46 CFR 169.236 - Inspection and testing required.
(a) The provisions of NFPA 306, “Control of Gas Hazards on Vessels,” are used as a guide in conducting the inspections and issuing certificates required by this section.
(b) Until an inspection has been made to determine that the operations can be undertaken safely, no alterations, repairs, or other operations involving riveting, welding, burning, or other fire-producing actions may be made -
(1) Within or on the boundaries of fuel tanks; or
(2) To pipelines, heating coils, pumps, fittings, or other appurtenances connected to fuel tanks.
(c) Inspections must be conducted as follows:
(1) In ports or places in the United States or its territories and possessions, the inspection must be made by a marine chemist certificated by the National Fire Protection Association; however, if the services of such certified marine chemist are not reasonably available, the Officer in Charge, Marine Inspection, upon the recommendation of the vessel owner and his contractor on their representative, may authorize a person to inspect the particular vessel. If the inspection indicates that the operations can be undertaken with safety, a certificate setting forth this fact in writing must be issued by the certified marine chemist or the authorized person before the work is started. The certificate must include any requirements necessary to reasonably maintain safe conditions in the spaces certified throughout the operation, including any precautions necessary to eliminate or minimize hazards that may be present from protective coatings or residues from cargoes.
(2) When not in a port or place in the United States or its territories and possessions, and when a marine chemist or a person authorized by the Officer in Charge, Marine Inspection, is not reasonably available, the senior officer present shall conduct the inspection and enter the results of the inspection in the vessel's logbook.
(d) It is the responsibility of the senior officer present to secure copies of certificates issued by the certified marine chemist or a person authorized by the Officer in Charge, Marine Inspection. It is the responsibility of the senior officer present, insofar as the persons under his control are concerned, to maintain a safe condition on the vessel by full observance of all requirements listed by the marine chemist in the certificate.