Maybe I should stay out of this, but I think you need to change your system to where both the "Coal Miner's Daughters" and the "License Consultants" were out of work/business.
By doing away with most of the "domestic only" licenses, except maybe strictly for small crafts in purely river and inland water trade and adopt the STCW standard for all else. I cannot think of any other country that have so many different licences and ways of obtaining them.
Oh, and by adopting GT as the ONLY measurement of Gross Tonnage the system could be modified and made "user friendly" with much less resources and confusion.
I would also recommend taking the mercantile fleet out of the hands of the USCG, thus get civilians with relevant education and experience to regulate the USMM and inspect foreign vessels calling at US ports.
Let the Coast Guard and Navy do the things they are supposedly good at.