[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 34 (Tuesday, February 21, 2012)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 9859-9865]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-3869]


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DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY

Coast Guard

46 CFR Part 160

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


Lifesaving Equipment: Production Testing and Harmonization With 
International Standards

AGENCY: Coast Guard, DHS.

ACTION: Interim rule.

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SUMMARY: The Coast Guard is amending the interim rule addressing 
lifesaving equipment to harmonize Coast Guard regulations for 
inflatable liferafts and inflatable buoyant apparatuses with recently 
adopted international standards affecting capacity requirements for 
such lifesaving equipment.

DATES: This interim rule is effective March 22, 2012. The Director of 
the Federal Register has approved the incorporation by reference of 
certain publications listed in this rule effective March 22, 2012.

ADDRESSES: Comments and material received from the public, as well as 
documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket, 
are part of docket USCG-2010-0048 and are available for inspection or 
copying at the 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, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., 
Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. You may also find this 
docket on the Internet by going to http://www.regulations.gov, 
inserting USCG-2010-0048 in the ``Keyword'' box, and then clicking 
``Search.''
    Viewing incorporation by reference material. You may inspect the 
material incorporated by reference at U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters, 
2100 Second Street SW., Washington, DC 20593-7126 between 9 a.m. and 3 
p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The telephone 
number is 202-372-1389. 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 rule, 
email or call Ms. Jacqueline Yurkovich, Commercial Regulations and 
Standards Directorate, Office of Design and Engineering Standards, 
Lifesaving and Fire Safety Division (CG-5214), Coast Guard; email 
TypeApproval@uscg.mil, telephone 202-372-1389. 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. Abbreviations
II. Regulatory History
III. Basis and Purpose
IV. Discussion of the Interim Rule
V. Incorporation by Reference
VI. 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. Abbreviations

CFR Code of Federal Regulations
DHS Department of Homeland Security
IMO International Maritime Organization
LSA Life-saving Appliance
MSC Maritime Safety Committee of the International Maritime 
Organization
NEPA National Environmental Policy Act 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321-4370f)
NPRM Notice of Proposed Rulemaking
NTTAA National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act (15 U.S.C. 
272 note)
OMB Office of Management and Budget
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

II. Regulatory History

    On August 31, 2010, the Coast Guard published a notice of proposed 
rulemaking (NPRM) titled ``Lifesaving Equipment: Production Testing and 
Harmonization With International Standards'' in the Federal Register. 
See 75 FR 53458. On October 11, 2011, the Coast Guard published an 
interim rule titled ``Lifesaving Equipment: Production Testing and 
Harmonization With International Standards; Interim Rule'' (2011 
interim rule) making effective changes proposed in the NPRM. 76 FR 
62962. Also on October 11, 2011, the Coast Guard published a 
supplementary notice of proposed rulemaking (SNPRM) proposing 
amendments to the portion of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 
modified by the 2011 interim rule regarding inflatable liferafts and 
buoyant apparatuses. 76 FR 62714. The SNPRM addressed amendments to 
international standards affecting capacity requirements for inflatable 
liferaft and inflatable buoyant apparatuses that were recently adopted 
by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and that entered into 
force on January 1, 2012.

[[Page 9860]]

The IMO amendments to the international standards affect the 2011 
interim rule regarding inflatable liferafts and inflatable buoyant 
apparatuses. The IMO amendments affect capacity requirements for such 
liferafts, and by extension buoyant apparatuses, but do not affect any 
other part of the 2011 interim rule.

