46 CFR 501.2 - General.
(a) Statutory functions. The Commission regulates common carriers by water and other persons involved in the oceanborne foreign commerce of the United States under provisions of the Shipping Act of 1984 (46 U.S.C. 40101-41309); section 19 of the Merchant Marine Act, 1920 (46 U.S.C. 42101-42109); the Foreign Shipping Practices Act of 1988 (46 U.S.C. 42301-42307); sections 2 and 3, Public Law 89-777, Financial Responsibility for Death or Injury to Passengers and for Non-Performance of Voyages (46 U.S.C. 44101-44106); and other applicable statutes.
(b) Establishment and composition of the Commission. The Commission was established as an independent agency by Reorganization Plan No. 7 of 1961, effective August 12, 1961, and is composed of five Commissioners (“Commissioners” or “members”), appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate. Not more than three Commissioners may be appointed from the same political party. The President designates one of the Commissioners to serve as the Chairman of the Commission (“Chairman”).
(c) Terms and vacancies.
(1) Length of terms. The term of each member of the Commission is five years and begins when the term of the predecessor of that member ends (i.e., on June 30 of each successive year).
(2) Removal. The President may remove a Commissioner for inefficiency, neglect of duty, or malfeasance in office.
(3) Vacancies. A vacancy in the office of any Commissioner is filled in the same manner as the original appointment. An individual appointed to fill a vacancy is appointed only for the unexpired term of the individual being succeeded.
(4) Term Limits.
(i) Commissioners initially appointed and confirmed before December 18, 2014. When a Commissioner's term ends, the Commissioner may continue to serve until a successor is appointed and qualified.
(ii) Commissioners initially appointed and confirmed on or after December 18, 2014.
(A) When a Commissioner's term ends, the Commissioner may continue to serve until a successor is appointed and qualified, limited to a period not to exceed one year.
(B) No individual may serve more than two terms, except that an individual appointed to fill a vacancy may serve two terms in addition to the remainder of the term for which the predecessor of that individual was appointed.
(d) Quorum. A vacancy or vacancies in the Commission shall not impair the power of the Commission to execute its functions. The affirmative vote of a majority of the members of the Commission is required to dispose of any matter before the Commission. For purposes of holding a formal meeting for the transaction of the business of the Commission, the actual presence of two Commissioners shall be sufficient. Proxy votes of absent members shall be permitted.
(e) Meetings; records; rules and regulations. The Commission shall, through its Secretary, keep a true record of all its meetings and the yea-and-nay votes taken therein on every action and order approved or disapproved by the Commission. In addition to or in aid of its functions, the Commission adopts rules and regulations in regard to its powers, duties and functions under the shipping statutes it administers.