47 U.S. Code Section 352 - Exemptions

(a) Vessels excepted

The provisions of this part shall not apply to—

(1) A ship of war;

(2) A ship of the United States belonging to and operated by the Government, except a ship of the Maritime Administration of the Department of Transportation, the Inland and Coastwise Waterways Service, or the Panama Canal Company;

(3) A foreign ship belonging to a country which is a party to any Safety Convention in force between the United States and that country which ship carries a valid certificate exempting said ship from the radio provisions of that Convention, or which ship conforms to the radio requirements of such Convention or Regulations and has on board a valid certificate to that effect, or which ship is not subject to the radio provisions of any such Convention;

(4) Yachts of less than six hundred gross tons not subject to the radio provisions of the Safety Convention;

(5) Vessels in tow;

(6) A ship navigating solely on any bays, sounds, rivers, or protected waters within the jurisdiction of the United States, or to a ship leaving or attempting to leave any harbor or port of the United States for a voyage solely on any bays, sounds, rivers, or protected waters within the jurisdiction of the United States;

(7) A ship navigating solely on the Great Lakes of North America and the River Saint Lawrence as far east as a straight line drawn from Cap des Rosiers to West Point, Anticosti Island, and, on the north side of Anticosti Island, the sixty-third meridian, or to a ship leaving or attempting to leave any harbor or port of the United States for a voyage solely on such waters and within such area;

(8) A ship which is navigated during the course of a voyage both on the Great Lakes of North America and in the open sea, during the period while such ship is being navigated within the Great Lakes of North America and their connecting and tributary waters as far east as the lower exit of the Saint Lambert lock at Montreal in the Province of Quebec, Canada.

(b) Radio station unreasonable or unnecessary

Except for nuclear ships, the Commission may, if it considers that the route or the conditions of the voyage or other circumstances are such as to render a radio station unreasonable or unnecessary for the purposes of this part, exempt from the provisions of this part any ship or class of ships which falls within any of the following descriptions:

(1) Passenger ships which in the course of their voyage do not go more than twenty nautical miles from the nearest land or, alternatively, do not go more than two hundred nautical miles between two consecutive ports;

(2) Cargo ships which in the course of their voyage do not go more than one hundred and fifty nautical miles from the nearest land;

(3) Passenger vessels of less than one hundred gross tons not subject to the radio provisions of the Safety Convention;

(4) Sailing ships.

(c) Unforeseeable equipment failures

If, because of unforeseeable failure of equipment, a ship is unable to comply with the equipment requirements of this part without undue delay of the ship, the mileage limitations set forth in paragraphs (1) and (2) of subsection (b) shall not apply: Provided, That exemption of the ship is found to be reasonable or necessary in accordance with subsection (b) to permit the ship to proceed to a port where the equipment deficiency may be remedied.

(d) Radio direction finding apparatus unreasonable or unnecessary

Except for nuclear ships, and except for ships of five thousand gross tons and upward which are subject to the Safety Convention, the Commission may exempt from the requirements, for radio direction finding apparatus, of this part and of the Safety Convention, any ship which falls within the descriptions set forth in paragraphs (1), (2), (3), and (4) of subsection (b) of this section, if it considers that the route or conditions of the voyage or other circumstances are such as to render such apparatus unreasonable or unnecessary.

Annotations
Citation
47 U.S.C. § 352 (2021)
References
References in Text

Panama Canal Company, referred to in subsec. (a)(2), deemed to refer to Panama Canal Commission, see section 3602(b)(5) of Title 22, Foreign Relations and Intercourse.

Amendments

1981—Subsec. (a)(2). Pub. L. 97–31 substituted "Maritime Administration of the Department of Transportation" for "United States Maritime Commission". For prior transfers of functions, see Transfer of Functions note set out below.

1965—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 89–121, §3(a), added pars. (6) to (8) and struck out former par. (6) which made the provisions of this part inapplicable to a vessel navigating solely on the Great Lakes, or on any bays, sounds, rivers, or protected waters within the jurisdiction of the United States, or to a vessel leaving or attempting to leave any harbor or port of the United States for a voyage solely on the Great Lakes, or on any bays, sounds, rivers, or protected waters within the jurisdiction of the United States.

Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 89–121, §3(b), excepted nuclear ships and substituted "or, alternatively, do not go more than two hundred nautical miles" for "or more than two hundred nautical miles".

Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 89–121, §3(c), added subsec. (d).

1954—Subsec. (a)(3). Act Aug. 13, 1954, §1(b), substituted "any Safety Convention in force between the United States and that country" for "the Safety Convention and" and inserted at end "or which ship is not subject to the radio provisions of any such Convention".

Subsec. (c). Act Aug. 13, 1954, §1(c), added subsec. (c).

1950—Subsec. (a)(2). Act Sept. 26, 1950, substituted "Panama Canal Company" for "Panama Railroad Company".

Effective Date

Section effective May 20, 1937, unless deferred by the Commission, see section 16 of act May 20, 1937, set out as a note under section 351 of this title.

Miscellaneous
Exemption of Commercial Fishing Vessels Operating in Alaskan Region from Global Maritime Distress and Safety System Requirements of Federal Communications Commission

Pub. L. 116–283, div. G, title LVXXXIII [LXXXIII], §8336, Jan. 1, 2021, 134 Stat. 4708, provided that:

"(a) Definition of Secretary.—In this section, the term 'Secretary' means the Secretary of the department in which the Coast Guard is operating.

"(b) Exemption.—Subject to subsection (c), the Federal Communications Commission shall exempt fishing vessels that primarily operate in the Alaskan Region, including fishing vessels that transit from States in the Pacific Northwest to conduct fishing operations in the Alaskan Region, from the requirements relating to carriage of VHF–DSC and MF–DSC equipment under subpart W of part 80 of title 47, Code of Federal Regulations, or any successor regulation.

"(c) Functional Requirements.—A fishing vessel exempted under subsection (b) shall—

"(1) be capable of transmitting ship-to-shore distress alerts using not fewer than 2 separate and independent systems, each using a different radio communication service;

"(2) be equipped with—

"(A) a VHF radiotelephone installation;

"(B) an MF or HF radiotelephone installation;

"(C) a Category 1, 406.0–406.1 MHz EPIRB meeting the requirements of section 80.1061 of title 47, Code of Federal Regulations, or any successor regulation;

"(D) a NAVTEX receiver meeting the requirements of section 80.1101(c)(1) of title 47, Code of Federal Regulations, or any successor regulation;

"(E) survival craft equipment meeting the requirements of section 80.1095 of title 47, Code of Federal Regulations, or any successor regulation; and

"(F) a Search and Rescue Transponder meeting the requirements of section 80.1101(c)(6) of title 47, Code of Federal Regulations, or any successor regulation;

"(3) maintain a continuous watch on VHF Channel 16; and

"(4) as an alternative to the equipment listed in subparagraphs (A) through (F) of paragraph (2), carry equipment found by the Federal Communications Commission, in consultation with the Secretary, to be equivalent or superior with respect to ensuring the safety of the vessel.

"(d) Definition of Alaskan Region.—Not later than 30 days after the date of enactment of this Act [Jan. 1, 2021], the Secretary shall define the term 'Alaskan Region' for purposes of this section. The Secretary shall include in the definition of such term the area of responsibility of Coast Guard District 17."

Transfer of Functions

For transfer of functions of United States Maritime Commission, see Reorg. Plan No. 21 of 1950 and Reorg. Plan No. 7 of 1961, set out in the Appendix to Title 5, Government Organization and Employees.

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