The U.S. Coast Guard Friday announced the publication of the final rule on Vessel Requirements for Notices of Arrival and Departure and Automatic Identification Systems.

This final rule amends the applicability of notice of arrival requirements to include additional vessels, sets forth a mandatory method for electronic submission of NOAs and modifies related reporting content, timeframes and procedures.

Additionally, the final rule extends applicability of AIS requirements beyond Vessel Traffic Service areas to all U.S. navigable waters and requires that additional commercial vessels install and use AIS.

These changes will improve navigation safety, enhance the Coast Guard's ability to identify and track vessels, and heighten overall maritime domain awareness, thus helping the Coast Guard address threats to maritime transportation safety and security.

The final rule takes effect March 2, 2015. Exceptions to this are amendments to 33 CFR part 160, which become effective April 30, 2015, and sections 160.204(a)(5)(vii), 160.205, 160.208 and 164.46(b) and (c), which contain collection-of-information requirements that have not yet been approved by the Office of Management and Budget. The Coast Guard will publish a document in the Federal Register announcing the effective date of these four collection-of-information-related sections.

To read the final rule, go to http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2015-01-30/pdf/2015-01331.pdf.

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