§ 1152. Construction of vessels; bids; subsidies
(a) Approval of bids; contract with bidder; acceptance of negotiated price; shipyard records, availability; contract with applicant or qualified citizen for purchase of vessel
If the Secretary of the Navy certifies his approval under section 1151 (b) of this Appendix, and the Secretary of Transportation approves the application, he may secure bids for the construction of the proposed vessel according to the approved plans and specifications. If the bid of the shipbuilder who is the lowest responsible bidder is determined by the Secretary of Transportation to be fair and reasonable, the Secretary of Transportation may approve such bid, and if such approved bid is accepted by the proposed ship purchaser, the Secretary of Transportation is authorized to enter into a contract with the successful bidder for the construction, outfitting, and equipment of the proposed vessel, and for the payment by the Secretary of Transportation to the shipbuilder, on terms to be agreed upon in the contract, of the contract price of the vessel, out of the construction fund hereinbefore referred to, or out of other available funds. Notwithstanding the provisions of the first sentence of section 1155 of this Appendix with respect to competitive bidding, the Secretary of Transportation is authorized to accept a price for the construction of the ship which has been negotiated between a shipyard and proposed ship purchaser if
(1) the proposed ship purchaser and the shipyard submit backup cost details and evidence that the negotiated price is fair and reasonable;
(3) the shipyard agrees that the Comptroller General of the United States or any of his duly authorized representatives shall, until the expiration of three years after final payment have access to and the right to examine any pertinent books, documents, papers, and records of the shipyard or any of its subcontractors related to the negotiation or performance of any contract or subcontract negotiated under this subsection and will include in its subcontracts a provision to that effect. Concurrently with entering into such contract with the shipbuilder, the Secretary of Transportation is authorized to enter into a contract for the sale of such vessel upon its completion, to the applicant if he is the proposed ship purchaser and if not to another citizen of the United States, if the Secretary of Transportation determines that such citizen possesses the ability, experience, financial resources, and other qualifications necessary for the operation and maintenance of the vessel at a price corresponding to the estimated cost, as determined by the Secretary of Transportation pursuant to the provisions of this chapter, of building such vessel in a foreign shipyard.
(b) Basis for fixing subsidy; cost of construction in foreign yards; annual recomputation and publication of foreign cost; limitation on construction differential; report on American shipbuilding industry
The amount of reduction in selling price which is herein termed “construction differential subsidy” shall equal, but not exceed, the excess of the bid of the shipbuilder constructing the proposed vessel (excluding the cost of any features incorporated in the vessel for national defense uses, which shall be paid by the Secretary in addition to the subsidy), over the fair and reasonable estimate of cost, as determined by the Secretary, of the construction of that type vessel if it were constructed under similar plans and specifications (excluding national defense features as above provided) in a foreign shipbuilding center which is deemed by the Secretary to furnish a fair and representative example for the determination of the estimated foreign cost of construction of vessels of the type proposed to be constructed. The Secretary of Transportation shall recompute such estimated foreign cost annually unless, in the opinion of the Secretary, there has been a significant change in shipbuilding market conditions. The Secretary shall publish notice of his intention to compute or recompute such estimated foreign cost and shall give interested persons, including but not limited to shipyards and shipowners and associations thereof, an opportunity to file written statements. The Secretary’s consideration shall include, but not be limited to, all relevant matter so filed, and his determination shall include or be accompanied by a concise explanation of the basis of his determination. The construction differential approved and paid by the Secretary shall not exceed 50 per centum of the cost of constructing, reconstructing, or reconditioning the vessel (excluding the cost of national defense features). If the Secretary finds that the construction differential exceeds, in any case, the foregoing percentage of such cost, the Secretary may negotiate with any bidder (whether or not such person is the lowest bidder) and may contract with such bidder (notwithstanding the first sentence of section 1155 of this Appendix) for the construction, reconstruction, or reconditioning of the vessel involved in a domestic shipyard at a cost which will reduce the construction differential to such percentage or less. In the event that the Secretary has reason to believe that the bidding in any instance is collusive, he shall report all of the evidence on which he acted
(2) to the President of the Senate and to the Speaker of the House of Representatives if the Congress shall be in session or if the Congress shall not be in session, then to the Secretary of the Senate and Clerk of the House, respectively.
