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Hull Identification Numbers

Title 33 NAVIGATION AND NAVIGABLE WATERS
PART 181 MANUFACTURER REQUIREMENTS


Subpart C—Identification of Boats

Source: CGD 79-013, 48 FR 40718, Sept. 9, 1983, unless otherwise noted.

181.21   Purpose, applicability and effective dates.

This subpart prescribes the requirements for identification of boats to which section 46 U.S.C. 4301 applies.

[CGD 79-013, 48 FR 40718, Sept. 9, 1983, as amended by USCG-1998-3799, 63 FR 35534, June 30, 1998; USCG-1999-5832, 64 FR 34716, June 29, 1999]

181.23   Hull identification numbers required.

(a) A manufacturer must identify each boat produced or imported with primary and secondary hull identification numbers permanently affixed in accordance with 181.29 of this subpart.

(b) A person who manufactures or imports a boat for his or her own use and not for sale must obtain the required hull identification number in accordance with the requirements of the issuing authority listed in 33 CFR part 173, Appendix A for the boat's State of principal operation and permanently affix the HIN to the boat in accordance with 181.29 of this subpart.

(c) No person may assign the same HIN to more than one boat.

[USCG-2003-14963, 77 FR 18703, Mar. 28, 2012]

181.25   Hull identification number format.

Each of the hull identification numbers required by 181.23 must consist of twelve characters, uninterrupted by slashes, hyphens, or spaces, as follows:

(a) The first three characters must be a manufacturer identification code assigned under 181.31(a) or the importer designation assigned under 181.31(b).

(b) Characters four through eight must be a serial number assigned by the manufacturer in letters of the English alphabet, or Arabic numerals, or both, except the letters I, O, and Q.

(c) Characters nine and ten must indicate the month and year of certification when a date of certification is required. In all other cases characters nine and ten must indicate the date of manufacture. The date indicated can be no earlier than the date construction or assembly began and no later than the date the boat leaves the place of manufacture or assembly or is imported into the United States for the purposes of sale. Character nine must be indicated using letters of the English alphabet. The first month of the year, January, must be designated by the letter “A”, the second month, February, by the letter “B”, and so on until the last month of the year, December. Character ten must be the last digit of the year of manufacture or certification and must be an Arabic numeral.

(d) Characters eleven and twelve must indicate the model year using Arabic numerals for the last two numbers of the model year such as “82” for 1982 and “83” for 1983.

181.27   Information displayed near hull identification number.

With the exception of the characters “US-”, which constitute the country of origin code for the United States, if information is displayed on the boat within 2 inches of the 12-character hull identification number (HIN), that information must be separated from the HIN by means of borders or must be on a separate label, so that it will not be interpreted as part of the hull identification number.

[USCG-2003-14272, 69 FR 33860, June 17, 2004]

181.29   Hull identification number display.

Two identical hull identification numbers are required to be displayed on each boat hull.

(a) The primary hull identification number must be affixed—

(1) On boats with transoms, to the starboard outboard side of the transom within two inches of the top of the transom, gunwale, or hull/deck joint, whichever is lowest.

(2) On boats without transoms or on boats on which it would be impractical to use the transom, to the starboard outboard side of the hull, aft, within one foot of the stern and within two inches of the top of the hull side, gunwale or hull/deck joint, whichever is lowest.

(3) On catamarans and pontoon boats which have readily replaceable hulls, to the aft crossbeam within one foot of the starboard hull attachment.

(4) If the hull identification number would not be visible, because of rails, fittings, or other accessories, the number must be affixed as near as possible to the location specified in paragraph (a) of this section.

(b) The duplicate hull identification number must be affixed in an unexposed location on the interior of the boat or beneath a fitting or item of hardware.

(c) Each hull identification number must be carved, burned, stamped, embossed, molded, bonded, or otherwise permanently affixed to the boat so that alteration, removal, or replacement would be obvious. If the number is on a separate plate, the plate must be fastened in such a manner that its removal would normally cause some scarring of or damage to the surrounding hull area. A hull identification number must not be attached to parts of the boat that are removable.

(d) The characters of each hull identification number must be no less than one-fourth of an inch high.

[CGD 79-013, 48 FR 40718, Sept. 19, 1983; 48 FR 53558, Nov. 28, 1983]

181.31   Manufacturer identification code assignment.

(a) Each person required by 181.23(a) of this part to affix hull identifications numbers must request a manufacturer identification code in writing from the Commandant (CG-BSX-23), Attn: Recreational Boating Product Assurance Branch, U.S. Coast Guard Stop 7501, 2703 Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20593-7501. The request must indicate the manufacturer's name and U.S. address along with the general types and lengths of boats that will be manufactured.

(b) For boats manufactured outside of the jurisdiction of the United States, a U.S. importer must obtain a manufacturer identification code as required by paragraph (a) of this section. The request must indicate the importer's name and U.S. address along with a list of the manufacturers, their addresses, and the general types and sizes of boats that will be imported. If a nation has a hull identification number system which has been accepted by the Coast Guard for the purpose of importing boats, it may be used by the importer instead of the one specified within this subpart. To request a list of those nations having such a numbering system, write to the Commandant (CG-BSX-23), Attn: Recreational Boating Product Assurance Branch, U.S. Coast Guard Stop 7501, 2703 Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20593-7501.

[USCG-2003-14963, 77 FR 18703, Mar. 28, 2012, as amended by USCG-2014-0410, 79 FR 38449, July 7, 2014]

181.33   Conditions for use of manufacturer identification codes.

(a) No manufacturer or importer may sell or transfer a manufacturer identification code or use a manufacturer identification code that has been assigned to another.

(b) A manufacturer or importer who changes the business name or address must advise the Commandant (CG-BSX-23), Attn: Recreational Boating Product Assurance Branch, U.S. Coast Guard Stop 7501, 2703 Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20593-7501 of the change in writing.

[CGD 79-013, 48 FR 40718, Sept. 9, 1983, as amended by CGD 88-052, 53 FR 25122, July 1, 1988; CGD 96-026, 61 FR 33669, June 28, 1996; USCG-2008-0179, 73 FR 35024, June 19, 2008; USCG-2010-0351, 75 FR 36287, June 25, 2010; USCG-2014-0410, 79 FR 38449, July 7, 2014]

181.35   Removal of numbers.

No person may remove or alter a number required by this subpart unless authorized by the Commandant, U.S. Coast Guard.