(a) The Commandant may approve any arrangement, fitting, appliance, apparatus, equipment, calculation, information, or test which provides a level of safety equivalent to that established by specific provisions of this subchapter. Requests for approval must be submitted to the Marine Safety Center. If necessary, the Marine Safety Center may require engineering evaluations and tests to demonstrate the equivalence of the substitute.
(b) The Commandant may accept compliance by a high speed craft with the provisions of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) “Code of Safety for High Speed Craft” as an equivalent to compliance with applicable requirements of this subchapter. Requests for a determination of equivalency for a particular vessel must be submitted to the Marine Safety Center.
(c) The Commandant may approve a novel lifesaving appliance or arrangement as an equivalent if it has performance characteristics at least equivalent to the appliance or arrangement required under this part, and:
(1) Is evaluated and tested under IMO Resolution A.520(13), “Code of Practice for the Evaluation, Testing and Acceptance of Prototype Novel Life-Saving Appliances and Arrangements”; or
(2) Has successfully undergone an evaluation and tests that are substantially equivalent to those recommendations.