[USC07] 46 USC Subtitle II, Part G: Merchant Seamen Protection and Relief
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46 USC Subtitle II, Part G: Merchant Seamen Protection and Relief
From Title 46—SHIPPINGSubtitle II—Vessels and Seamen

Part G—Merchant Seamen Protection and Relief

Historical and Revision Notes

Part G provides for a number of measures for the protection and relief of merchant seamen by requiring certain contractual obligations between the master who represents the vessel owner's interest and the seamen who are engaged or employed on board a vessel, by requiring certain proceedings when a seaman dies or a vessel is suspected of being unseaworthy, by requiring certain standards for accommodations, medicine, clothing, miscellaneous merchandise, and for the handling of special and unique problems of seamen. It also provides for a method of imposing disciplinary controls through the logging of offenses and provides penalties for specified offenses, and certain related disciplinary procedures. The provisions of this part generally do not apply to fishing vessels, whaling vessels, or yachts.

CHAPTER 101—GENERAL

Sec.
10101.
Definitions.
[10102.
Repealed.]
10103.
Reports.
10104.
Requirement to report sexual offenses.

        

Amendments

1993Pub. L. 103–206, title IV, §422(c)(2), Dec. 20, 1993, 107 Stat. 2439, struck out item 10102 "Designations and duties of shipping commissioners".

1989Pub. L. 101–225, title II, §214(b), Dec. 12, 1989, 103 Stat. 1914, substituted "Requirement to report sexual offenses" for "Regulations" in item 10104.

§10101. Definitions

In this part—

(1) "master" means the individual having command of a vessel.

(2) "owner" means the person to whom the vessel belongs.

(3) "seaman" means an individual (except scientific personnel, a sailing school instructor, or a sailing school student) engaged or employed in any capacity on board a vessel.

(4) "fishing vessel" includes—

(A) a fish tender vessel; or

(B) a fish processing vessel entered into service before January 1, 1988, and not more than 1,600 gross tons as measured under section 14502 of this title, or an alternate tonnage measured under section 14302 of this title as prescribed by the Secretary under section 14104 of this title or entered into service after December 31, 1987, and having not more than 16 individuals on board primarily employed in the preparation of fish or fish products.

(Pub. L. 98–89, Aug. 26, 1983, 97 Stat. 560; Pub. L. 98–364, title IV, §402(13), July 17, 1984, 98 Stat. 449; Pub. L. 98–557, §33(d), Oct. 30, 1984, 98 Stat. 2876; Pub. L. 99–640, §10(b)(3), Nov. 10, 1986, 100 Stat. 3550; Pub. L. 104–324, title VII, §736, Oct. 19, 1996, 110 Stat. 3941.)

Historical and Revision Notes
Revised sectionSource section (U.S. Code)
10101 46:713

Section 10101 defines the terms master, seaman, and owner as they apply to merchant seamen's protection and relief.

Amendments

1996—Par. (4)(B). Pub. L. 104–324 inserted "as measured under section 14502 of this title, or an alternate tonnage measured under section 14302 of this title as prescribed by the Secretary under section 14104 of this title" after "1,600 gross tons".

1986—Pars. (1), (3). Pub. L. 99–640 struck out "owned by a citizen of the United States" after "vessel".

1984—Par. (4). Pub. L. 98–364, as amended Pub. L. 98–557, added par. (4).

[§10102. Repealed. Pub. L. 103–206, title IV, §422(c)(1), Dec. 20, 1993, 107 Stat. 2439]

Section, Pub. L. 98–89, Aug. 26, 1983, 97 Stat. 560, related to designations and duties of shipping commissioners.

§10103. Reports

(a) A master of a vessel to which section 8701(a) of this title applies, who engages or discharges a seaman, shall submit reports to the vessel owner in the form, content, and manner of filing as prescribed by regulation, to ensure compliance with laws related to manning and the engagement and discharge of seamen.

(b) This section does not apply to a ferry or towing vessel operated in connection with a ferry operation, employed only in trades other than with foreign ports, lakes, bays, sounds, bayous, canals, or harbors.

(Pub. L. 98–89, Aug. 26, 1983, 97 Stat. 560; Pub. L. 103–206, title IV, §417, Dec. 20, 1993, 107 Stat. 2438.)

Historical and Revision Notes
Revised sectionSource section (U.S. Code)
10103 46:643(l)

Section 10103 requires that masters who engage or discharge seamen submit to the Coast Guard reports of the manning of the vessel, and reports of shipping agreements which are not supervised by a shipping commissioner. It also contains a number of exceptions for specified vessels.

Amendments

1993—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 103–206 struck out "without a shipping commissioner being present" after "discharges a seaman" and inserted "to the vessel owner" after "shall submit reports".

§10104. Requirement to report sexual offenses

(a) A master or other individual in charge of a documented vessel shall report to the Secretary a complaint of a sexual offense prohibited under chapter 109A of title 18, United States Code.

(b) A master or other individual in charge of a documented vessel who knowingly fails to report in compliance with this section is liable to the United States Government for a civil penalty of not more than $5,000.

(Added Pub. L. 101–225, title II, §214(a)(2), Dec. 12, 1989, 103 Stat. 1914.)

Prior Provisions

A prior section 10104, Pub. L. 98–89, Aug. 26, 1983, 97 Stat. 561, related to regulations, prior to repeal by Pub. L. 101–225, §214(a)(1).

CHAPTER 103—FOREIGN AND INTERCOASTAL VOYAGES

Sec.
10301.
Application.
10302.
Shipping articles agreements.
10303.
Provisions.
10304.
Form of agreement.
10305.
Manner of signing agreement.
10306.
Exhibiting merchant mariners' documents.
10307.
Posting agreements.
10308.
Foreign engagements.
10309.
Engaging seamen to replace those lost by desertion or casualty.
10310.
Discharge.
10311.
Certificates of discharge.
10312.
Settlements on discharge.
10313.
Wages.
10314.
Advances.
10315.
Allotments.
10316.
Trusts.
10317.
Loss of lien and right to wages.
10318.
Wages on discharge in foreign ports.
10319.
Costs of a criminal conviction.
10320.
Records of seamen.
10321.
General penalty.

        

§10301. Application

(a) Except as otherwise specifically provided, this chapter applies to a vessel of the United States—

(1) on a voyage between a port in the United States and a port in a foreign country (except a port in Canada, Mexico, or the West Indies); or

(2) of at least 75 gross tons as measured under section 14502 of this title, or an alternate tonnage measured under section 14302 of this title as prescribed by the Secretary under section 14104 of this title on a voyage between a port of the United States on the Atlantic Ocean and a port of the United States on the Pacific Ocean.


(b) This chapter does not apply to a vessel on which the seamen are entitled by custom or agreement to share in the profit or result of a voyage or to riding gang members.

(c) Unless otherwise provided, this chapter does not apply to a foreign vessel.

(Pub. L. 98–89, Aug. 26, 1983, 97 Stat. 561; Pub. L. 104–324, title VII, §737, Oct. 19, 1996, 110 Stat. 3941; Pub. L. 109–241, title III, §312(c)(2), July 11, 2006, 120 Stat. 533.)

Historical and Revision Notes
Revised sectionSource section (U.S. Code)
10301 46:564

46:566

46:574

Section 10301 specifies that vessels on foreign and intercoastal voyages (except for fishing vessels and foreign vessels) are subject to the seamen protection and relief provisions contained in chapter 103.

Amendments

2006—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 109–241 inserted "or to riding gang members" after "voyage".

1996—Subsec. (a)(2). Pub. L. 104–324 inserted "as measured under section 14502 of this title, or an alternate tonnage measured under section 14302 of this title as prescribed by the Secretary under section 14104 of this title" after "75 gross tons".

§10302. Shipping articles agreements

(a) The owner, charterer, managing operator, master, or individual in charge shall make a shipping agreement in writing with each seaman before the seaman commences employment.

(b) The agreement shall contain the following:

(1) the nature, and, as far as practicable, the duration of the intended voyage, and the port or country in which the voyage is to end.

(2) the number and description of the crew and the capacity in which each seaman is to be engaged.

(3) the time at which each seaman is to be on board to begin work.

(4) the amount of wages each seaman is to receive.

(5) regulations about conduct on board, and information on fines, short allowance of provisions, and other punishment for misconduct provided by law.

(6) a scale of the provisions that are to be provided each seaman.

(7) any stipulation in reference to advances and allotments of wages.

(8) other matters not contrary to law.


(c) Each shipping agreement must be signed by the master or individual in charge or a representative of the owner, charterer, or managing operator, and by each seaman employed.

(d) The owner, charterer, managing operator, master, or individual in charge shall maintain the shipping agreement and make the shipping agreement available to the seaman.

(Pub. L. 98–89, Aug. 26, 1983, 97 Stat. 561; Pub. L. 103–206, title IV, §401, Dec. 20, 1993, 107 Stat. 2435.)

Historical and Revision Notes
Revised sectionSource section (U.S. Code)
10302 46:564

Section 10302 requires the master to make a shipping agreement with each crew member and lists the information that must be included in the agreement.

Amendments

1993—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 103–206, §401(1), amended subsec. (a) generally. Prior to amendment, subsec. (a) read as follows: "Before proceeding on a voyage, the master of a vessel to which this chapter applies shall make a shipping articles agreement in writing with each seaman in the crew."

Subsecs. (c), (d). Pub. L. 103–206, §401(2), added subsecs. (c) and (d).

§10303. Provisions

(a) A seaman shall be served at least 3 meals a day that total at least 3,100 calories, including adequate water and adequate protein, vitamins, and minerals in accordance with the United States Recommended Daily Allowances.

(b) The text of subsection (a) of this section shall be included in the agreement required by section 10302 of this title. A copy of the text also shall be posted in a conspicuous place in the galley and forecastle of each vessel.

(c) This section does not apply to a fishing or whaling vessel or a yacht.

(Pub. L. 98–89, Aug. 26, 1983, 97 Stat. 562.)

Historical and Revision Notes
Revised sectionSource section (U.S. Code)
10303 46:713

Section 10303 requires that seamen be served adequate food and water and that the text of this requirement be posted in the galley. The provisions do not apply to fishing vessels, whaling vessels, or yachts.

§10304. Form of agreement

The form of the agreement required by section 10302 of this title shall be in substance as follows:

United States of America

(Date and place of first signature of agreement):

It is agreed between the master and seamen of the         , of which              is at present master, or whoever shall go for master, now bound from the port of            to            (here the voyage is to be described, and the places named at which the vessel is to touch, or if that cannot be done, the general nature and probable length of the voyage is to be stated).

The seamen agree to conduct themselves in an orderly, faithful, honest, and sober manner, and to be at all times diligent in their respective duties, and to be obedient to the lawful commands of the master, or of an individual who lawfully succeeds the master, and of their superior officers in everything related to the vessel, and the stores and cargo of the vessel, whether on board, in boats, or on shore. In consideration of this service by the seamen to be performed, the master agrees to pay the crew, as wages, the amounts beside their names respectively expressed, and to supply them with provisions according to the annexed scale.

It is agreed that any embezzlement, or willful or negligent destruction of any part of the vessel's cargo or stores, shall be made good to the owner out of the wages of the person guilty of the embezzlement or destruction.

If an individual holds himself or herself out as qualified for a duty which the individual proves incompetent to perform, the individual's wages shall be reduced in proportion to the incompetency.

It also is agreed that if a seaman considers himself or herself to be aggrieved by any breach of this agreement or otherwise, the seaman shall present the complaint to the master or officer in charge of the vessel, in a quiet and orderly manner, who shall take steps that the case requires.

It also is agreed that (here any other stipulations may be inserted to which the parties agree, and that are not contrary to law).

In witness whereof, the parties have subscribed their names to this agreement, on the dates beside their respective signatures.

Signed by             , master, on the          day of         , nineteen hundred and            .


Signature of seaman
Time of service:
Birthplace
  Months
Age
  Days
Height:
Hospital money
  Feet
Whole wages
  Inches
Wages due
Description:
Place and time of entry
  Complexion
Time at which seaman is to
  Hair
 be on board
Wages each month
In what capacity
Wages each voyage
Allotment payable to
Advance wages
Conduct qualifications
Amount of monthly
 allotment

        

Note.—In the place for signature and descriptions of individuals engaged after the first departure of the vessel, the entries are to be made as above, except that the signature of the consul or vice consul, customs officer, or witness before whom the individual is engaged, is to be entered.

(Pub. L. 98–89, Aug. 26, 1983, 97 Stat. 562; Pub. L. 103–206, title IV, §402, Dec. 20, 1993, 107 Stat. 2436.)

Historical and Revision Notes
Revised sectionSource section (U.S. Code)
10304 46:713

Section 10304 provides the form of the shipping articles of agreement. While the exact format need not be followed, the form that is used must contain all the pertinent elements.

Amendments

1993Pub. L. 103–206 struck out "Shipping commissioner's signature or initials" immediately below "In what capacity" in the form.

§10305. Manner of signing agreement

The agreement required by section 10302 of this title shall be signed—

(1) first by the master and dated at that time, after which each seaman shall sign; and

(2) in the presence of the master or individual in charge.

(Pub. L. 98–89, Aug. 26, 1983, 97 Stat. 563; Pub. L. 103–206, title IV, §403, Dec. 20, 1993, 107 Stat. 2436.)

Historical and Revision Notes
Revised sectionSource section (U.S. Code)
10305 46:565

Section 10305 describes the procedures for signing the shipping agreement, and for keeping official records of the agreement. It also requires that the agreement include a statement that the seaman understand its provisions, and did so while sober.

Amendments

1993Pub. L. 103–206 struck out "(a)" before "The agreement", substituted "the master or individual in charge" for "a shipping commissioner" in par. (2), and struck out subsecs. (b) and (c) which read as follows:

"(b) When the crew is first engaged, the agreement shall be signed in duplicate. One of the copies shall be retained by the shipping commissioner. The other copy shall contain space for the description and signatures of seamen engaged subsequent to the first making of the agreement, and shall be delivered to the master.

"(c) An agreement signed before a shipping commissioner shall be acknowledged and signed by the commissioner on the agreement in the manner and form prescribed by regulation. The acknowledgment and certification shall include a statement by the commissioner that the seaman—

"(1) has read the agreement;

"(2) is acquainted with and understands its conditions; and

"(3) has signed it freely and voluntarily when sober."

§10306. Exhibiting merchant mariners' documents

Before signing the agreement required by section 10302 of this title, each individual required by section 8701 of this title to have a merchant mariner's document shall exhibit to the master or individual in charge a document issued to the individual, appropriately endorsed for the capacity in which the individual is to serve.

