15 CFR 971.103 - Prohibited activities and restrictions.
(a)Prohibited activities and exceptions.
(i) A permit issued pursuant to the Act and implementing regulations;
(ii) A license, permit or equivalent authorization issued by a reciprocating state; or
(iii) An international agreement which is in force with respect to the United States.
(2) The prohibitions of paragraph (a)(1) of this section do not apply to any of the following activities:
(i) Scientific research, including that concerning hard mineral resources;
(ii) Mapping, or the taking of any geophysical, geochemical, oceanographic, or atmospheric measurements or random bottom samplings of the deep seabed, if such taking does not significantly alter the surface or subsurface of the seabed or significantly affect the environment;
(iii) The design, construction, or testing of equipment and facilities which will or may be used for exploration or commercial recovery, if such design, construction or testing is conducted onshore, or does not involve the recovery of any but incidental hard mineral resources;
(iv) The furnishing of machinery, products, supplies, services, or materials for any exploration or commercial recovery conducted under a license or permit issued under the Act and implementing regulations, a license or permit or equivalent authorization issued by a reciprocating state, or any relevant international agreement; and
(3) No United States citizen may interfere or participate in interference with any activity conducted by any permittee which is authorized to be undertaken under a permit issued by the Administrator to a permittee under the Act or with any activity conducted by the holder of, and authorized to be undertaken under, a license or permit or equivalent authorization issued by a reciprocating state for the commercial recovery of hard mineral resources. For purposes of this section, interference includes physical interference with activities authorized by the Act, this part, and a license or permit issued pursuant thereto; the filing of a specious claim in the United States or any other nation; and any other activity designed to harass, or which has the effect of harassing, persons conducting deep seabed mining activities authorized by law. Interference does not include the exercise of any superior rights granted to United States citizens by the Constitution of the United States, or any Federal or State law, treaty, or agreement or regulation promulgated pursuant thereto.
(4) United States citizens shall exercise their rights on the high seas with reasonable regard for the interests of other states in their exercise of the freedoms of the high seas.
(b)Restrictions on issuance of permits. The Administrator will not issue any permit -
(1) After the date on which any relevant international agreement is ratified by and enters into force with respect to the United States, except to the extent that issuance of the permit is not inconsistent with that agreement.
(iii) An equivalent authorization which has been issued, or for which formal notice of application has been submitted, by a reciprocating state prior to the filing date of any relevant application for licenses or permits pursuant to the Act and implementing regulations;
(3) Authorizing commercial recovery within any area of the deep seabed in which exploration is authorized under a valid existing license if such permit is issued to a person other than the licensee for such area;
(4) Which authorizes commercial recovery to commence before January 1, 1988;
(6) Or approve the transfer of a permit, except to a United States citizen; or