§ 865a. Sale of inactive passenger vessels to foreigners; conditions; requisition in emergency; surety bond

Notwithstanding any other provision of law or of prior contract with the United States, any vessel heretofore operated as a passenger vessel, as defined in section 613(a) of the Merchant Marine Act, 1936, as amended [46 App. U.S.C. 1183 (a)], under an operating-differential subsidy contract with the United States and now in inactive or layup status, except the steamship Independence and the steamship United States, may be sold and transferred to foreign ownership, registry, and flag, with the prior approval of the Secretary of Transportation. Such approval shall require (1) approval of the purchaser; (2) payment of existing debt and private obligations related to the vessel; (3) approval of the price, including terms of payment, for the sale of the vessel; (4) the seller to enter into an agreement with the Secretary whereby an amount equal to the net proceeds received from such sale in excess of existing obligations and expenses incident to the sale shall within a reasonable period not to exceed twelve months of receipt be committed and thereafter be used as equity capital for the construction of new vessels which the Secretary determines are built to effectuate the purposes and policy of the Merchant Marine Act, 1936, as amended [46 App. U.S.C. 1101 et seq.]; and (5) the purchaser to enter into an agreement with the Secretary, binding upon such purchaser and any later owner of the vessel and running with title to the vessel, that (a) the vessel will not carry passengers or cargo in competition, as determined by the Secretary, with any United States-flag passenger vessel for a period of two years from the date the transferred vessel goes into operation; (b) the vessel will be made available to the United States in time of emergency and just compensation for title or use; as the case may be, shall be paid in accordance with section 902 of the Merchant Marine Act, 1936, as amended (46 App. U.S.C. 1242); (c) the purchaser will comply with such further conditions as the Secretary may impose as authorized by sections 808, 835 and 839 of this Appendix; and (d) the purchaser will furnish a surety bond in an amount and with a surety satisfactory to the Secretary to secure performance of the foregoing agreements.
In addition to any other provision such agreements may contain for enforcement of (4) and (5) above, the agreements therein required may be specifically enforced by decree for specific performance or injunction in any district court of the United States. In the agreement with the Secretary the purchaser shall irrevocably appoint a corporate agent within the United States for service of process upon such purchaser in any action to enforce the agreement.