(Pub. L. 98–89, Aug. 26, 1983, 97 Stat. 564; Pub. L. 103–206, title IV, §404, Dec. 20, 1993, 107 Stat. 2436.)

Historical and Revision Notes
Revised sectionSource section (U.S. Code)
10306 46:643(c)

Section 10306 requires a seaman to exhibit an appropriately endorsed merchant mariner's document to the shipping commissioner before signing a shipping agreement. When a master acts as a shipping commissioner, the same procedure applies.

Amendments

1993Pub. L. 103–206 substituted "master or individual in charge" for "shipping commissioner".

§10307. Posting agreements

At the beginning of a voyage, the master shall have a legible copy of the agreement required by section 10302 of this title, omitting signatures, exhibited in a part of the vessel accessible to the crew.

(Pub. L. 98–89, Aug. 26, 1983, 97 Stat. 564; Pub. L. 103–206, title IV, §405, Dec. 20, 1993, 107 Stat. 2436.)

Historical and Revision Notes
Revised sectionSource section (U.S. Code)
10307 46:577

Section 10307 requires the master to post a copy of the shipping agreement in a part of the vessel accessible to the crew prior to the commencement of a voyage. The posting must be done in a manner that gives seamen adequate notice of the particulars of the pending voyage.

Amendments

1993Pub. L. 103–206 struck out at end "A master violating this section is liable to the United States Government for a civil penalty of $100."

§10308. Foreign engagements

When a seaman is engaged outside the United States, the agreement required by section 10302 of this title shall be signed in the presence of a consular officer. If a consular officer is not available at the port of engagement, the seaman may be engaged, and the agreement shall be signed in the next port at which a consular officer is available.

(Pub. L. 98–89, Aug. 26, 1983, 97 Stat. 564; Pub. L. 103–206, title IV, §406, Dec. 20, 1993, 107 Stat. 2436.)

Historical and Revision Notes
Revised sectionSource section (U.S. Code)
10308 46:570

Section 10308 requires that shipping agreements made in foreign ports be signed in the presence of a consular officer. The penalty for violation of this section is $100.

Amendments

1993Pub. L. 103–206 struck out "(a)" before "When a seaman" and struck out subsec. (b) which read as follows: "A master engaging a seaman in violation of this section is liable to the United States Government for a civil penalty of $100. The vessel also is liable in rem for the penalty."

§10309. Engaging seamen to replace those lost by desertion or casualty

(a) If a desertion or casualty results in the loss of at least one seaman, the master shall engage, if obtainable, a number equal to the number of seamen of whose services the master has been deprived. The new seaman must have at least the same grade or rating as the seaman whose place the new seaman fills. The master shall report the loss and replacement to a consular officer at the first port at which the master arrives.

(b) This section does not apply to a fishing or whaling vessel or a yacht.

(Pub. L. 98–89, Aug. 26, 1983, 97 Stat. 564; Pub. L. 103–206, title IV, §407, Dec. 20, 1993, 107 Stat. 2436.)

Historical and Revision Notes
Revised sectionSource section (U.S. Code)
10309 46:569

Section 10309 provides for the replacement of seamen lost by desertion or casualty. It does not apply to fishing vessels, whaling vessels, or yachts.

Amendments

1993—Subsecs. (b), (c). Pub. L. 103–206 redesignated subsec. (c) as (b) and struck out former subsec. (b) which read as follows: "The master is liable to the United States Government for a civil penalty of $200 for each report not made. The vessel also is liable in rem for the penalty."

§10310. Discharge

A master shall deliver to a seaman a full and true account of the seaman's wages and all deductions at least 48 hours before paying off or discharging the seaman.

(Pub. L. 98–89, Aug. 26, 1983, 97 Stat. 564; Pub. L. 103–206, title IV, §408, Dec. 20, 1993, 107 Stat. 2436.)

Historical and Revision Notes
Revised sectionSource section (U.S. Code)
10310 46:641

46:642

Section 10310 requires the master of a vessel to give each seaman a full account of the seaman's wages 48 hours before discharge. The penalty for violation is $50.

Amendments

1993Pub. L. 103–206 struck out "or a shipping commissioner" after "to a seaman" and struck out at end "A master failing to deliver the account is liable to the United States Government for a civil penalty of $50."

§10311. Certificates of discharge

(a) On discharging a seaman and paying the seaman's wages, the master or individual in charge shall provide the seaman with a certificate of discharge. The form of the certificate shall be prescribed by regulation. It shall contain—

(1) the name of the seaman;

(2) the citizenship or nationality of the seaman;

(3) the number of the seaman's merchant mariner's document;

(4) the name and official number of the vessel;

(5) the nature of the voyage (foreign, intercoastal, or coastwise);

(6) the propulsion class of the vessel;

(7) the date and place of engagement;

(8) the date and place of discharge; and

(9) the seaman's capacity on the voyage.


(b) The certificate of discharge may not contain a reference about the character or ability of the seaman. The certificate shall be signed by the master and the seaman.

(c) A certificate of discharge may not be issued if the seaman holds a continuous discharge book. The entries shall be made in the discharge book in the same manner as the entries required by subsection (a) of this section.

(d)(1) A record of each discharge shall be maintained by the owner, charterer, managing operator, master, or individual in charge in the manner and location prescribed by regulation. The records may not be open for general or public use or inspection.

(2) A duplicate of a record of discharge shall be issued to a seaman at the request of the seaman.

(e) This section does not apply to a fishing or whaling vessel or a yacht.

(Pub. L. 98–89, Aug. 26, 1983, 97 Stat. 564; Pub. L. 103–206, title IV, §409, Dec. 20, 1993, 107 Stat. 2436.)

Historical and Revision Notes
Revised sectionSource section (U.S. Code)
10311 46:643

Section 10311 requires a shipping commissioner, when discharging a seaman, either to provide the seaman with a certificate of discharge or to make an entry in the seaman's continuous discharge book. It requires that certain facts be included in the certificate or in the entry, prohibits other information from being included, and requires the Secretary to keep records of all discharges, copies of which must be furnished to seamen at cost upon request. These discharges are used to substantiate the nature and duration of the seaman's employment on a particular vessel. This section does not apply to fishing vessels, whaling vessels, or yachts.

Amendments

1993—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 103–206, §409(1), substituted "master or individual in charge" for "shipping commissioner".

Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 103–206, §409(2), substituted "by the master and the seaman" for "by the master, the seaman, and the shipping commissioner as witness".

Subsec. (d)(1). Pub. L. 103–206, §409(3), substituted "owner, charterer, managing operator, master, or individual in charge" for "Secretary".

Subsec. (d)(2). Pub. L. 103–206, §409(4), substituted "at the request of the seaman" for "at a cost prescribed by regulation".

§10312. Settlements on discharge

When discharge and settlement are completed, the master, individual in charge, or owner and each seaman shall sign the agreement required by section 10302 of this title.

(Pub. L. 98–89, Aug. 26, 1983, 97 Stat. 565; Pub. L. 103–206, title IV, §410, Dec. 20, 1993, 107 Stat. 2437.)

Historical and Revision Notes
Revised sectionSource section (U.S. Code)
10312(a), (b), (d)–(f) 46:644
10312(c) 46:652

Section 10312 outlines the procedures for settlements upon discharge and for settling disputes over seamen's wages and discharges.

Amendments

1993Pub. L. 103–206 amended heading and text of section generally, substituting text consisting of sentence relating to signing agreements on discharge and settlement for former subsecs. (a) to (f) relating to such agreements, proceedings before shipping commissioners to settle disputes, certified copies of agreements, evidence of release of claims, and statements of wages paid.

§10313. Wages

(a) A seaman's entitlement to wages and provisions begins when the seaman begins work or when specified in the agreement required by section 10302 of this title for the seaman to begin work or be present on board, whichever is earlier.

(b) Wages are not dependent on the earning of freight by the vessel. When the loss or wreck of the vessel ends the service of a seaman before the end of the period contemplated in the agreement, the seaman is entitled to wages for the period of time actually served. The seaman shall be deemed a destitute seaman under section 11104 of this title. This subsection applies to a fishing or whaling vessel but not a yacht.

(c) When a seaman who has signed an agreement is discharged improperly before the beginning of the voyage or before one month's wages are earned, without the seaman's consent and without the seaman's fault justifying discharge, the seaman is entitled to receive from the master or owner, in addition to wages earned, one month's wages as compensation.

(d) A seaman is not entitled to wages for a period during which the seaman—

(1) unlawfully failed to work when required, after the time fixed by the agreement for the seaman to begin work; or

(2) lawfully was imprisoned for an offense, unless a court hearing the case otherwise directs.


(e) After the beginning of the voyage, a seaman is entitled to receive from the master, on demand, one-half of the balance of wages earned and unpaid at each port at which the vessel loads or delivers cargo during the voyage. A demand may not be made before the expiration of 5 days from the beginning of the voyage, not more than once in 5 days, and not more than once in the same port on the same entry. If a master does not comply with this subsection, the seaman is released from the agreement and is entitled to payment of all wages earned. Notwithstanding a release signed by a seaman under section 10312 of this title, a court having jurisdiction may set aside, for good cause shown, the release and take action that justice requires. This subsection does not apply to a fishing or whaling vessel or a yacht.

(f) At the end of a voyage, the master shall pay each seaman the balance of wages due the seaman within 24 hours after the cargo has been discharged or within 4 days after the seaman is discharged, whichever is earlier. When a seaman is discharged and final payment of wages is delayed for the period permitted by this subsection, the seaman is entitled at the time of discharge to one-third of the wages due the seaman.

(g)(1) Subject to paragraph (2), when payment is not made as provided under subsection (f) of this section without sufficient cause, the master or owner shall pay to the seaman 2 days' wages for each day payment is delayed.

(2) The total amount required to be paid under paragraph (1) with respect to all claims in a class action suit by seamen on a passenger vessel capable of carrying more than 500 passengers for wages under this section against a vessel master, owner, or operator or the employer of the seamen shall not exceed ten times the unpaid wages that are the subject of the claims.

(3) A class action suit for wages under this subsection must be commenced within three years after the later of—

(A) the date of the end of the last voyage for which the wages are claimed; or

(B) the receipt, by a seaman who is a claimant in the suit, of a payment of wages that are the subject of the suit that is made in the ordinary course of employment.


(h) Subsections (f) and (g) of this section do not apply to a fishing or whaling vessel or a yacht.

(i) This section applies to a seaman on a foreign vessel when in a harbor of the United States. The courts are available to the seaman for the enforcement of this section.

(Pub. L. 98–89, Aug. 26, 1983, 97 Stat. 566; Pub. L. 99–640, §10(b)(4), Nov. 10, 1986, 100 Stat. 3550; Pub. L. 111–281, title IX, §902(a)(1), Oct. 15, 2010, 124 Stat. 3008.)

Historical and Revision Notes
Revised sectionSource section (U.S. Code)
10313(a) 46:591
10313(b) 46:592

46:593

10313(c) 46:594
10313(d) 46:595
10313(e)–(i) 46:596

46:597

46:598

Section 10313 provides that a seaman's entitlement to wages begins when the seaman begins work, or as specified in the shipping agreement. This section also qualifies a seaman's entitlement to wages if the vessel is lost or wrecked, if the seaman is discharged improperly, or if the seaman unlawfully failed to work or was imprisoned. It also establishes procedures for the payment of wages at each port the vessel loads or unloads cargo, and at the end of the voyage. This section applies to seamen on foreign vessels in United States harbors, but not to fishing vessels, whaling vessels or yachts.

Amendments

2010—Subsec. (g). Pub. L. 111–281 designated existing provisions as par. (1), substituted "(1) Subject to paragraph (2), when" for "When", and added pars. (2) and (3).

1986—Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 99–640 struck out last sentence which read as follows: "However, this subsection applies to a vessel taking oysters."

Subsec. (h). Pub. L. 99–640 struck out last sentence which read as follows: "However, subsections (f) and (g) apply to a vessel taking oysters."

§10314. Advances

(a)(1) A person may not—

(A) pay a seaman wages in advance of the time when the seaman has earned the wages;

(B) pay advance wages of the seaman to another person; or

(C) make to another person an order, note, or other evidence of indebtedness of the wages, or pay another person, for the engagement of seamen when payment is deducted or to be deducted from the seaman's wage.


(2) A person violating this subsection is liable to the United States Government for a civil penalty of not more than $500. A payment made in violation of this subsection does not relieve the vessel or the master from the duty to pay all wages after they have been earned.

(b) A person demanding or receiving from a seaman or an individual seeking employment as a seaman, remuneration for providing the seaman or individual with employment, is liable to the Government for a civil penalty of not more than $500.

(c) This section applies to a foreign vessel when in waters of the United States. An owner, charterer, managing operator, agent, or master of a foreign vessel violating this section is liable to the Government for the same penalty as an owner, charterer, managing operator, agent, or master of a vessel of the United States for the same violation.

(d) The owner, charterer, managing operator, agent, or master of a vessel seeking clearance from a port of the United States shall present the agreement required by section 10302 of this title at the office of clearance. Clearance may be granted to a vessel only if this section has been complied with.

(e) This section does not apply to a fishing or whaling vessel or a yacht.

(Pub. L. 98–89, Aug. 26, 1983, 97 Stat. 567; Pub. L. 99–640, §10(b)(4), Nov. 10, 1986, 100 Stat. 3550.)

Historical and Revision Notes
Revised sectionSource section (U.S. Code)
10314 46:599

Section 10314 forbids advance payment of wages to seamen prior to the commencement of the seaman's employment. It provides a civil penalty of $500 for any person making such a payment, and for any person demanding or receiving remuneration for providing a seaman with employment. This means that the use of employment agencies for hiring seamen is prohibited. It also requires compliance with section 10302 regarding the signing of articles of agreement before a vessel can be cleared from a United States port. This section applies to foreign vessels in United States waters but not to fishing vessels, whaling vessels or yachts.

Amendments

1986—Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 99–640 struck out last sentence which read as follows: "However, this section applies to a vessel taking oysters."

§10315. Allotments

(a) Under prescribed regulations, a seaman may stipulate as follows in the agreement required by section 10302 of this title for an allotment of any part of the wages the seaman may earn:

(1) to the seaman's grandparents, parents, spouse, sister, brother, or children;

(2) to an agency designated by the Secretary of the Treasury to handle applications for United States savings bonds, to purchase bonds for the seaman; and

(3) for deposits to be made in an account for savings or investment opened by the seaman and maintained in the seaman's name at a savings bank or a savings institution in which the accounts are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or the Federal Savings and Loan Insurance Corporation.


