USGC policy letter regarding PSC examinations for foreign flagged yachts

05 February 2016

At the end of 2015, the United States Coast Guard (USGC) released a policy letter focused on port state control (PSC) examinations for foreign flagged yachts. All sea going motor vessels over 300 gt calling on US ports are required to have a USCG Certificate of Inspection (COI) or a SOLAS Safety Equipment Certificate.

The former is quite impractical for a yacht not built to the US Code of Federal Regulations to obtain, and the latter is not applicable below 500 gt. This 300-500 gt middle ground has proven for many yachts to result in a PSC deficiency without a realistic path to compliance.

This policy letter which is issued by the Office of Commercial Vessel Compliance (CG-CVC 15-04) Policy provides clear guidance for yachts falling into this middle range, as well as for larger yachts. Essentially boiling down to acceptance of a Commercial Registry and evidence of compliance with the Flag’s applicable Commercial Yacht Code.

Please refer to the following link for all policy letters by the Office of Commercial Vessel Compliance –

If you have any questions regarding this policy letter, please email LR’s expert –