[USC02] 47 USC CHAPTER 5, SUBCHAPTER III, Part II: Radio Equipment and Radio Operators On Board Ship
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TEXT OF PART V OF SUBTITLE A (3001 ET SEQ.), EFFECTIVE JANUARY 1, 2022, CURRENTLY SET OUT AS A PREVIEW

47 USC CHAPTER 5, SUBCHAPTER III, Part II: Radio Equipment and Radio Operators On Board Ship
From Title 47—TELECOMMUNICATIONSCHAPTER 5—WIRE OR RADIO COMMUNICATIONSUBCHAPTER III—SPECIAL PROVISIONS RELATING TO RADIO

Part II—Radio Equipment and Radio Operators On Board Ship

§351. Ship radio stations and operations

(a) Except as provided in section 352 hereof it shall be unlawful—

(1) For any ship of the United States, other than a cargo ship of less than three hundred gross tons, to be navigated in the open sea outside of a harbor or port, or for any ship of the United States or any foreign country, other than a cargo ship of less than three hundred gross tons, to leave or attempt to leave any harbor or port of the United States for a voyage in the open sea, unless such ship is equipped with an efficient radio station in operating condition, as specified by subparagraphs (A) and (B) of this paragraph, in charge of and operated by one or more radio officers or operators, adequately installed and protected so as to insure proper operation, and so as not to endanger the ship and radio station as hereinafter provided, and, in the case of a ship of the United States, unless there is on board a valid station license issued in accordance with this chapter.

(A) Passenger ships irrespective of size and cargo ships of one thousand six hundred gross tons and upward shall be equipped with a radiotelegraph station complying with the provisions of this part;

(B) Cargo ships of three hundred gross tons and upward but less than one thousand six hundred gross tons, unless equipped with a radiotelegraph station complying with the provisions of this part, shall be equipped with a radiotelephone station complying with the provisions of this part.


(2) For any ship of the United States of one thousand six hundred gross tons and upward to be navigated in the open sea outside of a harbor or port, or for any such ship of the United States or any foreign country to leave or attempt to leave any harbor or port of the United States for a voyage in the open sea, unless such ship is equipped with efficient radio direction finding apparatus approved by the Commission, properly adjusted in operating condition as hereinafter provided.


(b) A ship which is not subject to the provisions of this part at the time of its departure on a voyage shall not become subject to such provisions on account of any deviation from its intended voyage due to stress of weather or any other cause over which neither the master, the owner, nor the charterer (if any) has control.

(June 19, 1934, ch. 652, title III, §351, as added May 20, 1937, ch. 229, §10(b), 50 Stat. 192; amended Aug. 13, 1954, ch. 729, §1(a), 68 Stat. 704; Pub. L. 89–121, §2, Aug. 13, 1965, 79 Stat. 512.)


Editorial Notes

References in Text

This chapter, referred to in subsec. (a)(1), was in the original "this Act", meaning act June 19, 1934, ch. 652, 48 Stat. 1064, known as the Communications Act of 1934, which is classified principally to this chapter. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see section 609 of this title and Tables.

Amendments

1965—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 89–121 substituted "radio station" for "radio installation", broadened coverage so as to extend to vessels over 300 tons rather than 500 tons, required passenger ships irrespective of size and cargo ships over 1600 tons to be equipped with a radio telegraph station and cargo ships over 300 tons, unless equipped with a radiotelegraph station, to be equipped with a radiotelephone station, and eliminated provisions which empowered the Commission to defer the application of the provisions of paragraphs (1) and (2) of this subsection for periods not beyond Jan. 1, 1955, and Nov. 19, 1954, respectively.

1954—Subsec. (a)(1). Act Aug. 13, 1954, broadened coverage so as to extend to vessels over 500 tons rather than 1,600 tons.

Subsec. (a)(2). Act Aug. 13, 1954, broadened coverage so as to extend to any United States flag vessel of 1,600 gross tons or over rather than any passenger vessel of 5,000 gross tons or over.


Statutory Notes and Related Subsidiaries

Effective Date

Section 16 of act May 20, 1937, provided that: "This Act [enacting this part, amending sections 151, 153, 154, 303, 321, 322, 329, 402, 504, and 602 of this title, and repealing sections 484 to 487 of former Title 46, Shipping] shall take effect upon approval [May 20, 1937] provided that the Commission may defer the application of all or any part of sections 351 to 355 [sections 351 to 355 of this title], inclusive, for a period not to exceed six months after approval, in regard to any ship or classes of ships of the United States which are not subject to the provisions of the safety convention, if it is found impracticable to obtain the necessary equipment or make the required installations."

Joint Studies of Need for Safety Devices on Certain Cargo Ships; Report

Act Aug. 3, 1956, ch. 913, 70 Stat. 967, authorized the Federal Communications Commission, the United States Coast Guard, and the Federal Maritime Administration, acting jointly, to make a full and complete study and investigation with respect to the need for installing automatic radiotelegraph call selectors on cargo ships of the United States carrying less than two radio operators, and other such safety devices, and the feasibility thereof, and required a report to the Congress not later than Mar. 1, 1957.

