What is USCG? And Other Questions Answered

Our site was designed to make it as easy as possible to access all of the documents that you need for your vessel. Vessel documentation, while often necessary, can be a bit confusing. There are some words, terms, and ideas that may seem a bit confusing, particularly at first. That’s why we have professionals on staff who can answer all of your questions. In this blog, we’ll touch on some of the questions that we get quite a bit and answer them, such as “what is USCG” and similar. Should you have questions not addressed here, don’t hesitate to contact us.

What is USCG?

“USCG” stands for “United States Coast Guard.” It’s the branch of the armed forces that handles coastal defense as well as enforcement of maritime law. It’s different from the Navy because the Coast Guard handles maritime safety, stewardship, and security. For the context of vessel documentation, the USCG is the group that you have to get the documentation for. They keep the records; we simply make the entire process much easier than it would be otherwise.

Do All Vessels Have to be Documented?

Not at all. Vessels that are five net tons or more, that are used in fishing activities on the United States navigable waters (as well as what’s called the “Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) have to be documented. Even then, there are exceptions to the rules. That’s who “has to,” mind you. You can choose to get your vessel documented, as long as it measures at least five net tons, and is owned entirely by an American citizen. Of course, there are exceptions to that, as well (such as if it’s one of a few kinds of oil spill response vessels). Documentation can be complicated indeed.

What Does “Five Net Tons” Mean?

Whenever we talk about a vessel’s tons, we tend to mean “weight,” but not in this instance. Rather, this is a reference to “volume.” This categorizes the vessel’s total volume. You can get your volume measured, but we recommend using a certain shorthand: if your vessel is more than 25 feet in length, then it almost assuredly measures five net tons or more. That is a good “cut off” point. If you know the length of your vessel, you have just about all of the information you need about the net tonnage.

What Do I Need for Documentation?

We have so many different forms, and to fill them out, you need to show that you own the vessel, that you’re a US citizen, and that you’re eligible for the endorsement that you’re seeking. Now, it’s possible that by answering some of these questions, we’ve got you asking a few more. There’s nothing wrong with that, it happens all the time. As we said, we built this site to make vessel documentation more streamlined. All of the forms you might need are available right on our site. If you have more questions that you’d like answered, call us at (800) 535-8570.