H.R.5509 - United States Cruise Tourism Act of 2002107th Congress (2001-2002)
|Sponsor:||Rep. Brown, Henry E., Jr. [R-SC-1] (Introduced 10/01/2002)|
|Committees:||House - Armed Services; Transportation and Infrastructure|
|Latest Action:||10/28/2002 Executive Comment Requested from DOT.|
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Text: H.R.5509 — 107th Congress (2001-2002)All Bill Information (Except Text)
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Introduced in House (10/01/2002)
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[Congressional Bills 107th Congress] [From the U.S. Government Printing Office] [H.R. 5509 Introduced in House (IH)] 107th CONGRESS 2d Session H. R. 5509 To permit the transportation of passengers between United States ports by certain foreign-flag vessels and to encourage United States-flag vessels to participate in such transportation. _______________________________________________________________________ IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES October 1, 2002 Mr. Brown of South Carolina introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, and in addition to the Committee on Armed Services, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned _______________________________________________________________________ A BILL To permit the transportation of passengers between United States ports by certain foreign-flag vessels and to encourage United States-flag vessels to participate in such transportation. 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 ``United States Cruise Tourism Act of 2002''. SEC. 2. FINDINGS. Congress makes the following findings: (1) Given that there are no longer any United States-flag ocean-going cruise vessels in the domestic market, it is in the interest of the United States to maximize cruise tourism in United States port cities by waiving the requirement that the world's fleet of foreign-flag large ocean-going cruise vessels must travel to foreign ports as a condition to visiting United States port cities. (2) Despite the downturn in United States tourism over the last year, the pleasure cruise industry remains one of the fastest growing segments of the tourism industry, with a record number of North American's cruising in North America in 2002. (3) It is in the interest of the United States to maximize economic return from the growing industry of pleasure cruises-- (A) by encouraging the growth of new cruise itineraries between coastal cities in the United States; (B) by encouraging the use of United States goods, labor, and support services by such industry; and (C) by encouraging cruise vessels to homeport in more United States port cities, in order to place cruises within driving distance of more United States residents. (4) In maximizing the economic benefits to the United States from increased cruise vessel tourism, there is a need-- (A) to ensure that existing employment and economic activity associated with United States-flag vessels (including tour boats, river boats, intracoastal waterway cruise vessels, and ferries) are protected; and (B) to provide for reemergence of a United States- flag cruise vessel industry. (5) Prohibiting cruises between United States ports by foreign-flag vessels when no United States-flag cruise vessels are servicing the domestic cruising market results in the loss of tourist dollars, jobs, and shoreside revenue for United States ports, and greatly disadvantages United States ports and coastal communities in a time when tourism dollars are badly needed. SEC. 3. FOREIGN-FLAG CRUISE VESSELS. (a) Definitions.--In this Act-- (1) Coastwise trade.--The term ``coastwise trade'' means the coastwise trade provided for in section 12106 of title 46, United States Code, and includes trade in the Great Lakes. (2) Cruise vessel.--The term ``cruise vessel'' means a passenger vessel that-- (A) is at least 20,000 gross registered tons; (B) provides a full range of overnight accommodations, entertainment, dining, and other services for its passengers; and (C) has a fixed smoke detection and sprinkler system installed throughout the accommodations and service spaces, or will have such a system installed within the time period required by the 1992 Amendments to the safety of Life at Sea Convention of 1974. (3) Foreign-flag cruise vessel.--The term ``foreign-flag cruise vessel'' does not include a vessel which-- (A) provides ferry services or intra coastal waterway cruises; (B) regularly carries for hire both passengers and vehicles or other cargo; or (C) serves residents of the vessel's ports of call in the United States as a common or frequently used means of transportation between United States ports. (4) Repair and maintenance service.--The term ``repair and maintenance service'' includes alterations and upgrades. (5) Secretary.--The term ``Secretary'' means the Secretary of Transportation. (b) Waiver.--Notwithstanding the provisions of section 8 of the Act of June 19, 1886 (24 Stat. 81, ch. 421; 46 U.S.C. App. 289), or any other provision of law, and except as otherwise provided by this section, the Secretary may approve the transportation of passengers on foreign-flag cruise vessels not otherwise qualified to engage in the coastwise trade between ports in the United States, directly or by way of a foreign port. (c) Exceptions.-- (1) In general.--The Secretary may not approve the transportation of passengers on a foreign-flag cruise vessel pursuant to this section with respect to any coastwise trade that is being served by a United States-flag cruise vessel. (2) United states-flag service initiated after approval of foreign-flag vessel.--Upon a showing to the Secretary, by a United States-flag cruise vessel owner or charterer, that service aboard a cruise vessel qualified to engage in the coastwise trade is being offered or advertised pursuant to a Certificate of Financial Responsibility for Indemnification of Passengers for Nonperformance of Transportation from the Federal Maritime Commission (issued pursuant to section 3 of Public Law 89-777 (46 U.S.C. App. 817e) for service in the coastwise trade on an itinerary substantially similar to that of a foreign-flag cruise vessel transporting passengers under authority of this section, the Secretary shall notify the owner or charterer of each foreign-flag cruise vessel operating on substantially similar itineraries that the Secretary will, within 3 years after the date of notification, terminate such service. (d) Termination.-- (1) In general.--Coastwise trade privileges granted to such owner or charterer of a foreign-flag cruise vessel under this section shall expire on the date that is 3 years after the date of the Secretary's notification described in subsection (c)(2). (2) Exception.--If, at the expiration of the 3-year period specified in paragraph (1), the United States-flag cruise vessel that has been offering or advertising service pursuant to a certificate described in subsection (c)(2) has not entered the coastwise trade described in subsection (c)(2), then the termination of service required by paragraph (1) shall not take effect until 180 days after the date of the entry into that coastwise trade service by the United States-flag cruise vessel. (e) Requirement for Repairs in United States Shipyards.-- (1) In general.--The owner or charterer of a foreign-flag cruise vessel that is qualified to provide coastwise trade service under this section is required to have repair and maintenance service for the vessel performed in the United States during the period that such vessel is qualified for such coastwise trade service, except in a case in which the vessel requires repair and maintenance service while at a distant foreign port (as defined in section 4.80a(a) of title 19, Code of Federal Regulations (or any corresponding similar regulation or ruling)). (2) Action if requirement not met.-- (A) General rule.--If the Secretary determines that the owner or charterer has not met the repair and maintenance service requirement described in paragraph (1), the Secretary shall terminate the coastwise trade privileges granted to the owner or charterer under this section. (B) Waiver.--The Secretary may waive the repair and maintenance service requirement if the Secretary finds that-- (i) the repair and maintenance service is not available in the United States, or (ii) an emergency prevented the owner or charterer from obtaining the service in the United States. (f) Disclaimer.-- (1) In general.--Nothing in this Act shall be construed as affecting or otherwise modifying the authority contained in-- (A) Public Law 87-77 (46 U.S.C. App. 289b) authorizing the transportation of passengers and merchandise in Canadian vessels between ports in Alaska and the United States. (B) Public Law 98-563 (46 U.S.C. App. 289c) permitting the transportation of passengers between Puerto Rico and other United States ports. (2) Jones act.--Except as otherwise expressly provided in this Act, nothing in this Act shall be construed as affecting or modifying the provisions of the Merchant Marine Act, 1920. <all>