III. Basis and Purpose

    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 the International Convention for the Safety of Life at 
Sea, 1974, as amended, (SOLAS), Chapter III ``Life-saving appliances 
and arrangements.'' See 46 U.S.C. 3306. 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 inflatable liferafts are 
found in 46 CFR part 160, subparts 160.151 (Inflatable Liferafts 
(SOLAS)) and 160.051 (Inflatable Liferafts for Domestic Service). The 
Coast Guard's specific standards for inflatable buoyant apparatuses are 
found in 46 CFR part 160, subpart 160.010 (Buoyant Apparatus for 
Merchant Vessels). Current subpart 160.151 satisfies SOLAS 
requirements, and current subparts 160.051 and 160.010 require 
compliance with the standards in subpart 160.151, with some 
specifically listed exceptions. See 46 CFR 160.051-1 and 160.010-3(a).
    Subpart 160.151 implements SOLAS requirements 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 
``Revised recommendation on testing of life-saving appliances'' 
(Recommendation on Testing), IMO Resolution MSC.81(70), and the 
``International Life-saving Appliance Code'' (LSA Code), IMO Resolution 
MSC.48(66). The IMO updates these standards by adopting MSC resolutions 
promulgating amendments to these standards.
    In the 2011 interim rule, the Coast Guard revised subpart 160.151 
to, among other things, update the version of the Recommendation on 
Testing incorporated by reference, and incorporate by reference for the 
first time the LSA Code. Subpart 160.151-5(d)(3) and (4) of Title 46 of 
the CFR incorporate by reference the LSA Code (as amended up through 
resolutions MSC.207(81), MSC.218(82), and MSC.272(85)), and the 
Recommendation on Testing (as amended up through resolutions 
MSC.226(82) and MSC.274(85)). Subparts 160.051 and 160.010 retain, with 
some specifically listed exceptions, the requirement for compliance 
with the standards in subpart 160.151, which will now also include the 
updated versions of the Recommendation on Testing and the LSA Code.
    IMO recently adopted two new MSC resolutions further amending the 
LSA Code and the Recommendation on Testing: ``Adoption of Amendments to 
the International Life-Saving Appliance (LSA) Code'' (MSC.293(87)) and 
``Adoption of Amendments to the Revised Recommendation on Testing of 
Life-Saving Appliances'' (MSC.295(87)).
    Resolution MSC.293(87) amends the LSA Code and entered into force 
on January 1, 2012. This resolution increases the assumed average mass 
of liferaft occupants from 75 kg to 82.5 kg for inflatable liferaft 
design and approval testing purposes.\1\
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    \1\ Although the numbers are similar, the assumed average 
occupant mass of 82.5 kg (181.5 lbs) adopted by IMO for survival 
craft design and approval testing purposes and the average passenger 
weight of 185 lbs used in the Coast Guard's Passenger Weight and 
Inspected Vessel Stability Requirements Final Rule (75 FR 78064) are 
not related. The Passenger Weight Final Rule updated regulations 
that address vessel stability and the assumed average passenger 
weights that directly affect vessel stability. This rule, however, 
would use the assumed average occupant mass of 82.5 kg (181.5 lbs) 
to address safe loading of inflatable liferafts and buoyant 
apparatuses, and does not address vessel stability. The IMO-adopted 
assumed average occupant mass is the international consensus 
standard, and the Coast Guard views this IMO standard as the best 
standard in this context.
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    Resolution MSC.295(87) amends the Recommendation on Testing and 
also entered into force on January 1, 2012. This resolution specifies 
revisions necessary to account for this assumed average mass increase 
with respect to certain existing tests. The tests required by the 
Recommendation on Testing, Part 1 (Prototype Tests), significantly 
affected by Resolution MSC.295(87), are: The jump test, loading and 
seating test, davit-launched liferaft boarding test, damage test, 
righting test, and davit-launched inflatable liferaft strength tests.
    Based on these amendments, the Coast Guard is revising the 
regulations modified by the 2011 interim rule to include the increased 
average mass of liferaft occupants and to require liferaft performance 
under subpart 160.151 to comply with the revisions to tests 
necessitated by the occupant weight increase. This revision to subpart 
160.151 will also, by extension, affect liferaft performance under 
subpart 160.051 and inflatable buoyant apparatus performance under 
subpart 160.010.