§352. Exemptions

(a) Vessels excepted

The provisions of this part shall not apply to—

(1) A ship of war;

(2) A ship of the United States belonging to and operated by the Government, except a ship of the Maritime Administration of the Department of Transportation, the Inland and Coastwise Waterways Service, or the Panama Canal Company;

(3) A foreign ship belonging to a country which is a party to any Safety Convention in force between the United States and that country which ship carries a valid certificate exempting said ship from the radio provisions of that Convention, or which ship conforms to the radio requirements of such Convention or Regulations and has on board a valid certificate to that effect, or which ship is not subject to the radio provisions of any such Convention;

(4) Yachts of less than six hundred gross tons not subject to the radio provisions of the Safety Convention;

(5) Vessels in tow;

(6) A ship navigating solely on any bays, sounds, rivers, or protected waters within the jurisdiction of the United States, or to a ship leaving or attempting to leave any harbor or port of the United States for a voyage solely on any bays, sounds, rivers, or protected waters within the jurisdiction of the United States;

(7) A ship navigating solely on the Great Lakes of North America and the River Saint Lawrence as far east as a straight line drawn from Cap des Rosiers to West Point, Anticosti Island, and, on the north side of Anticosti Island, the sixty-third meridian, or to a ship leaving or attempting to leave any harbor or port of the United States for a voyage solely on such waters and within such area;

(8) A ship which is navigated during the course of a voyage both on the Great Lakes of North America and in the open sea, during the period while such ship is being navigated within the Great Lakes of North America and their connecting and tributary waters as far east as the lower exit of the Saint Lambert lock at Montreal in the Province of Quebec, Canada.

(b) Radio station unreasonable or unnecessary

Except for nuclear ships, the Commission may, if it considers that the route or the conditions of the voyage or other circumstances are such as to render a radio station unreasonable or unnecessary for the purposes of this part, exempt from the provisions of this part any ship or class of ships which falls within any of the following descriptions:

(1) Passenger ships which in the course of their voyage do not go more than twenty nautical miles from the nearest land or, alternatively, do not go more than two hundred nautical miles between two consecutive ports;

(2) Cargo ships which in the course of their voyage do not go more than one hundred and fifty nautical miles from the nearest land;

(3) Passenger vessels of less than one hundred gross tons not subject to the radio provisions of the Safety Convention;

(4) Sailing ships.

(c) Unforeseeable equipment failures

If, because of unforeseeable failure of equipment, a ship is unable to comply with the equipment requirements of this part without undue delay of the ship, the mileage limitations set forth in paragraphs (1) and (2) of subsection (b) shall not apply: Provided, That exemption of the ship is found to be reasonable or necessary in accordance with subsection (b) to permit the ship to proceed to a port where the equipment deficiency may be remedied.

(d) Radio direction finding apparatus unreasonable or unnecessary

Except for nuclear ships, and except for ships of five thousand gross tons and upward which are subject to the Safety Convention, the Commission may exempt from the requirements, for radio direction finding apparatus, of this part and of the Safety Convention, any ship which falls within the descriptions set forth in paragraphs (1), (2), (3), and (4) of subsection (b) of this section, if it considers that the route or conditions of the voyage or other circumstances are such as to render such apparatus unreasonable or unnecessary.

(June 19, 1934, ch. 652, title III, §352, as added May 20, 1937, ch. 229, §10(b), 50 Stat. 192; amended Sept. 26, 1950, ch. 1049, §2(a)(2), 64 Stat. 1038; Aug. 13, 1954, ch. 729, §1(b), (c), 68 Stat. 705; Pub. L. 89–121, §3, Aug. 13, 1965, 79 Stat. 512; Pub. L. 97–31, §12(151), Aug. 6, 1981, 95 Stat. 167.)


Editorial Notes

References in Text

Panama Canal Company, referred to in subsec. (a)(2), deemed to refer to Panama Canal Commission, see section 3602(b)(5) of Title 22, Foreign Relations and Intercourse.

Amendments

1981—Subsec. (a)(2). Pub. L. 97–31 substituted "Maritime Administration of the Department of Transportation" for "United States Maritime Commission". For prior transfers of functions, see Transfer of Functions note set out below.

1965—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 89–121, §3(a), added pars. (6) to (8) and struck out former par. (6) which made the provisions of this part inapplicable to a vessel navigating solely on the Great Lakes, or on any bays, sounds, rivers, or protected waters within the jurisdiction of the United States, or to a vessel leaving or attempting to leave any harbor or port of the United States for a voyage solely on the Great Lakes, or on any bays, sounds, rivers, or protected waters within the jurisdiction of the United States.

Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 89–121, §3(b), excepted nuclear ships and substituted "or, alternatively, do not go more than two hundred nautical miles" for "or more than two hundred nautical miles".

Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 89–121, §3(c), added subsec. (d).

1954—Subsec. (a)(3). Act Aug. 13, 1954, §1(b), substituted "any Safety Convention in force between the United States and that country" for "the Safety Convention and" and inserted at end "or which ship is not subject to the radio provisions of any such Convention".

Subsec. (c). Act Aug. 13, 1954, §1(c), added subsec. (c).

1950—Subsec. (a)(2). Act Sept. 26, 1950, substituted "Panama Canal Company" for "Panama Railroad Company".


Statutory Notes and Related Subsidiaries

Effective Date

Section effective May 20, 1937, unless deferred by the Commission, see section 16 of act May 20, 1937, set out as a note under section 351 of this title.

Exemption of Commercial Fishing Vessels Operating in Alaskan Region from Global Maritime Distress and Safety System Requirements of Federal Communications Commission

Pub. L. 116–283, div. G, title LVXXXIII [LXXXIII], §8336, Jan. 1, 2021, 134 Stat. 4708, provided that:

"(a) Definition of Secretary.—In this section, the term 'Secretary' means the Secretary of the department in which the Coast Guard is operating.

