What are the USCG Registration Requirements for Commercial Fishing Vessels?

uscg registration requirements for commercial fishing

Registering your commercial fishing vessel may be required at the state or federal level, perhaps both. If you need to complete USCG registration, it can be a bit of an overwhelming prospect. Fortunately, these days you can complete much of the process online, including paying for your registration. Before getting started, it makes sense to know what is required for registration so that you don’t have to start and stop along the way. Here’s what you should know. 

What is Vessel Documentation?

This is the registration process and is one of the oldest in the United States. This documentation establishes nationality, which is necessary if you plan to conduct commerce or trade in the country, as well as internationally. Having current and proper documentation on your commercial fishing boat is required so getting through this process isn’t something you can skip over.

What Vessels Must be Documented?

Any boat that measures five net tons or more and is used for commercial fishing purposes in US waters must be documented. In rare cases, a boat may be exempt from documentation, but the majority of commercial fishing vessels will need to be registered with the United States Coast Guard. Failure to do so can result in fines or loss of your boat. 

What Types of Documentation Are There?

For fishery purposes, you will need a Certificate of Documentation. Keep in mind that a boat documented for commerce can be used as a recreational boat as well. However, a boat documented as a recreational vessel cannot be used for commercial fishing purposes. Make sure that when you fill out the paperwork, you are doing so correctly to avoid problems down the road. 

What are the Requirements to Register?

The basic requirements necessary to document your commercial fishing boat is to prove ownership, hold United States citizenship, and be eligible for whatever endorsement you’re trying to get, in this case, a commercial fishing vessel. In addition, your boat must weigh at least five net tons.

uscg registration requirements for commercial fishing

Registering My Commercial Fishing Vessel

Registering your commercial fishing vessel doesn’t have to be hard or take a lot of time. You can complete the process online. You can even upload relevant documents when you are prompted to do so. Keep in mind that registering your boat isn’t the same as obtaining a commercial fishing license. This process must be done separately. 

You may also need to register your boat at the state level. There are also restrictions regarding what you fish for. Certain species require either a federal or state license so be sure you match your registration documents with the correct permits and licenses. 

A commercial fishing business can be quite lucrative and allows you to do something you love while also making a living. Being documented properly is a vital part of being a business owner and a USCG registration is just one part of being ready to get out on the water and catch fish. Let the Commercial Fishing Permits Center help. Contact us today with your questions and we’re happy to guide you in the right direction. 

No Comments

Be the first to start a conversation

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Scroll to Top