IV. Discussion of This Interim Rule

    In this new interim rule, the Coast Guard is revising Sec.  
160.151-5(d) to incorporate by reference Resolution MSC.293(87) and 
Resolution MSC.295(87), and revising all references to the LSA Code and 
Recommendation on Testing to include the newly incorporated by 
reference Resolutions. References to the LSA Code will become ``LSA 
Code, as amended by Resolution MSC.293(87),'' and references to the 
Recommendation on Testing will become ``Revised recommendation on 
testing, as amended by Resolution MSC.295(87).'' These revisions will 
affect the tests in Sec. Sec.  160.151-27, 160.151-29, 160.151-31, and 
160.151-57, which refer to the Recommendation on Testing. A complete 
discussion of these changes is available in the SNPRM, published 
October 11, 2011. 76 FR 62714.
    The Coast Guard received one comment in response to the SNPRM. The 
comment addresses the Coast Guard's expanded use of qualified 
independent laboratories, instead of Coast Guard inspectors, during the 
approval process and for production inspections of certain types of 
lifesaving equipment. This comment is beyond the scope of the SNPRM and 
this interim rule, which addresses the increase in occupant mass for 
SOLAS life rafts based on two new IMO Resolutions only. The Coast Guard 
sought public comment in the 2010 NPRM on the Coast Guard's proposal 
regarding expanded use of independent laboratories, and finalized that 
proposal in the 2011 interim rule. As stated in the 2011 interim rule, 
the Coast Guard still finds the use of independent laboratories in the 
Coast Guard's approval process to be ``the most effective manner'' of 
executing and carrying out its obligations under 46 U.S.C. section 
3306. See the discussion regarding the use of independent labs to 
perform these inspections in III.B ``Independent Laboratories'' in the 
Preamble of the interim rule published on October 11, 2011. The Coast 
Guard did not make any changes to the regulations in response to this 
comment.

[[Page 9861]]

    In this interim rule, the Coast Guard is making non-substantive 
changes to the citations for the IMO resolutions incorporated by 
reference. The changes update the citations for IMO resolutions to make 
them easier to identify and to obtain copies. These citation updates 
have not changed the IMO resolutions or the versions of the IMO 
resolutions from the SNPRM to the interim rule.

V. Incorporation by Reference

    The Director of the Federal Register has approved the material in 
46 CFR 160.151-5 for incorporation by reference under 5 U.S.C. 552 and 
1 CFR part 51. You may inspect this material at U.S. Coast Guard 
Headquarters where indicated under ADDRESSES. Copies of the material 
are available from the sources listed in paragraph (d) of Sec.  
160.151-5.

VI. Regulatory Analyses

    The Coast Guard developed this interim rule after considering 
numerous statutes and executive orders related to rulemaking. Below the 
Coast Guard summarizes these 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 interim rule has not been designated a 
``significant regulatory action'' under section 3(f) of Executive Order 
12866. Accordingly, the interim rule has not been reviewed by the 
Office of Management and Budget.
    The Coast Guard received no comments that altered our assessment of 
impacts in the SNPRM. We have found no additional data or information 
that changed our findings in the NPRM. We have adopted the assessment 
in the SNPRM for this rule as final.
    The SNPRM is available in the docket where indicated under the 
``Public Participation and Request for Comments'' section of this 
preamble. A summary of the analysis follows: This interim rule 
addresses the change in the international standard for occupant weight 
used in testing equipment to establish the rated capacity of inflatable 
liferafts and inflatable buoyant apparatuses. This interim rule revises 
the occupant weight or ``assumed average occupant mass'' from the 
current 75 kg to the new weight standard of 82.5 kg.
    The Coast Guard issues a Certificate of Approval for inflatable 
liferafts and inflatable buoyant apparatuses under the applicable 
subpart in 46 CFR part 160 after successful testing of those appliances 
by their manufacturers. A Certificate of Approval specifies the number 
of occupants (or rated capacity) for which the inflatable liferaft or 
inflatable buoyant apparatus is designed and has been successfully 
tested, and the Certificate must be renewed every 5 years. New testing 
is not required to renew a current Certificate, but new approval 
requests require testing before a Certificate can be issued.
Costs
    While this interim rule requires manufacturers to conduct prototype 
and production tests for inflatable liferafts and inflatable buoyant 
apparatuses manufactured on or after March 22, 2012 using the new 
occupant weight standard, it would limit re-testing of currently 
approved equipment, thus limiting the cost impact on manufacturers. 
And, as discussed in section IV. Discussion of the Interim Rule 
(referencing the complete discussion of the rule in the SNPRM, 
published October 11, 2011 (76 FR 62714)), this interim rule does not 
apply to liferafts currently in service aboard U.S. vessels; thus, no 
vessel would incur replacement costs for liferafts. A summary of 
changes to the baseline testing requirements is shown in Table 1.

