46 U.S. Code § 10314 - Advances

§ 10314.
(1) A person may not—
pay a seaman wages in advance of the time when the seaman has earned the wages;
pay advance wages of the seaman to another person; or
make to another person an order, note, or other evidence of indebtedness of the wages, or pay another person, for the engagement of seamen when payment is deducted or to be deducted from the seaman’s wage.
A person violating this subsection is liable to the United States Government for a civil penalty of not more than $500. A payment made in violation of this subsection does not relieve the vessel or the master from the duty to pay all wages after they have been earned.
A person demanding or receiving from a seaman or an individual seeking employment as a seaman, remuneration for providing the seaman or individual with employment, is liable to the Government for a civil penalty of not more than $500.
This section applies to a foreign vessel when in waters of the United States. An owner, charterer, managing operator, agent, or master of a foreign vessel violating this section is liable to the Government for the same penalty as an owner, charterer, managing operator, agent, or master of a vessel of the United States for the same violation.
The owner, charterer, managing operator, agent, or master of a vessel seeking clearance from a port of the United States shall present the agreement required by section 10302 of this title at the office of clearance. Clearance may be granted to a vessel only if this section has been complied with.
This section does not apply to a fishing or whaling vessel or a yacht.
(Pub. L. 98–89, Aug. 26, 1983, 97 Stat. 567; Pub. L. 99–640, § 10(b)(4), Nov. 10, 1986, 100 Stat. 3550.)

Historical and Revision Notes

Revised section

Source section (U.S. Code)



Section 10314 forbids advance payment of wages to seamen prior to the commencement of the seaman’s employment. It provides a civil penalty of $500 for any person making such a payment, and for any person demanding or receiving remuneration for providing a seaman with employment. This means that the use of employment agencies for hiring seamen is prohibited. It also requires compliance with section 10302 regarding the signing of articles of agreement before a vessel can be cleared from a United States port. This section applies to foreign vessels in United States waters but not to fishing vessels, whaling vessels or yachts.


1986—Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 99–640 struck out last sentence which read as follows: “However, this section applies to a vessel taking oysters.”

This is a list of parts within the Code of Federal Regulations for which this US Code section provides rulemaking authority.

This list is taken from the Parallel Table of Authorities and Rules provided by GPO [Government Printing Office].

It is not guaranteed to be accurate or up-to-date, though we do refresh the database weekly. More limitations on accuracy are described at the GPO site.

19 CFR - Customs Duties


46 CFR - Shipping



LII has no control over and does not endorse any external Internet site that contains links to or references LII.