(b) An allotment is valid only if made in writing and signed by and approved by a shipping commissioner. The shipping commissioner shall examine allotments and the parties to them to enforce compliance with the law. Stipulations for allotments made at the beginning of a voyage shall be included in the agreement and shall state the amounts and times of payment and the person to whom payments are to be made.

(c) Only an allotment complying with this section is lawful. A person falsely claiming qualification as an allottee under this section is liable to the United States Government for a civil penalty of not more than $500.

(d) The owner, charterer, managing operator, agent, or master of a vessel seeking clearance from a port of the United States shall present the agreement at the office of clearance. Clearance may be granted to a vessel only if this section has been complied with.

(e) This section applies to a foreign vessel when in waters of the United States. An owner, charterer, managing operator, agent, or master of a foreign vessel violating this section is liable to the Government for the same penalty as an owner, charterer, managing operator, agent, or master of a vessel of the United States for the same violation.

(f) Deposits in Seaman Account.—By written request signed by the seaman, a seaman employed on a passenger vessel capable of carrying more than 500 passengers may authorize the master, owner, or operator of the vessel, or the employer of the seaman, to make deposits of wages of the seaman into a checking, savings, investment, or retirement account, or other account to secure a payroll or debit card for the seaman if—

(1) the wages designated by the seaman for such deposit are deposited in a United States or international financial institution designated by the seaman;

(2) such deposits in the financial institution are fully guaranteed under commonly accepted international standards by the government of the country in which the financial institution is licensed;

(3) a written wage statement or pay stub, including an accounting of any direct deposit, is delivered to the seaman no less often than monthly; and

(4) while on board the vessel on which the seaman is employed, the seaman is able to arrange for withdrawal of all funds on deposit in the account in which the wages are deposited.

(Pub. L. 98–89, Aug. 26, 1983, 97 Stat. 567; Pub. L. 111–281, title IX, §902(a)(2), Oct. 15, 2010, 124 Stat. 3009.)

Historical and Revision Notes
Revised sectionSource section (U.S. Code)
10315 46:599

Section 10315 lists the persons to whom a seaman may allot wages, specifies the conditions which make an allotment valid, and provides a civil penalty of $500 for falsely claiming qualification as an allottee. It also requires that this section be complied with before a vessel can be cleared from a United States port. This section applies to foreign vessels.

Amendments

2010—Subsec. (f). Pub. L. 111–281 added subsec. (f).

Transfer of Functions

Federal Savings and Loan Insurance Corporation abolished and functions transferred, see sections 401 to 406 of Pub. L. 101–73, set out as a note under section 1437 of Title 12, Banks and Banking.

§10316. Trusts

Sections 10314 and 10315 of this title do not prevent an employer from making deductions from the wages of a seaman, with the written consent of the seaman, if—

(1) the deductions are paid into a trust fund established only for the benefit of seamen employed by that employer, and the families and dependents of those seamen (or of those seamen, families, and dependents jointly with other seamen employed by other employers, and the families and dependents of the other seamen); and

(2) the payments are held in trust to provide, from principal or interest, or both, any of the following benefits for those seamen and their families and dependents:

(A) medical or hospital care, or both.

(B) pensions on retirement or death of the seaman.

(C) life insurance.

(D) unemployment benefits.

(E) compensation for illness or injuries resulting from occupational activity.

(F) sickness, accident, and disability compensation.

(G) purchasing insurance to provide any of the benefits specified in this section.

(Pub. L. 98–89, Aug. 26, 1983, 97 Stat. 568.)

Historical and Revision Notes
Revised sectionSource section (U.S. Code)
10316 46:599(g)

Section 10316 qualifies the two previous sections by allowing an employer to make deductions from seamen's wages for the purpose of placing the wages into a trust fund or holding them in trust to provide for the seamen's benefit.

§10317. Loss of lien and right to wages

A master or seaman by any agreement other than one provided for in this chapter may not forfeit the master's or seaman's lien on the vessel or be deprived of a remedy to which the master or seaman otherwise would be entitled for the recovery of wages. A stipulation in an agreement inconsistent with this chapter, or a stipulation by which a seaman consents to abandon a right to wages if the vessel is lost, or to abandon a right the seaman may have or obtain in the nature of salvage, is void.

(Pub. L. 98–89, Aug. 26, 1983, 97 Stat. 568.)

Historical and Revision Notes
Revised sectionSource section (U.S. Code)
10317 46:600

Section 10317 prohibits a master or seaman from entering into an agreement which forfeits his or her lien on the vessel or other remedy for recovery of wages, and renders such agreements void.

§10318. Wages on discharge in foreign ports

(a) When a master or seaman applies to a consular officer for the discharge of the seaman, the consular officer shall require the master to pay the seaman's wages if it appears that the seaman has carried out the agreement required by section 10302 of this title or otherwise is entitled to be discharged. Then the consular officer shall discharge the seaman. A consular officer shall require the payment of extra wages only as provided in this section or in chapter 109 of this title.

(b) When discharging a seaman, a consular officer who fails to require the payment of the wages due a seaman at the time, and of the extra wages due under subsection (a) of this section, is accountable to the United States Government for the total amount.

(c) A seaman discharged under this section with the consent of the seaman is entitled to wages up to the time of discharge, but not for any additional period.

(d) If the seaman is discharged involuntarily, and it appears that the discharge was not because of neglect of duty, incompetency, or injury incurred on the vessel, the master shall provide the seaman with employment on a vessel agreed to by the seaman or shall provide the seaman with one month's extra wages.

(e) Expenses for the maintenance and return of an ill or injured seaman to the United States shall be paid by the Secretary of State. If a seaman is incapacitated by illness or injury and prompt discharge is necessary, but a personal appearance of the master before a consular officer is impracticable, the master may provide transportation to the seaman to the nearest consular officer for discharge.

(f) A deduction from wages of the seaman is permitted only if the deduction appears in the account of the seaman required to be delivered under section 10310 of this title, except for matters arising after delivery of the account, in which case a supplementary account is required. During a voyage, the master shall record in the official logbook the matters about which deductions are to be made with the amounts of the deductions. The entries shall be made as the matters occur. The master shall produce the official logbook at the time of payment of wages, and also before a competent authority on the hearing of any complaint or question about the payment of wages.

(Pub. L. 98–89, Aug. 26, 1983, 97 Stat. 568.)

Historical and Revision Notes
Revised sectionSource section (U.S. Code)
10318 46:682

46:683

Section 10318 establishes consular officers' responsibilities in discharging seamen and the seamen's right to wages when discharged and when incapacitated by illness or injury. It also requires a master to record in the official logbook all matters for which deductions are to be made from seamen's wages.

§10319. Costs of a criminal conviction

In a proceeding about a seaman's wages, if it is shown that the seaman was convicted during the voyage of an offense by a competent tribunal and sentenced by the tribunal, the court hearing the case may direct that a part of the wages due the seaman, but not more than $15, be applied to reimburse the master for costs properly incurred in procuring the conviction and sentence.

(Pub. L. 98–89, Aug. 26, 1983, 97 Stat. 569.)

Historical and Revision Notes
Revised sectionSource section (U.S. Code)
10319 46:707

Section 10319 provides that if a seaman was convicted during a voyage by a tribunal, that the court may direct that up to $15 of the seaman's wages be used to reimburse the master for the costs incurred.

§10320. Records of seamen

The Secretary shall prescribe regulations requiring vessel owners to maintain records of seamen on matters of engagement, discharge, and service. A vessel owner shall make these records available to the seaman and the Coast Guard on request.

(Pub. L. 98–89, Aug. 26, 1983, 97 Stat. 569; Pub. L. 103–206, title IV, §411, Dec. 20, 1993, 107 Stat. 2437.)

Historical and Revision Notes
Revised sectionSource section (U.S. Code)
10320 ..............................................

Section 10320 authorizes the Secretary to provide for the maintenance of records of the engagement, discharge, or service of seamen.

Amendments

1993Pub. L. 103–206 amended heading and text of section generally. Prior to amendment, text read as follows: "The Secretary may prescribe regulations for reporting by a master of matters about the engagement, discharge, or service of seamen that may be needed in keeping central records of seamen."

Transfer of Functions

For transfer of authorities, functions, personnel, and assets of the Coast Guard, including the authorities and functions of the Secretary of Transportation relating thereto, to the Department of Homeland Security, and for treatment of related references, see sections 468(b), 551(d), 552(d), and 557 of Title 6, Domestic Security, and the Department of Homeland Security Reorganization Plan of November 25, 2002, as modified, set out as a note under section 542 of Title 6.

§10321. General penalty

(a) A person violating any provision of this chapter or a regulation prescribed under this chapter is liable to the United States Government for a civil penalty of not more than $5,000.

(b) The vessel is liable in rem for any penalty assessed under this section.

(Pub. L. 98–89, Aug. 26, 1983, 97 Stat. 569; Pub. L. 103–206, title IV, §412, Dec. 20, 1993, 107 Stat. 2437.)

Historical and Revision Notes
Revised sectionSource section (U.S. Code)
10321 46:567

46:568

46:571

46:661

46:665

Section 10321 makes a vessel on which a seaman is carried to sea in violation of this chapter or regulation prescribed under this chapter liable in rem to the United States Government for a civil penalty of $200 for each seaman carried in violation.

Amendments

1993Pub. L. 103–206 amended heading and text of section generally. Prior to amendment, text read as follows: "The owner, charterer, managing operator, agent, or master of a vessel on which a seaman is carried in violation of this chapter or a regulation prescribed under this chapter is liable to the United States Government for a civil penalty of $200 for each seaman carried in violation. The vessel also is liable in rem for the penalty."

CHAPTER 105—COASTWISE VOYAGES

Sec.
10501.
Application.
10502.
Shipping articles agreements.
10503.
Exhibiting merchant mariners' documents.
10504.
Wages.
10505.
Advances.
10506.
Trusts.
[10507.
Repealed.]
10508.
General penalties.
10509.
Penalty for failing to begin voyage.

        

Amendments

1993Pub. L. 103–206, title IV, §415(b), Dec. 20, 1993, 107 Stat. 2438, struck out item 10507 "Duties of shipping commissioners".

§10501. Application

(a) Except for a vessel to which chapter 103 of this title applies, this chapter applies to a vessel of at least 50 gross tons as measured under section 14502 of this title, or an alternate tonnage measured under section 14302 of this title as prescribed by the Secretary under section 14104 of this title on a voyage between a port in one State and a port in another State (except an adjoining State).

(b) This chapter does not apply to a vessel on which the seamen are entitled by custom or agreement to share in the profit or result of a voyage.

(c) Unless otherwise provided, this chapter does not apply to a foreign vessel.

(Pub. L. 98–89, Aug. 26, 1983, 97 Stat. 570; Pub. L. 104–324, title VII, §738, Oct. 19, 1996, 110 Stat. 3941.)

Historical and Revision Notes
Revised sectionSource section (U.S. Code)
10501 46:574

Section 10501 specifies that vessels over 50 gross tons that are not subject to chapter 103 and are engaged on voyages between two states (except for adjoining states) are subject to the provisions of this chapter. Specifically excluded are foreign vessels and vessels on which seamen share the profits.

Amendments

1996—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 104–324 inserted "as measured under section 14502 of this title, or an alternate tonnage measured under section 14302 of this title as prescribed by the Secretary under section 14104 of this title" after "50 gross tons".

§10502. Shipping articles agreements

(a) The owner, charterer, managing operator, master, or individual in charge shall make a shipping agreement in writing with each seaman before the seaman commences employment.

(b) The agreement shall include the date and hour on which the seaman must be on board to begin the voyage.

(c) The agreement may not contain a provision on the allotment of wages or a scale of provisions.

(d) Each shipping agreement must be signed by the master or individual in charge or a representative of the owner, charterer, or managing operator, and by each seaman employed.

(e) The owner, charterer, managing operator, master, or individual in charge shall maintain the shipping agreement and make the shipping agreement available to the seaman.

(f) The Secretary shall prescribe regulations requiring shipping companies to maintain records of seamen on matters of engagement, discharge, and service. The shipping companies shall make these records available to the seaman and the Coast Guard on request.

(Pub. L. 98–89, Aug. 26, 1983, 97 Stat. 570; Pub. L. 103–206, title IV, §413, Dec. 20, 1993, 107 Stat. 2437.)

Historical and Revision Notes
Revised sectionSource section (U.S. Code)
10502 46:574

Section 10502 requires the master on a vessel engaged on a coastwise voyage to sign a shipping agreement with each member of the crew and lists provisions which must be and provisions which may not be included in the agreement.

Amendments

1993—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 103–206, §413(1), amended subsec. (a) generally. Prior to amendment, subsec. (a) read as follows: "Before proceeding on a voyage, the master of a vessel to which this chapter applies shall make a shipping articles agreement in writing with each seaman on board, declaring the nature of the voyage or the period of time for which the seaman is engaged."

Subsecs. (d) to (f). Pub. L. 103–206, §413(2), added subsecs. (d) to (f).

Transfer of Functions

For transfer of authorities, functions, personnel, and assets of the Coast Guard, including the authorities and functions of the Secretary of Transportation relating thereto, to the Department of Homeland Security, and for treatment of related references, see sections 468(b), 551(d), 552(d), and 557 of Title 6, Domestic Security, and the Department of Homeland Security Reorganization Plan of November 25, 2002, as modified, set out as a note under section 542 of Title 6.

§10503. Exhibiting merchant mariners' documents

Before signing the agreement required by section 10502 of this title, a seaman required by section 8701 of this title to have a merchant mariner's document shall exhibit to the master a document issued to the seaman and appropriately endorsed for the capacity in which the seaman is to serve.

(Pub. L. 98–89, Aug. 26, 1983, 97 Stat. 570.)

Historical and Revision Notes
Revised sectionSource section (U.S. Code)
10503 46:643

Under section 10503 seamen who are required to have a merchant mariner's document must exhibit it before signing a shipping agreement on a coastwise voyage.

§10504. Wages

(a) After the beginning of a voyage, a seaman is entitled to receive from the master, on demand, one-half of the balance of wages earned and unpaid at each port at which the vessel loads or delivers cargo during the voyage. A demand may not be made before the expiration of 5 days from the beginning of the voyage, not more than once in 5 days, and not more than once in the same port on the same entry. If a master does not comply with this subsection, the seaman is released from the agreement required by section 10502 of this title and is entitled to payment of all wages earned. Notwithstanding a release signed by a seaman under section 10312 of this title, a court having jurisdiction may set aside, for good cause shown, the release and take action that justice requires. This subsection does not apply to a fishing or whaling vessel or a yacht.

