46 U.S. Code § 57105 - Acquisition of vessels for essential services, routes, or lines

(a) In General.— The Secretary of Transportation may acquire a vessel, by purchase or otherwise, if—
(1) the Secretary considers the vessel necessary to establish, maintain, improve, or serve as a replacement on an essential service, route, or line in the foreign commerce of the United States, as determined under section 50103 of this title;
(2) the vessel was constructed in the United States; and
(3) the Secretary of the Navy has certified to the Secretary of Transportation that the vessel is suitable for economical and speedy conversion into a naval or military auxiliary or otherwise suitable for use by the United States Government in time of war or national emergency.
(b) Price.— The price paid for the vessel shall be based on a fair and reasonable valuation. However, the price may not exceed by more than 5 percent the cost of the vessel to the owner (excluding any construction-differential subsidy and the cost of national defense features paid by the Secretary of Transportation) plus the actual cost previously expended for reconditioning, less depreciation based on a 25-year life for a dry-cargo or passenger vessel and a 20-year life for a tanker or other liquid bulk carrier vessel.
(c) Documentation.— A vessel acquired under this section that is not documented under the laws of the United States at the time of acquisition shall be so documented as soon as practicable.


(Pub. L. 109–304, § 8(c),Oct. 6, 2006, 120 Stat. 1660.)

Historical and Revision Notes
Revised Section Source (U.S. Code) Source (Statutes at Large)
46 App.:1125.
June 29, 1936, ch. 858, title II, § 215, as added June 23, 1938, ch. 600, § 4, 52 Stat. 954; Pub. L. 86–518, § 1, June 12, 1960, 74 Stat. 216; Pub. L. 97–31, § 12(73), Aug. 6, 1981, 95 Stat. 160.
46 App.:1125 note.
Pub. L. 86–518, § 9, June 12, 1960, 74 Stat. 217.

In subsection (a), the words “and to pay for the same out of his construction fund” are omitted as obsolete because the construction fund established under 46 App. U.S.C. 1116 was impliedly abolished by 46 App. U.S.C. 1119, as amended.
In subsection (b), the words “less depreciation based on a 25-year life for a dry-cargo or passenger vessel and a 20-year life for a tanker or other liquid bulk carrier vessel” are substituted for “less depreciation based upon a twenty-five year life expectancy of the vessel” because of section 9 ofPublic Law 86–518 (June 12, 1960, 74 Stat. 217), which provided that “Nothing in any amendment made by this Act [including section 1 substituting ‘twenty-five’ for ‘twenty’ in 46 App. U.S.C. 1125] shall operate or be interpreted to change from twenty to twenty-five years the provisions of the Merchant Marine Act, 1936, as amended, relating to the commercial expectancy or period of depreciation of any tanker or other liquid bulk carrier.”

The table below lists the classification updates, since Jan. 3, 2012, for this section. Updates to a broader range of sections may be found at the update page for containing chapter, title, etc.

The most recent Classification Table update that we have noticed was Tuesday, August 13, 2013

An empty table indicates that we see no relevant changes listed in the classification tables. If you suspect that our system may be missing something, please double-check with the Office of the Law Revision Counsel.

46 USCDescription of ChangeSession YearPublic LawStatutes at Large


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