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that purpose the freighters and owners of the property, and the owner of the vessel, or any of them, may take the appropriate proceedings in any court, for the purpose of apportioning the sum for which the owner of the vessel may be liable among the parties entitled thereto. (R. S. 4284.)
It shall be deemed a sufficient compliance on the part of such owner with the requirements of this Title [R. S. 4131–4305) relating to his liability for any embezzlement, loss, or destruction of any property, goods, or merchandise, if he shall transfer his interest in such vessel and freight for the benefit of such claimants to a trustee, to be appointed by any court of competent jurisdiction to act as such trustee for the person who may prove to be legally entitled thereto; from and after which transfer all claims and proceedings against the owner shall cease. (R. S. 4285.)
The charterer of any vessel, in case he shall man, victual, and navigate such vessel at his own expense or by his own procurement, shall be deemed the owner of such vessel within the meaning of the provisions of this Title [R. S. 4131–4305] relating to the limitation of the liability of the owners of vessels; and such vessel, when so chartered, shall be liable in the same manner as if navigated by the owner thereof. (R. S. 4286.)
Nothing in the five preceding sections [R. S. 4282–4286] shall be construed to take away or affect the remedy to which any party may be entitled against the master, officers, or seamen for or on account of any embezzlement, injury, loss, or destruction of merchandise or property put on board any vessel, or on account of any negligence, fraud, or other malversation of such master, officers, or seamen, respectively, nor to lessen or take away any responsibility to which any master or seaman of any vessel may by law be liable, notwithstanding such master or seaman may be an owner or part owner of the vessel. (R. S. 4287.)
Any person shipping oil of vitriol, unslacked lime, inflammable matches, or gunpowder in a vessel taking cargo for divers persons on freight, without delivering at the time of shipment, a note in writing, expressing the nature and character of such merchandise, to the master, mate, officer, or person in charge of the lading of the vessel, shall be liable to the United States in a penalty of one thousand dollars. (R. S. 4288.)
The individual liability of a shipowner shall be limited to the proportion of any or all debts and liabilities that his individual share of the vessel bears to the whole; and the aggregate liabilities of all the owners of a vessel on account of the same shall not exceed the value of such vessel and freight pending: Provided, That this provision shall not affect the liability of any owner incurred previous to the passage of this act, nor prevent any claimant from joining all the owners in one action; nor shall the same apply to wages due to persons employed by said shipowners. (June 26, 1884, sec. 18.)
The provisions of the seven preceding sections [R. S. 4282-4288] and of section eighteen of an act entitled “An act to remove certain burdens on the American merchant marine and encourage the American foreign-carrying trade, and for other purposes," approved June twenty-sixth, eighteen hundred and eighty-four, relating to the limitations of the liability of the owners of vessels, shall apply to all seagoing vessels, and also to all vessels used on lakes or rivers or in inland navigation, including canal boats, barges, and lighters. (R. S. 4289, June 19, 1886, sec. 4.) Act of February 13, 1893 (Harter Act).
It shall not be lawful for the manager, agent, master, or owner of any vessel transporting merchandise or property from or between ports of the United States and foreign ports to insert in any bill of lading or shipping document any clause, covenant, or agreement whereby it, he, or they shall be relieved from liability for loss or damage arising from negligence, fault, or failure in proper loading, stowage, custody, care, or proper delivery of any and all lawful merchandise or property committed to its or their charge. Any and all words or clauses of such import inserted in bills of lading or shipping receipts shall be null and void and of no effect. (Sec. 1.)
It shall not be lawful for any vessel transporting merchandise or property from or between ports of the United States of America and foreign ports, her owner, master, agent, or manager to insert in any bill of lading or shipping document any covenant or agreement whereby the obligations of the owner or owners of said vessel to exercise due diligence, properly equip, man, provision, and outfit said vessel, and to make said vessel seaworthy and capable of performing her intended voyage, or whereby the obligations of the master, officers, agents, or servants to carefully handle and stow her cargo and to care for and properly deliver same, shall in any wise be lessened, weakened, or avoided. (Sec. 2.)
