Enhanced Maritime Domain Awareness via Electronic Transmission of Vessel Transit Data

OMB: 1625-0112

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Supporting Statement


Enhanced Maritime Domain Awareness via

Electronic Transmission of Vessel Transit Data

OMB No.: 1625-0112


A. Justification

1. Circumstances that make the collection of information necessary.

As stated in The National Strategy for Maritime Security (September 2005)1 (NSMS), a key national security requirement is the effective understanding of all activities, events, and trends within any relevant domain – air, land, sea, space, and cyberspace – that could threaten the safety, security, economy, or environment of the United States and its people. Awareness and threat knowledge are critical for securing the maritime domain2 and the key to preventing adverse events. Knowledge of an adversary’s capabilities, intentions, methods, objectives, goals, ideology, and organizational structure, plus factors that influence his behavior, are used to assess adversary strengths, vulnerabilities, and centers of gravity. Also, information on critical infrastructure and other potential targets of adverse events allows for their adequate protection and coordination of efforts to provide that protection. Such knowledge is essential to supporting decision-making for planning, identifying requirements, prioritizing resource allocation, and implementing maritime security operations. Domain awareness enables the early identification of potential threats and enhances appropriate responses, including interdiction at an optimal distance with capable prevention forces.

The Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002 (MTSA) (Pub. L. 107-295, 46 U.S. Code 70115) mandates, consistent with international treaties, that the U.S. Coast Guard (delegated from the Secretary) “develop and implement a long-range automated vessel tracking system for all vessels in United States waters that are equipped with the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System [GMDSS] or equivalent satellite technology. The system shall be designed to provide the Secretary the capability of receiving information on vessel positions at interval positions appropriate to deter transportation security incidents. The Secretary may use existing maritime organizations to collect and monitor tracking information under the system.” The International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, 1974, as amended (SOLAS) implemented the international regime for Long Range Identification and Tracking (LRIT) of Ships in SOLAS, Chapter V, Regulation 19-1 (SOLAS V/19-1). The U.S. implementing regulations are in 33 CFR 169 subpart C.

The MTSA also mandates certain vessels carry onboard Automatic Identification System (AIS)3 equipment. MTSA (46 U.S.C. 70114) further directs the Secretary of the Department in which the Coast Guard is operating to “implement a system to collect, integrate, and analyze information concerning vessels operating on or bound for waters subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.” The Coast Guard established a Nationwide AIS (NAIS) project to collect AIS transmissions and enhance our Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA) by providing information that helps assess the potential threat posed by a vessel operating in waters under U.S. jurisdiction as well as by enhancing navigation safety and mitigating collision amongst AIS-networked vessels. The U.S. implementing regulations are in 33 CFR 164.46.

The statutory authority is 46 U.S.C. 70114 and 70115.

2. Purposes of the information collection.

The Coast Guard collects and retains vessel information that is broadcast via transponder-style equipment (such as LRIT or AIS). This information is primarily used by the USCG. However, the data, combined and correlated with other information may be shared with Federal, State, and local government agencies and foreign governments partnering with the Coast Guard in an effort to expand MDA; and, with other responsible maritime interest to enhance marine safety, security and environmental protection. Vessels subject to AIS-carriage requirements under MTSA also have access to the same near real-time information provided by other AIS-equipped vessel’s in their vicinity (VHF-FM radio range), increasing their own awareness and ability to prevent accidents.

As discussed above, the MTSA mandates the Coast Guard require certain vessels to transmit vessel transit data. Data from the vessels transmitted by LRIT & AIS is collected and compiled outside of the LRIT or AIS system to provide the Coast Guard with a near real-time common operating picture of the maritime environment. The Coast Guard compiles this data, correlate it with other sources the Coast Guard has access to, and analyzes this information to detect anomalies and, identify potential threats to the nation and the environment. The information is included in the Coast Guard’s Common Operational Picture (COP) for sharing and dissemination to decision-makers. The COP is the primary National Maritime system for sharing operational data among those who need it to perform or support Coast Guard roles and other national missions

This information collection, storage, and analysis greatly expands the breadth and depth of the Coast Guard’s and our Nation’s MDA. LRIT & AIS enhance security by providing the United States with the identities and current location of vessels off our coastlines. This provides the United States time to evaluate the security risk posed by a vessel and then respond, if necessary, to reduce the risk of a possible security threat. In addition, there is also an immediate safety benefit by enhancing the information available to SAR services. Accurate information on the location of a vessel in distress as well as vessels in the area that could lend assistance will save valuable response time to affect a timely rescue. The storage of vessel transit data also allows for analysis in support of such needs as vessel movement trend analysis, anomaly detection, and increasing efficiencies in the performance of Coast Guard missions.

3. Consideration of the use of improved information technology.

Vessel transit data is collected electronically via a transponder-style system. Transponders transmit information automatically without the need for voice radio communications. We estimate that 100% of the reporting requirements are done electronically.

