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Approval Series (or Qclass):

Safety equipment, materials, or installations requiring Coast Guard approval are issued approval numbers in the form 000.000 / 0000000 / 0. The first six digits and the decimal point are the "Approval Series (Qclass)." Many Approval Series (Qclass) numbers (but not all) correspond to subparts in 46 CFR Subchapter Q, hence their name Qclass (for example, "Kapok Life Preserver" are assigned a Qclass/Approval Series of "160.002"). To see a list of all Approval Series', Click Here.

Approval Number:

Approval number is the number that is assigned to a specific make and model of approved equipment. For the Approval Series Name (or Qclass description) of "Kapok Life Preserver", American Pad and Textile Company was assigned the first approval under this Approval Series (or Qclass) for a Model 2, adult life preserver identified as 160.002/1/0. The second field, the "1", is the number assigned for the make and model. The third field is the revision number for the design. It is the combination of these three numbers "160.002/1/0" that is known as the "Approval Number". The next make and model submitted for approval in this Approval Series is assigned the next sequential number in the center field and so forth. If the make and model is significantly revised, the next sequential revision number is assigned in the third field. (The revision number is not needed/used to search.). If more than one manufacturer makes the same equipment, the additional manufacturers are given a 'Private Label' identifier. This is a letter after the second slash, but before the revision number (000.000/A0000000/0). You may search by using the entire Approval Number, or using just the Approval Series.

Approval Series Name:

For the above example of Approval Series (Qclass) 160.002, "Kapok Life Preserver" is known as the Approval Series Name (or Qclass description).

Manufacturer Name:

The name of the manufacturer of approved equipment.

EC/US MRA Approval:

These are products that have been given European Community (EC) approval or Wheelmark approval by the US Coast Guard based on a Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) signed in February 2004. Specific products as set forth in the MRA Annex II may go through the US Coast Guard approval process and then be assigned an EC approval number and be allowed to display the Wheelmark without additional EC oversight. Additional information on this MRA may be viewed at the Lifesaving and Fire Safety Division website.

General Keyword Search:

This is a general search of all text fields for a specified keyword.

Wildcard Characters:

Wildcard characters are automatically added to all text based searches. However, if you wish to further refine your search you may use two wildcard characters. The underscore '_' character replaces a single character. Example: J_pan searches for Japan, Jbpan, Jcpan and so on. The percent '%' character can be used to replace any combination of characters. Example: Ja% would return both Japan and Jacksonville.

    Approval Status: There are four approval status types:

APPROVED (App) - Product meets current requirements and is approved for production under Coast Guard approval.

FORMER-MAY USE - Product is no longer approved for production but previously produced items may continue to be used as long as in good and serviceable condition.

FORMER-MAY NOT USE - Product is no longer approved for production and previously produced items may not be used or remain in service. This status is used for products which are obsolete, or may present a safety hazard if they are used or remain in service. Examples are cork lifejackets, and dated items such as old pyrotechnics and survival rations.

EXPIRED - Product's approval has expired, and the approval holder has not notified us whether it should be extended or terminated. Pending resolution of its status, the product is no longer approved for production. Items manufactured prior to expiration of the approval are considered APPROVED.
Last Update:
Monday, July 22, 2024