Summary: H.R.4003 — 103rd Congress (1993-1994)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Passed House amended (08/02/1994)


Title I: Maritime Security and Competitiveness

Title II: Maritime Administration

Title III: Tonnage Duties

Maritime Security and Competitiveness Act of 1994 - Title I: Maritime Security and Competitiveness - Amends the Merchant Marine Act, 1936 to direct the Secretary of Transportation to carry out such Act in a manner that ensures the existence of an operating fleet of U.S. documented vessels that is sufficient to carry the domestic waterborne commerce of the United States and that meets other specified goals.

(Sec. 102) Directs the Secretary to establish a Maritime Security Fleet to enhance sealift capabilities and maintain a presence of U.S. documented vessels in international commercial shipping, consisting of privately owned, U.S. documented, active commercial vessels for which operating agreements are in effect.

Sets forth provisions regarding: (1) vessel eligibility; (2) operating agreements; (3) noncontiguous trade restrictions; (4) operating competing foreign vessels; and (5) funding.

(Sec. 103) Continues specified contracts in effect under title VI of such Act (subsidy for the operation of vessels in foreign trade or off-season cruises), with exceptions. Limits the application of restrictions on operations under specified circumstances.

(Sec. 104) Terminates restrictions applicable to a liner vessel constructed, reconstructed, or reconditioned with the aid of a construction differential subsidy 25 years after the date of the original delivery of the vessel from the shipyard.

(Sec. 106) Revises the definition of "privately owned U.S.-flag commercial vessel" to mean a privately owned vessel that is documented under such Act and that: (l) was built in the United States; or (2) is built under a contract entered into after May 19, 1993, in a foreign shipyard that is not a foreign subsidized shipyard; or (3) does not transport on any voyage more than 12,000 tons of bulk cargo and meets other specified requirements.

(Sec. 107) Repeals specified mortgagee, trustee, and mortgage restrictions. Permits a certificate of documentation for a vessel to be endorsed with a coastwise endorsement if specified conditions are met.

(Sec. 108) Sets forth conditions under which a vessel may be placed under a foreign registry without the Secretary's approval.

(Sec. 109) Authorizes the Secretary to pay assistance to the owner of a shipyard located in the United States for the construction of any commercial vessel that is one of a series of vessels.

Sets forth provisions regarding: (1) series transition payments and construction agreements; (2) applications for assistance; (3) restrictions on vessel operations; (4) vessel design awards; and (5) expansion of standing for maritime unions.

(Sec. 113) Directs the Secretary to study and report to the Congress on the impact of this Act on the international competitiveness of U.S. documented vessels and specified related issues.

(Sec. 114) Sets forth provisions regarding: (1) cargo preference; (2) wages for which a preferred maritime lien may be established; and (3) compliance with the Buy American Act.

Title II: Maritime Administration - Maritime Administration Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1995 - Authorizes appropriations to the Secretary for use for the Maritime Administration. Directs the Secretary to use proceeds derived from the sale or disposal of National Defense Reserve Fleet vessels for specified purposes, including facility and ship maintenance, equipment acquisition, and certain fuel costs.

(Sec. 203) Provides for the reimbursement of certain fees by State maritime academies. Authorizes appropriations.

(Sec. 204) Sets forth provisions regarding: (1) termination of conditions for State maritime academy assistance; (2) maintenance contracts for National Defense Reserve Fleet Vessels; and (3) maintenance of Ready Reserve Force vessels in reduced operating status.

(Sec. 207) Directs the Secretary to conduct a pilot program to evaluate the feasibility of using long-term contracts for the maintenance and repair of outported vessels in the Ready Reserve Force to enhance the readiness of those vessels.

(Sec. 208) Sets forth provisions regarding: (1) the Coast Guard Maritime Academy Reserve Training Program; and (2) reemployment rights for certain merchant seamen.

(Sec. 211) Directs the Secretary to: (1) establish a pilot program for Sealift Training at the Massachusetts Maritime Academy; and (2) pay a specified sum to the Academy for assistance to the Massachusetts Center for Marine Environmental Protection.

(Sec. 213) Requires the Secretary to report on: (1) the feasibility of conducting on Ready Reserve Force vessels a program to familiarize civilian merchant mariners with the operation of those vessels to facilitate national defense mobilizations; (2) the ability of the Coast Guard to track the availability of qualified civilian merchant mariners for service on such vessels during mobilizations; and (3) fostering and maintaining a U.S. merchant marine capable of meeting economic and national security requirements.

(Sec. 217) Directs the Secretary to study and report to the Congress on the feasibility of establishing a program of financial assistance to qualified ship repair yards to make those yards more competitive in international ship repair markets.

(Sec. 218) Authorizes the Secretary to make grants to qualified ship repair yards to pay 75 percent of the cost of acquiring advanced and modern ship repair technology.

Title III: Tonnage Duties - Increases tonnage duty imposed on certain entries into the United States.

(Sec. 303) Directs the Secretary to expeditiously enter into agreements under the Maritime Security and Competitiveness Act of 1993, subject to specified requirements. Prohibits the Secretary from entering into agreements under that or this Act which would result in total payments for any fiscal year in excess of specified limitations.

(Sec. 304) Authorizes appropriations necessary for entering into and making payments under agreements under such Act.

(Sec. 306) Expresses the sense of the Congress that equipment and products purchased with funds made available in this Act should be American-made. Requires Federal agency heads to provide notice of such statement in providing financial assistance to, or entering into contracts with, entities using funds made available in this Act.