                                                               Table 1--Summary of Changes
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                                                            Existing equipment (approval prior to January 1,   New equipment  (approval after January 1,
                                                                                 2012)                                           2012)
              Device                     Testing type     ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                     Testing                  Impacts                Testing               Impacts
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SOLAS Inflatable Liferafts          Prototype testing....  Manufacturers must obtain   Units with rated       All tests use the     Units with rated
 (160.151).                                                 a new Certificate of        capacity of less       new occupant weight   capacity of less
                                                            Approval certifying rated   than 6 occupants are   standard to           than 6 occupants
                                                            occupancy using the new     ineligible for SOLAS   establish occupancy   are ineligible for
                                                            occupant weight standard.   service.               rating.               SOLAS service.
                                                            Manufacturers may either   Costs of testing       Costs of testing
                                                            re-test or have a           unchanged as nature    unchanged as nature
                                                            certification made using    of the test is         of the test is
                                                            previous test results       unchanged.             unchanged.
                                                            adjusted for the new
                                                            occupant weight standard.
                                                           Testing costs are
                                                            negligible on a unit cost
                                                            basis.
                                    Production Testing...  All tests use the new       Costs of testing       All tests use the     Costs of testing
                                                            weight standard to          unchanged as nature    new occupant weight   unchanged as nature
                                                            establish occupancy         of the test is         standard to           of the test is
                                                            rating.                     unchanged.             establish occupancy   unchanged.
                                                                                                               rating.
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Non-SOLAS Inflatable Liferafts      Prototype testing....  Existing Certificates of    No cost or benefit as  All tests use the     Costs of testing
 (160.051).                                                 Approval may be renewed     the use of the new     new occupant weight   unchanged as nature
                                                            without re-testing.         occupant weight        standard to           of the test is
                                                                                        standard is optional.  establish occupancy   unchanged.
                                                                                                               rating.
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[[Page 9862]]