(b) The master shall pay a seaman the balance of wages due the seaman within 2 days after the termination of the agreement required by section 10502 of this title or when the seaman is discharged, whichever is earlier.

(c)(1) Subject to subsection (d), and except as provided in paragraph (2), when payment is not made as provided under subsection (b) of this section without sufficient cause, the master or owner shall pay to the seaman 2 days' wages for each day payment is delayed.

(2) The total amount required to be paid under paragraph (1) with respect to all claims in a class action suit by seamen on a passenger vessel capable of carrying more than 500 passengers for wages under this section against a vessel master, owner, or operator or the employer of the seamen shall not exceed ten times the unpaid wages that are the subject of the claims.

(3) A class action suit for wages under this subsection must be commenced within three years after the later of—

(A) the date of the end of the last voyage for which the wages are claimed; or

(B) the receipt, by a seaman who is a claimant in the suit, of a payment of wages that are the subject of the suit that is made in the ordinary course of employment.


(d) Subsections (b) and (c) of this section do not apply to:

(1) a vessel engaged in coastwise commerce.

(2) a yacht.

(3) a fishing vessel.

(4) a whaling vessel.


(e) This section applies to a seaman on a foreign vessel when in harbor of the United States. The courts are available to the seaman for the enforcement of this section.

(f) Deposits in Seaman Account.—On written request signed by the seaman, a seaman employed on a passenger vessel capable of carrying more than 500 passengers may authorize, the master, owner, or operator of the vessel, or the employer of the seaman, to make deposits of wages of the seaman into a checking, savings, investment, or retirement account, or other account to secure a payroll or debit card for the seaman if—

(1) the wages designated by the seaman for such deposit are deposited in a United States or international financial institution designated by the seaman;

(2) such deposits in the financial institution are fully guaranteed under commonly accepted international standards by the government of the country in which the financial institution is licensed;

(3) a written wage statement or pay stub, including an accounting of any direct deposit, is delivered to the seaman no less often than monthly; and

(4) while on board the vessel on which the seaman is employed, the seaman is able to arrange for withdrawal of all funds on deposit in the account in which the wages are deposited.

(Pub. L. 98–89, Aug. 26, 1983, 97 Stat. 570; Pub. L. 99–36, §1(a)(5), May 15, 1985, 99 Stat. 67; Pub. L. 99–640, §10(b)(4), (5), Nov. 10, 1986, 100 Stat. 3550; Pub. L. 111–281, title IX, §902(b), Oct. 15, 2010, 124 Stat. 3009.)

Historical and Revision Notes
Revised sectionSource section (U.S. Code)
10504 46:596

46:597

46:598

Section 10504 specifies when seamen on coastwise voyages may obtain portions of their wages. The section does not apply to fishing vessels, whaling vessels or yachts, and portions of it do not apply to vessels taking oysters. It does apply to foreign vessels while in United States ports.

Amendments

2010—Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 111–281, §902(b)(1), designated existing provisions as par. (1), substituted "Subject to subsection (d), and except as provided in paragraph (2), when" for "When", and added pars. (2) and (3).

Subsec. (f). Pub. L. 111–281, §902(b)(2), added subsec. (f).

1986—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 99–640, §10(b)(4), struck out last sentence which read as follows: "However, this subsection applies to a vessel taking oysters."

Subsec. (d)(3). Pub. L. 99–640, §10(b)(5), struck out "(except a vessel taking oysters)" after "vessel".

1985—Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 99–36 amended subsec. (d) generally, thereby including reference to a vessel engaged in coastwise commerce.

Effective Date of 1985 Amendment

Pub. L. 99–36, §1(b), May 15, 1985, 99 Stat. 68, provided that: "The effective date of subsection (a)(5) of this section [amending this section] is August 26, 1983."

§10505. Advances

(a)(1) A person may not—

(A) pay a seaman wages in advance of the time when the seaman has earned the wages;

(B) pay advance wages of the seaman to another person; or

(C) make to another person an order, note, or other evidence of indebtedness of the wages, or pay another person, for the engagement of seamen when payment is deducted or to be deducted from the seaman's wage.


(2) A person violating this subsection is liable to the United States Government for a civil penalty of not more than $5,000. A payment made in violation of this subsection does not relieve the vessel or the master from the duty to pay all wages after they have been earned.

(b) A person demanding or receiving from a seaman or an individual seeking employment as a seaman, remuneration for providing the seaman or individual with employment, is liable to the Government for a civil penalty of not more than $5,000.

(c) The owner, charterer, managing operator, agent, or master of a vessel seeking clearance from a port of the United States shall present the agreement required by section 10502 of this title at the office of clearance. Clearance may be granted to a vessel only if this section has been complied with.

(d) This section does not apply to a fishing or whaling vessel or a yacht.

(Pub. L. 98–89, Aug. 26, 1983, 97 Stat. 571; Pub. L. 99–640, §10(b)(4), Nov. 10, 1986, 100 Stat. 3550; Pub. L. 103–206, title IV, §414, Dec. 20, 1993, 107 Stat. 2437.)

Historical and Revision Notes
Revised sectionSource section (U.S. Code)
10505 46:598

46:599

Section 10505 prohibits any person from paying a seaman on a coastwise voyage advance wages, or to pay to another person any form of a seaman's wages prior to the commencement of the seaman's employment. It also prohibits a person from seeking or receiving remuneration for providing a seaman with employment. This section also requires that a vessel comply with this section before clearing port. It provides penalties for offenses of its provisions. The section does not apply to fishing vessels, whaling vessels, or yachts, but does apply to vessels taking oysters.

Amendments

1993—Subsec. (a)(2). Pub. L. 103–206, §414(1), substituted "$5,000" for "$100".

Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 103–206, §414(2), substituted "$5,000" for "$500".

1986—Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 99–640 struck out last sentence which read as follows: "However, this section applies to a vessel taking oysters."

§10506. Trusts

Section 10505 of this title does not prevent an employer from making deductions from the wages of a seaman, with the written consent of the seaman, if—

(1) the deductions are paid into a trust fund established only for the benefit of seamen employed by that employer, and the families and dependents of those seamen (or of those seamen, families, and dependents jointly with other seamen employed by other employers, and the families and dependents of the other seamen); and

(2) the payments are held in trust to provide, from principal or interest, or both, any of the following benefits for those seamen and their families and dependents:

(A) medical or hospital care, or both.

(B) pensions on retirement or death of the seaman.

(C) life insurance.

(D) unemployment benefits.

(E) compensation for illness or injuries resulting from occupational activity.

(F) sickness, accident, and disability compensation.

(G) purchasing insurance to provide any of the benefits specified in this section.

(Pub. L. 98–89, Aug. 26, 1983, 97 Stat. 571.)

Historical and Revision Notes
Revised sectionSource section (U.S. Code)
10506 46:599

Section 10506 permits deductions to be made from wages of seamen on coastwise voyages if the deductions are to be used for the benefit of the seamen or their families.

[§10507. Repealed. Pub. L. 103–206, title IV, §415(a), Dec. 20, 1993, 107 Stat. 2438]

Section, Pub. L. 98–89, Aug. 26, 1983, 97 Stat. 571, related to duties of shipping commissioners.

§10508. General penalties

(a) A master who carries a seaman on a voyage without first making the agreement required by section 10502 of this title shall pay to the seaman the highest wage that was paid for a similar voyage within the 3 months before the time of engagement at the port or place at which the seaman was engaged. A seaman who has not signed an agreement is not bound by the applicable regulations, penalties, or forfeitures.

(b) A master engaging a seaman in violation of this chapter or a regulation prescribed under this chapter is liable to the United States Government for a civil penalty of not more than $5,000. The vessel also is liable in rem for the penalty.

(Pub. L. 98–89, Aug. 26, 1983, 97 Stat. 572; Pub. L. 103–206, title IV, §416, Dec. 20, 1993, 107 Stat. 2438.)

Historical and Revision Notes
Revised sectionSource section (U.S. Code)
10508 46:575

Section 10508 provides for a fair wage to be paid to a seaman who was engaged without a shipping agreement, and also exempts the seaman under certain conditions from applicable regulations, penalties or forfeitures. It also provides a penalty for violation of its provisions.

Amendments

1993—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 103–206 substituted "not more than $5,000" for "$20".

§10509. Penalty for failing to begin voyage

(a) A seaman who fails to be on board at the time contained in the agreement required by section 10502 of this title, without having given 24 hours' notice of inability to do so, shall forfeit, for each hour's lateness, one-half of one day's pay to be deducted from the seaman's wages if the lateness is recorded in the official logbook on the date of the violation.

(b) A seaman who does not report at all or subsequently deserts forfeits all wages.

(c) This section does not apply to a fishing or whaling vessel or a yacht.

(Pub. L. 98–89, Aug. 26, 1983, 97 Stat. 572.)

Historical and Revision Notes
Revised sectionSource section (U.S. Code)
10509 46:576

This section provides for a reduction in the wages of seamen who arrive late for voyages, if their late arrival is noted in the official logbook. It does not apply to fishing vessels, whaling vessels or yachts.

CHAPTER 106—FISHING VOYAGES

Sec.
10601.
Fishing agreements.
10602.
Recovery of wages and shares of fish under agreement.
10603.
Seaman's duty to notify employer regarding illness, disability, and injury.

        

§10601. Fishing agreements

(a) Before proceeding on a voyage, the owner, charterer, or managing operator, or a representative thereof, including the master or individual in charge, of a fishing vessel, fish processing vessel, or fish tender vessel shall make a fishing agreement in writing with each seaman employed on board if the vessel is—

(1) at least 20 gross tons as measured under section 14502 of this title, or an alternate tonnage measured under section 14302 of this title as prescribed by the Secretary under section 14104 of this title; and

(2) on a voyage from a port in the United States.


(b) The agreement shall—

(1) state the period of effectiveness of the agreement;

(2) include the terms of any wage, share, or other compensation arrangement peculiar to the fishery in which the vessel will be engaged during the period of the agreement; and

(3) include other agreed terms.

(Pub. L. 100–424, §6(a), Sept. 9, 1988, 102 Stat. 1591; Pub. L. 104–324, title VII, §739, Oct. 19, 1996, 110 Stat. 3942; Pub. L. 107–295, title IV, §441(a), (b), Nov. 25, 2002, 116 Stat. 2131.)

Historical and Revision Notes
Revised sectionSource section (U.S. Code)
10601 46:531

Amendments

2002—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 107–295, §441(a), (b)(1), in introductory provisions, inserted "owner, charterer, or managing operator, or a representative thereof, including the" after "on a voyage, the" and comma after "individual in charge" and substituted "employed" for "enployed".

Subsecs. (b), (c). Pub. L. 107–295, §441(b)(2), (3), redesignated subsec. (c) as (b) and struck out former subsec. (b) which read as follows: "The agreement shall be signed also by the owner of the vessel."

1996—Subsec. (a)(1). Pub. L. 104–324 inserted "as measured under section 14502 of this title, or an alternate tonnage measured under section 14302 of this title as prescribed by the Secretary under section 14104 of this title" after "20 gross tons".

Agreements Deemed Compliant

Pub. L. 107–295, title IV, §441(c), Nov. 25, 2002, 116 Stat. 2131, as amended by Pub. L. 108–199, div. H, §137(a), Jan. 23, 2004, 118 Stat. 442, provided that: "An agreement that complies with the requirements of section 10601(a) of title 46, United States Code, as herein amended, is hereby deemed to have been in compliance with subsections (a) and (b) of section 10601 of title 46, United States Code, as in effect prior to November 25, 2002."

[Pub. L. 108–199, div. H, §137(b), Jan. 23, 2004, 118 Stat. 442, provided that: "The amendments made by subsection (a) [amending section 441(c) of Pub. L. 107–295, set out above] apply to all proceedings pending on or commenced after the date of enactment of this Act [Jan. 23, 2004]."]

§10602. Recovery of wages and shares of fish under agreement

(a) When fish caught under an agreement under section 10601 of this title are delivered to the owner of the vessel for processing and are sold, the vessel is liable in rem for the wages and shares of the proceeds of the seamen. An action under this section must be brought within six months after the sale of the fish.

(b)(1) In an action under this section, the owner shall produce an accounting of the sale and division of proceeds under the agreement. If the owner fails to produce the accounting, the vessel is liable for the highest value alleged for the shares.

(2) The owner may offset the value of general supplies provided for the voyage and other supplies provided the seaman bringing the action.

(c) This section does not affect a common law right of a seaman to bring an action to recover the seaman's share of the fish or proceeds.

(Pub. L. 100–424, §6(a), Sept. 9, 1988, 102 Stat. 1592.)

Historical and Revision Notes
Revised sectionSource section (U.S. Code)
10602 46:533, 534

§10603. Seaman's duty to notify employer regarding illness, disability, and injury

(a) A seaman on a fishing vessel, fish processing vessel, or fish tender vessel shall notify the master or individual in charge of the vessel or other agent of the employer regarding any illness, disability, or injury suffered by the seaman when in service to the vessel not later than seven days after the date on which the illness, disability, or injury arose.

(b) The Secretary shall prescribe regulations requiring that each fishing vessel, fish processing vessel, and fish tender vessel shall have on board a placard displayed in a prominent location accessible to the crew describing the seaman's duty under subsection (a) of this section.

(Pub. L. 100–424, §6(a), Sept. 9, 1988, 102 Stat. 1592.)

Historical and Revision Notes
Revised sectionSource section (U.S. Code)
10603 New

CHAPTER 107—EFFECTS OF DECEASED SEAMEN

Sec.
10701.
Application.
10702.
Duties of masters.
10703.
Procedures of masters.
10704.
Duties of consular officers.
10705.
Disposition of money, property, and wages by consular officers.
10706.
Seamen dying in the United States.
[10707.
Repealed.]
10708.
Sale of property.
10709.
Distribution.
10710.
Unclaimed money, property, and wages.
10711.
Penalties.

        

Amendments

1993Pub. L. 103–206, title IV, §420(b), Dec. 20, 1993, 107 Stat. 2438, struck out item 10707 "Delivery to district court".

§10701. Application

(a) Except as otherwise specifically provided, this chapter applies to a vessel on a voyage between—

(1) a port of the United States and a port in a foreign country (except a port in Canada, Mexico, and the West Indies); and

(2) a port of the United States on the Atlantic Ocean and a port of the United States on the Pacific Ocean.


(b) This chapter does not apply to a vessel on which a seaman by custom or agreement is entitled to share in the profit or result of a voyage.

(c) This chapter does not apply to a foreign vessel.

