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Old 15-03-2013, 19:48   #1
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Foreign Registered Vehicles & State Regulations

Does anyone have any idea on how the US Coast Guard or other enforcement agencies view foreign Register Vessels so far as life vests, flares and other safety equipment?
Canadian standards are not the same as US standards so my life vests are CSA approved and my radio does not have a station license etc. I asked US Coast Guard representatives at the Chicago Strictly Sail show and they did not know but thought most enforcement agencies would fine me. Seems pretty stupid as our CSA standards are usually higher than USCG standards.
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Old 15-03-2013, 19:53   #2
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Re: Foreign Registered Vehicles & State Regulations

I'd find something else to worry about as I doubt anything would ever come of it. There are thousands of Canadians that are out there cruising with Canadian safety gear and never an issue.
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Old 15-03-2013, 20:06   #3
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Re: Foreign Registered Vehicles & State Regulations

From a legal standpoint it is a matter of International convention and treaties with which the US is a signatory

Protocol means the US should complain to the Canadian registry if they disagree with how Canada manages their internal safety regulations.

Legally you are ok, but in practice, sometimes an overzealous coast guard officer will give you a hard time.
It has happened to me and involved harsh letters to the USCG from Lloyds and British registry.

5. In taking the measures called for in paragraphs 3 and 4 each State is required to conform to generally accepted international regulations, procedures and practices and to take any steps which may be necessary to secure their observance.
6. A State which has clear grounds to believe that proper jurisdiction and control with respect to a ship have not been exercised may report the facts to the flag State. Upon receiving such a report, the flag State shall investigate the matter and, if appropriate, take any action necessary to remedy the situation.
PREAMBLE TO THE UNITED NATIONS CONVENTION ON THE LAW OF THE SEA
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Old 15-03-2013, 20:16   #4
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Re: Foreign Registered Vehicles & State Regulations

The only time the USCG boarded our Canadian flagged vessel they told us they could not enforce any safety related matters. They had Homeless Insecurity personell with them and that was the excuse for the visit. Now on the left coast there is a joint program between the USCG and the RCMP. Canadian Coasties do S & R, not enforcement. But the US guys ride along with the RCMP in Canadian waters and the RC's ride with the USCG in US waters. That way they can write you up on either side of the border. Ain't life grand?
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Old 15-03-2013, 21:04   #5
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Re: Foreign Registered Vehicles & State Regulations

Your vessel is subject to the safety regulations of the flag it carries, which are based on International Martime Organization's (IMO) SOLAS Convention. There are 170 nations participating, which means their maritime safety laws also conform to SOLAS.

In other words, if you are flagged Canadian and carrying the safety equipment that the Canadian Coast Guard requires, you safety gear is legal in any country that has signed the SOLAS Convetion, including the USA

As for the Ship Station License.... It is not just required in the US, but anywhere you travel outside your home county's waters.

Pursuant to International Laws, if you are operating in Intenational or Foreign Waters you are required to have a Ship Station License for your vessel and a Radio Operators License for you.

Here is a link to a Canadian site with information pertaining to that: Canadian Ship Station Info
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Old 15-03-2013, 22:51   #6
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Re: Foreign Registered Vehicles & State Regulations

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Originally Posted by jeremiason View Post
Your vessel is subject to the safety regulations of the flag it carries, which are based on International Martime Organization's (IMO) SOLAS Convention. There are 170 nations participating, which means their maritime safety laws also conform to SOLAS.

In other words, if you are flagged Canadian and carrying the safety equipment that the Canadian Coast Guard requires, you safety gear is legal in any country that has signed the SOLAS Convetion, including the USA

As for the Ship Station License.... It is not just required in the US, but anywhere you travel outside your home county's waters.

Pursuant to International Laws, if you are operating in Intenational or Foreign Waters you are required to have a Ship Station License for your vessel and a Radio Operators License for you.

Here is a link to a Canadian site with information pertaining to that: Canadian Ship Station Info
That about sums it up. Only difference I'd note is that while the vessel needs a Ship's Station License, there need only be SOMEBODY aboard with a Radio Operator's License and that need not necessarily be the Captain.

