46 USC 501: Waiver of navigation and vessel-inspection laws
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TEXT OF PART V OF SUBTITLE A (3001 ET SEQ.), EFFECTIVE JANUARY 1, 2022, CURRENTLY SET OUT AS A PREVIEW

46 USC 501: Waiver of navigation and vessel-inspection laws Text contains those laws in effect on September 27, 2021
From Title 46-SHIPPINGSubtitle I-GeneralCHAPTER 5-OTHER GENERAL PROVISIONS

§501. Waiver of navigation and vessel-inspection laws

(a) On Request of Secretary of Defense.-

(1) In general.-On request of the Secretary of Defense, the head of an agency responsible for the administration of the navigation or vessel-inspection laws shall waive compliance with those laws to the extent the Secretary considers necessary in the interest of national defense to address an immediate adverse effect on military operations.

(2) Submittal of explanation to congress.-Not later than 24 hours after making a request under paragraph (1), the Secretary of Defense shall submit to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure and the Committee on Armed Services of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation and the Committee on Armed Services of the Senate a written explanation of the circumstances requiring such a waiver in the interest of national defense, including a confirmation that there are insufficient qualified vessels to meet the needs of national defense without such a waiver.


(b) By Head of Agency.-

(1) In general.-When the head of an agency responsible for the administration of the navigation or vessel-inspection laws considers it necessary in the interest of national defense, the individual, following a determination by the Maritime Administrator, acting in the Administrator's capacity as Director, National Shipping Authority, of the non-availability of qualified United States flag capacity to meet national defense requirements, may waive compliance with those laws to the extent, in the manner, and on the terms the individual, in consultation with the Administrator, acting in that capacity, prescribes.

(2) Duration of waiver.-

(A) In general.-Subject to subparagraphs (B) and (C), a waiver issued under this subsection shall be for a period of not more than 10 days.

(B) Waiver extension.-Upon the termination of the period of a waiver issued under this subsection, the head of an agency may extend the waiver for an additional period of not more than 10 days, if the Maritime Administrator makes the determinations referred to in paragraph (1).

(C) Aggregate duration.-The aggregate duration of the period of all waivers and extensions of waivers under this subsection with respect to any one set of events shall not exceed 45 days.


(3) Determinations.-The Maritime Administrator shall-

(A) for each determination referred to in paragraph (1), identify any actions that could be taken to enable qualified United States flag capacity to meet national defense requirements;

(B) provide notice of each such determination to the Secretary of Transportation and the head of the agency referred to in paragraph (1) for which the determination is made; and

(C) publish each such determination on the Internet Web site of the Department of Transportation not later than 48 hours after notice of the determination is provided to the Secretary of Transportation.


(4) Notice to congress.-

(A) In general.-The head of an agency referred to in paragraph (1) shall notify the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure and the Committee on Armed Services of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation and the Committee on Armed Services of the Senate-

(i) of any request for a waiver of the navigation or vessel-inspection laws under this section not later than 48 hours after receiving such a request; and

(ii) of the issuance of any such waiver not later than 48 hours after such issuance.


(B) Contents.-Such head of an agency shall include in each notification under subparagraph (A)(ii) an explanation of-

(i) the reasons the waiver is necessary; and

(ii) the reasons actions referred to in paragraph (3)(A) are not feasible.


(C) Notification required for extensions.-For purposes of this paragraph, an extension requested or issued under paragraph (2)(B) shall be treated in the same manner as a waiver requested or issued under this subsection.


(c) Report.-

(1) In general.-Not later than 10 days after the date of the conclusion of the voyage of a vessel that, during such voyage, operated under a waiver issued under this section, the owner or operator of the vessel shall submit to the Maritime Administrator a report that includes-

(A) the name and flag of the vessel;

(B) the dates of the voyage;

(C) any relevant ports of call; and

(D) any other information the Maritime Administrator determines necessary.


(2) Publication.-Not later than 48 hours after receiving a report under paragraph (1), the Maritime Administrator shall publish such report on an appropriate website of the Department of Transportation.

(d) Termination of Authority.-The authority granted by this section shall terminate at such time as the Congress by concurrent resolution or the President may designate.

( Pub. L. 109–304, §4, Oct. 6, 2006, 120 Stat. 1490 ; Pub. L. 110–417, div. C, title XXXV, §3510, Oct. 14, 2008, 122 Stat. 4769 ; Pub. L. 112–213, title III, §301, Dec. 20, 2012, 126 Stat. 1562 ; Pub. L. 112–239, div. C, title XXXV, §3517(a)(2), Jan. 2, 2013, 126 Stat. 2229 ; Pub. L. 116–283, div. C, title XXXV, §3502(a)(1), Jan. 1, 2021, 134 Stat. 4397 .)

Historical and Revision Notes
Revised

Section

Source (U.S. Code)Source (Statutes at Large)
501 46 App.:3 note prec. Dec. 27, 1950, ch. 1155, §§1, 2, 64 Stat. 1120 .

In subsection (b), the words "When the head of an agency . . . considers it necessary" are substituted for "either upon his own initiative or upon the written recommendation of the head of any other Government agency, when he deems that such action is necessary" to eliminate unnecessary words.


Editorial Notes

Amendments

2021-Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 116–283, §3502(a)(1)(A), added subsec. (a) and struck out former subsec. (a). Text read as follows: "On request of the Secretary of Defense, the head of an agency responsible for the administration of the navigation or vessel-inspection laws shall waive compliance with those laws to the extent the Secretary considers necessary in the interest of national defense."

Subsec. (b)(2), (3). Pub. L. 116–283, §3502(a)(1)(B)(i), (ii), added par. (2) and redesignated former par. (2) as (3). Former par. (3) redesignated (4).

Subsec. (b)(4). Pub. L. 116–283, §3502(a)(1)(B)(i), redesignated par. (3) as (4).

Subsec. (b)(4)(B)(ii). Pub. L. 116–283, §3502(a)(1)(B)(ii)(I), substituted "paragraph (3)(A)" for "paragraph (2)(A)".

Subsec. (b)(4)(C). Pub. L. 116–283, §3502(a)(1)(B)(ii)(II), added subpar. (C).

Subsecs. (c), (d). Pub. L. 116–283, §3502(a)(1)(C), (D), added subsec. (c) and redesignated former subsec. (c) as (d).

2013-Subsec. (b)(3)(A). Pub. L. 112–239 substituted "the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure and the Committee on Armed Services of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation and the Committee on Armed Services of the Senate" for "the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate" in introductory provisions.

2012-Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 112–213 designated existing provisions as par. (1), inserted par. (1) heading, and added pars. (2) and (3).

2008-Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 110–417 reenacted heading without change and amended text generally. Prior to amendment, text read as follows: "When the head of an agency responsible for the administration of the navigation or vessel-inspection laws considers it necessary in the interest of national defense, the individual may waive compliance with those laws to the extent, in the manner, and on the terms the individual prescribes."


Statutory Notes and Related Subsidiaries

Effective Date of 2021 Amendment

Pub. L. 116–283, div. C, title XXXV, §3502(a)(2), Jan. 1, 2021, 134 Stat. 4398 , provided that: "The amendments made by paragraph (1) [amending this section] shall apply with respect to waivers issued after the date of the enactment of this Act [Jan. 1, 2021]."