(Pub. L. 98–89, Aug. 26, 1983, 97 Stat. 572.)

Historical and Revision Notes
Revised sectionSource section (U.S. Code)
10701 46:621

Section 10701 provides that the provisions in chapter 107 apply to vessels on voyages between U.S. ports and foreign countries (except Canada, Mexico, or the West Indies) and between United States ports on the Atlantic and United States ports on the Pacific. It does not apply to foreign vessels or vessels on which the seamen share the profits.

§10702. Duties of masters

(a) When a seaman dies during a voyage, the master shall take charge of the seaman's money and property. An entry shall be made in the official logbook, signed by the master, the chief mate, and an unlicensed crewmember containing an inventory of the money and property and a statement of the wages due the seaman, with the total of the deductions to be made.

(b) On compliance with this chapter, the master shall obtain a written certificate of compliance from the consular officer or court clerk. Clearance may be granted to a foreign-bound vessel only when the certificate is received at the office of customs.

(Pub. L. 98–89, Aug. 26, 1983, 97 Stat. 572; Pub. L. 103–206, title IV, §422(a), Dec. 20, 1993, 107 Stat. 2438.)

Historical and Revision Notes
Revised sectionSource section (U.S. Code)
10702 46:621

Section 10702 requires a master to take charge of the property of a deceased seaman, make note in the official logbook that the property was taken and obtain a certificate of compliance from a shipping commissioner which must be exhibited for port clearance of foreign bound vessels.

Amendments

1993—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 103–206 substituted "the consular officer or court clerk" for "a shipping commissioner".

§10703. Procedures of masters

(a) If the vessel is proceeding to the United States when a seaman dies, the master shall deliver the seaman's money, property, and wages when the agreement required by this part is ended, as provided in section 10706 of this title.

(b) If the vessel touches at a foreign port after the death of the seaman, the master shall report to the first available consular officer. The consular officer may require the master to deliver to the officer the money, property, and wages of the seaman. The consular officer shall give the master a receipt for the matters delivered and certify on the agreement the particulars of the delivery. When the agreement ends, the master shall deliver the receipt to a district court of the United States.

(c) If the consular officer does not require the master to deliver the seaman's money, property, and wages, the officer shall so certify on the agreement, and the master shall dispose of the money, property, and wages as provided under section 10706 of this title.

(d) A deduction from the account of a deceased seaman is valid only if certified by a proper entry in the official logbook.

(Pub. L. 98–89, Aug. 26, 1983, 97 Stat. 573; Pub. L. 103–206, title IV, §418, Dec. 20, 1993, 107 Stat. 2438.)

Historical and Revision Notes
Revised sectionSource section (U.S. Code)
10703 46:622

Section 10703 provides for the disposal by the master of the property and wages of deceased seamen who have died outside the United States.

Amendments

1993—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 103–206, §418(1), substituted "in section 10706 of this title" for "by regulations prescribed by the Secretary".

Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 103–206, §418(2), substituted "to a district court of the United States" for "as prescribed by regulations".

Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 103–206, §418(3), substituted "section 10706 of this title" for "subsection (a) of this section".

§10704. Duties of consular officers

When a seaman dies outside the United States leaving money or property not on board a vessel, the consular officer nearest the place at which the money and property is located shall claim and take charge of it.

(Pub. L. 98–89, Aug. 26, 1983, 97 Stat. 573.)

Historical and Revision Notes
Revised sectionSource section (U.S. Code)
10704 46:624

Section 10704 requires consular officers to take charge of the property (not left on board a vessel) of deceased seamen who have died outside the United States.

§10705. Disposition of money, property, and wages by consular officers

When money, property, or wages of a deceased seaman comes into possession of a consular officer, the officer may—

(1) sell the property and remit the proceeds and other money or wages of the seaman the officer has received, to the district court of the United States for the district in which the voyage begins or ends; or

(2) deliver the money, property, and wages to the district court.

(Pub. L. 98–89, Aug. 26, 1983, 97 Stat. 573.)

Historical and Revision Notes
Revised sectionSource section (U.S. Code)
10705 46:624

Section 10705 instructs consular officers on the disposal of the property and wages of deceased seamen who have died outside the United States.

§10706. Seamen dying in the United States

When a seaman dies in the United States and is entitled at death to claim money, property, or wages from the master or owner of a vessel on which the seaman served, the master or owner shall deliver the money, property, and wages to a district court of the United States within one week of the seaman's death. If the seaman's death occurs at sea, such money, property, or wages shall be delivered to a district court or a consular officer within one week of the vessel's arrival at the first port call after the seaman's death.

(Pub. L. 98–89, Aug. 26, 1983, 97 Stat. 573; Pub. L. 103–206, title IV, §419, Dec. 20, 1993, 107 Stat. 2438.)

Historical and Revision Notes
Revised sectionSource section (U.S. Code)
10706 46:625

Section 10706 provides for the disposal by the master of the property and wages of deceased seamen who have died in the United States.

Amendments

1993Pub. L. 103–206 substituted "to a district court of the United States within one week of the seaman's death. If the seaman's death occurs at sea, such money, property, or wages shall be delivered to a district court or a consular officer within one week of the vessel's arrival at the first port call after the seaman's death." for "as provided by regulations prescribed by the Secretary.".

[§10707. Repealed. Pub. L. 103–206, title IV, §420(a), Dec. 20, 1993, 107 Stat. 2438]

Section, Pub. L. 98–89, Aug. 26, 1983, 97 Stat. 573, related to delivery to district court of money, property, and wages of a deceased seaman.

§10708. Sale of property

A district court of the United States may direct the sale of any part of the property of a deceased seaman. Proceeds of the sale shall be held as wages of the seaman are held.

(Pub. L. 98–89, Aug. 26, 1983, 97 Stat. 574.)

Historical and Revision Notes
Revised sectionSource section (U.S. Code)
10708 46:628

Section 10708 permits a district court to sell a deceased seaman's property and treat the proceeds as wages.

§10709. Distribution

(a)(1) If the money, property, and wages of a seaman, including proceeds from the sale of property, are not more than $1,500 in value, the court, subject to deductions it allows for expenses and at least 60 days after receiving the money, property, and wages, may deliver the money, property, and wages to a claimant proving to be—

(A) the seaman's surviving spouse or child;

(B) entitled to the money, property, and wages under the seaman's will or under a law or at common law; or

(C) entitled to secure probate, or take out letters of administration, although no probate or letters of administration have been issued.


(2) The court is released from further liability for the money, property, and wages distributed under paragraph (1) of this subsection.

(3) Instead of acting under paragraphs (1) and (2) of this subsection, the court may require probate or letters of administration to be taken out, and then deliver the money, property, and wages to the legal representative of the seaman.

(b) If the money, property, and wages are more than $1,500 in value, the court, subject to deductions for expenses, shall deliver the money, property, and wages to the legal representative of the seaman.

(Pub. L. 98–89, Aug. 26, 1983, 97 Stat. 574; Pub. L. 99–307, §1(15), May 19, 1986, 100 Stat. 446.)

Historical and Revision Notes
Revised sectionSource section (U.S. Code)
10709 46:627

Section 10709 instructs a district court to deliver a deceased seaman's property and wages to the proper claimant or legal representative. It also discharges the court from liability.

Amendments

1986—Subsec. (a)(1). Pub. L. 99–307, in text preceding cl. (A), substituted "than $1,500 in value, the court," for "then $1,500 in value, and" and "wages, may" for "wages, the court may".

§10710. Unclaimed money, property, and wages

(a) When a claim for the money, property, or wages of a deceased seaman held by a district court of the United States has not been substantiated within 6 years after their receipt by the court, the court, if a subsequent claim is made, may allow or refuse the claim.

(b) If, after money, property, and wages have been held by the court for 6 years, it appears to the court that no claim will have to be satisfied, the property shall be sold. The money and wages and the proceeds from the sale shall be deposited in the Treasury trust fund receipt account "Unclaimed Moneys of Individuals Whose Whereabouts are Unknown".

(Pub. L. 98–89, Aug. 26, 1983, 97 Stat. 574.)

Historical and Revision Notes
Revised sectionSource section (U.S. Code)
10710 46:628

Section 10710 provides that if no claim is made to a deceased seaman's property and wages within six years, the court shall sell the property and deposit the proceeds into the Treasury trust fund receipt account "Unclaimed Moneys of Individuals Whose Whereabouts are Unknown".

§10711. Penalties

An owner or master violating this chapter are each liable to the United States Government for a civil penalty of 3 times the value of the seaman's money, property, and wages involved or, if the value is not determined, of $200.

(Pub. L. 98–89, Aug. 26, 1983, 97 Stat. 574.)

Historical and Revision Notes
Revised sectionSource section (U.S. Code)
10711 46:623

Section 10711 provides penalties for masters and owners violating this chapter.

CHAPTER 109—PROCEEDINGS ON UNSEAWORTHINESS

Sec.
10901.
Application.
10902.
Complaints of unfitness.
10903.
Proceedings on examination of vessel.
10904.
Refusal to proceed.
10905.
Complaints in foreign ports.
10906.
Discharge of crew for unsuitability.
10907.
Permission to make complaint.
10908.
Penalty for sending unseaworthy vessel to sea.

        

§10901. Application

This chapter applies to a vessel of the United States except a fishing or whaling vessel or a yacht.

(Pub. L. 98–89, Aug. 26, 1983, 97 Stat. 575.)

Historical and Revision Notes
Revised sectionSource section (U.S. Code)
10901 46:653

46:654

46:655

46:656

46:658

Section 10901 provides that chapter 109 applies to all vessels of the United States except fishing vessels, whaling vessels or yachts.

§10902. Complaints of unfitness

(a)(1) If the chief and second mates or a majority of the crew of a vessel ready to begin a voyage discover, before the vessel leaves harbor, that the vessel is unfit as to crew, hull, equipment, tackle, machinery, apparel, furniture, provisions of food or water, or stores to proceed on the intended voyage and require the unfitness to be inquired into, the master immediately shall apply to the district court of the United States at the place at which the vessel is located, or, if no court is being held at the place at which the vessel is located, to a judge or justice of the peace, for the appointment of surveyors. At least 2 complaining seamen shall accompany the master to the judge or justice of the peace.

(2) A master failing to comply with this subsection is liable to the United States Government for a civil penalty of $500.

(b)(1) Any 3 seamen of a vessel may complain that the provisions of food or water for the crew are, at any time, of bad quality, unfit for use, or deficient in quantity. The complaint may be made to the Secretary, commanding officer of a United States naval vessel, consular officer, or chief official of the Customs Service.

(2) The Secretary, officer, or official shall examine, or have examined, the provisions of food or water. If the provisions are found to be of bad quality, unfit for use, or deficient in quantity, the person making the findings shall certify to the master of the vessel which provisions are of bad quality, unfit for use, or deficient.

(3) The Secretary, officer, or official to whom the complaint was made shall—

(A) make an entry in the official logbook of the vessel on the results of the examination; and

(B) submit a report on the examination to the district court of the United States at which the vessel is to arrive, with the report being admissible into evidence in any legal proceeding.


(4) The master is liable to the Government for a civil penalty of not more than $100 each time the master, on receiving the certification referred to in paragraph (2) of this subsection—

(A) does not provide other proper provisions of food or water, when available, in place of the provisions certified as of bad quality or unfit for use;

(B) does not obtain sufficient provisions when the certification includes a finding of a deficiency in quantity; or

(C) uses provisions certified to be of bad quality or unfit for use.

(Pub. L. 98–89, Aug. 26, 1983, 97 Stat. 575; Pub. L. 103–206, title IV, §422(b), Dec. 20, 1993, 107 Stat. 2439.)

Historical and Revision Notes
Revised sectionSource section (U.S. Code)
10902(a) 46:653
10902(b) 46:662

Section 10902 instructs the crew on making complaints of unfitness of vessel with regard to equipment and provisions, and instructs the master on responding to those complaints, and provides a penalty for violations.

Amendments

1993—Subsec. (b)(1). Pub. L. 103–206, §422(b)(1), inserted "Secretary," after "The complaint may be made to the" and struck out "Coast Guard shipping commissioner," after "consular officer,".

Subsec. (b)(2), (3). Pub. L. 103–206, §422(b)(2), substituted "The Secretary, officer," for "The officer, commissioner,".

Transfer of Functions

For transfer of functions, personnel, assets, and liabilities of the United States Customs Service of the Department of the Treasury, including functions of the Secretary of the Treasury relating thereto, to the Secretary of Homeland Security, and for treatment of related references, see sections 203(1), 551(d), 552(d), and 557 of Title 6, Domestic Security, and the Department of Homeland Security Reorganization Plan of November 25, 2002, as modified, set out as a note under section 542 of Title 6. For establishment of U.S. Customs and Border Protection in the Department of Homeland Security, treated as if included in Pub. L. 107–296 as of Nov. 25, 2002, see section 211 of Title 6, as amended generally by Pub. L. 114–125, and section 802(b) of Pub. L. 114–125, set out as a note under section 211 of Title 6.

§10903. Proceedings on examination of vessel

(a) On application made under section 10902(a) of this title, the judge or justice of the peace shall appoint 3 experienced and skilled marine surveyors to examine the vessel for the defects or insufficiencies complained of. The surveyors have the authority to receive and consider evidence necessary to evaluate the complaint. When the complaint involves provisions of food or water, one of the surveyors shall be a medical officer of the Public Health Service, if available. The surveyors shall make a report in writing, signed by at least 2 of them, stating whether the vessel is fit to proceed to sea or, if not, in what respect it is unfit, making appropriate recommendations about additional seamen, provisions, or stores, or about physical repairs, alterations, or additions necessary to make the vessel fit.

(b) On receiving the report, the judge or justice of the peace shall endorse on the report the judgment of the judge or justice on whether the vessel is fit to proceed on the voyage, and, if not, whether the vessel may proceed to another port at which the deficiencies can be corrected. The master and the crew shall comply with the judgment.

(c) The master shall pay all costs of the survey, report, and judgment. However, if the complaint of the crew appears in the report and judgment to have been without foundation, or if the complaint involved provisions of food or water, without reasonable grounds, the master or owner may deduct the amount of the costs and reasonable damages for the detention of the vessel, as determined by the judge or justice of the peace, from the wages of the complaining seamen.

(d) A master of a vessel violating this section who refuses to pay the costs and wages is liable to the United States Government for a civil penalty of $100 and is liable in damages to each person injured by the refusal.

(Pub. L. 98–89, Aug. 26, 1983, 97 Stat. 575.)

