S. manufacturers of release mechanisms, the second 
consists of vessels that are required to be equipped with lifeboats or 
rescue boats, and the third consists of U.S. manufacturers of non-
grooved or smooth winch drums.
    There is currently only one U.S. manufacturer of release mechanisms 
for lifeboats and rescue boats.\1\ This manufacturer is, however, in 
the process of phasing out production of the release mechanisms 
manufactured from galvanized steel or its equivalent (as required under 
current regulations) \2\

[[Page 70396]]

before January 1, 2013. This manufacturer, which is also the only known 
manufacturer of galvanized steel mechanisms for lifeboats and rescue 
boats in the U.S., will be manufacturing only stainless-steel release 
mechanisms, manufactured from corrosion-resistant materials and without 
the need for galvanizing (or its equivalent), \3\ and complying with 
the latest IMO requirements, before that date. The manufacturer is 
planning this phase-out because it expects the market for galvanized 
steel mechanisms approved to the current requirements to disappear.\4\ 
Because the manufacturer's phase-out will occur independently of 
whether the proposed rule is implemented, the manufacturer would 
experience no additional cost impact due to this proposed rule. If the 
proposed rule is implemented, the manufacturer, by the time of the 
proposed rule's implementation, will have already incurred the cost of 
the switchover from the galvanized steel mechanisms to those 
manufactured with corrosion-resistant material without the need for 
galvanizing. The decision will have been made based on expected changes 
in market conditions and will also be in compliance with the new IMO 
requirements.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ Manufacturers of release mechanisms are currently required 
to test their mechanisms and file the results with the Coast Guard. 
Coast Guard records indicate that there is only one U.S.-based 
manufacturer of these mechanisms.
    \2\ The Coast Guard regulation currently in place does not 
require the use of galvanized steel, per se, but permits a 
regulatory equivalent to galvanized steel that does not necessarily 
have to be manufactured of galvanized steel. The current Sec.  
160.133-7(b)(3), the section of the regulation dealing with the 
``design, construction, and performance of release mechanisms'' 
describes the regulatory equivalent as follows: ``Each major 
structural component of each release mechanism must be constructed 
of steel. Other materials may be used if accepted by the Commandant 
as equivalent or superior. Sheet steel and plate must be low-carbon, 
commercial quality, either corrosion resistant or galvanized as per 
ASTM A 653 (incorporated by reference, see Sec.  160.133-5 of this 
subpart), coating designation G115. Structural steel plates and 
shapes must be carbon steel as per ASTM A 36 (incorporated by 
reference, see Sec.  160.133-5 of this subpart). All steel products, 
except corrosion-resistant steel, must be galvanized to provide 
high-quality zinc coatings suitable for the intended service life in 
a marine environment. Each fabricated part must be galvanized after 
fabrication. Corrosion-resistant steel must be a type 302 stainless 
steel per ASTM A 276, ASTM A 313 or ASTM A 314 (incorporated by 
reference, see Sec.  160.133-5 of this subpart) or another 
corrosion-resistant stainless steel of equal or superior corrosion-
resistant characteristics''. In this regulatory analysis, the term 
``galvanized steel release mechanisms'' will also refer to those 
that may not necessarily be manufactured of galvanized steel but are 
the equivalent thereof as defined above.
    \3\ The proposed regulation does not require only the use of 
stainless steel, per se, but also permits a regulatory equivalent to 
such a stainless steel mechanism that does not necessarily have to 
be manufactured of stainless steel. Sec.  167.133-7(b)(3), the 
section of the regulation dealing with the ``design, construction, 
and performance of release mechanisms'', states: ``Each major 
structural component of each release mechanism must be constructed 
of steel. Corrosion-resistant steel must be a type 302 stainless 
steel per ASTM A 276, ASTM A 313 or ASTM A 314 (incorporated by 
reference, see Sec.  160.133-5 of this subpart). Other corrosion-
resistant materials may be used if accepted by the Commandant as 
having equivalent or superior corrosion-resistant characteristics.'' 
In this regulatory analysis, the term ``stainless steel'' release 
mechanisms will also refer to those that may not necessarily be 
manufactured of stainless steel but are the equivalent thereof as 
defined in the proposed regulation.
    \4\ Information provided to the Coast Guard by telephone, June 
2012.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    There are a total of five potential manufacturers of non-grooved or 
smooth winch drums.\5\ As stated previously, the proposed regulation 
would not modify production, design, or testing standards associated 
