Text: S.3204 — 110th Congress (2007-2008)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in Senate (06/26/2008)

 
[Congressional Bills 110th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
[S. 3204 Introduced in Senate (IS)]

  2d Session
                                S. 3204

  To amend title 46, United States Code, to establish requirements to 
    ensure the security and safety of passengers and crew on cruise 
                    vessels, and for other purposes.


_______________________________________________________________________


                   IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

                             June 26, 2008

 Mr. Kerry (for himself and Mr. Carper) introduced the following bill; 
    which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Commerce, 
                      Science, and Transportation

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
  To amend title 46, United States Code, to establish requirements to 
    ensure the security and safety of passengers and crew on cruise 
                    vessels, and for other purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE; TABLE OF CONTENTS.

    (a) Short Title.--This Act may be cited as the ``Cruise Vessel 
Security and Safety Act of 2008''.
    (b) Table of Contents.--The table of contents for this Act is as 
follows:

Sec. 1. Short title; table of contents.
Sec. 2. Findings.
Sec. 3. Cruise vessel security and safety requirements.
Sec. 4. Detailing Coast Guard personnel to enforce cruise ship 
                            requirements.
Sec. 5. Study and report on the security needs of passenger vessels.
Sec. 6. Amendment of the Death on the High Seas Act.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

    The Congress makes the following findings:
            (1) There are approximately 200 overnight ocean-going 
        cruise vessels worldwide. The average ocean-going cruise vessel 
        carries 2,000 passengers with a crew of 950 people.
            (2) In 2007 alone, approximately 12,000,000 passengers were 
        projected to take a cruise worldwide.
            (3) Even with these high passenger numbers, few vacationing 
        passengers on cruise vessels fully appreciate their potential 
        vulnerability to crime while on an ocean voyage, and those who 
        are victimized often do not know their legal rights or whom to 
        contact for help in the immediate aftermath of the crime.
            (4) On numerous occasions, sexual violence, the 
        disappearance of passengers from vessels on the high seas, and 
        other serious crimes have occurred during luxury cruises.
            (5) Over the last five years, sexual assault and physical 
        assaults on cruise vessels were the leading crime reported to 
        and investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation with 
        regard to cruise vessel incidents.
            (6) These crimes at sea can involve attacks both by 
        passengers and crewmembers on other passengers and crewmembers.
            (7) There are no Federal statutes or regulations that 
        explicitly require cruise lines to report alleged crimes to 
        United States Government officials, unless such crimes occur 
        within the territorial waters of the United States.
            (8) It is not known precisely how often crimes occur on 
        cruise vessels or exactly how many people have disappeared 
        during ocean voyages because cruise line companies do not make 
        comprehensive, crime-related data readily available to the 
        public.
            (9) Obtaining reliable crime-related cruise data from 
        governmental sources can be difficult, because multiple 
        countries may be involved when a crime occurs on the high seas, 
        including the flag country for the vessel, the country of 
        citizenship of particular passengers, and any countries having 
        special or maritime jurisdiction.
            (10) Due to the absence of law enforcement officials on 
        ocean voyages, it can be difficult or impossible for 
        professional criminal investigators to immediately secure an 
        alleged crime scene on a cruise vessel, recover evidence of an 
        onboard offense, and identify or interview potential witnesses 
        to the alleged crime.
            (11) Most cruise vessels that operate into and out of 
        United States ports are registered under the laws of another 
        country, and investigations and prosecutions of crimes against 
        passengers and crewmembers may involve the laws and authorities 
        of multiple nations.
            (12) To enhance safety of cruise passengers, the owner of 
        these cruise vessels could upgrade, modernize, and retrofit the 
        safety and security infrastructure on such vessels by 
        installing peep holes in passenger room doors, installing 
        security video cameras in targeted areas, and limiting access 
        to passenger rooms to select staff during specific times.

