Coast Guard Boat Requirements for the MARAD Waiver

Do you want to use a vessel that wasn’t made in the United States to transport passengers and want to know how to do so in compliance with all pertinent rules and regulations? Do you feel confused about how the rules pertain to foreign-built vessels? This is perfectly understandable. The Coast Guard boat requirements for vessels not made in America can be opaque at best. Here at the Maritime Documentation Center, we offer what’s called the “MARAD Small Vessel Waiver.” Depending on what you plan on using your vessel for, this could be exactly what you’re looking for. 

What the MARAD Waiver Allows You To Do 

Simply put, this form makes it possible for some foreign-built vessels to conduct limited commercial passenger operations in the United States. Additionally, it covers some vessels with no documentation. It’s important to remember: that’s all this form allows you to do. So, if you’re going to get this for your fishing business in lieu of filing for a Certificate of Documentation, that’s not going to work. This is only for specific vessels to be able to transport passengers in the U.S. 

The Age and Size of Your Vessel 

You can’t get a MARAD waiver for just any vessel. For example, the vessel has to be at least three years old. So, you can’t just get a new vessel, right out of the factory, and then apply for this waiver. Also, for many vessels, the MARAID waiver is the beginning of vessel documentation, not the end. For example, if the vessel is more than five net tons, then you should probably file for a coastwise trade endorsement (as a passenger vessel) once the MARAD waiver has been received. As ever, if you have questions, we’re glad to help. 

What to Know About Passengers, Owners, and Cargo 

The MARAD waiver only allows a vessel to carry passengers. You can’t carry cargo, you can’t fish, nor can you tow, dredge, or even salvage with this form. You’re only allowed to carry passengers. On top of that, you can only carry twelve passengers maximum. Any more than that, and you’re risking penalties. Furthermore, the vessel can be foreign-built, but it cannot be foreign-owned. To apply for a MARAD waiver, the vessel must be owned by a citizen of the United States. 

Keeping in Compliance With Coast Guard Boat Requirements No Matter What 

We understand that some of this can be a bit hard to understand. However, if you’ve got a line on a vessel that wasn’t made in America and want to make some money carrying small numbers of passengers, this can be the form for you. Like so many of our other forms of documentation, it helps people to use their boats to make money how they want. If you do have a vessel that you want to use for commercial fishing, trade in foreign waters, and more, you can file for a Certificate of Documentation at our site. For more: