50 CFR § 404.5 - Requirements for a vessel monitoring system.

§ 404.5 Requirements for a vessel monitoring system.

(a)Requirement for use. Effective August 28, 2006, an owner or operator of a vessel that has been issued a permit for accessing the Monument must ensure that such vessel has an OLE-approved, operating VMS on board when voyaging within the Monument. An operating VMS includes an operating mobile transmitting unit on the vessel and a functioning communication link between the unit and OLE as provided by an OLE-approved communication service provider. Appendix B to this part 404 provides information regarding OLE-approved transmitting units.

(b)Installing and activating the VMS. Only a VMS that has been approved by OLE may be used. When installing and activating the OLE-approved VMS, or when reinstalling and reactivating such VMS, the vessel owner or operator must:

(1) Follow procedures indicated on an installation and activation checklist, which is available from OLE; and

(2) Submit to OLE a statement certifying compliance with the checklist, as prescribed on the checklist.

(c)Interference with the VMS. No person may interfere with, tamper with, alter, damage, disable, or impede the operation of the VMS, or attempt any of the same.

(d)Interruption of operation of the VMS. When a vessel's VMS is not operating properly, the owner or operator must immediately contact OLE, and follow instructions from that office. If notified by OLE that a vessel's VMS is not operating properly, the owner and operator must follow instructions from that office. In either event, such instructions may include, but are not limited to, manually communicating to a location designated by OLE the vessel's positions or returning to port until the VMS is operable.

(e)Access to position data. As a condition of authorized access to the Monument, a vessel owner or operator subject to the requirements for a VMS in this section must allow OLE, the USCG, and their authorized officers and designees access to the vessel's position data obtained from the VMS. Consistent with other applicable laws, including the limitations on access to, and use of, VMS data collected under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, the Secretaries may have access to, and use of, collected data for scientific, statistical, and management purposes.

(f)Authority for installation and operation.OLE has authority over the installation and operation of the VMS unit. OLE may authorize the connection or order the disconnection of additional equipment, including a computer, to any VMS unit when deemed appropriate by OLE.

(g)Activities Regarding Vessel Monitoring Systems. Effective August 28, 2006, the following activities regarding vessel monitoring systems are prohibited and thus unlawful for any person to conduct or cause to be conducted:

(1) Operating any vessel within the Monument without an OLE type-approved mobile transceiver unit described in this section;

(2) Failing to install, activate, repair, or replace a mobile transceiver unit prior to leaving port;

(3) Failing to operate and maintain a mobile transceiver unit on board the vessel at all times as specified in this section;

(4) Tampering with, damaging, destroying, altering, or in any way distorting, rendering useless, inoperative, ineffective, or inaccurate the VMS, mobile transceiver unit, or VMS signal required to be installed on or transmitted by a vessel as specified in this section;

(5) Failing to contact OLE or follow OLE instructions when automatic position reporting has been interrupted as specified in this section;

(6) Registering a VMS or mobile transceiver unit to more than one vessel at the same time;

(7) Connecting or leaving connected additional equipment to a VMS unit or mobile transceiver unit without the prior approval of OLE; and

(8) Making a false statement, oral or written, to an authorized officer regarding the installation, use, operation, or maintenance of a VMS unit or mobile transceiver unit or communication service provider.