States Department of Homeland Security
The parent department of the United States
Coast Guard. The Transportation Security
Administration is part of the Department and maintains
a separate web site, which includes a Law & Policy page with links to the relevant security statutes and
regulations. US Customs and Border Protection is also part of the Department and maintains considerable information on import, export and travel regulations at its site.
States Coast Guard (USCG)
The Coast Guard site has a vast collection
of online information and material in the maritime area.
Department of Transportation (DOT)
Districts and Units
A guide to the various Coast Guard District Offices and Units, including Headquarters, and their individual web pages.
USCG Marine Safety and Environmental Protection
Home page with sitemap of the material and information available from this branch of the Coast Guard.
Navigation Center (NAVCEN)
The NAVCEN is responsible for and provides
detailed information concerning aids to navigation (GPS, Loran, Local Notices
to Mariners, etc.).
Port State Control
The Port State Control site includes the
State Information Exchange database containing vessel specific information.
Marine Safety Regulatory Home Page
A staring point for finding Federal regulations
affecting commercial vessel safety, port safety and security, and marine
safety and environmental protection.
Office of Investigations & Analysis
The office responsible for investigating
Office of Vessel Traffic Management
Primary concern is navigational safety and
and International Navigation Rules (COLREGS), which are available for
USCG Marine Safety Manual
The basic Manual for Coast Guard personnel in carrying out their responsibilities in areas under Coast Guard regulatuion. An excellent source of information on the relevant regulations and procedures.
Marine Safety Newsletter
Available in .pdf format.
Online collection of Coast Guard Navigation
and Vessel Inspection Circulars (NVICs) that provide guidance on compliance
with various Federal maritime regulations.
Marine Safety Council Proceedings
The Coast Guard Journal of Safety at Sea
in .pdf format.
POISE (Port Operations Information for Safety & Efficiency) contains port-related links to websites created by government
agencies, port authorities, marine exchanges, etc. throughout the United
Publications, Reports, Studies and Forms
Index page to the Coast Guard and related
publications available online. Includes the most common forms used in the
vessel documentation process.
National Vessel Documentation Center
Information and forms on documenting US flagged
STCW Implementation Site
Concerns the Coast Guard's implementation
of the Convention on Standards of Training, Certification, and Watchkeeping
for Seafarers (London 1978).
Chief Administrative Law Judge
Decisions of the Commandant re: merchant
Drug and Alcohol Program Inspectors
Includes information and regulations on the
Coast Guard's program to test mariners for drug and alcohol abuse.
National Pollution Funds Center
The site includes the Certificate of Financial
Responsibility (COFR) Vessel Information
Database. A vessel over 300 gross tons may not lawfully operate in
the navigable waters of the U.S. without a valid COFR, which is a certificate
of financial ability to pay for oil pollution damages.
Vessel Response Plan (VRP) Home Page
Information concerning the Vessel Response
Plan requirement under OPA 1990 for oil tankers.
Oil Spill Response Information
The statutes, regulations, plans and agreements
concerning oil spill response.
Along with the Maritime Administration, the
Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation is part of the Department.
See also the Department's site devoted
to the transportation of hazardous or dangerous materials, which includes
information on the International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code.
In the words of MARAD, its mission is "to
promote the development and maintenance of an adequate, well-balanced,
United States merchant marine, sufficient to carry the Nation's domestic
waterborne commerce and a substantial portion of its waterborne foreign
commerce, and capable of serving as a naval and military auxiliary in time
of war or national emergency."
Maritime Commission (FMC)
FMC was established in 1961 and is responsible
for the regulation of shipping in the foreign trade of the United States.
The Commission investigates discriminatory rates and practices of ocean
carriers; receives and monitors agreements among carriers; maintains electronic
tariff filings; regulates tariffs of carriers controlled by foreign governments;
licenses U.S. based freight forwarders; requires bonds of non-vessel operating
common carriers (NVOCC); and issues passenger vessel certificates of financial
Protection Agency (EPA)
EPA has thousands of Agency
publications available online. The EPA
Oil Spill Program is responsible for preventing and responding to oil
spills in the inland waters. The applicable laws
and regulations are linked and an overview of OPA
1990 is provided. EPA's Laws & Regulations page provides links to the major environmental laws
and summaries of those laws.
