The U.S. Coast Guard is offering some relief to vessel owners who have been unable to obtain a Certificate of Documentation and other documents due to the lapse in federal funding that resulted in the closure of many federal offices and suspension of functions. According to Marine Safety Information Bulletin 01-19, published on January 24:
Vessels Engaged on Domestic Voyages Only (Coastwise/Fisheries): Vessel owners and operators with a COD that expired on or before January 31, 2019, 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, upon request, to the OCMI. This release has been issued for public information and notification purposes only.
Engaged on International Voyage (Registry Endorsement): Vessel owners and operators with a COD that expired on or before January 31, 2019, that actively engage on international voyages, and are subject to Port State Control, may apply for dispensation from CG-CVC for continued operation. Dispensation requests related to CODs should be sent to FlagStateControl@uscg.mil and include objective evidence that a renewal application has been submitted to the NVDC.
The MSIB also addresses Certificates of Financial Responsibility and Merchant Mariner Credentials. Read the whole document to learn more.