Cost sharing regs ? - 2CoolFishing
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Old 06-10-2008, 02:19 AM   #1
Koolero
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snapper Cost sharing regs ?

If somebody could pleaz post up a link to the site where I could see the regs on the legality of cost sharing I would sure appreciate it. Thanx
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Old 06-10-2008, 10:45 AM   #2
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I know this is not a link, but I doubt they would be that tough on a "true" cost sharing trip.


But I recall you had to at least have the Merchant Marine License (aka "Captain" License) to receive any kind of money for those onboard. So I think it is a Coast Guard rule...I'd start my search on their web site. If their site is anything like the other federal sites it will be tough to find.

You might be better off e-mailing or calling them.
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Old 06-10-2008, 11:05 AM   #3
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This topic comes up on here from time to time. I believe the catch 22 here is in the State of Texas if you take money from anyone for the trip you are acting as a guide, in order to be a guide in Texas you must have your USCG Captain's license. So the USGC really does not have anything do with the issue of cost sharing it is on the State side.

Most treat is as a none issue, as IMHO you would really have to pess the Game Warden off for them to cite you.

However with that said and the fact I have bought a larger boat that I will be needing a crew for from time to time. I have thought about a loop hole, which might be to have limited one day partnership agreement, thus everyone would have a stake in this temporary company which then leases the boat for a dollar and the limited partneship is then responsible for costs of the trip. Any thoughts?
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Old 06-10-2008, 11:34 AM   #4
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On December 20, 1993 the President signed the Passenger Vessel Safety Act of 1993 (public law 103-206), changing the legal requirements for passenger and charter operations. The act establishes for the first time the definition of passenger for hire and requires many vessels operating under bareboat charter to be inspected by the Coast Guard as commercial passenger vessels. The law also changes the inspection requirements for certain vessels over 100 gross tons. The new law has relaxed the prior strict treatment of situations where a guest provided food or chipped in for expenses. Previous law treated such such guests as passengers, requiring operator licenses and possibly vessel inspection.

In more simple terms, it's no different that giving your buddy gas money for your share of the ride into work. You don't need any special license or permit to do that, nor do you need one to do the same thing on your privately owned boat.
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Old 06-10-2008, 11:38 AM   #5
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Why bother with any stinking regulations? Just deal in cash and be discrete. If asked by Johnny Law, just say "Goober here is taking us fishing for FREE."

I mean come on, some folks pool their money to take an RV on a long road trip. You have to with the price of gas and diesel. Does that mean you need somebody with a commercial "chauffer" drivers license? Yup! But who cares?

Remember, the difference between recreational and commercial is that the recreational fisherman has no expectation of making a profit, such as by selling a scheduled or for-hire service or selling caught fish.

The problem is if you start looking like a service ... and some local charter boy gets mad for taking away business and files a complaint. Stick with the Goober story, I'm telling ya.
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Old 06-10-2008, 11:43 AM   #6
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here's the actual verbage

Quote:
DESCRIPTION - Section 507 amends 46 U.S.C. 2101 by adding a definition of the term "consideration." Although this term was used in the prior definition of a "passenger," it was not previously defined by statute. Generally, some tangible amount of worth exchanged for carriage on a vessel such as payment, exchange of goods or a promise of performance is required. "Consideration" does not include a voluntary sharing of the actual expenses of a voyage. Additionally, employees or business clients that have not contributed for their carriage, and are carried for morale or entertainment purposes is not included as exchange of consideration.

and here's a link to the entire piece of law

http://www.uscg.mil/hq/g-m/nvic/7_94/n7-94.htm
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Old 06-10-2008, 11:46 AM   #7
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I've looked at all that is available and I can tell you it is not well understood. However, it is not complicated, either. I'll see if I can post the link.
But here is the deal.

If consideration (payment, material) flows to the owner of the boat, directly or indirectly AS A CONDITION OF CARRIAGE, it is a charter. State or federal.

In some clarifying advisory material in the early nineties, indicates that VOLUNTARY contributions (NOT a condition of carriage) to help defray costs are legal and no problem.

Here's how I (and to date, the LEOs I've spoken with) interpret that. If there is a preset amount, percent, etc. AGREED UPON or RENDERED prior to the trip, that's a condition of carriage and it's a charter. It's not "voluntary" if you tell a guy, you can go for half or a third of the fuel bill. On the other hand, after you get back to the dock your guests may contribute all they want to, even more than direct operating costs.

"Most treat is as a none issue, as IMHO you would really have to pess the Game Warden off for them to cite you."
I don't think it's a "non issue". I think it's difficult to make a case against. But there are a number of unlicensed and unpermitted charter operators operating "gas money trips" and I know for a fact that TPWD, NMFS, and most legitimate and properly permitted and licensed charter boat operaters would love to see them caught and prosecuted. Then you have sponsored tournament teams, fishing clubs, etc. which may either be legitimate, or scams to run illegal charters.

I don't think hardly anyone wants to hurt guys who are legitimately sharing expenses. Lots of people want to hurt illegal charter operators. And how you define it is the key.

I run gas money trips. A set amount is never discussed in advance. I only take people who "get it", mostly friends, or friends of friends and I am almost always offered MORE when we get back than I accept. If we ever get stopped and NMFS Special Agent Matt takes one of my friends to the front of the boat and puts the third degree on him or her, they will not tell him they are expected to pay, or have paid, so much for the trip. Few people on this board seem to care about it, but citations have been issued and big fines paid on this issue.
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Old 06-10-2008, 11:51 AM   #8
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I would suggest printing the link out I posted and carrying a copy of it on the boat if you are really concerned about it. I do exactly that with current fishing regs, and several other documents. They all stay in a folder and I can produce proof of compliance quite easily. Put it in there with your HMS permit, your documentation stuff, ect. I have found that having things in writing eliminates all guesswork on things like this. I added 2 new links up top for future reference, as this and fishing regs come up quite a bit.
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Old 06-10-2008, 12:09 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Piledriver
However with that said and the fact I have bought a larger boat that I will be needing a crew for from time to time. I have thought about a loop hole, which might be to have limited one day partnership agreement, thus everyone would have a stake in this temporary company which then leases the boat for a dollar and the limited partneship is then responsible for costs of the trip. Any thoughts?
Enforcement has not been very vigorous here in Texas, I don't know if it's worth worrying about. But they have done a fair amount of enforcing in Fl. The key (not a loophole) is how "voluntary contribution" and "condition of carriage" are defined. A condition of carriage means that I must pay a certain amount or you don't take me fishing. This makes it a charter. Payment is not voluntary, but conditional.

A voluntary contribution is just that. Completely voluntary and NOT a condition of taking the person fishing. Which means they do not OWE you anything at the end of the trip. Like church. You aren't charged admission to go to church. The plate is passed. If you want to contribute you do. If you don't you don't. That is voluntary. If the usher stops you at the door and tells you you must put at least $20 in the plate when it comes around, and you agree, then it is not voluntary.
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Old 06-10-2008, 12:19 PM   #10
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This is a non-issue, I don't know why it keeps coming up.
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