Except as provided in chapter 37 and section
3505 of this title, a foreign vessel of a country having inspection laws and standards similar to those of the United States and that has an unexpired certificate of inspection issued by proper authority of its respective country, is subject to an inspection to ensure that the condition of the vessel is as stated in its current certificate of inspection. A foreign country is considered to have inspection laws and standards similar to those of the United States when it is a party to an International Convention for Safety of Life at Sea to which the United States Government is currently a party. A foreign certificate of inspection may be accepted as evidence of lawful inspection only when presented by a vessel of a country that has by its laws accorded to vessels of the United States visiting that country the same privileges accorded to vessels of that country visiting the United States.
3303 acknowledges the international concept of comity with respect to recognizing inspection laws and standards for foreign flag vessels that are similar to those of the United States. If a foreign nation is signatory to the International Convention for Safety of Life at Sea, it is presumed to have similar standards. However, reciprocity requirements for foreign flag tank vessels are included in chapter 37. Subsection (b) provides for a mutual waiver of fees for the inspection of foreign vessels carrying passengers from the United States.
1996—Pub. L. 104–324struck out subsec. (a) designation and subsec. (b) which read as follows: “The Secretary shall collect and pay to the Treasury the same fees for the inspection of foreign vessels carrying passengers from the United States that a foreign country charges vessels of the United States trading to the ports of that country. The Secretary may waive at any time the collection of the fees on notice of the proper authorities of any country concerned that the collection of fees for the inspection of vessels of the United States has been discontinued.”
1992—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 102–587, in first sentence, struck out “only” after “is subject” and substituted “the condition of the vessel is” for “the condition of the vessel’s propulsion equipment and lifesaving equipment are”.
International Convention for Safety of Life at Sea
For International Conventions for the Safety of Life at Sea to which the United States has been a party, see section
1602 of Title
33, Navigation and Navigable Waters, and notes thereunder.
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