46 U.S. Code § 3204. Implementation of safety management system

(a)Safety Management Plan.—
Each responsible person shall establish and submit to the Secretary for approval a safety management plan describing how that person and vessels of the person to which this chapter applies will comply with the regulations prescribed under section 3203(a) of this title.
(b)Approval.—
Upon receipt of a safety management plan submitted under subsection (a), the Secretary shall review the plan and approve it if the Secretary determines that it is consistent with and will assist in implementing the safety management system established under section 3203.
(c)Prohibition on Operation.—
A vessel to which this chapter applies under section 3202(a) may not be operated without having on board a Safety Management Certificate and a copy of a Document of Compliance issued for the vessel under section 3205 of this title.