46 U.S. Code Section 30915 - Seizures and other proceedings in foreign jurisdictions

(a) In General.—If a vessel or cargo described in section 30908 or 30914 of this title is arrested, attached, or otherwise seized by judicial process in a foreign country, or if an action is brought in a court of a foreign country against the master of such a vessel for a claim arising from the ownership, possession, or operation of the vessel, or the ownership, possession, or carriage of such cargo, the Secretary of State, on request of the Attorney General or another officer authorized by the Attorney General, may direct the United States consul residing at or nearest the place at which the action was brought—

(1) to claim the vessel or cargo as immune from arrest, attachment, or other seizure, and to execute an agreement, stipulation, bond, or undertaking, for the United States or federally-owned corporation, for the release of the vessel or cargo and the prosecution of any appeal; or

(2) if an action has been brought against the master of such a vessel, to enter the appearance of the United States or corporation and to pledge the credit of the United States or corporation to the payment of any judgment and costs in the action.

(b) Arranging Bond or Stipulation.—The Attorney General may—

(1) arrange with a bank, surety company, or other person, whether in the United States or a foreign country, to execute a bond or stipulation; and

(2) pledge the credit of the United States to secure the bond or stipulation.

(c) Payment of Judgment.—The appropriate accounting officer of the United States or corporation may pay a judgment in an action described in subsection (a) on presentation of a copy of the judgment if certified by the clerk of the court and authenticated by—

(1) the certificate and seal of the United States consul claiming the vessel or cargo, or by the consul's successor; and

(2) the certificate of the Secretary as to the official capacity of the consul.

(d) Right To Claim Immunity Not Affected.—This section does not affect the right of the United States to claim immunity of a vessel or cargo from foreign jurisdiction.

46 U.S.C. § 30915 (2021)
Historical and Revision Notes
Historical and Revision Notes


Source (U.S. Code)Source (Statutes at Large)
30915 46 App.:747. Mar. 9, 1920, ch. 95, §7, 41 Stat. 527; Pub. L. 97–31, §12(25)(B), Aug. 6, 1981, 95 Stat. 155.

In this section, references to the Maritime Administration are omitted as unnecessary.

In subsection (a), before paragraph (1), the words "or in connection with", "of the United States in his discretion", and "duly" are omitted as unnecessary. In paragraph (1), the words "as by said court required" are omitted as unnecessary.

In subsection (b)(1), the words "firm, or corporation" are omitted as included in "person" as defined in 1 U.S.C. 1.

Subsection (b)(2) is substituted for "to pledge the credit of the United States to the indemnification of such surety or stipulator as may be required to secure the execution of such bond or stipulation" to eliminate unnecessary words.

In subsection (c), the words "may pay" are substituted for "presentation . . . shall be sufficient evidence . . . for the allowance and payment" to eliminate unnecessary words.

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