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Transferring U.S. Flag Vessels to Foreign Ownership (reflagging)

The Program

Under 46 U.S.C. § 56101, U.S. documented vessels 1,000 gross tons and over require Maritime Administration approval to be transferred to foreign ownership, flag and/or registry. Vessels 3,000 gross tons and over are subject to additional financial terms and conditions contained in 46 CFR Part 221. In either case, the Maritime Administration requires a formal application (MA-29) with supporting documentation, including an original U.S. Coast Guard Certificate of Ownership (CG-1330).

Application Fee

The Maritime Administration charges the following fees to process the MA-29 application: 

  • Vessels at or above 3,000 gross tons: $325.00
  • Vessels less than 3,000 gross tons: $170.00
  • Amendments to an existing contract: $260.00

Notice to Federal Register

The Maritime Administration changed its approval process for the Request for Transfer of Ownership, Registry, and Flag or Charter, Lease, or Mortgage of U.S. documented vessels (MA-29) to include notification to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of the request. This notice is to advise applicants of the EPA’s 30-day processing delay so they can factor it into their business plans. The notice must also include a self-certification of accepted polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) quantities in applicant vessel per MARAD’s Federal Register Notice.

Application Process

1. Determine the vessel's gross tonnage and prepare a Cashier’s Check, Certified Check, Company Check or Money Order Payable to “Maritime Administration”

2. Complete the Vessel Transfer Application.

3. Determine the Presence of Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) at Regulated Concentrations on Vessels (Ships) to be Reflagged. Consult EPA's “Technical Guidance for Determining the Presence of Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) at Regulated Concentrations on Vessels (Ships) to be Reflagged” to make a well-informed self-certification.

4. Mail completed application(s), supporting documentation, and payments to:

Department of Transportation
Maritime Administration MAR-630
1200 New Jersey Avenue, S.E.
W25-314, West Building
Washington, DC 20590

5. Publish a notice of the application request to the Federal Register.

Questions?

For assistance, or questions about any aspect of the reflagging process, contact the Office of Sealift Support.

Updated: Friday, June 21, 2019