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Federal Boat Safety Act
46 USC CHAPTER 43 - RECREATIONAL VESSELS                    01/05/2009

-EXPCITE-
    TITLE 46 - SHIPPING
    Subtitle II - Vessels and Seamen
    Part B - Inspection and Regulation of Vessels
    CHAPTER 43 - RECREATIONAL VESSELS

-HEAD-
                     CHAPTER 43 - RECREATIONAL VESSELS                

-MISC1-
    Sec.                                                    
    4301.       Application.                                         
    4302.       Regulations.                                         
    4303.       Inspection and testing.                              
    4304.       Importation of nonconforming vessels and equipment.  
    4305.       Exemptions.                                          
    4306.       Federal preemption.                                  
    4307.       Prohibited acts.                                     
    4308.       Termination of unsafe operation.                     
    4309.       Investigation and reporting.                         
    4310.       Repair and replacement of defects.                   
    4311.       Penalties and injunctions.                           

                       HISTORICAL AND REVISION NOTES                  
      Chapter 43 contains the laws applicable to recreational vessels,
    which originated primarily with the enactment of the Federal Boat
    Safety Act of 1971 (Public Law 92-75, 85 Stat. 213). That Act
    embraced a number of activities, but the portion restated in this
    chapter deals with the establishment of national construction and
    performance standards for recreational vessels and their associated
    equipment, the necessary flexible regulatory authority for
    inspection and testing, Federal preemption, certain necessary
    prohibited acts, enforcement authority, investigation and reporting
    requirements, procedures for repair and defect notification, and
    attendant penalties and injunctive relief. These laws are a direct
    response to the dramatic increase in the number of recreational
    boats and the Congressional recognition of the maritime safety
    problems that recreational boating has imposed upon our more than
    25 million miles of waterways.

-End-



-CITE-
    46 USC Sec. 4301                                            01/05/2009

-EXPCITE-
    TITLE 46 - SHIPPING
    Subtitle II - Vessels and Seamen
    Part B - Inspection and Regulation of Vessels
    CHAPTER 43 - RECREATIONAL VESSELS

-HEAD-
    Sec. 4301. Application

-STATUTE-
      (a) This chapter applies to a recreational vessel and associated
    equipment carried in the vessel on waters subject to the
    jurisdiction of the United States (including the territorial sea of
    the United States as described in Presidential Proclamation No.
    5928 of December 27, 1988) and, for a vessel owned in the United
    States, on the high seas.
      (b) Except when expressly otherwise provided, this chapter does
    not apply to a foreign vessel temporarily operating on waters
    subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.
      (c) Until there is a final judicial decision that they are
    navigable waters of the United States, the following waters lying
    entirely in New Hampshire are declared not to be waters subject to
    the jurisdiction of the United States within the meaning of this
    section: Lake Winnisquam, Lake Winnipesaukee, parts of the
    Merrimack River, and their tributary and connecting waters.

-SOURCE-
    (Pub. L. 98-89, Aug. 26, 1983, 97 Stat. 529; Pub. L. 105-383, title
    III, Sec. 301(b)(4), Nov. 13, 1998, 112 Stat. 3417.)

-MISC1-



                       HISTORICAL AND REVISION NOTES                  
    --------------------------------------------------------------------
              Revised section               Source section (U.S. Code) 
    --------------------------------------------------------------------
    4301                                  46:1453                      
    --------------------------------------------------------------------

      Section 4301 provides that this chapter is applicable to a
    recreational vessel that operates on waters subject to the
    jurisdiction of the United States or that is owned in the United
    States and while operating on the high seas.
      It also provides that a foreign recreational vessel that
    temporarily uses our waters is not subject to the requirements of
    this chapter. However, if the vessel remains permanently in the
    United States, it would be subject to the provisions of this
    chapter.
      Section 4301(c) recognizes the ongoing controversy over the
    navigability of certain waters of New Hampshire. While a
    recreational vessel operating on these waters need not meet the
    requirements of this chapter, it would be prohibited from operating
    on any other waters subject to the jurisdiction of the United
    States if it does not comply with these requirements.

-REFTEXT-
                            REFERENCES IN TEXT                       
      Presidential Proclamation No. 5928, referred to in subsec. (a),
    is set out under section 1331 of Title 43, Public Lands.


-MISC2-
                                AMENDMENTS                           
      1998 - Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 105-383 inserted "(including the
    territorial sea of the United States as described in Presidential
    Proclamation No. 5928 of December 27, 1988)" after "of the United
    States".

                              EFFECTIVE DATE                         
      Chapter effective Apr. 15, 1984, see section 2(g)(1) of Pub. L.
    98-89, set out as a note under section 3101 of this title.

