Coast Guard issues policy on moored watercraftPosted on
The U.S. Coast Guard published a notice of policy in the Federal Register stating the Coast Guard will no longer inspect nor issue certificates of inspection for permanently moored watercraft.
This policy is a result of the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Stewart v. Dutra Construction Co. Inc., which held that Title 1 United States Code, Chapter 3 provides the defining criteria for what constitutes a vessel wherever the U.S. Code refers to “vessel” as a jurisdictional criterion. In its decision, the court upheld that to be considered a vessel, watercraft must have a practical use as transportation on the water.
“The Coast Guard can issue certificates of inspection only to those watercraft meeting the definition of a vessel,” said Cmdr. Lee Boone, chief of the Coast Guard’s Domestic Vessel Compliance Division, in a statement. “If a watercraft is not a vessel, we have no legal authority to compel compliance with commercial vessel regulations.
“However, in recent years, many watercraft that had no practical use for transportation on the water were placed into service, were subjected to Coast Guard inspections and received certificates of inspection. This policy resolves that conflict,” he added.
Any watercraft presently holding a Coast Guard issued certificate of inspection that does not meet the definition of a vessel as determined by the local Coast Guard Officer in Charge of Marine Inspection, will have two years from the policy publication date to migrate to another inspection regimen under a state’s authority.
This policy will affect all craft deemed permanently moored, including those used for gaming.
Welcome to TradeOnlyToday’s premium content! To continue reading, please register now, for access to 10 free stories per month. Or subscribe, for unlimited access to all TradeOnlyToday content!
Basic subscription: Registered members get free access to 10 premium content stories each month!
Individual subscription: $29 for unlimited site access for one year.
Small Business subscription: $140 for unlimited site access for up to 10 members of a company for one year.
Corporate subscription: $300 for unlimited site access for all members of a company for one year.
You may close this dialog after seconds.