(a) Federal Constitution, laws, and treaties applicable; other Federal requirements applicable; status of deepwater port; Federal or State authorities and responsibilities within territorial seas unaffected; notification by Secretary of State of intent to exercise jurisdiction; objections by foreign governments
(1)The Constitution, laws, and treaties of the United States shall apply to a deepwater port licensed under this chapter and to activities connected, associated, or potentially interfering with the use or operation of any such port, in the same manner as if such port were an area of exclusive Federal jurisdiction located within a State. Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to relieve, exempt, or immunize any person from any other requirement imposed by Federal law, regulation, or treaty. Deepwater ports licensed under this chapter do not possess the status of islands and have no territorial seas of their own.
(2)Except as otherwise provided by this chapter, nothing in this chapter shall in any way alter the responsibilities and authorities of a State or the United States within the territorial seas of the United States.
(3)The Secretary of State shall notify the government of each foreign state having vessels registered under its authority or flying its flag which may call at or otherwise utilize a deepwater port but which do not currently have an agreement in effect as provided in subsection (c)(2)(A)(i) of this section that the United States intends to exercise jurisdiction over vessels calling at or otherwise utilizing a deepwater port and the persons on board such vessels. The Secretary of State shall notify the government of each such state that, absent its objection, its vessels will be subject to the jurisdiction of the United States whenever they—
(A)are calling at or otherwise utilizing a deepwater port; and
(B)are within the safety zone of such a deepwater port and are engaged in activities connected, associated, or potentially interfering with the use and operation of the deepwater port.
The Secretary of State shall promptly inform licensees of deepwater ports of all objections received from governments of foreign states in response to notifications made under this paragraph.
(b) Law of nearest adjacent coastal State as applicable Federal law; Federal administration and enforcement of such law; nearest adjacent coastal State defined
The law of the nearest adjacent coastal State, now in effect or hereafter adopted, amended, or repealed, is declared to be the law of the United States, and shall apply to any deepwater port licensed pursuant to this chapter, to the extent applicable and not inconsistent with any provision or regulation under this chapter or other Federal laws and regulations now in effect or hereafter adopted, amended, or repealed. All such applicable laws shall be administered and enforced by the appropriate officers and courts of the United States. For purposes of this subsection, the nearest adjacent coastal State shall be that State whose seaward boundaries, if extended beyond 3 miles, would encompass the site of the deepwater port.
(c) Vessels of United States and foreign states subject to Federal jurisdiction; objections to jurisdiction; designation of agent for service of process; duty of licensee
(1)The jurisdiction of the United States shall apply to vessels of the United States and persons on board such vessels. The jurisdiction of the United States shall also apply to vessels, and persons on board such vessels, registered in or flying the flags of foreign states, whenever such vessels are—
(A)calling at or otherwise utilizing a deepwater port; and
(B)are within the safety zone of such a deepwater port, and are engaged in activities connected, associated, or potentially interfering with the use and operation of the deepwater port.
The jurisdiction of the United States under this paragraph shall not, however, apply to vessels registered in or flying the flag of any foreign state that has objected to the application of such jurisdiction.
(2)Except in a situation involving force majeure, a licensee shall not permit a vessel registered in or flying the flag of a foreign state to call at or otherwise utilize a deepwater port licensed under this chapter unless—
(i)the foreign state involved, by specific agreement with the United States, has agreed to recognize the jurisdiction of the United States over the vessels registered in or flying the flag of that state and persons on board such vessels in accordance with the provisions of paragraph (1) of this subsection, while the vessel is located within the safety zone, or
(ii)the foreign state has not objected to the application of the jurisdiction of the United States to any vessel, or persons on board such vessel, while the vessel is located within the safety zone; and
(B)the vessel owner or operator has designated an agent in the United States for receipt of service of process in the event of any claim or legal proceeding resulting from activities of the vessel or its personnel while located within such a safety zone.
(3)For purposes of paragraph (2)(A)(ii) of this subsection, a licensee shall not be obliged to prohibit a call at or use of a deepwater port by a vessel registered in or flying the flag of an objecting state unless the licensee has been informed by the Secretary of State as required by subsection (a)(3) of this section.
(d) Customs laws inapplicable to deepwater port; duties and taxes on foreign articles imported into customs territory of United States
The customs laws administered by the Secretary of the Treasury shall not apply to any deepwater port licensed under this chapter, but all foreign articles to be used in the construction of any such deepwater port, including any component thereof, shall first be made subject to all applicable duties and taxes which would be imposed upon or by reason of their importation if they were imported for consumption in the United States. Duties and taxes shall be paid thereon in accordance with laws applicable to merchandise imported into the customs territory of the United States.
(e) Federal district courts; original jurisdiction; venue
The United States district courts shall have original jurisdiction of cases and controversies arising out of or in connection with the construction and operation of deepwater ports, and proceedings with respect to any such case or controversy may be instituted in the judicial district in which any defendant resides or may be found, or in the judicial district of the adjacent coastal State nearest the place where the cause of action arose.
Subsec. (c)(1). Pub. L. 98–419, § 5(b), added par. (1). Former cl. (1) redesignated cl. (A)(i) of par. (2).
Subsec. (c)(2). Pub. L. 98–419, § 5(b), redesignated existing provisions of subsec. (c) as par. (2)(A)(i) and (B) thereof, substituted reference to provisions of par. (1) for former reference to provisions of this chapter in par. (2)(A)(i) as so redesignated, and added par. (2)(A)(ii).
Section 5(c) ofPub. L. 98–419provided that: “The amendment made by subsection (b) of this section [amending this section] shall be effective on the ninetieth day following the date of enactment of this Act [Sept. 25, 1984]. The Secretary of State shall make the first series of notifications referred to in section 19(a)(3) of the Deepwater Port Act of 1974 [subsec. (a)(3) of this section], as added by subsection (a) of this section, prior to the thirtieth day following the date of enactment of this Act [Sept. 25, 1984].”
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