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USCODE-2011-title46-subtitleII-partB-chap33-sec3306.pdf

Plan Approval & Records for Tank, Passenger, Cargo & Miscellaneous Vessels, Mobile Offshore Drilling Units, Nautical Schools, Oceanographic VSLS & Electrical Engineering

1625-0038 Stat/A

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Page 47

TITLE 46—SHIPPING

signatory. The Committee expects that the regulatory
flexibility being provided will not reduce the present
vessel inspection requirements that have been historically developed.
Section 3305(a) establishes the statutory scope of the
Coast Guard’s vessel inspection authority and duty.
The inspection process shall ensure that a vessel is of
suitable structure, equipment, and accommodations, is
maintained in an operating condition consistent with
safety of life and property, and complies with applicable marine safety laws and regulations.
Subsection (b) requires that defective life preservers
and firehose be destroyed in the presence of the inspecting official, normally a qualified Coast Guard marine inspector. The Committee believes that if this
equipment is defective for use on an inspected vessel, it
should be destroyed so that it cannot be used on an uninspected or recreational vessel.
Subsection (c) provides flexibility in the inspection of
various sizes of nautical school vessels.
AMENDMENTS
2006—Subsec. (a)(2). Pub. L. 109–241 realigned margins.
2004—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 108–293, § 416(b), designated
existing provisions as par. (1), redesignated former
pars. (1) to (6) as subpars. (A) to (F), respectively, of
par. (1), and added par. (2).
Subsec. (a)(4) to (6). Pub. L. 108–293, § 416(a), added
par. (4) and redesignated former pars. (4) and (5) as (5)
and (6), respectively.
2002—Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 107–217 substituted ‘‘section
558 of title 40’’ for ‘‘section 13 of the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 1986’’.
1986—Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 99–640 inserted ‘‘or by an
educational institution under section 13 of the Coast
Guard Authorization Act of 1986’’.
1985—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 99–36 substituted ‘‘lifesaving’’ and ‘‘life preserver, lifesaving device, or firehose’’
for ‘‘life-saving’’ and ‘‘life preserver or firehose’’, respectively.

§ 3306. Regulations
(a) To carry out this part and to secure the
safety of individuals and property on board vessels subject to inspection, the Secretary shall
prescribe necessary regulations to ensure the
proper execution of, and to carry out, this part
in the most effective manner for—
(1) the design, construction, alteration, repair, and operation of those vessels, including
superstructures, hulls, fittings, equipment, appliances, propulsion machinery, auxiliary machinery, boilers, unfired pressure vessels, piping, electric installations, and accommodations for passengers and crew, sailing school
instructors, and sailing school students;
(2) lifesaving equipment and its use;
(3) firefighting equipment, its use, and precautionary measures to guard against fire;
(4) inspections and tests related to paragraphs (1), (2), and (3) of this subsection; and
(5) the use of vessel stores and other supplies
of a dangerous nature.
(b)(1) Equipment and material subject to regulation under this section may not be used on any
vessel without prior approval of the Secretary.
(2) Except with respect to use on a public vessel, the Secretary may treat an approval of
equipment or materials by a foreign government
as approval by the Secretary for purposes of
paragraph (1) if the Secretary determines that—
(A) the design standards and testing procedures used by that government meet the requirements of the International Convention
for the Safety of Life at Sea, 1974;

