[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 231 (Friday, November 30, 2012)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 71369-71371]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-28286]



Coast Guard

33 CFR Chapter I

46 CFR Chapter I

[Docket No. USCG-2012-0866]

Updates to Voluntary Consensus Standards Incorporated by 

AGENCY: Coast Guard, DHS.

ACTION: Request for comments.


SUMMARY: Many of the Coast Guard's regulations incorporate industry 
standards. The Coast Guard is reviewing these regulations to determine 
whether they contain outdated standards and, if so, whether and how 
these regulations should be updated to incorporate more current 
standards. We request comments from the public on which current 
industry standards should be incorporated, which currently incorporated 
standards are outdated, and how the Coast Guard should ensure 
incorporated standards are kept current.

DATES: Comments and related material must be received on or before 
February 28, 2013.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments identified by docket number USCG-
2012-0866 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 

[[Page 71370]]

below for instructions on submitting comments.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: If you have questions on this request 
for comments, call or email Mr. Roger Butturini, Office of Standards 
Evaluation and Development, U.S. Coast Guard; telephone 202-372-1494, 
email [email protected]. If you have questions on viewing or 
submitting material to the docket, call Renee V. Wright, Program 
Manager, Docket Operations, telephone 202-366-9826.


Request for Comments

    If you submit a comment, please include the docket number for this 
rulemaking (USCG-2012-0866), 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 (via http://www.regulations.gov), or by fax, mail, or hand 
delivery, but please use only one of these means.

Submitting Comments

    If you submit a comment online via http://www.regulations.gov, it 
will be considered received by the Coast Guard when you successfully 
transmit the comment. If you fax, hand deliver, or mail your comment, 
it will be considered as having been received by the Coast Guard when 
it is received at the Docket Management Facility. We recommend that you 
include your name and a mailing address, an email address, or a phone 
number in the body of your document so that we can contact you if we 
have questions regarding your submission.
    To submit your comment online, go to http://www.regulations.gov, 
type the docket number (USCG-2012-0866) and click ``Search.'' Then 
click ``Submit a Comment.'' 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.
    We will consider all comments and material received during the 
comment period and may change this proposed rule based on your 

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, 
type the docket number (USCG-2012-0866) and click ``Search.'' Click the 
``Open Docket Folder'' in the ``Actions'' column. You may also visit 
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. We have an agreement with the 
Department of Transportation to use the Docket Management Facility.
    A list of material the Coast Guard has incorporated by reference 
may be viewed online using the Standards Incorporated by Reference 
(SIBR) Database maintained by the National Institute of Standards and 
Technology (NIST). To view the list online, go to http://standards.gov/sibr/query/index.cfm. At the top of that page, click the tab marked 
``Regulatory.'' Then, in the line marked ``Incorporated By,'' use the 
drop-down menu to select ``Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Coast 
Guard'' and click ``Search.''

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).

Background and Purpose

    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 
would otherwise be 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. The Coast Guard has actively 
participated in the development of industry standards for safety of 
marine equipment at the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the 
International Organization for Standardization (ISO), ASTM 
International, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), and 
42 other international and domestic standards development 
    When appropriate, the Coast Guard incorporates industry standards, 
and particularly voluntary consensus standards, into its regulations. 
This process, known as incorporation by reference, gives the content of 
incorporated standards the same force as regulations published in the 
Code of Federal Regulations. A list of standards the Coast Guard has 
incorporated by reference is available as described in the ``Viewing 
comments and documents'' section of this request for comments.
    Incorporation by reference occurs as part of a rulemaking and is 
governed by specific rules, which are available at 1 CFR part 51. Under 
these rules the Coast Guard may only incorporate a specific edition of 
a standard, and that standard must be reasonably available to the class 
of persons affected by it. Because standards organizations revise and 
replace standards over time, the specific edition incorporated by the 
Coast Guard eventually may become outdated, unavailable to the class of 
persons affected by it, or both. This can lead to conflicts between 
domestic and international requirements, or between regulatory 
requirements and modern best practices. Therefore, the Coast Guard 
reviews its incorporations by reference and updates them if necessary.
    In the past the Coast Guard has included these updates in its 
individual, topic-driven rulemaking efforts. The Coast Guard is 
interested, however, in conducting one or more rulemakings devoted 
specifically to updating references to standards that are incorporated 
in its regulations.

Request for Comments

    Through this request for comments, the Coast Guard solicits public 
comments on whether Coast Guard regulations incorporate standards that 
should be updated, which current standards should replace those already 
incorporated, and how the Coast Guard should ensure incorporated 
standards are kept current. Your experiences with incorporated 
standards will help us decide which references to update in our 
regulations, and which revisions should receive priority. In your 
response to this request for comments, we encourage you to include the 
following information if possible:
    (1) If you are aware of an incorporated standard that is outdated, 
please provide its full title and publication number, the reasons you 
believe it is outdated, the standard you suggest should replace it, and 
the reasons that standard is the best choice. Please be as specific as 
possible when describing the differences between the incorporated 
standard and the suggested replacement,

[[Page 71371]]

and the reasons those changes are desirable.
    (2) If you are aware of an incorporated standard that has been 
reaffirmed or superseded without change, please provide its title, the 
publication number, and the title of the edition you believe has 
replaced it.
    (3) If you are aware of instances in which members of the public 
follow a newer or different standard than the one incorporated in 
regulation, please indicate which standard and how widespread its use. 
You may submit anonymous comments, but detailed information on industry 
practice will help us develop cost estimates when deciding whether to 
incorporate the newer standard.
    (4) If you are aware of conflicts between incorporated standards, 
or of errors that lead to confusion about incorporated standards, 
please describe the conflict or confusion.
    This request for comments is issued under authority of 5 U.S.C. 
552(a) and 33 CFR subpart 1.05.

    Dated: November 7, 2012.
F.J. Sturm,
Acting Director of Commercial Regulations and Standards, U.S. Coast 
[FR Doc. 2012-28286 Filed 11-29-12; 8:45 am]