-End-



-CITE-
    46 USC Sec. 4302                                            01/05/2009

-EXPCITE-
    TITLE 46 - SHIPPING
    Subtitle II - Vessels and Seamen
    Part B - Inspection and Regulation of Vessels
    CHAPTER 43 - RECREATIONAL VESSELS

-HEAD-
    Sec. 4302. Regulations

-STATUTE-
      (a) The Secretary may prescribe regulations -
        (1) establishing minimum safety standards for recreational
      vessels and associated equipment, and establishing procedures and
      tests required to measure conformance with those standards, with
      each standard -
          (A) meeting the need for recreational vessel safety; and
          (B) being stated, insofar as practicable, in terms of
        performance;

        (2) requiring the installation, carrying, or use of associated
      equipment (including fuel systems, ventilation systems,
      electrical systems, sound-producing devices, firefighting
      equipment, lifesaving devices, signaling devices, ground tackle,
      life- and grab-rails, and navigational equipment) on recreational
      vessels and classes of recreational vessels subject to this
      chapter, and prohibiting the installation, carrying, or use of
      associated equipment that does not conform with safety standards
      established under this section; and
        (3) requiring or permitting the display of seals, labels,
      plates, insignia, or other devices for certifying or evidencing
      compliance with safety regulations and standards of the United
      States Government for recreational vessels and associated
      equipment.

      (b) Each regulation prescribed under this section shall specify
    an effective date that is not earlier than 180 days from the date
    the regulation was published, unless the Secretary finds that there
    exists a recreational vessel safety hazard so critical as to
    require an earlier effective date. However, this period may not be
    more than 24 months for cases involving, in the discretion of the
    Secretary, major product design, retooling, or major changes in the
    manufacturing process.
      (c) In prescribing regulations under this section, the Secretary
    shall, among other things -
        (1) consider the need for and the extent to which the
      regulations will contribute to recreational vessel safety;
        (2) consider relevant available recreational vessel safety
      standards, statistics, and data, including public and private
      research, development, testing, and evaluation;
        (3) not compel substantial alteration of a recreational vessel
      or item of associated equipment that is in existence, or the
      construction or manufacture of which is begun before the
      effective date of the regulation, but subject to that limitation
      may require compliance or performance, to avoid a substantial
      risk of personal injury to the public, that the Secretary
      considers appropriate in relation to the degree of hazard that
      the compliance will correct; and
        (4) consult with the National Boating Safety Advisory Council
      established under section 13110 of this title about the
      considerations referred to in clauses (1)-(3) of this subsection.

      (d) Section 8903 of this title does not apply to a vessel being
    operated for bona fide dealer demonstrations provided without fee
    to business invitees. However, if on the basis of substantial
    evidence, the Secretary decides under this section that requiring
    vessels so operated to be under the control of licensed individuals
    is necessary for boating safety, then the Secretary may prescribe
    regulations requiring the licensing of individuals controlling
    these vessels in the same manner as provided in chapter 89 of this
    title for individuals in control of vessels carrying passengers for
    hire.

-SOURCE-
    (Pub. L. 98-89, Aug. 26, 1983, 97 Stat. 530.)

-MISC1-



                       HISTORICAL AND REVISION NOTES                  
    --------------------------------------------------------------------
              Revised section               Source section (U.S. Code) 
    --------------------------------------------------------------------
    4302                                  46:1454                      
                                          46:1455                      
                                          46:1456                      
                                          46:1464(g)                   
                                          46:1488                      
    --------------------------------------------------------------------

      Section 4302 authorizes the Secretary to prescribe regulations to
    carry out the provisions of this chapter. In lieu of establishing
    specific statutory safety requirements, subsection (a) provides
    flexible regulatory authority to establish uniform standards for
    the design, construction, materials, and performance of the boats
    themselves and all associated equipment. It also provides for the
    display of seals and other devices for certifying or evidencing
    compliance with applicable safety regulations or standards.
      Section 4302(b) requires a regulation prescribed under this
    section to have an effective date that is not earlier than 180 days
    from publication. However, in those instances where a safety hazard
    may be critical an earlier effective date is authorized.
      Section 4302(c) requires the Secretary to consider certain
    objectives in developing regulatory controls and regulations or
    standards and that there must be an effective consultation process.
      Section 4302(d) exempts dealer demonstration boats from the
    requirement of having to be named by a licensed individual when
    demonstrating boats to prospective purchasers or other business
    invitees when no fees are charged. The Secretary may require that
    boats so used be under control of a licensed individual.

