US Coast Guard documentation

US Coast Guard Documentation for a Non-US Vessel: the MARAD Waiver

Have you brought a small vessel into the United States that wasn’t made here and are wondering how you can legally use it? Do you want to use your vessel how you’d like, yet also don’t want to run afoul of the law? These are questions that vessel owners have wrestled with for a very long time. In fact, there’s a form of US Coast Guard documentation made for this specific circumstance. The “MARAD Waiver” lets you use a vessel that wasn’t made in America. That said, there are some very specific, stringent rules associated with it. As with all other forms of vessel documentation, we can help you to get in compliance and stay there. 

US Coast Guard Documentation: MARAD Waiver

Simply put, you can carry up to twelve passengers when in service. So, if you’ve been looking to start a small boat tour service, giving tours of a lake, river, or something similar, this could work. Alternatively, you could use this to ferry folks from one side of a body of water to another. Additionally, you can use this vessel for sport fishing, too. So long as you don’t sell the fish commercially, you’ll be in compliance with this waiver. 

… What You Can’t Do With a MARAD Waiver 

As you could probably guess from the last sentence of the above paragraph, there are some very tight restrictions with this waiver. For one, the vessel has to be at least three years old. Additionally, you’re only allowed to carry up to twelve passengers. There’s nothing else you can do with this vessel. You can’t fish commercially, you can’t tow, you can’t salvage or even dredge. Beyond that, remember, the vessel has to be owned by an American citizen. 

How Most of Our Customers Use this Waiver (and What Happens After) 

It’s important to define the word “waiver” properly in this context. The MARAD Waiver is simply a waiver that allows you to use it to carry twelve passengers. It doesn’t waive you from any requirement for vessel inspection, manning, or documentation. For the most part, customers of ours who use this form then file for a coastwise trade endorsement as a passenger vessel. That said, they do so as long as the vessel measures greater than five net tons. 

All the US Coast Guard Documentation You’ll Need 

This waiver can help you to “get off the ground,” so to speak, and then you can use the rest of our documentation to make sure that you can use your vessel how you want going forward. That said, the MARAD waiver is just one of the forms available at our site. If you’re looking to document your vessel, to renew that documentation faster, to learn more about a vessel or anything else that documentation can help with, you can do it through our site. If you have any questions about our forms, you can message us through our site, too.