[USC02] 46 USC Ch. 33: INSPECTION GENERALLY
Result 1 of 1
   
 
46 USC Ch. 33: INSPECTION GENERALLY
From Title 46—SHIPPINGSubtitle II—Vessels and SeamenPart B—Inspection and Regulation of Vessels

CHAPTER 33—INSPECTION GENERALLY

Sec.
3301.
Vessels subject to inspection.
3302.
Exemptions.
3303.
Reciprocity for foreign vessels.
3304.
Transporting individuals in addition to crew.
3305.
Scope and standards of inspection.
3306.
Regulations.
3307.
Frequency of inspection.
3308.
Examinations.
3309.
Certificate of inspection.
3310.
Records of certification.
3311.
Certificate of inspection required.
3312.
Display of certificate of inspection.
3313.
Compliance with certificate of inspection.
3314.
Expiration of certificate of inspection.
3315.
Disclosure of defects and protection of informants.
3316.
Classification societies.
3317.
Fees.
3318.
Penalties.

        

Historical and Revision Notes

Chapter 33 consolidates the laws governing the inspection and certification of vessels by the Coast Guard that have developed over a period in excess of 140 years. The original laws were directed to the safety of the relatively new and potentially dangerous steam vessel. The demand for Federal remedial legislation began during the early 1800's after frequent and disastrous explosions of steam boilers on passenger vessels. This directly led to the first maritime safety laws in 1838 that required periodic inspection and certification of vessels engaged in the transportation of passengers and freight on the waters of the United States. This was followed by a more extensive steamboat inspection law in 1852 which adopted for the first time the principle of licensing for river pilots and engineers. It also created a new Federal maritime safety inspection service called the Federal Inspection Service that eventually became the Bureau of Marine Inspection and Navigation, whose duties were temporarily assumed in 1941 and permanently assumed in 1946 by the United States Coast Guard.

In 1864 the principal inspection and licensing provisions of the 1852 act were made applicable to ferries, towing vessels, and canal boats. However, steamboat explosions continued with high loss of life and property. One of the greatest of all disasters, the destruction of the passenger vessel Sultana by explosion and fire with a loss of life estimated at more than 1500 lives in April 1865, led to renewed legislation efforts. In 1871 this culminated with legislation that combined a number of new requirements into a coherent and unified body of maritime safety laws. At the time of the adoption of the Revised Statutes in 1874, a maritime safety code was well established for vessels propelled in whole or in part by steam.

In the more than 100 years since then, as the public recognized the need for vessel safety legislation, primarily as the result of maritime disasters, other classes of vessels were subjected to Federal inspection or regulatory control. These included vessels propelled by gas, fluid, naphtha, or electric motors in 1897; sail vessels and barges carrying passengers for hire in 1898; seagoing barges in 1908; motorboats in 1910; steam vessels owned by the Department of Commerce in 1919; seagoing vessels of 300 gross tons and over on June 20, 1936; all tank vessels carrying flammable or combustible liquid cargo in bulk regardless of size or means of propulsion of June 23, 1936; motorboats again in 1940; all vessels carrying more than six passengers in 1956; tank vessels again in 1978; and offshore supply vessels in 1980. There was also considerable legislation that amended or supplemented these primary maritime safety laws.

The net result has been a patchwork quilt of categories and classifications that requires a tabulation of more than seventy different classes of inspected vessels. This revision gathers into one section of the law all classes of vessels that are subject to inspection and certification without changing the application of present law as to any one class of vessel. The revision does not alter the application of the present law so as to expand inspection requirements to any vessel presently not subject to inspection nor to remove from inspection any vessel that is presently subject to inspection.

Amendments

1996Pub. L. 104–324, title VI, §607(b)(2), Oct. 19, 1996, 110 Stat. 3932, substituted "Classification societies" for "United States classification societies" in item 3316.

1986Pub. L. 99–307, §1(5)(B), May 19, 1986, 100 Stat. 445, substituted "Transporting" for "Carrying" in item 3304.

§3301. Vessels subject to inspection

The following categories of vessels are subject to inspection under this part:

(1) freight vessels.

(2) nautical school vessels.

(3) offshore supply vessels.

(4) passenger vessels.

(5) sailing school vessels.

(6) seagoing barges.

(7) seagoing motor vessels.

(8) small passenger vessels.

(9) steam vessels.

(10) tank vessels.

(11) fish processing vessels.

(12) fish tender vessels.

(13) Great Lakes barges.

(14) oil spill response vessels.

(15) towing vessels.

(Pub. L. 98–89, Aug. 26, 1983, 97 Stat. 510; Pub. L. 98–364, title IV, §402(2), July 17, 1984, 98 Stat. 445; Pub. L. 102–587, title V, §5208(b), Nov. 4, 1992, 106 Stat. 5076; Pub. L. 104–324, title XI, §1104(g), Oct. 19, 1996, 110 Stat. 3967; Pub. L. 108–293, title IV, §415(a), Aug. 9, 2004, 118 Stat. 1047.)

Historical and Revision Notes
Revised sectionSource section (U.S. Code)
3301(1) 46:391

46:404

3301(2) 46:1295f(c)
3301(3) 46:404–1
3301(4) 46:390a

46:391

3301(5) 46:390a
3301(6) 46:395
3301(7) 46:367
3301(8) 46:390a
3301(9) 46:362

46:391

46:405

3301(10) 46:391a

Section 3301 lists all classes of vessels that are subject to inspection and certification by the Coast Guard. This section represents one of the sought-after advantages of the bill to simplify access to the provisions of law governing the regulation of vessels. Under the present law, a vessel's inspection status must be determined by examining a table appearing at section 2.01–7A of title 46, Code of Federal Regulations that divides all vessels into more than 70 separate classes.

It is important to note that while the classes of vessels are now limited to ten, there is no prohibition against developing regulations to meet the special needs of various size vessels within any one category. For example, it is expected that the Coast Guard will continue the practice of establishing standards for freight vessels of not more than 100 gross tons and other standards for larger freight vessels.

It should also be noted that a particular vessel can, when engaged in various types of operations, be subject to varying inspection laws. For example, an offshore supply vessel could be classed as a small passenger vessel or a passenger vessel when it operates as a crew boat carrying individuals other than those defined in section 2101(21). If the offshore supply vessel is 500 gross tons and over it would then be subject to inspection as a seagoing motor vessel, a freight vessel, or a passenger vessel.

Amendments

2004—Par. (15). Pub. L. 108–293 added par. (15).

1996—Par. (14). Pub. L. 104–324 added par. (14).

1992—Par. (13). Pub. L. 102–587 added par. (13).

1984—Pars. (11), (12). Pub. L. 98–364 added pars. (11) and (12).

Effective Date of 1992 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 102–587 effective Nov. 4, 1992, for Great Lakes barges placed in operation after Nov. 4, 1992, and effective one year after Nov. 4, 1992, for Great Lakes barges in operation on Nov. 4, 1992, with provision for interim safety requirements, see section 5208(c), (d) of Pub. L. 102–587, set out as a note under section 2101 of this title.

Effective Date

Section effective Apr. 15, 1984, see section 2(g)(1) of Pub. L. 98–89, set out as a note under section 3101 of this title.

Pilot Program

Pub. L. 105–383, title IV, §412(b), Nov. 13, 1998, 112 Stat. 3432, provided that:

"(1) In general.—The Secretary may establish a pilot program to exempt a vessel of at least 300 gross tons as measured under chapter 143 or chapter 145 of title 46, United States Code, from the requirement to be inspected under section 3301(7) of title 46, United States Code, as a seagoing motor vessel, if—

"(A) the vessel does not carry any cargo or passengers for hire;

"(B) the vessel does not engage in commercial service, commercial fisheries, or oceanographic research; and

"(C) the vessel does not engage in towing.

"(2) Expiration of authority.—The authority to grant the exemptions under this subsection expires 2 years after the date of the enactment of this Act [Nov. 13, 1998]. Any specific exemptions granted under this subsection shall nonetheless remain in effect."

Small Passenger Vessel Pilot Inspection Program With State of Minnesota

Pub. L. 104–324, title XI, §1122, Oct. 19, 1996, 110 Stat. 3979, provided that:

"(a) In General.—The Secretary may enter into an agreement with the State under which the State may inspect small passenger vessels operating in waters of that State designated by the Secretary, if—

"(1) the State plan for the inspection of small passenger vessels meets such requirements as the Secretary may require to ensure the safety and operation of such vessels in accordance with the standards that would apply if the Coast Guard were inspecting such vessels; and

"(2) the State will provide such information obtained through the inspection program to the Secretary annually in such form and in such detail as the Secretary may require.

"(b) Fees.—The Secretary may adjust or waive the user fee imposed under section 3317 of title 46, United States Code, for the inspection of small passenger vessels inspected under the State program.

"(c) Termination.—The authority provided by subsection (a) terminates on December 31, 1999.

"(d) Definitions.—For purposes of this section—

"(1) Secretary.—The term 'Secretary' means the Secretary of the department in which the Coast Guard is operating.

"(2) State.—The term 'State' means the State of Minnesota.

"(3) Small passenger vessel.—The term 'small passenger vessel' means a small passenger vessel (as defined in section 2101(35) of title 46, United States Code) of not more than 40 feet overall in length."

[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.]

§3302. Exemptions

(a) A vessel is not excluded from one category only because the vessel is—

(1) included in another category of section 3301 of this title; or

(2) excluded by this section from another category of section 3301 of this title.


(b) Except as provided in subsection (c)(3) of this section, a fishing vessel, including a vessel chartered part-time as a fish tender vessel, is exempt from section 3301(1), (7), (11), and (12) of this title.

(c)(1) Except as provided in paragraph (3) of this subsection, a fish processing vessel of not more than 5,000 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 is exempt from section 3301(1), (6), (7), (11), and (12) of this title.

(2) Except as provided in paragraphs (3) and (4) of this subsection, the following fish tender vessels are exempt from section 3301(1), (6), (7), (11), and (12) of this title:

(A) A vessel of not more than 500 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.

(B) A vessel engaged in the Aleutian trade that is not more than 2,500 gross tons as measured under section 14302 of this title.


(3)(A) A fishing vessel or fish processing vessel is exempt from section 3301(1), (6), and (7) of this title when transporting cargo (including fisheries-related cargo) to or from a place in Alaska if—

(i) that place does not receive weekly common carrier service by water from a place in the United States;

(ii) that place receives such common carrier service and the cargo is of a type not accepted by that common carrier service; or

(iii) the cargo is proprietary cargo owned by the owner of the vessel or any affiliated entity or subsidiary.


(B) A fish tender vessel of not more than 500 gross tons as measured under section 14502 of this title, or less than 500 gross tons as measured under section 14502 of this title, or is less than 2,500 gross tons as measured under section 14302 of this title, which is qualified to engage in the Aleutian trade is exempt from section 3301(1), (6), and (7) of this title when transporting cargo (including fisheries-related cargo) to or from a place in Alaska outside the Aleutian trade geographic area if—

(i) that place does not receive weekly common carrier service by water from a place in the United States;

(ii) that place receives such common carrier service and the cargo is of a type not accepted by that common carrier service; or

(iii) the cargo is proprietary cargo owned by the owner of the vessel or any affiliated entity or subsidiary.