SEC. 3. CRUISE VESSEL SECURITY AND SAFETY REQUIREMENTS.

    (a) In General.--Chapter 35 of title 46, United States Code, is 
amended by adding at the end the following:
``Sec. 3507. Cruise vessel security and safety requirements
    ``(a) Vessel Design, Construction, and Retrofitting Requirements.--
            ``(1) In general.--Each passenger vessel to which this 
        subsection applies shall comply with the following design and 
        construction standards:
                    ``(A) The vessel shall be equipped with ship rails 
                that are located not less than 4\1/2\ feet above the 
                deck.
                    ``(B) Each passenger stateroom and crew cabin shall 
                be equipped with entry doors that include--
                            ``(i) peep holes;
                            ``(ii) security latches; and
                            ``(iii) time sensitive key technology.
                    ``(C) Fire safety codes shall be implemented.
                    ``(D) The vessel shall integrate technology that 
                can be used for detecting passengers who have fallen 
                overboard, to the extent that such technology is 
                available.
            ``(2) Effective date.--The requirements of paragraph (1) 
        shall take effect 36 months after the date of the enactment of 
        the Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act of 2008.
    ``(b) Crew Access to Passenger Staterooms.--The owner, charterer, 
managing operator, master, or individual in charge of a vessel to which 
this section applies shall--
            ``(1) establish and implement procedures and restrictions 
        concerning--
                    ``(A) which crewmembers have access to passenger 
                staterooms; and
                    ``(B) the periods during which they have that 
                access; and
            ``(2) ensure that the procedures and restrictions are fully 
        and properly implemented and periodically reviewed.
    ``(c) Log Book and Reporting Requirements.--
            ``(1) In general.--The owner, charter, managing operator, 
        master, or individual in charge of a vessel to which this 
        section applies shall--
                    ``(A) record in a log book reports on reported 
                deaths, missing individuals, and each significant 
                alleged crime committed on the vessel, and all 
                passenger and crewmember complaints regarding theft, 
                sexual harassment, and assaults; and
                    ``(B) make such log book available--
                            ``(i) upon request to any agent of the 
                        Federal Bureau of Investigation, any member of 
                        the Coast Guard, and any law enforcement 
                        officer; and
                            ``(ii) to the Coast Guard in an electronic 
                        format prescribed by the Commandant.
            ``(2) Details required.--The information recorded under 
        paragraph (1) shall include, at a minimum--
                    ``(A) the type of vessel;
                    ``(B) the name of the cruise line;
                    ``(C) the flag under which the vessel was operating 
                at the time the reported incident occurred;
                    ``(D) the age of the victim;
                    ``(E) the nature of the alleged crime or complaint, 
                as applicable, including whether the perpetrator was a 
                passenger or a crewmember;
                    ``(F) the vessel's position at the time of the 
                incident, if known, or the position of the vessel at 
                the time of the initial report;
                    ``(G) the time, date, and method of the initial 
                report and the law enforcement authority to which the 
                initial report was made;
                    ``(H) the case number or other identifier provided 
                by the law enforcement authority to which the initial 
                report was made; and
                    ``(I) whether the reported incident occurred on 
                land or onboard.
            ``(3) Requirement to report crimes and other information.--
                    ``(A) In general.--The master of a passenger vessel 
                to which this section applies--
                            ``(i) shall contact the nearest Federal 
                        Bureau of Investigation Field Office or Legal 
                        Attache by telephone as soon as possible after 
                        the occurrence on board the vessel of an 
                        incident involving homicide, suspicious death, 
                        a missing United States national, kidnapping, 
                        assault with serious bodily injury, any offense 
                        to which section 2241, 2242, 2243, or 2244(a) 
                        or (c) of title 18, United States Code, 
                        applies, firing or tampering with the vessel, 
                        or theft of money or property in excess of 
                        $10,000 to report the incident;
                          ``(ii) shall furnish a written report of the 
