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A Foreign Service post may accept mail addressed to seamen on vessels of the United States and either hold or forward it according to the circumstances. A crew member may call for his mail, or a ship's officer, when depositing the ship's papers, may pick up mail for crew. Mail may be forwarded as instructed in the Register of Shipping and Seamen. The Foreign Service post shall not use public funds to pay postage or customs charges levied against personal mail or packages of seamen.

§ 82.11 Pilot charts and navigation notices.

United States consular officers shall post the pilot charts and notices to mariners published by the United States Naval Oceanographic Office, in a conspicuous place in the Foreign Service offices, and shall call the attention of shipmasters to such charts and notices. § 82.12 Marine notes of protest.

(a) Necessity for personal appearance of master. The taking of the marine note of protest by a United States consular officer is a service for the operators of a vessel. The consular officer shall, therefore, require the master of the vessel to make the protest in person before him, unless the operators have furnished the consular officer with a written statement authorizing the making of the protest by an officer of the vessel other than the master. Under no circumstances shall a consular officer waive personal appearance by the master without the specific authorization of the ship's operators.

(b) Form used. A simple note of protest and all certified copies thereof shall be executed on the face of Form FS-281d. An extended protest and all certified copies thereof shall be executed on the reverse side of Form FS-281d.

(c) Execution of forms. A note of protest shall be prepared in an original and as many carbon copies as necessary to permit furnishing the required number of certified copies. The form should be typed. The original shall be signed, sealed with the consular impression seal, and filed in the Register of Shipping and Seamen binder with other forms relating to the particular entry and clearance of the vessel concerned. The carbon copies of the protest shall be certified and fur

nished to the master of the vessel for his use and for the use of other officers and the owner of the vessel. Consular officers shall not certify any carbon copies which are illegible.

(d) Fees charged. No fees shall be charged for the filing of a marine note of protest by the master of a vessel of the United States. In cases of undocumented American vessels or of foreign vessels, fees in accordance with items 30 and 31 of the Tariff of Fees shall be charged. In those cases where fees are chargeable for this service, consular officers shall not charge an additional fee for certified copies of a marine protest issued at the same time as the original protest but shall charge the fee indicated in item 75 of the Tariff of Fees for copies issued subsequent to the execution of the original protest. The fees for additional copies shall be applicable to American ship operators and agents as well as to foreign shipping interests. § 82.13 Violations of the International Load-Line Convention.

If a vessel of the United States in a foreign port is alleged to be loaded deeper than the draft permissible under the International Load-Line Convention, 1930 (Treaty Series 858), the enforcement authorities of the port are required to notify the consular officer as soon as possible. If the master of the vessel contends that his ship is not violating the Convention, the consular officer shall immediately investigate the matter, and if it appears that the charge is unfounded, he shall protest to the appropriate authorities. A report of every violation charge shall be made to the Department for the information of the United States Coast Guard.

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issued under the terms of the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, 1948, to a vessel of the United States, expires before or at the time the vessel reaches a foreign port, or will expire before the vessel reaches a port of the United States, it may be extended by the consular officer or a new certificate may be issued by authorities of a foreign Government which is a party to the Convention, according to the preference of the master. The request must come from the master. A request or preference expressed by the agent of a United States vessel should not be honored unless the agent is acting at the master's specific request.

(c) Extension procedure abroad. At the instance of the master of a vessel of the United States, a United States consular officer at any foreign port may extend a Convention Certificate in accordance with the provisions of Chapter I, Regulation 13 (b) and (c) of the Convention, if it appears proper and reasonable to do so. An inspection and survey is not a prerequisite for an extension, but the master of the vessel and the chief radio officer in the case of a cargo ship, or the master of the vessel, the chief engineer, and the chief radio officer in the case of a passenger ship, shall be required to furnish an affidavit that to the best of their knowledge and belief, the vessel complies with the applicable requirements of the Convention. The consular officer shall extend the certificate by typing an endorsement. The consular officer shall sign the endorsement and shall seal the document with the consular impression seal.

