46 U.S. Code § 10508 - General penalties

§ 10508.
General penalties
A master who carries a seaman on a voyage without first making the agreement required by section 10502 of this title shall pay to the seaman the highest wage that was paid for a similar voyage within the 3 months before the time of engagement at the port or place at which the seaman was engaged. A seaman who has not signed an agreement is not bound by the applicable regulations, penalties, or forfeitures.
A master engaging a seaman in violation of this chapter or a regulation prescribed under this chapter is liable to the United States Government for a civil penalty of not more than $5,000. The vessel also is liable in rem for the penalty.

Historical and Revision Notes

Revised section

Source section (U.S. Code)



Section 10508 provides for a fair wage to be paid to a seaman who was engaged without a shipping agreement, and also exempts the seaman under certain conditions from applicable regulations, penalties or forfeitures. It also provides a penalty for violation of its provisions.


1993—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 103–206 substituted “not more than $5,000” for “$20”.


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