with these winch drums, nor would it change reporting and recordkeeping 
requirements surrounding their sale or use. Therefore, the Coast Guard 
does not expect there would be any cost or collection of information 
implications to U.S. manufacturers.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \5\ Estimated based on data provided by manufacturers of winch 
drums to the U.S. Coast Guard for the required approval of their 
winch drums. This data was found in the U.S. Coast Guard's Maritime 
Information Exchange database under the equipment approved for Sec.  
160.115 (winch drums). In this database the Coast Guard does not 
break out approvals given for winch drums by grooved and non-grooved 
or smooth construction. The data is for all winch drums. Hence, it 
is a maximum potential number of manufacturers of all winch drum 
(both grooved and non-grooved) manufacturers.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Based on data from the Coast Guard's Marine Information for Safety 
and Law Enforcement (MISLE) database, the Coast Guard estimates the 
total number of vessels affected by the proposed rule to be 391, of 
which 289 \6\ are SOLAS certified (hereinafter referred to as SOLAS 
vessels), and 102 are non-SOLAS. \7\ This proposed rule would require 
these vessels to comply with new IMO requirements and use release 
mechanisms made from corrosion-resistant materials without the need for 
galvanizing (or regulatory equivalent), instead of a galvanized steel 
release mechanism (or regulatory equivalent) for any future 
replacements of on-load release mechanisms installed in existing life 
or rescue boats. Release mechanisms currently in place would not need 
to be replaced except in two limited circumstances. These are:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \6\ Data source: Marine Information for Safety and Law 
Enforcement (MISLE) system.
    \7\ Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (1) Accidents that result in the damage of the mechanisms 
themselves or accidents that damage lifeboats and rescue boats 
seriously enough to require replacement.\8\ A search was conducted of 
the MISLE database system for such accidents from 2003 through 2011. 
Based on accidents found during this period, six release mechanisms 
were estimated to need replacement on SOLAS vessels and six on non-
SOLAS vessels. This yields an average of less than one release 
mechanism needing replacement per annum. In all of these accidents, 
there was only one accident that resulted in injuries, and these 
injuries were slight.\9\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \8\ New lifeboats and rescue boats are equipped with new release 
mechanisms as standard equipment. This was the consensus of the 
Coast Guard and private sector subject matter experts.
    \9\ The four were sent to the hospital for examinations but all 
four went back to work the same day.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (2) Release mechanisms may need to be replaced due to their 
deterioration from normal wear and tear. However, both private sector 
and Coast Guard subject matter experts have stated that the lifespans 
of both galvanized and stainless-steel mechanisms generally exceed the 
lifespan of the lifeboats and rescue boats on which they are carried. 
Therefore, the Coast Guard does not expect any replacements resulting 
from deterioration or normal wear and tear.\10\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \10\ It should be noted that depreciation and normal wear and 
tear do not include accidents.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Lifeboats and rescue boats installed on or after the implementation 
of the final rule by in-scope vessel owners and operators would need to 
meet the requirements in IMO resolutions MSC.320(89) and MSC.321(89) in 
order to obtain SOLAS certification. Therefore, the proposed rule would 
not have any additional cost impact to this class of vessels. The non-
SOLAS vessels would have to upgrade to the non-galvanized, corrosion-
resistant mechanisms compliant with the new requirements whenever they 
need to replace any mechanisms in the future for either of the reasons 
cited above, or for newly constructed lifeboats and rescue boats.
    If release mechanisms meeting both the current and the new 
requirements were available, the Coast Guard assumes vessel owners and 
operators would purchase the less-expensive of the two, those meeting 
the current requirements. Release mechanisms approved to the current 
requirements (such as those made of galvanized steel) were found to be 
$1,500 less-expensive, per unit, than those meeting the new 
requirements (corrosion-resistant mechanisms).\11\ As stated above, 
however, the one supplier of galvanized steel on-load release 
mechanisms is expected to stop manufacturing them before the proposed 
rule would take effect on January 1, 2013. Foreign entities that have 
manufactured these mechanisms have also, based on our research, 
discontinued manufacturing them.\12\ Therefore, the galvanized steel

