USCG Documentation Center on the MARAD Waiver: Use Your Boat How You Want

MARAD Waiver

Did you recently acquire a foreign-built vessel and want to use it to make money somehow but aren’t sure about the legality of doing so? Have you found an opportunity for a small passenger vessel and want to have all of your “i’s dotted and t’s crossed” before taking advantage of it? Those are just some of the reasons that vessel owners come to our USCG documentation center to apply for a MARAD waiver. This waiver can help you to use your vessel in the manner you want. 

What is the MARAD Waiver? 

Essentially, this document waives the “American-build” requirement in the Jones Act. The Jones Act essentially says that, whenever possible, vessels that are going to engage in coastwise trade here in America have to be built here in America. Certainly, you can see the logic in such a stipulation. That said, this waiver can make it so that, in certain situations, a vessel that was built in a foreign country can be used in certain activities right here in America. 

Who’s Eligible for a MARAD Waiver? 

First, the vessel has to be owned by a citizen of the United States or an organization. Provided you and your organization meet that requirement, then the vessel itself has to be at least three years old. So, this can’t just be some just-made foreign vessel, it has to have been around for a while. If that’s the case, then, provided you’re going to use it only to carry a small amount of passengers, then, yes, you can submit for a MARAD waiver. Bear in mind: we’re a documentation portal, we aren’t lawyers. We can’t tell you if this is the right course of action for you, but we can provide you with the forms. 

What Can I Do With a MARAD Waiver? 

You can use it to transport up to 12 passengers at a time when in service. This number is “set in stone,” so to speak. You can’t transport more than 12 people when in operation no matter what. That means you can’t use it for salvage, commercial fishing, transporting goods for money, taking a large group out on a tour, or anything of that nature. You can use it for recreational fishing, but you can’t sell what you catch. 12 passengers at one time, max – that’s it. 

MARAD Waiver

A USCG Documentation Center That Can Help 

For many vessel owners, when they apply for a MARAD Waiver through our site, they also decide to send in their documentation (with a coastwise endorsement) at the exact same time. That can be the right decision for you should your vessel meet the USCG requirement of measuring at least five net tons (i. E. it’s at least 25 feet in length). Beyond that, should you qualify, we can also help you with your documentation renewal and so much more. To see all of the ways that we can help you with vessel documentation, check out the rest of our site.