          AVAILABILITY AND USE OF EPIRBS FOR RECREATIONAL VESSELS     
      Pub. L. 105-383, title III, Sec. 309, Nov. 13, 1998, 112 Stat.
    3422, provided that: "The Secretary of Transportation, through the
    Coast Guard and in consultation with the National Transportation
    Safety Board and recreational boating organizations, shall, within
    24 months of the date of the enactment of this Act [Nov. 13, 1998],
    assess and report to Congress on the use of emergency position
    indicating beacons (EPIRBs) and similar devices by operators of
    recreational vessels on the Intracoastal Waterway and operators of
    recreational vessels beyond the Boundary Line. The assessment shall
    at a minimum -
        "(1) evaluate the current availability and use of EPIRBs and
      similar devices by the operators of recreational vessels and the
      actual and potential contribution of such devices to recreational
      boating safety; and
        "(2) provide recommendations on policies and programs to
      encourage the availability and use of EPIRBS [sic] and similar
      devices by the operators of recreational vessels."

-End-



-CITE-
    46 USC Sec. 4303                                            01/05/2009

-EXPCITE-
    TITLE 46 - SHIPPING
    Subtitle II - Vessels and Seamen
    Part B - Inspection and Regulation of Vessels
    CHAPTER 43 - RECREATIONAL VESSELS

-HEAD-
    Sec. 4303. Inspection and testing

-STATUTE-
      (a) Subject to regulations, supervision, and reviews that the
    Secretary may prescribe, the Secretary may delegate to a person,
    private or public agency, or organization, or to an officer or
    employee under the supervision of that person or agency, any work,
    business, or function related to the testing, inspection, and
    examination necessary for compliance enforcement and for the
    development of data to enable the Secretary to prescribe
    regulations under section 4302 of this title.
      (b) The Secretary may -
        (1) conduct research, testing, and development necessary to
      carry out this chapter, including the procurement by negotiation
      or otherwise of experimental and other recreational vessels or
      associated equipment for research and testing purposes; and
        (2) subsequently sell those vessels.

-SOURCE-
    (Pub. L. 98-89, Aug. 26, 1983, 97 Stat. 531.)

-MISC1-



                       HISTORICAL AND REVISION NOTES                  
    --------------------------------------------------------------------
              Revised section               Source section (U.S. Code) 
    --------------------------------------------------------------------
    4303                                  46:1457                      
    --------------------------------------------------------------------

      Section 4303 authorizes the Secretary to delegate to certain
    persons or agencies or organizations any work, business, or
    function related to the testing, inspection, and examination
    necessary for compliance enforcement. The Secretary may also
    conduct research, testing, and development necessary to carry out
    this chapter, including procurement of vessels and equipment and
    their subsequent sale. The Committee wishes to make clear that the
    Secretary may sell anything that was purchased to test.

-End-



-CITE-
    46 USC Sec. 4304                                            01/05/2009

-EXPCITE-
    TITLE 46 - SHIPPING
    Subtitle II - Vessels and Seamen
    Part B - Inspection and Regulation of Vessels
    CHAPTER 43 - RECREATIONAL VESSELS

-HEAD-
    Sec. 4304. Importation of nonconforming vessels and equipment

-STATUTE-
      The Secretary and the Secretary of the Treasury may authorize by
    joint regulations the importation of any nonconforming recreational
    vessel or associated equipment on conditions, including providing a
    bond, that will ensure that the recreational vessel or associated
    equipment will be brought into conformity with applicable safety
    regulations and standards of the Government before the vessel or
    equipment is operated on waters subject to the jurisdiction of the
    United States.

-SOURCE-
    (Pub. L. 98-89, Aug. 26, 1983, 97 Stat. 531.)

-MISC1-



                       HISTORICAL AND REVISION NOTES                  
    --------------------------------------------------------------------
              Revised section               Source section (U.S. Code) 
    --------------------------------------------------------------------
    4304                                  46:1460                      
    --------------------------------------------------------------------

      Section 4304 requires the regulation and control of the
    importation of nonconforming recreational vessels and associated
    equipment. This is to assure United States manufacturers that
    foreign imports comply with those regulations and standards in
    effect for United States products so that all manufacturers will be
    on this same competitive footing. This is being done in lieu of
    providing a specific prohibition against the importation of these
    vessels and equipment that might be considered an imposition of a
    non-tariff barrier to trade.

-End-



-CITE-
    46 USC Sec. 4305                                            01/05/2009

-EXPCITE-
    TITLE 46 - SHIPPING
    Subtitle II - Vessels and Seamen
    Part B - Inspection and Regulation of Vessels
    CHAPTER 43 - RECREATIONAL VESSELS

-HEAD-
    Sec. 4305. Exemptions

-STATUTE-
      If the Secretary considers that recreational vessel safety will
    not be adversely affected, the Secretary may issue an exemption
    from this chapter or a regulation prescribed under this chapter.