[[Page 70397]]

mechanisms (or their equivalent) will no longer be available for 
purchase. Only the non-galvanized, corrosion-resistant mechanisms that 
are in compliance with the IMO requirements will be available. The 
single U.S. manufacturer is phasing out the galvanized steel mechanisms 
irrespective of whether the proposed rule is enacted. The single U.S. 
manufacturer is planning this phase-out because it no longer sees a 
future market for the galvanized steel mechanisms.\13\ As a result, 
consumers will be able to purchase only the corrosion-resistant 
mechanisms.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \11\ This same cost differential was obtained from two separate 
and independent industry sources. One source, as of March 2012, is 
producing both the stainless steel and galvanized steel mechanisms 
while the second is not currently producing both mechanisms, but 
cited a price difference that existed when it produced both.
    \12\ Based on telephone discussions with numerous distributors 
and manufacturers of release mechanisms in the U.S.
    \13\ Information supplied by U.S. manufacturer.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Benefits

    The proposed rule would amend the existing regulations for release 
mechanisms for lifeboats and rescue boats in order to harmonize Coast 
Guard regulatory requirements with the international standards 
established by the IMO. The harmonization specifically requires U.S. 
standards regarding design, construction, performance, and testing of 
release mechanisms to be harmonized to the IMO's standards.
    Benefits from the harmonization of the Coast Guard regulatory 
requirements to the IMO standards include the following:
    (1) Fulfilling U.S. treaty obligations to the IMO;
    (2) The Coast Guard and vessel owners and operators would face less 
uncertainty and more efficient Coast Guard inspections during vessel 
inspections because only one type of release mechanism would have to be 
inspected as opposed to two.
    (3) The inclusion of performance criteria for approval of non-
grooved or smooth winch drums to the language contained in Sec.  
160.115-7(b)(5)(i), and the addition of proposed new Sec.  160.155-
13(d)(4), reduces any uncertainty to U.S.-based manufacturers and users 
of such winch drums. If the proposed regulation is finalized, it will 
be clear that such products, when approved by the Coast Guard, will be 
equivalent to grooved winch drums in terms of performance.

B. Small Entities

    Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601-612), the Coast 
Guard has considered whether this proposed rule would have a 
significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. 
The term ``small entities'' comprises small businesses, not-for-profit 
organizations that are independently owned and operated and are not 
dominant in their fields, and governmental jurisdictions with 
populations of fewer than 50,000.
    There are three industries that may potentially face a direct cost 
resulting from the proposed rule. The first industry consists of the 
single U.S. manufacturer of release mechanisms. The second industry 
consists of the five manufacturers of winch drums. The third industry 
consists of owners and operators of vessels equipped with in-scope 
lifeboats and rescue boats. Based on data from the Coast Guard's Marine 
Information for Safety and Law Enforcement (MISLE) database, the Coast 
Guard estimates the total number of vessels affected by the proposed 
rule to be 391, of which 289 \14\ are SOLAS certified and 102 are non-
SOLAS. \15\ The Coast Guard has determined that a significant number of 
small entities in these three industries will not be substantially 
impacted and the explanation for this determination appears in the 
paragraphs that follow.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \14\ Data source: Marine Information for Safety and Law 
Enforcement (MISLE) system.
    \15\ Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    With respect to the single U.S. manufacturer of release mechanisms, 
the Coast Guard does not expect that there would be any cost impact 
because, as stated previously, prior to January 1, 2013, the only U.S. 
manufacturer of the galvanized steel mechanisms is planning to 
discontinue manufacturing them.\16\ Based on our research (as of March 
2012), there are no manufacturers of galvanized steel release 
mechanisms (or their equivalent) outside of the U.S. Therefore, the 
galvanized steel mechanisms (or their equivalent) will no longer be 
available for purchase. Only the non-galvanized, corrosion-resistant 
mechanisms that are in compliance with the IMO requirements will be 
available. The single U.S. manufacturer is phasing out the galvanized 
steel mechanisms irrespective of whether the proposed rule is enacted. 
The single U.S. manufacturer is planning this phase-out because it no 
longer sees a future market for the galvanized steel mechanisms.\17\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \16\ Based on telephone conversation with the manufacturer held 
in June 2012.
    \17\ Information supplied by U.S. manufacturer.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    With respect to the five U.S. manufacturers of winch drums, as 
stated previously, the proposed regulation will not modify the 
requirements regarding production, design, or testing standards for 
non-grooved and smooth winch drums. The proposed regulation will also 
not impose further reporting burdens on manufacturers. This is because 
there is no specific application, per se, regarding non-grooved and 
smooth drums that must be sent to the Coast Guard and processed by the 
Coast Guard. Approval requests for non-grooved winch drums are a 
component of the application process for all winch drums (grooved and 
non-grooved), along with many other lifesaving appliances (i.e., 
davits, lifeboats, etc.), that must be approved by the Coast Guard.
    With respect to the in-scope owners and operators of vessels, the 
marginal additional cost stemming from the requirements to fulfill the 
proposed rule are expected to be minimal. This is because, as stated 
previously, regardless of whether or not the proposed rule is 
implemented (i.e., independent thereof), prior to the implementation of 
the proposed rule the cheaper galvanized steel release mechanisms will 
no longer be available in the market place. The single U.S. 
manufacturer will no longer be manufacturing galvanized steel release 
mechanisms. Thus vessel owners will only be able to purchase stainless 
steel release mechanisms.
    Therefore, the Coast Guard certifies under 5 U.S.C. 605(b) that 
this proposed rule, if promulgated, would not have a significant 
economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. If you think 
that your business, organization, or governmental jurisdiction 
qualifies as a small entity and that this proposed rule would have a 
significant economic impact on it, please submit a comment to the 
Docket Management Facility at the address under ADDRESSES. In your 
comment, explain why you think it qualifies and how and to what degree 
this proposed rule would economically affect it.

