(Pub. L. 98–89, Aug. 26, 1983, 97 Stat. 516; Pub. L. 104–324, title VI, § 607(a), (b)(1),Oct. 19, 1996, 110 Stat. 3931, 3932; Pub. L. 108–293, title IV, § 413(a),Aug. 9, 2004, 118 Stat. 1046; Pub. L. 111–281, title VI, § 622,Oct. 15, 2010, 124 Stat. 2978.)
Historical and Revision Notes
| Revised section
|| Source section (U.S. Code)
||46:9 (less (c))
prescribes the relationship between certain classification societies and the Federal Government with respect to the promotion of maritime safety and the security of life and property at sea. Briefly stated, a classification society, like the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS), establishes and administers standards for the design, construction, and periodic survey of commercial vessels, yachts, and other marine structures. Classification certifies adherence to these standards, thus representing that a vessel or structure possesses the structural and mechanical fitness required for its intended service.
The section requires that a Federal department, agency, or instrumentality recognize the American Bureau of Shipping as its agent for classing vessels owned by the Federal Government and in any matters related to classification. In effect, the ABS has a statutory monopoly on classing vessels of the United States Government. Additionally, the section contains the authority to permit the Secretary to rely on reports, documents, and certificates issued by a classification society that is similar to the American Bureau of Shipping. However, a “similar classification society” continues to mean one that is organized like the American Bureau of Shipping with attendant governmental representation.
2010—Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 111–281
, § 622(b), added par. (1) and struck out former par. (1) which read as follows: “A classification society (including an employee or agent of that society) may not review, examine, survey, or certify the construction, repair, or alteration of a vessel in the United States unless—
“(A) the society has applied for approval under this subsection and the Secretary has reviewed and approved that society with respect to the conduct of that society under paragraph (2); or
“(B) the society is a full member of the International Association of Classification Societies.”
Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 111–281
, § 622(a), added subsec. (d).
2004—Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 108–293
added subsec. (c).
1996—Pub. L. 104–324
, § 607(b)(1), substituted “Classification societies” for “United States classification societies” in section catchline.
Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 104–324
, § 607(a)(3), which directed the substitution of “American Bureau of Shipping” for “Bureau”, was executed by making the substitution the first place appearing, to reflect the probable intent of Congress.
Pub. L. 104–324
, § 607(a)(1), (2), redesignatedsubsec. (b) as (a) and struck out former subsec. (a) which read as follows: “In carrying out this part, the Secretary may rely on reports, documents, and certificates issued by the American Bureau of Shipping or a similar United States classification society, or an agent of the Bureau or society.”
Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 104–324
, § 607(a)(2), (4), redesignatedsubsec. (c) as (b), added pars. (1) and (2), redesignated former par. (2) as (3), and struck out former par. (1) which read as follows: “To the maximum extent practicable, the Secretary may delegate to the Bureau or a similar United States classification society, or an agent of the Bureau or society, the inspection or examination, in the United States or in a foreign country, of a vessel documented or to be documented as a vessel of the United States. The Bureau, society, or agent may issue the certificate of inspection required by this part and other certificates essential to documentation.” Former subsec. (b) redesignated (a).
Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 104–324
, § 607(a)(2), redesignatedsubsec. (c) as (b).
Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 104–324
, § 607(a)(1), struck out subsec. (d) which read as follows: “The Secretary also may make an agreement with or use the Bureau or a similar United States classification society, or an agent of the Bureau or society, for reviewing and approving plans required for issuing a certificate of inspection.”
Effective Date of 2004 Amendment
Pub. L. 108–293
, title IV, § 413(b),Aug. 9, 2004, 118 Stat. 1046
, provided that: “Section
, United States Code, shall apply with respect to operation as a classification society on or after January 1, 2005.”
Transfer of Functions
For transfer of authorities, functions, personnel, and assets of the Coast Guard, including the authorities and functions of the Secretary of Transportation relating thereto, to the Department of Homeland Security, and for treatment of related references, see sections
, Domestic Security, and the Department of Homeland Security Reorganization Plan of November 25, 2002, as modified, set out as a note under section