PFD Labeling & Standards (Final Rule Issued 9/22/14)

In August 2013, the Coast Guard published a notice of proposed rulemaking to remove references to type codes in the regulations on the carriage and labeling of Coast Guard-approved personal flotation devices (PFDs). On Sept. 22, 2014, the Final Rule to remove those references was issued, with an effective date of Oct. 22, 2014 (a correction was subsequently issued for a typo in the contact information that appeared in the Rule).

The purpose of the PFD Labeling & Standards Final Rule is to facilitate future incorporation by reference of new industry consensus standards for PFD labeling that more effectively convey safety information, and to help harmonize the regulations with PFD requirements in Canada and in other countries. Specifically, per the Coast Guard, the Final Rule is intended to enable the Standards Technical Panel, the panel charged with the new industry consensus standards, to complete development of a standard for wearable PFDs without including unnecessary references to type codes. By paving the way for the panel to develop a new standard, the Final Rule is intended to support the efforts of the U.S.-Canada Regulatory Cooperation Council, a bilateral effort coordinated by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to develop a “North American Standard for Lifejackets.”

Page last updated Feb. 3, 2015