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Maritime Documentation Center Focuses to Assist Vessel Owners in Compliance as Penalties Rise

Vessel Documentation Online has, for years, offered access to USCG vessel documentation forms to vessel owners. Recently, the penalties for failing to have the proper boat documentation have increased, making it more important to have the right documentation.

As of January 13, 2023, the “Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015 (the 2015 Act)” went into effect. This means that the “penalty for employing a vessel in a trade without a required Certificate of Documentation” has increased. Now, the penalty has risen to $625.

These new penalties are effective for penalties assessed after January 13, 2023, but whose associated violations occurred after November 2nd, 2015.

Vessel Documentation Online offers online access to applying for an initial Certificate of Documentation, renewal, reinstatement, obtaining a replacement, certified copy, and more. With that documentation, vessel owners will be in compliance with the law and be able to avoid any potential fines or penalties.

“It’s a bad idea to try to use a vessel in a trade or commercial capacity without the right documentation. With these increased penalties, it’s worse than ever. We understand how in the past, it could potentially be a chore to get the vessel documentation that you would need. However, we keep that from happening. Here at Vessel Documentation Online, we’ve helped many vessel owners to be able to not just apply for and obtain a Certificate of Documentation, but to be able to hang onto it, too. Our customers can choose to do this up to five years in advance, so they don’t have to worry about any potential fines because of incidental expirations. We want to provide our fellow boaters the peace of mind that comes from knowing they have what they need.” said Zeke Hernandez, a spokesperson for Vessel Documentation Online.

In addition to the Certificate of Documentation, Vessel Documentation Online also offers applications for forms such as the Abstract of Title, MARAD Waiver, Preferred Ship Mortgage, forms to change the vessel name, hailing port, address, and much more.
Source: USGC

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