Coast Guard issues guidance on documentation delays
Evidence must be available that a renewal application was submitted
The following is a marine safety information bulletin from the U.S. Coast Guard:
(WASHINGTON) — The National Vessel Documentation Center (NVDC) is experiencing delays in the time necessary to issue a certificate of documentation (COD). The Coast Guard recognizes the need to minimize the effect on the maritime community of NVDC delays as a result of an office closure or other events. To assist mariners, the Office of Commercial Vessel Compliance issued Marine Safety Information Bulletin 03-19, “Certificate of Documentation Guidance:”
Vessels engaged on domestic voyages only (coastwise/fisheries)
Vessel(s) with an expired COD may continue to operate domestically on the previously issued trade endorsements provided a renewal application has been submitted to the NVDC. Vessel owners should be prepared to present evidence, upon request, to the officer in charge, marine inspection (OCMI) or the Office of Commercial Vessel Compliance (CG-CVC), that a renewal application was submitted.
New construction/initial certification (all trade endorsements)
In accordance with the Marine Safety Manual, Vol. II, an initial COI may be completed before the COD is issued provided the NVDC has received the application for documentation. Vessel representatives should be prepared to present evidence that the application was submitted to the NVDC to the OCMI.
Engaged on international voyage (registry endorsement)
Vessel(s) with an expired COD that actively engage on international voyages and are subject to Port State Control may request a letter from CG-CVC for continued operation. Requests for a letter confirming vessel registry by the United States should be sent to FlagStateControl@uscg.mil and include objective evidence that a renewal application has been submitted to the NVDC.
Recreational vessels (recreational endorsement)
Vessel(s) with an expired COD that actively engage in recreational use shall not be subject to COD related enforcement action, provided the vessel owner can present evidence that the renewal application was submitted to the NVDC.
A list of cognizant officers in charge, marine inspections and captains of the port is available on the Office of Commercial Vessel Compliance webpage.