If the owner of any vessel transporting merchandise or property to or from any port in the United States of America shall exercise due diligence to make the said vessel in all respects seaworthy and properly manned, equipped, and supplied, neither the vessel, her owner or owners, agent, or charterers shall become or be held responsible for damage or loss resulting from faults or errors in navigation or in the management of said vessel, nor shall the vessel, her owner or owners, charterers, agent, or master be held liable for losses arising from dangers of the sea or other navigable waters, acts of God, or public enemies, or the inherent defect, quality, or vice of the thing carried, or from insufficiency of package, or seizure under legal process, or for loss resulting from any act or omission of the shipper or owner of the goods, his agent or representative, or from saving or attempting to save life or property at sea, or from any deviation in rendering such service. (Sec. 3.)
It shall be the duty of the owner or owners, masters, or agent of any vessel transporting merchandise or property from or between ports of the United States and foreign ports to issue to shippers of any lawful merchandise a bill of lading, or shipping document, stating, among other things, the marks necessary for identification, number of packages or quantity, stating whether it be carrier's or shipper's weight, and apparent order or condition of such merchandise or property delivered to and received by the owner, master, or agent of the vessel for transportation, and such document shall be prima facie evidence of the receipt of the merchandise therein described. (Sec. 4.)
For a violation of any of the provisions of this act the agent, owner, or master of the vessel guilty of such violation, and who refuses to issue on demand the bill of lading herein provided for, shall be liable to a fine not exceeding two thousand dollars. The amount of the fine and costs for such violation shall be a lien upon the vessel, whose agent, owner, or master is guilty of such violation, and such vessel may be libeled therefor in any district court of the United States within whose jurisdiction the vessel may be found. One-half of such penalty shall go to the party injured by such violation and the remainder to the Government of the United States. (Sec. 5.)
This act shall not be held to modify or repeal sections forty-two hundred and eighty-one, forty-two hundred and eighty-two, and forty-two hundred and eighty-three of the Revised Statutes of the United States, or any other statute defining the liability of vessels, their owners, or representatives. (Sec. 6.)
Sections one and four of this act shall not apply to the transportation of live animals. (Feb. 13, 1893, sec. 7.) General Libel Bond.
When a warrant of arrest or other process in rem is issued in any cause of admiralty jurisdiction, except in cases of seizures for forfeiture under any law of the United States, the marshal shall stay the execution of such process, or discharge the property arrested if the process has been levied, on receiving from the claimant of the property a bond or stipulation in double the amount claimed by the Îibelant, with sufficient surety, to be approved by the judge of the court where the cause is pending, or, in his absence, by the collector of the port, conditioned to answer the decree of the court in such cause. Such bond or stipulation shall be returned to the court, and judgment thereon, against both the principal and sureties, may be recovered at the time of rendering the decree in the original cause. And the owner of any vessel may cause to be executed and delivered to the marshal a bond or stipulation, with sufficient surety, to be approved by the judge of the court in which he is marshal, conditioned to answer the decree of said court in all or any cases that shall thereafter be brought in said court against the said vessel, and thereupon the execution of all such process against said vessel shall be stayed so long as the amount secured by such bond or stipulation shall be at least double the aggregate amount claimed by the libelants in such suits which shall be begun and pending against said vessel; and like judgments and remedies may be had on said bond or stipulation as if a special bond or stipulation had been filed in each of said suits. The court may make such orders as may be necessary to carry this section into effect, and especially for the giving of proper notice of any such suit. Such bond or stipulation shall be indorsed by the clerk with a minute of the suits wherein process is so stayed, and further security may at any time be required by the court. If a special bond or stipulation in the particular cause shall be given under this section, the liability as to said cause on the general bond or stipulation shall cease. (R. S. 941, Mar. 3, 1899.)
Every vessel propelled in whole or in part by steam shall be deemed a steam vessel within the meaning of this title [LII, R. S. 4399–4500). (R. S. 4399.).
