- § 731. Territory included under name Puerto Rico
- § 731a. Change of name; Puerto Rico
- § 731b. Organization of a government pursuant to a constitution
- § 731c. Submission of sections 731b to 731e of this title to people of Puerto Rico for referendum; convening of constitutional convention; requisites of constitution
- § 731d. Ratification of constitution by Congress
- § 731e.
- § 732. Repealed.
- § 733. Citizens; former Spanish subjects and children; body politic; name
- § 733a. Citizens; residence in island of citizens of United States
- § 733a-1. Repealed.
- § 733b. Omitted
- § 734. United States laws extended to Puerto Rico; internal revenue receipts covered into treasury
- § 734a. Extension of industrial alcohol and internal revenue laws to Puerto Rico
- § 735. Repealed.
- § 736. Puerto Rican law modified
- § 737. Privileges and immunities
- § 738. Free interchange of merchandise with United States
- § 739. Duties on foreign imports; books and pamphlets in English language
- § 740. Duties and taxes to constitute fund for benefit of Puerto Rico; ports of entry
- § 741. Export duties, taxes, etc.; bonds to anticipate revenues
- § 741a. Internal-revenue taxes; levy and collection; discrimination
- § 742. Acknowledgment of deeds
- § 743. Repealed.
- § 744. Coasting trade laws
- § 745. Tax exempt bonds
- § 745a. Public improvement bonds sold to United States or agency thereof excluded from public indebtedness
- § 745b. Refunding bonds excluded temporarily in computing indebtedness
- § 746. Public lands and buildings; reservations; rights prior to
- § 747. Public property transferred; “control” defined
- § 748. Conveyance by President to people of lands, buildings, etc.
- § 749. Harbors and navigable waters transferred; definitions
- § 750. Repealed.
- § 751. Interstate commerce and certain other laws inapplicable to Puerto Rico
- § 752. Corporate real estate holdings
- §§ 753, 754. Repealed.
- § 755. Omitted
The provisions of this chapter shall apply to the island of Puerto Rico and to the adjacent islands belonging to the United States and waters of those islands; and the name Puerto Rico, as used in this chapter, shall be held to include not only the island of that name, but all the adjacent islands as aforesaid.
From and after May 17, 1932, the island designated “Porto Rico” in the Act entitled “An Act to provide a civil government for Porto Rico, and for other purposes,” approved March 2, 1917, as amended, shall be known and designated as “Puerto Rico.” All laws, regulations, and public documents and records of the United States in which such island is designated or referred to under the name of “Porto Rico” shall be held to refer to such island under and by the name of “Puerto Rico.”
Fully recognizing the principle of government by consent, sections 731b to 731e of this title are now adopted in the nature of a compact so that the people of Puerto Rico may organize a government pursuant to a constitution of their own adoption.
Sections 731b to 731e of this title shall be submitted to the qualified voters of Puerto Rico for acceptance or rejection through an island-wide referendum to be held in accordance with the laws of Puerto Rico. Upon the approval of said sections, by a majority of the voters participating in such referendum, the Legislature of Puerto Rico is authorized to call a constitutional convention to draft a constitution for the said island of Puerto Rico. The said constitution shall provide a republican form of government and shall include a bill of rights.
Upon adoption of the constitution by the people of Puerto Rico, the President of the United States is authorized to transmit such constitution to the Congress of the United States if he finds that such constitution conforms with the applicable provisions of sections 731b to 731e of this title and of the Constitution of the United States.
Upon approval by the Congress the constitution shall become effective in accordance with its terms.
This chapter is continued in force and effect.
All inhabitants continuing to reside in Puerto Rico who were Spanish subjects on the 11th day of April 1899, and then resided in Puerto Rico, and their children born subsequent thereto, shall be deemed and held to be citizens of Puerto Rico, and as such entitled to the protection of the United States, except such as shall have elected to preserve their allegiance to the Crown of Spain on or before the 11th day of April 1900, in accordance with the provisions of the treaty of peace between the United States and Spain entered into on the 11th day of April 1899; and they, together with such citizens of the United States as may reside in Puerto Rico, shall constitute a body politic under the name of the People of Puerto Rico, with governmental powers as hereinafter conferred, and with power to sue and be sued as such.
All citizens of the United States who have resided or who shall after March 4, 1927, reside in the island for one year shall be citizens of Puerto Rico.
The statutory laws of the United States not locally inapplicable, except as hereinbefore or hereinafter otherwise provided, shall have the same force and effect in Puerto Rico as in the United States, except the internal revenue laws other than those contained in the Philippine Trade Act of 1946 [22 U.S.C. 1251 et seq.] or the Philippine Trade Agreement Revision Act of 1955 [22 U.S.C. 1371 et seq.]: Provided, however, That after May 1, 1946, all taxes collected under the internal revenue laws of the United States on articles produced in Puerto Rico and transported to the United States, or consumed in the island shall be covered into the treasury of Puerto Rico.