Historical and Revision Notes
Revised sectionSource section (U.S. Code)
10903(a), (b) 46:654
10903(c) 46:659
10903(d) 46:660

Section 10903 provides for marine surveyors appointed by a judge or justice of the peace to inspect a vessel on which a complaint of unfitness was made, for a judge or justice of the peace to judge the fitness based on the findings, and for the payment of costs of the inspection by the master or the crew. It also includes a penalty for noncompliance.

§10904. Refusal to proceed

After a judgment under section 10903 of this title that a vessel is fit to proceed on the intended voyage, or after the order of a judgment to make up deficiencies is complied with, if a seaman does not proceed on the voyage, the unpaid wages of the seaman are forfeited.

(Pub. L. 98–89, Aug. 26, 1983, 97 Stat. 576.)

Historical and Revision Notes
Revised sectionSource section (U.S. Code)
10904 46:655

Section 10904 provides that if a vessel is found fit to proceed by a judge or justice of the peace and a seaman refuses to proceed, the seaman shall forfeit any unpaid wages.

§10905. Complaints in foreign ports

(a) When a complaint under section 10902(a) of this title is made in a foreign port, the procedures of this chapter shall be followed, with a consular officer performing the duties of the judge or justice of the peace.

(b) On review of the marine surveyors' report, the consular officer may approve and must certify any part of the report with which the officer agrees. If the consular officer dissents from any part of the report, the officer shall certify reasons for dissenting from that part.

(Pub. L. 98–89, Aug. 26, 1983, 97 Stat. 576.)

Historical and Revision Notes
Revised sectionSource section (U.S. Code)
10905 46:656

46:657

Section 10905 provides that if a complaint of unfitness is made in a foreign port, a consular officer shall perform the duties of a judge or justice of the peace.

§10906. Discharge of crew for unsuitability

When a survey is made at a foreign port, the surveyors shall state in the report whether, in their opinion, the vessel had been sent to sea unsuitably provided in any important particular, by neglect or design or through mistake or accident. If by neglect or design, and the consular officer approves the finding, the officer shall discharge a seaman requesting discharge and shall require the master to pay one month's wages to that seaman in addition to wages then due, or sufficient money for the return of the seaman to the nearest and most convenient port of the United States, whichever is the greater amount.

(Pub. L. 98–89, Aug. 26, 1983, 97 Stat. 576.)

Historical and Revision Notes
Revised sectionSource section (U.S. Code)
10906 46:658

Section 10906 provides that if a consular officer finds that a vessel has been sent to sea in an unsuitable state, a crew member requesting discharge must be paid one month's additional wages and passage to the United States.

§10907. Permission to make complaint

(a) A master may not refuse to permit, deny the opportunity to, or hinder a seaman who wishes to make a complaint authorized by this chapter.

(b) A master violating this section is liable to the United States Government for civil penalty of $500.

(Pub. L. 98–89, Aug. 26, 1983, 97 Stat. 577.)

Historical and Revision Notes
Revised sectionSource section (U.S. Code)
10907 46:653

46:664

Section 10907 prohibits a master from hindering a seaman from making a complaint authorized by this chapter and subjects the master to a fine for violation of this section.

§10908. Penalty for sending unseaworthy vessel to sea

A person that knowingly sends or attempts to send, or that is a party to sending or attempting to send, a vessel of the United States to sea, in an unseaworthy state that is likely to endanger the life of an individual, shall be fined not more than $1,000, imprisoned for not more than 5 years, or both.

(Pub. L. 98–89, Aug. 26, 1983, 97 Stat. 577.)

Historical and Revision Notes
Revised sectionSource section (U.S. Code)
10908 46:658

Section 10908 provides a penalty for a person knowingly sending or attempting to send an unseaworthy vessel to sea.

CHAPTER 111—PROTECTION AND RELIEF

Sec.
11101.
Accommodations for seamen.
11102.
Medicine chests.
11103.
Slop chests.
11104.
Destitute seamen.
11105.
Wages on discharge when vessel sold.
11106.
Wages on justifiable complaint of seamen.
11107.
Unlawful engagements void.
11108.
Taxes.
11109.
Attachment of wages.
11110.
Seamen's clothing.
11111.
Limit on amount recoverable on voyage.
11112.
Master's lien for wages.
11113.
Treatment of abandoned seafarers.

        

Amendments

2014Pub. L. 113–281, title III, §320(b), Dec. 18, 2014, 128 Stat. 3054, added item 11113.

1986Pub. L. 99–307, §1(19)(A), May 19, 1986, 100 Stat. 446, added item 11112.

§11101. Accommodations for seamen

(a) On a merchant vessel of the United States the construction of which began after March 4, 1915 (except a yacht, pilot vessel, or vessel of less than 100 gross tons as measured under section 14502 of this title, or an alternate tonnage measured under section 14302 of this title as prescribed by the Secretary under section 14104 of this title)—

(1) each place appropriated to the crew of the vessel shall have a space of at least 120 cubic feet and at least 16 square feet, measured on the floor or deck of that place, for each seaman or apprentice lodged in the vessel;

(2) each seaman shall have a separate berth and not more than one berth shall be placed one above another;

(3) the place or berth shall be securely constructed, properly lighted, drained, heated, and ventilated, properly protected from weather and sea, and, as far as practicable, properly shut off and protected from the effluvium of cargo or bilge water; and

(4) crew space shall be kept free from goods or stores that are not the personal property of the crew occupying the place in use during the voyage.


(b) In addition to the requirements of subsection (a) of this section, a merchant vessel of the United States that in the ordinary course of trade makes a voyage of more than 3 days' duration between ports and carries a crew of at least 12 seamen shall have a hospital compartment, suitably separated from other spaces. The compartment shall have at least one bunk for each 12 seamen constituting the crew (but not more than 6 bunks may be required).

(c) A steam vessel of the United States operating on the Mississippi River or its tributaries shall provide, under the direction and approval of the Secretary, an appropriate place for the crew that shall conform to the requirements of this section, as far as they apply to the steam vessel, by providing a properly heated sleeping room in the engineroom of the steam vessel properly protected from the cold, wind, and rain by means of suitable awnings or screens on either side of the guards or sides and forward, reaching from the boiler deck to the lower or main deck.

(d) A merchant vessel of the United States, the construction of which began after March 4, 1915, having more than 10 seamen on deck, shall have at least one lighted, clean, and properly heated and ventilated washing place. There shall be provided at least one washing outfit for each 2 seamen of the watch. A separate washing place shall be provided for the fireroom and engineroom seamen, if their number is more than 10, that shall be large enough to accommodate at least one-sixth of them at the same time, and have a hot and cold water supply and a sufficient number of washbasins, sinks, and shower baths.

(e) Forecastles shall be fumigated at intervals provided by regulations prescribed by the Secretary of Health and Human Services, with the approval of the Secretary, and shall have at least 2 exits, one of which may be used in emergencies.

(f) The owner, charterer, managing operator, agent, master, or licensed individual of a vessel not complying with this section is liable to the United States Government for a civil penalty of at least $50 but not more than $500.

(Pub. L. 98–89, Aug. 26, 1983, 97 Stat. 577; Pub. L. 99–36, §1(a)(6), May 15, 1985, 99 Stat. 67; Pub. L. 104–324, title VII, §740, Oct. 19, 1996, 110 Stat. 3942.)

Historical and Revision Notes
Revised sectionSource section (U.S. Code)
11101 46:660–1

Section 11101 provides mandatory standards for crew accommodations and a penalty for noncompliance with those standards.

Amendments

1996—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 104–324 inserted "as measured under section 14502 of this title, or an alternate tonnage measured under section 14302 of this title as prescribed by the Secretary under section 14104 of this title" after "100 gross tons" in introductory provisions.

1985—Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 99–36 substituted "lighted" for "light".

§11102. Medicine chests

(a) A vessel of the United States on a voyage from a port in the United States to a foreign port (except to a Canadian port), and a vessel of the United States of at least 75 gross tons as measured under section 14502 of this title, or an alternate tonnage measured under section 14302 of this title as prescribed by the Secretary under section 14104 of this title on a voyage between a port of the United States on the Atlantic Ocean and Pacific Ocean, shall be provided with a medicine chest.

(b) The owner and master of a vessel not equipped as required by subsection (a) of this section or a regulation prescribed under subsection (a) are liable to the United States Government for a civil penalty of $500. If the offense was due to the fault of the owner, a master penalized under this section has the right to recover the penalty and costs from the owner.

(Pub. L. 98–89, Aug. 26, 1983, 97 Stat. 578; Pub. L. 104–324, title VII, §741, Oct. 19, 1996, 110 Stat. 3942.)

Historical and Revision Notes
Revised sectionSource section (U.S. Code)
11102(a) 46:666
11102(b) 46:667

Section 11102 requires that a United States vessel on a foreign or intercoastal domestic voyage be equipped with a medicine chest, and provides a penalty for noncompliance. The Committee intends that regulation will provide for a well stocked medicine chest adequate for the crew of a vessel.

Amendments

1996—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 104–324 inserted "as measured under section 14502 of this title, or an alternate tonnage measured under section 14302 of this title as prescribed by the Secretary under section 14104 of this title" after "75 gross tons".

§11103. Slop chests

(a) A vessel to which section 11102 of this title applies shall be provided with a slop chest containing sufficient clothing for the intended voyage for each seaman, including—

(1) boots or shoes;

(2) hats or caps;

(3) underclothing;

(4) outer clothing;

(5) foul weather clothing;

(6) everything necessary for the wear of a seaman; and

(7) a complete supply of tobacco and blankets.


(b) Merchandise in the slop chest shall be sold to a seaman desiring it, for the use of the seaman, at a profit of not more than 10 percent of the reasonable wholesale value of the merchandise at the port at which the voyage began.

(c) This section does not apply to a vessel on a voyage to Canada, Bermuda, the West Indies, Mexico, or Central America, or a fishing or whaling vessel.

(Pub. L. 98–89, Aug. 26, 1983, 97 Stat. 578.)

Historical and Revision Notes
Revised sectionSource section (U.S. Code)
11103 46:670

46:671

Section 11103 requires that a United States vessel on a foreign or intercoastal domestic voyage be equipped with a slop chest and lists the items the slop chest must contain.

§11104. Destitute seamen

(a) A consular officer shall provide, for a destitute seaman of the United States, subsistence and passage to a port of the United States in the most reasonable manner, at the expense of the United States Government and subject to regulations prescribed by the Secretary of State. A seaman, if able, shall be required to perform duties on the vessel giving the seaman passage, in accordance with the seaman's rating.

(b) A master of a vessel of the United States bound to a port of the United States shall take a destitute seaman on board at the request of a consular officer and transport the seaman to the United States. A master refusing to transport a destitute seaman when requested is liable to the United States Government for a civil penalty of $100. The certificate signed and sealed by a consular officer is prima facie evidence of refusal. A master is not required to carry a destitute seaman if the seaman's presence would cause the number of individuals on board to exceed the number permitted in the certificate of inspection or if the seaman has a contagious disease.

(c) Compensation for the transportation of destitute seamen to the United States who are unable to work shall be agreed on by the master and the consular officer, under regulations prescribed by the Secretary of State. However, the compensation may be not more than the lowest passenger rate of the vessel, or 2 cents a mile, whichever is less.

(d) When a master of a vessel of the United States takes on board a destitute seaman unable to work, from a port or place not having a consular officer, for transportation to the United States or to a port at which there is a consular officer, the master or owner of the vessel shall be compensated reasonably under regulations prescribed by the Secretary of State.

(Pub. L. 98–89, Aug. 26, 1983, 97 Stat. 578.)

Historical and Revision Notes
Revised sectionSource section (U.S. Code)
11104(a) 46:678
11104(b)–(d) 46:679

Section 11104 provides for the return to the United States of destitute seamen of the United States at the expense of the United States Government.

§11105. Wages on discharge when vessel sold

(a) When a vessel of the United States is sold in a foreign country, the master shall deliver to the consular officer a certified crew list and the agreement required by this part. The master shall pay each seaman the wages due the seaman and provide the seaman with employment on board another vessel of the United States bound for the port of original engagement of the seaman or to another port agreed on. If employment cannot be provided, the master shall—

(1) provide the seaman with the means to return to the port of original engagement;

(2) provide the seaman passage to the port of original engagement; or

(3) deposit with the consular officer an amount of money considered sufficient by the officer to provide the seaman with maintenance and passage home.


(b) The consular officer shall endorse on the agreement the particulars of the payment, provision, or deposit made under this section.

(c) An owner of a vessel is liable to the United States Government for a civil penalty of $500 if the master does not comply with this section.

(Pub. L. 98–89, Aug. 26, 1983, 97 Stat. 579.)

Historical and Revision Notes
Revised sectionSource section (U.S. Code)
11105 46:684

Section 11105 provides that when a United States vessel is sold in a foreign port, the seamen must be provided employment on another vessel, or passage to the port of original shipment.

§11106. Wages on justifiable complaint of seamen

(a) Before a seaman on a vessel of the United States is discharged in a foreign country by a consular officer on the seaman's complaint that the agreement required by this part has been breached because the vessel is badly provisioned or unseaworthy, or against the officers for cruel treatment, the officer shall inquire about the complaint. If satisfied of the justice of the complaint, the consular officer shall require the master to pay the wages due the seaman plus one month's additional wages and shall discharge the seaman. The master shall provide the seaman with employment on another vessel or provide the seaman with passage on another vessel to the port of original engagement, to the most convenient port of the United States, or to some port agreeable to the seaman.

(b) When a vessel does not have sufficient provisions for the intended voyage, and the seaman has been forced to accept a reduced ration or provisions that are bad in quality or unfit for use, the seaman is entitled to recover from the master or owner an allowance, as additional wages, that the court hearing the case considers reasonable.

(c) Subsection (b) of this section does not apply when the reduction in rations was for a period during which the seaman willfully and without sufficient cause failed to perform duties or was lawfully under confinement on board or on shore for misconduct, unless that reduction can be shown to have been unreasonable.

(d) Subsection (b) of this section does not apply to a fishing or whaling vessel or a yacht.

(Pub. L. 98–89, Aug. 26, 1983, 97 Stat. 579.)

Historical and Revision Notes
Revised sectionSource section (U.S. Code)
11106(a) 46:685
11106(b)–(d) 46:665

Section 11106 provides compensation to seamen on United States vessels when a shipping agreement is breached. It does not apply to fishing vessels, whaling vessels or yachts.

§11107. Unlawful engagements void

An engagement of a seaman contrary to a law of the United States is void. A seaman so engaged may leave the service of the vessel at any time and is entitled to recover the highest rate of wages at the port from which the seaman was engaged or the amount agreed to be given the seaman at the time of engagement, whichever is higher.