                        incident by facsimile or electronic mail to the 
                        Coast Guard National Command Center and by 
                        facsimile to the Federal Bureau of 
                        Investigation;
                            ``(iii) may report any serious incident 
                        that does not meet the reporting requirements 
                        of clause (i) and that does not require 
                        immediate attention by the Federal Bureau of 
                        Investigation to the nearest Field Office or 
                        Legal Attache by facsimile or electronic mail; 
                        and
                            ``(iv) may report any other criminal 
                        incident involving passengers or crewmembers, 
                        or both, to the proper State or local 
                        government law enforcement authority.
                    ``(B) Incidents to which subparagraph (A) 
                applies.--Subparagraph (A) applies to an incident 
                involving criminal activity if--
                            ``(i) the ship, regardless of registry, is 
                        owned, in whole or in part, by a United States 
                        person, regardless of the nationality of the 
                        victim or perpetrator, and the incident occurs 
                        when the vessel is within the admiralty and 
                        maritime jurisdiction of the United States and 
                        outside the jurisdiction of any State;
                            ``(ii) the incident concerns an offense by 
                        or against a United States national committed 
                        outside the jurisdiction of any nation;
                            ``(iii) the incident occurs in the 
                        Territorial Sea of the United States, 
                        regardless of the nationality of the vessel, 
                        the victim, or the perpetrator; or
                            ``(iv) the incident concerns a victim or 
                        perpetrator who is a United States national on 
                        a vessel during a voyage that departed from or 
                        will arrive at a United States port.
            ``(4) Availability of incident data via internet.--
                    ``(A) Website.--The Secretary shall maintain, on an 
                Internet site of the department in which the Coast 
                Guard is operating, a numerical accounting of the 
                missing persons and alleged crimes recorded in each 
                report filed under paragraph (1)(A). The data shall be 
                updated no less frequently than quarterly, aggregated 
                by cruise line, and each cruise line shall be 
                identified by name.
                    ``(B) Access to website.--Each cruise line taking 
                on or discharging passengers in the United States shall 
                include a link on its Internet website to the website 
                maintained by the Secretary under subparagraph (A).
    ``(d) Crew Database Requirement.--The Secretary shall prescribe 
regulations that require the owner of each vessel to which this section 
applies to participate in the establishment and maintenance of a 
database for reporting all individuals whose employment on such a 
vessel has been terminated for a matter reported under subsection 
(c)(1)(A).
    ``(e) Rape Kits.--The owner of a vessel to which this section 
applies shall--
            ``(1) maintain on the vessel adequate, in-date supplies of 
        anti-retroviral medications and other medications used to 
        prevent sexually transmitted diseases after a sexual assault;
            ``(2) maintain on the vessel equipment and materials for 
        performing a medical examination to investigate whether an 
        individual has been the victim of rape on such vessel;
            ``(3) make available on the vessel at all times an 
        individual licensed to practice as a medical doctor in the 
        United States to promptly perform such an examination upon 
        request and to provide proper medical treatment of a victim, 
        including anti-retroviral medications and other medications 
        that may prevent the transmission of human immunodeficiency 
        virus and other sexually transmitted diseases;
            ``(4) prepare, provide to the individual, and maintain 
        written documentation of the performance and findings of such 
        examination that is signed by the individual and ensure that no 
        medical information is released to the cruise line or any legal 
        representative thereof without the prior knowledge and approval 
        in writing of the victim, or, if the victim is unable to 
        provide written authorization, the victim's next-of-kin; and
            ``(5) provide the individual free and immediate access to--
                    ``(A) a description of the toll-free telephone 
                number and website by which the individual may access 
                the National Sexual Assault Hotline and the National 
