What is a Hailing Port, Choosing One, Changing It, and More

What is a Hailing Port

Are you in the process of completing your initial vessel documentation, have gotten to the part that asks about your hailing port, and aren’t sure what to put? Do you find yourself wondering just what is a hailing port? That’s common. Over the years, we’ve found that when someone thinks of what defines a “hailing port,” they may have the wrong idea. We designed the National Documentation Portal to not just be a portal of documents, but a portal of knowledge, educating vessel owners about what they need to know. 

So, What is a Hailing Port, Exactly? 

In terms of the technical definition, it’s the location from which your vessel claims origin. You’ll note that those terms are loosely defined. “Origin” doesn’t mean “where the vessel was created,” nor does it mean “where the vessel returns to and heads from after every voyage.” You can choose your hailing port. It’s your decision, entirely up to you. 

Where Should My Hailing Port Be? 

After you get the answer for “what is a hailing port”, you need to know that your hailing port can be anywhere you would like. You can pick any location in the United States (no matter how landlocked, far from water, etc.) to be your hailing port. In fact, the hailing port you choose doesn’t have to be a port at all. 

You want your hailing port to be somewhere on the Pacific Ocean or Lake Michigan? Great. You prefer to have your hailing port in Utah? Iowa? West Texas? That’s fine, too.  The only real rule is that the hailing port you choose has to be a location in the United States. It can’t be a foreign location or port, no matter how much business you might do with them, etc. 

All of that having been said, many vessel owners just use their location as the vessel’s hailing port. 

Can I Change My Hailing Port? 

Absolutely! You can do so through our site. Here at the National Documentation Portal, you’ll note that there’s a form on our homepage entitled “Change of Vessel Name or Hailing Port.” So, through that, you can change your hailing port whenever you would like. 

Yes, you can use that form to change the name of your vessel as well. There are particular requirements in terms of what you can name your vessel as well as how you have to mark it, but many vessel owners perform both actions through this documentation. 

What is a Hailing Port

For Help With More Than Just Hailing Ports 

We’ve helped many vessel owners over the years to not just choose a hailing port but to make sure that it’s properly documented with the authorities. That said, we can help with so much more than just your hailing port. Indeed, you can apply for your initial documentation, renew it, replace it if necessary, and so much more, all through our site. To see all of the ways that we can help you and your vessel, we encourage you to explore the rest of our site.