White House Regulatory Reform Comments

The White House Office of Information and Regulatory Reform has requested comments on reducing the regulatory burden on mariners and shipping.

This is our chance to bypass the ever more burdensome USCG’s rulemaking mindset.

What regulatory reforms should Mariners be proposing to the White House?

Mariners are most heavily affected by regulations regarding licensing, training, safety, seatime, and jobs. There is a lot of room for improvement.

Here are a few thoughts off the top:

  1. Close NMC.

  2. Turn licensing and inspection over to a new civilian agency with offices and exam rooms in every coastal state.

  3. Increase crew sizes.

  4. Reinterpret and tighten up the Jones Act to reduce waivers for foreign vessels and work visas for foreign workers in the OCS to save American jobs and enhance security.

  5. Phase out GRT and only use GT for licensing and inspection.

  6. Refocus and equip the Maritime Academies to provide subsidized high quality STCW training and license upgrade training at low cost to mariners. Make federal student loans available for Mariner training at non-profit schools.

  7. Create an independent agency like the MAIB to throughly investigate accidents with highly qualified career accident investigators.

  8. Allow Uninspected motorboats (or sail) to carry up to 12 passengers instead of only six.

  9. Have mandatory computer tracked and instantly reported seatime. Reintroduce Seamen’s Books. No more company seatime letters or loose paper discharges.

  10. Reduce the number of different types of licenses and endorsements and exams. Streamline upgrading. Eliminate road blocks. Put more focus on successful completion of rigorous relevant training programs and less focus on the tonnage of Vessels where seatime was obtained.

  11. Stop issuing OSV licenses. Provide upgrade paths and training.

Mariners should have organized working groups to refine and propose specific changes signed by hundreds of mariners.


More snacks in the galley.


They’re not asking for safety meeting suggestions :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:

I can’t believe you didn’t mention elimination of TWIC!!

Oops, I did forget the TWIC.

I’m really surprised that mariners are not interested in regulatory reform. I guess most mariners must like things as they are. Unbelievable.

A couple things, this is a recent development so I’ve not seen anything from the union yet but likely they have more inside info than just the press release.

The second thing is I’m very skeptical that this is about relieving the burden on mariners. To me it seems like they already have decided what they want to do, it’s going to be about helping industry, not mariners.

Seems to me that the Vessel General Permit (VGP) would be prime for this new initiative.

It does nothing but fill a very large binder above my desk, the EPA wanted nothing to do with it from the start, and the current EPA wants nothing to do with being the EPA.


The big binder above the chief’s desk? Either way, it’s a pain and worthless. But what kills me is the eNOAD, but I can’t see that going away.

Unfortunately the NOAD isn’t going anywhere. In fact, every country in Europe has rolled out their own excel based immitation which they have an annoying tendency to update the format three times a year. At least the NOAD has mostly remained the same for several years.

That is probably true, the industry lobbyists will be working overtime, but . . .

I see an opportunity here for individual mariners, Mariner groups, and Mariner representatives, to get some beneficial regulatory changes implemented.

I’d like to see the White House establish and fund a mariners working group to study the matter and make recommendations.

Perhaps you could consider what those industry lobbyists will propose to eliminate, and comment favorably on stuff you like and don’t want to see eliminated. For example, it’s conceivable some inewterests might propose to revise portions of the Jones Act… (I know, not a regulation, but it makes the point I’m trying to convey)

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My 2 cents on things I’d like to see:

  1. I’d still push for AB inland license, I think it would benefit the next generation of inland mariners

  2. I think there should be a focus on Mariner mental health. I know of 2 people in the past year that have overdosed on heroin. One of was a friend and a Captain, the other I didn’t know personally but still a tragedy. One was going through marital issues, not easy to live on a vessel for 1/2-2/3 of the year.