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DOC/NOAA RIN: 0648-BJ15 Publication ID: Spring 2020 
Title: Vessel Monitoring Systems; Amendment to Type-Approval Requirements 

The U.S. Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) program type-approves enhanced mobile transceiver units (EMTUs) for use in the U.S. Currently, the only option for transferring VMS data from ship to NMFS is by satellite-linked communication services. All owners of vessels participating in the NOAA VMS program are required to carry a NMFS-approved EMTU or MTU to comply with the Vessel Monitoring System requirements. The proposed rule would modify the type-approval requirements to allow for communication service by cellular EMTUs (EMTU-Cs), in addition to satellite-only models. The need for the rule is to set out procedures and requirements for initial type-approvals; compliance with, and revocations and appeals of type-approvals; and technical, service, and performance specifications. This would allow EMTU-Cs to be type-approved and used in certain federally managed fisheries with a VMS requirement. Generally, cellular communication services come at a significantly lower cost than satellite services. A lower cost could ease the financial burden on fishermen, while providing NMFS with additional capabilities to manage fishery resources, and to protect marine species and ecologically sensitive areas.

Agency: Department of Commerce(DOC)  Priority: Substantive, Nonsignificant 
RIN Status: Previously published in the Unified Agenda Agenda Stage of Rulemaking: Final Rule Stage 
Major: No  Unfunded Mandates: No 
EO 13771 Designation: Deregulatory 
CFR Citation: 50 CFR 600   
Legal Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.   
Legal Deadline:  None
Action Date FR Cite
NPRM  01/24/2020  85 FR 4257   
NPRM Comment Period End  02/24/2020 
Final Action  06/00/2020 
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: Yes  Government Levels Affected: None 
Small Entities Affected: Businesses  Federalism: No 
Included in the Regulatory Plan: No 
RIN Data Printed in the FR: Yes 
Agency Contact:
James Landon
Department of Commerce
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
1315 East West Hwy, Bldg SSMC 3, Room 3151,
Silver Spring, MD 20910
Phone:301 427-8245