[USC02] 46 USC Ch. 105: COASTWISE VOYAGES
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46 USC Ch. 105: COASTWISE VOYAGES
From Title 46—SHIPPINGSubtitle II—Vessels and SeamenPart G—Merchant Seamen Protection and Relief

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Repealed.]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.