Summary: S.1139 — 104th Congress (1995-1996)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for S.1139. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Introduced in Senate (08/09/1995)


Title I: Maritime Security

Title II: Operating Flexibility and Regulatory Relief

Title III: Loan Guarantees and Ship Repair

Title IV: Miscellaneous

Maritime Reform and Security Act of 1995 - Title I: Maritime Security - Amends the Merchant Marine Act, 1936 to mandate establishment of a fleet of active, militarily useful, privately-owned vessels to meet national defense and other security requirements and maintain a U.S. presence in international commercial shipping. Requires that fleet vessels have an operating-differential subsidy agreement and be 25 years old or less (for lighter aboard ship vessels) or 15 years old or less (for other types of vessels). Mandates an operating agreement requiring that vessels be operated in the foreign trade (without restriction, notwithstanding specified existing requirements) or in mixed foreign and domestic trade as allowed under specified registry endorsement provisions. Prohibits otherwise operating them in the coastwise trade. Declares that participation in the Fleet shall not subject a contractor to any requirement under specified provisions. Makes the renewable term of the agreement one year and requires renewal if sufficient funds are available. Mandates, subject to the availability of appropriations, annual payments for each vessel.

Establishes an Emergency Preparedness Program under which a fleet vessel, during time of war or national emergency, must make available commercial transportation resources, including vessels or capacity in vessels, intermodal systems and equipment, terminal facilities, intermodal and management services, and other related services as necessary. Requires compensation for resources provided for the commercial diversion period. Allows operation or employment in foreign commerce of a foreign-flag vessel as a temporary replacement for an activated vessel.

Authorizes appropriations.

(Sec. 102) Prohibits operating-differential subsidy (ODS) payments for a vessel 25 years old or older, unless in the public interest. Prohibits new ODS contracts after enactment of this Act. Continues existing contracts until they terminate by their terms. Makes essential services requirements inapplicable to the ODS program in certain circumstances. Allows a vessel, notwithstanding any other provision of law, to be transferred and registered under a foreign registry in specified circumstances.

(Sec. 103) Prohibits, subject to exception, any contractor or related party from receiving payments while it participates in a noncontiguous domestic trade, except with written permission of the Secretary of Transportation. Requires such permission for changes in sailing frequency, capacity, or domestic ports called. Authorizes permission unless the Secretary finds existing service is adequate or the proposed service would result in unfair competition or would be contrary to the objects and policy of the Act. Requires denial of operating agreement payments while unauthorized noncontiguous domestic trade service is provided.

Title II: Operating Flexibility and Regulatory Relief - Declares that provisions prohibiting ODS contractors from operating competing foreign-flag vessels do not preclude owning, chartering, or operating (or some combination thereof) a foreign-flag vessel in specified circumstances.

(Sec. 202) Amends the Shipping Act, 1916 to modify the circumstances under which, notwithstanding certain provisions of law, a vessel may be placed under a foreign registry with the approval of the Secretary of Transportation.

(Sec. 203) Amends the Merchant Marine Act, 1936 to require that, notwithstanding any other provision of law or contract, all restrictions and requirements (under specified provisions) applicable to a liner vessel constructed, reconstructed, or reconditioned with the aid of a construction-differential subsidy terminate 25 years after vessel delivery from the shipyard.

(Sec. 204) Makes a liner vessel which is not documented under specified provisions and which meets specified requirements eligible for a certificate of inspection. Declares that a vessel documented as a U.S.-flag vessel under these provisions continues to be eligible for such a certificate by complying with international agreements and associated guidelines. Allows the Secretary of Transportation to rely on a certification from a classification society accepted by the Secretary to establish that a vessel is in compliance with certain requirements.

Title III: Loan Guarantees and Ship Repair - Amends Federal ship mortgage insurance provisions to mandate: (1) establishment of a system of risk categories, for obligations guaranteed under the provisions, reflecting specified risk factors; and (2) determination for each category of a subsidy rate equivalent to the average annual cost of obligations in the category. Prohibits guaranteeing obligations when the amount guaranteed, multiplied by the subsidy rate, equals or exceeds appropriated funds. Mandates a fee, determined according to a specified formula, for the guarantee of an obligation.

Deems the Secretary of Transportation, for Federal ship mortgage insurance provisions and notwithstanding any other provision of law, to be the "Secretary" with respect to loan guarantee applications to finance the construction, reconstruction, or reconditioning of fishing vessels intended for the export commerce. Prohibits any fishing vessel financed with a Department of Transportation export loan guarantee from engaging in any fishery within the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone.

(Sec. 303) Mandates 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. Requires, subject to appropriations, the award of nine contracts.

Title IV: Miscellaneous - Amends Federal law relating to merchant seamen protection and relief to extend veterans' benefits to an individual who served as a member of the U.S. merchant marine between August 16, 1945, and December 31, 1946, and who, during that period, was licensed or documented as a crewmember of a vessel that at the time of service was: (1) operated by the War Shipping Administration or the Office of Defense Transportation, or an agent thereof; (2) operated in waters other than inland waters, the Great Lakes, other lakes, bays, and harbors of the United States; (3) under contract, charter to, or property of, the U.S. Government; and (4) serving the armed forces.

(Sec. 402) Amends the Merchant Marine Act, 1936 to entitle a merchant mariner who serves during a war, armed conflict, national emergency, or mobilization need to the same reemployment rights as are guaranteed to a member of a Reserve component of the armed forces who is ordered to active duty.

(Sec. 403) Extends the termination date of the authority of the Secretary of Commerce to provide insurance and reinsurance under provisions relating to war risk insurance.

(Sec. 404) Amends the Merchant Ship Sales Act of 1946 to modify one of the circumstances under which a vessel in the National Defense Reserve Fleet may be used, requiring that the Secretary of Defense (currently, the Secretary of the Navy) request the use.

(Sec. 405) Amends Federal law relating to the general duties and powers of the Secretary of Transportation to direct the Secretary to report to the Congress each even-numbered year (currently, each year) on the conditions of U.S. public ports.