(Pub. L. 100–710, title I, § 102(c),Nov. 23, 1988, 102 Stat. 4743; Pub. L. 101–225, title III, § 303(3),Dec. 12, 1989, 103 Stat. 1923; Pub. L. 104–324, title XI, § 1113(a),Oct. 19, 1996, 110 Stat. 3970; Pub. L. 105–277, div. C, title II, § 202(b),Oct. 21, 1998, 112 Stat. 2681–618; Pub. L. 105–383, title IV, § 401(c)(1)–(4), Nov. 13, 1998, 112 Stat. 3425; Pub. L. 106–31, title III, § 3027(a)(1),May 21, 1999, 113 Stat. 101; Pub. L. 107–20, title II, § 2202(b), (c),July 24, 2001, 115 Stat. 168, 169; Pub. L. 109–304, §§ 15(29),
16(c)(7),Oct. 6, 2006, 120 Stat. 1704, 1706.)
Historical and Revision Notes
| Revised section
|| Source section (U.S. Code)
sets out the conditions that must be met for a mortgage to be considered a preferred mortgage, and the types of endorsements that the Secretary must make on any certificate of documentation of a vessel that is to be covered by a preferred mortgage.
Subsection (a)(1) makes many substantive changes to law. While a preferred mortgage must still include the whole of a vessel, this subsection eliminates the exception of certain vessels under 25 gross tons. It allows a vessel for which an application for documentation has been filed to have a preferred mortgage. It allows a mortgage to be a preferred mortgage from the time all four conditions are met, rather than from when the vessel is finally documented. Therefore, a mortgage will usually attain its preferred status when the application for documentation and the instrument have been filed. This subsection changes the requirement that all documented vessels have as a mortgagee a person that is a citizen of the United States, as defined in section 2 of the Shipping Act, 1916, and allows a State, the United States Government, a federally insured depository institution, or any other person approved by the Secretary to be a mortgagee.
Subsection (a)(2) makes a substantive change to law exempting fishing, fish processing, and fish tender vessels, and vessels operated only for pleasure from the mortgagee restrictions, since these vessels do not have significant national defense use.
Subsection (b) permits a preferred mortgage to have any rate of interest that is agreeable to the parties to the mortgage. This subsection makes no substantive change to law.
Subsection (c)(1) applies to a mortgage that covers more than one vessel or additional property that is not a vessel. This subsection allows a preferred mortgage to include a separate discharge of the additional vessels and property.
Subsection (c)(2) applies when a preferred mortgage covers more than one vessel, does not provide for the separate discharge of a vessel, and is to be sold by court order. The amount of the mortgage indebtedness attributable to a vessel is that part of the indebtedness, increased by 20 percent, that the court determines approximates the value that the particular vessel bears to the value of all the vessels and property covered by the mortgage. In other words, the amount to be set by the court is the estimated value of the one vessel plus 20 percent of that value to assure sufficiency of collateral.
This section also makes a substantive change by eliminating the requirement that a vessel’s certificate of documentation be endorsed with information from the mortgage. This change is made since most of the information is out of date when examined, and since a mortgage must be carried on self-propelled vessels under section
. This section also eliminates the requirement for the inclusion of an affidavit of good faith. However, both criminal and civil penalties have been added [in section
] to help ensure that there is not fraud. This section also eliminates the requirement that a preferred mortgage include a separate discharge for additional property that is not a vessel, the requirement that the mortgage does not stipulate that the mortgagee waives the mortgage’s preferred status; and the requirement for clearing vessels with endorsed documents through Customs.
house floor statement
a “vessel operated only for pleasure” is exempt from any restrictions on who can be a mortgagee. This standard is the same as used for the documentation of a recreational vessel under section
12109 of title
. The Committee intends that vessels that have a recreational vessel license, or combined fisheries and recreational license, fall under this exemption. However, if the vessel has a Coastwise License, Great Lakes License, or Registry combined with a Recreational License, the vessel would not fall under this exemption.
Under subsection (c)(2), if a vessel covered by a preferred mortgage that includes more than one vessel or property that is not a vessel is to be sold on the order of a district court in rem, and there is not a separate discharge, then the mortgage constitutes a lien on that vessel in the full amount of the outstanding mortgage indebtedness, and an allocation of mortgage indebtedness for purposes of a separate discharge may not be made. This change is made to eliminate the formula that did not work and to allow the vessel to be sold free and clear, regardless of the amount of the sale.
Under subsection (d) ofsection
, a mortgage or other instrument representing financing of a vessel under State law that is made under applicable State law and covers the whole of a vessel titled in a State is deemed to be a preferred mortgage if two conditions are fulfilled. The first condition is that the Secretary must certify that the State in which the vessel is titled has a titling system that complies with the Secretary’s vessel titling guidelines established under section
. Congress mandated the promulgation of these guidelines in the Recreational Boating Safety Act of 1986, Public Law 99–626. The second condition is that the State in which the vessel is titled must make information available to the Secretary for the vessel identification system established under chapter
(as enacted by this Act) on the vessel covered by the mortgage or other instrument. This status only applies to vessels titled in the State after those two conditions are met. The phrase “instrument representing financing of a vessel under State law” is used in addition to “mortgage” because State laws do not always use the term mortgage when referring to financing. It is intended, however, that the financing covered by this phrase would be the same as that covered by the concept of a mortgage under other Federal law.