"(b) Exemption.—Subject to subsection (c), the Federal Communications Commission shall exempt fishing vessels that primarily operate in the Alaskan Region, including fishing vessels that transit from States in the Pacific Northwest to conduct fishing operations in the Alaskan Region, from the requirements relating to carriage of VHF–DSC and MF–DSC equipment under subpart W of part 80 of title 47, Code of Federal Regulations, or any successor regulation.

"(c) Functional Requirements.—A fishing vessel exempted under subsection (b) shall—

"(1) be capable of transmitting ship-to-shore distress alerts using not fewer than 2 separate and independent systems, each using a different radio communication service;

"(2) be equipped with—

"(A) a VHF radiotelephone installation;

"(B) an MF or HF radiotelephone installation;

"(C) a Category 1, 406.0–406.1 MHz EPIRB meeting the requirements of section 80.1061 of title 47, Code of Federal Regulations, or any successor regulation;

"(D) a NAVTEX receiver meeting the requirements of section 80.1101(c)(1) of title 47, Code of Federal Regulations, or any successor regulation;

"(E) survival craft equipment meeting the requirements of section 80.1095 of title 47, Code of Federal Regulations, or any successor regulation; and

"(F) a Search and Rescue Transponder meeting the requirements of section 80.1101(c)(6) of title 47, Code of Federal Regulations, or any successor regulation;

"(3) maintain a continuous watch on VHF Channel 16; and

"(4) as an alternative to the equipment listed in subparagraphs (A) through (F) of paragraph (2), carry equipment found by the Federal Communications Commission, in consultation with the Secretary, to be equivalent or superior with respect to ensuring the safety of the vessel.

"(d) Definition of Alaskan Region.—Not later than 30 days after the date of enactment of this Act [Jan. 1, 2021], the Secretary shall define the term 'Alaskan Region' for purposes of this section. The Secretary shall include in the definition of such term the area of responsibility of Coast Guard District 17."


Executive Documents

Transfer of Functions

For transfer of functions of United States Maritime Commission, see Reorg. Plan No. 21 of 1950 and Reorg. Plan No. 7 of 1961, set out in the Appendix to Title 5, Government Organization and Employees.

§353. Radio equipment and operators

(a) Two radio officers required

Each cargo ship which in accordance with this part is equipped with a radiotelegraph station and which is not equipped with a radiotelegraph auto alarm, and each passenger ship required by this part to be equipped with a radiotelegraph station, shall, for safety purposes, carry at least two radio officers.

(b) One radio officer required

A cargo ship which in accordance with this part is equipped with a radiotelegraph station, which is equipped with a radiotelegraph auto alarm, shall, for safety purposes, carry at least one radio officer who shall have had at least six months' previous service in the aggregate as a radio officer in a station on board a ship or ships of the United States.

(c) Required watches

Each ship of the United States which in accordance with this part is equipped with a radiotelegraph station shall, while being navigated in the open sea outside of a harbor or port, keep a continuous watch by means of radio officers whenever the station is not being used for authorized traffic: Provided, That, in lieu thereof, on a cargo ship equipped with a radiotelegraph auto alarm in proper operating condition, a watch of at least eight hours per day, in the aggregate, shall be maintained by means of a radio officer.

(d) Hours of watch

The Commission shall, when it finds it necessary for safety purposes, have authority to prescribe the particular hours of watch on a ship of the United States which in accordance with this part is equipped with a radiotelegraph station.

(e) Operational status of auto alarms in open sea

On all ships of the United States equipped with a radiotelegraph auto alarm, said apparatus shall be in operation at all times while the ship is being navigated in the open sea outside of a harbor or port when the radio officer is not on watch.

(June 19, 1934, ch. 652, title III, §353, as added May 20, 1937, ch. 229, §10(b), 50 Stat. 193; amended July 8, 1941, ch. 278, 55 Stat. 579; June 22, 1943, ch. 137, 57 Stat. 161; July 25, 1947, ch. 327, §2(a), 61 Stat. 451; Aug. 13, 1954, ch. 729, §1(d), 68 Stat. 705; Pub. L. 89–121, §4, Aug. 13, 1965, 79 Stat. 513.)


Editorial Notes

Amendments

1965Pub. L. 89–121, among other changes, substituted wherever appearing "radiotelegraph station" for "radiotelegraph installation", "radiotelegraph auto alarm" for "auto-alarm", and "radio officer" and "radio officers" for "qualified operator" and "qualified operators", required a continuous watch to be kept when the radiotelegraph station is not being used for authorized traffic, and inserted "while being navigated in the open sea" in two places.

1954—Act Aug. 13, 1954, amended section to make clear that it applies only to ships equipped with a radiotelegraph installation, not those fitted with a radiotelephone installation.

1943—Subsec. (b). Act June 22, 1943, substituted "the termination of such emergency or such earlier date as Congress by concurrent resolution may designate" for "June 30, 1943".

1941—Subsec. (b). Act July 8, 1941, inserted exception respecting national emergency.


Statutory Notes and Related Subsidiaries

Partial Repeal Effective July 1, 1948

Acts July 8, 1941, and June 22, 1943, which amended subsec. (b) of this section by adding the clause authorizing suspension or modification of the service requirement during the emergency, were repealed, effective July 1, 1948, by act July 25, 1947, which provided that such acts should remain in full force and effect until such date.

Effective Date

Section effective May 20, 1937, unless deferred by the Commission, see section 16 of act May 20, 1937, set out as a note under section 351 of this title.

