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§ 1242a. Maintenance of and adjustment of obligations with respect to essential vessels affected by Neutrality Act

(a) “Essential vessel” defined
When used in this section the term “essential vessel” means any vessel
(1) which is
(A) security for any mortgage indebtedness to the United States or
(B) constructed under this chapter, or required by the terms of a contract under this chapter to be operated on a certain essential foreign trade route, and
(2) which it is necessary in the interests of commerce and national defense to maintain in condition for prompt use.
(b) Adjustment of obligations and arrangements for maintenance of essential vessels
For the purposes of preserving in the national interest the full availability and usefulness of essential vessels, which, under the provisions of the Neutrality Act of 1939 [22 U.S.C. 441 et seq.] (or any proclamation issued thereunder), or compatibly with the national interest, cannot be operated in the service, route, or line to which such vessels are assigned pursuant to this chapter, or in which they would otherwise be operated, the Secretary of Transportation is authorized to make adjustments of obligations in respect to such vessels and to make arrangements for the maintenance of such vessels, subject to the provisions of this section and to such rules and regulations as the Secretary of Transportation shall prescribe as necessary or appropriate for carrying out the purposes and provisions of this section. If the Secretary of Transportation, upon written application in respect of any essential vessel, determines after such examination, investigation, and proceedings as he deems desirable, that
(1) the operation of such vessel in the service, route, or line to which such vessel is assigned pursuant to this chapter, or in which it would otherwise be operated, is either
(A) not lawful under the Neutrality Act of 1939 (or any proclamation issued thereunder), or
(B) not compatible with the maintenance of availability of such vessel for purposes of national defense and commerce,
(2) it is not feasible under existing law to employ such vessel in any other service or operation in either the foreign or domestic trades (except temporary or emergency operation under subsection (c)(5) hereof), and
(3) the applicant, by reason of the restrictions of the Neutrality Act of 1939, or the withdrawal of vessels for national-defense purposes under clause (1) hereof, is not earning or will not earn a fair and reasonable return on the capital necessarily employed in its business, the Secretary of Transportation may make adjustments and arrangements with the applicant as provided in subsection (c) of this section, which shall continue in effect only during the circumstances above described.
(c) Provisions included within adjustments and arrangements
Such adjustments and arrangements shall include suspension of the requirement to operate such vessel in foreign trade under the applicable operating-differential or construction-differential subsidy contract or mortgage or other agreement, and of the right to operating-differential subsidy in respect of such vessel, and may include any one or more of the following provisions, in whole or in part, as, and to the extent that, the Secretary of Transportation may deem to be necessary or appropriate to carry out the purposes of this chapter, or the purposes and provisions of this section:
(1) Lay-up of the vessel by the owner or, at the option of the Secretary of Transportation, in the custody of the Secretary of Transportation, with payment or reimbursement by the Secretary of Transportation of necessary and proper expenses thereof (including reasonable overhead and insurance), or in lieu of such payment or reimbursement, a fixed periodic allowance therefor;
(2) Postponement, for a period not in excess of the period or periods of lay-up, of the maturity date of each installment on account of the principal of obligations to the United States in respect of the vessel (whether or not such maturity date shall fall within such period or periods), or rearrangement of such maturities;
(3) Postponement or cancellation of interest accruing on such obligations during such period or periods of lay-up;
(4) Extension for a period not in excess of the period or periods of lay-up, of the twenty-year life limitation in respect of the vessel, and of the period or periods of other limitations and provisions of this chapter, insofar as they are based upon a twenty-year life;
(5) Provisions for such temporary or emergency employment of the vessel in lieu of lay-up as may be practicable, with such arrangements for management of the vessel, payment of expenses, and application of the proceeds of such employment, as the Secretary of Transportation may approve, the period or periods of such operation being included as part of the period or periods of lay-up;
(6) The payment to the Secretary of Transportation, upon termination of the arrangements with the applicant hereunder, out of the applicant’s net profits, earned while such arrangements were in effect, in excess of 10 per centum per annum on the capital necessarily employed in the applicant’s business, in reimbursement, to the extent that the Secretary of Transportation shall deem it necessary to carry out the purposes of this section, on account of obligations postponed or canceled and expenses incurred or paid by the Secretary of Transportation under this subsection. For the purposes of this paragraph capital of the applicant represented by vessels of the applicant laid up or operated under this section shall not be excluded from capital necessarily employed in the applicant’s business. The Secretary of Transportation may require that the vessels so laid up or operated be security for reimbursement hereunder.
(d) Readjustment or modification of adjustments and arrangements
The adjustments and arrangements made under subsection (c) of this section in respect of any vessel shall be subject to such readjustment or modification from time to time as may be deemed necessary by the Secretary of Transportation to carry out the purposes and provisions of this section.
(e) Expenses incurred in adjustments and arrangements
Moneys in the construction fund of the Secretary of Transportation shall be available for expenses of the Secretary of Transportation incurred in adjustments or arrangements made under this section.

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