(C) In this paragraph, the term "proprietary cargo" means cargo that—

(i) is used by the owner of the vessel or any affiliated entity or subsidiary in activities directly related to fishing or the processing of fish;

(ii) is consumed by employees of the owner of the vessel or any affiliated entity or subsidiary who are engaged in fishing or in the processing of fish; or

(iii) consists of fish or fish products harvested or processed by the owner of the vessel or any affiliated entity or subsidiary.


(D) Notwithstanding the restrictions in subparagraph (B) of this paragraph, vessels qualifying under subparagraph (B) may transport cargo (including fishery-related products) from a place in Alaska receiving weekly common carrier service by water to a final destination in Alaska not receiving weekly service by water from common carriers.

(4) A fish tender vessel is exempt from section 3301(1), (6), and (7) of this title when engaged in the Aleutian trade if the vessel—

(A) is not more than 500 gross tons as measured under section 14502 of this title, or less than 500 gross tons as measured under section 14502 of this title, or is less than 2,500 gross tons as measured under section 14302 of this title;

(B) has an incline test performed by a marine surveyor; and

(C) has written stability instructions posted on board the vessel.


(d)(1) A motor vessel of less than 150 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, constructed before August 23, 1958, is not subject to inspection under section 3301(1) of this title if the vessel is owned or demise chartered to a cooperative or association that only transports cargo owned by at least one of its members on a nonprofit basis between places within the waters of—

(A) southeastern Alaska shoreward of the Boundary Line; or

(B) southeastern Alaska shoreward of the Boundary Line and—

(i) Prince Rupert, British Columbia; or

(ii) waters of Washington shoreward of the Boundary Line, via sheltered waters, as defined in article I of the treaty dated December 9, 1933, between the United States and Canada defining certain waters as sheltered waters.


(2) The transportation authorized under this subsection is limited to and from places not receiving annual weekly transportation service from any part of the United States by an established water common carrier. However, the limitation does not apply to transporting cargo of a character not accepted for transportation by that carrier.

(e) A vessel laid up, dismantled, or out of commission is exempt from inspection.

(f) Section 3301(4) and (8) of this title does not apply to an oceanographic research vessel because it is carrying scientific personnel.

(g)(1) Except when compliance with major structural or major equipment requirements is necessary to remove an especially hazardous condition, an offshore supply vessel is not subject to regulations or standards for those requirements if the vessel—

(A) was operating as an offshore supply vessel before January 2, 1979; or

(B) was contracted for before January 2, 1979, and entered into service as an offshore supply vessel before October 6, 1980.


(2) This subsection does not apply to an offshore supply vessel that is at least 20 years of age.

(h) An offshore supply vessel operating on January 1, 1979, under a certificate of inspection issued by the Secretary, is subject to an inspection standard or requirement only if the standard or requirement could have been prescribed for the vessel under authority existing under law on October 5, 1980.

(i)(1) The Secretary may issue a permit exempting a vessel from any part of the requirements of this part for vessels transporting cargo, including bulk fuel, from one place in Alaska to another place in Alaska only if the vessel—

(A) is not more than 300 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;

(B) is in a condition that does not present an immediate threat to the safety of life or the environment; and

(C) was operating in the waters off Alaska as of June 1, 1976, or the vessel is a replacement for a vessel that was operating in the waters off Alaska as of June 1, 1976, if the vessel being replaced is no longer in service.


(2) Except in a situation declared to be an emergency by the Secretary, a vessel operating under a permit may not transport cargo to or from a place if the cargo could be transported by another commercial vessel that is reasonably available and that does not require exemptions to operate legally or if the cargo could be readily transported by overland routes.

(3) A permit may be issued for a specific voyage or for not more than one year. The permit may impose specific requirements about the amount or type of cargo to be carried, manning, the areas or specific routes over which the vessel may operate, or other similar matters. The duration of the permit and restrictions contained in the permit shall be at the sole discretion of the Secretary.

(4) A designated Coast Guard official who has reason to believe that a vessel issued a permit is in a condition or is operated in a manner that creates an immediate threat to the safety of life or the environment or is operated in a manner that is inconsistent with the terms of the permit, may direct the master or individual in charge to take immediate and reasonable steps to safeguard life and the environment, including directing the vessel to a port or other refuge.

(5) If a vessel issued a permit creates an immediate threat to the safety of life or the environment, or is operated in a manner inconsistent with the terms of the permit or the requirements of paragraph (2) of this subsection, the permit may be revoked. The owner, charterer, managing operator, agent, master, or individual in charge of a vessel issued a permit, that willfully permits the vessel to be operated, or operates, the vessel in a manner inconsistent with the terms of the permit, is liable to the United States Government for a civil penalty of not more than $1,000.

(j) Notwithstanding another provision of this chapter, the Secretary is not required to inspect or prescribe regulations for a nautical school vessel of not more than 15 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) when used in connection with a course of instruction dealing with any aspect of maritime education or study; and

(2) operated by—

(A) the United States Merchant Marine Academy; or

(B) a State maritime academy assisted under chapter 515 of this title.


(k) Only the boiler, engine, and other operating machinery of a steam vessel that is a recreational vessel of not more than 65 feet overall in length are subject to inspection under section 3301(9) of this title.

(l)(1) The Secretary may issue a permit exempting the following vessels from the requirements of this part for passenger vessels so long as the vessels are owned by nonprofit organizations and operated as nonprofit memorials to merchant mariners:

(A) The steamship John W. Brown (United States official number 242209), owned by Project Liberty Ship Baltimore, Incorporated, located in Baltimore, Maryland.

(B) The steamship Lane Victory (United States official number 248094), owned by the United States Merchant Marine Veterans of World War II, located in San Pedro, California.

(C) The steamship Jeremiah O'Brien (United States official number 243622), owned by the National Liberty Ship Memorial, Inc.

(D) The SS Red Oak Victory (United States official number 249410), owned by the Richmond Museum Association, located in Richmond, California.

(E) The SS American Victory (United States official number 248005), owned by Victory Ship, Inc., of Tampa, Florida.

(F) The LST–325, owned by USS LST Ship Memorial, Incorporated, located in Mobile, Alabama.


(2) The Secretary may issue a permit for a specific voyage or for not more than one year. The Secretary may impose specific requirements about the number of passengers to be carried, manning, the areas or specific routes over which the vessel may operate, or other similar matters.

(3) A designated Coast Guard official who has reason to believe that a vessel operating under this subsection is in a condition or is operated in a manner that creates an immediate threat to life or the environment or is operated in a manner that is inconsistent with this section, may direct the master or individual in charge to take immediate and reasonable steps to safeguard life and the environment, including directing the vessel to a port or other refuge.

(m) A seagoing barge is not subject to inspection under section 3301(6) of this title if the vessel is unmanned and does not carry—

(1) a hazardous material as cargo; or

(2) a flammable or combustible liquid, including oil, in bulk.


(n)(1) A seagoing motor vessel is not subject to inspection under section 3301(7) of this title if the vessel—

(A) is a recreational vessel (as defined in section 2101 of this title) over 300 gross tons as measured under section 14502, or an alternate tonnage measured under section 14302 of this title as prescribed by the Secretary under section 14104 of this title;

(B) does not carry any cargo or passengers for hire; and

(C) is found by the Secretary to comply with large recreational vessel regulations issued by the Secretary.


(2) This subsection shall apply only on and after the effective date of regulations referred to in paragraph (1)(C).

(Pub. L. 98–89, Aug. 26, 1983, 97 Stat. 510; Pub. L. 98–364, title IV, §402(3), July 17, 1984, 98 Stat. 445; Pub. L. 99–307, §1(3), (4), May 19, 1986, 100 Stat. 444; Pub. L. 101–595, title III, §303(a), title VI, §§602(b), 603(2), Nov. 16, 1990, 104 Stat. 2983, 2990, 2993; Pub. L. 103–206, title III, §311, Dec. 20, 1993, 107 Stat. 2426; Pub. L. 104–324, title VII, §711, title XI, §1110, Oct. 19, 1996, 110 Stat. 3935, 3969; Pub. L. 106–65, div. C, title XXXVI, §3604, Oct. 5, 1999, 113 Stat. 976; Pub. L. 107–295, title II, §208, Nov. 25, 2002, 116 Stat. 2098; Pub. L. 109–241, title III, §311, July 11, 2006, 120 Stat. 530; Pub. L. 109–304, §15(11), Oct. 6, 2006, 120 Stat. 1703; Pub. L. 115–232, div. C, title XXXV, §§3529(b), 3546(c), Aug. 13, 2018, 132 Stat. 2319, 2326.)

Historical and Revision Notes
Revised sectionSource section (U.S. Code)
3302 46:367

46:390

46:391(e)

46:404

46:420

46:442

Section 3302 does three things. It makes clear that a vessel included in one of the ten categories of vessels subject to inspection is not necessarily excluded from another category of vessel that is subject to inspection. For example, a vessel inspected and certified as a small passenger vessel would, when carrying oil or hazardous materials in bulk as cargo or cargo residue, also have to be inspected as a tank vessel. It makes it clear that a vessel excluded by section 3302 from the requirements of inspection in any one of the ten categories is not necessarily excluded from inspection as a vessel in another category. This section also contains a number of exemptions for certain classes of vessels and for those vessels engaged in a specific trade that have been considered to be of a special circumstance.

Amendments

2018—Subsec. (g)(2). Pub. L. 115–232, §3546(c), substituted "This" for "After December 31, 1988, this".

Subsec. (n). Pub. L. 115–232, §3529(b), added subsec. (n).

2006—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 109–304, §15(11)(A), inserted comma after "fishing vessel".

Subsec. (c)(2). Pub. L. 109–241, §311(a), amended par. (2) generally. Prior to amendment, par. (2) read as follows: "Except as provided in paragraphs (3) and (4) of this subsection, a fish tender vessel of not more than 500 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 is exempt from section 3301(1), (6), (7), (11), and (12) of this title."

Subsec. (c)(3)(B), (4)(A). Pub. L. 109–241, §311(b), substituted "or less than 500 gross tons as measured under section 14502 of this title, or is less than 2,500 gross tons as measured under section 14302 of this title" for "or an alternate tonnage measured under section 14302 of this title as prescribed by the Secretary under section 14104 of this title".

Subsec. (j)(2)(B). Pub. L. 109–304, §15(11)(B), substituted "chapter 515 of this title" for "section 1304 of the Merchant Marine Act, 1936 (46 App. U.S.C. 1295c)".

Subsec. (l)(1)(C). Pub. L. 109–304, §15(11)(C), substituted "Inc." for "Inc..".

2002—Subsec. (l)(1)(D) to (F). Pub. L. 107–295 added subpars. (D) to (F).

1999—Subsec. (l)(1)(C). Pub. L. 106–65 substituted "owned by the National Liberty Ship Memorial, Inc." for "owned by the United States Maritime Administration".

1996—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 104–324, §1110(1), substituted "Except as provided in subsection (c)(3) of this section, a fishing vessel" for "A fishing vessel,".

Subsec. (c)(1). Pub. L. 104–324, §§711(1), 1110(2), substituted "Except as provided in paragraph (3) of this subsection, a fish processing vessel" for "A fish processing vessel" and 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 "5,000 gross tons".

