§ 817d. Financial responsibility of owners and charterers for death or injury to passengers or other persons
(a) Amount; method of establishment
Each owner or charterer of an American or foreign vessel having berth or stateroom accommodations for fifty or more passengers, and embarking passengers at United States ports, shall establish, under regulations prescribed by the Federal Maritime Commission, his financial responsibility to meet any liability he may incur for death or injury to passengers or other persons on voyages to or from United States ports, in an amount based upon the number of passenger accommodations aboard the vessel, calculated as follows:
$20,000 for each passenger accommodation up to and including five hundred; plus
$15,000 for each additional passenger accommodation between five hundred and one and one thousand; plus
$10,000 for each additional passenger accommodation between one thousand and one and one thousand five hundred; plus
$5,000 for each passenger accommodation in excess of one thousand five hundred:
Provided, however, That if such owner or charterer is operating more than one vessel subject to this section, the foregoing amount shall be based upon the number of passenger accommodations on the vessel being so operated which has the largest number of passenger accommodations. This amount shall be available to pay any judgment for damages, whether in amount less than or more than $20,000 for death or injury occurring on such voyages to any passenger or other person. Such financial responsibility may be established by any one of, or a combination of, the following methods which is acceptable to the Commission:
(b) Issuance of bond when filed with Commission
If a bond is filed with the Commission, then such bond shall be issued by a bonding company authorized to do business in the United States or any State thereof or the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, or any territory or possession of the United States.
(c) Civil penalties for violations; remission or mitigation of penalties
Any person who shall violate this section shall be subject to a civil penalty of not more than $5,000 in addition to a civil penalty of $200 for each passage sold, such penalties to be assessed by the Federal Maritime Commission. These penalties may be remitted or mitigated by the Federal Maritime Commission upon such terms as it in its discretion shall deem proper.
(d) Rules and regulations
The Federal Maritime Commission is authorized to prescribe such regulations as may be necessary to carry out the provisions of this section. The provisions of the Shipping Act of 1984 [46 App. U.S.C. 1701 et seq.] shall apply with respect to proceedings conducted by the Commission under this section.
(e) Refusal of departure clearance
At the port or place of departure from the United States of any vessel described in subsection (a) of this section, the Customs Service shall refuse the clearance required by section 91 of this Appendix to any such vessel which does not have evidence furnished by the Federal Maritime Commission that the provisions of this section have been complied with.