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Coast Guard clarifies requirements for bareboat charters

Jun 26, 2017 09:44 AM

If full possession and control of the vessel is not retained by the customer, charter rules must be enforced

The following is the text of a news release from the U.S. Coast Guard:

(ST. LOUIS) — The Coast Guard clarified certain requirements as it pertains to bareboat charter operations Friday afternoon to facilitate compliance with existing laws and regulations.

Specifically, when full possession and control of the vessel is not retained by a bareboat customer, then the Coast Guard is mandated by law to enforce vessel inspections, documentation, and crew credentialing requirements (see 46 U.S.C. 2101; 8902-8903). Examples of noncompliance would include when a customer selects the owner of the vessel as the crew, then full possession and control of the vessel has presumptively not been passed to the customer. Additionally, when a customer selects a crew, other than the owner, and the owner or agent pays the crew, selects the crew, or has the authority to dismiss the crew for cause, full possession and control of the vessel has presumptively not been passed to the customer.

Those found in violation of these regulations are subject to civil penalties (see 46 U.S.C. 3318, 8906). 

“The Coast Guard will continue to interpret, apply and enforce applicable laws and regulations on the Heartland’s navigable waters, to include our lakes and rivers.” said Capt. Martin Malloy, Coast Guard, officer in charge, marine inspection.

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