Subsec. (c)(2). Pub. L. 104–324, §§711(2), 1110(3), substituted "Except as provided in paragraphs (3) and (4) of this subsection, a fish tender vessel" for "A fish tender vessel" and 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 "500 gross tons".

Subsec. (c)(3). Pub. L. 104–324, §1110(4), amended par. (3) generally. Prior to amendment, par. (3) read as follows: "A fishing, fish processing, or fish tender vessel of not more than 500 gross tons is exempt from section 3301(1), (6), and (7) of this title if—

"(A) when transporting cargo to or from a place in Alaska—

"(i) that place does not receive weekly common carrier service by water from a place in the United States; or

"(ii) the cargo is of a type not accepted by that common carrier service; or

"(B) in the case of a fish tender vessel, the vessel is not engaged in the Aleutian trade."

Subsec. (c)(4)(A). Pub. L. 104–324, §711(3), 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 "500 gross tons".

Subsec. (d)(1). Pub. L. 104–324, §711(4), 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 "150 gross tons".

Subsec. (i)(1)(A). Pub. L. 104–324, §711(5), 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 "300 gross tons".

Subsec. (j). Pub. L. 104–324, §711(6), 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 "15 gross tons".

1993—Subsec. (m). Pub. L. 103–206 added subsec. (m).

1990—Subsec. (c)(3), (4). Pub. L. 101–595, §602(b), added pars. (3) and (4).

Subsec. (j)(2)(B). Pub. L. 101–595, §603(2), substituted "(46 App. U.S.C. 1295c)" for "(46 App. U.S.C. 1295(c))".

Subsec. (l). Pub. L. 101–595, §303(a), added subsec. (l).

1986—Subsec. (i)(5). Pub. L. 99–307, §1(3), substituted "charterer" for "charter".

Subsec. (k). Pub. L. 99–307, §1(4), added subsec. (k).

1984—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 98–364 amended subsec. (b) generally, which prior to amendment read as follows: "A motor vessel engaged in fishing as a regular business, including oystering, clamming, crabbing, or the kelp or sponge industry, is exempt from section 3301(1), (4), and (7) of this title."

Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 98–364 amended subsec. (c) generally, which prior to amendment read as follows:

"(1) Before January 1, 1988, a motor vessel is exempt from section 3301(1), (4), and (7) of this title if the vessel is not more than 500 gross tons and—

"(A) is a cannery tender or a fishing tender in the salmon or crab fisheries of Alaska, Oregon, and Washington; and

"(B) only carries cargo to or from vessels in those fisheries or a facility used in processing or assembling fishery products, or transports cannery or fishing personnel to or from operating locations.

"(2) Before January 1, 1988, a vessel is exempt from section 3301(1), (4), (6), and (7) of this title if the vessel is not more than 5,000 gross tons and is used only in processing and assembling fishery products in the fisheries of Alaska, Oregon, and Washington."

Effective Date of 1990 Amendment

Amendment by section 602(b) of Pub. L. 101–595 effective Nov. 16, 1990, except that requirements imposed by subsec. (c)(4)(B) and (C), effective six months after Nov. 16, 1990, see section 602(f) of Pub. L. 101–595, set out as a note under section 4502 of this title.

Effective Date

Section effective Apr. 15, 1984, see section 2(g)(1) of Pub. L. 98–89, set out as a note under section 3101 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.

Vessels Repaired or Retrofitted for Mobile Trade Fair Purposes Deemed Out of Commission

Pub. L. 100–418, title X, §10003(b), Aug. 23, 1988, 102 Stat. 1573, provided that: "For one year after the date of enactment of this Act [Aug. 23, 1988], a vessel that is undergoing repair or retrofitting for use solely for mobile trade fair purposes is deemed to be out of commission under section 3302(e) of title 46, United States Code, during the repair or retrofitting."

Exemption of Certain Fishing and Fish Processing Vessels

Pub. L. 98–364, title IV, §403, July 17, 1984, 98 Stat. 450, as amended by Pub. L. 99–36, §3, May 15, 1985, 99 Stat. 68; Pub. L. 101–225, title III, §306, Dec. 12, 1989, 103 Stat. 1925, provided that:

"(a) Except as provided in chapter 37 of title 46, United States Code, and before January 1, 1991, a fishing, fish processing, or fish tender vessel, that is (1) not more than 500 gross tons and (2) in operation, or contracted for purchase to be used as a vessel of this type, before July 1, 1984, may transport cargo to or from a place in Alaska not receiving weekly transportation service from a port of the United States by an established water common carrier, except that the service limitation does not apply to transporting cargo of a type not accepted by that carrier.

"(b) A fish processing vessel entered into service before January 1, 1988, and more than 1,600 gross tons or entered into service after December 31, 1987, and having more than 16 individuals on board primarily employed in the preparation of fish or fish products is exempt from section 8702(b) of title 46, United States Code, until 18 months after the date of enactment of this Act [July 17, 1984].

"(c) As used in subsections (a) and (b) of this section, the terms 'fishing vessel', 'fish processing vessel' and 'fish tender vessel' shall have the meaning given to such terms in section 2101 of title 46, United States Code."

Offshore Supply Vessels; Transition Period for Compliance With Vessel Inspection Provisions

Pub. L. 98–89, §2(i), Aug. 26, 1983, 97 Stat. 599, provided that: "Each offshore supply vessel described in section 3302(g) of title 46 (as enacted by section 1 of this Act), that was registered with the Secretary of Transportation under section 4426a(7) of the Revised Statutes [former 46 U.S.C. 404–1(7)] but that has not been inspected by the Secretary shall be held to be in compliance with all applicable vessel inspection laws pending verification by actual inspection or until one year after the date of enactment of this Act [Aug. 26, 1983], whichever is earlier."

§3303. Reciprocity for foreign vessels

Except as provided in chapter 37 and section 3505 of this title, a foreign vessel of a country having inspection laws and standards similar to those of the United States and that has an unexpired certificate of inspection issued by proper authority of its respective country, is subject to an inspection to ensure that the condition of the vessel is as stated in its current certificate of inspection. A foreign country is considered to have inspection laws and standards similar to those of the United States when it is a party to an International Convention for Safety of Life at Sea to which the United States Government is currently a party. A foreign certificate of inspection may be accepted as evidence of lawful inspection only when presented by a vessel of a country that has by its laws accorded to vessels of the United States visiting that country the same privileges accorded to vessels of that country visiting the United States.

(Pub. L. 98–89, Aug. 26, 1983, 97 Stat. 512; Pub. L. 102–587, title V, §5210(a), Nov. 4, 1992, 106 Stat. 5076; Pub. L. 104–324, title XI, §1111, Oct. 19, 1996, 110 Stat. 3970; Pub. L. 108–293, title IV, §411(b), Aug. 9, 2004, 118 Stat. 1046.)

Historical and Revision Notes
Revised sectionSource section (U.S. Code)
3303 46:362(a)

46:390c

46:391a(3)

Section 3303 acknowledges the international concept of comity with respect to recognizing inspection laws and standards for foreign flag vessels that are similar to those of the United States. If a foreign nation is signatory to the International Convention for Safety of Life at Sea, it is presumed to have similar standards. However, reciprocity requirements for foreign flag tank vessels are included in chapter 37. Subsection (b) provides for a mutual waiver of fees for the inspection of foreign vessels carrying passengers from the United States.

Amendments

2004Pub. L. 108–293 inserted "and section 3505" after "chapter 37".

1996Pub. L. 104–324 struck out subsec. (a) designation and subsec. (b) which read as follows: "The Secretary shall collect and pay to the Treasury the same fees for the inspection of foreign vessels carrying passengers from the United States that a foreign country charges vessels of the United States trading to the ports of that country. The Secretary may waive at any time the collection of the fees on notice of the proper authorities of any country concerned that the collection of fees for the inspection of vessels of the United States has been discontinued."

1992—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 102–587, in first sentence, struck out "only" after "is subject" and substituted "the condition of the vessel is" for "the condition of the vessel's propulsion equipment and lifesaving equipment are".

Effective Date

Section effective Apr. 15, 1984, see section 2(g)(1) of Pub. L. 98–89, set out as a note under section 3101 of this title.

International Convention for Safety of Life at Sea

For International Conventions for the Safety of Life at Sea to which the United States has been a party, see section 1602 of Title 33, Navigation and Navigable Waters, and notes thereunder.

§3304. Transporting individuals in addition to crew

(a) A documented vessel transporting cargo that transports not more than 12 individuals in addition to the crew on international voyages, or not more than 16 individuals in addition to the crew on other voyages, is not subject to inspection as a passenger vessel or a small passenger vessel if the vessel is otherwise subject to inspection under this chapter.

(b) Except when subsection (e) of this section applies, before an individual in addition to the crew is transported on a vessel as permitted by this section, the owner, charterer, managing operator, agent, master, or individual in charge of the vessel first shall notify the individual of the presence on board of dangerous articles as defined by law, and of other conditions or circumstances that would constitute a risk of safety to the individual on board.

(c) A privilege authorized by this section applies to a vessel of a foreign country that affords a similar privilege to vessels of the United States in trades not restricted to vessels under its own flag.

(d) A fishing, fish processing, or fish tender vessel that transports not more than 12 individuals employed in the fishing industry in addition to the crew is not subject to inspection as a passenger or small passenger vessel.

(e) The Secretary may by regulation allow individuals in addition to the crew to be transported in an emergency or under section 2304 of this title.

(Pub. L. 98–89, Aug. 26, 1983, 97 Stat. 513; Pub. L. 98–364, title IV, §402(4), July 17, 1984, 98 Stat. 446; Pub. L. 99–307, §1(5)(A), May 19, 1986, 100 Stat. 444.)

Historical and Revision Notes
Revised sectionSource section (U.S. Code)
3304 46:390–393

46:882

Section 3304 permits the carriage of not more than 12 individuals in addition to the crew on international voyages or not more than 16 individuals in addition to the crew on other voyages without subjecting a documented vessel carrying cargo to the inspection requirements of a passenger vessel. This section permits the bulk of vessels subject to the International Convention for Safety of Life at Sea to carry up to 12 passengers and to permit other cargo vessels, primarily those engaged in the coastwise trade, to carry up to 16 passengers without being categorized as passenger vessels. It also requires that these individuals be notified of the presence of dangerous articles or other conditions or circumstances that constitute a risk of safety. This is of prime importance on tank vessels that carry flammable or hazardous cargoes.

Amendments

1986Pub. L. 99–307, §1(5)(A)(i), substituted "Transporting" for "Carrying" in section catchline.

Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 99–307, §1(5)(A)(ii), substituted "transporting cargo that transports" for "carrying cargo that carries" and inserted "if the vessel is otherwise subject to inspection under this chapter".

Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 99–307, §1(5)(A)(iii), substituted "Except when subsection (e) of this section applies, before" for "Before" and "transported" for "carried".

Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 99–307, §1(5)(A)(iv), substituted "A privilege" for "The privilege".

Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 99–307, §1(5)(A)(v), added subsec. (e).

1984—Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 98–364 added subsec. (d).

