USCG Documentation

The Types of USCG Documentation Every Vessel Owner Needs

Did you know that vessel owners in the United States are required to hold various documents? An Operator’s License or a Certificate of Documentation are two examples. As a ship owner, you have likely heard of multiple forms for USCG documentation that must be completed. However, what exactly are they, and what do they signify? All vessels in U.S. territorial waters must have certain documents, according to the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG).

Any ship that plans to sail into U.S. territorial waters must first get a license from the U.S. Coast Guard. Ships, boats, and any other watercraft are all considered vessels. This article will discuss the many forms of paperwork required by the USCG and the options available to you if you find yourself in a position where you need the necessary paperwork.

Certificate of Documentation

This document was developed to assist all boats’ captains and owners in obtaining their licenses. The certificate is a renewal document issued once every five years. However, it may be renewed more often than that if necessary. The state of registration and the USCG  get information about the boat from this license.

It comprises the owner’s name, number, description of the vessel, kind of vessel, who owns it or what firm owns it, registration number, home port location, country of origin, and whether or not there are domestic or international journeys involved. When this certificate is renewed every five years, it will contain a new number for your boat and reflect any changes to the information previously provided about your ship.

Certificate of Inspection As One of the USCG Documentation

You know how, to acquire a sticker for your windshield when registering your vehicle, you have to have the oil changed, the tires rotated, and the state inspection is done? Your boat has to go through the same process of review by the Coast Guard.

The Coast Guard will inspect your vessel to verify your compliance with all rules and ensure you are not smuggling any illicit narcotics or other contraband that might compromise U.S. national security (such as having all required lights aboard, etc.).

It would help if you didn’t wait until the last minute to schedule your boat’s biannual inspection. If you start working on this at least 180 days before your current inspection expires, you won’t have to worry about whether or not it will be completed in time.

CG-1280 Renewal of Certificate of Documentation

The marine industry in the United States is governed by the United States Coast Guard (USCG). They have to check out your boat before letting you set sail. You will need to get an endorsement from the agency if you want to take your boat anywhere outside of the U.S. or Canada. Obtain the necessary papers for your ship before departing the country.

A few papers must be in order before your ship can set sail. For instance, you’ll need a Certificate of Documentation if the only purpose you want to utilize your vessel is for pleasure rather than the transportation of goods (CG-1280). If your boat meets the requirements and you have no outstanding infractions, you may apply for this certificate at any time.

You will also require a Certificate of Inspection if you want to use your yacht for business purposes (CG-1283). This is in addition to your Certificate of Documentation and must be updated annually by a qualified maritime inspector. Before submitting paperwork to USCG headquarters, the upgrading procedure requires an official examination and any needed repairs or modifications.

USCG Documentation

CG-1340 Bill of Sale

The USCG keeps track of who owns what boat and other watercraft and enforces safety regulations. In case of a dispute about the vessel’s condition at the time of sale, having such documents as a backstop may assist in amicably settling the matter.

To legally transfer ownership from seller to buyer, utilize the CG-1340 Bill of Sale. The parties involved, the purchase price, the vessel’s description and type, a declaration that all taxes have been paid or are not applicable, a description of any flaws or damage not previously reported, and the parties’ signatures are all included.

Once granted, the CG-1340 has a 60-day expiration date set by the U.S. Coast Guard. For 12 months after the transaction, both parties must keep a copy of it on file. After this period, any party may submit a request for an amended version (CG-1340A) to replace the original.

As a vessel owner, it’s essential to be familiar with all the different types of USCG documentation. This will help you keep your boat in compliance and make sure you can travel wherever you’d like. Below is a list of all the most critical types of USCG documentation and what they mean for your boat. If you have questions about this information or any other USCG requirements, contact U.S. Vessel Documentation Center at their site.