Demystifying the Question of What is a USCG Registry Endorsements for Vessel Owners

Vessel documentation offers a range of benefits to boat and ship owners. These benefits go beyond mere paperwork and have significant implications for any maritime activities. Part of this documentation involves obtaining endorsements, which are certifications that permit a vessel to engage in specific activities or operate in certain regions. What is a USCG registry endorsement?

What is a USCG Registry Endorsement and Its Types? 

This endorsement is a certification or permission added to a vessel’s documentation that authorizes it to engage in specific activities or to operate in designated areas. These endorsements are essential for vessels that wish to participate in various maritime endeavors, such as commercial fishing, passenger transportation, towing, or trade, and for those planning to navigate internationally. Endorsements help define the vessel’s capabilities and legal standing. 

Types of Endorsements 


Fishery endorsements are for vessels engaged in commercial fishing. They allow vessels to traverse, transport, or process fish in federal waters. The specific type of fishery endorsement may depend on the vessel’s size and target species. 


Coastwise endorsements are for vessels involved in transporting passengers or goods between US ports. These endorsements are essential for the domestic maritime trade industry. 


A registry endorsement signifies that the vessel is documented with the USCG and has met all relevant requirements. This is often a foundational endorsement.


It is an endorsement for foreign-flagged vessels operating in US waters. This type of endorsement allows vessels to engage in specific activities, such as foreign fishing or certain transport operations, within US jurisdiction. 

Registry Rebuild 

This endorsement is applied when a vessel’s documentation needs to be reconstructed due to circumstances such as a change in ownership, lost documents, or damaged documentation. 


Towing endorsements are for vessels involved in commercial towing operations. These endorsements are necessary for vessels towing barges, shops, or other objects. 

Fish Tender

Fish tender endorsements are for vessels that primarily provide support services to the commercial fishing industry, such as transporting fish from fishing vessels to onshore processing facilities. 


Research endorsements apply to vessels engaged in scientific research and exploration activities. These vessels must meet specific criteria related to research objectives and capabilities. 

Lighthouse Service 

Lighthouse service endorsements are for vessels involved in maintaining or servicing lighthouses and navigational aids. 

Uninspected Passenger Vessel 

USCG endorsements are for vessels that carry size or fewer passengers for hire. These vessels may include water taxes, small charter boats, and other passenger carriers. 

Legal Standing of Your Vessel 

The endorsements play a pivotal role in defining a vessel’s capabilities and legal standing. Vessel owners must understand the specific endorsements required for their activities and ensure compliance with federal regulations. Obtaining the appropriate endorsements is essential for conducting various maritime operations, maintaining legal compliance, and ensuring safety at sea. 

what is a USCG Registry Endorsement

How to Obtain a Certificate of Documentation? 

After getting the endorsements that you need, the best course of action is to initiate documentation. It is an easy step if you use our services. If you have further questions about what is a USCG registry endorsement, please do not hesitate to call us.