Effective Date

Section effective Apr. 15, 1984, see section 2(g)(1) of Pub. L. 98–89, set out as a note under section 3101 of this title.

§3305. Scope and standards of inspection

(a)(1) The inspection process shall ensure that a vessel subject to inspection—

(A) is of a structure suitable for the service in which it is to be employed;

(B) is equipped with proper appliances for lifesaving, fire prevention, and firefighting;

(C) has suitable accommodations for the crew, sailing school instructors, and sailing school students, and for passengers on the vessel if authorized to carry passengers;

(D) has an adequate supply of potable water for drinking and washing by passengers and crew;

(E) is in a condition to be operated with safety to life and property; and

(F) complies with applicable marine safety laws and regulations.


(2) In determining the adequacy of the supply of potable water under paragraph (1)(D), the Secretary shall consider—

(A) the size and type of vessel;

(B) the number of passengers or crew on board;

(C) the duration and routing of voyages; and

(D) guidelines for potable water recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Public Health Service.


(b) If an inspection, or examination under section 3308 of this title, reveals that a life preserver, lifesaving device, or firehose is defective and incapable of being repaired, the owner or master shall destroy the life preserver, lifesaving device, or firehose in the presence of the official conducting the inspection or examination.

(c) A nautical school vessel operated by a civilian nautical school or by an educational institution under section 558 of title 40 shall be inspected like a small passenger vessel or a passenger vessel, depending on its tonnage.

(d)(1) The Commandant of the Coast Guard shall ensure that Officers in Charge, Marine Inspections consistently interpret regulations and standards under this subtitle and chapter 700 to avoid disruption and undue expense to industry.

(2)(A) Subject to subparagraph (B), in the event of a disagreement regarding the condition of a vessel or the interpretation of a regulation or standard referred to in subsection (a) between a local Officer in Charge, Marine Inspection conducting an inspection of the vessel and the Officer in Charge, Marine Inspection that issued the most recent certificate of inspection for the vessel, such Officers shall seek to resolve such disagreement.

(B) If a disagreement described in subparagraph (A) involves vessel design or plan review, the Coast Guard marine safety center shall be included in all efforts to resolve such disagreement.

(C) If a disagreement described in subparagraph (A) or (B) cannot be resolved, the local Officer in Charge, Marine Inspection shall submit to the Commandant of the Coast Guard, through the cognizant Coast Guard district commander, a request for a final agency determination of the matter in disagreement.

(3) The Commandant of the Coast Guard shall—

(A) provide to each person affected by a decision or action by an Officer in Charge, Marine Inspection or by the Coast Guard marine safety center all information necessary for such person to exercise any right to appeal such decision or action; and

(B) if such an appeal is filed, process such appeal under parts 1 through 4 of title 46, Code of Federal Regulations, as in effect on the date of enactment of the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2017.


(4) In this section, the term "Officer in Charge, Marine Inspection" means any person from the civilian or military branch of the Coast Guard who—

(A) is designated as such by the Commandant; and

(B) under the superintendence and direction of the cognizant Coast Guard district commander, is in charge of an inspection zone for the performance of duties with respect to the inspections under, and enforcement and administration of, subtitle II, chapter 700, and regulations under such laws.

(Pub. L. 98–89, Aug. 26, 1983, 97 Stat. 513; Pub. L. 99–36, §1(a)(1), May 15, 1985, 99 Stat. 67; Pub. L. 99–640, §13(e), Nov. 10, 1986, 100 Stat. 3551; Pub. L. 107–217, §3(m)(2), Aug. 21, 2002, 116 Stat. 1302; Pub. L. 108–293, title IV, §416, Aug. 9, 2004, 118 Stat. 1047; Pub. L. 109–241, title IX, §901(f), July 11, 2006, 120 Stat. 564; Pub. L. 115–282, title V, §501(a), Dec. 4, 2018, 132 Stat. 4268.)

Historical and Revision Notes
Revised sectionSource section (U.S. Code)
3305 46:369
  46:390a
  46:391
  46:392
  46:395
  46:404–1
  46:405
  46:406
  46:407
  46:408
  46:660a
  46:881

Section 3305 consolidates, at one place, the basic scope of coverage of the inspection process. It is to be noted that the time difference in enactment of various statutes has resulted in some anomalies. Thus, for example, R.S. 4417 (46 U.S.C. 391) which had originally set periods of inspection and vested authority in "local inspectors" was expanded over the years to provide the base for inspection of certain classes of vessels as well as setting out the periods and scope. The distillation of inspection objectives and standards in later laws and the transfer of all functions of separately created bureaus and functionaries to the Coast Guard permit this consolidation. There are those who have a desire to see the scope and standards of inspection be more specific in law similar to those presently applicable to boilers and boiler plating that predate 1871. The Committee believes this serves no useful purpose since the specifics are either antiquated or too limiting and have, in fact, been superceded by the statutorily authorized adoption of various industrial specifications, standards, and codes by the Coast Guard. These include the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS), American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), American National Standards Institute (ANSI), American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), American Welding Society (AWS), Underwriters Laboratories (UL), and many others. In addition, Coast Guard regulations must also implement and conform to the numerous international maritime safety treaties to which the United States is signatory. The Committee expects that the regulatory flexibility being provided will not reduce the present vessel inspection requirements that have been historically developed.

Section 3305(a) establishes the statutory scope of the Coast Guard's vessel inspection authority and duty. The inspection process shall ensure that a vessel is of suitable structure, equipment, and accommodations, is maintained in an operating condition consistent with safety of life and property, and complies with applicable marine safety laws and regulations.

Subsection (b) requires that defective life preservers and firehose be destroyed in the presence of the inspecting official, normally a qualified Coast Guard marine inspector. The Committee believes that if this equipment is defective for use on an inspected vessel, it should be destroyed so that it cannot be used on an uninspected or recreational vessel.

Subsection (c) provides flexibility in the inspection of various sizes of nautical school vessels.

References in Text

The date of enactment of the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2017, referred to in subsec. (d)(3)(B), probably means the date of enactment of Pub. L. 115–282, which is the Frank LoBiondo Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2018 and was approved Dec. 4, 2018. No act with the title "Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2017" has been enacted.

Amendments

2018—Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 115–282 added subsec. (d).

2006—Subsec. (a)(2). Pub. L. 109–241 realigned margins.

2004—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 108–293, §416(b), designated existing provisions as par. (1), redesignated former pars. (1) to (6) as subpars. (A) to (F), respectively, of par. (1), and added par. (2).

Subsec. (a)(4) to (6). Pub. L. 108–293, §416(a), added par. (4) and redesignated former pars. (4) and (5) as (5) and (6), respectively.

2002—Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 107–217 substituted "section 558 of title 40" for "section 13 of the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 1986".

1986—Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 99–640 inserted "or by an educational institution under section 13 of the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 1986".

1985—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 99–36 substituted "lifesaving" and "life preserver, lifesaving device, or firehose" for "life-saving" and "life preserver or firehose", respectively.

Effective Date

Section effective Apr. 15, 1984, see section 2(g)(1) of Pub. L. 98–89, set out as a note under section 3101 of this title.

§3306. Regulations

(a) To carry out this part and to secure the safety of individuals and property on board vessels subject to inspection, the Secretary shall prescribe necessary regulations to ensure the proper execution of, and to carry out, this part in the most effective manner for—

(1) the design, construction, alteration, repair, and operation of those vessels, including superstructures, hulls, fittings, equipment, appliances, propulsion machinery, auxiliary machinery, boilers, unfired pressure vessels, piping, electric installations, and accommodations for passengers and crew, sailing school instructors, and sailing school students;

(2) lifesaving equipment and its use;

(3) firefighting equipment, its use, and precautionary measures to guard against fire;

(4) inspections and tests related to paragraphs (1), (2), and (3) of this subsection; and

(5) the use of vessel stores and other supplies of a dangerous nature.


(b)(1) Equipment and material subject to regulation under this section may not be used on any vessel without prior approval of the Secretary.

(2) Except with respect to use on a public vessel, the Secretary may treat an approval of equipment or materials by a foreign government as approval by the Secretary for purposes of paragraph (1) if the Secretary determines that—

(A) the design standards and testing procedures used by that government meet the requirements of the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, 1974;

(B) the approval of the equipment or material by the foreign government will secure the safety of individuals and property on board vessels subject to inspection; and

(C) for lifesaving equipment, the foreign government—

(i) has given equivalent treatment to approvals of lifesaving equipment by the Secretary; and

(ii) otherwise ensures that lifesaving equipment approved by the Secretary may be used on vessels that are documented and subject to inspection under the laws of that country.


(c) In prescribing regulations for sailing school vessels, the Secretary shall consult with representatives of the private sector having experience in the operation of vessels likely to be certificated as sailing school vessels. The regulations shall—

(1) reflect the specialized nature of sailing school vessel operations, and the character, design, and construction of vessels operating as sailing school vessels; and

(2) include requirements for notice to sailing school instructors and sailing school students about the specialized nature of sailing school vessels and applicable safety regulations.


(d) In prescribing regulations for nautical school vessels operated by the United States Merchant Marine Academy or by a State maritime academy (as defined in section 51102 of this title), the Secretary shall consider the function, purpose, and operation of the vessels, their routes, and the number of individuals who may be carried on the vessels.

(e) When the Secretary finds it in the public interest, the Secretary may suspend or grant exemptions from the requirements of a regulation prescribed under this section related to lifesaving and firefighting equipment, muster lists, ground tackle and hawsers, and bilge systems.

(f) In prescribing regulations for offshore supply vessels, the Secretary shall consider the characteristics, methods of operation, and the nature of the service of offshore supply vessels.

(g) In prescribing regulations for fish processing or fish tender vessels, the Secretary shall consult with representatives of the private sector having experience in the operation of these vessels. The regulations shall reflect the specialized nature and economics of fish processing or fish tender vessel operations and the character, design, and construction of fish processing or fish tender vessels.

(h) The Secretary shall establish appropriate structural fire protection, manning, operating, and equipment requirements for vessels of at least 100 gross tons but less than 300 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 carrying not more than 150 passengers on domestic voyages, which meet the eligibility criteria of section 2113(4) of this title.

(i) The Secretary shall establish appropriate structural fire protection, manning, operating, and equipment requirements for former public vessels of the United States of at least 100 gross tons but less that 500 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 carrying not more than 150 passengers on domestic voyages, which meet the eligibility criteria of section 2113(4) of this title.

(j) The Secretary may establish by regulation a safety management system appropriate for the characteristics, methods of operation, and nature of service of towing vessels.

(k)(1) Each vessel of the United States that is constructed under a contract entered into after the date of enactment of the Maritime Safety Act of 2010, or that is delivered after January 1, 2011, with an aggregate capacity of 600 cubic meters or more of oil fuel, shall comply with the requirements of Regulation 12A under Annex I to the Protocol of 1978 relating to the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, 1973, entitled "Oil Fuel Tank Protection".

(2) The Secretary may prescribe regulations to apply the requirements described in Regulation 12A to vessels described in paragraph (1) that are not otherwise subject to that convention. Any such regulation shall be considered to be an interpretive rule for the purposes of section 553 of title 5.

(3) In this subsection the term "oil fuel" means any oil used as fuel in connection with the propulsion and auxiliary machinery of the vessel in which such oil is carried.

