According to 46 CFR 67.19. “a coastwise endorsement entitles a vessel to employment in unrestricted coastwise trade, dredging, towing, and any other employment for which a registry or fishery endorsement is not required.”
A simpler definition is provided by 46 CFR 67.3. , which states that “Coastwise trade includes the transportation of passengers or merchandise between points embraced within the coastwise laws of the United States.”
Essentially, this means that any vessel that’s used in a commercial capacity for something other than fishery on United States waters requires a Coastwise endorsement. Even private charter vessels are eligible for this.
Of course, to be eligible for documentation, a vessel must measure five net tons and be wholly owned by a citizen of the United States.
To change your vessel’s endorsement, you can utilize our Change of Trade Indicator/Endorsement form.
Further regulations involving Coastwise endorsement requirements and other factors are as follows:
§ 67.19 Coastwise endorsement.
(a) A coastwise endorsement entitles a vessel to employment in unrestricted coastwise trade, dredging, towing, and any other employment for which a registry or fishery endorsement is not required.
(b) If eligible for documentation and not restricted from coastwise trade by paragraph (c) or § 67.97);
(2) Forfeited vessels (§ 67.131);
(3) Vessels granted coastwise trading privileges by special legislation (§ 67.132);
(4) Wrecked vessels (§ 67.133);
(5) Captured vessels (§ 67.134); and
(6) Vessels purchased, chartered, or leased from the Secretary of Transportation by persons who are citizens of the United States (46 U.S.C. 57109).
(c) A vessel otherwise eligible for a coastwise endorsement under paragraph (b) of this section permanently loses that eligibility if:
(1) It is thereafter sold in whole or in part to an owner:
(i) Not a citizen as defined in subpart C of this part, or
(ii) Not a person permitted to document vessels pursuant to 46 CFR part 68;
(2) It is thereafter registered under the laws of a foreign country,
(3) It undergoes rebuilding as defined in § 67.177 outside of the United States, or
(4) It is a crude oil tanker of 20,000 deadweight tons or above, and after October 17, 1978, has segregated ballast tanks, a crude oil washing system, or an inert gas system installed outside of the United States as defined in § 67.3.
(d) A vessel otherwise eligible for a coastwise endorsement under paragraph (b) of this section loses that eligibility during any period in which it is:
(1) Owned by a corporation which does not meet the citizenship requirements of § 67.39(c);
(2) Owned by a partnership which does not meet the citizenship requirements of § 67.35(c);
(3) Mortgaged to a person not identified in § 67.233(b).
[CGD 89-007, CGD 89-007a, 58 FR 60266, Nov. 15, 1993; 58 FR 65131, Dec. 13, 1993, as amended by CGD 94-008, 59 FR 49846 , Sept. 30, 1994; CGD 94-040, 61 FR 17815 , Apr. 22, 1996; USCG-2002-13058, 67 FR 61278 , Sept. 30, 2002; USCG-2009-0702, 74 FR 49230, Sept. 25, 2009; USCG-2016-0531, 82 FR 43863, Sept. 20, 2017]