Text: H.R.5509 — 107th Congress (2001-2002)All Bill Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (10/01/2002)

[Congressional Bills 107th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
[H.R. 5509 Introduced in House (IH)]

  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.



                            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 


                                 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,


    This Act may be cited as the ``United States Cruise Tourism Act of 


    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 
                    (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 
            (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; 
                    (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 


    (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 
    (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 
                    (B) Waiver.--The Secretary may waive the repair and 
                maintenance service requirement if the Secretary finds 
                            (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.