February 2019 Shutdown Response Steps

When emailing a request to the government it is safer to use a general address, if available, rather than only sending it to a specific person, especially if that person is a civilian employee or contractor that is or may soon be on furlough.  For example:
FlagStateControl@uscg.mil for dispensation requests for expired Documentation Certificates,
STCWDispensations@uscg.mil for dispensation requests for expired STCW Certificates,
HQS-SMB-COMDT-CG-CVC@uscg.mil for vessel compliance issues,
HQS-SMB-CGHO-RESPONSE@USCG.MIL for civil penalty issues,
nvdc.pdf.filing@uscg.mil for vessel documentation applications,
msc@uscg.mil for plan review issues,
efoia@uscg.mil for a Freedom of Information Act request issues,
RECNOLA@uscg.mil or RECHOUSTON@uscg.mil to apply for a mariner credential, and
To schedule vessel inspections at Gulf of Mexico USCG units:

2018 Post-Shutdown Mitigation Ideas

The partial government shutdown has ended for fiscal year 2019. While this allows the government to reopen, there is no certainty that it will not close this year or next. As such, the OMSA staff suggests OMSA members consider the following measures to assist in moving your stalled projects or requests forward and to assist during the next closure:

   · If you have any vessel certificates (particularly the Certificate of Documentation) due for renewal within the next 90 days, the renewal application should be submitted immediately as submission of an application (with proof/confirmation) was often required to receive an extension or dispensation in the last closure.

   · Submit applications or requests by email or other online option and request or print proof of delivery. Submission by fax or mail may be delayed and proof of delivery may not be available, especially if the receiving fax machine is out of paper or memory and rejects your submission.

   · Call the government employee working your project to confirm no additional information or clarification is needed.

   · If the telephone call isn’t answered, leave a voicemail and follow-up with email to ask if additional information or clarification is needed. This should result in your project being on the top of the stack (or mind) to be completed.

   · Provide required sea service documentation to any mariner whose mariner credential expires within nine (9) months and urge, or assist, them to apply for renewal to a USCG Regional Exam Center. The USCG policy is to issue a mariner credential dated the day the current credential expires and immediately mail the renewed credential to the mariner if the date of issue is not over eight (8) months away.

   · Always double check all applications to ensure the application is correct and complete.