(d) Issuance procedure abroad. Upon the receipt, by a consular officer at a foreign port within the allegiance of a government which is a party to the Safety Convention, of a request from the master of a cargo vessel that a Safety Radiotelegraphy Certificate or a Safety Equipment Certificate be issued to his vessel, the officer shall, in accordance with the provisions of Chapter I, Regulation 12 of the Convention, request the appropriate local government authorities to inspect the vessel, for compliance with the requirements of the Convention and to issue, under the government's own responsibility, a Safety Radiotelegraphy Certificate or a Safety Equipment Certificate or both to the vessel. The circumstances under which a passenger vessel would require a survey and the issuance of a Safety

Certificate while in a foreign port are not likely to occur. Should such a situation arise, advice shall be requested from the Department, which will confer with the Coast Guard and the Federal Communications Commission and issue instructions to the consular officer. A certificate issued by a government of a country not a party to the Convention has no validity and consular officers at a foreign port within the allegiance of such a country may not request that government to issue any certificate required under the Convention.

(e) Violations of the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, 1948. While the possession of the appropriate International Certificate(s) is evidence that the vessel was complying with the applicable provisions of the Convention at the time the certificate was issued, authorities of a foreign government at a port in which the vessel is, have a right to inspect the vessel for the purpose of determining that it is still complying substantially with these provisions. Should this inspection lead to a requirement being imposed upon the vessel, Chapter I, Regulation 18 of the Convention, requires that the consular officer be informed in writing forthwith of all the circumstances. If the master protests the requirement, the consular officer shall investigate the situation and, if the evidence warrants, shall make representations to the proper authorities. It is not expected that in matters of judgment the decisions of the local authorities shall be questioned (e.g., whether an item of required equipment is worn out or not). But where quantitative standards are prescribed by the Convention (e. g., number of life buoys), a greater number should not be required. Where a requirement is not protested as to justification but will involve delay to the vessel, the consular officer may be able to obtain permission for the ship to depart if the master gives assurance that the deficiency will be made good at the next port of call.

§ 82.15 Shipment of seamen.

When a seaman is shipped before a United States consular officer at a foreign port, the consular officer shall see that the seaman understands all the terms of the contract and the exact nature of the work for which he is engaged. When the shipment of a seaman at another port is reported to a consular offcer for certification, the officer shall, be

fore so certifying, make sure that the seaman understands and has signed the shipping agreement as required. § 82.16 Discharge of seamen.

(a) The master of a vessel of the United States cannot lawfully discharge a seaman in a foreign port without the intervention of the United States consular officer if the seaman signed the shipping agreement before a United States Shipping Commissioner or consular officer; and it is not material in such case that the discharge is made with the seaman's consent or that he has been guilty of misconduct, or is not a citizen of the United States. [7 Op. Att. Gen. 349.] (b) A United States consular officer is authorized to discharge a seaman upon the application of the master of any vessel of the United States or upon the application of any seaman for his own discharge, if such officer is satisfied that the seaman has completed his shipping agreement or is entitled to his discharge under any act of Congress or according to the general principles or usages of maritime law as recognized in the United States. When a request is made for the discharge of a seaman, a consular officer shall inquire carefully into the facts and circumstances, and shall satisfy himself that good and substantial reasons exist for a discharge before granting the application. The seaman must be physically present to be discharged.

(R. S. 4580, as amended; 46 U. S. C. 682) § 82.17

Consular responsibilities

payment of wages.


(a) Wages and extra wages due American seamen. When a United States consular officer discharges a seaman in a foreign port, the officer shall collect and pay to the seaman the arrears of wages and extra wages due him at the time of discharge, unless the seaman elects to accept, instead of immediate payment of the whole or a portion of his wages, a wage voucher signed by both the master and the seaman, evidencing the amount owed the seaman to be paid in future settlement. If a United States consular officer fails to collect the wages, extra wages or wage voucher on behalf of the seaman, the consular officer becomes accountable to the United States for the full amount thereof. The consular officer is not obligated to collect and pay to a seaman wages accruing to him subsequent to the time of his dis

charge, and should not intervene in attempts to collect such wages from the vessel's operators.

