113-168.6. Commercial fishing vessel registration.

(a) As used in this subsection, a North Carolina vessel is a vessel that has its primary situs in the State. A vessel has its primary situs in the State if:

(1) A certificate of number has been issued for the vessel under Article 1 of Chapter 75A of the General Statutes;

(2) A certificate of title has been issued for the vessel under Article 4 of Chapter 75A of the General Statutes; or

(3) A certification of documentation has been issued for the vessel that lists a home port in the State under 46 U.S.C. 12101, et seq., as amended.

(b) The owner of a vessel used in a commercial fishing operation in the coastal fishing waters of the State or a North Carolina vessel used to land or sell fish in the State shall register the vessel with the Division. It is unlawful to use a vessel that is not registered with the Division in a commercial fishing operation in the coastal fishing waters of the State. It is unlawful to use a North Carolina vessel that is not registered with the Division to land or sell fish in the State. No registration is required for a vessel of any length that does not have a motor if the vessel is used only in connection with another vessel that is properly registered.

(b1) The vessel owner at the time of application for registration under subsection (b) of this section shall obtain either a commercial vessel endorsement if the vessel is intended to be used primarily for the harvest of fish for sale, a for-hire endorsement if the vessel is intended to be used primarily for for-hire activities, or both endorsements if the vessel is intended to be engaged in both activities. The owner of a vessel applying for a commercial fishing vessel registration with a for-hire endorsement must affirm liability coverage and knowledge of applicable United States Coast Guard safety requirements.

(c) The annual fee for a commercial fishing vessel registration shall be determined by the length of the vessel and shall be in addition to the fee for other licenses issued under this Article. The length of a vessel shall be determined by measuring the distance between the ends of the vessel along the deck and through the cabin, excluding the sheer. The annual fee for a commercial fishing vessel registration is:

(1) One dollar and twenty-five cents ($1.25) per foot for a vessel not over 18 feet in length.

(2) One dollar and ninety cents ($1.90) per foot for a vessel over 18 feet but not over 38 feet in length.

(3) Three dollars and seventy-five cents ($3.75) per foot for a vessel over 38 feet but not over 50 feet in length.

(4) Seven dollars and fifty cents ($7.50) per foot for a vessel over 50 feet in length.

(d) A vessel may be registered at any office of the Division. A commercial fishing vessel registration expires on the last day of the license year.

(e) Within 30 days of the date on which the owner of a registered vessel transfers ownership of the vessel, the new owner of the vessel shall notify the Division of the change in ownership and apply for a replacement commercial fishing vessel registration. An application for a replacement commercial fishing vessel registration shall be accompanied by proof of the transfer of the vessel. The provisions of G.S. 113-168.1(h) apply to a replacement commercial fishing vessel registration. (1998-225, s. 4.15; 2001-213, s. 3; 2013-360, s. 14.8(e).)