Foreign Flagged Vessels can:
U.S. Flagged Vessels can:
A valid charter is an agreement where the charterer has use of the vessel for a period of time and is considered the owner. Charterer may take on legal obligations, to the owner, the crew, the passengers carried, and others.
Elements of a valid charter may include:
What are the most common charter vessel errors?
DEFINITIONS (46 USC 2101, 46 CFR 175.400, 46 CFR 24.10-1)
VESSELS OVER 300 GROSS TONS, U.S. AND FOREIGN FLAG (46 USC 2101 & 3301, 46 CFR 90.05-1)
All seagoing motor vessels foreign or domestic of at least 300 gross tons, including recreational vessels not engaged in trade, are subject to inspection and certification.
Motor-propelled yachts of at least 300 gross tons making voyages beyond the boundary line are, by definition, “seagoing motor vessels”
A pleasure yacht not engaged in trade is generally not subject to SOLAS, irrespective of its size, its number of passengers (as defined by SOLAS), or the international nature of its voyage.
All foreign flagged yachts engaged in trade must comply with U.S. cabotage laws.
Vessels must comply with minimum safe manning requirements.
It is generally impracticable or not possible for a foreign flagged yacht, subject to U.S. Inspection and Certification, to comply with U.S. law by obtaining a Certificate of Inspection.
U.S. Inspection and certification requirements may not apply to a foreign flagged vessel, which has on board a current valid Certificate of Inspection issued by its government and whose government has inspection laws approximating those of the U.S., and that by its laws accords similar privileges to vessels of the U.S.
MARITIME & COAST GUARD AGENCY (MCA)
In 1998, the UK’s Maritime and Coast Guard Agency (MCA) introduced the Large Commercial Yacht Code, a set of requirements more suited to yachts than the regulations in SOLAS, Load Line, and Standards of Training, Certification, and Watchkeeping (STCW) international conventions of the International Maritime Organization (IMO). This was made possible by the provisions in the conventions for Flag States to adopt equivalent standards.
Upon completion of the Code, the MCA formally advised the IMO of its intention to use the Code to certificate large yachts instead of the applicable requirements of the before mentioned conventions. IMO disseminated the UK notification of the equivalent provisions in accordance with IMO protocol via Circular letter No. 1996. The British Registries represented by the MCA at IMO include Bermuda, Gibraltar, British Virgin Islands, Isle of Man, Cayman Islands, and the United Kingdom. Sport or pleasure yachts compliant with the Large Commercial Yacht Code may carry up to 12 passengers in commercial service (i.e. for hire) on international voyages and must be classed in accordance with MCA Large Commercial Yacht Code section 4 by the following recognized societies: ABS, BV, DNV, GL, LR, or RINA.
FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION CONTACT:
U.S. Coast Guard Sector Miami
100 MacArthur Causeway
Miami Beach, FL 33139
Tel: (305) 535-8736