(b) Overtime compensation due American seamen. Overtime paid seamen is technically a part of their wages, but is payable under the provisions of maritime collective bargaining agreements. Consular officers are not, therefore, legally responsible for the collection and payment of overtime wages, and should leave disputes in relation to overtime for settlement in the United States where bargaining machinery has been established to handle them. When such a dispute arises, a simple statement may be attached to the wage voucher by the master indicating that any overtime due will be paid by the ship operator on arrival in the United States in accordance with the collective bargaining agreement.

(c) Bonus payments to American seamen. Bonus payments are in a similar category to overtime payments. Such payments may be collected or deferred according to the circumstances. Since masters and consular officers frequently do not have the latest bonus decisions when a seaman is discharged, controversies over bonus payments should be left for settlement upon the seaman's arrival in the United States.

(d) Wages due American seamen of foreign nationality. An American seaman of foreign nationality (see §§ 81.1 (j) and 81.6 (b) of this chapter) is entitled to extra wages on his discharge at a foreign port in all cases where an American seaman who is a United States citizen would be so entitled. On the other hand, an alien seaman as defined in § 81.1 (k) of this chapter is not entitled to extra wages upon discharge. [Fed. Cas. No. 16002; 2 F. Rep. 264]

§ 82.18 Medium for payment of wages.

(a) Currency. Moneys paid under the laws of the United States, by direction of United States consular officers or shipping agents, at any foreign port or place to American seamen as wages, extra or otherwise, shall be paid in United States coin or currency if permissible under the laws of the country in which payment is made; or in local currency at the current bank selling rate for sight drafts on New York prevailing on the date of collection.

(b) Voucher. A seaman discharged at a foreign port shall be given, if he so elects, instead of full or partial payment of his wages at the time of discharge, a

wage voucher signed by the master, evidencing the amount owed the seaman to be paid in future settlement.

§ 82.19

Desertions and failure to rejoin. (a) Obligation of master to report desertions. If the desertion occurs at a foreign port, the master should report the desertion to a United States consular officer within forty-eight hours if possible. If such notification is impossible, the desertion shall be reported at the next port of call where there is a United States consular officer.

(b) Consular responsibility. An alleged desertion shall be carefully investigated by a consular officer. He shall exercise care in interpreting the law and regulations defining desertion from vessels of the United States and shall not consider seamen deserters who are absent without leave or who overstay their leave without intent to sever connection with their vessel. Consular officers shall take every proper measure to discourage and defeat any proceedings on the part of masters under which seamen are permitted or forced to desert and subsequently come to the Foreign Service office for relief. A consular officer shall not certify the desertion statement of any master until satisfied that the desertion was not consented to or abetted by the master or his officers or was not justified by conduct on their part toward the seamen.

(c) Arrest of deserters. Sections 16 and 17 of the act of March 4, 1915, known as the "La Follette Act", forbid the imprisonment of merchant seamen charged with desertion and all provisions of treaties contrary to this policy have been denounced. However, deserters are subject to the laws of the country where they may be, and not infrequently the local authorities detain deserters as persons who have not been lawfully admitted into the country under its immigration laws. In such cases, consular officers shall procure as liberal treatment as possible for the seamen detained, if they are American seamen.

(d) Disposition of deserter's wages on sale of vessel abroad. If the master refuses to comply with the demand, the consular officer shall report the facts by operations memorandum, together with the amount of the balance and the name of the deserter, to the Department. (R. S. 4081, as amended; 22 U.S.C. 258)

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Consular responsibility for offenses outside foreign government's jurisdiction.

AUTHORITY: The provisions of this Part 83 issued under sec. 302, 60 Stat. 1001; 22 U.S.C. 842, unless otherwise noted.

SOURCE: The provisions of this Part 83 appear at 22 F.R. 10852, Dec. 27, 1957, unless otherwise noted.

§ 83.1 Legal right of seamen to protest.

