(a) New owners of Fishing Industry Vessel after October 1, 2001, must file the Affidavit of U.S. Citizenship and other required documentation with the Citizenship Approval Officer in order for the Citizenship Approval Officer to make a determination whether the owner is eligible to own a vessel with a fishery endorsement to the vessel's documentation. A vessel may not receive a fishery endorsement to its documentation or operate in the fisheries of the United States before this determination has been made.
(b) If the Citizenship Approval Officer believes that there is a defect in the Affidavit of U.S. Citizenship or the supporting documentation, the applicant will be notified and will be given an opportunity to work with the Citizenship Approval Officer to resolve the matter before a determination is made whether the applicant qualifies as a U.S. Citizen.
(c) A vessel owner that has a valid fishery endorsement prior to October 1, 2001, must obtain a citizenship determination from the Citizenship Approval Officer no later than October 1, 2001, which states that the owner is a U.S. Citizen eligible to own a vessel with a fishery endorsement. If the owner obtains the required determination from the Citizenship Approval Officer, the fishery endorsement will remain valid and will be subject to renewal at the time of its next regularly scheduled annual filing to document the vessel with the Coast Guard, at which point the owner will be required to obtain an annual ruling from the MARAD's Citizenship Approval Officer that it is still a U.S. Citizen. If a vessel owner that owns a vessel with a valid fishery endorsement prior to October 1, 2001, does not obtain the required determination from the Citizenship Approval Officer by October 1, 2001, the vessel's fishery endorsement may be deemed invalid. In order to obtain a new fishery endorsement, the vessel owner will be required to obtain a citizenship determination from the Citizenship Approval Officer and to apply to the U.S. Coast Guard for a new fishery endorsement.
(d) The owner of a Fishing Industry Vessel or a prospective owner of such a vessel may request a letter ruling from the Citizenship Approval Officer in order to determine whether the owner under a proposed ownership structure will qualify as a U.S. Citizen that is eligible to document the vessel with a fishery endorsement. A complete request for a letter ruling must be accompanied by an Affidavit of U.S. Citizenship and all other documentation required by “ 356.13. The Citizenship Approval Officer will issue a letter ruling based on the ownership structure that is proposed; however, the Citizenship Approval Officer reserves the right to reverse the determination if any of the elements of the ownership structure, contractual arrangements, or other material relationships are altered when the vessel owner submits the executed Affidavits and supporting documentation.