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UNITED STATES COAST GUARD HEADQUARTERS,
Washington, D. C., September 15, 1943. This publication is a continuation of and supersedes a similar publication of the former Bureau of Marine Inspection and Navigation of the Department of Commerce entitled "Laws Governing Marine Inspection,” dated January 1, 1941. This publication contains a revised compilation of title 52 of the Revised Statutes and acts amendatory thereof and supplementary thereto, as well as other statutes covering inspections of merchant vessels and other provisions for the better security of life at sea.
In order to render more effective and to facilitate the supervision of the merchant marine for the purpose of expediting the war effort the President, by his Executive Order No. 9083, dated February 28, 1942, transferred the functions relating to safety of life at sea, marine inspections, seamen's welfare and certain other maritime activities exercised by the former Bureau of Marine Inspection and Navigation, Department of Commerce, to the United States Coast Guard. This Executive order as amended reads as follows:
REDISTRIBUTION OF MARITIME FUNCTIONS
By virtue of the authority vested in me by Title I of the First War Powers Act, 1941, approved December 18, 1941, and in order to expedite the prosecution of the war effort, it is hereby ordered as follows:
SECTION 1. Transfer of Functions of Bureau of Marine Inspection and Navigation.
As provided in Sections 2 and 3 of this order, there are transferred to the Bureau of Customs and the United States Coast Guard all functions of: the Bureau of Marine Inspection and Navigation, the office of the director thereof, the offices of supervising inspectors, principal traveling inspectors, traveling inspectors, local inspectors, assistant inspectors, shipping commissioners, deputy shipping commissioners, and the Board of Supervising Inspectors, the Boards of Local Inspectors, the Marine Casualty Investigation Board, the Marine Boards, and those functions of the Secretary of Commerce which pertain thereto.
SECTION 2. Functions Transferred to Bureau of Customs.
Those functions of the Bureau, Offices and Boards specified in Section 1, and of the Secretary of Commerce, pertaining to registry, enrollment, and licensing of vessels, including the issuance of commissions to‘yachts, the assignment of signal letters, and the preparation of all reports and publications in connection therewith ; measurement of vessels, administration of tonnage duties, and collection of tolls; entrance and clearance of vessels and aircraft, regulation of vessels in the coasting and fishing trades, and limitation of the use of foreign vessels in waters under the jurisdiction of the United States; recording of sales, conveyances, and mortgages of vessels; protection of steerage passengers; all other functions of such Bureau, Offices and Boards which are now performed by the Bureau of Customs on behalf thereof; and the power to remit and mitigate fines, penalties and forfeitures incurred under the laws governing these functions, are transferred to the Commissioner of Customs, to be exercised by him under the direction and supervision of the Secretary of the Treasury.
SECTION 3. Functions Transferred to U. S. Coast Guard.
Those functions of the Bureau, Offices and Boards specified in Section 1, and of the Secretary of Commerce, pertaining to approval of plans for the construction, repair, and alteration of vessels; approval of materials, equipment, and appliances; classification of vessels; inspection of vessels and their equipment and appliances; issuance of certificates of inspection, and of permits indicating the approval of vessels for operations which may be hazardous to life or property ; administration of load line requirements; enforcement of other provisions for the safety of life and property on vessels ; licensing and certificating of officers, pilots, and seamen; suspension and revocation of licenses and certificates; investigation of marine casualties; enforcement of manning requirements, citizenship requirements, and requirements for the mustering and drilling of crews; control of log books; shipment, discharge, protection, and welfare of merchant seamen; enforcement of duties of shipowners and officers after accidents; promulgation and enforcement of rules for lights, signals, speed, steering, sailing, passing, anchorage, movement, and towlines of vessels and lights and signals on bridges; numbering of undocumented vessels; prescription and enforcement of regulations for outfitting and operation of motorboats; licensing of motorboat operators; regulation of regattas and marine parades; all other functions of such Bureau, Offices and Boards which are not specified in Section 2; and all other functions of the Secretary of Commerce pertaining to shipping which are not specified in Section 2, including the remission and mitigation of fines, penalties and forfeitures incurred under the laws governing these functions and those incurred under Public Law 351 of the 77th Congress, are transferred to the Commandant of the United States Coast Guard, to be exercised by him under the direction and supervision of the Secretary of the Navy.
SECTION 4. Transfer of Functions from Bureau of Customs.
Those functions relating to the award of numbers to undocumented vessels, now vested in the Collectors of Customs, are transferred to the Commandant of the Coast Guard to be exercised by him under the direction and supervision of the Secretary of the Navy.
SECTION 5. Transfer of Training Functions from Maritime Commission."
The authority vested in the Secretary of Commerce by Executive Order No. 8976, December 12, 1941, to waive compliance with the navigation and vessel inspection laws is transferred to the Secretary of the Navy, and the Secretary of the Treasury, who shall exercise such authority with respect to the functions transferred to the United States Coast Guard and the Bureau of Customs, respectively.
SECTION 7. Transfer of Records, Property and Personnel.
All records and property (including office equipment and floating equipment) of the Bureau of Marine Inspection and Navigation, the Department of Commerce, the Collectors of Customs, and the United States Maritime Commission used primarily in the administration of functions transferred by this order, and all personnel used primarily by these agencies in the administration of such functions are transferred to the respective agencies concerned, for use in the administration of the functions transferred by this order.
SECTION 8. Transfer of Funds.
