Flag State Law and Legal Definition

Flag state refers to the country where a vessel is registered. In the U.S., the term refers to the authority granted by the federal laws to the U.S. Coast Guard to exercise regulatory control over commercial vessels that is registered in the U.S.. The authority granted includes for the inspection, certification, and insurance of safety and pollution prevention documents. In the U.S., the officer in charge of marine inspections is responsible for the inspection of U.S. flag vessels to ensure compliance operating throughout the world.