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(a) Owners or operators of vessels of the United States. The owner of a vessel of the United States is responsible for the payment of burial expenses of a seaman from the vessel, if such owner would have been liable for the seaman's care, subsistence and repatriation but for the seaman's death. The burial expenses are properly chargeable to the ship and may not be deducted from the seaman's wages.
(b) United States Government. Burial expenses are paid by the Government only in cases where the circumstances would have warranted expenditure of Government funds for the seaman's maintenance and repatriation if he had not died. The expenses chargeable to the Government are for preparation of the remains and ordinary expenses of interment in foreign countries or in territories and possessions of the United States. A United States flag may be used to drape the casket. Although charges for flowers, religious services, and other similar items, which are not necessary for interment, are not allowable, the service should be conducted with dignity. Vouchers covering burial expenses must be fully itemized to show the cost of each item.
Shipment of remains.
No appropriation is available for the shipment of remains of seamen. [Comp. Gen. A-53494, June 14, 1934.] However, if the family of a seaman desires the return of his body at their expense, the same procedure will be followed as in returning the bodies of other American citizens.
Reports of death.
(a) Reports to the Department. When knowledge of the death of any American seaman or of any United States citizen serving on a foreign vessel reaches a United States consular officer, he shall report such death promptly to the Department.
§ 85.4 Custody of effects of American
(a) Seamen dying aboard ship. When any American seaman, belonging to or sent home on any merchant vessel whose voyage is to terminate in the United States, dies during such voyage, the master should take charge of all monies, clothes, and effects left on board by the seaman. If the ship touches or remains at a foreign port before coming to any port of the United States, the master should report the case to the consular officer there, and give such officer any information he requires as to the destination of the ship and the length of the voyage. Thereupon such officer may, if he considers it expedient, require the said effects, money and wages to be delivered and paid to him. Upon that being being done he shall give the master a receipt therefor on Form FS-85. The consular officer shall also endorse and certify upon the agreement with the crew the particulars of such delivery and payment. If he does not require the delivery and payment, he shall obtain from the master a statement of the seaman's account with the vessel, and transmit a copy thereof to the Department. If the ship is sold in a foreign port and the master has in his possession the effects, money, and wages of a deceased seaman, the consular officer may require them to be delivered to him.
(b) Reports to relatives. The consular officer will when 'practicable, communicate information relative to the death of a United States citizen seaman or an American seaman of foreign nationality to the next of kin, or other interested persons, sending all available and proper data.
of deceased American seamen not sold and all wages or moneys coming into the possession of a consular officer under any of the foregoing provisions shall likewise be remitted to the district court for administration. However, certificates and identificaton papers issued by Government agencies should be transmitted to the Department for return to the issuing agency.
(R.S. 4541 as amended; 46 U.S.C. 624) Defrayal of expenses.
Costs arising in connection with transmittal to the court of the monies and effects of a deceased seaman, such as a bank draft or transportation charges, are properly chargeable to the estate of the seaman and should be defrayed from such funds as are contained therein.
§ 85.8 Effects of alien seamen.
If a deceased seaman of foreign nationality was not an American seaman as defined in § 81.1(j) of this chapter, and the wages and effects are delivered to the consular officer, the latter should make proper inquiries to find the relatives of the deceased and may determine for himself to whom the wages and effects should be given. If no relatives are found or if the officer cannot satisfactorily determine the relatives entitled to the wages and money arising from the sale of the effects, they should be remitted to the district court as provided in 85.6. A consular officer may not deliver the wages and effects of such a deceased seaman to an official of the foreign government of which the deceased was citizen or subject unless such official holds a valid appointment to represent the heirs. [1 Comp. Gen. 621]
§ 85.9 Accounting for effects.
(a) Statement of details to district court. Consular officers are required, in rendering the accounts provided for by law, to make a statement of details, namely:
(1) A statement of the amount of money left by the deceased and any of his effects unsold;
(2) A description of each article sold, and the sum received for each;
(b) Wage account to district court. The master shall be required to give full particulars of the wage account of the seaman, including the date of shipment, rate of wages, and time of discharge, and any deductions therefrom, to be verified by entry in the official log; such account to be verified before the consular officer by the master, and a certified copy thereof to be sent with the account to the district court, together with information regarding the names and addresses of the next of kin, or other interested persons, of the decedent.
(c) Receipts from Court. Consular officers shall be careful to obtain from the court receipts in duplicate for all monies, wages, and effects transmitted by the Foreign Service office.
(3) The sum due the deceased for wages, with dates, and the items of deduction, if any, to be made therefromno such deduction being allowed to the master unless verified by an entry in the official log book.
