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e-CFR data is current as of May 26, 2020

Title 46Chapter IVSubchapter BPart 540 → Subpart B


Title 46: Shipping
PART 540—PASSENGER VESSEL FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY


Subpart B—Proof of Financial Responsibility, Bonding and Certification of Financial Responsibility To Meet Liability Incurred for Death or Injury to Passengers or Other Persons on Voyages


Contents
§540.20   Scope.
§540.21   Definitions.
§540.22   Proof of financial responsibility, when required.
§540.23   Procedure for establishing financial responsibility.
§540.24   Insurance, surety bonds, self-insurance, guaranties, and escrow accounts.
§540.25   Evidence of financial responsibility.
§540.26   Denial, revocation, suspension, or modification.
§540.27   Miscellaneous.
Form FMC-132B to Subpart B of Part 540
Form FMC-133B to Subpart B of Part 540

§540.20   Scope.

The regulations contained in this subpart set forth the procedures whereby owners or charterers of vessels having berth or stateroom accommodations for 50 or more passengers and embarking passengers at U.S. ports shall establish their financial responsibility to meet any liability which may be incurred for death or injury to passengers or other persons on voyages to or from U.S. ports. Included also are the qualifications required by the Commission for issuance of a Certificate (Casualty) and the basis for the denial, revocation, suspension, or modification of such Certificates.

§540.21   Definitions.

As used in this subpart, the following terms shall have the following meanings:

(a) Person includes individuals, corporations, partnerships, associations, and other legal entities existing under or authorized by the laws of the United States or any state thereof or the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands or any territory or possession of the United States, or the laws of any foreign country.

(b) Vessel means any commercial vessel having berth or stateroom accommodations for 50 or more passengers and embarking passengers at U.S. ports.

(c) Commission means the Federal Maritime Commission.

(d) United States includes the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands or any territory or possession of the United States.

(e) Berth or stateroom accommodations or passenger accommodations includes all temporary and all permanent passenger sleeping facilities.

(f) Certificate (Casualty) means a Certificate of Financial Responsibility to Meet Liability Incurred for Death or Injury to Passengers or Other Persons on Voyages issued pursuant to this subpart.

(g) Voyage means voyage of a vessel to or from U.S. ports.

(h) Insurer means any insurance company, underwriter, corporation or association of underwriters, ship owners' protection and indemnity association, or other insurer acceptable to the Commission.

(i) Evidence of insurance means a policy, certificate of insurance, cover note, or other evidence of coverage acceptable to the Commission.

(j) For the purpose of determining compliance with §540.22, passengers embarking at United States ports means any persons, not necessary to the business, operation, or navigation of a vessel, whether holding a ticket or not, who board a vessel at a port or place in the United States and are carried by the vessel on a voyage from that port or place.

§540.22   Proof of financial responsibility, when required.

No vessel shall embark passengers at U.S. ports unless a Certificate (Casualty) has been issued to or covers the owner or charterer of such vessel.

§540.23   Procedure for establishing financial responsibility.

(a) In order to comply with section 2 of Pub. L. 89-777 (46 U.S.C. 44101, 44103-44106) enacted November 6, 1966, there must be filed an Application on Form FMC-131 for a Certificate of Financial Responsibility to Meet Liability Incurred for Death or Injury to Passengers or Other Persons on Voyages. Copies of Form FMC-131 may be obtained from the Secretary, Federal Maritime Commission, Washington, DC 20573.

(b) An application for a Certificate (Casualty) shall be filed in duplicate with the Secretary, Federal Maritime Commission, by the vessel owner or charterer at least 60 days in advance of the sailing. Late filing of the application will be permitted only for good cause shown. All applications and evidence required to be filed with the Commission shall be in English, and any monetary terms shall be expressed in terms of U.S. currency. The Commission shall have the privilege of verifying any statements made or any evidence submitted under the rules of this subpart. An application for a Certificate (Casualty), excluding an application for the addition or substitution of a vessel to the applicant's fleet, must be accompanied by a filing fee remittance of $1,441. An application for a Certificate (Casualty) for the addition or substitution of a vessel to the applicant's fleet must be accompanied by a filing fee remittance of $718.