Title III of the National Prohibition Act, as amended, and all provisions of the internal revenue laws relating to the enforcement thereof, are extended to and made applicable to Puerto Rico from and after August 27, 1935. The Insular Government shall advance to the Treasury of the United States such funds as may be required from time to time by the Secretary of the Treasury for the purpose of defraying all expenses incurred by the Treasury Department in connection with the enforcement in Puerto Rico of the said Title III and regulations promulgated thereunder. The funds so advanced shall be deposited in a separate trust fund in the Treasury of the United States and shall be available to the Treasury Department for the purposes of this section.
So much of the law which was in force at the time of cession, April 11th, 1899, forbidding the marriage of priests, ministers, or followers of any faith because of vows they may have taken, being paragraph 4, article 83, chapter 3, civil code, and which was continued by the order of the secretary of justice of Puerto Rico, dated March 17, 1899, and promulgated by Major General Guy V. Henry, United States Volunteers, is repealed and annulled, and all persons lawfully married in Puerto Rico shall have all the rights and remedies conferred by law upon parties to either civil or religious marriages. Paragraph 1, article 105, section 4, divorce, civil code, and paragraph 2, section 19, of the order of the minister of justice of Puerto Rico, dated March 17, 1899, and promulgated by Major General Guy V. Henry, United States Volunteers, are so amended as to read: “Adultery on the part of either the husband or the wife.”
The rights, privileges, and immunities of citizens of the United States shall be respected in Puerto Rico to the same extent as though Puerto Rico were a State of the Union and subject to the provisions of paragraph 1 of section 2 of article IV of the Constitution of the United States.
All merchandise and articles coming into the United States from Puerto Rico and coming into Puerto Rico from the United States shall be entered at the several ports of entry free of duty and in no event shall any tariff duties be collected on said merchandise or articles.
The same tariffs, customs, and duties shall be levied, collected, and paid upon all articles imported into Puerto Rico from ports other than those of the United States which are required by law to be collected upon articles imported into the United States from foreign countries. All books and pamphlets printed in the English language shall be admitted into Puerto Rico free of duty when imported from the United States.
The duties and taxes collected in Puerto Rico in pursuance of the provisions of this Act, less the cost of collecting the same, and the gross amount of all collections of duties and taxes in the United States upon articles of merchandise coming from Puerto Rico, shall be paid into the treasury of Puerto Rico to be expended as required by law for the government and benefit thereof, and the Secretary of the Treasury shall designate the several ports and subports of entry in Puerto Rico and shall make such rules and regulations and appoint such agents as may be necessary to collect the duties and taxes authorized to be levied, collected, and paid in Puerto Rico by the provisions of this Act, and he shall fix the compensation and provide for the payment thereof of all such officers, agents, and assistants as he may find it necessary to employ to carry out the provisions of law.
No export duties shall be levied or collected on exports from Puerto Rico, but taxes and assessments on property, income taxes, internal revenue, and license fees, and royalties for franchises, privileges, and concessions may be imposed for the purposes of the insular and municipal governments, respectively, as may be provided and defined by the Legislature of Puerto Rico; and when necessary to anticipate taxes and revenues, bonds and other obligations may be issued by Puerto Rico or any municipal government therein as may be provided by law, and to protect the public credit.
The internal-revenue taxes levied by the Legislature of Puerto Rico in pursuance of the authority granted by this chapter on articles, goods, wares, or merchandise may be levied and collected as such legislature may direct, on the articles subject to said tax, as soon as the same are manufactured, sold, used, or brought into the island: Provided, That no discrimination be made between the articles imported from the United States or foreign countries and similar articles produced or manufactured in Puerto Rico. The officials of the Customs and Postal Services of the United States are directed to assist the appropriate officials of the Puerto Rican government in the collection of these taxes.
Deeds and other instruments affecting land situate in the District of Columbia, or any other territory or possession of the United States, may be acknowledged in Puerto Rico before any notary public appointed therein by proper authority, or any officer therein who has ex officio the powers of a notary public. The certificate by such notary shall be accompanied by the certificate of the executive secretary of Puerto Rico to the effect that the notary taking such acknowledgment is in fact such notarial officer.
The coasting trade between Puerto Rico and the United States shall be regulated in accordance with the provisions of law applicable to such trade between any two great coasting districts of the United States.
All bonds issued by the Government of Puerto Rico, or by its authority, shall be exempt from taxation by the Government of the United States, or by the Government of Puerto Rico or of any political or municipal subdivision thereof, or by any State, Territory, or possession, or by any county, municipality, or other municipal subdivision of any State, Territory, or possession of the United States, or by the District of Columbia.
Bonds or other obligations of Puerto Rico or any municipal government therein, payable solely from revenues derived from any public improvement or undertaking (which revenues may include transfers by agreement or otherwise from the regular funds of the issuer in respect of the use by it of the facilities afforded by such improvement or undertaking), and issued and sold to the United States of America or any agency or instrumentality thereof, shall not be considered public indebtedness of the issuer within the meaning of section 745 of this title.
