Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Passed House amended (10/06/1988)

(Measure passed House, amended)

Territorial Sea and Contiguous Zone Extension Act of 1988 - Title I: Extension of Territorial Sea and Contiguous Zone - Declares that, upon issuance of a proclamation, the territorial sea of the United States consists of the ocean waters adjacent to the baseline of the United States, as the baseline is established in accordance with international law, for a distance of 12 nautical miles from the nearest point of the baseline, the seabed and subsoil, and the airspace above the water. Declares that U.S. sovereignty exists in accordance with international law over such areas.

Declares that, upon issuance of a presidential proclamation, the contiguous zone of the United States consists of the zone of ocean waters extending 24 nautical miles from the baseline from which the seaward extent of the territorial sea is measured. Declares that the United States has authority to conduct activities in the zone relating to U.S. customs, fiscal, immigration, and sanitary laws and regulations.

Amends the Tariff Act of 1930 to increase the distance covered by the term "customs waters" from four leagues to 24 nautical miles.

Declares that, except for provisions of this Act dealing with the term "customs waters" and except for laws enacted after enactment of this Act, the legal rights, jurisdiction, and authority of the States, territories, and possessions of the United States and the statutory and regulatory authorities of Federal agencies are not extended by the extension (by this Act or by presidential proclamation) of the territorial sea or the contiguous zone.

Declares that nothing in this Act impairs: (1) the right of innocent passage through the U.S. territorial sea or the right of transit passage through international straits; or (2) the determination, in accordance with international law and equitable principles, of any maritime boundary with a foreign nation or foreign jurisdiction.

Title II: Establishment of a Territorial Sea Commission - Establishes the Territorial Sea Commission (the Commission), composed of members to be appointed by the President. Requires the number of members representing State interests to equal the number representing Federal interests. Requires the Commission to have eight congressional advisors to advise the Commission in the formulation of findings and recommendations. Requires the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to also advise the Commission.

Requires the Commission to review U.S. statutes and make legislative and other recommendations as necessary to implement the 12-nautical mile territorial sea and 24-nautical mile contiguous zone of the United States.

Outlines powers of the Commission and sets forth administrative provisions.

Directs the Commission, no later than one year after it first meets, to submit simultaneously to the President and to each House of the Congress a final report on the recommendations developed under this Act. Terminates the Commission 30 days after such report is submitted.

Authorizes appropriations.