 
                                    Production Testing...   No cost or benefit. The use of the new occupant   All tests use the     Costs of testing
                                                                weight standard is optional for equipment      new occupant weight   unchanged as nature
                                                              manufactured under an existing Certificate of    standard to           of the test is
                                                                                Approval.                      establish occupancy   unchanged.
                                                                                                               rating.
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Inflatable Buoyant Apparatus        Prototype testing....  Existing Certificates of    No cost or benefit as  All tests use the     Costs of testing
 (160.010).                                                 Approval may be renewed     the use of the new     new occupant weight   unchanged as nature
                                                            without re-testing.         occupant weight        standard to           of the test is
                                                                                        standard is optional.  establish occupancy   unchanged.
                                                                                                               rating.
                                   ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                    Production Testing...   No cost or benefit. The use of the new occupant   All tests use the     Costs of testing
                                                                weight standard is optional for equipment      new occupant weight   unchanged as nature
                                                              manufactured under an existing Certificate of    standard to           of the test is
                                                                                Approval.                      establish occupancy   unchanged.
                                                                                                               rating.
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SOLAS Inflatable Liferafts (Subpart 160.151)
    As shown in Table 1 above, manufacturers of SOLAS inflatable 
liferafts approved under subpart 160.151 (SOLAS liferafts) and 
manufactured on or after March 22, 2012 are allowed the option of 
either re-testing using the new occupant weight standard or requesting 
certification for a lower rated occupancy (adjusted for the new 
occupant weight standard) based on the certification testing submitted 
for their current approval.
    The principal cost impact for manufacturers of SOLAS liferafts will 
be for currently approved inflatable liferafts whose rated capacity is 
six using the current 75 kg occupant weight standard. Since SOLAS 
requires that inflatable liferafts have a minimum capacity of six, any 
SOLAS liferaft currently approved for six occupants will have to be re-
tested under the new occupant weight standard in order to retain 
approval.
    Currently, there are 10 manufacturers that produce 109 models of 
SOLAS liferafts. Of these, there are 11 liferaft models (from eight 
manufacturers) whose rated capacity is six (Table 2). These 11 models 
will be required to re-test to maintain their SOLAS certification. 
Three of these eight manufacturers are U.S. firms and they each produce 
one model of inflatable liferaft with a rated occupancy of six 
occupants. Of those three models, one model is designed primarily for 
use in aircraft under a Federal Aviation Administration approval 
number. The three models produced by U.S. firms and the eight models 
manufactured by foreign firms will have to be re-tested in order to 
verify a minimum occupancy rating under the new occupant weight 
standard to be used on SOLAS vessels. From estimates obtained from 
industry, we estimate the costs of re-testing for compliance with the 
new occupant weight standard at $1,800 for each model.
    We estimate the total cost to industry to re-test all current SOLAS 
liferaft models as $19,800 ($14,400 for foreign manufacturers and 
$5,400 for U.S.-owned manufacturers). See Table 2 below.

                                                                Table 2--SOLAS Liferafts
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                                                                                                     Total number of
                                                                                   Total number of      models of
                                                                    Number of         models of         liferaft       Cost to re-test    Total cost to
                         Manufacturer                             manufacturers       liferaft      produced with an     each SOLAS          retest
                                                                                      produced      occupancy rating      liferaft
                                                                                                          of 6
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Foreign owned.................................................                 7               104                 8            $1,800           $14,400
U.S. owned....................................................                 3                 5                 3             1,800             5,400
                                                               -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total.....................................................                10               109                11             1,800            19,800
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Non-SOLAS Inflatable Liferafts (Subpart 160.051) and Inflatable Buoyant 
Apparatus (Subpart 160.010)
    As shown earlier in Table 1, manufacturers of domestic service 
inflatable liferafts under subpart 160.051 (domestic service liferafts) 
and inflatable buoyant apparatuses under subpart 160.010 manufactured 
on or after March 22, 2012 under current Certificates of Approval, have 
the option of using either the old 75 kg or the new 82.5 kg occupant 
weight standard. If a manufacturer of domestic service liferafts or a 
manufacturer of inflatable buoyant apparatuses with current 
Certificates of Approval chooses to use the new occupant weight 
standard, it also has the option of either re-testing using the new 
occupant weight standard or requesting re-certification for a lower 
number of occupants (adjusted for the new occupant weight standard). 
Manufacturers of domestic inflatable liferafts under subpart 160.051 or 
inflatable buoyant apparatuses under 160.010 are required to use the 
new occupant weight standard only when testing domestic inflatable 
liferafts or

