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Merchant Marine Appeal Process
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 Merchant Marine Appeal Process

Appeal to the NTSB is available upon the action of the Commandant, U.S. Coast Guard, sustaining the order of an administrative law judge that revoked, suspended, or denied a marine license or certificate.

PART 825--Rules Of Procedure For Merchant Marine Appeals From Decisions Of The Commandant, U.S. Coast Guard


  • Notice of appeal is due to Board within 10 days after service of Commandant's decision (49 CFR § 825.5)
    • Upon notice of appeal, Commandant transmits record of hearing to Board (49 CFR § 825.10)
    • The issues that may be considered are (49 CFR § 825.15):
      • Material fact in error;
      • Necessary legal conclusion is without precedent or departure from/contrary to law;
      • Substantial/important question of law
      • Prejudicial procedural error
  • File brief in support of appeal within 20 days after filing notice of appeal (49 CFR § 825.20)
  • Party may request oral argument before the Board (49 CFR § 825.25)
  • Board reviews Commandant's decision for reversible error (49 CFR § 825.30)
    • If no reversible error: Affirm decision
    • If reversible error, the Board may;
      • If error is incurable: Set aside the entire decision & dismiss charges
      • If error is curable: Set aside order, conclusions or findings & remand to Commandant for further consideration
    • Remand (49 CFR 825.35):
      • Commandant may act on remand or remand to original or another administrative law judge
      • During remand a party retains all rights of review of 46 CFR Part 5 & 49 CFR 825, as applicable

Communications between parties and Board employees

    During the course of the case (beginning with the notice of hearing), ex parte communications (oral/written communications not on public record) relating to merits of case are restricted. See 49 CFR 825.40.

Quick Links

Key Resources


For further information, call the Office of Administrative Law Judges:

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