Home > 107th Congressional Bills > H.R. 1099 (eh) To make changes in laws governing Coast Guard personnel, increase marine safety, renew certain groups that advise the Coast Guard on safety issues, make miscellaneous improvements to Coast Guard operations and policies, and for other purpos...

H.R. 1099 (eh) To make changes in laws governing Coast Guard personnel, increase marine safety, renew certain groups that advise the Coast Guard on safety issues, make miscellaneous improvements to Coast Guard operations and policies, and for other purpos...


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107th CONGRESS
  1st Session
                                H. R. 1098


_______________________________________________________________________


                   IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

                             March 22, 2001

    Received; read twice and referred to the Committee on Commerce, 
                      Science, and Transportation

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 AN ACT


 
 To improve the recording and discharging of maritime liens and expand 
  the American Merchant Marine Memorial Wall of Honor, and for other 
                               purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Maritime Policy Improvement Act of 
2001''.

SEC. 2. TABLE OF CONTENTS.

    The table of contents for this Act is as follows:

Sec. 1. Short title.
Sec. 2. Table of contents.
Sec. 3. Vessel COASTAL VENTURE.
Sec. 4. Expansion of American Merchant Marine Memorial Wall of Honor.
Sec. 5. Discharge of agricultural cargo residue.
Sec. 6. Recording and discharging maritime liens.
Sec. 7. Tonnage of R/V DAVIDSON.
Sec. 8. Miscellaneous certificates of documentation.
Sec. 9. Exemption for Victory Ships.
Sec. 10. Certificate of documentation for 3 barges.
Sec. 11. Certificate of documentation for the EAGLE.
Sec. 12. Waiver for vessels in New World Challenge Race.
Sec. 13. Vessel ASPHALT COMMANDER.

SEC. 3. VESSEL COASTAL VENTURE.

    Section 1120(g) of the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 1996 
(Public Law 104-324; 110 Stat. 3978) is amended by inserting ``COASTAL 
VENTURE (United States official number 971086),'' after ``vessels''.

SEC. 4. EXPANSION OF AMERICAN MERCHANT MARINE MEMORIAL WALL OF HONOR.

    (a) Findings.--The Congress finds that--
            (1) the United States Merchant Marine has served the people 
        of the United States in all wars since 1775;
            (2) the United States Merchant Marine served as the 
        Nation's first navy and defeated the British Navy to help gain 
        the Nation's independence;
            (3) the United States Merchant Marine kept the lifeline of 
        freedom open to the allies of the United States during the 
        Second World War, making one of the most significant 
        contributions made by any nation to the victory of the allies 
        in that war;
            (4) President Franklin D. Roosevelt and many military 
        leaders praised the role of the United States Merchant Marine 
        as the ``Fourth Arm of Defense'' during the Second World War;
            (5) more than 250,000 men and women served in the United 
        States Merchant Marine during the Second World War;
            (6) during the Second World War, members of the United 
        States Merchant Marine faced dangers from the elements and from 
        submarines, mines, armed raiders, destroyers, aircraft, and 
        ``kamikaze'' pilots;
            (7) during the Second World War, at least 6,830 members of 
        the United States Merchant Marine were killed at sea;
            (8) during the Second World War, 11,000 members of the 
        United States Merchant Marine were wounded, at least 1,100 of 
        whom later died from their wounds;
            (9) during the Second World War, 604 members of the United 
        States Merchant Marine were taken prisoner;
            (10) 1 in 32 members of the United States Merchant Marine 
        serving in the Second World War died in the line of duty, 
        suffering a higher percentage of war-related deaths than any of 
        the other armed services of the United States; and
            (11) the United States Merchant Marine continues to serve 
        the United States, promoting freedom and meeting the high 
        ideals of its former members.
    (b) Grants To Construct Addition to American Merchant Marine 
Memorial Wall of Honor.--
            (1) In general.--The Secretary of Transportation may make 
        grants to the American Merchant Marine Veterans Memorial 
        Committee, Inc., to construct an addition to the American 
        Merchant Marine Memorial Wall of Honor located at the Los 
        Angeles Maritime Museum in San Pedro, California.
            (2) Federal share.--The Federal share of the cost of 
        activities carried out with a grant made under this section 
        shall be 50 percent.
            (3) Authorization of appropriations.--There is authorized 
        to be appropriated to carry out this section $500,000 for 
        fiscal year 2002.

SEC. 5. DISCHARGE OF AGRICULTURAL CARGO RESIDUE.

    Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the discharge from a 
vessel of any agricultural cargo residue material in the form of hold 
washings shall be governed exclusively by the provisions of the Act to 
Prevent Pollution from Ships (33 U.S.C. 1901 et seq.) that implement 
Annex V to the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution 
from Ships.