Approval of Operators by Secretary of Navy During War

Act Dec. 17, 1941, ch. 588, 55 Stat. 808, as amended June 28, 1943, ch. 174, 57 Stat. 244; June 13, 1945, ch. 190, 59 Stat. 259; 1946 Reorg. Plan No. 3, §101, eff. July 16, 1946, 11 F.R. 7875, 60 Stat. 1097, prohibiting employment of radio operators who were disapproved by the Secretary of the Navy during World War II, was repealed by act July 25, 1947, ch. 327, §1, 61 Stat. 449.

§353a. Operators and watches on radiotelephone equipped ships

(a) Each cargo ship which in accordance with this part is equipped with a radiotelephone station shall, for safety purposes, carry at least one operator who may be the master, an officer, or a member of the crew.

(b) Each cargo ship of the United States which in accordance with this part is equipped with a radiotelephone station shall, while being navigated in the open sea outside of a harbor or port, maintain continuous watch whenever the station is not being used for authorized traffic.

(June 19, 1934, ch. 652, title III, §354, as added Aug. 13, 1954, ch. 729, §2(b), 68 Stat. 706; amended Pub. L. 89–121, §5, Aug. 13, 1965, 79 Stat. 514.)


Editorial Notes

Amendments

1965Pub. L. 89–121 substituted "radiotelephone station" for "radiotelephone installation" in two places, and "one operator who may be the master, an officer, or a member of the crew" for "one qualified operator who may be a member of the crew holding only a certificate for radio telephony", inserted "in the open sea" before "outside of a harbor", and required a continuous watch whenever the station is not being used for authorized traffic.

§354. Technical requirements of equipment on radiotelegraph equipped ships

The radiotelegraph station and the radio direction finding apparatus required by section 351 of this title shall comply with the following requirements:

(a) The radiotelegraph station shall include a main installation and a reserve installation, electrically separate and electrically independent of each other: Provided, That, in installations on cargo ships of three hundred gross tons and upward but less than one thousand six hundred gross tons, and in installations on cargo ships of one thousand six hundred gross tons and upward installed prior to November 19, 1952, if the main transmitter complies with all the requirements for the reserve transmitter, the latter may be omitted.

(b) The radiotelegraph station shall be so located that no harmful interference from extraneous mechanical or other noise will be caused to the proper reception of radio signals, and shall be placed in the upper part of the ship in a position of the greatest possible safety and as high as practicable above the deepest load waterline. The location of the radiotelegraph operating room or rooms shall be approved by the Commandant of the Coast Guard. The radiotelegraph installation shall be installed in such a position that it will be protected against the harmful effects of water or extremes of temperature, and shall be readily accessible both for immediate use in case of distress and for repair.

(c) The radiotelegraph operating room shall be of sufficient size and of adequate ventilation to enable the main and reserve radiotelegraph installations to be operated efficiently, and shall not be used for any purpose which will interfere with the operation of the radiotelegraph station. The sleeping accommodation of at least one radio officer shall be situated as near as practicable to the radiotelegraph operating room. In ships the keels of which are laid on or after May 26, 1965, this sleeping accommodation shall not be within the radiotelegraph operating room.

(d) The main and reserve installations shall be capable of transmitting and receiving on the frequencies, and using the classes of emission, designated by the Commission pursuant to law for the purposes of distress and safety of navigation.

(e) The main and reserve installations shall, when connected to the main antenna, have a minimum normal range of two hundred nautical miles and one hundred nautical miles, respectively; that is, they must be capable of transmitting and receiving clearly perceptible signals from ship to ship by day and under normal conditions and circumstances over the specified ranges.

(f) Sufficient electrical energy shall be available at all times to operate the main installation over the normal range required by subsection (e) of this section as well as for the purpose of charging any batteries forming part of the radiotelegraph station.

(g) The reserve installation shall include a source of electrical energy independent of the propelling power of the ship and of any other electrical system and shall be capable of being put into operation rapidly and of working for at least six continuous hours. The reserve source of energy and its switchboard shall be as high as practicable in the ship and readily accessible to the radio officer.

(h) There shall be provided between the bridge of the ship and the radiotelegraph operating room, and between the bridge and the location of the radio direction finding apparatus, when such apparatus is not located on the bridge, an efficient two-way system for calling and voice communication which shall be independent of any other communication system in the ship.

(i) The radio direction finding apparatus shall be efficient and capable of receiving signals with the minimum of receiver noise and of taking bearings from which the true bearing and direction may be determined. It shall be capable of receiving signals on the radiotelegraph frequencies assigned by the radio regulations annexed to the International Telecommunication Convention in force for the purposes of distress, direction finding, and maritime radio beacons, and, in installations made after May 26, 1965, such other frequencies as the Commission may for safety purposes designate.

(June 19, 1934, ch. 652, title III, §355, formerly §354, as added May 20, 1937, ch. 229, §10(b), 50 Stat. 193; amended 1946 Reorg. Plan No. 3, §§101–104, eff. July 16, 1946, 11 F.R. 7875, 60 Stat. 1097; renumbered §355 and amended Aug. 13, 1954, ch. 729, §2(a)(1), (c), 68 Stat. 706; Pub. L. 89–121, §6, Aug. 13, 1965, 79 Stat. 514.)


Editorial Notes

Amendments

1965Pub. L. 89–121 substituted "radiotelegraph station" for "radio installation" in opening provisions.

Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 89–121, among other changes, substituted "radiotelegraph station" for "radio installation", required the main installation and the reserve installation to be electrically separate and independent of each other, and included cargo ships between 300 and 500 tons within the ships that may omit the reserve transmitter if the main transmitter complies with all the requirements for the reserve transmitter.

Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 89–121 required the radiotelegraph station to be so located that no harmful interference will be caused to the proper reception of radio signals, and to be installed in such a position that it will be protected against the harmful effects of water or extremes of temperature, and will be readily accessible both for immediate use in case of distress and for repair.

Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 89–121 added subsec. (c) and redesignated former subsec. (c) as (d).

Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 89–121 redesignated former subsec. (c) as (d), and substituted "main and reserve installations shall be capable of transmitting and receiving on the frequencies, and using the classes of emission, designated" for "main and emergency or reserve installations shall be capable of transmitting and receiving on the frequencies and types of waves designated". Former subsec. (d) redesignated (e).

Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 89–121 redesignated former subsec. (d) as (e), and inserted provisions requiring the reserve installation to have a minimum normal range of 100 nautical miles. Former subsec. (e) redesignated (f).

Subsec. (f). Pub. L. 89–121 redesignated former subsec. (e) as (f), and substituted "electrical energy" for "power" and "operate the main installation over the normal range required by subsection (e) of this section as well as for the purpose of charging any batteries forming part of the radiotelegraph station" for "operate the main radio installation efficiently under normal conditions over the range specified in subsection (d) of this section". Former subsec. (f) redesignated (g).

Subsec. (g). Pub. L. 89–121 redesignated former subsec. (f) as (g), directed that the reserve source of energy and its switchboard shall be as high as practicable in the ship and readily accessible to the radio officer, and eliminated provisions which stated that for the emergency or reserve installation the normal range shall be at least 100 nautical miles. Former subsec. (g) redesignated (h).

Subsec. (h). Pub. L. 89–121 redesignated former subsec. (g) as (h), and substituted provisions requiring the method of communication between the bridge and the radiotelegraph room and the location of the radio direction finding apparatus to be an efficient two-way system for calling and voice communication for provisions which required an efficient means of communication. Former subsec. (h) redesignated (i).

Subsec. (i). Pub. L. 89–121 redesignated former subsec. (h) as (i), and substituted provisions requiring the apparatus to be capable of receiving signals with the minimum of receiver noise for provisions which required the apparatus to be capable of receiving clearly perceptible signals.

1954—Act Aug. 13, 1954, §2(a)(1), amended credit to section by changing section number from "354" to "355" of act June 19, 1934.

Subsec. (a). Act Aug. 13, 1954, §2(c), provided for a "reserve radiotelegraph installation" instead of merely a "reserve installation".


Statutory Notes and Related Subsidiaries

Effective Date

Section effective May 20, 1937, unless deferred by the Commission, see section 16 of act May 20, 1937, set out as a note under section 351 of this title.

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.

Coast Guard transferred to Department of Transportation, and functions, powers, and duties relating to Coast Guard of Secretary of the Treasury and of all other officers and offices of Department of the Treasury transferred to Secretary of Transportation by Pub. L. 89–670, §6(b)(1), Oct. 15, 1966, 80 Stat. 938. Section 6(b)(2) of Pub. L. 89–670, however, provided that notwithstanding such transfer of functions, Coast Guard shall operate as part of Navy in time of war or when President directs as provided in former section 3 (now 103) of Title 14, Coast Guard. See section 108 of Title 49, Transportation.


Executive Documents

"Commandant of the Coast Guard" substituted in subsec. (b) for "Bureau of Marine Inspection and Navigation, Department of Commerce" on authority of Reorg. Plan No. 3 of 1946, §§101–104, set out in the Appendix to Title 5.

For transfer of functions of other officers, employees, and agencies of Department of the Treasury, with certain exceptions, to Secretary of the Treasury with power to delegate, see Reorg. Plan No. 26 of 1950, §§1, 2, eff. July 31, 1950, 15 F.R. 4935, 64 Stat. 1280, 1281, set out in the Appendix to Title 5, Government Organization and Employees. Functions of Coast Guard, and Commandant of Coast Guard, excepted from transfer when Coast Guard is operating as part of Navy under former sections 1 and 3 (now 101 and 103) of Title 14.

§354a. Technical requirements of equipment on radiotelephone equipped ships

Cargo ships of three hundred gross tons and upward but less than one thousand six hundred gross tons may, in lieu of the radiotelegraph station prescribed by section 354 of this title, be equipped with a radiotelephone station complying with the following requirements:

(a) The radiotelephone station shall be in the upper part of the ship, so located that it is sheltered to the greatest possible extent from noise which might impair the correct reception of messages and signals, and, unless such station is situated on the bridge, there shall be efficient communication with the bridge.

(b) The radiotelephone installation shall be capable of transmitting and receiving on the frequencies, and using the classes of emission, designated by the Commission pursuant to law for the purposes of distress and safety of navigation.

(c) The radiotelephone installation shall have a minimum normal range of one hundred and fifty nautical miles; that is, it shall be capable of transmitting and receiving clearly perceptible signals from ship to ship by day and under normal conditions and circumstances over this range.

(d) There shall be available at all times a main source of electrical energy sufficient to operate the installation over the normal range required by subsection (c) of this section. If batteries are provided they shall have sufficient capacity to operate the transmitter and receiver for at least six continuous hours under normal working conditions. In installations made on or after November 19, 1952, a reserve source of electrical energy shall be provided in the upper part of the ship unless the main source of energy is so situated.

(June 19, 1934, ch. 652, title III, §356, as added Aug. 13, 1954, ch. 729, §2(d), 68 Stat. 706; amended Pub. L. 89–121, §7, Aug. 13, 1965, 79 Stat. 515.)


