How to Use the MARAD Waiver to Use Your Vessel How You Want

American Vessel Documentation

Do you have a vessel that was made in a foreign country that you aren’t sure if you can get documented? Have you been thinking about all you can do with a vessel that was made in another country but want to make sure that you’re in compliance with the powers that be? We can help. Here at the National Documentation Portal, we can help you to apply for a MARAD waiver. This waiver of The Jones Act could be what you need to use your vessel how you want. 

Understanding the MARAD Waiver

In specific cases, vessels without any documentation or those built in foreign shipyards can legally undertake limited commercial passenger operations in the United States through the MARAD Waiver. 

This waiver isn’t a fleeting remedy; it becomes an integral part of the vessel’s documentation, persisting even through changes in ownership. After obtaining the waiver, many vessel owners proceed to apply for comprehensive vessel documentation, complete with a Coastwise endorsement.

Minimum Qualifications

The operative term here is “limited” – a vessel, when in service, must not exceed twelve passengers to remain compliant. Additionally, the vessel must be at least three years old, excluding newly manufactured ones. 

So, if your vessel was just made, is brand new, etc., then it’s not going to be eligible for this. 

While the vessel can be foreign-built, ownership requires a more patriotic touch, so to speak – it must be solely owned by a citizen of the United States of America to qualify for the MARAD Waiver.

Permissible Uses

To put it plainly, the vessel can carry up to twelve passengers or be used for sport fishing, provided the catch isn’t intended for commercial sale. However, the scope is limited, as the vessel cannot be used for salvage, dredging, commercial towing, commercial fishing, or cargo transport. While the application form may seem intricate, especially with numerous blank boxes at the bottom prompting you to “attach pages as needed,” we’re here to assist with any queries you may have.

As you can see, there really is a limit to what vessels can apply for this waiver. That’s for a reason: the USCG wants to make sure that foreign-built vessels don’t take the work, so to speak, of American-built ones. 

MARAD Waiver

Entering the Coast Guard Boat Registration Database and Maintaining Presence

Many vessel owners who get this waiver subsequently seek Coast Guard registration – a primary reason they turn to our site. Once registered, we offer ongoing support to ensure the continuity of your documentation. Renew your vessel’s registration seamlessly through our website, with the option to plan up to five years in advance. 

The truth is that this waiver is just one of the ways that we can help vessel owners. There are many, many others. Obtaining this waiver very well could just be the way to get started with your vessel. It’s the beginning of a journey, one that’s far from its destination. To see how we can help you throughout all of your travels, click here.