Skip to Main Content

OE 524: Introduction to Ship Design and Ship Building

How to find research for a paper on shipping accidents, as well as how to cite what you find.

Regulations and Legal Documents

Many accidents will eventually lead to a change in regulations. Some are involved in court cases, particularly if there were any fatalities.

Nexis Uni includes legal opinions and state and federal regulations, and the Government Publishing Office provides open access to the current Code of Federal Regulations, which govern the U.S.

The International Maritime Organization's International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea, or COLREGS (find the text of the regulations in the Guide to the Collision Avoidance Rules ebook, below) are updated periodically as marine accidents expose gaps.


Government Docs


Cite these documents in APA:

Regulations and How They Work

A regulation is a general statement issued by an agency, board, or commission that has the force and effect of law. Congress often grants agencies the authority to issue regulations. Sometimes Congress requires agencies to issue a regulation; sometimes Congress grants agencies the discretion to do so. Many laws passed by Congress give Federal agencies some flexibility in deciding how best to implement those laws. Federal regulations specify the details and requirements necessary to implement and to enforce legislation enacted by Congress.

From Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs FAQ (; see link below)

The Rulemaking Process:
  1. Agency determined that regulation is needed
  2. Agency publishes notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM)
  3. Public comments on NPRM (part of the official record)
  4. Regulations in the making are published as a proposed rule (PR) in the Federal Register
  5. PR is open to public comments
  6. PR are assigned a docket number (a unique identifier)
  7. Rule is prepared and reviewed by OMB
  8. Rule is published in Federal Register
  9. Rule is codified in Code of Federal Regulations (CFR)

(With thanks to Debbie Rabina,