Editorial Notes

Amendments

1965Pub. L. 89–121 limited the opening provisions to cargo ships of 300 gross tons and upwards.

Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 89–121 required the radiotelephone station to be so located that it is sheltered to the greatest possible extent from noise which might impair the correct reception of messages and signals.

Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 89–121 substituted "on the frequencies, and using the classes of emission, designated" for "on the frequencies and with types of emissions designated".

Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 89–121 substituted "radiotelephone installation" for "transmitter" and inserted provisions requiring the installation to be capable of receiving clearly perceptible signals over the minimum normal range.

Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 89–121 substituted "a main source of electrical energy" for "a source of energy", "at least six continuous hours" for "at least six hours continuously", and "installations made on or after November 19, 1952, a reserve source of electrical energy" for "in installations an emergency source of energy".

§355. Survival craft

Every ship required to be provided with survival craft radio by treaty to which the United States is a party, by statute, or by regulation made in conformity with a treaty, convention, or statute, shall be fitted with efficient radio equipment appropriate to such requirement under such rules and regulations as the Commission may find necessary for safety of life. For purposes of this section, "radio equipment" shall include portable as well as nonportable apparatus.

(June 19, 1934, ch. 652, title III, §357, formerly §355, as added May 20, 1937, ch. 229, §10(b), 50 Stat. 194; renumbered §357 and amended Aug. 13, 1954, ch. 729, §2(a)(1), (e), 68 Stat. 706, 707; Pub. L. 89–121, §8, Aug. 13, 1965, 79 Stat. 516.)


Editorial Notes

Amendments

1965Pub. L. 89–121 substituted "survival craft" for "lifeboat".

1954—Act Aug. 13, 1954, §2(a)(1), amended credit to section by changing section number from "355" to "357" of act June 19, 1934.

Act Aug. 13, 1954, §2(e), provided that lifeboats be equipped with "radio equipment" rather than a "radio installation" and defined "radio equipment" as including portable as well as nonportable apparatus.


Statutory Notes and Related Subsidiaries

Effective Date

Section effective May 20, 1937, unless deferred by the Commission, see section 16 of act May 20, 1937, set out as a note under section 351 of this title.

§356. Approval of installations by Commission

Insofar as is necessary to carry out the purposes and requirements of this part, the Commission shall have authority, for any ship subject to this part—

(1) To approve the details as to the location and manner of installations of the equipment required by this part or of equipment necessitated by reason of the purposes and requirements of this part.

(2) To approve installations, apparatus, and spare parts necessary to comply with the purposes and requirements of this part.

(3) To prescribe such additional equipment as may be determined to be necessary to supplement that specified in this part, for the proper functioning of the radio installation installed in accordance with this part or for the proper conduct of radio communication in time of emergency or distress.

(June 19, 1934, ch. 652, title III, §358, formerly §356, as added May 20, 1937, ch. 229, §10(b), 50 Stat. 194; renumbered §358, Aug. 13, 1954, ch. 729, §2(a)(1), 68 Stat. 706; amended Pub. L. 103–414, title III, §303(a)(19), Oct. 25, 1994, 108 Stat. 4295.)


Editorial Notes

References in Text

This part, referred to in text, commences with section 351 of this title.

Amendments

1994Pub. L. 103–414 struck out "(a)" before "Insofar as".


Statutory Notes and Related Subsidiaries

Effective Date

Section effective May 20, 1937, see section 16 of act May 20, 1937, set out as a note under section 351 of this title.

§357. Safety information

(a) Transmission of information concerning safety at sea

The master of every ship of the United States, equipped with radio transmitting apparatus, which meets with dangerous ice, a dangerous derelict, a tropical storm, or any other direct danger to navigation, or encounters subfreezing air temperatures associated with gale force winds causing severe ice accretion on superstructures, or winds of force 10 or above on the Beaufort scale for which no storm warning has been received, shall cause to be transmitted all pertinent information relating thereto to ships in the vicinity and to the appropriate authorities on land, in accordance with rules and regulations issued by the Commission. When they consider it necessary, such authorities of the United States shall promptly bring the information received by them to the knowledge of those concerned, including interested foreign authorities.

(b) Charges for transmission of safety information

No charge shall be made by any ship or station in the mobile service of the United States for the transmission, receipt, or relay of the information designated in subsection (a) originating on a ship of the United States or of a foreign country.

(c) Reimbursement by Commission

The transmission by any ship of the United States, made in compliance with subsection (a), to any station which imposes a charge for the reception, relay, or forwarding of the required information, shall be free of cost to the ship concerned and any communication charges incurred by the ship for transmission, relay, or forwarding of the information may be certified to the Commission for reimbursement out of moneys appropriated to the Commission for that purpose.

(d) Charges for transmission of distress messages

No charge shall be made by any ship or station in the mobile service of the United States for the transmission of distress messages and replies thereto in connection with situations involving the safety of life and property at sea.

(e) Free services

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, any station or carrier may render free service in connection with situations involving the safety of life and property, including hydrographic reports, weather reports, reports regarding aids to navigation and medical assistance to injured or sick persons on ships and aircraft at sea. All free service permitted by this subsection shall be subject to such rules and regulations as the Commission may prescribe, which rules may limit such free service to the extent which the Commission finds desirable in the public interest.

(June 19, 1934, ch. 652, title III, §359, formerly §357, as added May 20, 1937, ch. 229, §10(b), 50 Stat. 195; renumbered §359, Aug. 13, 1954, ch. 729, §2(a)(1), 68 Stat. 706; amended Pub. L. 89–121, §9, Aug. 13, 1965, 79 Stat. 516.)