(Pub. L. 98–89, Aug. 26, 1983, 97 Stat. 580.)

Historical and Revision Notes
Revised sectionSource section (U.S. Code)
11107 46:578

Section 11107 entitles seamen engaged contrary to any United States law to leave the service of the vessel without loss of wages.

§11108. Taxes

(a) Withholding.—Wages due or accruing to a master or seaman on a vessel in the foreign, coastwise, intercoastal, interstate, or noncontiguous trade or an individual employed on a fishing vessel or any fish processing vessel may not be withheld under the tax laws of a State or a political subdivision of a State. However, this section does not prohibit withholding wages of a seaman on a vessel in the coastwise trade between ports in the same State if the withholding is under a voluntary agreement between the seaman and the employer of the seaman.

(b) Liability.—

(1) Limitation on jurisdiction to tax.—An individual to whom this subsection applies is not subject to the income tax laws of a State or political subdivision of a State, other than the State and political subdivision in which the individual resides, with respect to compensation for the performance of duties described in paragraph (2).

(2) Application.—This subsection applies to an individual—

(A) engaged on a vessel to perform assigned duties in more than one State as a pilot licensed under section 7101 of this title or licensed or authorized under the laws of a State; or

(B) who performs regularly assigned duties while engaged as a master, officer, or crewman on a vessel operating on navigable waters in 2 or more States.

(Pub. L. 98–89, Aug. 26, 1983, 97 Stat. 580; Pub. L. 98–364, title IV, §402(14), July 17, 1984, 98 Stat. 450; Pub. L. 106–489, §1, Nov. 9, 2000, 114 Stat. 2207; Pub. L. 111–281, title IX, §906, Oct. 15, 2010, 124 Stat. 3012.)

Historical and Revision Notes
Revised sectionSource section (U.S. Code)
11108 46:601

Section 11108 prohibits the mandatory withholding of state or local taxes from crewmembers on certain specified vessels. It permits, however, voluntary withholding agreements.

Amendments

2010—Subsec. (b)(2)(B). Pub. L. 111–281 amended subpar. (B) generally. Prior to amendment, subpar. (B) read as follows: "who performs regularly-assigned duties while engaged as a master, officer, or crewman on a vessel operating on the navigable waters of more than one State."

2000Pub. L. 106–489 designated existing provisions as subsec. (a), inserted heading, and added subsec. (b).

1984Pub. L. 98–364 substituted "an individual employed on a fishing vessel or any fish processing vessel" for "a fisherman employed on a fishing vessel".

§11109. Attachment of wages

(a) Wages due or accruing to a master or seaman are not subject to attachment or arrestment from any court, except for an order of a court about the payment by a master or seaman of any part of the master's or seaman's wages for the support and maintenance of the spouse or minor children of the master or seaman, or both. A payment of wages to a master or seaman is valid, notwithstanding any prior sale or assignment of wages or any attachment, encumbrance, or arrestment of the wages.

(b) An assignment or sale of wages or salvage made before the payment of wages does not bind the party making it, except allotments authorized by section 10315 of this title.

(c) This section applies to an individual employed on a fishing vessel or any fish processing vessel.

(Pub. L. 98–89, Aug. 26, 1983, 97 Stat. 580; Pub. L. 98–364, title IV, §402(15), July 17, 1984, 98 Stat. 450.)

Historical and Revision Notes
Revised sectionSource section (U.S. Code)
11109 46:601

Section 11109 limits the attachment of a seaman's wages and establishes certain rules for the assignment of a seaman's wages. It also applies to fishermen on fishing vessels.

Amendments

1984—Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 98–364 substituted "an individual employed on a fishing vessel or any fish processing vessel" for "a fisherman on a fishing vessel".

§11110. Seamen's clothing

The clothing of a seaman is exempt from attachments and liens. A person detaining a seaman's clothing shall be fined not more than $500, imprisoned for not more than 6 months, or both.

(Pub. L. 98–89, Aug. 26, 1983, 97 Stat. 580.)

Historical and Revision Notes
Revised sectionSource section (U.S. Code)
11110 46:563

Section 11110 exempts seamen's clothing from attachments and liens. It also provides a penalty for violations.

§11111. Limit on amount recoverable on voyage

When a seaman is on a voyage on which a written agreement is required under this part, not more than $1 is recoverable from the seaman by a person for a debt incurred by the seaman during the voyage for which the seaman is signed on until the voyage is ended.

(Pub. L. 98–89, Aug. 26, 1983, 97 Stat. 581.)

Historical and Revision Notes
Revised sectionSource section (U.S. Code)
11111 46:602

Section 11111 limits the amount of money recoverable from a seaman for a debt incurred while on a voyage on which a shipping agreement is required.

§11112. Master's lien for wages

The master of a documented vessel has the same lien against the vessel for the master's wages and the same priority as any other seaman serving on the vessel.

(Added Pub. L. 99–307, §1(19)(B), May 19, 1986, 100 Stat. 446.)

§11113. Treatment of abandoned seafarers

(a) Abandoned Seafarers Fund.—

(1) Establishment.—There is established in the Treasury a separate account to be known as the Abandoned Seafarers Fund.

(2) Authorized uses.—Amounts in the Fund may be appropriated to the Secretary for use—

(A) to pay necessary support of a seafarer—

(i) who—

(I) was paroled into the United States under section 212(d)(5) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1182(d)(5)), or for whom the Secretary has requested parole under such section; and

(II) is involved in an investigation, reporting, documentation, or adjudication of any matter that is related to the administration or enforcement of law by the Coast Guard; or


(ii) who—

(I) is physically present in the United States;

(II) the Secretary determines was abandoned in the United States; and

(III) has not applied for asylum under the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101 et seq.); and


(B) to reimburse a vessel owner or operator for the costs of necessary support of a seafarer who has been paroled into the United States to facilitate an investigation, reporting, documentation, or adjudication of any matter that is related to the administration or enforcement of law by the Coast Guard, if—

(i) the vessel owner or operator is not convicted of a criminal offense related to such matter; or

(ii) the Secretary determines that reimbursement is appropriate.


(3) Crediting of amounts to fund.—

(A) In general.—Except as provided in subparagraph (B), there shall be credited to the Fund the following:

(i) Penalties deposited in the Fund under section 9 of the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships (33 U.S.C. 1908).

(ii) Amounts reimbursed or recovered under subsection (c).


(B) Limitation.—Amounts may be credited to the Fund under subparagraph (A) only if the unobligated balance of the Fund is less than $5,000,000.


(4) Report required.—On the date on which the President submits each budget for a fiscal year pursuant to section 1105 of title 31, the Secretary shall submit to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate a report that describes—

(A) the amounts credited to the Fund under paragraph (3) for the preceding fiscal year; and

(B) amounts in the Fund that were expended for the preceding fiscal year.


(b) Limitation.—Nothing in this section shall be construed—

(1) to create a private right of action or any other right, benefit, or entitlement to necessary support for any person; or

(2) to compel the Secretary to pay or reimburse the cost of necessary support.


(c) Reimbursement; Recovery.—

(1) In general.—A vessel owner or operator shall reimburse the Fund an amount equal to the total amount paid from the Fund for necessary support of a seafarer, if—

(A) the vessel owner or operator—

(i) during the course of an investigation, reporting, documentation, or adjudication of any matter that the Coast Guard referred to a United States attorney or the Attorney General, fails to provide necessary support of a seafarer who was paroled into the United States to facilitate the investigation, reporting, documentation, or adjudication; and

(ii) subsequently is—

(I) convicted of a criminal offense related to such matter; or

(II) required to reimburse the Fund pursuant to a court order or negotiated settlement related to such matter; or


(B) the vessel owner or operator abandons a seafarer in the United States, as determined by the Secretary based on substantial evidence.


(2) Enforcement.—If a vessel owner or operator fails to reimburse the Fund under paragraph (1) within 60 days after receiving a written, itemized description of reimbursable expenses and a demand for payment, the Secretary may—

(A) proceed in rem against the vessel on which the seafarer served in the Federal district court for the district in which the vessel is found; and

(B) withhold or revoke the clearance required under section 60105 for the vessel and any other vessel operated by the same operator (as that term is defined in section 2(a)(9)(A) of the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships (33 U.S.C. 1901(a)(9)(A)) as the vessel on which the seafarer served.


(3) Obtaining clearance.—A vessel may obtain clearance from the Secretary after it is withheld or revoked under paragraph (2)(B) if the vessel owner or operator—

(A) reimburses the Fund the amount required under paragraph (1); or

(B) provides a bond, or other evidence of financial responsibility, sufficient to meet the amount required to be reimbursed under paragraph (1).


(4) Notification required.—The Secretary shall notify the vessel at least 72 hours before taking any action under paragraph (2)(B).


(d) Definitions.—In this section:

(1) Abandons; abandoned.—Each of the terms "abandons" and "abandoned" means—

(A) a vessel owner's or operator's unilateral severance of ties with a seafarer; or

(B) a vessel owner's or operator's failure to provide necessary support of a seafarer.


(2) Fund.—The term "Fund" means the Abandoned Seafarers Fund established under this section.

(3) Necessary support.—The term "necessary support" means normal wages and expenses the Secretary considers reasonable for lodging, subsistence, clothing, medical care (including hospitalization), repatriation, and any other support the Secretary considers to be appropriate.

(4) Seafarer.—The term "seafarer" means an alien crew member who is employed or engaged in any capacity on board a vessel subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.

(5) Vessel subject to the jurisdiction of the united states.—The term "vessel subject to the jurisdiction of the United States" has the meaning given that term in section 70502(c), except that it does not include a vessel that is—

(A) owned, or operated under a bareboat charter, by the United States, a State or political subdivision thereof, or a foreign nation; and

(B) not engaged in commerce.

(Added Pub. L. 113–281, title III, §320(a), Dec. 18, 2014, 128 Stat. 3051; amended Pub. L. 114–120, title III, §306(a)(7), Feb. 8, 2016, 130 Stat. 54; Pub. L. 115–232, div. C, title XXXV, §3546(i), Aug. 13, 2018, 132 Stat. 2326.)

References in Text

The Immigration and Nationality Act, referred to in subsec. (a)(2)(A)(ii)(III), is act June 27, 1952, ch. 477, 66 Stat. 163, which is classified principally to chapter 12 (§1101 et seq.) of Title 8, Aliens and Nationality. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 1101 of Title 8 and Tables.

Amendments

2018—Subsec. (a)(4)(A). Pub. L. 115–232, §3546(i)(1), substituted "paragraph (3)" for "paragraph (2)".

Subsec. (c)(2)(B). Pub. L. 115–232, §3546(i)(2), substituted "section 2(a)(9)(A)" for "section 2(9)(a)" and "33 U.S.C. 1901(a)(9)(A)" for "33 U.S.C. 1901(9)(a)".

2016—Subsec. (c)(1)(A)(i). Pub. L. 114–120 struck out "under this Act" after "any matter".

CHAPTER 112—MERCHANT MARINER BENEFITS

Sec.
11201.
Eligibility for veterans' burial and cemetery benefits.
11202.
Qualified service.
11203.
Documentation of qualified service.
11204.
Processing fees.

        

§11201. Eligibility for veterans' burial and cemetery benefits

(a) Eligibility.—

(1) In general.—The qualified service of a person referred to in paragraph (2) shall be considered to be active duty in the Armed Forces during a period of war for purposes of eligibility for benefits under the following provisions of title 38:

(A) Chapter 23 (relating to burial benefits).

(B) Chapter 24 (relating to interment in national cemeteries).


(2) Covered individuals.—Paragraph (1) applies to a person who—

(A) receives an honorable service certificate under section 11203 of this title; and

(B) is not eligible under any other provision of law for benefits under laws administered by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs.


(b) Reimbursement for Benefits Provided.—The Secretary shall reimburse the Secretary of Veterans Affairs for the value of benefits that the Secretary of Veterans Affairs provides for a person by reason of eligibility under this section.

(c) Applicability.—

(1) General rule.—Benefits may be provided under the provisions of law referred to in subsection (a)(1) by reason of this chapter only for deaths occurring after the date of the enactment of this chapter.

(2) Burials, etc. in national cemeteries.—Notwithstanding paragraph (1), in the case of an initial burial or columbarium placement after the date of the enactment of this chapter, benefits may be provided under chapter 24 of title 38 by reason of this chapter (regardless of the date of death), and in such a case benefits may be provided under section 2306 of such title.

(Added Pub. L. 105–368, title IV, §402(a), Nov. 11, 1998, 112 Stat. 3336.)

References in Text

The date of the enactment of this chapter, referred to in subsec. (c), is the date of enactment of Pub. L. 105–368, which was approved Nov. 11, 1998.

§11202. Qualified service

For purposes of this chapter, a person shall be considered to have engaged in qualified service if, between August 16, 1945, and December 31, 1946, the person—

(1) was a member of the United States merchant marine (including the Army Transport Service and the Naval Transport Service) serving as a crewmember of a vessel that was—

(A) operated by the War Shipping Administration or the Office of Defense Transportation (or an agent of the Administration or Office);

(B) operated in waters other than inland waters, the Great Lakes, and other lakes, bays, and harbors of the United States;

(C) under contract or charter to, or property of, the Government of the United States; and

(D) serving the Armed Forces; and


(2) while so serving, was licensed or otherwise documented for service as a crewmember of such a vessel by an officer or employee of the United States authorized to license or document the person for such service.

(Added Pub. L. 105–368, title IV, §402(a), Nov. 11, 1998, 112 Stat. 3336.)

§11203. Documentation of qualified service

(a) Record of Service.—The Secretary, or in the case of personnel of the Army Transport Service or the Naval Transport Service, the Secretary of Defense, shall, upon application—

(1) issue a certificate of honorable service to a person who, as determined by that Secretary, engaged in qualified service of a nature and duration that warrants issuance of the certificate; and

(2) correct, or request the appropriate official of the Federal Government to correct, the service records of that person to the extent necessary to reflect the qualified service and the issuance of the certificate of honorable service.


(b) Timing of Documentation.—A Secretary receiving an application under subsection (a) shall act on the application not later than 1 year after the date of that receipt.

(c) Standards Relating to Service.—In making a determination under subsection (a)(1), the Secretary acting on the application shall apply the same standards relating to the nature and duration of service that apply to the issuance of honorable discharges under section 401(a)(1)(B) of the GI Bill Improvement Act of 1977 (38 U.S.C. 106 note).

(d) Correction of Records.—An official who is requested under subsection (a)(2) to correct the service records of a person shall make such correction.