[[Page 9863]]

inflatable buoyant apparatuses approved after March 22, 2012.
    In terms of the cost of the regulation:
    1. While prototype testing for all SOLAS liferafts on or after 
March 22, 2012, will have to employ the new occupant weight standard, 
there is no additional cost in performing the required tests due to the 
change in the testing weight because the nature of the test remains the 
same.
    2. Production testing of all SOLAS liferafts manufactured on or 
after March 22, 2012 will require testing using the new occupant weight 
standard. As with prototype testing, there is no additional cost in 
performing the required tests due to the change in the testing weight 
because the nature of the test remains the same.
    3. For production testing of SOLAS liferafts, the manufacturer may 
either request a certification with a lower maximum occupancy based on 
the new occupant weight standard or re-test the equipment for 
certification of its current rated capacity using the new occupant 
weight standard.
    4. The 11 models (three models made by U.S. manufacturers) of SOLAS 
inflatable liferafts whose current rated capacity is six occupants, 
would have to verify that they meet the minimum SOLAS requirements for 
a capacity of six occupants at the new occupant weight standard if they 
wish to continue their current SOLAS approval status.
    5. For both prototype and production testing of domestic service 
inflatable liferafts and inflatable buoyant apparatuses approved by the 
Coast Guard prior to March 22, 2012 the manufacturer may test under 
either the 75 kg or the 82.5 kg occupant weight standard with no change 
to testing based on the new occupant weight standard.
    6. For prototype and production testing of domestic service 
inflatable liferafts and inflatable buoyant apparatuses approved on or 
after March 22, 2012 the manufacturer must test under the 82.5 kg 
occupant weight standard.
    For inflatable liferafts approved under subpart 160.051 prior to 
March 22, 2012 and inflatable buoyant apparatuses approved under 
subpart 160.010 prior to March 22, 2012, the cost of testing equipment 
at the higher occupant weight standard is voluntary, as domestic 
liferafts and inflatable buoyant apparatuses may be certified using 
either occupant weight standard. Likewise, equipment manufactured under 
a current Certificate of Approval is required to be re-tested only if 
the manufacturer elects to retain their current rated capacity for 
their equipment under the higher occupant weight standard. However, 
manufacturers have the option to reduce the current rated capacities of 
their equipment to comply with the new occupant weight standard, 
provided that the resulting capacity does not conflict with the minimum 
required capacity applicable to that equipment.
    Prototype and production testing of all SOLAS liferafts approved 
under subpart 160.151 is required using the higher 82.5 kg occupant 
weight standard. The Coast Guard has no evidence to suggest that 
testing at the higher occupant weight standard will involve additional 
testing costs for manufacturers because the nature of the test remains 
the same.
Benefits
    The principal benefit of the interim rule is the protection of life 
at sea by establishing capacity standards for inflatable liferafts and 
inflatable buoyant apparatuses reflecting a global increase in mariner 
weights. Additionally, the rule ensures compliance with internationally 
applicable standards for SOLAS adopted by IMO where noncompliance would 
exclude the use of inflatable liferafts manufactured under subpart 
160.151 aboard SOLAS vessels.

B. Small Entities

    Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601-612), the Coast 
Guard has considered whether this rule will 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 less than 
50,000.
    An SNPRM discussing the impact of this rule on small entities is 
available in the docket where indicated under the ``Public 
Participation and Request for Comments'' section of this preamble. In 
the SNPRM, the Coast Guard certified under 5 U.S.C. 605(b) that the 
rule would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial 
number of small entities. We received no comments on this certification 
and have made no changes that would alter our assessment of the impacts 
in the SNPRM.
    We have identified three U.S.-owned entities involved in the 
manufacture of SOLAS liferafts manufactured under subpart 160.151. All 
are business entities, and all are small entities. For manufacturers 
seeking certification of equipment currently approved under subpart 
160.151 whose rated capacity is six, re-testing at the higher occupant 
weight standard will be required to retain their SOLAS approval status 
since SOLAS inflatable liferafts must have a minimum rated capacity of 
at least six. For the three models of liferafts currently approved 
under subpart 160.151, the cost estimates for certification testing, 
obtained from industry sources, are approximately $1,800 per liferaft, 
for a total industry cost of $5,400 (3 liferaft models x $1,800 testing 
cost per model). As each of the three U.S. owned small businesses 
directly impacted by this rule will likely need to retest one model, 
the costs to these three small businesses is $1,800 per business. 
Therefore, the Coast Guard certifies under 5 U.S.C. 605(b) that this 
interim rule will not have a significant economic impact on a 
substantial number of small entities.

