[USC02] 46 USC 11113: Treatment of abandoned seafarers
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46 USC 11113: Treatment of abandoned seafarers Text contains those laws in effect on September 21, 2019
From Title 46-SHIPPINGSubtitle II-Vessels and SeamenPart G-Merchant Seamen Protection and ReliefCHAPTER 111-PROTECTION AND RELIEF

§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".