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AIS Rule Change for US Waters

Effective March 2nd, 2015, certain commercially self-propelled vessels must have a properly installed, operational Automatic Identification System (AIS) no later than March 1st, 2016. The following vessels are required to install and use a Class A AIS transponder:

  • All commercial vessels of 65 feet or more in length (except as defined below)
  • Towing vessels of 26 feet or more in length and more than 600 horsepower
  • Vessels certificated to carry more than 150 passengers
  • Passenger vessels that are 65 feet or more and certificated to carry less than 150 passengers but operate in a Vessel Traffic Service area or at speeds in excess of 14 knots
  • Dredges that operate near a commercial channel
  • Vessels engaged in the movement of certain dangerous cargo, or flammable or combustible liquid cargo in bulk

In addition, the following vessels will be required to install and use at least a Class B AIS transponder:

  • Commercial fishing vessels that are 65 feet or more in length
  • Commercial passenger vessels that are 65 feet or more and are certificated to carry less than 150 passengers but do not operate in a Vessel Traffic Service area or at speeds in excess of 14 knots
  • Dredges operating outside shipping fairways

Vessels that operate solely within a very confined area, or on only short scheduled voyages; or that are not likely to encounter other AIS-equipped vessels; or whose design or construction makes it impracticable to operate an AIS device may seek up to a 5-year deviation from this requirement.

For more information on this rule change, please see the following resources:

If your vessel is impacted by these rule changes or if you have questions on meeting the requirements, contact us and we can offer special pricing on equipment needed to meet the new rules.