-SOURCE-
    (Pub. L. 98-89, Aug. 26, 1983, 97 Stat. 531.)

-MISC1-



                       HISTORICAL AND REVISION NOTES                  
    --------------------------------------------------------------------
              Revised section               Source section (U.S. Code) 
    --------------------------------------------------------------------
    4305                                  46:1458                      
    --------------------------------------------------------------------

      Section 4305 permits the Secretary to grant appropriate
    exemptions from the requirements of this chapter when recreational
    vessel safety will not be adversely affected.

-End-



-CITE-
    46 USC Sec. 4306                                            01/05/2009

-EXPCITE-
    TITLE 46 - SHIPPING
    Subtitle II - Vessels and Seamen
    Part B - Inspection and Regulation of Vessels
    CHAPTER 43 - RECREATIONAL VESSELS

-HEAD-
    Sec. 4306. Federal preemption

-STATUTE-
      Unless permitted by the Secretary under section 4305 of this
    title, a State or political subdivision of a State may not
    establish, continue in effect, or enforce a law or regulation
    establishing a recreational vessel or associated equipment
    performance or other safety standard or imposing a requirement for
    associated equipment (except insofar as the State or political
    subdivision may, in the absence of the Secretary's disapproval,
    regulate the carrying or use of marine safety articles to meet
    uniquely hazardous conditions or circumstances within the State)
    that is not identical to a regulation prescribed under section 4302
    of this title.

-SOURCE-
    (Pub. L. 98-89, Aug. 26, 1983, 97 Stat. 531.)

-MISC1-



                       HISTORICAL AND REVISION NOTES                  
    --------------------------------------------------------------------
              Revised section               Source section (U.S. Code) 
    --------------------------------------------------------------------
    4306                                  46:1459                      
                                          46:1460                      
    --------------------------------------------------------------------

      Section 4306 establishes the Federal preemption of recreational
    boating standards and requirements. A State or a political
    subdivision may not establish, continue, or enforce a law or
    regulation establishing a performance or other safety standard that
    is not identical to a Federal standard. The Secretary may grant an
    exemption to a State when the State requirement is one that is
    needed to meet uniquely hazardous conditions or circumstances
    within a State. This is to provide uniform standards without the
    imposition of excessive special requirements by individual States.

-End-



-CITE-
    46 USC Sec. 4307                                            01/05/2009

-EXPCITE-
    TITLE 46 - SHIPPING
    Subtitle II - Vessels and Seamen
    Part B - Inspection and Regulation of Vessels
    CHAPTER 43 - RECREATIONAL VESSELS

-HEAD-
    Sec. 4307. Prohibited acts

-STATUTE-
      (a) A person may not -
        (1) manufacture, construct, assemble, sell or offer for sale,
      introduce or deliver for introduction into interstate commerce,
      or import into the United States, a recreational vessel,
      associated equipment, or component of the vessel or equipment
      unless -
          (A)(i) it conforms with this chapter or a regulation
        prescribed under this chapter; and
          (ii) it does not contain a defect which has been identified,
        in any communication to such person by the Secretary or the
        manufacturer of that vessel, equipment or component, as
        creating a substantial risk of personal injury to the public;
        or
          (B) it is intended only for export and is so labeled, tagged,
        or marked on the recreational vessel or equipment, including
        any markings on the outside of the container in which it is to
        be exported;

        (2) affix, attach, or display a seal, document, label, plate,
      insignia, or other device indicating or suggesting compliance
      with standards of the United States Government on, in, or in
      connection with, a recreational vessel or item of associated
      equipment that is false or misleading; or
        (3) fail to provide a notification as required by this chapter
      or fail to exercise reasonable diligence in carrying out the
      notification and reporting requirements of this chapter.

      (b) A person may not operate a vessel in violation of this
    chapter or a regulation prescribed under this chapter.

-SOURCE-
    (Pub. L. 98-89, Aug. 26, 1983, 97 Stat. 531; Pub. L. 98-557, Sec.
    8(a), Oct. 30, 1984, 98 Stat. 2862.)

-MISC1-



                       HISTORICAL AND REVISION NOTES                  
    --------------------------------------------------------------------
              Revised section               Source section (U.S. Code) 
    --------------------------------------------------------------------
    4307(a)                               46:1461(a)                   
    4307(b)                               46:1461(c)                   
    --------------------------------------------------------------------

      Section 4307 prohibits certain acts in the manufacture and
    operation of recreational vessels.

                                AMENDMENTS                           
      1984 - Subsec. (a)(1)(A). Pub. L. 98-557 designated existing
    provisions as cl. (i), substituted "and" for "or", and added cl.
    (ii).

