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A consolidation of certain of the shipping laws of the United States as amended through November 8, 1965, the final date for approval of legislation enacted at the 1st session of the 89th Congress

NOTE.-Brackets indicate material to be deleted from the text of the laws. Italicized words indicate new or revised text. Although the section headings represent new material they have not been italicized.


SEC. 101. DEFINITIONS.-When used in this Act

(1) [The term] "Customs officer" and "officer of the customs" [means] mean any officer of the Customs Service or any commissioned, warrant, or petty officer of the Coast Guard, or agent or other person authorized by law or by the Secretary [of the Treasury, or appointed in writing by a collector,] to perform the duties of an officer of the Customs Service.

(2) "District" means "customs collection district."

(3) "Oath" includes "affirmation" and "swear" includes "affirm.” (4) "President" means "President of the United States."

(5) "Secretary" means "Secretary of the Treasury."

(6) [The word "vessel"] "Vessel" includes every description of water craft or other contrivance used, or capable of being used, as a means of transportation in or on water, but does not include aircraft.


Paragraph (1) is based on act Aug. 5, 1935, c. 438, title IV, § 401, 49 Stat. 529 (19 U.S.C. 1709 (b)), repeated as paragraph (L) of section 401, Tariff Act of 1930, Act June 17, 1930, c. 497, title IV, §401, 46 Stat. 708; Aug. 5, 1935, c. 438, title II, $201, 49 Stat. 521 (19 U.S.C. 1401 (L)).

Paragraphs (2), (3), (4), and (5) are new as required by the context of this act. Paragraph (6) is based on paragraph (a) of act June 17, 1930, c. 497, title IV, $401, 46 Stat. 708 (19 U.S.C. 1401(a)), and on R.S. § 3, as amended by act July 30, 1947, c. 388, § 1, 61 Stat. 633 (1 U.S.Č. 3), which reads: "The word vessel includes every description of watercraft or other artificial contrivance used, or capable of being used, as a means of transportation on water." In this connection see also Public Law 85-726, title XI, § 1109 (a), Aug. 23, 1958, 72 Stat. 799, which reads: "SEC. 1109. (a) Except as specifically provided in the Act entitled 'An Act to authorize the President to proclaim regulations for preventing collisions at sea', approved October 11, 1951 (Public Law 172, Eighty-second Congress; 65 Stat. 406), the navigation and shipping laws of the United States, including any definition of 'vessel' or 'vehicle' found therein and including the rules for the prevention of collisions, shall not be construed to apply to seaplanes or other aircraft or to the navigation of vessels in relation to seaplanes or other aircraft." The comparative print is based on 19 U.S.C. 1401(L).


SEC. 102. SUPERINTENDENCE OF COMMERCIAL MARINE AND MERCHANT SEAMEN VESTED IN SECRETARY.-The Secretary [of the Treasury, under the direction of the Secretary of the Treasury,] shall have general superintendence of the commercial marine and merchant seamen of the United States[] so far as vessels and seamen are not, under existing laws, subject to the supervision of any other officer of the Government.


This section is based on title 46, U.S.C., 1964 ed., §2 (July 5, 1884, c. 221, 23 Stat. 118; Feb. 14, 1903, c. 552, § 10, 32 Stat. 829; Mar. 4, 1913, c. 141, § 1, 37 Stat. 736; June 30, 1932, c. 314. §§ 501, 502(b), 47 Stat. 415; May 27, 1936, c. 463, § 1, 49 Stat. 1380; 1946 Reorg. Plan No. 3, §§ 101-104, eff. July 16, 1946, 11 F.R. 7875, 60 Stat. 1097; 1950 Reorganization Plan No. 26, §§ 1, 2, eff. July 31, 1950, 15 F.R. 4935, 64 Stat. 1280).

This section is the first paragraph (of two) of section 2 of act July 5, 1884, c. 221, 23 Stat. 118 (46 U.S.C. 2).

The words "of the Treasury" following "Secretary" in the first instance have been deleted as surplusage because "Secretary" is defined as "Secretary of the Treasury" in section 101 of this act.

The paragraph as originally enacted read: "The Commissioner of Navigation, under the direction of the Secretary of the Treasury ***" By reason of mesne reorganizations, including 1950 Reorganization Plan No. 26, however, the authority provided by this section became vested exclusively in the Secretary of the Treasury. The words "under the direction of the Secretary of the Treasury," therefore, have been deleted as anomalous.

SEC. 103. REGULATIONS AND FORMS.-(a) In addition to the specific powers conferred by this Act the Secretary is authorized, except as otherwise may be provided by law, to make such rules and regulations as may be necessary to carry out the provisions of this Act.

(b) Notwithstanding the provisions of this Act or any other provisions of law, the Secretary shall have the authority to modify or prescribe forms to be used in carrying out the provisions of this Act.


Subsection (a) of this section is new as applied to the navigation laws. It is adapted from act June 17, 1930, c. 497, title IV, § 624, 46 Stat. 759 (19 U.S.C. 1624), presently applicable to the customs laws. It obviates the need to include similar authority in specific sections of this act.

The text of many of the forms prescribed by this act is taken without change or with slight modification from the earliest statutes enacted by the Congress. Subsection (b), therefore, will provide flexibility necessary if the United States is to join fully in transportation facilitation efforts now under way on an international level under the direction of the Intergovernmenal Maritime Consultative Organization (IMCO) and the Organization of American States (OAS).

SEC. 104. DELEGATION OF AUTHORITY; REPORTS TO SECRETARY. The Secretary [of the Treasury] may from time to time [make such provisions as he shall deem appropriate authorizing] authorize the performance by any agency, [other] officer, or [by any agency or] employee[] of the Department of the Treasury of any function of the Secretary, including any function transferred to the Secretary by the provisions of this reorganization plan] incident to his general superintendence of the commercial marine and merchant seamen of the United States. [He] The head of each such agency shall [also] investigate the operations of the laws relative to navigation[,] and annually

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