C. Assistance for Small Entities

    Under section 213(a) of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement 
Fairness Act of 1996 (Pub. L. 104-121), the Coast Guard wants to assist 
small entities in understanding this proposed rule so that they can 
better evaluate its effects on them and participate in the rulemaking. 
If the proposed rule would affect your small business, organization, or 
governmental jurisdiction and you have questions concerning its 
provisions or options for compliance, please consult Mr. George Grills, 
Commercial Regulations and Standards Directorate, Office of Design and 
Engineering Standards, Lifesaving and Fire Safety Division (CG-ENG-4), 
Coast Guard; telephone 202-372-13851385, or email 
George.G.Grills@uscg.mil. The Coast Guard will not retaliate against 
small entities that question or complain about this proposed rule or 
any policy or action of the Coast Guard.
    Small businesses may send comments on the actions of Federal 
employees

[[Page 70398]]

who enforce, or otherwise determine compliance with, Federal 
regulations to the Small Business and Agriculture Regulatory 
Enforcement Ombudsman and the Regional Small Business Regulatory 
Fairness Boards. The Ombudsman evaluates these actions annually and 
rates each agency's responsiveness to small business. If you wish to 
comment on actions by employees of the Coast Guard, call 1-888-REG-FAIR 
(1-888-734-3247).

D. Collection of Information

    This proposed rule would call for no new collection of information 
under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520) nor 
would it adjust an existing collection of information.