SEC. 6. RECORDING AND DISCHARGING MARITIME LIENS.

    (a) Liens on Any Documented Vessel.--
            (1) In general.--Section 31343 of title 46, United States 
        Code, is amended as follows:
                    (A) By amending the section heading to read as 
                follows:
``Sec. 31343. Recording and discharging liens''.
                    (B) In subsection (a) by striking ``covered by a 
                preferred mortgage filed or recorded under this 
                chapter'' and inserting ``documented, or for which an 
                application for documentation has been filed, under 
                chapter 121''.
                    (C) By amending subsection (b) to read as follows:
    ``(b)(1) The Secretary shall record a notice complying with 
subsection (a) of this section if, when the notice is presented to the 
Secretary for recording, the person having the claim files with the 
notice a declaration stating the following:
            ``(A) The information in the notice is true and correct to 
        the best of the knowledge, information, and belief of the 
        individual who signed it.
            ``(B) A copy of the notice, as presented for recordation, 
        has been sent to each of the following:
                    ``(i) The owner of the vessel.
                    ``(ii) Each person that recorded under section 
                31343(a) of this title an unexpired notice of a claim 
                of an undischarged lien on the vessel.
                    ``(iii) The mortgagee of each mortgage filed or 
                recorded under section 31321 of this title that is an 
                undischarged mortgage on the vessel.
    ``(2) A declaration under this subsection filed by a person that is 
not an individual must be signed by the president, member, partner, 
trustee, or other official authorized to execute the declaration on 
behalf of the person.''.
                    (D) By amending subsection (c) to read as follows:
    ``(c)(1) On full and final discharge of the indebtedness that is 
the basis for a notice of claim of lien recorded under subsection (b) 
of this section, the person having the claim shall provide the 
Secretary with an acknowledged certificate of discharge of the 
indebtedness. The Secretary shall record the certificate.
    ``(2) The district courts of the United States shall have 
jurisdiction over a civil action to declare that a vessel is not 
subject to a lien claimed under subsection (b) of this section, or that 
the vessel is not subject to the notice of claim of lien, or both, 
regardless of the amount in controversy or the citizenship of the 
parties. Venue in such an action shall be in the district where the 
vessel is found, or where the claimant resides, or where the notice of 
claim of lien is recorded. The court may award costs and attorneys fees 
to the prevailing party, unless the court finds that the position of 
the other party was substantially justified or other circumstances make 
an award of costs and attorneys fees unjust.''.
                    (E) By adding at the end the following:
    ``(e) A notice of claim of lien recorded under subsection (b) of 
this section shall expire 3 years after the date specified in the 
notice under subsection (b) of this section.
    ``(f) This section does not alter in any respect the law pertaining 
to the establishment of a maritime lien, the remedy provided by such a 
lien, or the defenses thereto, including any defense under the doctrine 
of laches.''.
            (2) Clerical amendment.--The table of sections at the 
        beginning of chapter 313 of title 46, United States Code, is 
        amended by striking the item relating to section 31343 and 
        inserting the following:

``31343. Recording and discharging liens.''.
    (b) Notice Requirements.--Section 31325 of title 46, United States 
Code, is amended as follows:
            (1) In subsection (d)(1)(B) by striking ``a notice of a 
        claim'' and inserting ``an unexpired notice of a claim''.
            (2) In subsection (f)(1) by striking ``a notice of a 
        claim'' and inserting ``an unexpired notice of a claim''.
    (c) Approval of Surrender of Documentation.--Section 12111 of title 
46, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:
    ``(d)(1) The Secretary shall not refuse to approve the surrender of 
the certificate of documentation for a vessel solely on the basis that 
a notice of a claim of a lien on the vessel has been recorded under 
section 31343(a) of this title.
    ``(2) The Secretary may condition approval of the surrender of the 
certificate of documentation for a vessel over 1,000 gross tons.''.
    (d) Technical Correction.--Section 9(c) of the Shipping Act, 1916 
(46 U.S.C. App. 808(c)) is amended in the matter preceding paragraph 
(1) by striking ``Except'' and all that follows ``12106(e) of title 
46,'' and inserting ``Except as provided in section 611 of the Merchant 
Marine Act, 1936 (46 App. U.S.C. 1181) and in sections 12106(e) and 
31322(a)(1)(D) of title 46,''.
    (e) Effective Date.--This section shall take effect July 1, 2002.

SEC. 7. TONNAGE OF R/V DAVIDSON.