Paragraph (2) of subsection (d) clarifies that mortgages or other financing instruments may obtain preferred status under subsection (d) if they cover vessels titled in a State after the Secretary certifies the compliance of the State’s titling system, and the State begins making vessel identification information available to the Secretary. Preferred mortgage status can only be attained when these two conditions are in effect. Mortgages or financing instruments made prior to that are not preferred and, if these two conditions cease to exist, new mortgages or forecasting instruments made after that time cannot attain preferred status.
The law of the titling State controls the making of the preferred mortgage or financing instrument under this subsection. No additional Federal recording requirements may be imposed for the mortgage or instrument to obtain preferred status under this subsection.
Paragraph (3) of this subsection ensures that a preferred mortgage under this subsection retains that status if the vessel covered by the mortgage later relinquishes its title. If the vessel is subsequently documented, the continuing validity of the mortgage is determined by section
(as enacted by this Act).
Subsection (e) ofsection
clarifies the validity of preferred mortgages made under subsection (d). In the case of a State titled vessel covered by a preferred mortgage for which a new titling application is filed, the validity of the mortgage is governed by the law of the titling State in which the mortgage became preferred. In the case of a documented vessel covered by a preferred mortgage for which an application for a State title is filed, or a State titled vessel covered by a preferred mortgage for which an application for documentation is filed, the validity of the preferred mortgage is governed by section
(as enacted by this Act).
Information on vessels with preferred mortgages made under State law will be available to creditors from the vessel identification system under chapter
(as enacted by this Act).
2006—Subsec. (a)(4)(A). Pub. L. 109–304
, § 15(29)(A), substituted “section
” for “section
Subsec. (a)(4)(E). Pub. L. 109–304
, § 15(29)(B), substituted “for purposes of documentation under section
” for “under section
Subsec. (d)(1)(A). Pub. L. 109–304
, § 16(c)(7), substituted “section
” for “section
Subsec. (f)(2). Pub. L. 109–304
, § 15(29)(C), substituted “section
” for “section
2001—Subsec. (a)(4)(B) to (F). Pub. L. 107–20
, § 2202(b), added subpars. (B) to (F) and struck out former subpars. (B) and (C) which read as follows:
“(B) a state or federally chartered financial institution that satisfies the controlling interest criteria of section 2(b) of the Shipping Act, 1916 (46
“(C) a person that complies with the provisions of section
of this title.”
Subsecs. (f) to (h). Pub. L. 107–20
, § 2202(c), added subsecs. (f) to (h).
1999—Subsec. (a)(4). Pub. L. 106–31
made technical amendment to directory language of Pub. L. 105–277
, § 202(b). See 1998 Amendment note below.
1998—Subsec. (a)(4). Pub. L. 105–277
, § 202(b), as amended by Pub. L. 106–31
, added par. (4).
Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 105–383
, § 401(c)(1), added subsec. (b) and struck out former subsec. (b) which read as follows: “A preferred mortgage filed or recorded under this chapter may have any rate of interest that the parties to the mortgage agree to.”
Subsec. (d)(1). Pub. L. 105–383
, § 401(c)(2), substituted “mortgage, security agreement, or instrument” for “mortgage or instrument” in introductory provisions and subpar. (B).
Subsec. (d)(2). Pub. L. 105–383
, § 401(c)(4), substituted “mortgages, security agreements, or instruments” for “mortgages or instruments” in introductory provisions.
Subsec. (d)(3). Pub. L. 105–383
, § 401(c)(3), added par. (3) and struck out former par. (3) which read as follows: “A preferred mortgage under this subsection continues to be a preferred mortgage if the vessel is no longer titled in the State where the mortgage was made.”
1996—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 104–324
amended subsec. (a) generally. Prior to amendment, subsec. (a) consisted of 2 pars. with substantially similar provisions defining a preferred mortgage except that it included a mortgage with a State, the United States Government, a federally insured depository institution, or specified individual as mortgagee.
1989—Subsec. (a)(2). Pub. L. 101–225
, § 303(3)(A), amended par. (2) generally. Prior to amendment, par. (2) read as follows: “Paragraph (1)(D) of this subsection does not apply to a vessel operated only as a fishing vessel, fish processing vessel, or a fish tender vessel (as defined in section
of this title) or to a vessel operated only for pleasure.”
Subsec. (d)(1). Pub. L. 101–225
, § 303(3)(B), substituted “granting a security interest perfected under State law” for “representing financing of a vessel under State law that is made under applicable State law”.
Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 101–225
, § 303(3)(C), substituted “the status of the preferred mortgage” for “the validity of the preferred mortgage” in pars. (1) and (2).
Effective Date of 2001 Amendment
Pub. L. 107–20
, title II, § 2202(d),July 24, 2001, 115 Stat. 170
, provided that: “Section
, United States Code as amended in this section, and as amended by section 202(b) of the American Fisheries Act (Public Law 105–277, division C, title II) shall not take effect until April 1, 2003, nor shall the Secretary of Transportation, in determining whether a vessel owner complies with the requirements of section
, United States Code [now 46
to (d)], consider the citizenship status of a lender, in its capacity as a lender with respect to that vessel owner, until after April 1, 2003.”
Effective Date of 1998 Amendment
Pub. L. 105–277
, div. C, title II, § 203(a),Oct. 21, 1998, 112 Stat. 2681–619
, provided that: “The amendments made by section
202 [amending this section and former section
of this title] shall take effect on October 1, 2001.”
Section effective Jan. 1, 1989, not to affect any civil action filed before that date, and, insofar as applicable to vessels for which an application for documentation has been filed, effective Jan. 1, 1990, with other exceptions and qualifications, see section 107 ofPub. L. 100–710
, set out as a note under section
of this title.