Domestic Vessel Services

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The Antigua & Barbuda Department of Marine Services and Merchant Shipping (ADOMS) is responsible for the Regulation of all small pleasure craft and small commercial vessels. The Licensing and Registration processes ensure that all operations, both commercial and pleasure are carried out safely, and that all small craft are fit for their intended purpose.

The Small Craft Act 2015 and Regulations require that all small craft below 24 metres in length except for commercial fishing vessels that are solely engaged in fishing, must be licensed.

Non-powered pleasure craft below 5 metres in length are covered under a voluntary safety identification system. This system is free of cost and is primarily for the benefit of the owners in case of incidents where search and rescue operations are required.

Small commercial vessels are regulated by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Code of Safety for Small Commercial Vessels (SCV Code) which applies to vessels between 5 and 24 metres in length operating commercially within in the Caribbean trading area.

Small pleasure craft are regulated by the Antigua and Barbuda Code of Safety for Small Pleasure Craft (SCC Code) which applies to all pleasure craft of less than 24 metres in length operating within Antigua and Barbuda waters. This Code also applies to commercially operated small craft of less than 5 metres in length.

All small craft are assigned an ADOMS license number, or call sign, which must be prominently displayed along with the licence decal sticker.

All mariners operating commercial vessels under the SCV Code are required to have a Boatmaster licence issued by ADOMS. Mariners operating pleasure vessels are required to provide evidence of competency.

Enforcement of these regulations are carried out independently or collaboratively among personnel from the Antigua and Barbuda Defence Force Coast Guard, the Royal Police Force of Antigua and Barbuda and ADOMS.