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 rule so that they can better 
evaluate its effects on them and participate in the rulemaking. If the 
rule would affect your small business, organization, or governmental 
jurisdiction and you have questions concerning its provisions or 
options for compliance, please consult Ms. Jacqueline Yurkovich, 
Commercial Regulations and Standards Directorate, Office of Design and 
Engineering Standards, Lifesaving and Fire Safety Division (CG-5214), 
Coast Guard; email TypeApproval@uscg.mil, telephone 202-372-1389. The 
Coast Guard will not retaliate against individuals or small entities 
that question or complain about this rule or any policy or action of 
the Coast Guard.
    Small businesses may send comments on the actions of Federal 
employees 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 rule calls for no new collection of information under the 
Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520).

[[Page 9864]]

E. Federalism

    A rule has implications for federalism under Executive Order 13132, 
Federalism, if it has a substantial direct effect on State or local 
governments and would either preempt State law or impose a substantial 
direct cost of compliance on them.
    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 or not, 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, we invited affected state and 
local governments and their representative national organizations to 
indicate their desire for participation and consultation in this 
rulemaking. We received no such indications.

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 one year. Though this rule will not result in 
such an expenditure, we do discuss the effects of this rule elsewhere 
in this preamble.

G. Taking of Private Property

    This rule will 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 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 rule under Executive Order 13045, 
Protection of Children from Environmental Health Risks and Safety 
Risks. This rule is not an economically significant rule and does not 
create an environmental risk to health or risk to safety that might 
disproportionately affect children.

J. Indian Tribal Governments

    This rule does not have tribal implications under Executive Order 
13175, Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments, 
because it will 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 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 (NTTAA) (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 rule uses the following voluntary consensus standards:
     Resolution MSC.293(87), Adoption of Amendments to the 
International Life-Saving Appliance (LSA) Code;
     Resolution MSC.295(87), Adoption of Amendments to the 
Revised Recommendation on Testing of Life-Saving Appliances (Resolution 
MSC.81(70)).
    The sections that reference these standards and the locations where 
these standards are available are listed in 46 CFR 160.151-5.

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 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 rule 
satisfies the requirements of 46 U.S.C. 2118(a), as necessary.

N. Environment

    We have analyzed this rule under Department of Homeland Security 
Directive 023-01 and Commandant Instruction M16475.lD, which guide the 
Coast Guard in complying with the National Environmental Policy Act of 
1969 (NEPA) (42 U.S.C. 4321-4370f), and have concluded that this action 
is

[[Page 9865]]

one of a category of actions that do not individually or cumulatively 
have a significant effect on the human environment. This rule involves 
regulations which are editorial, regulations concerning equipping of 
vessels, and regulations concerning vessel operation safety standards. 
This 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). An environmental analysis checklist and a 
categorical exclusion determination are available in the docket where 
indicated under ADDRESSES.

List of Subjects in 46 CFR Part 160

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

    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Coast Guard amends 
46 CFR part 160 as follows:

PART 160--LIFESAVING EQUIPMENT

0
1. The authority citation for part 160 continues 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; 49 CFR 1.46.

Subpart 160.151--Inflatable Liferafts (SOLAS)

0
2. Amend Sec.  160.151-5 by adding paragraphs (d)(5) and (d)(6) to read 
as follows:


Sec.  160.151-5  Incorporation by reference.