§ 86.1 Reports on disasters.
When a vessel of the United States is wrecked, lost, or stranded within the jurisdiction of a United States consular officer, or when such a vessel, its cargo, or passengers and crew, are brought into his jurisdiction after a disaster at sea, the consular officer shall immediately transmit a telegraphic report to the Department of State, giving the name of the vessel, its owner and home port, the voyage on which it was bound, the circumstances attending the disaster including a statement of the nature of the disaster,
(a) Under United States statutes. If treaty provisions, established usage, or local laws permit, a United States consular officer shall assume jurisdiction over a vessel of the United States which has been wrecked or stranded on a coast within his district or which has been brought into his district after having suffered a disaster at sea; and over any cargo or effects belonging to United States citizens which have been brought into the officer's district from a wrecked or lost vessel of the United States: Provided, That the captain or owner of the vessel, or the owner or consignee of the cargo, or the owner of the effects, is absent or incapable of taking possession of the property concerned: And provided, That no salvage claim has attached to the property.
(b) Under treaties or custom. A consular officer shall familiarize himself with the treaty or treaties in force between the United States and the country of assignment regarding the jurisdiction of a United States consular officer over wrecked or stranded vessels of the United States, their cargoes, and effects; and shall exercise such authority as has been granted to him to its fullest extent in the interest of those concerned. In the absence of a specific treaty provision on this subject, the consular officer shall be guided by the generally conceded custom in the country of assignment. In the case of cargo of foreign origin which is brought into a country from a wrecked or stranded vessel, the rule in the United States is that such cargo is exempt from customs duties if it is transshipped or reloaded under customs supervision and taken out of the country. Officers shall endeavor to have similar treatment accorded in a foreign country with reference to cargo belonging to United States
citizens, which is brought into the country from a wrecked or stranded vessel. If rights granted by treaty or acquired by established usage are denied or ignored, the consular officer shall submit an immediate report in the premises to the Department of State, the diplomatic mission of the United States in the country of assignment, and to the supervising consulate general, if there is one.
(c) Under local laws. In the absence of a treaty or an established custom giving a United States consular officer jurisdiction over wrecked or stranded vessels of the United States, their cargoes, and effects, the consular officer shall conform to local laws and regulations on this subject. However, if, under local laws, the magistrate or some other official is vested with jurisdiction over the property in question, the consular officer shall request permission to assist in proceedings relating to its disposition. If the consular officer's reasonable request in this connection is refused, he shall submit a statement of the facts involved, together with any necessary supporting evidence, to the Department of State and the diplomatic mission, by telegraph if necessary. (R. S. 4238; 46 U. S. C. 721)
possible relative to his course of action, and furnish an estimate of funds needed to be deposited with the Department for expenses necessarily incurred in carrying out instructions.
(b) Safeguarding of vessel and cargo. Pending receipt of instructions from the owners or from the Department, a consular officer may, for his own protection, post a guard at the wrecked or stranded vessel, or over the cargo and effects brought into his district from a vessel which has been wrecked or stranded at sea, to prevent pilferage. Any expenses necessarily expended in employing a guard for this purpose are chargeable against the property in question.
(c) Collection and disposal of papers. The consular officer will endeavor to collect the ship's papers and documents relating to the vessel, its cargo, and passengers, and, if possible, deliver them to the proper persons. In the event of the death or nonappearance of such persons, the consular officer shall transmit the papers to the Department.
(d) Disposition of unclaimed property. If the owners of the vessel, cargo, or effects are unknown, the consular officer shall submit a full report to the Department and await instructions before taking further action. Upon receipt of necessary authorization from the Department, a consular officer may dispose of unclaimed merchandise and effects in the manner set forth for the disposition of effects of a citizen of the United States dying abroad.
(R. S. 4238; 46 U. S. C. 721)
Reports on rescues and heroic conduct.
When a consular officer receives authentic information that the master or crew of any vessel, American or foreign, or that any person, has rescued seamen or citizens of the United States from drowning, shipwreck or some other catastrophe at sea, he shall immediately transmit to the Department a detailed report concerning the rescue and shall make recommendations with reference to the giving of rewards to persons who have distinguished themselves in effecting the rescue.
Seizures of vessels.
(a) When a private vessel documented or certificated under the laws of the
United States is seized by a foreign country on the basis of rights or claims in territorial waters or the high seas which are not recognized by the United States, and
(b) There is no dispute of material facts with respect to the location or activity of such vessel at the time of the seizure, the Secretary of State shall, as soon as practicable, take such action as he deems appropriate to attend to the welfare of such vessel and its crew while it is held by such country, to secure the release of such vessel and crew, and to immediately ascertain the amount of any fine, fee, or other direct charge which had been paid to secure the prompt release of the vessel and the crew.