4. Efforts to identify duplication.

There is no Federal, State, or local agency that requires this information collection. Therefore, there is no duplication of information collection efforts by the government. The information collected from this effort may be used by other agencies in support of their own goals.

5. Methods to minimize the burden to small businesses if involved.

This information collection does not have an impact on small businesses or other small entities.

6. Consequences to the Federal program if collection were not done or conducted less frequently.

If vessel transmissions were not collected, the Coast Guard would not avail itself of critical identification information on a large and diverse vessel population transiting our maritime domain. This could significantly impact marine safety, security and environmental protection, limit the Coast Guard’s ability to respond to a vessel emergency in a timely and efficient manner, and undermine our MDA.

7. Special collection circumstances.

This information collection is conducted in manner consistent with the guidelines in 5 CFR 1320.5(d)(2).

8. Consultation.

A 60-day Notice was published in the Federal Register to obtain public comment on this collection (See [USCG-2022-0049]; February 8, 2022, 87 FR 7196) and 30-Day Notice (May 5, 2022, 87 FR 26773) were published in the Federal Register to obtain public comment on this collection. The Coast Guard has not received any comments on this information collection.

9. Provide any payments or gifts to respondents.

There is no offer of monetary or material value for this information collection.

10. Describe any assurance of confidentiality provided to respondents.

There are no assurances of confidentiality provided to the respondents for this information collection. The information is vessel and transit-specific—not personally identifiable information (PII). No Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA) or System of Records Notice (SORN) is required.

11. Additional justification for any questions of a sensitive nature.

There are no questions of sensitive language.

12. Estimates of reporting and recordkeeping hour and cost burdens of the collection of information.

  • The estimated annual number of respondents is 11,166.

  • The estimated annual number of responses is 629,108.

  • The estimated annual hour burden is 52,748.

  • The estimated annual cost burden is $3,059,384.

The burden to respondents is provided in Appendix A.

For LRIT, we estimate that annually a vessel crewmember (i.e., Mate) will have a 20-minute burden. This burden accounts for—

  • a one-time GMDSS LRIT system initialization for each vessel,

  • subsequent annual system check, and

  • occasional logbook entries when vessel crewmember switches off the LRIT equipment or the LRIT equipment fails to operation.

Once the LRIT equipment is on and initialized, no further action is necessary. Data transmission from the equipment will occur automatically.

For AIS, we estimate that it takes a vessel crewmember (i.e., Mate) 20 minutes to initialize the AIS unit4 on a vessel and 5 minutes per voyage to enter vessel specific information into the AIS system. Furthermore, the Coast Guard estimates that a domestic vessel will take 61 voyages per year5 and foreign-flag vessels will take an average of 5 voyages per year.

For the wage rate, we used the Bureau of Labor Statistics wage rate for Captains, Mates, and Pilots of Water Vessels (53-5021) [May 2020, mean hourly wage, loaded 50%, and rounded].6

13. Total annualized capital and start-up costs.

There are no capital, start-up or maintenance costs associated with this information collection.

14. Estimates of annualized Federal Government costs.

The estimated annual Federal Government cost is $26,311,345 (see Appendix B). For LRIT, we estimate that the U.S. Government will incur U.S. vessel data transmission costs for 4 transmission per day/vessel times $0.25 per transmission. For AIS, we estimate that the U.S. Government cost is approximately $26 million per year to operate the Nationwide AIS capability.

15. Explain the reasons for the change in burden.

There is no change in burden. There is no proposed change to the reporting and recordkeeping requirements of this collection. The reporting and recordkeeping requirements, and the methodology for calculating burden, remain unchanged.

16. Plans for tabulation, statistical analysis, and publication.

This information collection will not be published for statistical purposes.

17. Approval to not display expiration date.

The Coast Guard will display the expiration date for OMB approval of this information collection.

18. Explain each exception to the certification statement.

The Coast Guard does not request an exception to the certification of this information collection.

B. Collection of Information Employing Statistical Methods

This information collection does not employ statistical methods.

2 As defined in The National Strategy for Maritime Security, the “maritime domain” is all areas and things of, on, under, relating to, adjacent to, or bordering on a sea, ocean, or other navigable waterway, including all maritime-related activities, infrastructure, people, cargo, and vessels and other conveyances. Note: The maritime domain for the United States includes the Great Lakes and all navigable inland waterways such as the Mississippi River and the Intra-Coastal Waterway.

3 AIS is an international standard for ship-to-ship, ship-to-shore, and shore-to-ship communication of information, including vessel identity, position, speed, course, destination, and other data of critical interest for navigational safety and maritime security.

4 We estimate that the service life of an AIS unit is 8 years.

5 There is a wide range of domestic vessels required to carry AIS, from seagoing tankers and container ship to inland towing vessels. Thus, the number of voyages per year varies. In past analysis, this ranged from 9 to 164 voyages per year. In this periodic renewal, we use an annual estimate of 61 voyages per year for all vessel types.

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