* * * * *
    (d) * * *
    (5) Annex 7 to MSC 87/26, Report of the Maritime Safety Committee 
on its Eighty-Seventh Session, ``Resolution MSC.293(87), Adoption of 
Amendments to the International Life-Saving Appliance (LSA) Code,'' 
(adopted May 21, 2010), IBR approved for Sec. Sec.  160.151-7, 160.151-
15, 160.151-17, 160.151-21, 160.151-29, and 160.151-33 (``Resolution 
MSC.293(87)'').
    (6) Annex 9 to MSC 87/26, Report of the Maritime Safety Committee 
on its Eighty-Seventh Session, ``Resolution MSC.295(87), Adoption of 
Amendments to the Revised Recommendation on Testing of Life-Saving 
Appliances (Resolution MSC.81(70)),'' (adopted May 21, 2010), IBR 
approved for Sec. Sec.  160.151-21, 160.151-27, 160.151-29, 160.151-31, 
and 160.151-57 (``Resolution MSC.295(87)'').
* * * * *


Sec.  160.151-7  [Amended]

0
3. Amend Sec.  160.151-7 by removing the words ``IMO LSA Code'' 
wherever they appear and adding, in their place, the words ``IMO LSA 
Code, as amended by Resolution MSC.293(87)''.


Sec.  160.151-15  [Amended]

0
4. Amend Sec.  160.151-15 by removing the words ``IMO LSA Code'' 
wherever they appear and adding, in their place, the words ``IMO LSA 
Code, as amended by Resolution MSC.293(87)''.


Sec.  160.151-17  [Amended]

0
5. Amend Sec.  160.151-17 by removing the words ``IMO LSA Code'' 
wherever they appear and adding, in their place, the words ``IMO LSA 
Code, as amended by Resolution MSC.293(87)''.


Sec.  160.151-21  [Amended]

0
6. Amend Sec.  160.151-21 as follows:
0
a. Remove the words ``IMO LSA Code'' wherever they appear and add, in 
their place, the words ``IMO LSA Code, as amended by Resolution 
MSC.293(87)''; and
0
b. In paragraph (f), remove the words ``IMO Revised recommendation on 
testing'' and add, in their place, the words ``IMO Revised 
recommendation on testing, as amended by Resolution MSC.295(87)''.


Sec.  160.151-27  [Amended]

0
7. Amend Sec.  160.151-27 by removing the words ``IMO Revised 
recommendation on testing'' wherever they appear and adding, in their 
place, the words ``IMO Revised recommendation on testing, as amended by 
Resolution MSC.295(87)''.


Sec.  160.151-29  [Amended]

0
8. Amend Sec.  160.151-29 as follows:
0
a. In the introductory text, remove the words ``IMO LSA Code'' and add, 
in their place, the words ``IMO LSA Code, as amended by Resolution 
MSC.293(87)''; and
0
b. In the introductory text, remove the words ``IMO Revised 
recommendation on testing'' and add, in their place, the words ``IMO 
Revised recommendation on testing, as amended by Resolution 
MSC.295(87)''.


Sec.  160.151-31  [Amended]

0
9. Amend Sec.  160.151-31 by removing the words ``IMO Revised 
recommendation on testing'' wherever they appear and adding, in their 
place, the words ``IMO Revised recommendation on testing, as amended by 
Resolution MSC.295(87)''.


Sec.  160.151-33  [Amended]

0
10. Amend Sec.  160.151-33 by removing the words ``IMO LSA Code'' 
wherever they appear and adding, in their place, the words ``IMO LSA 
Code, as amended by Resolution MSC.293(87)''.


Sec.  160.151-57  [Amended]

0
11. Amend Sec.  160.151-57 by removing the words ``IMO Revised 
recommendation on testing'' wherever they appear and adding, in their 
place, the words ``IMO Revised recommendation on testing, as amended by 
Resolution MSC.295(87)''.

    Dated: February 1, 2012.
J.G. Lantz,
Director of Commercial Regulations and Standards, U.S. Coast Guard.
[FR Doc. 2012-3869 Filed 2-17-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 9110-04-P