(Added Pub. L. 105–368, title IV, §402(a), Nov. 11, 1998, 112 Stat. 3337.)

References in Text

Section 401(a)(1)(B) of the GI Bill Improvement Act of 1977, referred to in subsec. (c), is section 401(a)(1)(B) of Pub. L. 95–202, which is set out as a note under section 106 of Title 38, Veterans' Benefits.

§11204. Processing fees

(a) Collection of Fees.—The Secretary, or in the case of personnel of the Army Transport Service or the Naval Transport Service, the Secretary of Defense, shall collect a fee of $30 from each applicant for processing an application submitted under section 11203(a) of this title.

(b) Treatment of Fees Collected.—Amounts received by the Secretary under this section shall be deposited in the General Fund of the Treasury as offsetting receipts of the department in which the Coast Guard is operating and ascribed to Coast Guard activities. Amounts received by the Secretary of Defense under this section shall be deposited in the General Fund of the Treasury as offsetting receipts of the Department of Defense. In either case, such amounts shall be available, subject to appropriation, for the administrative costs of processing applications under section 11203 of this title.

(Added Pub. L. 105–368, title IV, §402(a), Nov. 11, 1998, 112 Stat. 3337.)

Transfer of Functions

For transfer of authorities, functions, personnel, and assets of the Coast Guard, including the authorities and functions of the Secretary of Transportation relating thereto, to the Department of Homeland Security, and for treatment of related references, see sections 468(b), 551(d), 552(d), and 557 of Title 6, Domestic Security, and the Department of Homeland Security Reorganization Plan of November 25, 2002, as modified, set out as a note under section 542 of Title 6.

CHAPTER 113—OFFICIAL LOGBOOKS

Sec.
11301.
Logbook and entry requirements.
11302.
Manner of making entries.
11303.
Penalties.
11304.
Additional logbook and entry requirements.

        

Amendments

2010Pub. L. 111–281, title VI, §607(b), Oct. 15, 2010, 124 Stat. 2967, added item 11304.

§11301. Logbook and entry requirements

(a) Except a vessel on a voyage from a port in the United States to a port in Canada, a vessel of the United States shall have an official logbook if the vessel is—

(1) on a voyage from a port in the United States to a foreign port; or

(2) of at least 100 gross tons as measured under section 14502 of this title, or an alternate tonnage measured under section 14302 of this title as prescribed by the Secretary under section 14104 of this title and is on a voyage between a port of the United States on the Atlantic Ocean and on the Pacific Ocean.


(b) The master of the vessel shall make or have made in the official logbook the following entries:

(1) each legal conviction of a seaman of the vessel and the punishment inflicted.

(2) each offense committed by a seaman of the vessel for which it is intended to prosecute or to enforce under a forfeiture, together with statements about reading the entry and the reply made to the charge as required by section 11502 of this title.

(3) each offense for which punishment is inflicted on board and the punishment inflicted.

(4) a statement of the conduct, character, and qualifications of each seaman of the vessel or a statement that the master declines to give an opinion about that conduct, character, and qualifications.

(5) each illness of or injury to a seaman of the vessel, the nature of the illness or injury, and the medical treatment.

(6) each death on board, with the cause of death, and if a seaman, the information required by section 10702 of this title.

(7) each birth on board, with the sex of the infant and name of the parents.

(8) each marriage on board, with the names and ages of the parties.

(9) the name of each seaman who ceases to be a crewmember (except by death), with the place, time, manner, and the cause why the seaman ceased to be a crewmember.

(10) the wages due to a seaman who dies during the voyage and the gross amount of all deductions to be made from the wages.

(11) the sale of the property of a seaman who dies during the voyage, including a statement of each article sold and the amount received for the property.

(12) when a marine casualty occurs, a statement about the casualty and the circumstances under which it occurred, made immediately after the casualty when practicable to do so.

(Pub. L. 98–89, Aug. 26, 1983, 97 Stat. 581; Pub. L. 98–557, §30, Oct. 30, 1984, 98 Stat. 2875; Pub. L. 104–324, title VII, §742, Oct. 19, 1996, 110 Stat. 3942.)

Historical and Revision Notes
Revised sectionSource section (U.S. Code)
11301 46:201

Section 11301 requires United States vessels on certain types of voyages to have an official logbook and lists the types of entries that must be made in the logbook.

Amendments

1996—Subsec. (a)(2). Pub. L. 104–324 inserted "as measured under section 14502 of this title, or an alternate tonnage measured under section 14302 of this title as prescribed by the Secretary under section 14104 of this title" after "100 gross tons".

1984—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 98–557 amended subsec. (a) generally, which prior to amendment read as follows: "A vessel of the United States on a voyage between a port in the United States and a port in a foreign country, and a vessel of the United States of at least 75 gross tons on a voyage between a port of the United States on the Atlantic Ocean and a port of the United States on the Pacific Ocean, shall have an official logbook."

§11302. Manner of making entries

Each entry made in the official logbook—

(1) shall be made as soon as possible after the occurrence;

(2) if not made on the day of the occurrence, shall be dated and state the date of the occurrence;

(3) if the entry is about an occurrence happening before the vessel's arrival at the final port of discharge, shall be made not later than 24 hours after the arrival;

(4) shall be signed by the master; and

(5) shall be signed by the chief mate or another seaman.

(Pub. L. 98–89, Aug. 26, 1983, 97 Stat. 581.)

Historical and Revision Notes
Revised sectionSource section (U.S. Code)
11302 46:202

Section 11302 describes the manner in which entries shall be made in the logbook, specifying when they shall be made, who shall sign them, and requiring that they shall be dated.

§11303. Penalties

(a) A master failing to maintain an official logbook as required by this part is liable to the United States Government for a civil penalty of $200.

(b) A master failing to make an entry in the vessel's official logbook as required by this part is liable to the Government for a civil penalty of $200.

(c) A person is liable to the Government for a civil penalty of $150 when the person makes, procures to be made, or assists in making, an entry in the vessel's official logbook—

(1) later than 24 hours after the vessel's arrival at the final port of discharge; and

(2) that is about an occurrence that happened before that arrival.

(Pub. L. 98–89, Aug. 26, 1983, 97 Stat. 582.)

Historical and Revision Notes
Revised sectionSource section (U.S. Code)
11303 46:203

Section 11303 provides a penalty for violation of the provisions about logbooks in this part.

§11304. Additional logbook and entry requirements

(a) A vessel of the United States that is subject to inspection under section 3301 of this title, except a vessel on a voyage from a port in the United States to a port in Canada, shall have an official logbook, which shall be kept available for review by the Secretary on request.

(b) The log book required by subsection (a) shall include the following entries:

(1) The time when each seaman and each officer assumed or relieved the watch.

(2) The number of hours in service to the vessels of each seaman and each officer.

(3) An account of each accident, illness, and injury that occurs during each watch.

(Added Pub. L. 111–281, title VI, §607(a), Oct. 15, 2010, 124 Stat. 2967.)

CHAPTER 115—OFFENSES AND PENALTIES

Sec.
11501.
Penalties for specified offenses.
11502.
Entry of offenses in logbook.
11503.
Duties of consular officers related to insubordination.
11504.
Enforcement of forfeitures.
11505.
Disposal of forfeitures.
11506.
Carrying sheath knives.
11507.
Surrender of offending officers.

        

§11501. Penalties for specified offenses

When a seaman lawfully engaged commits any of the following offenses, the seaman shall be punished as specified:

(1) For desertion, the seaman forfeits any part of the money or property the seaman leaves on board and any part of earned wages.

(2) For neglecting or refusing without reasonable cause to join the seaman's vessel or to proceed to sea in the vessel, for absence without leave within 24 hours of the vessel's sailing from a port (at the beginning or during the voyage), or for absence without leave from duties and without sufficient reason, the seaman forfeits from the seaman's wages not more than 2 days' pay or a sufficient amount to defray expenses incurred in hiring a substitute.

(3) For quitting the vessel without leave after the vessel's arrival at the port of delivery and before the vessel is placed in security, the seaman forfeits from the seaman's wages not more than one month's pay.

(4) For willful disobedience to a lawful command at sea, the seaman, at the discretion of the master, may be confined until the disobedience ends, and on arrival in port forfeits from the seaman's wages not more than 4 days' pay or, at the discretion of the court, may be imprisoned for not more than one month.

(5) For continued willful disobedience to lawful command or continued willful neglect of duty at sea, the seaman, at the discretion of the master, may be confined, on water and 1,000 calories, with full rations every 5th day, until the disobedience ends, and on arrival in port forfeits, for each 24 hours' continuance of the disobedience or neglect, not more than 12 days' pay or, at the discretion of the court, may be imprisoned for not more than 3 months.

(6) For assaulting a master, mate, pilot, engineer, or staff officer, the seaman shall be imprisoned for not more than 2 years.

(7) For willfully damaging the vessel, or embezzling or willfully damaging any of the stores or cargo, the seaman forfeits from the seaman's wages the amount of the loss sustained and, at the discretion of the court, may be imprisoned for not more than 12 months.

(8) For smuggling for which a seaman is convicted causing loss or damage to the owner or master, the seaman is liable to the owner or master for the loss or damage, and any part of the seaman's wages may be retained to satisfy the liability. The seaman also may be imprisoned for not more than 12 months.

(Pub. L. 98–89, Aug. 26, 1983, 97 Stat. 582.)

Historical and Revision Notes
Revised sectionSource section (U.S. Code)
11501 46:701

Section 11501 provides penalties for specific offenses committed by seamen.

§11502. Entry of offenses in logbook

(a) When an offense listed in section 11501 of this title is committed, an entry shall be made in the vessel's official logbook—

(1) on the day of the offense;

(2) stating the details;

(3) signed by the master; and

(4) signed by the chief mate or another seaman.


(b) Before arrival in port if the offense was committed at sea, or before departure if the offense was committed in port and the offender is still on the vessel—

(1) the entry shall be read to the offender;

(2) the offender shall be given a copy; and

(3) the offender shall be given the opportunity to reply.


(c) After subsection (b) of this section has been complied with, an entry shall be made in the official logbook—

(1) stating that the entry about the offense was read and a copy provided to the offender;

(2) stating the offender's reply;

(3) signed by the master; and

(4) signed by the chief mate or another seaman.


(d) In a subsequent legal proceeding, if the entries required by this section are not produced or proved, the court may refuse to receive evidence of the offense.

(Pub. L. 98–89, Aug. 26, 1983, 97 Stat. 583.)

Historical and Revision Notes
Revised sectionSource section (U.S. Code)
11502 46:702

Section 11502 describes the manner in which offenses must be recorded in the official logbook, and the use of the records by the court.

§11503. Duties of consular officers related to insubordination

(a) A consular officer shall use every means to discountenance insubordination on vessels of the United States, including employing the aid of local authorities.

(b) When a seaman is accused of insubordination, a consular officer shall inquire into the facts and proceed as provided in section 11106 of this title. If the consular officer discharges the seaman, the officer shall endorse the agreement required by this part and enter in the vessel's official logbook the cause and particulars of the discharge.

(Pub. L. 98–89, Aug. 26, 1983, 97 Stat. 583.)

Historical and Revision Notes
Revised sectionSource section (U.S. Code)
11503 46:703

Section 11503 delegates to consular officers certain responsibilities related to insubordination of seamen on United States vessels.

§11504. Enforcement of forfeitures

When an offense by a seaman also is a criminal violation, it is not necessary that a criminal proceeding be brought to enforce a forfeiture.

(Pub. L. 98–89, Aug. 26, 1983, 97 Stat. 584.)

Historical and Revision Notes
Revised sectionSource section (U.S. Code)
11504 46:705

Section 11504 provides that when a seaman has committed a criminal offense, a forfeiture may be enforced through civil proceedings.

§11505. Disposal of forfeitures

(a) Money, property, and wages forfeited under this chapter for desertion may be applied to compensate the owner or master of the vessel for expenses caused by the desertion. The balance shall be transferred to the appropriate district court of the United States when the voyage is completed.

(b) If it appears to the district court that the forfeiture was imposed properly, the property transferred may be sold in the same manner prescribed for the disposition of the property of deceased seamen. The court shall deposit in the Treasury as miscellaneous receipts the proceeds of the sale and any money and wages transferred to the court.

(c) When an owner or master fails to transfer the balance as required under subsection (a) of this section, the owner or master is liable to the United States Government for a civil penalty of 2 times the amount of the balance, recoverable by the Secretary in the same manner that seaman's wages are recovered.

(d) In all other cases of forfeiture of wages, the forfeiture shall be for the benefit of the owner of the vessel.

(Pub. L. 98–89, Aug. 26, 1983, 97 Stat. 584; Pub. L. 103–206, title IV, §421, Dec. 20, 1993, 107 Stat. 2438.)

Historical and Revision Notes
Revised sectionSource section (U.S. Code)
11505 46:706

Section 11505 provides for the disposal of wages forfeited by deserting seamen.

Amendments

1993—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 103–206, §421(1), substituted "The balance shall be transferred to the appropriate district court of the United States when the voyage is completed." for "The balance shall be transferred to the Secretary when the voyage is completed, as prescribed by the Secretary."

Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 103–206, §421(2), struck out at beginning "Within one month of receiving the balance under subsection (a) of this section, the Secretary shall transfer the balance to the appropriate district court of the United States."

§11506. Carrying sheath knives

A seaman in the merchant marine may not wear a sheath knife on board a vessel without the consent of the master. The master of a vessel of the United States shall inform each seaman of this prohibition before engagement. A master failing to advise a seaman is liable to the United States Government for a civil penalty of $50.

(Pub. L. 98–89, Aug. 26, 1983, 97 Stat. 584.)

Historical and Revision Notes
Revised sectionSource section (U.S. Code)
11506 46:710

Section 11506 prohibits a merchant seaman from carrying a sheath knife without permission of the master, and penalizes a master who does not advise a seaman of this provision.

§11507. Surrender of offending officers

When an officer of a vessel of the United States (except the master) has violated section 2191 of title 18, and the master has actual knowledge of the offense or if complaint is made within 3 days after reaching port, the master shall surrender the offending officer to the proper authorities. If the master fails to use diligence to comply with this section and the offender escapes, the owner, the master, and the vessel are liable for damages to the individual unlawfully punished.

(Pub. L. 98–89, Aug. 26, 1983, 97 Stat. 584.)

Historical and Revision Notes
Revised sectionSource section (U.S. Code)
11507 46:712

Section 11507 requires a master of a vessel of the United States to surrender to the proper authorities any officer who has violated section 2191 of title 18 (which provides a penalty for cruelty to seamen by officers), and penalizes the master for noncompliance.