Editorial Notes

Amendments

1965—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 89–121 directed the master of every ship of the United States equipped with radio transmitting apparatus which encounters subfreezing air temperatures associated with gale force winds causing severe ice accretion on superstructures, or winds of force 10 or above on the Beaufort scale for which no storm warning has been received to transmit the pertinent information relating thereto.


Statutory Notes and Related Subsidiaries

Effective Date

Section effective May 20, 1937, see section 16 of act May 20, 1937, set out as a note under section 351 of this title.

§358. Master's control over operations

The radio installation, the operators, the regulation of their watches, the transmission and receipt of messages, and the radio service of the ship except as they may be regulated by law or international agreement, or by rules and regulations made in pursuance thereof, shall in the case of a ship of the United States be under the supreme control of the master.

(June 19, 1934, ch. 652, title III, §360, formerly §358, as added May 20, 1937, ch. 229, §10(b), 50 Stat. 195; renumbered §360, ch. 729, §2(a)(1), Aug. 13, 1954, 68 Stat. 706.)


Statutory Notes and Related Subsidiaries

Effective Date

Section effective May 20, 1937, see section 16 of act May 20, 1937, set out as a note under section 351 of this title.

§359. Certificates of compliance; issuance, modification, and cancellation

(a) Each vessel of the United States to which the Safety Convention applies shall comply with the radio and communication provisions of said Convention at all times while the vessel is in use, in addition to all other requirements of law, and shall have on board an appropriate certificate as prescribed by the Safety Convention.

(b) Appropriate certificates concerning the radio particulars provided for in said Convention shall be issued upon proper request to any vessel which is subject to the radio provisions of the Safety Convention and is found by the Commission to comply therewith. Cargo ship safety radio telegraphy certificates, cargo ship safety radiotelephony certificates, and exemption certificates with respect to radio particulars shall be issued by the Commission. Other certificates concerning the radio particulars provided for in the said Convention shall be issued by the Commandant of the Coast Guard or whatever other agency is authorized by law to do so upon request of the Commission made after proper inspection or determination of the facts. If the holder of a certificate violates the radio provisions of the Safety Convention or the provisions of this chapter, or the rules, regulations, or conditions prescribed by the Commission, and if the effective administration of the Safety Convention or of this part so requires, the Commission, after hearing in accordance with law, is authorized to modify or cancel a certificate which it has issued, or to request the modification or cancellation of a certificate which has been issued by another agency upon the Commission's request. Upon receipt of such request for modification or cancellation, the Commandant of the Coast Guard, or whatever agency is authorized by law to do so, shall modify or cancel the certificate in accordance therewith.

(June 19, 1934, ch. 652, title III, §361, formerly §359, as added May 20, 1937, ch. 229, §10(b), 50 Stat. 195; renumbered §361 and amended Aug. 13, 1954, ch. 729, §2(a)(1), (f), 68 Stat. 706, 707; Pub. L. 89–121, §10, Aug. 13, 1965, 79 Stat. 516.)


Editorial Notes

References in Text

This chapter, referred to in subsec. (b), was in the original "this Act", meaning act June 19, 1934, ch. 652, 48 Stat. 1064, known as the Communications Act of 1934, which is classified principally to this chapter. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see section 609 of this title and Tables.

This part, referred to in subsec. (b), commences with section 351 of this title.

Amendments

1965—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 89–121 substituted "Cargo ship safety radio telegraphy certificates, cargo ship safety radiotelephony certificates, and exemption certificates with respect to radio particulars shall be issued" for "Safety Radiotelegraphy Certificates and Safety Radiotelephony Certificates, as prescribed by the said Convention, and Exemption Certificates issued in lieu of such certificates, shall be issued."

1954—Act Aug. 13, 1954, §2(a)(1), amended credit to section by changing section number from "359" to "361" of act June 19, 1934.

Subsec. (b). Act Aug. 13, 1954, §2(f), amended subsection generally to provide, among other changes, that certificates of compliance be issued "upon request to any vessel" and to provide that safety radiotelegraph certificates and safety radiotelephony certificates and certain exemption certificates be issued by the Federal Communications Commission.


Statutory Notes and Related Subsidiaries

Effective Date

Section effective May 20, 1937, see section 16 of act May 20, 1937, set out as a note under section 351 of this title.

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.

Coast Guard transferred to Department of Transportation, and functions, powers, and duties relating to Coast Guard of Secretary of the Treasury and of all other officers and offices of Department of the Treasury transferred to Secretary of Transportation by Pub. L. 89–670, §6(b)(1), Oct. 15, 1966, 80 Stat. 938. Section 6(b)(2) of Pub. L. 89–670, however, provided that notwithstanding such transfer of functions, Coast Guard shall operate as part of Navy in time of war or when President directs as provided in former section 3 (now 103) of Title 14, Coast Guard. See section 108 of Title 49, Transportation.

§360. Station licenses; inspection of equipment by Commission

(a) In addition to any other provisions required to be included in a radio station license, the station license of each ship of the United States subject to this subchapter shall include particulars with reference to the items specifically required by this subchapter.

