Specifically, the President, in his report "Strengthening America's Shipyards: A plan for
Competing in the International Market," recognized the importance of developing
international and national standards as a means to improve safety and reduce the
regulatory burden. In the report, the President directs the Secretary of Transportation
and the Coast Guard to "...continue working with the International Maritime
Organization to upgrade critical international standards and with U.S. carriers and
standards bodies to delete or revise regulations that add costs unnecessarily."
These responsibilities are also reflected in the Department of Tansportation's policy, the
strategic vision and goals of the Commandant, and the goals and objectives of Maritime
Regulatory Reform as evidenced by the excerpts in enclosure (1).
For over two centuries the Coast Guard has been responsible for the protection of life
and property at sea. The USCG Office of Maritime Safety, Security, and Environmental
Protection is charged with directing and administering a coordinated federal program for
commercial vessels safety, port safety, security, and environmental protection. In order
to meet this mandate the Office is responsible for, among other things, enforcing
applicable Federal laws, developing regulations necessary for implementing new laws,
adoption and use of international treaties and Executive Orders, and representing the
United States and Coast Guard interests in national and international fora.
There responsibilities also include assessing the impact of the regulatory requirements
on the strength of U.S. competitiveness in the world. The U.S. maritime industry must
be afforded the same opportunity as their foreign counterparts to design and build
commercialy viable vessels. A viable maritime industry supports our own national
Standards are an effective way of promoting improvements in safety, the environment,
and of assuring the consistent application of national and international requirements.
Further, establishment of standards can open new markets for high quality marine
suppliers, thus expanding the use of products that achieve a high level of safety.