§ 3306

(B) the approval of the equipment or material by the foreign government will secure the
safety of individuals and property on board
vessels subject to inspection; and
(C) for lifesaving equipment, the foreign government—
(i) has given equivalent treatment to approvals of lifesaving equipment by the Secretary; and
(ii) otherwise ensures that lifesaving
equipment approved by the Secretary may
be used on vessels that are documented and
subject to inspection under the laws of that
country.
(c) In prescribing regulations for sailing school
vessels, the Secretary shall consult with representatives of the private sector having experience in the operation of vessels likely to be certificated as sailing school vessels. The regulations shall—
(1) reflect the specialized nature of sailing
school vessel operations, and the character,
design, and construction of vessels operating
as sailing school vessels; and
(2) include requirements for notice to sailing
school instructors and sailing school students
about the specialized nature of sailing school
vessels and applicable safety regulations.
(d) In prescribing regulations for nautical
school vessels operated by the United States
Merchant Marine Academy or by a State maritime academy (as defined in section 51102 of this
title), the Secretary shall consider the function,
purpose, and operation of the vessels, their
routes, and the number of individuals who may
be carried on the vessels.
(e) When the Secretary finds it in the public
interest, the Secretary may suspend or grant exemptions from the requirements of a regulation
prescribed under this section related to lifesaving and firefighting equipment, muster lists,
ground tackle and hawsers, and bilge systems.
(f) In prescribing regulations for offshore supply vessels, the Secretary shall consider the
characteristics, methods of operation, and the
nature of the service of offshore supply vessels.
(g) In prescribing regulations for fish processing or fish tender vessels, the Secretary shall
consult with representatives of the private sector having experience in the operation of these
vessels. The regulations shall reflect the specialized nature and economics of fish processing or
fish tender vessel operations and the character,
design, and construction of fish processing or
fish tender vessels.
(h) The Secretary shall establish appropriate
structural fire protection, manning, operating,
and equipment requirements for vessels of at
least 100 gross tons but less than 300 gross tons
as measured under section 14502 of this title, or
an alternate tonnage measured under section
14302 of this title as prescribed by the Secretary
under section 14104 of this title carrying not
more than 150 passengers on domestic voyages,
which meet the eligibility criteria of section
2113(4) of this title.
(i) The Secretary shall establish appropriate
structural fire protection, manning, operating,
and equipment requirements for former public
vessels of the United States of at least 100 gross

§ 3306

TITLE 46—SHIPPING

tons but less that 500 gross tons as measured
under section 14502 of this title, or an alternate
tonnage measured under section 14302 of this
title as prescribed by the Secretary under section 14104 of this title carrying not more than
150 passengers on domestic voyages, which meet
the eligibility criteria of section 2113(5) of this
title.
(j) The Secretary may establish by regulation
a safety management system appropriate for the
characteristics, methods of operation, and nature of service of towing vessels.
(k)(1) Each vessel of the United States that is
constructed under a contract entered into after
the date of enactment of the Maritime Safety
Act of 2010, or that is delivered after January 1,
2011, with an aggregate capacity of 600 cubic meters or more of oil fuel, shall comply with the
requirements of Regulation 12A under Annex I
to the Protocol of 1978 relating to the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, 1973, entitled ‘‘Oil Fuel Tank
Protection’’.
(2) The Secretary may prescribe regulations to
apply the requirements described in Regulation
12A to vessels described in paragraph (1) that are
not otherwise subject to that convention. Any
such regulation shall be considered to be an interpretive rule for the purposes of section 553 of
title 5.
(3) In this subsection the term ‘‘oil fuel’’
means any oil used as fuel in connection with
the propulsion and auxiliary machinery of the
vessel in which such oil is carried.
(Pub. L. 98–89, Aug. 26, 1983, 97 Stat. 513; Pub. L.
98–364, title IV, § 402(5), July 17, 1984, 98 Stat. 446;
Pub. L. 103–206, title V, § 512(a), Dec. 20, 1993, 107
Stat. 2442; Pub. L. 104–324, title VI, § 604(a), (c),
title VII, § 712, Oct. 19, 1996, 110 Stat. 3930, 3931,
3936; Pub. L. 108–293, title IV, § 415(b), Aug. 9,
2004, 118 Stat. 1047; Pub. L. 109–304, § 15(12), Oct.
6, 2006, 120 Stat. 1703; Pub. L. 111–281, title VI,
§ 612, Oct. 15, 2010, 124 Stat. 2970.)
HISTORICAL AND REVISION NOTES
Revised section
3306 ..............................................

Source section (U.S. Code)
46:366
46:369
46:375
46:390b
46:392
46:404
46:408
46:411
46:412
46:416
46:420
46:445
46:459
46:473
46:477
46:478
46:479
46:481
46:482
46:483
46:489
46:526p
46:1295f(c)

Section 3306 contains broad authority to prescribe
regulations for the proper inspection and certification
of vessels. It provides regulatory flexibility for meeting
technological changes. The section also permits flexibility in prescribing regulations for nautical school
vessels operated by the United States Merchant Marine
Academy or by a State maritime academy. The Secretary may suspend or grant exemptions to certain lim-