(c) Terms of sale of vessel to purchaser
In such contract of sale between the purchaser and the Secretary of Transportation, the purchaser shall be required to make cash payments to the Secretary of Transportation of not less than 25 per centum of the price at which the vessel is sold to the purchaser. The cash payments shall be made at the time and in the same proportion as provided for the payments on account of the construction cost in the contract between the shipbuilder and the Secretary of Transportation. The purchaser shall pay, not less frequently than annually, interest on those portions of the Secretary of Transportation’s payments as made to the shipbuilder which are chargeable to the purchaser’s portion of the price of the vessel (after deduction of the purchaser’s cash payments) at a rate not less than
(i) a rate determined by the Secretary of the Treasury, taking into consideration the current average market yield on outstanding marketable obligations of the United States with remaining periods to maturity comparable to the average maturities of such loans, adjusted to the nearest one-eighth of 1 per centum, plus
(ii) an allowance adequate in the judgment of the Secretary of Transportation to cover administrative costs. The balance of such purchase price shall be paid by the purchaser, within twenty-five years after delivery of the vessel and in not to exceed twenty-five equal annual installments, the first of which shall be payable one year after the delivery of the vessel by the Secretary of Transportation to the purchaser. Interest at the rate per annum applicable to payments that are chargeable to the purchaser’s portion of the price of the vessel shall be paid on all such installments of the purchase price remaining unpaid.
(e) Construction in navy yards; sales to citizens; terms
If no bids are received for the construction, outfitting, or equipping of such vessel, or if it appears to the Secretary of Transportation that the bids received from privately owned shipyards of the United States are collusive, excessive, or unreasonable, and if a citizen of the United States agrees to purchase said vessel as provided in this section, then, to provide employment for citizens of the United States, the Secretary of Transportation may have such vessel constructed, outfitted, or equipped at not in excess of the actual cost thereof in a navy yard of the United States under such regulations as may be promulgated by the Secretary of the Navy and the Secretary of Transportation. In such event the Secretary of Transportation is authorized to pay for any such vessel so constructed from his construction fund. The Secretary of Transportation is authorized to sell any vessel so constructed, outfitted, or equipped in a navy yard to a citizen of the United States for the fair and reasonable value thereof, but at not less than the cost thereof less the equivalent to the construction differential subsidy determined as provided by subsection (b) of this section, such sale to be in accordance with all the provisions of this subchapter.
(f) Survey of shipbuilding capability; correction of inadequacies; reimbursement of certain vessel construction and delivery expenses
The Secretary of Transportation, with the advice of and in coordination with the Secretary of the Navy, shall at least once each year, as required for purposes of this chapter, survey the existing privately owned shipyards capable of merchant ship construction, or review available data on such shipyards if deemed adequate, to determine whether their capabilities for merchant ship construction, including facilities and skilled personnel, provide an adequate mobilization base at strategic points for purposes of national defense and national emergency. The Secretary of Transportation, in connection with ship construction, reconstruction, reconditioning, or remodeling under this subchapter and subchapter VII of this chapter, upon a basis of a finding that the award of the proposed construction, reconstruction, reconditioning, or remodeling work will remedy an existing or impending inadequacy in such mobilization base as to the capabilities and capacities of a shipyard or shipyards at a strategic point, and after taking into consideration the benefits accruing from standardized construction, the conditions of unemployment, and the needs and reasonable requirements of all shipyards, may allocate such construction, reconstruction, reconditioning, or remodeling to such yard or yards in such manner as he may determine to be fair, just, and reasonable to all sections of the country, subject to the provisions of this subsection. In the allocation of construction work to such yards as herein provided, the Secretary of Transportation may, after first obtaining competitive bids for such work in compliance with the provisions of this chapter, negotiate with the bidders and with other shipbuilders concerning the terms and conditions of any contract for such work, and is authorized to enter into such contract at a price deemed by the Secretary of Transportation to be fair and reasonable. Any contract entered into by the Secretary of Transportation under the provisions of this subsection shall be subject to all of the terms and conditions of this chapter, excepting those pertaining to the awarding of contracts to the lowest bidder which are inconsistent with the provisions of this subsection. In the event that a contract is made providing for a price in excess of the lowest responsible bid which otherwise would be accepted, such excess shall be paid by the Secretary of Transportation as a part of the cost of national defense, and shall not be considered as a part of the construction-differential subsidy. In the event that a contract is made providing for a price lower than the lowest responsible bid which otherwise would be accepted, the construction-differential subsidy shall be computed on the contract price in lieu of such bid.