-End-



-CITE-
    46 USC Sec. 4308                                            01/05/2009

-EXPCITE-
    TITLE 46 - SHIPPING
    Subtitle II - Vessels and Seamen
    Part B - Inspection and Regulation of Vessels
    CHAPTER 43 - RECREATIONAL VESSELS

-HEAD-
    Sec. 4308. Termination of unsafe operation

-STATUTE-
      If an official charged with the enforcement of this chapter
    observes a recreational vessel being operated without sufficient
    lifesaving or firefighting devices or in an overloaded or other
    unsafe condition (as defined in regulations prescribed under this
    chapter) and, in the judgment of the official, the operation
    creates an especially hazardous condition, the official may direct
    the individual in charge of the recreational vessel to take
    immediate and reasonable steps necessary for the safety of
    individuals on board the vessel, including directing the individual
    in charge to return to a mooring and to remain there until the
    situation creating the hazard is corrected or ended.

-SOURCE-
    (Pub. L. 98-89, Aug. 26, 1983, 97 Stat. 532; Pub. L. 99-307, Sec.
    1(9), May 19, 1986, 100 Stat. 445.)

-MISC1-



                       HISTORICAL AND REVISION NOTES                  
    --------------------------------------------------------------------
              Revised section               Source section (U.S. Code) 
    --------------------------------------------------------------------
    4308                                  46:1462                      
    --------------------------------------------------------------------

      Section 4308 authorizes an appropriate official to terminate the
    unsafe operation of recreational vessels. If the official observes
    the vessel being operated without sufficient lifesaving or
    firefighting devices or in an overloaded or other unsafe condition
    (as defined in regulations) and believes the operation creates an
    especially hazardous condition, the operator may be directed to
    take immediate and reasonable steps necessary for safety, including
    returning to a mooring and remaining there until the hazard is
    corrected or ended. This does not prevent the assessment of any
    applicable civil penalties nor the pursuing of appropriate criminal
    action.

                                AMENDMENTS                           
      1986 - Pub. L. 99-307 substituted "individual in charge" for
    "operator" in two places.

-End-



-CITE-
    46 USC Sec. 4309                                            01/05/2009

-EXPCITE-
    TITLE 46 - SHIPPING
    Subtitle II - Vessels and Seamen
    Part B - Inspection and Regulation of Vessels
    CHAPTER 43 - RECREATIONAL VESSELS

-HEAD-
    Sec. 4309. Investigation and reporting

-STATUTE-
      (a) A recreational vessel manufacturer to whom this chapter
    applies shall establish and maintain records and reports and
    provide information the Secretary may require to enable the
    Secretary to decide whether the manufacturer has acted or is acting
    in compliance with this chapter and regulations prescribed under
    this chapter. On request of an officer, employee, or agent
    authorized by the Secretary, a recreational vessel manufacturer
    shall permit the officer, employee, or agent to inspect, at
    reasonable times, factories or other facilities, and records
    related to deciding whether the manufacturer has acted or is acting
    in compliance with this chapter and regulations prescribed under
    this chapter.
      (b) Information reported to or otherwise obtained by the
    Secretary or the representative of the Secretary under this section
    containing or related to a trade secret or other matter referred to
    in section 1905 of title 18, or authorized to be exempt from public
    disclosure by section 552(b) of title 5, is confidential under
    section 1905. However, on approval of the Secretary, the
    information may be disclosed to other officers, employees, or
    agents concerned with carrying out this chapter or when it is
    relevant in a proceeding under this chapter.

-SOURCE-
    (Pub. L. 98-89, Aug. 26, 1983, 97 Stat. 532.)

-MISC1-



                       HISTORICAL AND REVISION NOTES                  
    --------------------------------------------------------------------
              Revised section               Source section (U.S. Code) 
    --------------------------------------------------------------------
    4309                                  46:1463                      
    --------------------------------------------------------------------

      Section 4309 requires the establishment and maintenance of
    certain records by manufacturers, and the inspection and access to
    these records by the Secretary, at reasonable times, so as to
    assure Federal enforcement officials that the manufacturer has
    acted or is in compliance with applicable laws and regulations. It
    also provides protection for matters related to trade secrets and
    exemptions from public disclosure.

