(a) A passenger vessel of the United States having berth or stateroom accommodations for at least 50 passengers shall be granted a certificate of inspection only if the vessel is constructed of fire-retardant materials. Before November 1, 2008, this section does not apply to any vessel in operation before January 1, 1968, and operating only within the Boundary Line.
(b)(1) When a vessel is exempted from the fire-retardant standards of this section—
(A) the owner or managing operator of the vessel shall notify prospective passengers that the vessel does not comply with applicable fire safety standards due primarily to the wooden construction of passenger berthing areas;
(B) the owner or managing operator of the vessel may not disclaim liability to a passenger for death, injury, or any other loss caused by fire due to the negligence of the owner or managing operator;
(C) the penalties provided in section 3504(c) of this title apply to a violation of this subsection; and
(D) the owner or managing operator of the vessel shall notify the Coast Guard of structural alterations to the vessel, and with regard to those alterations comply with any noncombustible material requirements that the Coast Guard prescribes for nonpublic spaces. Coast Guard requirements shall be consistent with preservation of the historic integrity of the vessel in areas carrying or accessible to passengers or generally visible to the public.
(2) The Secretary shall prescribe regulations under this subsection on the manner in which prospective passengers are to be notified.
(Pub. L. 98–89, Aug. 26, 1983, 97 Stat. 519; Pub. L. 99–307, §1(7)(A), May 19, 1986, 100 Stat. 445; Pub. L. 102–241, §20, Dec. 19, 1991, 105 Stat. 2216; Pub. L. 104–324, title XI, §1133, Oct. 19, 1996, 110 Stat. 3985.)
|Revised section||Source section (U.S. Code)|
Last modified: October 26, 2015