Have you been wondering if your vessel requires a Certificate of Documentation? Are you unsure what exactly is the correct documentation for your vessel? We are here to help. The Maritime Documentation Center has helped countless vessel owners to determine which forms of documentation are right for their vessel and their situation. Now, we can put that experience to work for you. Your vessel very well may qualify for a National Vessel Documentation Center Certificate of Documentation.
Here at our site, you’ll find the forms to apply for your initial documentation, yes. Additionally, should that be the correct solution for you, you can also find the forms for renewing your documentation and more. Beyond that, we also provide information, too. That way, you’ll be able to make the right choices for your vessel today as well as tomorrow.
What this Documentation Does
For starters, this is not a “new” thing by any means. Indeed, establishing vessel documentation in America was one of the first functions of the newly-formed American government, as it dates back to the 11th Act of the very First Congress. This documentation has survived for many reasons, not the least of which is that it continues to provide real benefits to vessel owners to this day.
One of the most popular reasons that vessel owners decide to document their vessels: is financing. Preferred mortgages have been available for many documented vessels since all the way back in 1920. In fact, today, it can be very difficult (if not flat-out impossible) to be able to get financing for a vessel without having it documented.
Beyond that, there are other potential benefits to documentation. For example, it can make for unhindered commerce between states and allows some vessels to enter some trades which are traditionally restricted. It even provides conclusive evidence of nationality for international purposes, when you take your vessel out of American waters. There are many reasons that vessel owners have opted for documentation throughout the years.
Who Needs a National Vessel Documentation Center Certificate of Documentation
There are many vessels that can be documented, while there are some vessels that absolutely have to be documented so as to be in compliance with the law.
For example, any vessel that is wholly owned by an American citizen and measures at least five net tons can be documented. Now, the correct language is “measures five net tons” and not “weighs five net tons.” That’s because net tonnage is a measurement not of weight but of volume. So, to determine your eligibility, you’re going to want to measure your vessel’s volume. Or, a quick shorthand workaround: measure the length of your vessel. If it’s 25 feet or longer, then it almost invariably measures at least five net tons.
Vessels that must be documented are those that meet the above qualifications and are going to be used in coastwise trade or fishing activities on American navigable waters or in the EEZ (“Exclusive Economic Zone.”) All “coastwise trade” means in this context is “transporting merchandise or passengers between points in the EEZ or America.” So, if you’re going to use your vessel for either of those activities, then you’re going to have to register it. There are certain exemptions to these rules. We’re glad to answer any questions you might have.
How We Can Help
We don’t believe that the vessel documentation process should be a challenging one. Thus, we wanted to create a site for vessel owners that gave them everything that they needed, all in one place. So, here, you’ll be able to find the forms for your initial documentation, your renewal, if you lose your Certificate of Documentation and need a replacement, applying for a mortgage, and so much more.
Moreover, we don’t believe that you should have to stay inside all day to fill out these forms. Very few busy vessel owners have the time for something like that in our modern era. So, we made our site optimized for mobile devices. That means you can fill these forms out on any device from essentially anywhere.
Our vessel owners have completed these forms while on their vessels, at the port, during quiet moments throughout the day, and so forth. Since the very beginning, our site has been about empowering vessel owners.
Assisting Vessel Owners
Whenever possible, we do everything we can to provide a better documentation experience. Should there be any typos or errors on your forms, our document process can catch them and fix them. Additionally, if you need your forms back that much faster, you can opt for rush processing as well. You can apply for your initial Certificate of Documentation at our site but you can also find all of the other forms you may need for your vessel ownership as well right here.