                Sexual Assault Online Hotline referred to in section 
                628 of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act 
                of 2006 (Public Law 109-248; 42 U.S.C. 16985);
                    ``(B) information for local law enforcement and the 
                Federal Bureau of Investigation; and
                    ``(C) a private telephone line and Internet-
                accessible computer terminal on the cruise ship by 
                which the individual may confidentially access such 
                hotline services.
    ``(f) Crime Scene Investigation Training for Passenger Vessel 
Crewmembers.--The Secretary, in consultation with the Director of the 
Federal Bureau of Investigation, shall develop a training curriculum 
for crewmembers and law enforcement officials of passenger vessels to 
educate them concerning appropriate methods for collecting evidence at 
a crime scene and proper evidence preservation. The Administrator of 
the Maritime Administration may certify organizations that offer the 
curriculum for training and certification under subsection (g).
    ``(g) Certification Requirement.--Beginning 2 years after the date 
of enactment of the Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act of 2008, no 
passenger vessel may enter a United States port on a voyage (or voyage 
segment) on which a United States citizen is a passenger unless there 
is at least one crewmember onboard who is certified as having 
successfully completed training in the collection of crime scene 
evidence on passenger vessels under subsection (f).
    ``(h) Inspection.--The Secretary shall conduct an annual inspection 
of each passenger vessel seeking to enter a port in the United States 
to determine whether the passenger vessel has adequate equipment to 
investigate covered crimes on the vessel and has at least one 
crewmember who is certified under subsection (f).
    ``(i) Video Recording.--
            ``(1) Requirement to maintain surveillance.--The owner of a 
        vessel to which this section applies shall maintain video 
        surveillance to monitor and document crimes as they occur on 
        the vessel and to provide evidence for the prosecution of such 
        crimes, as determined by the Secretary.
            ``(2) Access to video records.--The owner of a vessel to 
        which this section applies shall provide to law enforcement 
        officials, upon request, a copy of all records of video 
        surveillance that may provide evidence of a crime reported to 
        law enforcement officials.
    ``(j) Safety Information.--The owner of a vessel to which this 
section applies shall--
            ``(1) prominently post in each stateroom and crew cabin and 
        in other places specified by the Secretary information 
        regarding--
                    ``(A) the name of each country the cruise ship will 
                visit during the course of such carriage;
                    ``(B) the locations in such country of the embassy 
                and each consulate of the United States;
                    ``(C) the contact information for the National 
                Sexual Assault Hotline and the National Sexual Assault 
                Online Hotline referred to in section 628 of the Adam 
                Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006 (Public 
                Law 109-248; 42 U.S.C. 16985);
                    ``(D) telephone numbers for the Federal Bureau of 
                Investigation; and
                    ``(E) the degree to which the owner is responsible 
                or liable for the safety of passengers while they are 
                on shore excursions; and
            ``(2) include in mandatory crew training the details of 
        this section, its application, and the determination of the 
        United States to protect its citizens against crimes committed 
        at sea.
    ``(k) Criminal Penalties.--
            ``(1) Penalties.--Any person that violates this section or 
        a regulation under this section shall be fined not more than 
        $250,000 or imprisoned not more than 1 year, or both.
            ``(2) Denial of entry.--The Secretary may deny entry into 
        the United States to a cruise vessel if the owner of the cruise 
        vessel--
                    ``(A) commits an act or omission for which a 
                penalty may be imposed under this subsection; or
                    ``(B) fails to pay a penalty imposed on the owner 
                under this subsection.
    ``(l) Procedures.--Within 6 months after the date of enactment of 
the Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act of 2008, the Secretary shall 
issue guidelines, training curricula, and inspection and certification 
procedures necessary to carry out the requirements of this section.
    ``(m) Regulations.--The Secretary and the Commandant shall each 
issue such regulations as are necessary to implement this section.
    ``(n) Application.--This section applies to any passenger vessel 
that embarks or disembarks passengers in the United States or that is a 
vessel of the United States.''.
    (b) Clerical Amendment.--The table of sections at the beginning of 
such chapter is amended by adding at the end the following:

``3507. Cruise vessel security and safety requirements.''.

SEC. 4. DETAILING COAST GUARD PERSONNEL TO ENFORCE CRUISE SHIP 
              REQUIREMENTS.

    (a) In General.--Section 7(b)(3) of the Ports and Waterways Safety 
Act (33 U.S.C. 1226(b)(3)) is amended to read as follows:
            ``(3) dispatch properly trained and qualified armed Coast 
        Guard Personnel on vessels and public or commercial structures 
        on or adjacent to waters subject to United States 
        jurisdiction--
                    ``(A) to deter or respond to acts of terrorism or 
                transportation security incidents, as defined in 
                section 70101 of title 46, United States Code;
                    ``(B) to act as environmental observers for the 
                purposes of--
                            ``(i) monitoring compliance with the 
                        requirements of all applicable Federal laws and 
                        regulations regarding the discharge of waste 
                        into United States territorial waters;
                            ``(ii) observing operation and maintenance 
                        procedures for onboard waste treatment systems;
                            ``(iii) ensuring the proper handling and 
                        disposal of all hazardous wastes; and
                            ``(iv) verifying logbook entries for all 
                        records required by the Coast Guard related to 
                        waste treatment and disposal; and
                    ``(C) to act as public safety officers for the 
                purposes of--
                            ``(i) assisting vessel passengers and crew, 
                        as needed, with the reporting and investigation 
                        of potential criminal activities occurring on 
                        board vessels to which section 3507 of title 
                        46, United States Code, applies while such 
                        vessels are in United States territorial 
                        waters;
                            ``(ii) securing, to the degree possible, 
                        suspected crime scenes on such vessels; and
                            ``(iii) collecting evidence of alleged 
                        crimes against passengers and crew on such 
                        vessels.''.
    (b) Fees and Charges.--The Commandant of the Coast Guard may 
promulgate regulations under section 9701 of title 33, United States 
Code, establishing charges for services provided by the Coast Guard 
under section 7(b)(3)(C) of the Ports and Waterways Safety Act (33 
U.S.C. 1226(b)(3)(C)) as amended by subsection (a).

SEC. 5. STUDY AND REPORT ON THE SECURITY NEEDS OF PASSENGER VESSELS.

    (a) In General.--Within 3 months after the date of enactment of 
this Act, the Secretary of the department in which the Coast Guard is 
operating shall conduct a study of the security needs of a passenger 
vessel depending on number of passengers on the vessel, and report to 
the Congress findings of the study and recommendations for improving 
security on those vessels.
    (b) Report Contents.--In recommending appropriate security on those 
vessels, the report shall take into account typical crewmember shifts, 
working conditions of crewmembers, and length of voyages.

SEC. 6. AMENDMENT OF THE DEATH ON THE HIGH SEAS ACT.

    (a) Application of Act.--Section 30302 of title 46, United States 
Code, is amended by striking ``3 nautical miles'' and inserting ``12 
nautical miles''.
    (b) Nonapplication to Incidents Within 12-Mile Limit.--Section 
30308 of title 46, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end 
thereof the following:
    ``(c) Incidents Occurring Within 12-Mile Limit.--This chapter does 
not apply if the death of an individual is caused by wrongful act, 
neglect, or default occurring on the high seas 12 nautical miles or 
less from the shore of the United States.''.
    (c) Damages.--Section 30303 of title 46, United States Code, is 
amended--
            (1) by inserting ``and nonpecuniary'' after ``pecuniary''; 
        and
            (2) by adding at the end ``In this section, the term 
        `nonpecuniary loss' means loss of care, comfort, and 
        companionship. The individuals for whose benefit the action is 
        brought may also recover damages for the decedent's pre-death 
        pain and suffering.''.
    (d) Conforming Amendment.--
            (1) Chapter 303 of title 46, United States Code, is amended 
        by striking section 30307.
            (2) The chapter analysis for such chapter is amended by 
        striking the item relating to section 30307.
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