(l)(1) The Secretary shall require that a freight vessel inspected under this chapter be outfitted with distress signaling and location technology for the higher of—

(A) the minimum complement of officers and crew specified on the certificate of inspection for such vessel; or

(B) the number of persons onboard the vessel; and


(2) the requirement described in paragraph (1) shall not apply to vessels operating within the baseline from which the territorial sea of the United States is measured.

(m)(1) The Secretary shall promulgate regulations requiring companies to maintain records of all incremental weight changes made to freight vessels inspected under this chapter, and to track weight changes over time to facilitate rapid determination of the aggregate total.

(2) Records maintained under paragraph (1) shall be stored, in paper or electronic form, onboard such vessels for not less than 3 years and shoreside for the life of the vessel.

(Pub. L. 98–89, Aug. 26, 1983, 97 Stat. 513; Pub. L. 98–364, title IV, §402(5), July 17, 1984, 98 Stat. 446; Pub. L. 103–206, title V, §512(a), Dec. 20, 1993, 107 Stat. 2442; Pub. L. 104–324, title VI, §604(a), (c), title VII, §712, Oct. 19, 1996, 110 Stat. 3930, 3931, 3936; Pub. L. 108–293, title IV, §415(b), Aug. 9, 2004, 118 Stat. 1047; Pub. L. 109–304, §15(12), Oct. 6, 2006, 120 Stat. 1703; Pub. L. 111–281, title VI, §612, Oct. 15, 2010, 124 Stat. 2970; Pub. L. 115–232, div. C, title XXXV, §3542(b), Aug. 13, 2018, 132 Stat. 2324; Pub. L. 115–265, title II, §206(a)(1), Oct. 11, 2018, 132 Stat. 3746.)

Historical and Revision Notes
Revised sectionSource section (U.S. Code)
3306 46:366
  46:369
  46:375
  46:390b
  46:392
  46:404
  46:408
  46:411
  46:412
  46:416
  46:420
  46:445
  46:459
  46:473
  46:477
  46:478
  46:479
  46:481
  46:482
  46:483
  46:489
  46:526p
  46:1295f(c)

Section 3306 contains broad authority to prescribe regulations for the proper inspection and certification of vessels. It provides regulatory flexibility for meeting technological changes. The section also permits flexibility in prescribing regulations for nautical school vessels operated by the United States Merchant Marine Academy or by a State maritime academy. The Secretary may suspend or grant exemptions to certain limited inspection requirements when the Secretary finds that this is necessary in the public interest. It also contains the requirement that in regulating offshore supply vessels consideration must be given to the special nature of their operations.

References in Text

The date of enactment of the Maritime Safety Act of 2010, referred to in subsec. (k)(1), is the date of enactment of title VI of Pub. L. 111–281, which was approved Oct. 15, 2010.

Amendments

2018—Subsec. (i). Pub. L. 115–232 substituted "section 2113(4)" for "section 2113(5)".

Subsecs. (l), (m). Pub. L. 115–265 added subsecs. (l) and (m).

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

2006—Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 109–304 substituted "section 51102 of this title" for "section 1302(3) of the Merchant Marine Act, 1936 (46 App. U.S.C. 1295a(3))".

2004—Subsec. (j). Pub. L. 108–293 added subsec. (j).

1996—Subsec. (a)(4). Pub. L. 104–324, §604(c), substituted "paragraphs (1), (2), and (3)" for "clauses (1)–(3)".

Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 104–324, §604(a), amended subsec. (b) generally. Prior to amendment, subsec. (b) read as follows: "Equipment subject to regulation under this section may not be used on any vessel without prior approval as prescribed by regulation."

Subsec. (h). Pub. L. 104–324, §712(1), 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 "300 gross tons".

Subsec. (i). Pub. L. 104–324, §712(2), 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 "500 gross tons".

1993—Subsecs. (h), (i). Pub. L. 103–206 added subsecs. (h) and (i).

1984—Subsec. (g). Pub. L. 98–364 added subsec. (g).

Effective Date

Section effective Apr. 15, 1984, see section 2(g)(1) of Pub. L. 98–89, set out as a note under section 3101 of this title.

Regulations

Pub. L. 103–206, title V, §512(b), (c), Dec. 20, 1993, 107 Stat. 2442, provided that:

"(b) The Secretary of Transportation shall, within twenty-four months of the date of enactment of this Act [Dec. 20, 1993], prescribe regulations establishing the structural fire protection, manning, operating, and equipment requirements for vessels which meet the requirements of subsections (h) and (i) of section 3306 of title 46, United States Code, as amended by this Act.

"(c) Before the Secretary of Transportation prescribes regulations under subsections (h) and (i) of section 3306 of title 46, United States Code, as amended by this Act, the Secretary may prescribe the route, service, manning, and equipment for those vessels based on existing passenger vessel and small passenger vessel regulations."

Deadlines for Implementation of Distress Signaling and Location Technology Requirement and Promulgation of Incremental Weight Change Records Regulations

Pub. L. 115–265, title II, §206(a)(2), Oct. 11, 2018, 132 Stat. 3746, provided that: "The Secretary shall—

"(A) begin implementing the requirement under section 3306(l) of title 46, United States Code, as amended by this subsection, by not later than 1 year after the date of the enactment of this Act [Oct. 11, 2018]; and

"(B) promulgate the regulations required under section 3306(m) of title 46, United States Code, as amended by this subsection, by not later than 1 year after the date of the enactment of this Act."

[For definition of "Secretary" as used in section 206(a)(2) of Pub. L. 115–265, set out above, see section 203 of Pub. L. 115–265, set out as a note under section 2101 of this title.]

Negotiations to Amend International Regulations Related to Vessel Equipment

Pub. L. 115–265, title II, §206(b), Oct. 11, 2018, 132 Stat. 3746, provided that: "Not later than 1 year after the date of the enactment of this Act [Oct. 11, 2018], the Commandant [of the Coast Guard] shall seek to enter into negotiations through the International Maritime Organization to amend regulation 25 of chapter II–1 of the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea to require a high-water alarm sensor in each cargo hold of a freight vessel (as that term is defined in section 2101 of title 46, United States Code), that connects with audible and visual alarms on the navigation bridge of the vessel."

Pub. L. 115–265, title II, §208(a)(1), Oct. 11, 2018, 132 Stat. 3747, provided that: "Not later than 1 year after the date of the enactment of this Act [Oct. 11, 2018], the Commandant [of the Coast Guard] shall seek to enter into negotiations through the International Maritime Organization to amend regulation 20 of chapter V of the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea to require that all voyage data recorders are installed in a float-free arrangement and contain an integrated emergency position indicating radio beacon."

Towing Vessels

Pub. L. 111–281, title VII, §701(c), Oct. 15, 2010, 124 Stat. 2980, provided that: "No later than 90 days after the date of enactment of this Act [Oct. 15, 2010], the Secretary shall issue a notice of proposed rulemaking regarding inspection requirements for towing vessels required under section 3306(j) of title 46, United States Code. The Secretary shall issue a final rule pursuant to that rulemaking no later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act."

["Secretary" as used in section 701(c) of Pub. L. 111–281, set out above, probably means the Secretary of the department in which the Coast Guard is operating, see section 701(a)(1) of Pub. L. 111–281, set out as a note under section 1321 of Title 33, Navigation and Navigable Waters.]

Foreign Approvals

Pub. L. 104–324, title VI, §604(b), Oct. 19, 1996, 110 Stat. 3931, provided that: "The Secretary of Transportation, in consultation with other interested Federal agencies, shall work with foreign governments to have those governments approve the use of the same equipment and materials on vessels documented under the laws of those countries that the Secretary requires on United States documented vessels."

International Convention for Safety of Life at Sea

For International Conventions for the Safety of Life at Sea to which the United States has been a party, see section 1602 of Title 33, Navigation and Navigable Waters, and notes thereunder.

§3307. Frequency of inspection

Each vessel subject to inspection under this part shall undergo an initial inspection for certification before being put into service. After being put into service—

(1) each passenger vessel, nautical school vessel, and small passenger vessel allowed to carry more than 12 passengers on a foreign voyage shall be inspected at least once a year; and

(2) any other vessel shall be inspected at least once every 5 years.

(Pub. L. 98–89, Aug. 26, 1983, 97 Stat. 514; Pub. L. 104–324, title VI, §605(a), Oct. 19, 1996, 110 Stat. 3931.)

Historical and Revision Notes
Revised sectionSource section (U.S. Code)
3307(1) 46:391(c)

46:1295f(c)

3307(2) 46:390a(a)

46:404–1(6)(i)

3307(3) 46:391(b)

46:392(b)

46:404–1(6)(ii)

Section 3307 requires each vessel subject to inspection to undergo an initial inspection prior to being placed in service. This is normally started during the construction or reconstruction phase and is a continuing process until final certification for operation in a particular trade. Subsequent periodic inspections are also required for various types of vessels. It is to be noted that a freight vessel of less than 100 gross tons shall be inspected at 3 year intervals while the larger freight vessel has a 2 year inspection period. This is being done to retain the existing procedure of issuing 3 year certificates of inspection to smaller vessels, however, this does not prevent periodic inspections or examinations at intervening periods.

Amendments

1996—Par. (1). Pub. L. 104–324, §605(a)(1), substituted ", nautical school vessel, and small passenger vessel allowed to carry more than 12 passengers on a foreign voyage" for "and nautical school vessel" and inserted "and" at end.

Pars. (2), (3). Pub. L. 104–324, §605(a)(2), (3), redesignated par. (3) as (2), substituted "5 years" for "2 years", and struck out former par. (2) which read as follows: "each small passenger vessel, freight vessel or offshore supply vessel of less than 100 gross tons, and sailing school vessel shall be inspected at least once every 3 years; and".

Effective Date

Section effective Apr. 15, 1984, see section 2(g)(1) of Pub. L. 98–89, set out as a note under section 3101 of this title.

§3308. Examinations

In addition to inspections required by section 3307 of this title, the Secretary shall examine or have examined—

(1) each vessel subject to inspection at proper times to ensure compliance with law and regulations; and

(2) crewmember accommodations on each vessel subject to inspection at least once a month or when the vessel enters United States ports to ensure that the accommodations are—

(A) of the size required by law and regulations;

(B) properly ventilated and in a clean and sanitary condition; and

(C) equipped with proper plumbing and mechanical appliances required by law and regulations, and the appliances are in good working condition.

(Pub. L. 98–89, Aug. 26, 1983, 97 Stat. 514; Pub. L. 104–324, title VI, §603(c), Oct. 19, 1996, 110 Stat. 3930.)

Historical and Revision Notes
Revised sectionSource section (U.S. Code)
3308 46:435

46:660a

46:660b

Section 3308 requires the Secretary to carry out additional inspections as might be necessary to ensure compliance with applicable laws and regulations, and to ensure that accommodations are maintained in a sanitary condition and that all appliances are in good working order.

Amendments

1996Pub. L. 104–324 inserted "or have examined" after "examine" in introductory provisions.

Effective Date

Section effective Apr. 15, 1984, see section 2(g)(1) of Pub. L. 98–89, set out as a note under section 3101 of this title.

