46 U.S. Code § 12501 - Establishment of a vessel identification system
Revised section 12501
Subsection (a) of section 12501 requires the Secretary of Transportation to establish a system of information concerning vessels of the United States for law enforcement and other purposes. The Secretary is required to make available information from the system relating to the ownership of vessels documented under chapter 121 of title 46, numbered under chapter 123 of that title, and titled under the law of a State. The information is available under section 12503 for use by the public, similarly under the Ship Mortgage Act, 1920.
Subsection (b) lists the vessel identification information which is required to be maintained by the Secretary. The Secretary has the authority to prescribe other information to be maintained in addition to the items listed. For example, the Secretary may identify vessels issued fisheries permits by the Department of Commerce. The Secretary may also monitor transactions involving vessels that require approval by the Secretary under section 9 of the Shipping Act, 1916 (46 App. U.S.C. 808) before interest or control in the vessel may be transferred to a noncitizen.
Subsection (c) clarifies that the Secretary has the flexibility to maintain this system in connection with any other information system maintained by the Secretary, including the Federal Aviation Administration system containing aircraft ownership information. This would also permit the Secretary to combine various systems and data bases maintained by the Secretary such as documentation and numbering of vessels, and safety, casualty, and law enforcement statistics.
1990—Subsec. (b)(2)(A). Pub. L. 101–595 amended subpar. (A) generally. Prior to amendment, subpar. (A) read as follows: “the owner’s social security number; or”.
1989—Subsec. (b)(2). Pub. L. 101–225 amended par. (2) generally, adding subpars. (A) and (B).
[For transfer of authorities, functions, personnel, and assets of the Coast Guard, including the authorities and functions of the Secretary of Transportation relating thereto, to the Department of Homeland Security, and for treatment of related references, see sections 468(b), 551(d), 552(d), and 557 of Title 6, Domestic Security, and the Department of Homeland Security Reorganization Plan of November 25, 2002, as modified, set out as a note under section 542 of Title 6.]