Page 48

ited inspection requirements when the Secretary finds
that this is necessary in the public interest. It also contains the requirement that in regulating offshore supply vessels consideration must be given to the special
nature of their operations.
REFERENCES IN TEXT
The date of enactment of the Maritime Safety Act of
2010, referred to in subsec. (k)(1), is the date of enactment of title VI of Pub. L. 111–281, which was approved
Oct. 15, 2010.
AMENDMENTS
2010—Subsec. (k). Pub. L. 111–281 added subsec. (k).
2006—Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 109–304 substituted ‘‘section
51102 of this title’’ for ‘‘section 1302(3) of the Merchant
Marine Act, 1936 (46 App. U.S.C. 1295a(3))’’.
2004—Subsec. (j). Pub. L. 108–293 added subsec. (j).
1996—Subsec. (a)(4). Pub. L. 104–324, § 604(c), substituted ‘‘paragraphs (1), (2), and (3)’’ for ‘‘clauses
(1)–(3)’’.
Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 104–324, § 604(a), amended subsec.
(b) generally. Prior to amendment, subsec. (b) read as
follows: ‘‘Equipment subject to regulation under this
section may not be used on any vessel without prior approval as prescribed by regulation.’’
Subsec. (h). Pub. L. 104–324, § 712(1), inserted ‘‘as
measured under section 14502 of this title, or an alternate tonnage measured under section 14302 of this title
as prescribed by the Secretary under section 14104 of
this title’’ after ‘‘300 gross tons’’.
Subsec. (i). Pub. L. 104–324, § 712(2), inserted ‘‘as measured under section 14502 of this title, or an alternate
tonnage measured under section 14302 of this title as
prescribed by the Secretary under section 14104 of this
title’’ after ‘‘500 gross tons’’.
1993—Subsecs. (h), (i). Pub. L. 103–206 added subsecs.
(h) and (i).
1984—Subsec. (g). Pub. L. 98–364 added subsec. (g).
REGULATIONS
Pub. L. 103–206, title V, § 512(b), (c), Dec. 20, 1993, 107
Stat. 2442, provided that:
‘‘(b) The Secretary of Transportation shall, within
twenty-four months of the date of enactment of this
Act [Dec. 20, 1993], prescribe regulations establishing
the structural fire protection, manning, operating, and
equipment requirements for vessels which meet the requirements of subsections (h) and (i) of section 3306 of
title 46, United States Code, as amended by this Act.
‘‘(c) Before the Secretary of Transportation prescribes regulations under subsections (h) and (i) of section 3306 of title 46, United States Code, as amended by
this Act, the Secretary may prescribe the route, service, manning, and equipment for those vessels based on
existing passenger vessel and small passenger vessel
regulations.’’
TOWING VESSELS
Pub. L. 111–281, title VII, § 701(c), Oct. 15, 2010, 124
Stat. 2980, provided that: ‘‘No later than 90 days after
the date of enactment of this Act [Oct. 15, 2010], the
Secretary shall issue a notice of proposed rulemaking
regarding inspection requirements for towing vessels
required under section 3306(j) of title 46, United States
Code. The Secretary shall issue a final rule pursuant to
that rulemaking no later than 1 year after the date of
enactment of this Act.’’
[‘‘Secretary’’ as used in section 701(c) of Pub. L.
111–281, set out above, probably means the Secretary of
the department in which the Coast Guard is operating,
see section 701(a)(1) of Pub. L. 111–281, set out as a note
under section 1321 of Title 33, Navigation and Navigable
Waters.]
FOREIGN APPROVALS
Pub. L. 104–324, title VI, § 604(b), Oct. 19, 1996, 110 Stat.
3931, provided that: ‘‘The Secretary of Transportation,
in consultation with other interested Federal agencies,

Page 49

§ 3309

TITLE 46—SHIPPING

shall work with foreign governments to have those governments approve the use of the same equipment and
materials on vessels documented under the laws of
those countries that the Secretary requires on United
States documented vessels.’’
INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION FOR SAFETY OF LIFE AT
SEA
For International Conventions for the Safety of Life
at Sea to which the United States has been a party, see
section 1602 of Title 33, Navigation and Navigable Waters, and notes thereunder.

§ 3307. Frequency of inspection
Each vessel subject to inspection under this
part shall undergo an initial inspection for certification before being put into service. After
being put into service—
(1) each passenger vessel, nautical school
vessel, and small passenger vessel allowed to
carry more than 12 passengers on a foreign
voyage shall be inspected at least once a year;
and
(2) any other vessel shall be inspected at
least once every 5 years.
(Pub. L. 98–89, Aug. 26, 1983, 97 Stat. 514; Pub. L.
104–324, title VI, § 605(a), Oct. 19, 1996, 110 Stat.
3931.)
HISTORICAL AND REVISION NOTES
Revised section

Source section (U.S. Code)

3307(1) ..........................................
3307(2) ..........................................
3307(3) ..........................................