-End-



-CITE-
    46 USC Sec. 4310                                            01/05/2009

-EXPCITE-
    TITLE 46 - SHIPPING
    Subtitle II - Vessels and Seamen
    Part B - Inspection and Regulation of Vessels
    CHAPTER 43 - RECREATIONAL VESSELS

-HEAD-
    Sec. 4310. Repair and replacement of defects

-STATUTE-
      (a) In this section, "associated equipment" includes only items
    or classes of associated equipment that the Secretary shall
    prescribe by regulation after deciding that the application of the
    requirements of this section to those items or classes of
    associated equipment is reasonable and in furtherance of this
    chapter.
      (b) If a recreational vessel or associated equipment has left the
    place of manufacture and the recreational vessel manufacturer
    discovers or acquires information that the manufacturer decides, in
    the exercise of reasonable and prudent judgment, indicates that a
    recreational vessel or associated equipment subject to an
    applicable regulation prescribed under section 4302 of this title
    either fails to comply with the regulation, or contains a defect
    that creates a substantial risk of personal injury to the public,
    the manufacturer shall provide notification of the defect or
    failure of compliance as provided by subsections (c) and (d) of
    this section within a reasonable time after the manufacturer has
    discovered the defect.
      (c)(1) The notification required by subsection (b) of this
    section shall be given to the following persons in the following
    manner:
        (A) by first class mail or by certified mail to the first
      purchaser for other than resale, except that the requirement for
      notification of the first purchaser shall be satisfied if the
      recreational vessel manufacturer exercises reasonable diligence
      in establishing and maintaining a list of those purchasers and
      their current addresses, and sends the required notice to each
      person on that list at the address appearing on the list.
        (B) by first class mail or by certified mail to subsequent
      purchasers if known to the manufacturer.
        (C) by first class mail or by certified mail or other more
      expeditious means to the dealers and distributors of the
      recreational vessels or associated equipment.

      (2) The notification required by subsection (b) of this section
    is required to be given only for a defect or failure of compliance
    discovered by the recreational vessel manufacturer within a
    reasonable time after the manufacturer has discovered the defect or
    failure, except that the manufacturer's duty of notification under
    paragraph (1)(A) and (B) of this subsection applies only to a
    defect or failure of compliance discovered by the manufacturer
    within one of the following appropriate periods:
        (A) if a recreational vessel or associated equipment required
      by regulation to have a date of certification affixed, 10 years
      from the date of certification.
        (B) if a recreational vessel or associated equipment not
      required by regulation to have a date of certification affixed,
      10 years from the date of manufacture.

      (d) The notification required by subsection (b) of this section
    shall contain a clear description of the defect or failure to
    comply, an evaluation of the hazard reasonably related to the
    defect or failure, a statement of the measures to correct the
    defect or failure, and an undertaking by the recreational vessel
    manufacturer to take those measures only at the manufacturer's cost
    and expense.
      (e) Each recreational vessel manufacturer shall provide the
    Secretary with a copy of all notices, bulletins, and other
    communications to dealers and distributors of that manufacturer,
    and to purchasers of recreational vessels or associated equipment
    of that manufacturer, about a defect related to safety in the
    recreational vessels or associated equipment, and any failure to
    comply with the regulation or order applicable to the recreational
    vessels or associated equipment. The Secretary may publish or
    otherwise disclose to the public information in the notices or
    other information the Secretary has that the Secretary considers
    will assist in carrying out this chapter. However, the Secretary
    may disclose any information that contains or relates to a trade
    secret only if the Secretary decides that the information is
    necessary to carry out this chapter.
      (f) If, through testing, inspection, investigation, or
    examination of reports, the Secretary decides that a recreational
    vessel or associated equipment to which this chapter applies
    contains a defect related to safety or fails to comply with an
    applicable regulation prescribed under this chapter and
    notification under this chapter is appropriate, the Secretary shall
    notify the recreational vessel manufacturer of the defect or
    failure. The notice shall contain the findings of the Secretary and
    shall include a synopsis of the information on which they are
    based. The manufacturer may then provide the notification required
    by this chapter to the persons designated in this chapter or
    dispute the Secretary's decision. If disputed, the Secretary shall
    provide the manufacturer with an opportunity to present views and
    establish that there is no such defect or failure. When the
    Secretary considers it to be in the public interest, the Secretary
    may publish notice of the proceeding in the Federal Register and
    provide interested persons, including the National Boating Safety
    Advisory Council, with an opportunity to comment. If, after
    presentation by the manufacturer, the Secretary decides that the
    recreational vessel or associated equipment contains a defect
    related to safety or fails to comply with an applicable regulation,
    the Secretary may direct the manufacturer to provide the
    notifications specified in this chapter.
      (g) The Secretary may prescribe regulations to carry out this
    section, including the establishment of procedures that require
    dealers and distributors to assist manufacturers in obtaining
    information required by this section. A regulation prescribed under
    this subsection does not relieve a manufacturer of any obligation
    imposed by this section.