{I know, I know.... for the US crowd getting an Op's License is a matter of going online, filling out the form and cutting the cheque. No reason not to do it.}

Our Austrian flagged vessel entered US waters carrying aboard what Austria registration rules required. The US Coast Guard, and the Harbour Captain where we checked into country, where fine with all that.
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Old 21-03-2013, 16:09   #7
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Re: Foreign Registered Vehicles & State Regulations

The only place that I know of which flaunts the SOLAS and IMO rules are the Dutch authorities in St. Maarten. They regularly waylay dinghies and inspect boats (including mine) and impose fines for safety violations that are not those of the flag country.
Last year they fined a vessel for out-of-date fire extinguishers despite their flag country (I'm not certain which it was) not requiring fire extinguisher at all. Many dinghies were stopped and fined because there was no anchor aboard, or not all occupants had life vests available, and frequently did alcohol checks as well. The latter is legal, but I'm not so sure about the anchor part for dinghies.
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Old 21-03-2013, 16:43   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zanshin
The only place that I know of which flaunts the SOLAS and IMO rules are the Dutch authorities in St. Maarten. They regularly waylay dinghies and inspect boats (including mine) and impose fines for safety violations that are not those of the flag country.
Last year they fined a vessel for out-of-date fire extinguishers despite their flag country (I'm not certain which it was) not requiring fire extinguisher at all. Many dinghies were stopped and fined because there was no anchor aboard, or not all occupants had life vests available, and frequently did alcohol checks as well. The latter is legal, but I'm not so sure about the anchor part for dinghies.
About 13 years ago, we were fined in Key West for not having a noise producing device in our dinghy. We had UK registry but the uniformed enforcers couldn't care less and issued the fine anyway. So we left the next day and sailed to Cuba...

It is not just the Dutch in St Maarten.
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Old 21-03-2013, 16:46   #9
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Re: Foreign Registered Vehicles & State Regulations

I think that dinghies might be a bit different to boats - but the US wants all dinghies to have the name of the ship on them, a requirement that many other countries don't have.
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Old 21-03-2013, 19:13   #10
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Re: Foreign Registered Vehicles & State Regulations

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I think that dinghies might be a bit different to boats - but the US wants all dinghies to have the name of the ship on them, a requirement that many other countries don't have.
That is not true. Most states in the USA require a motorized dinghy to be registered and display numbers and a registration sticker, but no name required. You sometimes see people from the USA put "T/T Wet Dreams" on their dinghy, but that is not required by law.
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Old 23-03-2013, 05:42   #11
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Re: Foreign Registered Vehicles & State Regulations

Kettlewell - thanks, I didn't put that correctly, I did mean that the U.S. requires dinghies to display registration, which other countries do not. The question for me is whether or not the U.S. CG could enforce the labeling requirements for dinghies on those from boats with foreign registry. It would seem that (at least for the Dutch Sint Maarten authorities) the dinghies would need to adhere to local national rules regardless of what flag the mother ship flies.
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Old 23-03-2013, 07:34   #12
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Re: Foreign Registered Vehicles & State Regulations

I would guess that once the dinghy leaves the 'mother ship' she is a vessel in it's own right.
In Canada we are not required to register a dinghy if the outboard is under 9.9hp. Is that the same in the US or is every motorized (or un-motorized) vessel required to have a registration number?
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Old 23-03-2013, 07:43   #13
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Re: Foreign Registered Vehicles & State Regulations

SteveO -that's my thinking as well, and if the dinghy has no "flag" (i.e. registration numbers) then it no longer underlies the regulations of the mother ship's flag but those of the country in whose waters the dinghy is moving. That would explain why the CG can issue fines for missing dinghy PFDs regardless of where the yacht itself is from.
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Old 23-03-2013, 07:55   #14
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Oh dear......
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Old 23-03-2013, 08:39   #15
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Re: Foreign Registered Vehicles & State Regulations

Znashin-
When a US cruising permit is issued for a vessel...isn't it issued and vlid for that one vessel only? Which would mean, technically, that any dink or other vessel carried aboard is not under the aegis of that permit once it hits the water?
I wonder what the official take is on that, and whether they really expect a dink to obtain a second permit??
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