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NA VIGATION LAWS OF THE UNITED STATES
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Definition of vessel...
Licensed vessels under 20 tons Vessels of the United States
Undocumented vessels. Registered vessels.
Yachts Provisional certificates of registry.
Official numberRepeal of penalties.
Name of vessel Kepaired wrecks.
Port defined Whaling vessels_
Change of name Enrolled and licensed vessels :
Draught On the coasts and rivers.
Authority to take over vessels of On the northern frontiers
enemy nations Definition of Vessel.
The word " vessel ” includes every description of water craft or other artificial contrivance used, or capable of being used, as a means of transportation on water. (Å. S. 3.) Vessels of the United States.
Vessels registered pursuant to law and no others, except such as shall be duly qualified according to law for carrying on the coasting or fishing trade, shall be deemed vessels of the United States and entitled to the benefits and privileges appertaining to such vessels; but no such vessel shall enjoy such benefits and privileges longer than it shall continue to be wholly owned by a citizen or citizens of the United States or a corporation created under the laws of any of the States thereof, and be commanded by a citizen of the United States. And all the officers of vessels of the United States who shall have charge of a watch, including pilots, shall in all cases be citizens of the United States." (R. S. 4131; May 28, 1896. See also qualifications of officers, p. 35.) Registered Vessels.
Vessels built within the United States and belonging wholly to citizens thereof; and vessels which may be captured in war by citizens of the United States and lawfully condemned as prize, or which may be adjudged to be forfeited for a breach of the laws of the United States; and seagoing vessels, whether steam or sail, which have been certified by the Steamboat Inspection Service as safe to carry dry and perishable cargo, wherever built, which are to engage only in trade with foreign countries or with the Philippine Islands and the islands of Guam and Tutuila, being wholly owned by citizens of the United States or corporations organized and chartered under the laws of the United States or of any State thereof, the president and managing directors of which shall be citizens of the United States, and no others, may be registered as directed in this title. Foreign-built vessels registered pursuant to this Act shall not engage in the coastwise trade: Provided, That a foreign-built yacht, pleasure boat, or vessel not used or intended to be used for trade admitted to American registry pursuant to this section shall not be exempt from the collection of ad valorem duty provided in section thirtyseven of the Act approved August fifth, nineteen hundred and nine, entitled "An Act to provide revenue, equalize duties, and encourage the industries of the United States, and for other purposes." * * * Provided further, That such vessels so admitted under the provisions of this section may contract with the Postmaster General under the Act of March third, eighteen hundred and ninety-one, entitled “An Act to provide for ocean mail service between the United States and foreign ports, and to promote commerce," so long as such vessels shall in all respects comply with the provisions and requirements of said Act. (R. S. 4132; Aug. 24, 1912, sec. 5; A2). 18, 1914, sec. 1; Sept. 21, 1922, sec. 321.) Provisional Certificates of Registry.
Consular officers of the United States and such other persons' as may from time to time be designated by the President for the purpose are hereby authorized to issue provisional certificates of registry to vessels abroad which have been purchased by citizens of the United States, including corporations, as defined in section forty-one hundred and thirty-two, Revised Statutes, as amended by the Panama Canal Act and the Act of August eighteenth, nineteen hundred and fourteen.
(a) Such a provisional certificate shall entitle the vessel to the privileges of a vessel of the United States in trade with foreign countries or with the Philippine Islands and the islands of Guam and Tutuila until the expiration of six months from its date or until ten days after the vessel's arrival at a port of the United States, whichever first happens, and no longer. On arrival at a port of the United States the vessel shall become subject to the laws relating to officers, inspection, and measurement, as amended by the Act of August eighteenth, nineteen hundred and fourteen.
(b) The Secretary of Commerce shall prescribe the conditions in accordance with which such provisional certificates shall be issued and the manner in which they shall be surrendered in exchange for certificates of registry at ports of the United States.
(c) The form of such provisional certificate shall be prescribed by the Commissioner of Navigation and shall include the name of the ship and of the master, time and place of purchase and names of purchasers, and the best particulars respecting her tonnage, build, description, and inspection or survey which the consular officer is able to obtain.