-SOURCE-
    (Pub. L. 98-89, Aug. 26, 1983, 97 Stat. 532; Pub. L. 107-295, title
    IV, Sec. 433, Nov. 25, 2002, 116 Stat. 2129.)

-MISC1-



                       HISTORICAL AND REVISION NOTES                  
    --------------------------------------------------------------------
              Revised section               Source section (U.S. Code) 
    --------------------------------------------------------------------
    4310                                  46:1464                      
    --------------------------------------------------------------------

      Section 4310 imposes certain requirements on a recreational
    vessel and associated equipment manufacturer to provide
    notification of a defect or the failure of compliance after a
    manufacturer discovers the defect or failure. This section spells
    out the procedure for notification and who shall be notified. It
    assures the public of notification while protecting the
    manufacturer from the potential of damaging and inaccurate
    disclosures.

                                AMENDMENTS                           
      2002 - Subsec. (c)(1)(A) to (C). Pub. L. 107-295, Sec. 433(2),
    inserted "by first class mail or" before "by certified mail".
      Subsec. (c)(2)(A), (B). Pub. L. 107-295, Sec. 433(1), substituted
    "10" for "5".

-End-



-CITE-
    46 USC Sec. 4311                                            01/05/2009

-EXPCITE-
    TITLE 46 - SHIPPING
    Subtitle II - Vessels and Seamen
    Part B - Inspection and Regulation of Vessels
    CHAPTER 43 - RECREATIONAL VESSELS

-HEAD-
    Sec. 4311. Penalties and injunctions

-STATUTE-
      (a) A person willfully operating a recreational vessel in
    violation of this chapter or a regulation prescribed under this
    chapter shall be fined not more than $5,000, imprisoned for not
    more than one year, or both.
      (b)(1) A person violating section 4307(a) of this title is liable
    to the United States Government for a civil penalty of not more
    than $5,000, except that the maximum civil penalty may be not more
    than $250,000 for a related series of violations.
      (2) If the Secretary decides under section 4310(f) that a
    recreational vessel or associated equipment contains a defect
    related to safety or fails to comply with an applicable regulation
    and directs the manufacturer to provide the notifications specified
    in this chapter, any person, including a director, officer or
    executive employee of a corporation, who knowingly and willfully
    fails to comply with that order, may be fined not more than
    $10,000, imprisoned for not more than one year, or both.
      (3) When a corporation violates section 4307(a), or fails to
    comply with the Secretary's decision under section 4310(f), any
    director, officer, or executive employee of the corporation who
    knowingly and willfully ordered, or knowingly and willfully
    authorized, a violation is individually liable to the Government
    for a penalty under paragraphs (1) or (2) in addition to the
    corporation. However, the director, officer, or executive employee
    is not liable individually under this subsection if the director,
    officer, or executive employee can demonstrate by a preponderance
    of the evidence that -
        (A) the order or authorization was issued on the basis of a
      decision, in exercising reasonable and prudent judgment, that the
      defect or the nonconformity with standards and regulations
      constituting the violation would not cause or constitute a
      substantial risk of personal injury to the public; and
        (B) at the time of the order or authorization, the director,
      officer, or executive employee advised the Secretary in writing
      of acting under this subparagraph and subparagraph (A).

      (c) A person violating any other provision of this chapter or
    other regulation prescribed under this chapter is liable to the
    Government for a civil penalty of not more than $1,000. If the
    violation involves the operation of a vessel, the vessel also is
    liable in rem for the penalty.
      (d) When a civil penalty of not more than $200 has been assessed
    under this chapter, the Secretary may refer the matter of
    collection of the penalty directly to the United States magistrate
    judge of the jurisdiction in which the person liable may be found
    for collection procedures under supervision of the district court
    and under an order issued by the court delegating this authority
    under section 636(b) of title 28.
      (e) The district courts of the United States have jurisdiction to
    restrain a violation of this chapter, or to restrain the sale,
    offer for sale, introduction or delivery for introduction into
    interstate commerce, or importation into the United States, of a
    recreational vessel or associated equipment that the court decides
    does not conform to safety standards of the Government. A civil
    action under this subsection shall be brought by filing a petition
    by the Attorney General for the Government. When practicable, the
    Secretary shall give notice to a person against whom an action for
    injunctive relief is contemplated and provide the person with an
    opportunity to present views and, except for a knowing and willful
    violation, shall provide the person with a reasonable opportunity
    to achieve compliance. The failure to give notice and provide the
    opportunity does not preclude the granting of appropriate relief by
    the district court.
      (f) A person is not subject to a penalty under this chapter if
    the person -
        (1) establishes that the person did not have reason to know, in
      exercising reasonable care, that a recreational vessel or
      associated equipment does not conform with the applicable safety
      standards of the Government or that the person was not advised by
      the Secretary or the manufacturer of that vessel, equipment or
      component that the vessel, equipment or component contains a
      defect which creates a substantial risk of personal injury to the
      public; or
        (2) holds a certificate issued by the manufacturer of that
      recreational vessel or associated equipment to the effect that
      the recreational vessel or associated equipment conforms to all
      applicable recreational vessel safety standards of the
      Government, unless the person knows or reasonably should have
      known that the recreational vessel or associated equipment does
      not so conform.

