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TITLE 46 - SHIPPING

SUBTITLE II - VESSELS AND SEAMEN

PART B - INSPECTION AND REGULATION OF VESSELS

CHAPTER 33 - INSPECTION GENERALLY



Table of Contents:

Sec. 3301. Vessels subject to inspection

Sec. 3302. Exemptions

Sec. 3303. Reciprocity for foreign vessels

Sec. 3304. Transporting individuals in addition to crew

Sec. 3305. Scope and standards of inspection

Sec. 3306. Regulations

Sec. 3307. Frequency of inspection

Sec. 3308. Examinations

Sec. 3309. Certificate of inspection

Sec. 3310. Records of certification

Sec. 3311. Certificate of inspection required

Sec. 3312. Display of certificate of inspection

Sec. 3313. Compliance with certificate of inspection

Sec. 3314. Expiration of certificate of inspection

Sec. 3315. Disclosure of defects and protection of informants

Sec. 3316. Classification societies

Sec. 3317. Fees

Sec. 3318. Penalties

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Sec. 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.

Sec. 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) After December 31, 1988, 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.

Sec. 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.

Sec. 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.

Sec. 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.

Sec. 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(5) 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.

Sec. 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.

Sec. 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.

Sec. 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.

Sec. 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.

Sec. 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.

Sec. 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.

Sec. 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.

Sec. 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.

Sec. 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.

Sec. 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; and

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

(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 -

(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.

(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.

Sec. 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.

Sec. 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.




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