(d) Copies of such provisional certificates shall be forwarded as soon as practicable by the issuing officer to the Commissioner of Navigation. (Mar. 1915, sec. 1.) Repeal of Penalties.
So much of sections forty-two hundred and nineteen and forty-two hundred and twenty-five of the Revised Statutes as imposes tonnage duties of 50 cents per ton and light money of 50 cents per ton on a vessel owned by citizens of the United States but not a vessel of the United States; so much of section four J, subsection one, of the Act of October third, nineteen hundred and thirteen, entitled "An Act to reduce tariff duties and to provide revenue for the Government, and for other purposes," as imposes a discriminating duty of ten per centum ad valorem on all goods, wares, or merchandise imported in a vessel owned by citizens of the United States but not a vessel of the United States; and so much of section four J, subsection two, of the Act aforesaid as provides for the forfeiture of any vessel owned by citizens of the United States but not a vessel of the United States, together with her cargo, tackle, apparel, and furniture, are hereby repealed. Any such tonnage duties, light money, or discriminating duties collected since the passage of the Act of August eighteenth, nineteen hundred and fourteen, shall be refunded, and any such forfeitures incurred are hereby remitted: Provided, however, That the provisions of this Act shall apply only in case that any vessel of the character above described after entering an American port shall, before leaving the same, be registered as a vessel of the United States. (Mar. 4, 1915, sec. 1.) Repaired Wrecks.
* The collector of customs of the Philippine Islands, the captains of the ports of Cristobal and Balboa, Canal Zone, and the governor of Guam were designated by Executive Order of April 7, 1915.
The Secretary of Commerce may issue a register or enrollment for any vessel wrecked on the coasts of the United States or her possessions or adjacent waters, when purchased by a citizen or citizens of the United States and thereupon repaired in a shipyard in the United States or her possessions, if it shall be proved to the satisfaction of the Secretary of Commerce, if he deems it necessary, through a board of three appraisers appointed by him, that the said repairs put upon such vessels are equal to three times the appraised salved value of the vessel: Provided, That the expense of the appraisal herein provided for shall be borne by the owner of the vessel: Provided further, That if any of the material matters of fact sworn to or represented by the owner, or at his instance, to obtain the register of any vessel are not true, there shall be a forfeiture to the United States of the vessel in respect to which the oath shall have been made, together with tackle, apparel, and furniture thereof. (R. S. 4136, Feb. 24, 1915.) Whaling Vessels.
All vessels which may clear with registers for the purpose of engaging in the whale fishery shall be deemed to have lawful and sufficient papers for such voyages, securing the privileges and rights of registered vessels, and the privileges and exemptions of vessels enrolled and licensed for the fisheries. (R. S. 4339. See R. S. 4,391, p. 49.) Enrolled and Licensed Vessels on the Coasts and Rivers.
Vessels of twenty tons and upward, enrolled in pursuance of this Title [R. S. 4311-4390], and having a license in force, or vessels of less than twenty tons, which, although not enrolled, have a license in force, as required by this Title, and no others, shall be deemed vessels of the United States entitled to the privileges of vessels employed in the coasting trade or fisheries. (R. S. 4311.) Enrolled and Licensed Vessels on the Northern Frontiers, Otherwise Than
Any vessel of the United States, navigating the waters of the northern, northeastern, and northwestern frontiers, otherwise than by sea, shall be enrolled and licensed in such form as other vessels; such enrollment and license shall authorize any such vessel to be employed either in the coasting or foreign trade on such frontiers, and no certificate of registry shall be required for vessels so employed. Such vessels shall be, in every other respect, liable to the regulations and penalties relating to registered and licensed vessels. (R. S. 4318.) Licensed Vessels Under 20 Tons.
Before any vessel, of the burden of five tons, and less than twenty tons, shall be licensed, the same measurement shall be made of such vessel, and the same provisions observed relative thereto, as are to be observed in case of measuring vessels to be registered or enrolled ; but in all cases, where such vessel or any other licensed vessel shall have been once measured, it shall not be necessary to measure such vessel anew, for the purpose of obtaining another enrollment or license, unless such vessel shall have undergone some alteration as to her burden, subsequent to the time of her former license. (R. S. 4331.) Undocumented Vessels.
