United States Code

USC most recently checked for updates: Sep 22, 2020

§ 1980a.
Reimbursement of owner for fee paid to navigate foreign waters if fee inconsistent with international law
(a)
Reimbursable fees

In any case on or after June 15, 1994, in which a vessel of the United States exercising its right of passage is charged a fee by the government of a foreign country to engage in transit passage between points in the United States (including a point in the exclusive economic zone or in an area over which jurisdiction is in dispute), and such fee is regarded by the United States as being inconsistent with international law, the Secretary of State shall, subject to the availability of appropriated funds, reimburse the vessel owner for the amount of any such fee paid under protest.

(b)
Documentation
In seeking such reimbursement, the vessel owner shall provide, together with such other information as the Secretary of State may require—
(1)
a copy of the receipt for payment;
(2)
an affidavit attesting that the owner or the owner’s agent paid the fee under protest; and
(3)
a copy of the vessel’s certificate of documentation.
(c)
Timeliness

Requests for reimbursement shall be made to the Secretary of State within 120 days after the date of payment of the fee, or within 90 days after November 3, 1995, whichever is later.

(d)
Funding; appropriations

Such funds as may be necessary to meet the requirements of this section may be made available from the unobligated balance of previously appropriated funds remaining in the Fishermen’s Protective Fund established under section 1979 of this title. To the extent that requests for reimbursement under this section exceed such funds, there are authorized to be appropriated such sums as may be needed for reimbursements authorized under subsection (a), which shall be deposited in the Fishermen’s Protective Fund established under section 1979 of this title.

(e)
Claim against foreign government

The Secretary of State shall take such action as the Secretary deems appropriate to make and collect claims against the foreign country imposing such fee for any amounts reimbursed under this section.

(f)
“Owner” defined

For purposes of this section, the term “owner” includes any charterer of a vessel of the United States.

(Aug. 27, 1954, ch. 1018, § 11, as added Pub. L. 104–43, title IV, § 402(a), Nov. 3, 1995, 109 Stat. 389.)
cite as: 22 USC 1980a