E. Federalism

    A rule has implications for federalism under Executive Order 13132, 
Federalism, if it has a substantial direct effect on the States, on the 
relationship between the national government and the States, or on the 
distribution of power among the various levels of government. The Coast 
Guard has analyzed this proposed rule under that order and has 
determined that it does not have implications for federalism. A summary 
of our analysis follows.
    The U.S. Supreme Court has long recognized the field preemptive 
impact of the Federal regulatory regime for inspected vessels. See, 
e.g., Kelly v. Washington ex rel Foss, 302 U.S. 1 (1937) and the 
consolidated cases of United States v. Locke and Intertanko v. Locke, 
529 U.S. 89, 113-116 (2000). Therefore, the Coast Guard's view is that 
regulations issued under the authority of 46 U.S.C. 3306 in the areas 
of design, construction, alteration, repair, operation, 
superstructures, hulls, fittings, equipment, appliances, propulsion 
machinery, auxiliary machinery, boilers, unfired pressure vessels, 
piping, electric installations, accommodations for passengers and crew, 
sailing school instructors, sailing school students, lifesaving 
equipment and its use, firefighting equipment, its use and 
precautionary measures to guard against fire, inspections and tests 
related to these areas, and the use of vessel stores and other supplies 
of a dangerous nature have preemptive effect over State regulation in 
these fields, regardless of whether the Coast Guard has issued 
regulations on the subject, and regardless of the existence of conflict 
between the state and Coast Guard regulation.
    While it is well settled that states may not regulate in categories 
in which Congress intended the Coast Guard to be the sole source of a 
vessel's obligations, as these categories are within a field foreclosed 
from regulation by the states (see U.S. v. Locke, above), the Coast 
Guard recognizes the key role State and local governments may have in 
making regulatory determinations. Additionally, Sections 4 and 6 of 
Executive Order 13132 require that for any rules with preemptive 
effect, the Coast Guard will provide elected officials of affected 
state and local governments and their representative national 
organizations the notice and opportunity for appropriate participation 
in any rulemaking proceedings, and to consult with such officials early 
in the rulemaking process. Therefore, the Coast Guard invites affected 
State and local governments and their representative national 
organizations to indicate their desire for participation and 
consultation in this rulemaking process by submitting comments to the 
docket using one of the methods specified under ADDRESSES. In 
accordance with Executive Order 13132, the Coast Guard will provide a 
federalism impact statement to document (1) the extent of the Coast 
Guard's consultation with State and local officials that submit 
comments to this proposed rule, (2) a summary of the nature of any 
concerns raised by State or local governments and the Coast Guard's 
position thereon, and (3) a statement of the extent to which the 
concerns of State and local officials have been met.

F. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

    The Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (2 U.S.C. 1531-1538) 
requires Federal agencies to assess the effects of their discretionary 
regulatory actions. In particular, the Act addresses actions that may 
result in the expenditure by a State, local, or tribal government, in 
the aggregate, or by the private sector of $100,000,000 (adjusted for 
inflation) or more in any 1 year. Although this proposed rule would not 
result in such an expenditure, the Coast Guard does discuss the effects 
of this rule elsewhere in the preamble.

G. Taking of Private Property

    This proposed rule would not cause a taking of private property or 
otherwise have taking implications under Executive Order 12630, 
Governmental Actions and Interference with Constitutionally Protected 
Property Rights.

H. Civil Justice Reform

    This proposed rule meets applicable standards in sections 3(a) and 
3(b)(2) of Executive Order 12988, Civil Justice Reform, to minimize 
litigation, eliminate ambiguity, and reduce burden.

I. Protection of Children

    The Coast Guard has analyzed this proposed rule under Executive 
Order 13045, Protection of Children from Environmental Health Risks and 
Safety Risks. This proposed rule is not an economically significant 
rule and would not create an environmental risk to health or risk to 
safety that might disproportionately affect children.

J. Indian Tribal Governments

    This proposed rule does not have tribal implications under 
Executive Order 13175, Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal 
Governments, because it would not have a substantial direct effect on 
one or more Indian tribes, on the relationship between the Federal 
Government and Indian tribes, or on the distribution of power and 
responsibilities between the Federal Government and Indian tribes.

K. Energy Effects

    The Coast Guard has analyzed this proposed rule under Executive 
Order 13211, Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect 
Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use. The Coast Guard has determined 
that it is not a ``significant energy action'' under that order because 
it is not a ``significant regulatory action'' under Executive Order 
12866 and is not likely to have a significant adverse effect on the 
supply, distribution, or use of energy.

L. Technical Standards

    The National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act (15 U.S.C. 272 
note) directs agencies to use voluntary consensus standards in their 
regulatory activities unless the agency provides Congress, through the 
Office of Management and Budget, with an explanation of why using these 
standards would be inconsistent with applicable law or otherwise 
impractical. Voluntary consensus standards are technical standards 
(e.g., specifications of materials, performance, design, or operation; 
test methods; sampling procedures; and related management systems 
practices) that are developed or adopted by voluntary consensus 
standards bodies.
    This proposed rule uses technical standards other than voluntary 
consensus standards:
     International Life-Saving Appliance Code, (IMO Resolution 
MSC.48(66)), as amended by IMO Resolution MSC.320(89);
     IMO Resolution MSC.81(70), Revised recommendation on 
testing of