So much of the unexpended balances of appropriations, allocations, or other funds available or to be made available for the use of any agency in the exercise of any function transferred by this order, or for the use of the head of any agency in the exercise of any function so transferred, as the Director of the Bureau of the Budget with the approval of the President shall determine, shall be transferred to the agency concerned for use in connection with the exercise of the function so transferred. In determining the amount to be transferred the Director of the Bureau of the Budget may include an amount to provide for the liquidation of obligations incurred against such appropriations, allocations, or other funds prior
1 By Executive Order No. 9198 (7 F. R. 5383) of July 11, 1942, these functions were transferred to the Administrator, War Shipping Administration.
to the transfer: Provided, That the use of the unexpended balances of appropriations, allocations, or other funds transferred by this order shall be restricted to the purposes for which such monies were appropriated.
SECTION 9. Effective and Termination Dates.
This order shall become effective on March 1, 1942 and remain in force until the termination of Title I of the First War Powers Act, 1941.
FRANKLIN D ROOSEVELT THE WHITE HOUSE, February 28, 1942.
[No. 9083] The above Executive order transferring the enumerated functions to the Commandant of the United States Coast Guard necessitated the immediate absorption, integration, and execution of such functions by and within the then expanding organization of the Coast Guard. In this connection, to prevent any dislocations in the administration and enforcement of safety-at-sea laws and the rules and regulations thereunder, and to insure that the free flowage of wartime shipping was not in any way hampered, the Commandant, with the approval of the Secretary of the Navy, adopted and continued in full force and effect the pertinent administrative practices, procedures, and rules and regulations of the former Bureau of Marine Inspection and Navigation and the Department of Commerce. Since such adoption, however, necessary changes in the administration of the safety-at-sea laws and regulations thereunder have been instituted, and the extension and revision of the peacetime rules and regulations, particularly those compatible with safety of life at sea under wartime conditions, have been adopted.
Among the more important changes in the administration of safety-at-sea requirements. produced by the above Executive order are as follows:
Commandant. -The functions of the Secretary of Commerce, the Director of the former Bureau of Marine Inspection and Navigation, and the former Board of Supervising Inspectors relating to the supervision, establishment, and promulgation of rules, regulations, orders and directives for the better security of life at sea, merchant marine inspections, welfare of seamen, and certain other maritime activities have been transferred to and are now exercised by the Commandant of the United States Coast Guard.
For example, under the provisions of sections 4403 and 4405 Revised Statutes, as amended, the Commandant of the United States Coast Guard is now authorized and is responsible for the execution of these functions. He is also required to approve all plans, and specifications for the proposed construction of passenger vessels of over 100 gross tons, administer the Load Line Acts, and perform the other duties formerly vested in the aforementioned officers of the Department of Commerce.
District Coast Guard officers. The general supervisory authority over and responsibility for the administration and enforcement of the laws, rules, and regulations governing navigation and vessel inspection formerly exercised by a supervising inspector are now vested in and performed by a district Coast Guard Officer in each of the several Coast Guard districts. He considers and determines appeals from the actions of inspectors within his district and is responsible for the faithful, prompt and uniform execution of duties by marine inspection personnel.
For example, under the provisions of sections 4406 and 4403 Revised Statates, as amended, a district Coast Guard officer visits, confers with, and instructs marine inspection personnel in the proper performance of their duties; watches over all parts of his district; and if at any time he thinks it expedient, he shall visit the vessels licensed to examine into their condition for the purpose of ascertaining whether or not the navigation and vessel inspection laws, rules, and regulations thereunder are being uniformly applied by the marine inspection personnel and are being uniformly complied with by the merchant marine.
Officer in charge, marine inspection. The functions of the former inspector of hulls, inspector of boilers, boards of local inspectors and shipping commissioners relating to safety of life at sea, merchant marine inspections, seamen's welfare and other maritime activities have been transferred to and are now exercised by an officer in charge, marine inspection, under the superintendence and direction of the district Coast Guard officer.
For example, under the provisions of section 4417 Revised Statutes, as amended, an officer in charge, marine inspection, within the limits of his district now inspects vessels to determine whether they are suitable in all respects for the service in which they are to be employed; under the provisions of section 4418 Revised Statutes, as amended, he also inspects boilers, unfired pressure vessels, and appurtenances thereof, as well as the propelling and auxiliary machinery, etc., to determine that such equipment may be used with safety in the service proposed.
Marine inspector or inspector.-Certain duties formerly performed by assistant inspectors relative to inspection, enforcement, and administration of the laws governing marine inspection and the regulations thereunder, are now performed, under the superintendence and direction of an officer in charge, marine inspection, by marine inspectors when so assigned. An inspector is any officer from the civilian or military branch of the Coast Guard as may be designated for the performance of duties with respect to the inspection, enforcement, and administration of the laws governing marine inspection and the rules and regulations thereunder.
For example, under the provisions of section 4414 Revised Statutes, as amended, a marine inspector shall perform such duties of actual inspection as may be assigned to him under the direction, supervision, and control of the officer in charge, marine inspection; under the provisions of section 4430 Revised Statutes, as amended, a marine inspector may be detailed to the mills to inspect iron or steel plate or other material manufactured.
Marine casualty boards.—The functions of the marine casualty investigation boards have been suspended. In lieu of these boards, an examining officer is assigned to conduct a preliminary investigation of casualties and accidents and who makes findings and recommendations. If as a result of such investigation charges looking to the suspension or revocation of licenses or certificates are placed against a person, a hearing will be conducted by a hearing officer who will render a decision which is subject to review by the district Coast Guard officer.