Originally Posted by mitkofisle
As for boating in Canada with an MMSI obtained through Boat US vs the FCC - I believe there is more than just a compliance issue.
As of a couple of years ago, the Canadian CG did not recognize, or have access to, any non-FCC MMSI's. If you have a Boat US MMSI, your DSC distress signal will be received and responded to but the CCG will only know your location, not who they are responding to, what type of vessel they are looking for, or who to contact regarding the emergency (emergency contacts, next of kin etc.).
This may have changed recently but I don't think so.
Yes, I believe this is correct.
There is an international database of ships
that is used to get more info on whoever has issued a distress alert. This info aids in a search operation. When you get your MMSI through the FCC, you info gets placed in the ITU database. When you get your MMSI from BoatUS, it does not get placed in the ITU database.
I dont' think this will impact AIS use in any way, but you are correct that it will place you at a disadvantage should you have to issue a DSC distress call.
I agree with others that if you have any thoughts of international travel, and that includes Canada, Mexico, and the Bahamas, to just get the FCC license and MMSI and be done with it.
The interesting challenge is the one the OP has, which is essentially converting from a BoatUS MMSI to an internationally registered one. Gettign a new MMSI is easy, but having to send all your equipment in for reset service is a pain in the butt. I'm real interested to see if anyone is able to get an FCC license and reuse their old MMSI, thereby getting it into the ITU database.