Any bonds or other obligations of Puerto Rico issued after August 3, 1935, for the purpose of retiring previously outstanding bonds or obligations shall not be included in computing the public indebtedness of Puerto Rico under section 745 of this title, until six months after their issue.
All public lands and buildings, not including harbor areas and navigable streams and bodies of water and the submerged lands underlying the same, owned by the United States in the island of Puerto Rico and not reserved by the President of the United States prior to July 1, 1903, pursuant to authority vested in him by law, are granted to the government of Puerto Rico, to be held or disposed of for the use and benefit of the people of said island. Said grant is upon the express condition that the government of Puerto Rico, by proper authority, release to the United States any interest or claim it may have in or upon the lands or buildings reserved by the President as mentioned herein. Nothing herein contained shall be so construed as to affect any legal or equitable rights acquired by the government of Puerto Rico or by any other party, under any contract, lease, or license made by the United States authorities prior to the 1st day of May 1900.
All property which may have been acquired in Puerto Rico by the United States under the cession of Spain in the treaty of peace entered into on the 10th day of December 1898, in any public bridges, road houses, water powers, highways, unnavigable streams and the beds thereof, subterranean waters, mines or minerals under the surface of private lands, all property which at the time of the cession belonged, under the laws of Spain then in force, to the various harbor works boards of Puerto Rico, all the harbor shores, docks, slips, reclaimed lands, and all public lands and buildings not reserved by the United States for public purposes prior to March 2, 1917, is placed under the control of the government of Puerto Rico, to be administered for the benefit of the people of Puerto Rico; and the Legislature of Puerto Rico shall have authority, subject to the limitations imposed upon all its acts, to legislate with respect to all matters, as it may deem advisable. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, as used in this section “control” includes all right, title, and interest in and to and jurisdiction and authority over the aforesaid property and includes proprietary rights of ownership, and the rights of management, administration, leasing, use, and development of such property.
The President may, from time to time, in his discretion, convey to the people of Puerto Rico, such lands, buildings, or interests in lands, or other property now owned by the United States, and within the territorial limits of Puerto Rico as in his opinion are no longer needed for purposes of the United States. And he may from time to time accept by legislative grant from Puerto Rico any lands, buildings, or other interests or property which may be needed for public purposes by the United States.
The harbor areas and navigable streams and bodies of water and submerged lands underlying the same in and around the island of Puerto Rico and the adjacent islands and waters, owned by the United States on March 2, 1917, and not reserved by the United States for public purposes, are placed under the control of the government of Puerto Rico, to be administered in the same manner and subject to the same limitations as the property enumerated in sections 747 and 748 of this title. All laws of the United States for the protection and improvement of the navigable waters of the United States and the preservation of the interests of navigation and commerce, except so far as the same may be locally inapplicable, shall apply to said island and waters and to its adjacent islands and waters. Nothing in this chapter contained shall be construed so as to affect or impair in any manner the terms or conditions of any authorizations, permits, or other powers lawfully granted or exercised or in respect of said waters and submerged lands in and surrounding said island and its adjacent islands by the Secretary of the Army or other authorized officer or agent of the United States prior to March 2, 1917. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, as used in this section (1) “submerged lands underlying navigable bodies of water” include lands permanently or periodically covered by tidal waters up to but not above the line of mean high tide, all lands underlying the navigable bodies of water in and around the island of Puerto Rico and the adjacent islands, and all artificially made, filled in, or reclaimed lands which formerly were lands beneath navigable bodies of water; (2) “navigable bodies of water and submerged lands underlying the same in and around the island of Puerto Rico and the adjacent islands and waters” extend from the coastline of the island of Puerto Rico and the adjacent islands as heretofore or hereafter modified by accretion, erosion, or reliction, seaward to a distance of three marine leagues; (3) “control” includes all right, title, and interest in and to and jurisdiction and authority over the submerged lands underlying the harbor areas and navigable streams and bodies of water in and around the island of Puerto Rico and the adjacent islands and waters, and the natural resources underlying such submerged lands and waters, and includes proprietary rights of ownership, and the rights of management, administration, leasing, use, and development of such natural resources and submerged lands beneath such waters.
Subtitle IV of title 49, and the Safety Appliance Acts and the several amendments made or to be made thereto, shall not apply to Puerto Rico.
No corporation shall be authorized to conduct the business of buying and selling real estate or be permitted to hold or own real estate except such as may be reasonably necessary to enable it to carry out the purposes for which it was created, and every corporation authorized after May 1, 1900, to engage in agriculture shall by its charter be restricted to the ownership and control of not to exceed five hundred acres of land; and this provision shall be held to prevent any member of a corporation engaged in agriculture from being in any wise interested in any other corporation engaged in agriculture. Corporations, however, may loan funds upon real estate security, and purchase real estate when necessary for the collection of loans, but they shall dispose of real estate so obtained within five years after receiving the title. Corporations not organized in Puerto Rico, and doing business therein, shall be bound by the provisions of this section so far as they are applicable.