(a)If a vessel or other property that has been captured by a force hostile to the United States is recaptured, and the court believes that the property had not been condemned as prize by competent authority before its recapture, the court shall award an appropriate sum as salvage.
(b)If the recaptured property belonged to the United States, it shall be restored to the United States, and costs and expenses ordered to be paid by the court shall be paid from the Treasury.
(c)If the recaptured property belonged to any person residing within or under the protection of the United States, the court shall restore the property to its owner upon his claim and on payment of such sum as the court may award as salvage, costs, and expenses.
(d)If the recaptured property belonged to any person permanently residing within the territory and under the protection of any foreign government in amity with the United States, and, by the law or usage of that government, the property of a citizen of the United States would be restored under like circumstances of recapture, the court shall, upon the owner’s claim, restore the property to him under such terms as the law or usage of that government would require of a citizen of the United States under like circumstances. If no such law or usage is known, the property shall be restored upon the payment of such salvage, costs, and expenses as the court orders.
(e)Amounts awarded as salvage under this section shall be paid to the United States.
(Aug. 10, 1956, ch. 1041, 70A Stat. 481.)
Historical and Revision Notes
Source (U.S. Code)
Source (Statutes at Large)
34 U.S.C. 1158 (less last sentence).
R.S. 4652 (less last sentence).
In subsection (c) the words “restore the property” are substituted for the words “adjudge to be restored.” A similar substitution is made in subsection (d).
In subsection (d) the words “foreign government” are substituted for the words “foreign prince, government, or state”.
Subsection (e) is derived from the next to the last sentence of R.S. 4652 which, when enacted, read:
“The whole amount awarded as salvage shall be decreed to the captors and no part to the United States, and shall be distributed as in the case of proceeds of property condemned as prize.”
The Act of March 3, 1899, ch. 413, § 13,30 Stat. 1007, repealed all laws authorizing the distribution of prize money to captors. Accordingly, 34 U.S.C. 1158 states:
“The whole amount awarded as salvage shall be disposed of as in the case of proceeds of property condemned as prize.”
As shown in § 7668 of this title, the net proceeds of property condemned as prize must be decreed to the United States. Subsection (e) is phrased so as to state directly, instead of by reference, the fact that the amount awarded as salvage is paid to the government. While this is apparently inconsistent with R.S. 4652 as originally enacted, it is consistent with the intent expressed by Congress in the provision of the Act of March 3, 1899 (supra), which repealed provisions relating to the distribution of prize money and bounty to crews. This act, it is true, did not mention salvage; and salvage money is still occasionally awarded to crews of naval vessels. However, such occasions are rare, and it is the general policy of the Department of the Navy not to claim salvage on behalf of its personnel. No case appears in which salvage derived from prize has been claimed for such personnel. Prize salvage is more closely related to prize money than it is to other salvage. The determination by Congress that captors should not share in the proceeds of prizes is, therefore, as in 34 U.S.C. 1158, carried through the revised section to salvage derived from prize. The word “amounts” is substituted for the words “the whole amount”.
The table below lists the classification updates, since Jan. 3, 2012, for this section. Updates to a broader range of sections may be found at the update page for containing chapter, title, etc.
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Description of Change
Statutes at Large
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