Vessel Documentation

Certificate of Documentation guidance during application processing delays

The National Vessel Documentation Center (NVDC) is experiencing delays in the time necessary to issue a Certificate of Documentation (COD) due to performance issues associated with its Information Technology (IT) System. The Coast Guard recognizes the need to minimize the effect on the maritime community. The following guidance is provided:

Vessels Engaged on Domestic Voyages Only (Coastwise/Fisheries): Vessel(s) with an expired COD 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 to the OCMI.

Engaged on International Voyage (Registry Endorsement): Vessel(s) with an expired COD that actively engage on international voyages and are subject to Port State Control may request a letter from CG-CVC for continued operation. Requests for a letter confirming vessel registry by the United States should be sent to FlagStateControl@uscg.mil and include objective evidence that a renewal application has been submitted to the NVDC.

Recreational Vessels (Recreational Endorsement): Vessel(s) with an expired COD that actively engage in recreational use shall not be subject to COD related enforcement action, provided the vessel owner can present evidence that the renewal application was submitted to the NVDC.

A list of cognizant OCMI / COTP contacts is available on the Office of Commercial Vessel Compliance website.

In order to ensure NVDC can process the maximum number of applications possible, we ask that you submit any questions via electronic mail to nvdc.w.webmaster@uscg.mil while the IT System is operating at reduced capacity. Responses can be expected within 24-48 hours. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

The latest NVDC Case Processing Report is available from the NVDC website here.

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This blog is not a replacement or substitute for the formal posting of regulations and updates or existing processes for receiving formal feedback of the same. Links provided on this blog will direct the reader to official source documents, such as the Federal Register, Homeport and the Code of Federal Regulations. These documents remain the official source for regulatory information published by the Coast Guard.

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