[[Page 70399]]

life-saving appliances, as amended by IMO Resolution MSC.321(89).
    The proposed sections that reference these standards and the 
locations where these standards are available are listed in 46 CFR 
160.133-5. They are used because we did not find voluntary consensus 
standards that are applicable to this rule. If you are aware of 
voluntary consensus standards that might apply, please identify them by 
sending a comment to the docket using one of the methods under 
ADDRESSES. In your comment, please explain why you think the standards 
might apply.
    If you disagree with our analysis of the voluntary consensus 
standards listed above or are aware of voluntary consensus standards 
that might apply but are not listed, please send a comment to the 
docket using one of the methods under ADDRESSES. In your comment, 
please explain why you disagree with the Coast Guard's analysis and/or 
identify voluntary consensus standards not listed that might apply.

M. Coast Guard Authorization Act Sec. 608 (46 U.S.C. 2118(a))

    Section 608 of the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2010 (Pub. L. 
111-281) adds new section 2118 to 46 U.S.C. Subtitle II (Vessels and 
Seamen), Chapter 21 (General). New section 2118(a) sets forth 
requirements for standards established for approved equipment required 
on vessels subject to 46 U.S.C. Subtitle II (Vessels and Seamen), Part 
B (Inspection and Regulation of Vessels). Those standards must be ``(1) 
based on performance using the best available technology that is 
economically achievable; and (2) operationally practical.'' See 46 
U.S.C. 2118(a). This proposed rule addresses lifesaving equipment for 
Coast Guard approval that is required on vessels subject to 46 U.S.C. 
Subtitle II, Part B, and the Coast Guard has ensured that this proposed 
rule would satisfy the requirements of 46 U.S.C. 2118(a), as necessary.

N. Environment

    The Coast Guard has analyzed this proposed rule under Department of 
Homeland Security Management Directive 023-01 and Commandant 
Instruction M16475.lD, which guide the Coast Guard in complying with 
the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321-4370f), 
and have made a preliminary determination that this action is one of a 
category of actions that do not individually or cumulatively have a 
significant effect on the human environment. A preliminary 
environmental analysis checklist supporting this determination is 
available in the docket where indicated under the ``Public 
Participation and Request for Comments''' section of this preamble. 
This proposed rule involves regulations that are editorial, regulations 
concerning equipping of vessels, and regulations concerning vessel 
operation safety standards. This proposed rule is categorically 
excluded under Section 2.B.2, Figure 2-1, paragraphs (34)(a) and (d) of 
the Instruction and under paragraph 6(a) of the ``Appendix to National 
Environmental Policy Act: Coast Guard Procedures for Categorical 
Exclusions, Notice of Final Agency Policy'' (67 FR 48243, July 23, 
2002). The Coast Guard seeks any comments or information that may lead 
to the discovery of a significant environmental impact from this 
proposed rule.

List of Subjects

46 CFR Part 160

    Marine safety, Incorporation by reference, Reporting and 
recordkeeping requirements.

46 CFR Part 164

    Fire prevention, Marine safety, Reporting and recordkeeping 
requirements.

    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Coast Guard proposes 
to amend 46 CFR parts 160 and 164 as follows:

PART 160--LIFESAVING EQUIPMENT

    1. The authority citation for part 160 is revised to read as 
follows:

    Authority:  46 U.S.C. 2103, 3306, 3703 and 4302; E.O. 12234; 45 
FR 58801; 3 CFR, 1980 Comp., p. 277; and Department of Homeland 
Security Delegation No. 0170.1.

Subpart 160.115--Launching Appliances--Winches

    2. In Sec.  160.115-7, revise paragraph (b)(5)(i) to read as 
follows:


Sec.  160.115-7  Design, construction, and performance of winches.

* * * * *
    (b) * * *
    (5) * * *
    (i) Winch drums must either be grooved or otherwise designed to 
wind the falls evenly on and off each drum.
* * * * *
    3. In Sec.  160.115-13, add new paragraph (d)(4) to read as 
follows:


Sec.  160.115-13  Approval instructions and tests for prototype 
winches.

