46 U.S. Code § 55111 - Towing

(a) In General.— Except when towing a vessel in distress, a vessel may not do any part of any towing described in subsection (b) unless the towing vessel—
(1) is wholly owned by citizens of the United States for purposes of engaging in the coastwise trade; and
(2) has been issued a certificate of documentation with a coastwise endorsement under chapter 121 of this title or is exempt from documentation but would otherwise be eligible for such a certificate and endorsement.
(b) Applicable Towing.— Subsection (a) applies to the towing of—
(1) a vessel between ports or places in the United States to which the coastwise laws apply, either directly or via a foreign port or place;
(2) a vessel from point to point within the harbors of ports or places to which the coastwise laws apply; or
(3) a vessel transporting valueless material or dredged material, regardless of whether it has commercial value, from a point in the United States or on the high seas within the exclusive economic zone, to another point in the United States or on the high seas within the exclusive economic zone.
(c) Penalties.—
(1) Owner and master.— The owner and master of a vessel towing another vessel in violation of this section are each liable for a penalty of at least $350 but not more than $1,100. A penalty under this paragraph constitutes a lien on the vessel. The lien is enforceable in a district court of the United States for any district in which the vessel is found. Clearance may not be granted to the vessel until the penalties have been paid.
(2) Vessel.— In addition to the penalties under paragraph (1), the towing vessel is liable for a penalty of $60 per ton based on the tonnage of each towed vessel.

Source

(Pub. L. 109–304, § 8(c),Oct. 6, 2006, 120 Stat. 1637.)

Historical and Revision Notes
Revised Section Source (U.S. Code) Source (Statutes at Large)
55111
46 App.:316(a), (b).
R.S. § 4370; June 11, 1940, ch. 324, 54 Stat. 304; Pub. L. 99–307, § 10, May 19, 1986, 100 Stat. 447; Pub. L. 100–329, § 2, June 7, 1988, 102 Stat. 589; Pub. L. 104–324, title XI, § 1115(b)(3), Oct. 19, 1996, 110 Stat. 3972.

In subsection (a), the words “or to do any part of such towing” and “other than a vessel in distress” in the source provision are made applicable to all the towing described in subsection (b) for clarity and consistency. In paragraph (1), the words “wholly owned by citizens of the United States for purposes of engaging in the coastwise trade” are substituted for “wholly owned by a person who is a citizen of the United States within the meaning of the laws respecting the documentation of vessels” for consistency in this chapter.
Subsection (a)(2) is substituted for “having in force a certificate of documentation issued under section 12106 of title 46” for consistency in this chapter and with section 12102 (b) as revised by the bill.
In subsection (b)(1), the words “in the United States to which the coastwise laws apply” are substituted for “in the United States, its Territories or possessions, embraced within the coastwise laws of the United States” because of the definition of “United States” in chapter 1 of the revised title and because of section 55101 of the revised title.
In subsection (b)(3), the words “or place” are omitted as surplus. The words “as defined in the Presidential Proclamation of March 10, 1983” are omitted because “exclusive economic zone” is defined in chapter 1 of the revised title.
In subsection (c), the penalty amounts reflect the adjustment for inflation pursuant to the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990 (28 U.S.C. 2461 note). See 19 C.F.R. § 4.92 (2004). In paragraph (2), the words “which sum may be recovered by way of libel or suit” are omitted as surplus.
The text of 46 App. U.S.C. 316 (b) is omitted as unnecessary because of the definition of “person” in section 1 of title 1.
Nonapplicability of Pub. L. 100–329 to Certain Vessel

Amendment by Pub. L. 100–329to section 316 of the former Appendix to this title, from which this section was derived, not applicable to a vessel engaged in the transportation of valueless material or valueless dredged material and owned or chartered by a corporation that had on file with Secretary of Transportation on Aug. 1, 1989, the certificate specified in section 883–1 of the former Appendix to this title (now section 12118 of this title), see section 5501(c) ofPub. L. 102–587, set out as a note under section 55110 of this title.

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