(a) When a vessel is seized under the conditions stated in § 86.7, and a fine, license fee, registration fee, or any other direct charge has been paid in order to secure the prompt release of the vessel and crew, the legal adviser or deputy legal adviser, acting for the Secretary of State, shall, as soon as possible after ascertainment, make a certification to the Secretary of the Treasury of the amount of the fine, license fee, registration fee, or any other direct charge actually paid for reimbursement to the owner of such vessel from the Fishermen's Protective Fund, as authorized by the Act of October 26, 1972 amending the Fishermen's Protective Act of 1967.
(b) As a condition precedent to such certification, the owner of the vessel or his agent shall furnish the Secretary of State a "Certificate of Ownership of Vessel" showing that the vessel was documented or certificated under the laws of the United States at the time of seizure.
[Dept. Reg. 108.683, 38 F.R. 4252, Feb. 12, 1973]
§ 86.9 Lien on vessel.
The amount of any reimbursement from the Fishermen's Protective Fund made by the Secretary of the Treasury to the owner of a vessel as provided in § 86.8 shall constitute a lien on the vessel
which may be recovered in proceedings by libel in rem in the district court of the United States for any district within which the vessel may be found. Such lien shall terminate on the 90th day after the date on which the Treasury check of reimbursement is issued to the owner unless before such 90th day the United States terminates the lien or initiates action to enforce the lien. The Secretary of State shall initially determine at an appropriate time before the 90th day whether proceedings shall be initiated by the United States to enforce such lien. The Secretary of State shall request the Department of Justice to initiate and conduct the lien proceedings.
[Dept. Reg. 108.683, 38 F.R. 4252, Feb. 12, 1973]
§ 86.10 Claims arising out of seizures of vessels.
(a) Submission of claim. (1) Within 50 days after reimbursement of a fine, fee, or other direct charges by the Secretary of the Treasury, the owner of the vessel shall submit a properly prepared and documented claim to the Office of the Legal Adviser, Department of State, Washington, D.C. 20520. The claim may be filed by the owner of the vessel or by an authorized agent. When filed by an agent, the claim must show the title or capacity of the person presenting the claim and must be accompanied by evidence of his appointment as a duly authorized agent.
(2) The owner of the vessel or his agent may within 15 days after notification in writing by the Department of State of the invalidity of the claim or the insufficiency of evidence to support the claim, submit supporting legal briefs, additional documents or evidence, or request a review of the claim by the Department of State.
(4) Name of home port of vessel at time of seizure and date of last documentation.
(b) Form of claim. The claim shall be prepared in the form of a sworn statement, in triplicate, and shall contain in narrative form a clear chronological statement of the following facts:
(1) Name and address of claimant.
(2) Date and manner in which claimant became a national of the United States.
(3) Date and manner in which claimant acquired vessel or other property involved.
(5) Date and time of seizure and foreign government making the seizure.
(6) Detailed circumstances of the seizure, including the exact place of seizure and how determined, activities of the vessel when seized, actions of the seizing vessel, etc.
(7) Names of official and agency seizing the vessel and description of seizing vessel.
(8) Hearings afforded the captain of the vessel, defenses interposed and determination of the tribunal, including the amount of the fine paid, and/or the license fee, registration fee, and other direct charges exacted as a condition of release.
(9) Name of agency to which amounts in item 8 paid.
(10) Date vessel released and date sailed.
(11) Nature and amount of other losses sustained as a result of the seizure.
(c) Evidence to be submitted by claimant. There shall be attached to the sworn statement of claim documentary evidence consisting of original documents or certified copies thereof to support every allegation in the sworn statement. The documents filed as evidence shall be numbered consecutively and cited by number in the sworn statement in support of which the documents are filed. All evidence shall be filed in triplicate. The original evidence or certified copies thereof shall be attached to the original copy of the claim. Uncertified copies may be attached to the other two copies of the affidavit of claim. All documents submitted in other than the English language shall be accompanied by an English translation. The more important documentary evidence filed in support of the claim shall include the following:
(1) Articles of incorporation of the owner or partnership agreement of the owners and all amendments thereto.
(2) Proof of citizenship of officers and directors of the corporation or of the partners, or of a sole individual owner, as the case may be.
(3) Affidavit of an officer of the corporation as to the citizenship status of the stockholders as far as known.
(4) Receipt for payment of fine, fees, or other direct charge.