All steam vessels navigating any waters of the United States which are common highways of commerce or open to general or competitive navigation, excepting public vessels of the United States, vessels of other countries, and boats propelled in whole or in part by steam for navigating canals, shall be subject to the provisions of this title. [See Aug. 18, 1914, sec. 2, p. 17.] (R. S. 4400; Aug. 7, 1882; Mar. 1, 1895; Feb. 15, 1902; Mar. 17, 1906.) Inspection of United States Shipping Board Vessels.
All steam vessels owned or operated by the United States Shipping Board, or any corporation organized or controlled by it, shall be subject to all the provisions of title 52 of the Revised Statutes of the United States for the regulation of steam vessels and acts amendatory thereof or supplemental thereto. (Oct. 25, 1919.) Inspection of Foreign Steam Passenger Vessels.
And all foreign private steam vessels carrying passengers from any port of the United States to any other place or country shall be subject to the provisions of sections forty-four hundred and seventeen, forty-four hundred and eighteen, forty-four hundred and twenty-one, forty-four hundred and twenty-two, forty-four hundred and twenty-three, forty-four hundred and twenty-four, fourty-four hundred and seventy, forty-four hundred and seventy-one, forty-four hundred and seventy-two, forty-four hundred and seventy-three, forty-four hundred and seventy-nine, forty-four hundred and eightytwo, forty-four hundred and eighty-eight, forty-four hundred and ninety-six, forty-four hundred and ninety-seven, forty-four hundred and ninety-nine, and forty-five hundred of this Title, and shall be liable to visitation and inspection by the proper officer, in any of the ports of the United States, respecting any of the provisions of the
sections aforesaid: Provided, however, That when such foreign passenger steamers belong to countries having inspection laws approximating those of the United States, and have unexpired certificates of inspection issued by the proper authorities in the respective countries to which they belong, they shall be subject to no other inspection than necessary to satisfy the local inspectors that the condition of the vessel, her boilers, and life-saving equipments are as stated in the current certificate of inspection; but no such certificate of inspection shall be accepted as evidence of lawful inspection except when presented by steam vessels of other countries which have by their laws accorded to the steam vessels of the United States visiting such countries the same privilege accorded herein to the steam vessels of such countries visiting the United States; it being further provided that there shall be collected and paid into the Treasury of the United States the same fees for the inspection of foreign passenger steamers carrying passengers from the United States that any foreign nation shall charge the merchant vessels of the United States trading to the ports of such nationality; it beirg further provided that the Secretary of Commerce shall have the power to waive at any time the collection of such fees upon due rotice of the proper authorities of any country concerned that the collection of fees for the inspection of American steam merchant vessels has been discontinued.
It is further provided that the Secretary of Commerce may, in his discretion, permit any foreign passenger steamer coming within the provisions of this Act whose foreign certificate of inspection shall have expired at sea since last leaving the country to which said vessel belongs, or while said vessel shall have been in a port of the United States, to sail upon her regular route without undergoing any further inspection than would have been required had said foreign certificate of inspection been in force: Provided, however, That such discretion shall be exercised only with respect of vessels operated upos regularly established lines, and in cases where such foreign passenger steamers will be regularly inspected by the authorities of her home government before her next return to a port of the United State. (R. S. 4400; Mar. 17, 1906; Mar. 4, 1915, sec. 14.)
A register, enrollment, or license shall not be granted, or other papers be issued by any collector or other chief officer of customs to any vessel subject by law to inspection under this Title [R. S. 4399– 4500] until all the provisions of this Title applicable to such vessel have been fully complied with and until the copy of the certificate of inspection required by this Title for such vessel has been filed with said collector or other chief officer of customs. (R. S. 4498; Mar. 3, 1905, sec. 9; Mar. 4, 1915, sec. 5. See p. 77.) Inspection of Ferryboats, Canal Boats, Yachts, and other small craft.
The hull and boilers of every ferryboat, canal boat, yacht, or other small craft of like character propelled by steam, shall be inspected under the provisions of this Title. Such other provisions of law for the better security of life as may be applicable to such vessel shall, by the regulations of the board of supervising inspectors, also be required to be complied with before a certificate of inspection shall be granted, and no such vessel shall be navigated without a licensed engineer and a licensed pilot: Provided, however, That in open steam