(b) Every ship of the United States that is subject to this part shall have the equipment and apparatus prescribed therein inspected at least once each year by the Commission or an entity designated by the Commission. If, after such inspection, the Commission is satisfied that all relevant provisions of this chapter and the station license have been complied with, the fact shall be so certified on the station license by the Commission. The Commission shall make such additional inspections at frequent intervals as the Commission determines may be necessary to ensure compliance with the requirements of this chapter. The Commission may, upon a finding that the public interest could be served thereby—

(1) waive the annual inspection required under this section for a period of up to 90 days for the sole purpose of enabling a vessel to complete its voyage and proceed to a port in the United States where an inspection can be held; or

(2) waive the annual inspection required under this section for a vessel that is in compliance with the radio provisions of the Safety Convention and that is operating solely in waters beyond the jurisdiction of the United States: Provided, That such inspection shall be performed within 30 days of such vessel's return to the United States.

(June 19, 1934, ch. 652, title III, §362, formerly §360, as added May 20, 1937, ch. 229, §10(b), 50 Stat. 196; renumbered §362, Aug. 13, 1954, ch. 729, §2(a)(1), 68 Stat. 706; amended Pub. L. 87–811, Oct. 15, 1962, 76 Stat. 922; Pub. L. 104–104, title IV, §403(n), Feb. 8, 1996, 110 Stat. 132.)


Editorial Notes

References in Text

This part, referred to in subsec. (b), commences with section 351 of this title.

This chapter, referred to in subsec. (b), was in the original "this Act", meaning act June 19, 1934, ch. 652, 48 Stat. 1064, known as the Communications Act of 1934, which is classified principally to this chapter. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see section 609 of this title and Tables.

Amendments

1996—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 104–104 amended subsec. (b) generally, revising structure of subsec. so as to contain 2 pars. and adding provisions relating to inspection by an entity designated by Commission, waiver of inspection for up to 90 days, and waiver for vessels in compliance with radio provisions of Safety Convention that are outside the jurisdiction of the United States.

1962—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 87–811 empowered the Commission to waive the annual inspection from the time of first arrival at a United States port from a foreign port, for the sole purpose of enabling the vessel to proceed coastwise to another port in the United States where an inspection can be held, and limiting such waiver to not more than a period of 30 days.


Statutory Notes and Related Subsidiaries

Effective Date

Section effective May 20, 1937, see section 16 of act May 20, 1937, set out as a note under section 351 of this title.

§361. Control by Commission; review of decisions

Nothing in this subchapter shall be interpreted as lessening in any degree the control of the Commission over all matters connected with the radio equipment and its operation on shipboard and its decision and determination in regard to the radio requirements, installations, or exemptions from prescribed radio requirements shall be final, subject only to review in accordance with law.

(June 19, 1934, ch. 652, title III, §363, formerly §361, as added May 20, 1937, ch. 229, §10(b), 50 Stat. 196; renumbered §363, Aug. 13, 1954, ch. 729, §2(a)(1), 68 Stat. 706.)


Statutory Notes and Related Subsidiaries

Effective Date

Section effective May 20, 1937, see section 16 of act May 20, 1937, set out as a note under section 351 of this title.

§362. Forfeitures; recovery

The following forfeitures shall apply to this part, in addition to the penalties and forfeitures provided by subchapter V of this chapter:

(a) Any ship that leaves or attempts to leave any harbor or port of the United States in violation of the provisions of this part, or the rules and regulations of the Commission made in pursuance thereof, or any ship of the United States that is navigated outside of any harbor or port in violation of any of the provisions of this part, or the rules and regulations of the Commission made in pursuance thereof, shall forfeit to the United States the sum of $5,000, recoverable by way of suit or libel. Each such departure or attempted departure, and in the case of a ship of the United States each day during which such navigation occurs shall constitute a separate offense.

(b) Every willful failure on the part of the master of a ship of the United States to enforce or to comply with the provisions of this chapter or the rules and regulations of the Commission as to equipment, operators, watches, or radio service shall cause him to forfeit to the United States the sum of $1,000.

(June 19, 1934, ch. 652, title III, §364, formerly §362, as added May 20, 1937, ch. 229, §10(b), 50 Stat. 196; renumbered §364, Aug. 13, 1954, ch. 729, §2(a)(1), 68 Stat. 706; amended Pub. L. 101–239, title III, §3002(g), Dec. 19, 1989, 103 Stat. 2131.)


Editorial Notes

References in Text

This part, referred to in text, commences with section 351 of this title.

This chapter, referred to in subsec. (b), was in the original "this Act", meaning act June 19, 1934, ch. 652, 48 Stat. 1064, known as the Communications Act of 1934, which is classified principally to this chapter. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see section 609 of this title and Tables.

Amendments

1989—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 101–239, §3002(g)(1), substituted "$5,000" for "$500".

Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 101–239, §3002(g)(2), substituted "$1,000" for "$100".

Effective Date

Section effective May 20, 1937, see section 16 of act May 20, 1937, set out as a note under section 351 of this title.

§363. Automated ship distress and safety systems

Notwithstanding any provision of this chapter or any other provision of law or regulation, a ship documented under the laws of the United States operating in accordance with the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System provisions of the Safety of Life at Sea Convention shall not be required to be equipped with a radio telegraphy station operated by one or more radio officers or operators. This section shall take effect for each vessel upon a determination by the United States Coast Guard that such vessel has the equipment required to implement the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System installed and operating in good working condition.

(June 19, 1934, ch. 652, title III, §365, as added Pub. L. 104–104, title II, §206, Feb. 8, 1996, 110 Stat. 114.)


Editorial Notes

References in Text

This chapter, referred to in text, was in the original "this Act", meaning act June 19, 1934, ch. 652, 48 Stat. 1064, known as the Communications Act of 1934, which is classified principally to this chapter. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see section 609 of this title and Tables.


Statutory Notes and Related Subsidiaries

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.