(c) The application shall be signed by a duly authorized officer or representative of the applicant with a copy of evidence of his authority. In the event of any material change in the facts as reflected in the application, an amendment to the application shall be filed no later than five (5) days following such change. For the purpose of this subpart, a material change shall be one which: (1) Results in a decrease in the amount submitted to establish financial responsibility to a level below that required to be maintained under the rules of this subpart, or (2) requires that the amount to be maintained be increased above the amount submitted to establish financial responsibility. Notice of the application for, issuance, denial, revocation, suspension, or modification of any such Certificate shall be published in the Federal Register.

[49 FR 36313, Sept. 14, 1984, as amended at 59 FR 59172, Nov. 16, 1994; 63 FR 50537, Sept. 22, 1998; 67 FR 39861, June 11, 2002; 70 FR 10331, Mar. 3, 2005; 74 FR 50731, Oct. 1, 2009; 81 FR 59145, Aug. 29, 2016; 83 FR 50295, Oct. 5, 2018]

§540.24   Insurance, surety bonds, self-insurance, guaranties, and escrow accounts.

Evidence of adequate financial responsibility for the purposes of this subpart may be established by one of the following methods:

(a) Filing with the Commission evidence of insurance issued by an insurer providing coverage for liability which may be incurred for death or injury to passengers or other persons on voyages in an amount based upon the number of passenger accommodations aboard the vessel, calculated as follows:

Twenty thousand dollars for each passenger accommodation up to and including 500; plus

Fifteen thousand dollars for each additional passenger accommodation between 501 and 1,000; plus

Ten thousand dollars for each additional passenger accommodation between 1,001 and 1,500; plus

Five thousand dollars for each passenger accommodation in excess of 1,500;

Except that, if the applicant is operating more than one vessel subject to this subpart, the amount prescribed by this paragraph shall be based upon the number of passenger accommodations on the vessel being so operated which has the largest number of passenger accommodations.

(1) Termination or cancellation of the evidence of insurance, whether by the assured or by the insurer, and whether for nonpayment of premiums, calls or assessments, or for other cause, shall not be effected: (i) Until notice in writing has been given to the assured or to the insurer and to the Secretary of the Commission at its office in Washington, DC 20573, by certified mail, and (ii) until after 30 days expire from the date notice is actually received by the Commissioner, or until after the Commission revokes the Certificate (Casualty), whichever occurs first. Notice of termination or cancellation to the assured or insurer shall be simultaneous to such notice given to the Commission. The insurer shall remain liable for claims covered by said evidence of insurance arising by virtue of an event which had occurred prior to the effective date of said termination or cancellation. No such termination or cancellation shall become effective while a voyage is in progress.

(2) The insolvency or bankruptcy of the assured shall not constitute a defense to the insurer as to claims included in said evidence of insurance and in the event of said insolvency or bankruptcy, the insurer agrees to pay any unsatisfied final judgments obtained on such claims.

(3) No insurance shall be acceptable under these rules which restricts the liability of the insurer where privity of the owner or charterer has been shown to exist.

(4) Paragraphs (a)(1) through (a)(3) of this section shall apply to the guaranty as specified in paragraph (d) of this section.

(b) Filing with the Commission a surety bond on Form FMC-132B issued by a bonding company authorized to do business in the United States and acceptable to the Commission. Such surety bond shall evidence coverage for liability which may be incurred for death or injury to passengers or other persons on voyages in an amount calculated as in paragraph (a) of this section, and shall not be terminated while a voyage is in progress. The requirements of Form FMC-132B, however, may be amended by the Commission in a particular case for good cause.

(c) Filing with the Commission for qualification as a self-insurer such evidence acceptable to the Commission as will demonstrate continued and stable passenger operations over an extended period of time in the foreign or domestic trade of the United States. In addition, applicant must demonstrate financial responsibility by maintenance of working capital and net worth, each in an amount calculated as in paragraph (a) of this section. The Commission will take into consideration all current contractual requirements with respect to the maintenance of working capital and/or net worth to which the applicant is bound. Evidence must be submitted that the working capital and net worth required above are physically located in the United States. This evidence of financial responsibility shall be supported by and subject to the following which are to be submitted on a continuing basis for each year or portion thereof while the Certificate (Casualty) is in effect:

