As an added benefit, WQIS provides COFR guarantees to its policyholders for free.
The following comes from the website of the United States Coast Guard's National Pollution Funds Center (NPFC): http://www.uscg.mil/npfc/
It should only be used for information and not relied upon for legal guidance.
What is a COFR?
A COFR is a vessel Certificate of Financial Responsibility (Water Pollution) issued by the Coast Guard's NPFC to a vessel operator providing evidence of financial responsibility, in accordance with the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA 90) and the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA). This evidence is in the form of a guaranty by some third party (for example, WQIS) or the operator himself (in the case of self-insurance). It assures potential claimants, including the Federal Government, that a responsible party can pay its legal liability up to prescribed limits, in the event of an oil incident or release or threatened release of a hazardous substance.
Do I need a COFR?
Vessel operators must have a COFR for vessels over 300 gross tons using the navigable waters of the United States. In addition, any vessel, REGARDLESS OF TONNAGE, that is LIGHTERING or TRANSSHIPPING oil in the Exclusive Economic Zone of the U. S., must have a COFR. There are a few exceptions to this rule for vessels that do not carry oil as fuel or cargo, and do not carry hazardous substances as cargo. You should verify with your broker if these exceptions might apply to you.