§3309. Certificate of inspection

(a) When an inspection under section 3307 of this title has been made and a vessel has been found to be in compliance with the requirements of law and regulations, a certificate of inspection, in a form prescribed by the Secretary, shall be issued to the vessel.

(b) The Secretary may issue a temporary certificate of inspection in place of a regular certificate of inspection issued under subsection (a) of this section.

(c) At least 30 days before the current certificate of inspection issued to a vessel under subsection (a) of this section expires, the owner, charterer, managing operator, agent, master, or individual in charge of the vessel shall submit to the Secretary in writing a notice that the vessel—

(1) will be required to be inspected; or

(2) will not be operated so as to require an inspection.


(d) A certificate of inspection issued under this section shall be signed by the senior Coast Guard member or civilian employee who inspected the vessel, in addition to the officer in charge of marine inspection.

(Pub. L. 98–89, Aug. 26, 1983, 97 Stat. 515; Pub. L. 98–498, title II, §211(a), Oct. 19, 1984, 98 Stat. 2303; Pub. L. 104–324, title VI, §606, Oct. 19, 1996, 110 Stat. 3931; Pub. L. 111–281, title V, §522(c), Oct. 15, 2010, 124 Stat. 2957.)

Historical and Revision Notes
Revised sectionSource section (U.S. Code)
3309 46:390c

46:391a(8)

46:395(d)

46:399

Section 3309 provides for the issuance of a certificate of inspection that attests to the fact that the vessel has been found to be in compliance with the applicable maritime safety laws and regulations. Under this provision the Coast Guard can issue a temporary certificate of inspection upon compliance with the applicable laws or regulations to facilitate the preparation, processing, and forwarding of the regular certificate of inspection to the vessel. A temporary certificate does not imply less than satisfactory compliance.

Amendments

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

1996—Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 104–324 struck out "(but not more than 60 days)" after "30 days" in introductory provisions.

1984—Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 98–498 added subsec. (c).

Effective Date of 1984 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 98–498 effective 180 days after Oct. 19, 1984, see section 214 of Pub. L. 98–498, set out as an Effective Date note under section 2306 of this title.

Effective Date

Section effective Apr. 15, 1984, see section 2(g)(1) of Pub. L. 98–89, set out as a note under section 3101 of this title.

§3310. Records of certification

The Secretary shall keep records of certificates of inspection of vessels and of all acts in the examination and inspection of vessels, whether of approval or disapproval.

(Pub. L. 98–89, Aug. 26, 1983, 97 Stat. 515.)

Historical and Revision Notes
Revised sectionSource section (U.S. Code)
3310 46:414

Section 3310 contains the requirement for maintaining inspection records.

Effective Date

Section effective Apr. 15, 1984, see section 2(g)(1) of Pub. L. 98–89, set out as a note under section 3101 of this title.

§3311. Certificate of inspection required

(a) Except as provided in subsection (b), a vessel subject to inspection under this part may not be operated without having on board a certificate of inspection issued under section 3309 of this title.

(b) The Secretary may direct the owner, charterer, managing operator, agent, master, or individual in charge of a vessel subject to inspection under this chapter and not having on board a certificate of inspection—

(1) to have the vessel proceed to mooring and remain there until a certificate of inspection is issued;

(2) to take immediate steps necessary for the safety of the vessel, individuals on board the vessel, or the environment; or

(3) to have the vessel proceed to a place to make repairs necessary to obtain a certificate of inspection.

(Pub. L. 98–89, Aug. 26, 1983, 97 Stat. 515; Pub. L. 98–498, title II, §211(b), Oct. 19, 1984, 98 Stat. 2304.)

Historical and Revision Notes
Revised sectionSource section (U.S. Code)
3311 46:390c

46:395

46:399

Section 3311 prohibits the operation of a vessel subject to inspection without having on board a valid certificate of inspection.

Amendments

1984Pub. L. 98–498 designated existing provisions as subsec. (a), substituted "Except as provided in subsection (b), a vessel" for "A vessel", struck out "valid" before "certificate of inspection", and added subsec. (b).

Effective Date

Section effective Apr. 15, 1984, see section 2(g)(1) of Pub. L. 98–89, set out as a note under section 3101 of this title.

§3312. Display of certificate of inspection

The certificate of inspection issued to a vessel under section 3309 of this title shall be displayed, suitably framed, in a conspicuous place on the vessel. When it is not practicable to so display the certificate, it shall be carried in the manner prescribed by regulation.

(Pub. L. 98–89, Aug. 26, 1983, 97 Stat. 515.)

Historical and Revision Notes
Revised sectionSource section (U.S. Code)
3312 46:400

Section 3312 requires the conspicuous display of the certificate of inspection to provide notice that the vessel is in compliance with applicable maritime safety laws and regulations. The section also applies to the posting of the temporary certificate of inspection.

Effective Date

Section effective Apr. 15, 1984, see section 2(g)(1) of Pub. L. 98–89, set out as a note under section 3101 of this title.

§3313. Compliance with certificate of inspection

(a) During the term of a vessel's certificate of inspection, the vessel must be in compliance with its conditions, unless relieved by a suspension or an exemption granted under section 3306(e) of this title.

(b) When a vessel is not in compliance with its certificate or fails to meet a standard prescribed by this part or a regulation prescribed under this part—

(1) the owner, charterer, managing operator, agent, master, or individual in charge shall be ordered in writing to correct the noted deficiencies promptly;

(2) the Secretary may permit any repairs to be made at a place most convenient to the owner, charterer, or managing operator when the Secretary decides the repairs can be made with safety to those on board and the vessel;

(3) the vessel may be required to cease operating at once; and

(4) if necessary, the certificate shall be suspended or revoked.


(c) The vessel's certificate of inspection shall be revoked if a condition unsafe to life that is ordered to be corrected under this section is not corrected at once.

(d) The owner, charterer, managing operator, agent, master, or individual in charge of a vessel whose certificate has been suspended or revoked shall be given written notice immediately of the suspension or revocation. The owner or master may appeal to the Secretary the suspension or revocation within 30 days of receiving the notice, as provided by regulations prescribed by the Secretary.

(Pub. L. 98–89, Aug. 26, 1983, 97 Stat. 515.)

Historical and Revision Notes
Revised sectionSource section (U.S. Code)
3313 46:390c

46:391a(8)

46:435

Section 3313 requires a vessel to be maintained in a condition so as to always be in compliance with the applicable laws and regulations. Here the master, owner, or other responsible party is required to maintain the vessel to inspection standards and to correct all deficiencies observed. When a vessel is not in compliance with its certificate the responsible parties shall be ordered in writing to correct the deficiencies promptly. The section provides flexibility as to when and where these deficiencies may be corrected consistent with the safety of the vessel and crew. The section provides authority to require the vessel to cease operating or, if necessary, to suspend or revoke its certificate of inspection when found not to be in compliance with its certificate or regulations. The owner or master, or other responsible party must be given written notice and may appeal this action within 30 days of receiving the notice.

Effective Date

Section effective Apr. 15, 1984, see section 2(g)(1) of Pub. L. 98–89, set out as a note under section 3101 of this title.

§3314. Expiration of certificate of inspection

(a) If the certificate of inspection of a vessel expires when the vessel is on a foreign voyage, the vessel may complete the voyage to a port of the United States within 30 days of the expiration of the certificate without incurring the penalties for operating without a certificate of inspection.

(b) If the certificate of inspection would expire within 15 days of sailing on a foreign voyage from a United States port, the vessel shall secure a new certificate of inspection before sailing, unless the voyage is scheduled to be completed prior to the expiration date of the certificate. If a voyage scheduled to be completed in that time is not so completed, the applicable penalties may be enforced unless the failure to meet the schedule was beyond the control of the owner, charterer, managing operator, agent, master, or individual in charge of the vessel.

(c) When the certificate of inspection of a foreign vessel carrying passengers, operated on a regularly established line, expires at sea after leaving the country to which it belongs or when the vessel is in the United States, the Secretary may permit the vessel to sail on its regular route without further inspection than would have been required had the certificate not expired. This permission applies only when the vessel will be regularly inspected and issued a certificate before the vessel's next return to the United States.

(Pub. L. 98–89, Aug. 26, 1983, 97 Stat. 516.)

Historical and Revision Notes
Revised sectionSource section (U.S. Code)
3314 46:362

46:399

Section 3314 contains the procedures for when a vessel's certificate of inspection expires while on a foreign voyage.

Effective Date

Section effective Apr. 15, 1984, see section 2(g)(1) of Pub. L. 98–89, set out as a note under section 3101 of this title.

§3315. Disclosure of defects and protection of informants

(a) Each individual licensed under part E of this subtitle shall assist in the inspection or examination under this part of the vessel on which the individual is serving, and shall point out defects and imperfections known to the individual in matters subject to regulations and inspection. The individual also shall make known to officials designated to enforce this part, at the earliest opportunity, any marine casualty producing serious injury to the vessel, its equipment, or individuals on the vessel.

(b) An official may not disclose the name of an individual providing information under this section, or the source of the information, to a person except a person authorized by the Secretary. An official violating this subsection is liable to disciplinary action under applicable law.

(Pub. L. 98–89, Aug. 26, 1983, 97 Stat. 516.)

Historical and Revision Notes
Revised sectionSource section (U.S. Code)
3315 46:234

Section 3315 requires an individual holding a license issued by the Coast Guard to assist inspection authorities and to make defects and imperfections known to those authorities. Anyone licensed also has a duty to report any marine casualty producing serious injury to the vessel, its equipment, or individuals on board the vessel. These licensed individuals who have this statutorily imposed duty to disclose are also protected by prohibiting any government official from disclosing the identity or source of the information except as authorized by the Secretary.

Effective Date

Section effective Apr. 15, 1984, see section 2(g)(1) of Pub. L. 98–89, set out as a note under section 3101 of this title.

Anonymous Safety Alert System

Pub. L. 115–265, title II, §217, Oct. 11, 2018, 132 Stat. 3752, provided that:

"(a) Pilot Program.—Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act [Oct. 11, 2018], the Commandant [of the Coast Guard] shall establish an anonymous safety alert pilot program.

"(b) Requirements.—The pilot program established under subsection (a) shall provide an anonymous reporting mechanism to allow crew members to communicate urgent and dire safety concerns directly and in a timely manner with the Coast Guard."

§3316. Classification societies

(a) Each department, agency, and instrumentality of the United States Government shall recognize the American Bureau of Shipping as its agent in classifying vessels owned by the Government and in matters related to classification, as long as the Bureau is maintained as an organization having no capital stock and paying no dividends. The Secretary and the Secretary of Transportation each shall appoint one representative (except when the Secretary is the Secretary of Transportation, in which case the Secretary shall appoint both representatives) who shall represent the Government on the executive committee of the Bureau. The Bureau shall agree that the representatives shall be accepted by it as active members of the committee. The representatives shall serve without compensation, except for necessary traveling expenses.

(b)(1) The Secretary may delegate to the American Bureau of Shipping or another classification society recognized by the Secretary as meeting acceptable standards for such a society, for a vessel documented or to be documented under chapter 121 of this title, the authority to—

(A) review and approve plans required for issuing a certificate of inspection required by this part;

(B) conduct inspections and examinations; and

(C) issue a certificate of inspection required by this part and other related documents.


