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Southeastern Alaska (SEAK) COTP Zone – O’Brien’s

By • Mar 10th, 2011 • Category: IGPI

Background

USCG regulations require each vessel to have approvals in the VRP for all COTP Zones that the vessel will transit, operate in or make a port call. The USCG has recently begun to enforce this requirement in remote COTP Zones. If the VRP approval letter or Interim Operating Authorization (IOA) does not list the SEAK COTP Zone as “authorized” then the vessel cannot transit, operate in or call ports in the SEAK COTP Zone. The SEAK COTP Zone extends to the 200nm limit of the US Exclusive Economic Zone. In order for a vessel to obtain authorization it must first contract with the local OSRO to provide coverage which supplements the coverage provided by MSRC and/or NRC.

Applicability

All vessels (tank and nontank) that are calling, operating or transiting the SEAK COTP Zone when bound for or departing from a US port.

The only exception is a vessel on innocent passage through the SEAK COTP Zone (i.e. the vessel is not bound for or departing from a US port).

Nontank Vessels

In order for a nontank vessel to obtain authorization to call, operate or transit the SEAK COTP Zone when bound to or departing from a US port, the following actions must be taken:

Establish a contract/coverage with a the local OSRO
Provide O’Brien’s evidence of local OSRO coverage
O’Brien’s submits the NTVRP revision to add the SEAK COTP Zone to USCG HQ for review and request issuance of an IOA
USCG HQ issues authorization for the vessel(s) to operate in SEAK COTP Zone
This process routinely takes 30 or more days for the USCG to review and issue an authorization for SEAK. It is recommended to provide the evidence of local OSRO coverage and request the NTVRP revision at least 30 days in advance of a vessel operating in the SEAK COTP Zone.

Tank Vessels

In order for a tank vessel to obtain authorization to call, operate or transit the SEAK COTP Zone when bound to or departing from a US port, the following actions must be taken:

Establish a contract/coverage with a the local OSRO
Provide O’Brien’s evidence of local OSRO coverage
O’Brien’s submits the Alternative Planning Criteria (APC) request to Sector Juneau in accordance with CG-543 Policy Letter dated August 12, 2009.
O’Brien’s submits the VRP revision to add the SEAK COTP Zone to USCG HQ for review and requests issuance of an IOA to USCG.
USCG HQ issues authorization to operate in SEAK COTP Zone upon receiving concurrence from Sector Juneau that the APC submission is acceptable.
This process routinely takes 30 or more days for the USCG to review and issue an authorization for SEAK. It is recommended to provide the evidence of local OSRO coverage and request APC submission and the VRP revision at least 30 days in advance of a vessel calling or operating in the SEAK COTP Zone.

Alternative Planning Criteria

Tank vessels that intend to call an Alaskan port or routinely operate in the SEAK COTP Zone must submit APC in accordance with the guidelines established in Marine Safety Information Bulletin (MSIB) 01-10 issued by COTP SEAK. It sets forth the additional requirements below:

No transfer operations outside of 12 miles.
Contract with a local OSRO.
72 hour response agreement with an OSRO classified with offshore and open-ocean capability. Those who have MSRC or NRC listed in the VRP already meet this requirement.
Carry ten bales of sorbent pads, in addition to other required oil spill equipment
Submit 96 hour Advance Notice of Arrival prior to entering COTP SEAK
Immediate notification of COTP SEAK of all marine casualties within 200 miles from shore.
No servicing or repairs while underway outside of 12 miles that affect propulsion, other than emergencies, without prior notification to COTP SEAK.
O’Brien’s will incorporate these items into the APC submission to Sector Juneau on your behalf.

Note: APC submission requirements are applicable to TANK vessels only.

Local OSRO Contact Information

Vessels (tank and nontank) that intend to call, operate or transit the SEAK COTP Zone must establish coverage with the local OSRO below:

SEAPRO
540 Water Street, Suite 201
Ketchikan, Alaska 99901
Tel: +1 907 225 7002
Fax: +1 907 247 1117
Cheryl@SEAPRO.org
http://www.SEAPRO.org

The fees for establishing coverage will depend on the vessels intentions. For assistance in arranging coverage for vessels that intend to call an Alaskan port or conduct operations on a regular basis within the SEAK COTP Zone, please contact us at alaska@obriensrm.com.