46 CFR 160.050-5 - Sampling, tests, and inspection.

§ 160.050-5 Sampling, tests, and inspection.

(a)General. Production tests and inspections must be conducted in accordance with this section, subpart 159.007 of this chapter, and if conducted by an independent laboratory, the independent laboratory's procedures for production inspections and tests as accepted by the Commandant. The Commandant may prescribe additional production tests and inspections necessary to maintain quality control and to monitor compliance with the requirements of this subchapter.

(b)Oversight. In addition to responsibilities set out in part 159 of this chapter and the accepted laboratory procedures for production inspections and tests, each manufacturer of a ring life buoy and each laboratory inspector shall comply with the following, as applicable:

(1)Manufacturer. Each manufacturer must -

(i) Perform all tests and examinations necessary to show compliance with this subpart and the subpart under which the ring life buoy is approved on each lot before any inspector's tests and inspection of the lot;

(ii) Follow established procedures for maintaining quality control of the materials used, manufacturing operations, and the finished product; and

(iii) Allow an inspector to take samples of completed units or of component materials for tests required by this subpart and for tests relating to the safety of the design.

(iv) Meet 33 CFR 181.701 through 33 CFR 181.705 which requires an instruction pamphlet for each device that is sold or offered for sale for use on recreational boats, and must make the pamphlet accessible prior to purchase.

(2)Laboratory. An inspector from the accepted laboratory shall oversee production in accordance with the laboratory's procedures for production inspections and tests accepted by the Commandant. During production oversight, the inspector shall not perform or supervise any production test or inspection unless -

(i) The manufacturer has a valid approval certificate; and

(ii) The inspector has first observed the manufacturer's production methods and any revisions to those methods.

(3) At least quarterly, the inspector shall check the manufacturer's compliance with the company's quality control procedures, examine the manufacturer's required records, and observe the manufacturer perform each of the required production tests.

(c)Test facilities. The manufacturer shall provide a suitable place and apparatus for conducting the tests and inspections necessary to determine compliance of ring life buoys with this subpart. The manufacturer shall provide means to secure any test that is not continuously observed, such as the 48 hour buoyancy test. The manufacturer must have the calibration of all test equipment checked in accordance with the test equipment manufacturer's recommendation and interval but not less than at least once every year.

(d)Lots. A lot may not consist of more than 1000 life buoys. A lot number must be assigned to each group of life buoys produced. Lots must be numbered serially. A new lot must be started whenever any change in materials or a revision to a production method is made, and whenever any substantial discontinuity in the production process occurs. The lot number assigned, along with the approval number, must enable the ring life buoy manufacturer to determine the supplier's identifying information for the component lot.


(1) From each lot of ring life buoys, manufacturers shall randomly select a number of samples from completed units at least equal to the applicable number required by table 160.050-5(e) for buoyancy testing. Additional samples must be selected for any tests, examinations, and inspections required by the laboratory's production inspections and tests procedures.

Table 160.050-5(e) - Sampling for Buoyancy Tests

Lot size Number of life buoys in sample
100 and under 1
101 to 200 2
201 to 300 3
301 to 500 4
501 to 750 6
751 to 1000 8

(2) For a lot next succeeding one from which any sample ring life buoy failed the buoyancy or strength test, the sample shall consist of not less than ten specimen ring life buoys to be tested for buoyancy in accordance with paragraph (f) of this section.

(f)Tests - (1) Strength test. The buoy body shall be suspended by a 2-inch-wide strap. A similar strap shall be passed around the opposite side of the buoy and a 200-pound weight suspended by it from the buoy. After 30 minutes, the buoy body shall be examined, and there shall be no breaks, cracks or permanent deformation.

(2)Resistance to damage test. The buoy body shall be dropped three times from a height of 6 feet onto concrete, and there shall be no breaks or cracks in the body.

(3)Buoyancy test. To obtain the buoyancy of the buoy, proceed as follows:

(i) Weigh iron or other weight under water. The weight shall be more than sufficient to submerge the buoy.

(ii) Attach the iron or other weight to the buoy and submerge with the top of the buoy at least 2 inches below the surface for 48 hours.

(iii) After the 48-hour submergence period, weigh the buoy with the weight attached while both are still under water.

(iv) The buoyancy is computed as paragraph (f)(3)(i) minus paragraph (f)(3)(iii) of this section.

(4)Buoyancy required. The buoys shall provide a buoyancy of not less than 16.5 pounds for the 20-and 24-inch sizes, and not less than 32 pounds for the 30-inch size.

(g)Lot inspection. On each lot, the laboratory inspector shall perform a final lot inspection to be satisfied that the ring life buoys meet this subpart. Each lot must demonstrate -

(1) First quality workmanship;

(2) That the general arrangement and attachment of all components are as specified in the approved plans and specifications; and

(3) Compliance with the marking requirements in the applicable approval subpart.

(h)Lot acceptance. When the independent laboratory has determined that the ring life buoys in the lot are of a type officially approved in the name of the company, and that such ring life buoys meet the requirements of this subpart, they shall be plainly marked in waterproof ink with the independent laboratory's name or identifying mark.

(i)Lot rejection. Each nonconforming unit must be rejected. If three or more nonconforming units are rejected for the same kind of defect, lot inspection must be discontinued and the lot rejected. The inspector must discontinue lot inspection and reject the lot if examination of individual units or the records for the lot shows noncompliance with either this subchapter or the laboratory's or the manufacturer's quality control procedures. A rejected unit or lot may be resubmitted for testing and inspection if the manufacturer first removes and destroys each defective unit or, if authorized by the laboratory, reworks the unit or lot to correct the defect. A rejected lot or rejected unit may not be sold or offered for sale under the representation that it meets this subpart or that it is Coast Guard-approved.

[CGFR 65-9, 30 FR 11478, Sept. 8, 1965, as amended by CGD 95-028, 62 FR 51213, Sept. 30, 1997]

This is a list of United States Code sections, Statutes at Large, Public Laws, and Presidential Documents, which provide rulemaking authority for this CFR Part.

This list is taken from the Parallel Table of Authorities and Rules provided by GPO [Government Printing Office].

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United States Code
Presidential Documents

Executive Order ... 12234

Title 46 published on 09-May-2017 04:27

The following are ALL rules, proposed rules, and notices (chronologically) published in the Federal Register relating to 46 CFR Part 160 after this date.

  • 2016-07-22; vol. 81 # 141 - Friday, July 22, 2016
    1. 81 FR 48220 - Harmonization of Standards for Fire Protection, Detection, and Extinguishing Equipment
      GPO FDSys XML | Text
      Final rule.
      This final rule is effective August 22, 2016. The incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in the rule is approved by the Director of the Federal Register on August 22, 2016.
      33 CFR Parts 140, 145, 148, and 149
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