United States Code

USC most recently checked for updates: Sep 21, 2020

§ 55104.
Transportation of passengers between Puerto Rico and other ports in the United States
(a)
Definitions.—
In this section:
(1)
Certificate.—
The term “certificate” means a certificate of financial responsibility for indemnification of passengers for nonperformance of transportation issued by the Federal Maritime Commission under section 44102 of this title.
(2)
Passenger vessel.—
The term “passenger vessel” means a vessel of similar size, or offering similar service, as any other vessel transporting passengers under subsection (b).
(b)
Exemption.—
Except as otherwise provided in this section, a vessel not qualified to engage in the coastwise trade may transport passengers between a port in Puerto Rico and another port in the United States.
(c)
Expiration of Exemption.—
(1)
When coastwise-qualified vessel offering service.—
On a showing to the Secretary of the department in which the Coast Guard is operating, by the vessel owner or charterer, that a United States passenger vessel qualified to engage in the coastwise trade is offering or advertising passenger service between a port in Puerto Rico and another port in the United States pursuant to a certificate, the Secretary shall notify the owner or operator of each vessel transporting passengers under subsection (b) to terminate that transportation within 270 days after the Secretary’s notification. Except as provided in subsection (d), the authority to transport passengers under subsection (b) expires at the end of that 270-day period.
(2)
When non-coastwise-qualified vessel offering service.—
On a showing to the Secretary, by the vessel owner or charterer, that a United States passenger vessel not qualified to engage in the coastwise trade is offering or advertising passenger service between a port in Puerto Rico and another port in the United States pursuant to a certificate, the Secretary shall notify the owner or operator of each foreign vessel transporting passengers under subsection (b) to terminate that transportation within 270 days after the Secretary’s notification. Except as provided in subsection (d), the authority of a foreign vessel to transport passengers under subsection (b) expires at the end of that 270-day period.
(d)
Delaying Expiration.—
If the vessel offering or advertising the service described in subsection (c) has not begun that service within 270 days after the Secretary’s notification, the expiration provided by subsection (c) is delayed until 90 days after the vessel offering or advertising the service begins that service.
(e)
Reinstatement of Exemption.—
If the Secretary finds that the service on which an expiration was based is no longer available, the expired authority to transport passengers is reinstated.
(Pub. L. 109–304, § 8(c), Oct. 6, 2006, 120 Stat. 1633.)
cite as: 46 USC 55104