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§ 1184. Suspension of operating differential subsidy contracts by operator recipients

(a) Any operator receiving operating differential subsidy funds may elect, for all or a portion of its ships, to suspend its operating differential subsidy contract with all attendant statutory and contractual restrictions, except as to those pertaining to the domestic intercoastal or coastwise service, including any agreement providing for the replacement of vessels, if—
(1) the vessel is less than ten years of age;
(2) the suspension period is not less than twelve months;
(3) the operator’s financial condition is maintained at a level acceptable to the Secretary of Commerce; and
(4) the owner agrees to pay to the Secretary, upon such terms and conditions as he may prescribe, an amount which bears the same proportion to the construction differential subsidy paid by the Secretary as the portion of the suspension period during which the vessel is operated in any preference trade from which a subsidized vessel would otherwise be excluded by law or contract bears to the entire economic life of the vessel.
(b) Any operator making an election under this section is entitled to full reinstatement of the suspended contract on request. The Secretary of Commerce may prescribe rules and regulations consistent with the purpose of this section.

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