50 CFR § 600.1501 - Vessel Monitoring System type-approval process.
(a) Applicability. Unless otherwise specified, this section applies to EMTUs, EMTU-Cs, units that operate as both an EMTU and EMTU-C, and MCSs. Units that can operate as both an EMTU and EMTU-C must meet the requirements for both an EMTU and an EMTU-C in order to gain type-approval as both. MTUs are no longer eligible for type-approval.
(b) Application submission. A requestor must submit a written type-approval request and electronic copies of supporting materials that include the information required under this section to the NMFS Office of Law Enforcement (OLE) at: U.S. Department of Commerce; National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; National Marine Fisheries Service; Office of Law Enforcement; Attention: Vessel Monitoring System Office; 1315 East-West Highway, SSMC3, Suite 3301, Silver Spring, Maryland 20910.
(c) Application requirements.
(1) EMTU, EMTU-C, and MCS Identifying Information: In a type-approval request, the requestor should indicate whether the requestor is seeking approval for an EMTU, EMTU-C, MCS, or bundle and must specify identifying characteristics, as applicable: Communication class; manufacturer; brand name; model name; model number; software version and date; firmware version number and date; hardware version number and date; antenna type; antenna model number and date; tablet, monitor or terminal model number and date; MCS to be used in conjunction with the EMTU/EMTU-C; entity providing MCS to the end user; and current global and regional coverage of the MCS.
(2) Requestor-approved third party business entities: The requestor must provide the business name, address, phone number, contact name(s), email address, specific services provided, and geographic region covered for the following third party business entities:
(i) Entities providing bench configuration for the EMTU/EMTU-C at the warehouse or point of supply.
(ii) Entities distributing/selling the EMTU/EMTU-C to end users.
(iii) Entities currently approved by the requestor to install the EMTU/EMTU-C onboard vessels.
(iv) Entities currently approved by the requestor to offer a limited warranty.
(v) Entities approved by the requestor to offer a maintenance service agreement.
(vi) Entities approved by the requestor to repair or install new software on the EMTU/EMTU-C.
(vii) Entities approved by the requestor to train end users.
(viii) Entities approved by the requestor to advertise the EMTU/EMTU-C.
(ix) Entities approved by the requestor to provide other customer services.
(3) Regulatory Requirements and Documentation: In a type-approval request, a requestor must:
(i) Identify the NMFS region(s) and/or Federal fisheries for which the requestor seeks type-approval.
(ii) Include copies of, or citation to, applicable VMS regulations and requirements in effect for the region(s) and Federal fisheries identified under paragraph (c)(3)(i) of this section that require use of VMS.
(iii) Provide a table with the type-approval request that lists in one column each requirement set out in §§ 600.1502 through 600.1509 and regulations described under paragraph (c)(3)(ii) of this section. NMFS OLE will provide a template for the table upon request. The requestor must indicate in subsequent columns in the table:
(A) Whether the requirement applies to the type-approval; and
(iv) Certify that the features, components, configuration and services of the requestor's EMTU/EMTU-C, MCS, or bundle comply with each requirement set out in §§ 600.1502 through 600.1509 and the regulations described under paragraph (c)(3)(ii) of this section.
(v) Certify that, if the request is approved, the requestor agrees to be responsible for ensuring compliance with each requirement set out in §§ 600.1502 through 600.1509 and the regulations described under paragraph (c)(3)(ii) of this section over the course of the type-approval period.
(vi) Provide NMFS OLE with two EMTU/EMTU-Cs loaded with forms and software, if applicable, for each NMFS region or Federal fishery, with activated MCS, for which a type-approval request is submitted for a minimum of 90 calendar days for testing and evaluation. For EMTU-Cs, the forms and software may be loaded onto a dedicated message terminal and display component to which the EMTU-C can connect. Copies of forms currently used by NMFS are available upon request. As part of its review, NMFS OLE may perform field tests and at-sea trials that involve demonstrating every aspect of EMTU/EMTU-C and communications operation. The requestor is responsible for all associated costs including paying for: Shipping of the EMTU/EMTU-C to the required NMFS regional offices and/or headquarters for testing; the MCS during the testing period; and shipping of the EMTU/EMTU-C back to the vendor.
(vii) Provide thorough documentation for the EMTU/EMTU-C and MCS, including: EMTU/EMTU-C fact sheets; installation guides; user manuals; any necessary interfacing software; MCS global and regional coverage; performance specifications; and technical support information.
(d) Certification. A requestor seeking type-approval of an EMTU/EMTU-C to operate with a class or type of communications, as opposed to type-approval for use with a specific MCS, shall certify that the EMTU/EMTU-C meets requirements under this subpart when using at least one MCSP within that class or type of communications.
(e) Notification. Unless additional time is required for EMTU/EMTU-C testing, NMFS OLE will notify the requestor within 90 days after receipt of a complete type-approval request as follows:
(1) If a request is approved or partially approved, NMFS OLE will provide notice as described under § 600.1510 and the type-approval letter will serve as official documentation and notice of type-approval. OLE will publish and maintain the list of type-approved units on their Vessel Monitoring System web page.
(2) If a request is disapproved or partially disapproved:
(i) OLE will send a letter to the requestor that explains the reason for the disapproval/partial disapproval.
(ii) The requestor may respond to NMFS OLE in writing with additional information to address the reasons for disapproval identified in the NMFS OLE letter. The requestor must submit this response within 21 calendar days of the date of the OLE letter sent under paragraph (e)(2)(i) of this section.
(iii) If any additional information is submitted under paragraph (e)(2)(ii) of this section, NMFS OLE, after reviewing such information, may either take action under paragraph (e)(1) of this section or determine that the request should continue to be disapproved or partially disapproved. In the latter case, the NMFS OLE Director will send a letter to the requestor that explains the reasons for the continued disapproval/partial disapproval. The NMFS OLE Director's decision is final upon issuance of this letter and is not appealable.