46 USC 57532 - Operation of Experimental Vessels

(a) Definition.—In this section, the term "experimental vessel" means a vessel owned by the United States Government (including a vessel in the National Defense Reserve Fleet) that has been constructed, reconditioned, or remodeled for experimental or testing purposes.

(b) Authority To Operate.—The Secretary of Transportation, for the purpose of practical development, trial, and testing, may operate an experimental vessel under a bareboat charter or general agency agreement in the foreign or domestic trade of the United States or for use for the account of a department or agency of the Government, without regard to other provisions of this subtitle and other laws related to chartering and general agency operations. Not more than 10 vessels may be operated and tested under this section in any one year.

(c) Terms of Operation.—Operation of a vessel under this section shall be on terms the Secretary considers appropriate to carry out the purposes of this subtitle. A bareboat charter under this section shall be at reasonable rates and include restrictions the Secretary considers appropriate to protect the public interest, including provisions for recapture of profits under section 57517 of this title. A charter or general agency agreement under this section shall be reviewed annually to determine whether conditions exist to justify continuance of the charter or agreement.

(d) Rights of Seamen.—A seaman engaged in vessel operations of the Secretary under this section and employed through a general agent in connection with a charter or agreement under this section is entitled to all the rights and remedies provided in sections 1(a) and (c), 3(c), and 4 of the Act of March 24, 1943 (50 App. U.S.C. 1291(a), (c), 1293(c), 1294).

(Pub. L. 109–304, §8(c), Oct. 6, 2006, 120 Stat. 1670.)

Historical and Revision Notes


Source (U.S. Code)Source (Statutes at Large)
57532 46 App.:1205. June 29, 1936, ch. 858, title VII, §715, as added July 11, 1956, ch. 574, 70 Stat. 531; Pub. L. 97–31, §12(117), Aug. 6, 1981, 95 Stat. 164.

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Last modified: October 26, 2015