* * * * *
    (d) * * *
    (4) Winch drum. Each winch designed without grooved drums must 
demonstrate during prototype testing that the falls wind evenly on and 
off each drum.
* * * * *

Subpart 160.133 [Amended]

    4. Amend the title to Subpart 160.133 by removing the word 
``(SOLAS)''.

Subpart 160.133--Release Mechanisms for Lifeboats and Rescue Boats


Sec.  160.133-3  [Amended]

    5. In Sec.  160.133-3, in the introductory text, after the words 
``IMO LSA Code'', add the words ``, as amended by Resolution 
MSC.320(89)''.
    6. Amend Sec.  160.133-5 as follows:
    a. Remove paragraphs (b)(1) and (b)(5);
    b. Redesignate paragraphs (b)(2), (b)(3), (b)(4), and (b)(6) as 
paragraphs (b)(1), (b)(2), (b)(3), and (b)(4), respectively;
    c. In paragraph (c)(3), after the words ``Revised recommendation on 
testing of'', remove the words ``live-saving'' and add, in their place, 
the words ``life-saving''; and
    d. Add paragraphs (c)(6) and (c)(7) to read as follows:


Sec.  160.133-5  Incorporation by reference.

* * * * *
    (c) * * *
    (6) Annex 4 to MSC 89/25, Report of the Maritime Safety Committee 
on its Eighty-Ninth Session, ``Resolution MSC.320(89), Adoption of 
Amendments to the International Life-Saving Appliance (LSA) Code,'' 
(adopted May 20, 2011), IBR approved for Sec. Sec.  160.133-3, 160.133-
5(c)(6), 160.133-7(d)(1), 160.133-7(b)(8), and 160.133-7(b)(9) 
(Resolution MSC.320(89)).
    (7) Annex 5 to MSC 89/25, Report of the Maritime Safety Committee 
on its Eighty-Ninth Session, ``Resolution MSC.321(89), Adoption of 
Amendments to the Revised Recommendation on Testing of Life-Saving 
Appliances (Resolution MSC.81(70)),'' (adopted May 20, 2011), IBR 
approved for Sec. Sec.  160.133-5(c)(7), 160.133-7(a)(2), and 160.133-
13(d)(2) (Resolution MSC.321(89)).
    7. Amend Sec.  160.133-7 as follows:
    a. In paragraph (a)(1), after the words ``IMO LSA Code,'' add the 
words ``as amended by Resolution MSC.320(89),'';
    b. In paragraph (a)(2), after the words ``IMO Revised 
recommendation on testing,'' add the words ``as amended by Resolution 
MSC.321(89),'';
    c. Revise paragraph (b)(3) as set out below;
    d. In paragraph (b)(8), after the words ``required by'', add the 
word ``IMO'', and after the words ``LSA Code'', add

[[Page 70400]]

the words ``, as amended by Resolution MSC.320(89),'';
    e. In paragraph (b)(9), after the words ``required by'', add the 
word ``IMO'', and after the words ``LSA Code'', add the words ``, as 
amended by Resolution MSC.320(89),''; and
    f. Remove paragraph (b)(15).


Sec.  160.133-7  Design, construction, and performance of release 
mechanisms.

* * * * *
    (b) * * *
    (3) Steel. Each major structural component of each release 
mechanism must be constructed of corrosion-resistant steel. Corrosion-
resistant steel must be a type 302 stainless steel per ASTM A 276, ASTM 
A 313 or ASTM A 314 (incorporated by reference, see Sec.  160.133-5 of 
this subpart). Other corrosion-resistant materials may be used if 
accepted by the Commandant as having equivalent or superior corrosion-
resistant characteristics;
* * * * *


Sec.  160.133-13  [Amended]

    8. Amend Sec.  160.133-13 as follows:
    a. In paragraph (d)(2), after the words ``tests described in IMO 
Revised recommendation on testing,'' add the words ``as amended by 
Resolution MSC.321(89),'' and after the words ``with these paragraphs 
of IMO Revised recommendation on testing,'' add the words ``as amended 
by Resolution MSC.321(89),'';
    b. Remove paragraph (d)(2)(iii); and
    c. Redesignate paragraphs (d)(2)(iv), (d)(2)(v), and (d)(2)(vi) as 
paragraphs (d)(2)(iii), (d)(2)(iv), and (d)(2)(v), respectively.