      (g) Compliance with this chapter or standards, regulations, or
    orders prescribed under this chapter does not relieve a person from
    liability at common law or under State law.

-SOURCE-
    (Pub. L. 98-89, Aug. 26, 1983, 97 Stat. 534; Pub. L. 98-557, Sec.
    8(b), (c), Oct. 30, 1984, 98 Stat. 2862; Pub. L. 101-650, title
    III, Sec. 321, Dec. 1, 1990, 104 Stat. 5117; Pub. L. 108-293, title
    IV, Sec. 406, Aug. 9, 2004, 118 Stat. 1043; Pub. L. 109-241, title
    IX, Sec. 901(e), July 11, 2006, 120 Stat. 564.)

-MISC1-



                       HISTORICAL AND REVISION NOTES                  
    --------------------------------------------------------------------
              Revised section               Source section (U.S. Code) 
    --------------------------------------------------------------------
    4311(a)                               46:1483                      
    4311(b)                               46:1484(a)                   
    4311(c)                               46:1484(b)                   
    4311(d)                               46:1484(d)                   
    4311(e)                               46:1485                      
    4311(f)                               46:1461(b)                   
    4311(g)                               46:1489                      
    --------------------------------------------------------------------

      Section 4311 provides penalties for violating any of the
    provisions of this chapter or a regulation prescribed under this
    chapter. For a willful violation the penalty is a criminal fine;
    all other penalties are civil in nature.
      A person violating any of the prohibited acts specified in
    section 4307(a)(1) is subject to a maximum civil penalty that can
    go as high as a $100,000 for a related series of violations.
    However, the section provides for no liability for good faith
    reliance on certifications of compliance by others within the chain
    of responsibility and for defects that are not within an
    individual's responsibility or control.
      This section also contains an alternate procedure for the
    collection of a civil penalty of not more than $200 through a U.S.
    magistrate in lieu of the civil penalty procedures of the Coast
    Guard. It also directs the district courts of the United States to
    restrain the sale, offer for sale, introduction or delivery for
    introduction into interstate commerce, or importation of a
    recreational vessel or associated equipment that does not conform
    to applicable safety standards. Finally, compliance with this
    chapter or standards, regulations, or orders does not relieve a
    person from liability at common law or under State law.

                                AMENDMENTS                           
      2006 - Subsec. (b)(1). Pub. L. 109-241 inserted a space after
    "4307(a)".
      2004 - Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 108-293 amended subsec. (b)
    generally. Prior to amendment, subsec. (b) read as follows: "A
    person violating section 4307(a)(1) of this title is liable to the
    United States Government for a civil penalty of not more than
    $2,000, except that the maximum civil penalty may be not more than
    $100,000 for a related series of violations. When a corporation
    violates section 4307(a)(1), any director, officer, or executive
    employee of the corporation who knowingly and willfully ordered, or
    knowingly and willfully authorized, a violation is individually
    liable to the Government for the penalty, in addition to the
    corporation. However, the director, officer, or executive employee
    is not liable individually under this subsection if the director,
    officer, or executive employee can demonstrate by a preponderance
    of the evidence that -
        "(1) the order or authorization was issued on the basis of a
      decision, in exercising reasonable and prudent judgment, that the
      defect or the nonconformity with standards and regulations
      constituting the violation would not cause or constitute a
      substantial risk of personal injury to the public; and
        "(2) at the time of the order or authorization, the director,
      officer, or executive employee advised the Secretary in writing
      of acting under this clause and clause (1) of this subsection."
      1984 - Subsec. (b)(1). Pub. L. 98-557, Sec. 8(b), inserted
    "defect or the" before "nonconformity".
      Subsec. (f)(1). Pub. L. 98-557, Sec. 8(c), inserted provisions
    relating to advice by the Secretary or manufacturer of the vessel,
    equipment or component respecting defects creating substantial risk
    of personal injury to the public.

-CHANGE-
                              CHANGE OF NAME                         
      "United States magistrate judge" substituted for "United States
    magistrate" in subsec. (d) pursuant to section 321 of Pub. L. 101-
    650, set out as a note under section 631 of Title 28, Judiciary
    and Judicial Procedure.

-End-