    (a) In General.--The Secretary of Transportation shall prescribe a 
tonnage measurement as a small passenger vessel as defined in section 
2101 of title 46, United States Code, for the vessel R/V DAVIDSON 
(United States official number D1066485) for purposes of applying the 
optional regulatory measurement under section 14305 of that title.
    (b) Application.--Subsection (a) shall apply only when the vessel 
is operating in compliance with the requirements of section 3301(8) of 
title 46, United States Code.

SEC. 8. MISCELLANEOUS CERTIFICATES OF DOCUMENTATION.

    Notwithstanding section 27 of the Merchant Marine Act, 1920 (46 
U.S.C. App. 883), section 8 of the Act of June 19, 1886 (24 Stat. 81, 
chapter 421; 46 U.S.C. App. 289), and sections 12106 and 12108 of title 
46, United States Code, the Secretary of Transportation may issue a 
certificate of documentation with appropriate endorsement for 
employment in the coastwise trade for the following vessels:
            (1) LOOKING GLASS (United States official number 925735).
            (2) YANKEE (United States official number 1076210).
            (3) LUCKY DOG of St. Petersburg, Florida (State of Florida 
        registration number FLZP7569E373).
            (4) ENTERPRIZE (United States official number 1077571).
            (5) M/V SANDPIPER (United States official number 1079439).
            (6) FRITHA (United States official number 1085943).
            (7) PUFFIN (United States official number 697029).
            (8) VICTORY OF BURNHAM (United States official number 
        663780).
            (9) R'ADVENTURE II (United States official number 905373).
            (10) ANTJA (State of Florida registration number FL3475MA).
            (11) SKIMMER, manufactured by Contour Yachts, Inc. (hull 
        identification number QHG34031D001).
            (12) TOKEENA (State of South Carolina registration number 
        SC 1602 BJ).
            (13) DOUBLE EAGLE2 (United States official number 1042549).
            (14) ENCOUNTER (United States official number 998174).
            (15) AJ (United States official number 599164).
            (16) BARGE 10 (United States official number 1101368).
            (17) NOT A SHOT (United States official number 911064).
            (18) PRIDE OF MANY (Canadian official number 811529).
            (19) AMAZING GRACE (United States official number 92769).
            (20) SHEWHO (United States official number 1104094).

SEC. 9. EXEMPTION FOR VICTORY SHIPS.

    Section 3302(l)(1) of title 46, United States Code, is amended by 
adding at the end the following:
            ``(D) The steamship SS Red Oak Victory (United States 
        official number 249410), owned by the Richmond Museum 
        Association, located in Richmond, California.
            ``(E) The SS American Victory (United States official 
        number 248005), owned by Victory Ship, Inc., of Tampa, 
        Florida.''.

SEC. 10. CERTIFICATE OF DOCUMENTATION FOR 3 BARGES.

    (a) Documentation Certificate.--Notwithstanding section 12106 of 
title 46, United States Code, and section 27 of the Merchant Marine 
Act, 1920 (46 App. U.S.C. 883), and subject to subsection (c) of this 
section, the Secretary of Transportation may issue a certificate of 
documentation with an appropriate endorsement for employment in the 
coastwise trade for each of the vessels listed in subsection (b).
    (b) Vessels Described.--The vessels referred to in subsection (a) 
are the following:
            (1) The former Navy deck barge JIM, having a length of 110 
        feet and a width of 34 feet.
            (2) The former railroad car barge HUGH, having a length of 
        185 feet and a width of 34 feet.
            (3) The former railroad car barge TOMMY, having a length of 
        185 feet and a width of 34 feet.
    (c) Limitation on Operation.--A vessel issued a certificate of 
documentation under this section may be used only as a floating 
platform for launching fireworks, including transportation of materials 
associated with that use.

SEC. 11. CERTIFICATE OF DOCUMENTATION FOR THE EAGLE.

    Notwithstanding section 27 of the Merchant Marine Act, 1920 (46 
U.S.C. App. 883), chapter 121 of title 46, United States Code, and 
section 1 of the Act of May 28, 1906 (46 U.S.C. App. 292), the 
Secretary of Transportation shall issue a certificate of documentation 
with appropriate endorsement for employment in the coastwise trade for 
the vessel EAGLE (hull number BK--1754, United States official number 
1091389) if the vessel is--
            (1) owned by a State, a political subdivision of a State, 
        or a public authority chartered by a State;
            (2) if chartered, chartered to a State, a political 
        subdivision of a State, or a public authority chartered by a 
        State;
            (3) operated only in conjunction with--
                    (A) scour jet operations; or
                    (B) dredging services adjacent to facilities owned 
                by the State, political subdivision, or public 
                authority; and
            (4) externally identified clearly as a vessel of that 

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