Sec.  160.133-15  [Amended]

    9. In Sec.  160.133-15, amend paragraph (e) by removing the words, 
``Each approved release mechanism constructed with non-corrosion-
resistant steel must be confirmed to have met the coating mass and bend 
tests requirement specified under ASTM A 653 (incorporated by 
reference, see Sec.  160.133-5 of this subpart) after galvanizing or 
other anti-corrosion treatment has been applied. This compliance can be 
ascertained through a supplier's certification papers or through 
conducting actual tests.''

Subpart 160.135 [Amended]

    10. Amend the title to Subpart 160.135 by removing the word 
``(SOLAS)''.

Subpart 160.135--Lifeboats


Sec.  160.135-5  [Amended]

    11. In Sec.  160.135-5, amend paragraph (d)(4) by removing the word 
``and'' and adding, in its place, the punctuation ``,'', and, after the 
numbers ``160.135-13'', adding the words ``, and 160.135-15''.
    12. Amend Sec.  160.135-15 as follows:
    a. In paragraph (d), remove the word ``(e)(2)'' and add, in its 
place, the word ``(e)'';
    b. In paragraph (e)(1)(iv), remove the reference ``Sec.  160.135-
13(c)(2)(i)(B)'' and add, in its place, the reference ``Sec.  160.135-
11(c)(2)(i)(B)''; and
    c. Revise paragraph (e)(2) to read as follows:


Sec.  160.135-15  Production inspections, tests, quality control, and 
conformance of lifeboats.

* * * * *
    (e) * * *
    (2) Post assembly tests and inspections. The finished lifeboat must 
be visually inspected inside and out. The manufacturer must develop and 
maintain a visual inspection checklist designed to ensure that all 
applicable requirements have been met and the lifeboat is equipped in 
accordance with approved plans. Each production lifeboat of each design 
must pass each of the tests described in the IMO Revised recommendation 
on testing, part 2, section 5.3 (incorporated by reference, see Sec.  
160.135-5 of this subpart).


Sec.  160.156-5  [Amended]

    13. In Sec.  160.156-5, amend paragraph (d)(4) by removing the word 
``and'' and adding, in its place, the punctuation ``,'', and, after the 
numbers ``160.156-13'', adding the words ``, and 160.156-15''.


Sec.  160.156-7  [Amended]

    14. In Sec.  160.156-7, amend paragraph (b)(13) by removing the 
word ``lifeboat'' and adding, in its place, the words ``rescue boat''.


Sec.  160.156-9  [Amended]

    15. Amend Sec.  160.156-9 as follows:
    a. In paragraph (b)(22)(iv), remove the word ``lifeboat'' and add, 
in its place, the words ``rescue boat''; and
    b. In paragraph (d)(2), remove the word ``lifeboat'' and add, in 
its place, the words ``rescue boat''.
    16. Amend Sec.  160.156-15 as follows:
    a. In paragraph (e)(1), remove the words ``In accordance with the 
interval prescribed in paragraph (d)(1) of this section, each'' and 
add, in their place, the word ``Each''; and
    b. Revise paragraph (e)(2) to read as follows:


Sec.  160.156-15  Production inspections, tests, quality control, and 
conformance of rescue boats and fast rescue boats.

* * * * *
    (e) * * *
    (2) Post assembly tests and inspections. The finished rescue boat 
must be visually inspected inside and out. The manufacturer must 
develop and maintain a visual inspection checklist designed to ensure 
that all applicable requirements have been met and the rescue boat is 
equipped in accordance with approved plans. Each production rescue boat 
of each design must pass each of the tests described in the IMO Revised 
recommendation on testing, part 2, section 5.3 (incorporated by 
reference, see Sec.  160.156-5 of this subpart).

PART 164--MATERIALS

    17. The authority citation for part 164 is revised to read as 
follows:

    Authority: 46 U.S.C. 3306, 3703, 4302; E.O. 12234;; 45 FR 
58801;; 3 CFR, 1980 Comp., p. 277; and Department of Homeland 
Security Delegation No. 0170.1.

    Dated: November 15, 2012.
J.G. Lantz,
Director of Commercial Regulations and Standards, U.S. Coast Guard.
[FR Doc. 2012-28492 Filed 11-23-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 9110-04-P