The National Response Team (NRT) and the
Regional Response Teams are the federal component of the National Response
System, which responds to emergency discharges of oil and releases of chemicals.
The NRT is chaired by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the
United States Coast Guard (USCG) serves as Vice Chair.
The primary function of the National Response
Center is to serve as the sole national point of contact for reporting
all oil, chemical, radiological, biological, and etiological discharges
into the environment anywhere in the United States and its territories.
Transportation Safety Board (NTSB)
The Board, which investigates significant
marine accidents, maintains a Marine
page and online reports of marine
casualties downloadable in .pdf format.
States Department of Commerce
Trade Administration is a branch of the Department. (See also the International
Trade Commission, which is an independent governmental agency.)
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) NOAA conducts ocean
surveys and produces nautical charts. The site has a significant amount
of information on nautical
chart making and hydrography. NOAA's National Ocean Service (NOS)
is involved with coastal and ocean management. NOAA's Damage
Assessment and Restoration Program (DARP) conducts assessments of oil
spills, groundings and hazmat releases. See also the National
Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) and the National
Data Buoy Center.
States Department of Defense (DOD)
DOD's home page. A directory of DOD
agency individual web sites is provided.
States Department of Justice
A directory of Navy
Web Sites is here. See the Navy
Judge Advocate General's (JAG) site, which has an Admiralty and Maritime
Law Division. The Military Sealift Command
(MSC) is responsible for the ocean transportation of military supplies
and maintains an online
inventory of MSC ships. The Navy's Supervisor
of Salvage and Diving is involved in salvage efforts and handling salvage
claims through its
Attorney. See also the United States
Naval Academy and the Naval Vessel
Register (an inventory of US Naval vessels.)
Geospatial Intelligence Agency (NGA)
DOD agency (formerly the National Imagery
and Mapping Agency, which was the former Defense Mapping Agency) that produces
nautical charts for use by the military and sale to the general public.
States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE)
The Corps is responsible for maintaining
navigation channels. The extensive site maintains the Navigation
Data Center, with much online information on waterborne commerce, vessel
characteristics, port facilities, dredging information, lock characteristics
and lock performance. An online
repository of all official USACE regulations, circulars, manuals
and related documents is also available.
Relevant sections include:
Torts Branch, Civil Division (Admiralty claims)
States Department of Labor
The Department maintains a Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation page with links to various resources. The Occupational
Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) maintains a dedicated Maritime
page and related information.
States Department of State
Relevant sections include:
Judicial Assistance Information (litigating abroad)
Bureau of Oceans and Intl Environmental & Scientific Affairs
List of Treaties in Force
Private International Law
Office of the Legal Advisor
Country Background Notes
States Department of the Treasury
See also the Office
of Foreign Assets Control, which is responsible for U.S. trade and
States House of Representatives
Relevant committees include the Senate
Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation and the House
Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. The THOMAS service of the Library of Congress provides exhaustive information on the
legislative activity of the House and Senate. See also the United
States Library of Congress site.
States Commission on Ocean Policy
The 16-member Commission is undertaking an
18-month study and will make recommendations to the President and Congress
on a national ocean policy.
Accountability Office (GAO)
The General Accounting Office is the investigative
arm of Congress. GAO's mission is to help the Congress oversee federal
programs and operations.
This is the primary portal for finding government
web sites and other government information on the internet. It is touted
as "the first-ever government website to provide the public with easy,
one-stop access to all online U.S. Federal Government resources."
Government Agencies Directory
A directory of agencies on the internet maintained
by Louisiana State University (LSU) in cooperation with the Federal Government.
Printing Office (GPO) Finding Aid
GPO site for finding government web sites
and online documents. See also the GPO
Database of government documents, laws and regulations and the GPO
Information Locator Service (GILS).
The FedWorld Information Network is a comprehensive
access point for searching, locating, ordering and acquiring government
- State Resources
This is FindLaw's state resources page, including
laws and web sites. The Library of Congress' State
and Local Government resource page is also an exceptional source. And
see the state government pages of the following directories:
State and Local Governments on the Net
National Association of Secretaries of State.
A locator of the web sites of the various state Secretaries of State, most
of which are responsible for corporate registration and records.