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§ 1173. Contracts for payment of subsidy

(a) Authorization of contracts
If the Secretary of Transportation approves the application, he may enter into a contract with the applicant for the payment of an operating-differential subsidy determined in accordance with the provisions of subsection (b) of this section, for the operation of such vessel or vessels in an essential service and in cruises authorized under section 1183 of this Appendix for a period not exceeding twenty years, and subject to such reasonable terms and conditions, consistent with this chapter, as the Secretary of Transportation shall require to effectuate the purposes and policy of this chapter, including a performance bond with approved sureties, if such bond is required by the Secretary of Transportation.
(b) Amount of subsidy
Such contract shall provide, except as the parties should agree upon a lesser amount, that the amount of the operating-differential subsidy for the operation of vessels in an essential service shall equal the excess of the subsidizable wage costs of the United States officers and crews, the fair and reasonable cost of insurance, subsistence of officers and crews on passenger vessels, as defined in section 1183 of this Appendix, maintenance, and repairs not compensated by insurance, incurred in the operation under United States registry of the vessel or vessels covered by the contract, over the estimated fair and reasonable cost of the same items of expense (after deducting therefrom any estimated increase in such items necessitated by features incorporated pursuant to the provisions of section 1151 (b) of this Appendix) if such vessel or vessels were operated under the registry of a foreign country whose vessels are substantial competitors of the vessel or vessels covered by the contract: Provided, however, That the Secretary of Transportation may, with respect to any vessel in an essential bulk cargo carrying service as described in section 1121 (b) of this Appendix, pay, in lieu of the operating-differential subsidy provided by this subsection (b), such sums as he shall determine to be necessary to make the cost of operating such vessel competitive with the cost of operating similar vessels under the registry of a foreign country. For any period during which a vessel cruises as authorized by section 1183 of this Appendix, operating-differential subsidy shall be computed as though the vessel were operating on the essential service to which the vessel is assigned: Provided, however, That if the cruise vessel calls at a port or ports outside of its assigned service, but which is served with passenger vessels (as defined in section 1183 of this Appendix) by another subsidized operator at an operating-differential subsidy rate for wages lower than the cruise vessel has on its assigned essential service, the operating-differential subsidy rates for each of the subsidizable items for each day (a fraction of a day to count as a day) that the vessel stops at such port shall be at the respective rates applicable to the subsidized operator regularly serving the area.
(c) “Collective bargaining costs”, “base period costs”, “base period”, and “subsidizable wage costs of United States officers and crews” defined; determination of collective bargaining costs and establishment of new base periods; wage change index
(1) When used in this section—
(A) The term “collective bargaining costs” means the annual cost, calculated on the basis of the per diem rate of expense as of any date, of all items of expense required of the applicant through collective bargaining or other agreement, covering the employ of United States officers and crew of a vessel, including payments required by law to assure old-age pensions, unemployment benefits, or similar benefits and taxes or other governmental assessments on crew payrolls, but excluding subsistence of officers and crews on vessels other than passenger vessels as defined in section 1183 of this Appendix and costs relating to:
(i) the officers or members of the crew that the Secretary of Transportation has found, prior to the award of a contract for the construction or reconstruction of a vessel, to be unnecessary for the efficient and economical operation of such vessel: Provided, That the Secretary of Transportation shall afford representatives of the collective-bargaining unit or units responsible for the manning of the vessel an opportunity to comment on such finding prior to the effective date of such finding: And provided further, That in determining whether officers or members of the crew are necessary for the efficient and economical operation of such vessel, the Secretary of Transportation shall give due consideration to, but shall not be bound by, wage and manning scales and working conditions required by a bona fide collective-bargaining agreement, or
(ii) those officers or members of the crew that the Secretary of Transportation has found, prior to ninety days following October 21, 1970, to be unnecessary for the efficient and economical operation of the vessel.