The act [R. S. 4311-4385] to which this is a supplement shall not be so construed as to extend the provisions of the said act to canal boats or boats employed on the internal waters or canals of any State; and all such boats, excepting only such as are provided with sails or propelling machinery of their own adapted to lake or coastwise navigation, and excepting such as are employed in trade with the Canadas, shall be exempt from the provisions of the said act, and from the payment of all customs and other fees under any act of Congress. (Apr. 18, 1874, c. 110.)
The provisions of title fifty [R.'S. 4311-4390] of the Revised Statutes of the United States shall not be so construed as to require the payment of any fee or charge for the enrolling or licensing of vessels, built in the United States and owned by citizens thereof not propelled by sail or by internal motive power of their own, and not in any case carrying passengers, whether navigating the internal waters of a State or the navigable waters of the United States, and not engaged in trade with contiguous foreign territory, nor shall this or any existing law be construed to require the enrolling, registering, or licensing of any flat boat, barge, or like craft for the carriage of freight, not propelled by sail or by internal motive power of its own, on the rivers or lakes of the United States. (June 30, 1879.)
Nothing in this Title [R. S. 4311-4390] shall be construed to extend to any boat or lighter not being masted, or if masted and not decked, employed in the harbor of any town or city. (R. S. 4385.)
The Secretary of Commerce may cause yachts used and employed exclusively as pleasure vessels or designed as models of naval architecture, if built and owned in compliance with the provisions of section forty-one hundred and thirty-three to forty-one hundred and thirty-five, to be licensed on terms which will authorize them to proceed from port to port of the United States and to foreign ports without entering or clearing at the customhouse; such license shall be in such form as the Secretary of Commerce may prescribe. Such vessels, so enrolled and licensed, shall not be allowed to transport merchandise or carry passengers for pay. Such vessels shall have their name and port placed on some conspicuous portion of their hulls. Such vessels shall, in all respects, except as above, be subject to the laws of the United States, and shall be liable to seizure and forfeiture for any violation of the provisions of this title [R. S. 4131–4305]. (R. S. 4214; Mar. 3, 1883, Jan. 16, 1895, sec. 4, Aug. 20, 1912.)
No licensed yacht shall engage in any trade, nor in any way violate the revenue laws of the United States; and every such yacht shall comply with the laws in all respects. Any master or owner violating the provisions of the preceding section (section 4] shall be liable to the penalty of two hundred dollars, in addition to any other penalty imposed by law. The Secretary of Commerce shall have power to remit or mitigate any such penalty if in his opinion it was incurred without negligence or intention of fraud. (Mar. 3, 1883; Jan. 16, 1895, secs. 4 and 5.)
For the identification of yachts and their owners, a commission to sail for pleasure in any designated yacht belonging to any regularly organized and incorporated yacht club, stating the exemptions and privileges enjoyed under it, may be issued by the Secretary of Commerce, and shall be a token of credit to any United States official, and to the authorities of any foreign power, for privileges enjoyed under it. (R. S. 4217.)
All such licensed yachts shall use a signal of the form, size, and colors prescribed by the Secretary of the Navy; and the owners thereof shall at all times permit the naval architects in the employ of the United States to examine and copy the models of such yachts. (R. S. 4215.)
Whenever it shall be made to appear to the satisfaction of the President of the United States that yachts belonging to any regularly organized yacht club of the United States are allowed to arrive at and depart from any foreign port and to cruise in the waters of such port without entering or clearing at the customhouse thereof and without the payment of any charges for entering or clearing, dues, duty per ton, tonnage taxes or charges for cruising licenses, the Secretary of Commerce may authorize and direct the customs authorities at the various ports and subports of entry of the United States to allow yachts from such foreign port belonging to any regularly organized yacht club thereof to arrive at and depart from any port or subport of the United States and to cruise in waters of the United States without the payment of any charges for enter