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  #1  
Old 04-19-2013
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Paying for Document

Got this today;
April 19, 2013
Dear BoatU.S. Member,
Do you own a federally documented vessel? The U.S. Coast Guard is proposing to charge an annual fee of $26.00 for the renewal of certificates of documentation for recreational boats. While the Coast Guard charges to issue new certificates of documentation for boats, currently there is no charge for annual renewal.
This fee will only apply if your boat is federally documented and would be in addition to any state registration fees. For current information on federal vessel documentation, visit the United States Coast Guard Documentation Center.
We encourage you to share your thoughts with the Coast Guard on this proposal before May 3rd, 2013, by going to Regulations.gov
Please forward this email to fellow boaters with documented vessels. If you have any additional questions, please contact BoatU.S. Government Affairs at GovtAffairs@BoatUS.com.
Thank you for being a BoatU.S. member!
Margaret Podlich
President, BoatU.S.
GovtAffairs@BoatUS.com
703-461-2878 x8363
BoatUS.com/Gov

MY comment:
For those of us actually sailing our vessels beyond the contiguous waters of the United States, the document renewal system, as it stands, is cumbersome and extremely inefficient. We spend a portion of the year without current documentation as it can take some time to receive the renewal form, send it in and then more time (perhaps months) for the document to catch up to the boat if it is island hopping in the Caribbean, for instance.
A US documented vessel does not have the advantages in the US that it did a half century ago, and the system today does not in any way aid the national security. However, it is the only internationally recognized registration from the United States, and as such, it is necessary and important to anyone venturing beyond our shores.
It would make a great deal more sense for a document to expire every five (5) years, lessening the bureaucracy and hassle for all parties involved. In that case, perhaps a modest fee would be in order, but I strongly object to any fee on the present, inefficient and outdated system. It would be so simple to do the whole thing online, ending with a renewed document which could be downloaded and printed out.
I understand that the government is in dire need of revenue, but wouldn't it be better to charge the vessel owning citizens for a document produced by a system that is efficient, simple and economical, rather than the present cumbersome and extremely inefficient one.
Your comments?
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  #2  
Old 04-19-2013
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Re: Paying for Document

Fee's aside, it would be nice if they could just send an email letter that you can digitally sign and then send you a digital copy of the documentation . Then you wouldn't have to wait months for either the request or the document to catch up to you.
It's not like there's a raised seal or an original signature on the document. All you'd need is a color printer.

5 year time-frame would be nice. I wonder what their issue might be with that.
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  #3  
Old 04-19-2013
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Re: Paying for Document

I agree, a multi year document would be ideal, but we are dealing with a government agency. It has only been a matter of time in today's economic climate before these fees raised their ugly head. Chuck
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Old 04-19-2013
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Re: Paying for Document

Isn't it incredible that the government mandates a process that is finds difficult to administer, so it want to charge you to continue it, rather than propose to fix or eliminate it.

Aircraft are required to be re-registered every 3 years and it costs $5. This just started a couple of years back. Previously, registrations were for life. How in the world could a recreational boat be more trouble.

The government just keeps writing more and more rules and is collapsing under its own weight.
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Old 04-19-2013
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Re: Paying for Document

Nice thought. We have an authorized agent at St Brendan's Isle sign for us while we're underway, but it's still paper, snailmailing back and forth. How 20th century!
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Old 04-20-2013
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Re: Paying for Document

"It would make a great deal more sense for a document to expire every five (5) years, "
Be careful what you wish for, they'll agree and then say that's $26x5, $130 up front and if you sell the boat before it expires...too bad, no refunds.

Maybe better to ask them how they came up with $26 and to justify that price level.
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Old 04-20-2013
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Re: Paying for Document

Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
Maybe better to ask them how they came up with $26 and to justify that price level.
Actually, that is reasonably well explained in the documents they posted. Total cost of administering renewals (broken down into a few categories) divided by the number of renewals per year.

Last edited by mr_f; 04-20-2013 at 05:05 PM.
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Old 04-20-2013
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Re: Paying for Document

I replied on the government website and indicated that this was another over-reach of government. The CG does a simple, efficient job of processing it now. Once politicians see an opportunity to extract more money, who would believe that fees would not get out of hand in the near future? Government, in every nook and cranny, just keeps expanding. Instead of making the system more efficient, they are only complicating it, requiring more staff, more inefficient paperwork, MORE cost to taxpayers instead of less. As suggested above: 5 year interval, on-line, NO FEE. This seems like a no-brainer but government NEVER makes things simpler if there's an opportunity to extract more money to support their habit.
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Old 04-20-2013
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Re: Paying for Document

Outsource the processing to a bunch of college kids looking for part time work, who will gladly accept minimum wage and no benefits. I will bet we would vomit to know what it really cost for one government employee that pushes brainless paper.
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Old 04-20-2013
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Re: Paying for Document

To be honest, I was shocked that it was free all this time.
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