Suppose you own a vessel in the United States that is less than 89 feet in length. In that case, you may be eligible for a MARAD Small Vessel Waiver, which exempts you from complying with certain regulations enforced by the Maritime Administration. You are not exempt from these regulations if you own a vessel longer than 89 feet (MARAD). This page will teach you all you need to know about the SWV, such as who is eligible for it and what rules it covers.
You can get all of this information right here. If you are the owner of a boat registered in the United States and have plans to transport your boat outside the nation, you will need to get acquainted with the MARAD Small Vessel Waiver. The following is information that is necessary for you to know about this waiver:
The Waiver Is Valid For Up To One Year
If you need to go a small distance but don’t want to spend much time or money getting there, the MARAD Small Vessel Waiver is for you. The specifics and restrictions of this waiver, however, must be understood. The duration of the MARAD Small Vessel Waiver is up to 12 months. It expires after a year and can’t be used again after that, but there’s no restriction on how often you may use it during that year.
There has never been a better time to take your boat out of a marina or dock and go sightseeing on the water for less money. Using the waiver means you won’t have to worry about picking up or dropping off other people or luggage on your way. You can go from one U.S. port to another or from one U.S. port to a foreign port since the waiver covers domestic and international marinas.
You Can Only Use the MARAD Small Vessel Waiver for Recreational Purposes
When operating in a recreational capacity, commercial fishing vessels, big passenger vessels, or other commercial boats are allowed to do so for up to 90 days per year under the federal MARAD waiver program. The initiative aims to keep these enormous vessels running even when they aren’t carrying people or cargo. You need a Letter of Authorization (LOA) from the U.S. Coast Guard to be exempt from this regulation.
The LOA lays forth certain requirements that must be satisfied when using this waiver and possible repercussions for failing to do so. One such stipulation is that you may not engage anybody other than those who have completed passenger vessel safety training (this excludes family members). While operating under this waiver, you must also have documentation showing that you have always gotten your LOA on you.
There Is No Fee Associated With the Waiver
Even though there is no cost associated with requesting the waiver, some individuals are concerned that it may not be worth their effort. The MARAD Small Vessel Waiver is a permit that allows for certain requirements regarding coastwise passage for boats of a specific size to be waived (under 65 feet long). The waiver intends to make it possible for sailors and boaters to save time and money by preventing the need to travel from port to port via inland waterways or shoreside canals to move from one body of water, such as the Chesapeake Bay, to another, such as the Atlantic Ocean.
This will be accomplished by avoiding the requirement to navigate between ports via inland waterways. Suppose a sailor or boater uses this MARAD Small Vessel Waiver program. In that case, they are exempt from having to spend time negotiating a sophisticated network of canals, locks, and rivers between different bodies of water. Instead, they may proceed from one body of water straight to another.
The Waiver Applies To both U.S. and Foreign Flagged Vessels
Operating a non-commercial vessel of 15 tons or less in U.S. waters is not subject to the Jones Act, the Endangered Species Act, the Navigation and Navigable Waters Acts, or any other federal or state law, according to the MARAD Waiver.
US-flagged boats are the only ones eligible for MARAD’s Small Vessel Waiver. Ships flying a foreign flag are ineligible for this exemption. You can’t sail along the American coast in a boat with a foreign flag. If your ship flies a foreign flag and you want to sail into U.S. waters, you may only do so if you are in a foreign trade zone, have an Individual Trade Quota (ITQ) for every individual over the age of 6, and have no Americans on board.
If you want a waiver on your boat’s titling and documentation, you can contact the Maritime Documentation Center at (800)-535-8570. We’ll walk you through the process from start to finish, provide you with all the official forms you’ll need to fill out, and answer any questions that might come up.