Article "ripped" from U.S.C.G.'s Website

On Domestic/International Vessel Standards


Executive Overview :
Over 95% of our nation’s imports and exports are carried by ship. The majority of these ships are foreign flagged. In order to allow for the uninterrupted flow of commerce, while simultaneously ensuring for the safety of life at sea and the protection of the marine environment; a uniform, international set of standards applicable to ships worldwide is necessary. The CG is the lead agency for the development of these standards, and to ensure uniformity, should be the single focal point internationally as advances in marine safety and environmental protection occur. However, in order to develop sound international and domestic standards, input from the States is critical, and the CG actively seeks that input.

Objective  : The United States must speak with one voice in developing safety and environmental protection standards applicable to ships in international trade. The CG, working in close cooperation with affected coastal states, is our nation’s lead agency in the development of these standards.

Background :
Since the founding of the U.S., interstate and international shipping has been regulated by the federal government, largely to the exclusion of the States. Since the sinking of the TITANIC in 1912, vessel regulation has taken an increasingly international approach, with worldwide standards developed by the International Maritime Organization, a branch of the United Nations (U.N.), based in London. In the last 160 years, various States have attempted to regulate ships in interstate and international trade. With very limited exceptions, these State regulatory efforts have been found preempted by the Courts.

Points :

Proposed Action / The Course Ahead :

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