A Certificate of Documentation: Certificate to Make Money

To be clear, the title of this blog, “a certificate of documentation: certificate to make money” is meant metaphorically, not literally. The phrase “certificate to make money” has been used throughout time to describe an opportunity that allows a person to make more money than they would have otherwise. It can safely be said of these certificates if you’re planning on having a vessel that you’re going to use for some commercial purposes in some specific locales. If you’re a bit confused, that’s absolutely understandable. Below, we’ll cover what this means.

Commercial Possibilities of a Certificate of Documentation

In other blogs, we’ve covered vessels that can be documented. For the vessels that have to be documented, that includes those which are five or more net tons that are used for fishing activities in the United States. So, if your vessel is above a certain size (to be clear, a good rule of thumb is that any vessel more than 25 feet in length has more than five net tons) and you’re using it to fish in American waters, then you’re going to need this documentation. Note: you have to get this registration to legally make money in this fashion. However, that’s not the only kind of business that you have to have this particular registration for.

certificate of documentation

EEZ: Exclusive Economic Zone

The “EEZ” may sound like something from a video game, but it’s a very real place where your vessel will also need this documentation, should you have a vessel that’s more than five net tons and you’re planning on using it commercially there. There are certain spots on the map marked as being part of the “EEZ,” and they aren’t necessarily where you might think. Just as with the navigable waters of the United States, if you’re going to have your vessel in the EEZ, you’re going to need the registration to go along with it.

Other Vessels Requiring Documentation

Beyond that, you’re also going to need this documentation if your vessels are going to be involved in what’s called “coastwise trade.” The definition the Coast Guard uses for “coastwise trade” basically comes down to the transporting of merchandise or passengers between points in both the United States and the EEZ. That doesn’t mean “from one of those areas to another,” but rather from points in the United States and the EEZ. Of course, it also covers points between the EEZ and the United States. If you’re ferrying people or products for money in those areas, you probably need this registration.

Any Questions? Call!

Some vessels that aren’t mentioned above still require documentation, such as many towboats and dredges. However, some vessels that meet all of the requirements above will be exempt from getting vessel documentation. We absolutely understand how confusing all of this can be. That’s why we’re always willing to take questions from vessel owners. We see it as one more way of making the documentation process simpler. If you have more questions simply call us at (800) 535-8570.