If, as a result of allocation under this subsection, the purchaser incurs expenses for inspection and supervision of the vessel during construction and for the delivery voyage of the vessel in excess of the estimated expenses for the same services that he would have incurred if the vessel had been constructed by the lowest responsible bidder the Secretary of Transportation (with respect to construction under this subchapter, except section 1159 of this Appendix) shall reimburse the purchaser for such excess, less one-half of any gross income the purchaser receives that is allocable to the delivery voyage minus one-half of the extra expenses incurred to produce such gross income, and such reimbursement shall not be considered part of the construction-differential subsidy: Provided, That no interest shall be paid on any refund authorized under this chapter. If the vessel is constructed under section 1159 of this Appendix the Secretary of Transportation shall reduce the price of the vessel by such excess, less one-half of any gross income (minus one-half of the extra expenses incurred to produce such gross income) the purchaser receives that is allocable to the delivery voyage. In the case of a vessel that is not to receive operating-differential subsidy, the delivery voyage shall be deemed terminated at the port where the vessel begins loading. In the case of a vessel that is to receive operating-differential subsidy, the delivery voyage shall be deemed terminated when the vessel begins loading at a United States port in an essential service. In either case, however, the vessel owner shall not be compensated for excess vessel delivery costs in an amount greater than the expenses that would have been incurred in delivering the vessel from the shipyard at which it was built to the shipyard of the lowest responsible bidder. If as a result of such allocation, the expenses the purchaser incurs with respect to such services are less than the expenses he would have incurred for such services if the vessel had been constructed by the lowest responsible bidder, the purchaser shall pay to the Secretary of Transportation an amount equal to such reduction and, if the vessel was built with the aid of construction-differential subsidy, such payment shall not be considered a reduction of the construction-differential subsidy.
(g) Sale of vessels acquired by Secretary
Upon the application of any citizen of the United States to purchase any vessel acquired by the Secretary of Transportation under the provisions of section 1125 of this Appendix, the Secretary of Transportation is authorized to sell such vessel to the applicant for the fair and reasonable value thereof, but at not less than the cost thereof to the Secretary of Transportation less depreciation at the rate of 4 per centum per annum from the date of completion, excluding the cost of national-defense features added by the Secretary of Transportation, less the equivalent of any applicable construction-differential subsidy as provided by subsection (b) of this section, such sale to be in accordance with all the provisions of this subchapter. Such vessel shall thereupon be eligible for an operating-differential subsidy under subchapter VI of this chapter, notwithstanding the provisions of section 1171 (a)(1), and section 1180 (1) of this Appendix, or any other provision of law.
(h) Installation or removal of national defense features; title to such features
The Secretary of Transportation is authorized to construct, purchase, lease, acquire, store, maintain, sell, or otherwise dispose of national defense features intended for installation on vessels. The Secretary of Transportation is authorized to install or remove such national defense features on any vessel
(1) which is in the National Defense Reserve Fleet as defined by section 1744(a) of the Appendix to title 50,
(2) which is requisitioned, purchased, or chartered under section 1242 of this Appendix,
(3) which serves as security for the guarantee of an obligation by the Secretary of Transportation under subchapter XI of this chapter, or
(4) which is the subject of an agreement between the owner of such vessel and the Secretary of Transportation to install or remove such national defense features. Title to such national defense features which the Secretary of Transportation determines are not to be permanently incorporated in a vessel shall not be affected by such installation or removal unless otherwise transferred in accordance with the provisions of this subchapter.
(i) Plans, specifications, and proposals for national defense features; certification of approval
The Secretary of Transportation shall submit the plans and specifications for such national defense features and the proposals for their acquisition, storage, utilization, or disposition to the Navy Department for examination thereof and suggestion for such changes therein as may be deemed necessary or proper in order that such features shall be suitable for the use of the United States Government in time of war or national emergency. If the Secretary of the Navy approves such plans, specifications, or proposals as submitted, or as modified in accordance with the provisions of this subsection, he shall certify such approval to the Secretary of Transportation.