(2) The Secretary may make a delegation under paragraph (1) to a foreign classification society only—

(A) to the extent that the government of the foreign country in which the society is headquartered delegates authority and provides access to the American Bureau of Shipping to inspect, certify, and provide related services to vessels documented in that country;

(B) if the foreign classification society has offices and maintains records in the United States; and

(C) if the Secretary of State determines that the foreign classification society does not provide comparable services in or for a state sponsor of terrorism.


(3) When an inspection or examination has been delegated under this subsection, the Secretary's delegate—

(A) shall maintain in the United States complete files of all information derived from or necessarily connected with the inspection or examination for at least 2 years after the vessel ceases to be certified; and

(B) shall permit access to those files at all reasonable times to any officer, employee, or member of the Coast Guard designated—

(i) as a marine inspector and serving in a position as a marine inspector; or

(ii) in writing by the Secretary to have access to those files.


(c)(1) A classification society (including an employee or agent of that society) may not review, examine, survey, or certify the construction, repair, or alteration of a vessel in the United States unless the society has applied for approval under this subsection and the Secretary has reviewed and approved that society with respect to the conduct of that society under paragraph (2).

(2) The Secretary may approve a person for purposes of paragraph (1) only if the Secretary determines that—

(A) the vessels surveyed by the person while acting as a classification society have an adequate safety record; and

(B) the person has an adequate program to—

(i) develop and implement safety standards for vessels surveyed by the person;

(ii) make the safety records of the person available to the Secretary in an electronic format;

(iii) provide the safety records of a vessel surveyed by the person to any other classification society that requests those records for the purpose of conducting a survey of the vessel; and

(iv) request the safety records of a vessel the person will survey from any classification society that previously surveyed the vessel.


(d)(1) The Secretary may delegate to the American Bureau of Shipping or another classification society recognized by the Secretary as meeting acceptable standards for such a society, for a United States offshore facility, the authority to—

(A) review and approve plans required for issuing a certificate of inspection, a certificate of compliance, or any other certification and related documents issued by the Coast Guard pursuant to regulations issued under section 30 of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (43 U.S.C. 1356); and

(B) conduct inspections and examinations.


(2) The Secretary may make a delegation under paragraph (1) to a foreign classification society only if—

(A) the foreign society has offices and maintains records in the United States;

(B)(i) the government of the foreign country in which the foreign society is headquartered delegates that authority to the American Bureau of Shipping; or

(ii) the Secretary has entered into an agreement with the government of the foreign country in which the foreign society is headquartered that—

(I) ensures the government of the foreign country will accept plan review, inspections, or examinations conducted by the American Bureau of Shipping and provide equivalent access to inspect, certify, and provide related services to offshore facilities located in that country or operating under the authority of that country; and

(II) is in full accord with principles of reciprocity in regards to any delegation contemplated by the Secretary under paragraph (1); and


(C) the Secretary of State determines that the foreign classification society does not provide comparable services in or for a state sponsor of terrorism.


(3) If an inspection or examination is conducted under authority delegated under this subsection, the person to which the authority was delegated—

(A) shall maintain in the United States complete files of all information derived from or necessarily connected with the inspection or examination for at least 2 years after the United States offshore facility ceases to be certified; and

(B) shall permit access to those files at all reasonable times to any officer, employee, or member of the Coast Guard designated—

(i) as a marine inspector and serving in a position as a marine inspector; or

(ii) in writing by the Secretary to have access to those files.


(4) For purposes of this subsection—

(A) the term "offshore facility" means any installation, structure, or other device (including any vessel not documented under chapter 121 of this title or the laws of another country), fixed or floating, that dynamically holds position or is temporarily or permanently attached to the seabed or subsoil under the sea; and

(B) the term "United States offshore facility" means any offshore facility, fixed or floating, that dynamically holds position or is temporarily or permanently attached to the seabed or subsoil under the territorial sea of the United States or the outer Continental Shelf (as that term is defined in section 2 of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (43 U.S.C. 1331)), including any vessel, rig, platform, or other vehicle or structure subject to regulation under section 30 of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (43 U.S.C. 1356).


(e) The Secretary shall revoke a delegation made to a classification society under subsection (b) or (d) if the Secretary of State determines that the classification society provides comparable services in or for a state sponsor of terrorism.

(f)(1) Upon request of an owner or operator of an offshore supply vessel, the Secretary shall delegate the authorities set forth in paragraph (1) of subsection (b) with respect to such vessel to a classification society to which a delegation is authorized under that paragraph. A delegation by the Secretary under this subsection shall be used for any vessel inspection and examination function carried out by the Secretary, including the issuance of certificates of inspection and all other related documents.

(2) If the Secretary determines that a certificate of inspection or related document issued under authority delegated under paragraph (1) of this subsection with respect to a vessel has reduced the operational safety of that vessel, the Secretary may terminate the certificate or document, respectively.

(3) Not later than 2 years after the date of the enactment of the Howard Coble Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Act of 2014, and for each year of the subsequent 2-year period, the Secretary shall provide 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 describing—

(A) the number of vessels for which a delegation was made under paragraph (1);

(B) any savings in personnel and operational costs incurred by the Coast Guard that resulted from the delegations; and

(C) based on measurable marine casualty and other data, any impacts of the delegations on the operational safety of vessels for which the delegations were made, and on the crew on those vessels.


(g)(1) There shall be within the Coast Guard an office that conducts comprehensive and targeted oversight of all recognized organizations that act on behalf of the Coast Guard.

(2) The staff of the office shall include subject matter experts, including inspectors, investigators, and auditors, who possess the capability and authority to audit all aspects of such recognized organizations.

(3) In this subsection the term "recognized organization" has the meaning given that term in section 2.45–1 of title 46, Code of Federal Regulations, as in effect on the date of the enactment of the Hamm Alert Maritime Safety Act of 2018.

(h) In this section, the term "state sponsor of terrorism" means any country the government of which the Secretary of State has determined has repeatedly provided support for acts of international terrorism pursuant to section 6(j) 1 of the Export Administration Act of 1979 (as continued in effect under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act), section 620A of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, section 40 of the Arms Export Control Act, or any other provision of law.

(Pub. L. 98–89, Aug. 26, 1983, 97 Stat. 516; Pub. L. 104–324, title VI, §607(a), (b)(1), Oct. 19, 1996, 110 Stat. 3931, 3932; Pub. L. 108–293, title IV, §413(a), Aug. 9, 2004, 118 Stat. 1046; Pub. L. 111–281, title VI, §622, Oct. 15, 2010, 124 Stat. 2978; Pub. L. 112–213, title III, §304, Dec. 20, 2012, 126 Stat. 1563; Pub. L. 113–281, title III, §315, Dec. 18, 2014, 128 Stat. 3050; Pub. L. 115–265, title II, §215(a), Oct. 11, 2018, 132 Stat. 3751.)

Historical and Revision Notes
Revised sectionSource section (U.S. Code)
3316 46:9 (less (c))

46:369

46:881

Section 3316 prescribes the relationship between certain classification societies and the Federal Government with respect to the promotion of maritime safety and the security of life and property at sea. Briefly stated, a classification society, like the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS), establishes and administers standards for the design, construction, and periodic survey of commercial vessels, yachts, and other marine structures. Classification certifies adherence to these standards, thus representing that a vessel or structure possesses the structural and mechanical fitness required for its intended service.

The section requires that a Federal department, agency, or instrumentality recognize the American Bureau of Shipping as its agent for classing vessels owned by the Federal Government and in any matters related to classification. In effect, the ABS has a statutory monopoly on classing vessels of the United States Government. Additionally, the section contains the authority to permit the Secretary to rely on reports, documents, and certificates issued by a classification society that is similar to the American Bureau of Shipping. However, a "similar classification society" continues to mean one that is organized like the American Bureau of Shipping with attendant governmental representation.

References in Text

The date of the enactment of the Howard Coble Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Act of 2014, referred to in subsec. (f)(3), is the date of enactment of Pub. L. 113–281, which was approved Dec. 18, 2014.

The date of the enactment of the Hamm Alert Maritime Safety Act of 2018, referred to in subsec. (g)(3), is the date of enactment of Pub. L. 115–265, which was approved Oct. 11, 2018.

Section 6(j) of the Export Administration Act of 1979, referred to in subsec. (h), was classified to section 4605(j) of Title 50, War and National Defense, prior to repeal by Pub. L. 115–232, div. A, title XVII, §1766(a), Aug. 13, 2018, 132 Stat. 2232.

The International Emergency Economic Powers Act, referred to in subsec. (h), is title II of Pub. L. 95–223, Dec. 28, 1977, 91 Stat. 1626, which is classified generally to chapter 35 (§1701 et seq.) of Title 50, War and National Defense. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 1701 of Title 50 and Tables.

Section 620A of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, referred to in subsec. (h), is classified to section 2371 of Title 22, Foreign Relations and Intercourse.

Section 40 of the Arms Export Control Act, referred to in subsec. (h), is classified to section 2780 of Title 22, Foreign Relations and Intercourse.

Amendments

2018—Subsecs. (g), (h). Pub. L. 115–265 added subsec. (g) and redesignated former subsec. (g) as (h).

2014—Subsecs. (f), (g). Pub. L. 113–281 added subsec. (f) and redesignated former subsec. (f) as (g).

2012—Subsec. (b)(2)(C). Pub. L. 112–213, §304(1), added subpar. (C).

Subsec. (d)(2)(C). Pub. L. 112–213, §304(2), added subpar. (C).

Subsecs. (e), (f). Pub. L. 112–213, §304(3), added subsecs. (e) and (f).

2010—Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 111–281, §622(b), added par. (1) and struck out former par. (1) which read as follows: "A classification society (including an employee or agent of that society) may not review, examine, survey, or certify the construction, repair, or alteration of a vessel in the United States unless—

"(A) the society has applied for approval under this subsection and the Secretary has reviewed and approved that society with respect to the conduct of that society under paragraph (2); or

"(B) the society is a full member of the International Association of Classification Societies."

Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 111–281, §622(a), added subsec. (d).

2004—Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 108–293 added subsec. (c).

1996Pub. L. 104–324, §607(b)(1), substituted "Classification societies" for "United States classification societies" in section catchline.

Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 104–324, §607(a)(3), which directed the substitution of "American Bureau of Shipping" for "Bureau", was executed by making the substitution the first place appearing, to reflect the probable intent of Congress.

Pub. L. 104–324, §607(a)(1), (2), redesignated subsec. (b) as (a) and struck out former subsec. (a) which read as follows: "In carrying out this part, the Secretary may rely on reports, documents, and certificates issued by the American Bureau of Shipping or a similar United States classification society, or an agent of the Bureau or society."

Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 104–324, §607(a)(2), (4), redesignated subsec. (c) as (b), added pars. (1) and (2), redesignated former par. (2) as (3), and struck out former par. (1) which read as follows: "To the maximum extent practicable, the Secretary may delegate to the Bureau or a similar United States classification society, or an agent of the Bureau or society, the inspection or examination, in the United States or in a foreign country, of a vessel documented or to be documented as a vessel of the United States. The Bureau, society, or agent may issue the certificate of inspection required by this part and other certificates essential to documentation." Former subsec. (b) redesignated (a).

Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 104–324, §607(a)(2), redesignated subsec. (c) as (b).

Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 104–324, §607(a)(1), struck out subsec. (d) which read as follows: "The Secretary also may make an agreement with or use the Bureau or a similar United States classification society, or an agent of the Bureau or society, for reviewing and approving plans required for issuing a certificate of inspection."

Effective Date of 2004 Amendment

Pub. L. 108–293, title IV, §413(b), Aug. 9, 2004, 118 Stat. 1046, provided that: "Section 3316(c)(1) of title 46, United States Code, shall apply with respect to operation as a classification society on or after January 1, 2005."

Effective Date

Section effective Apr. 15, 1984, see section 2(g)(1) of Pub. L. 98–89, set out as a note under section 3101 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.

Deadline for Establishment of Recognized Organization Oversight Office

Pub. L. 115–265, title II, §215(b), Oct. 11, 2018, 132 Stat. 3751, provided that: "The Commandant of the Coast Guard shall establish the office required by the amendment made by subsection (a) [amending this section] by not later than 2 years after the date of the enactment of this Act [Oct. 11, 2018]."

Review of Authorities Delegated to Recognized Organizations for Alternative Compliance Program

Pub. L. 115–265, title II, §219, Oct. 11, 2018, 132 Stat. 3752, provided that:

"(a) In General.—Not later than 1 year after the date of the enactment of this Act [Oct. 11, 2018], the Commandant [of the Coast Guard] shall review the authorities that have been delegated to recognized organizations for the alternative compliance program as described in subpart D of part 8 of title 46, Code of Federal Regulations, and, if necessary, revise or establish policies and procedures to ensure those delegated authorities are being conducted in a manner to ensure safe maritime transportation.

"(b) Briefing.—Not later than 1 year after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Commandant shall provide to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate and the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of Representatives a briefing on the implementation of subsection (a)."

[For definition of "recognized organizations" as used in section 219 of Pub. L. 115–265, set out above, see section 203 of Pub. L. 115–265, set out as a note under section 2101 of this title.]

1 See References in Text note below.

§3317. Fees

(a) The Secretary may prescribe by regulation fees for inspecting or examining a small passenger vessel or a sailing school vessel.

(b) When an inspection or examination under this part of a documented vessel or a foreign vessel is conducted at a foreign port or place at the request of the owner or managing operator of the vessel, the owner or operator shall reimburse the Secretary for the travel and subsistence expenses incurred by the personnel assigned to perform the inspection or examination. Amounts received as reimbursement for these expenses shall be credited to the appropriation for operating expenses of the Coast Guard.

(Pub. L. 98–89, Aug. 26, 1983, 97 Stat. 517; Pub. L. 102–587, title V, §5211, Nov. 4, 1992, 106 Stat. 5076.)

Historical and Revision Notes
Revised sectionSource section (U.S. Code)
3317 46:390a(b)

46:382b–1

Section 3317 provides the regulatory authority for prescribing fees for the inspection of small passenger vessels and sailing school vessels. Although section 2110 generally prohibits fees of this nature, this provision is consistent with the exception that permits specific statutory authorization for fee collection. Subsection (b) requires the reimbursement of expenses for the conduct of an inspection or examination at a foreign port or place when done there for the convenience of the owner or operator of the vessel.

Amendments

1992—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 102–587 substituted "under this part of a documented vessel or a foreign vessel" for "under this chapter of a documented vessel".

Effective Date

Section effective Apr. 15, 1984, see section 2(g)(1) of Pub. L. 98–89, set out as a note under section 3101 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.

§3318. Penalties

(a) Except as otherwise provided in this part, the owner, charterer, managing operator, agent, master, or individual in charge of a vessel operated in violation of this part or a regulation prescribed under this part, and a person violating a regulation that applies to a small passenger vessel, freight 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, or sailing school vessel, are 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.

(b)(1) A person that knowingly manufactures, sells, offers for sale, or possesses with intent to sell, any equipment subject to this part, and the equipment is so defective as to be insufficient to accomplish the purpose for which it is intended, commits a class D felony.

(2) A person commits a class D felony if the person—

(A) alters or services lifesaving, fire safety, or any other equipment subject to this part for compensation; and

(B) by that alteration or servicing, intentionally renders that equipment unsafe and unfit for the purpose for which it is intended.


(c) A person that employs a means or device whereby a boiler may be subjected to a pressure greater than allowed by the terms of the vessel's certificate of inspection commits a class D felony.

(d) A person that deranges or hinders the operation of any machinery or device employed on a vessel to denote the state of steam or water in any boiler or to give warning of approaching danger, or permits the water level of any boiler when in operation of a vessel to fall below its prescribed low-water line, commits a class D felony.

(e) A person that alters, defaces, obliterates, removes, or destroys any plans or specifications required by and approved under a regulation prescribed under section 3306 of this title, with intent to deceive or impede any official of the United States in carrying out that official's duties, commits a class A misdemeanor.

(f) A person commits a class D felony if the person—

(1) forges or counterfeits with intent to make it appear genuine any mark or stamp prescribed for material to be tested and approved under section 3306 of this title or a regulation prescribed under section 3306;

(2) knowingly uses, affixes, or causes to be used or affixed, any such forged or counterfeited mark or stamp to or on material of any description;

(3) with fraudulent intent, possesses any such mark, stamp, or other device knowing it to be forged or counterfeited; or

(4) with fraudulent intent, marks or causes to be marked with the trademark or name of another, material required to be tested and approved under section 3306 of this title or a regulation prescribed under section 3306.


(g) A person is liable to the Government for a civil penalty of not more than $5,000, if the person—

(1) interferes with the inspection of a nautical school vessel;

(2) violates a regulation prescribed for a nautical school vessel;

(3) is an owner of a nautical school vessel operated in violation of this part; or

(4) is an officer or member of the board of directors of a school, organization, association, partnership, or corporation owning a nautical school vessel operated in violation of a regulation prescribed for a nautical school vessel.


(h) An owner, charterer, managing operator, agent, master, or individual in charge of a vessel that fails to give the notice required by section 3304(b) of this title is liable to the Government for a civil penalty of not more than $1,000. The vessel also is liable in rem for the penalty.

(i) A person violating section 3309(c) of this title is liable to the Government for a civil penalty of not more than $1,000.

(j)(1) An owner, charterer, managing operator, agent, master, or individual in charge of a vessel required to be inspected under this chapter operating the vessel without the certificate of inspection is liable to the Government for a civil penalty of not more than $10,000 for each day during which the violation occurs, except when the violation involves operation of a vessel of less 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, the penalty is not more than $2,000 for each day during which the violation occurs. The vessel also is liable in rem for the penalty.

(2) A person is not liable for a penalty under this subsection if—

(A) the owner, charterer, managing operator, agent, master, or individual in charge of the vessel has notified the Secretary under section 3309(c) of this title;

(B) the owner, charterer, managing operator, agent, master, or individual in charge of the vessel has complied with all other directions and requirements for obtaining an inspection under this part; and

(C) the Secretary believes that unforeseen circumstances exist so that it is not feasible to conduct a scheduled inspection before the expiration of the certificate of inspection.


(k) The owner, charterer, managing operator, agent, master, or individual in charge of a vessel failing to comply with a direction issued by the Secretary under section 3311(b) of this title is liable to the Government for a civil penalty of not more than $10,000 for each day during which the violation occurs. The vessel also is liable in rem for the penalty.

(l) A person committing an act described by subsections (b)–(f) of this section is liable to the Government for a civil penalty of not more than $5,000. If the violation involves the operation of a vessel, the vessel also is liable in rem for the penalty.

(Pub. L. 98–89, Aug. 26, 1983, 97 Stat. 517; Pub. L. 98–498, title II, §211(c), Oct. 19, 1984, 98 Stat. 2304; Pub. L. 99–307, §1(6), May 19, 1986, 100 Stat. 445; Pub. L. 101–380, title IV, §4302(b), Aug. 18, 1990, 104 Stat. 538; Pub. L. 104–324, title III, §310, title VII, §713, Oct. 19, 1996, 110 Stat. 3919, 3936; Pub. L. 109–304, §15(13), Oct. 6, 2006, 120 Stat. 1703.)

Historical and Revision Notes
Revised sectionSource section (U.S. Code)
3318 46:369(e)

46:390d

46:398

46:403

46:407

46:408

46:410

46:413

46:436

46:481(d)

46:1295f(d)(2), (3)

Section 3318 provides for a number of specific civil and criminal penalties.

Amendments

2006—Subsec. (f). Pub. L. 109–304 struck out period after "felony".

1996—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 104–324, §713(1), 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".

Subsec. (b)(1). Pub. L. 104–324, §310, designated existing provisions as par. (1) and added par. (2).

Subsec. (j)(1). Pub. L. 104–324, §713(2), 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".

1990—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 101–380, §4302(b)(1), substituted "commits a class D felony" for "shall be fined not more than $10,000, imprisoned for not more than 5 years, or both".

Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 101–380, §4302(b)(2), substituted "commits a class D felony" for "shall be fined not more than $5,000, imprisoned for not more than 5 years, or both".

Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 101–380, §4302(b)(3), substituted "commits a class D felony" for "shall be fined not more than $5,000, imprisoned for not more than 5 years, or both".

Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 101–380, §4302(b)(4), substituted "commits a class A misdemeanor" for "shall be fined not more than $10,000, imprisoned for not more than 2 years, or both".

Subsec. (f). Pub. L. 101–380, §4302(b)(5), substituted "commits a class D felony." for "shall be fined not less than $1,000 but not more than $10,000, and imprisoned for not less than 2 years but not more than 5 years,".

1986—Subsec. (f). Pub. L. 99–307 in provision preceding par. (1) substituted "than" for "then" in two places.

1984—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 98–498, §211(c)(1), substituted "Except as otherwise provided in this part, the" for "The" and "not more than $5,000" for "$1,000, except that when the violation involves operation of a barge, the penalty is $500".

Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 98–498, §211(c)(2), substituted "$5,000" for "$2,000".

Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 98–498, §211(c)(3), substituted "$5,000" for "$2,000".

Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 98–498, §211(c)(4), substituted "$10,000" for "$2,000".

Subsec. (f). Pub. L. 98–498, §211(c)(5), substituted "$10,000" for "$5,000".

Subsec. (g). Pub. L. 98–498, §211(c)(6), substituted "is liable to the Government for a civil penalty of not more than $5,000" for "shall be fined not more than $10,000, imprisoned for not more than one year, or both".

Subsec. (h). Pub. L. 98–498, §211(c)(7), substituted "Government for a civil penalty of not more than $1,000." for "United States Government for a civil penalty of not more than $500."

Subsecs. (i) to (l). Pub. L. 98–498, §211(c)(8), added subsecs. (i) to (l).

Effective Date of 1990 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 101–380 applicable to incidents occurring after Aug. 18, 1990, see section 1020 of Pub. L. 101–380, set out as an Effective Date note under section 2701 of Title 33, Navigation and Navigable Waters.

Effective Date

Section effective Apr. 15, 1984, see section 2(g)(1) of Pub. L. 98–89, set out as a note under section 3101 of this title.