The Maritime Administration (MARAD) is an agency of the United States government that oversees the country’s maritime transportation system, including the operation and construction of commercial vessels. One question that often arises in the boating industry is whether a MARAD waiver would allow charters on a foreign-built boat.
A MARAD waiver is a document that exempts a vessel from certain U.S. maritime laws and regulations. These waivers can be granted for a variety of reasons, such as to allow a vessel to operate in U.S. waters, to waive certain requirements for a vessel, or to allow a vessel to be used for a specific purpose.
However, it’s important to note that even with a MARAD waiver, a foreign-built boat may still be subject to certain restrictions when it comes to operating as a charter vessel. The main issue with foreign-built boats is compliance with the Jones Act, which requires vessels that transport goods or passengers between two U.S. ports to be built in the U.S. and owned by U.S. citizens.
Although there are certain exceptions to the Jones Act, it is generally difficult for foreign-built boats to qualify for these exceptions, especially if they are used for commercial purposes. In general, the Jones Act is designed to protect U.S. shipbuilders and ensure that the U.S. has a strong and reliable maritime transportation system.
So, while a MARAD waiver may provide some relief from other U.S. maritime laws and regulations, it may not necessarily allow a foreign-built boat to operate as a charter vessel in U.S. waters. It’s important to consult with legal experts who have experience in the maritime industry to determine whether a foreign-built boat can legally operate as a charter vessel.
In conclusion, a MARAD waiver can be a useful tool for boat owners and operators, but it’s important to understand that it may not necessarily allow a foreign-built boat to operate as a charter vessel in U.S. waters. Compliance with the Jones Act is still a major consideration, and boat owners and operators should seek the guidance of experienced legal professionals to ensure that they are in compliance with all relevant maritime laws and regulations.