46 CFR § 175.540 - Equivalents.
(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 via the cognizant OCMI. 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 via the cognizant OCMI.
(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) (incorporated by reference, see 46 CFR 175.600); or
(2) Has successfully undergone an evaluation and tests that are substantially equivalent to those recommendations.
(d) The Commandant may accept alternative compliance arrangements in lieu of specific provisions of the International Safety Management (ISM) Code (IMO Resolution A.741(18)) for the purpose of determining that an equivalent safety management system is in place on board a vessel. The Commandant will consider the size and corporate structure of a vessel's company when determining the acceptability of an equivalent system. Requests for determination of equivalency must be submitted to Commandant (CG-CVC) via the cognizant OCMI.