American seamen are entitled by statute to lay before United States consular officers their complaints with regard to provisions, condition of water, the unseaworthiness of their vessel, or continuance of the voyage contrary to agreement. No seaman may be restricted by the master from coming ashore to bring his complaints to the Foreign Service office unless circumstances render this action impossible. In such case the master must advise the consular officer of the seaman's desire to see him, at the same time setting forth the reasons why the seaman is not allowed ashore. Upon receipt of such communication, the consular officer shall proceed to the vessel to hear the complaint and take whatever action is indicated.

§ 83.2 Seamen's rights under collective bargaining agreements.

In practice, the seamen's right to complain is extended to almost any incident aboard ship. However, when seamen approach a Foreign Service office with complaints concerning failure of the master or ship's agents to extend them benefits provided by their collective bargaining agreements in such matters as lodging,

repatriation, food allowances, and the like, the seamen may be informed that consular officers are authorized to protect seamen's rights under the statutes but are not authorized to inject themselves into disputes between parties signatory to collective bargaining agreements. Moreover, most of these agreements contain provisions for settlement of disputes upon completion of the voyage, both operators and unions preferring to use machinery establised at domestic ports for this purpose.

§ 83.3 Seamen's right to survey.

When complaints are received in writing in accordance with statutory requirements, concerning alleged unseaworthiness of a vessel or its improper provisioning, the consular officer must have made or make an appropriate survey. § 83.4 Mandatory survey upon complaint of seamen.

(a) Complaint that condition of vessel is unseaworthy. When a consular officer receives a written complaint signed by the first and second officers or the majority of the crew that their vessel is unseaworthy or unsuitably provided because of its condition, equipment, crew or some other particular, the officer shall have a survey made with or without the consent of the master. In almost every port or port area, there are representatives of one or more classification societies such as American Bureau of Shipping, Lloyds, or Veritas. The consular officer shall arrange for one of these bureaus to make a survey and to report to him on their own form. The consular officer shall certify the report and give it to the master for appropriate action. If there is no classification society in the area, the consular officer shall obtain the services of three qualified persons to make the survey, who will report their findings to him in the same manner as outlined above. In case of complaint of unseaworthiness based upon deficiency of lifesaving equipment, the Certificate of Inspection serves as a criterion.

(b) Complaint regrading provisions or water. When a consular officer receives a written complaint signed by three or more crew members relative to the provisions or water aboard their vessel, he shall examine the provisions or water, or cause them to be examined by competent persons. Report of the findings shall be certified by the consular officer and furnished the master for entry in

the official log and for rectification of conditions if necessary. A report shall also be made to the Judge of the District Court for the district to which the vessel is returning.

(c) Payment of expenses of survey. Sections 659 and 663, title 46 of the United States Code, provide that if a survey reveals that the complaint of the seamen was without good and sufficient cause, the master may retain from the wages of the complainants, divided in proportion to their wages, a sufficient amount to cover costs of such survey. (Exception is made in connection with fishing or whaling vessels or yachts when the survey concerns food or water.) In those surveys where there appears to have been reasonable basis for complaint, the expenses of survey must be borne by the master.

(R.S. 4559, as amended, 4565, as amended; 46 U.S.C. 656, 662)

§ 83.5

Consular investigation of disputes between seamen.

When a dispute arises between the master and the crew of an American vessel or between seamen shipped on such a vessel, a United States consular officer shall investigate the circumstances in any manner appropriate to the situation.

§ 83.6 Consular arbitration of disputes.

A United States consular officer may act as arbiter in a dispute between the master and crew or between the seamen. If possible, arbitration should be conducted on an informal basis and a satisfactory solution worked out orally. However, in the more serious cases, the consular officer should take sworn statements of the parties in interest for possible future action and reference. A consular officer has no authority to try or to punish offending parties.

§ 83.7 Jurisdiction over offenses committed on the high seas.

Under the general principles of international and maritime law, crimes and misdemeanors, committed on the high seas and out of the territorial limits of any state, are cognizable only in the courts of the country to which the vessel belongs. For the purpose of prosecuting such crimes the vessel may be regarded as part of the country of registry. These principles are recognized and enforced by courts of the United States and they are incorporated into Federal statutes.

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