46:391(c)
46:1295f(c)
46:390a(a)
46:404–1(6)(i)
46:391(b)
46:392(b)
46:404–1(6)(ii)

Section 3307 requires each vessel subject to inspection
to undergo an initial inspection prior to being placed in
service. This is normally started during the construction or reconstruction phase and is a continuing process until final certification for operation in a particular trade. Subsequent periodic inspections are also required for various types of vessels. It is to be noted
that a freight vessel of less than 100 gross tons shall be
inspected at 3 year intervals while the larger freight
vessel has a 2 year inspection period. This is being done
to retain the existing procedure of issuing 3 year certificates of inspection to smaller vessels, however, this
does not prevent periodic inspections or examinations
at intervening periods.
AMENDMENTS
1996—Par. (1). Pub. L. 104–324, § 605(a)(1), substituted
‘‘, nautical school vessel, and small passenger vessel allowed to carry more than 12 passengers on a foreign
voyage’’ for ‘‘and nautical school vessel’’ and inserted
‘‘and’’ at end.
Pars. (2), (3). Pub. L. 104–324, § 605(a)(2), (3), redesignated par. (3) as (2), substituted ‘‘5 years’’ for ‘‘2 years’’,
and struck out former par. (2) which read as follows:
‘‘each small passenger vessel, freight vessel or offshore
supply vessel of less than 100 gross tons, and sailing
school vessel shall be inspected at least once every 3
years; and’’.

§ 3308. Examinations
In addition to inspections required by section
3307 of this title, the Secretary shall examine or
have examined—
(1) each vessel subject to inspection at proper times to ensure compliance with law and
regulations; and
(2) crewmember accommodations on each
vessel subject to inspection at least once a

month or when the vessel enters United States
ports to ensure that the accommodations are—
(A) of the size required by law and regulations;
(B) properly ventilated and in a clean and
sanitary condition; and
(C) equipped with proper plumbing and mechanical appliances required by law and regulations, and the appliances are in good
working condition.
(Pub. L. 98–89, Aug. 26, 1983, 97 Stat. 514; Pub. L.
104–324, title VI, § 603(c), Oct. 19, 1996, 110 Stat.
3930.)
HISTORICAL AND REVISION NOTES
Revised section

Source section (U.S. Code)

3308 ..............................................

46:435
46:660a
46:660b

Section 3308 requires the Secretary to carry out additional inspections as might be necessary to ensure compliance with applicable laws and regulations, and to ensure that accommodations are maintained in a sanitary
condition and that all appliances are in good working
order.
AMENDMENTS
1996—Pub. L. 104–324 inserted ‘‘or have examined’’
after ‘‘examine’’ in introductory provisions.

§ 3309. Certificate of inspection
(a) When an inspection under section 3307 of
this title has been made and a vessel has been
found to be in compliance with the requirements
of law and regulations, a certificate of inspection, in a form prescribed by the Secretary,
shall be issued to the vessel.
(b) The Secretary may issue a temporary certificate of inspection in place of a regular certificate of inspection issued under subsection (a)
of this section.
(c) At least 30 days before the current certificate of inspection issued to a vessel under subsection (a) of this section expires, the owner,
charterer, managing operator, agent, master, or
individual in charge of the vessel shall submit to
the Secretary in writing a notice that the vessel—
(1) will be required to be inspected; or
(2) will not be operated so as to require an
inspection.
(d) A certificate of inspection issued under
this section shall be signed by the senior Coast
Guard member or civilian employee who inspected the vessel, in addition to the officer in
charge of marine inspection.
(Pub. L. 98–89, Aug. 26, 1983, 97 Stat. 515; Pub. L.
98–498, title II, § 211(a), Oct. 19, 1984, 98 Stat. 2303;
Pub. L. 104–324, title VI, § 606, Oct. 19, 1996, 110
Stat. 3931; Pub. L. 111–281, title V, § 522(c), Oct.
15, 2010, 124 Stat. 2957.)
HISTORICAL AND REVISION NOTES
Revised section
3309 ..............................................

Source section (U.S. Code)
46:390c
46:391a(8)
46:395(d)
46:399

Section 3309 provides for the issuance of a certificate
of inspection that attests to the fact that the vessel has


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