(B) The term “base period costs” means for the base period beginning July 1, 1970, and ending June 30, 1971, the collective-bargaining costs as of January 1, 1971, less all other items of cost that have been disallowed by the Secretary of Transportation prior to ninety days following October 21, 1970, and not already excluded from collective-bargaining costs under subparagraph (A)(i) or (A)(ii) of this subsection. In any subsequent base period the term “base period costs” means the average of the subsidizable wage cost of United States officers and crews for the preceding annual period ending June 30 (calculated without regard to the limitation of the last sentence of paragraph (D) of this subdivision but increased or decreased by the increase or decrease in the index described in subdivision (3) of this subsection from January 1 of such annual period to January 1 of the base period), and the collective-bargaining costs as of January 1 of the base period: Provided, That in no event shall the base period cost be such that the difference between the base period cost and the collective-bargaining costs as of January 1 of any base period subsequent to the first base period exceeds five-fourths of 1 per centum of the collective-bargaining costs as of such January 1 multiplied by the number of years that have elapsed since the most recent base period.
(C) The term “base period” means any annual period beginning July 1, and ending June 30 with respect to which a base period cost is established.
(D) The term “subsidizable wage costs of United States officers and crews” in any period other than a base period means the most recent base period costs increased or decreased by the increase or decrease from January 1 of such base period to January 1 of such period in the index described in subdivision (3) hereof, and with respect to a base period means the base period cost. The subsidizable wage costs of United States officers and crews in any period other than a base period shall not be less than 90 per centum of the collective-bargaining costs as of January 1 of such period nor greater than 110 per centum of such collective-bargaining costs.
(2) The Secretary of Transportation shall determine the collective-bargaining costs on ships in subsidized operation as of January 1, 1971, and as of each January 1 thereafter, and shall as of intervals of not less than two years nor more than four years, establish a new base period cost, except that the Secretary shall not establish a new base period unless he announces his intention to do so prior to the December 31 that would be included in the new base period.
(3) The Bureau of Labor Statistics shall compile the index referred to in subdivision (1). Such index shall consist of the average annual change in wages and benefits placed into effect for employees covered by collective-bargaining agreements with equal weight to be given to changes affecting employees in the transportation industry (excluding the offshore maritime industry) and to changes affecting employees in private nonagricultural industries other than transportation. Such index shall be based on the materials regularly used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in compiling its regularly published statistical series on wage and benefit changes arrived at through collective bargaining. Such materials shall remain confidential and not be subject to disclosure.
(d) Foreign wage computation; foreign manning
Each foreign wage cost computation shall be made after an opportunity is given to the contractor to submit in writing and in timely fashion all relevant data within his possession. In making the computation, the Secretary shall consider all relevant matter so presented and all foreign wage cost data collected at his request or on his behalf. Such foreign cost data shall be made available to an interested contractor, unless the Secretary shall find that disclosure of the data will prevent him from obtaining such data in the future. In determining foreign manning for purposes of this section, the foreign manning determined for any ship type with respect to any base period shall not be redetermined until the beginning of a new base period.
(e) Monthly payment of wage subsidy; procedures for calculation and payment of subsidy on certain expenses
The wage subsidy shall be payable monthly for the voyages completed during the month, upon the contractor’s certification that the subsidized vessels were in authorized service during the month. The Secretary of Transportation shall prescribe procedures for the calculation and payment of subsidy on items of expense which are included in “collective-bargaining costs” but are not included in the daily rate because they are unpredictably timed.
(f) Monthly percentage payment of other than wage subsidy; security for refund of overpayments; payment of remainder after audit of voyage accounts
Ninety percent of the amount of the insurance and maintenance and repair and subsistence of officers and crews subsidy shall be payable monthly for the voyages completed during the month on the basis of the subsidy estimated to have accrued with respect to such voyages. Any such payment shall be made only after there has been furnished to the Secretary of Transportation such security as he deems to be reasonable and necessary to assure refund of any overpayment. The contractor and the Secretary of Transportation shall audit the voyage accounts as soon as practicable after such payment. The remaining 10 percent of such subsidy shall be payable after such audit.

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