(1) A current quarterly balance sheet, except that the Commission, for good cause shown, may require only an annual balance sheet;

(2) A current quarterly statement of income and surplus except that the Commission, for good cause shown, may require only an annual statement of income and surplus;

(3) An annual current balance sheet and an annual current statement of income and surplus to be certified by appropriate certified public accountants;

(4) An annual current statement of the book value or current market value of any assets physically located within the United States together with a certification as to the existence and amount of any encumbrances thereon;

(5) An annual current credit rating report by Dun and Bradstreet or any similar concern found acceptable to the Commission;

(6) A list of all contractual requirements or other encumbrances (and to whom the applicant is bound in this regard) relating to the maintenance of working capital and net worth;

(7) All financial statements required to be submitted under this section shall be due within a reasonable time after the close of each pertinent accounting period;

(8) Such additional evidence of financial responsibility as the Commission may deem necessary in appropriate cases.

(d) Filing with the Commission a guaranty on Form FMC-133B by a guarantor acceptable to the Commission. Any such guaranty shall be in an amount calculated as in paragraph (a) of this section. The requirements of Form FMC-133B, however, may be amended by the Commission in a particular case for good cause.

(e) Filing with the Commission evidence of an escrow account, acceptable to the Commission, the amount of such account to be calculated as in paragraph (a) of this section.

(f) The Commission will, for good cause shown, consider any combination of the alternatives described in paragraphs (a) through (e) of this section for the purpose of establishing financial responsibility.

[49 FR 36313, Sept. 14, 1984, as amended at 55 FR 1824, Jan. 19, 1990]

§540.25   Evidence of financial responsibility.

Where satisfactory proof of financial responsibility has been established, a Certificate (Casualty) covering specified vessels shall be issued evidencing the Commission's finding of adequate financial responsibility to meet any liability which may be incurred for death or injury to passengers or other persons on voyages. The period covered by the certificate shall be indeterminate unless a termination date has been specified therein.

§540.26   Denial, revocation, suspension, or modification.

(a) Prior to the denial, revocation, suspension, or modification of a Certificate (Casualty), the Commission shall advise the applicant of its intention to deny, revoke, suspend, or modify, and shall state the reasons therefor. If the applicant, within 20 days after the receipt of such advice, requests a hearing to show that the evidence of financial responsibility filed with the Commission does meet the rules of this subpart, such hearing shall be granted by the Commission, except that a Certificate (Casualty) shall become null and void upon cancellation or termination of evidence of insurance, surety bond, guaranty, or escrow account.

(b) A Certificate (Casualty) may be denied, revoked, suspended, or modified for any of the following reasons:

(1) Making any willfully false statement to the Commission in connection with an application for a Certificate (Casualty);

(2) Circumstances whereby the party does not qualify as financially responsible in accordance with the requirements of the Commission;

(3) Failure to comply with or respond to lawful inquiries, rules, regulations, or orders of the Commission pursuant to the rules of this subpart.

(c) If the applicant, within 20 days after notice of the proposed denial, revocation, suspension, or modification under paragraph (b) of this section, requests a hearing to show that such denial, revocation, suspension, or modification should not take place, such hearing shall be granted by the Commission.

§540.27   Miscellaneous.

(a) If any evidence filed with the application does not comply with the requirements of this subpart, or for any reason, fails to provide adequate or satisfactory protection to the public, the Commission will notify the applicant stating the deficiencies thereof.

(b) Any financial evidence submitted to the Commission under the rules of this subpart shall be written in the full and correct name of the person to whom the Certificate (Casualty) is to be issued, and in case of a partnership, all partners shall be named.

(c) The Commission's bond (Form FMC-132B), guaranty (Form FMC-133B), and application (Form FMC-131 as set forth in subpart A of this part) forms are hereby incorporated as a part of the rules of this subpart. Any such forms filed with the Commission under this subpart must be in duplicate.

(d) Any securities or assets accepted by the Commission (from applicants, insurers, guarantors, escrow agents, or others) under the rules of this subpart must be physically located in the United States.

(e) Each applicant, insurer, escrow agent, and guarantor shall furnish a written designation of a person in the United States as legal agent for service of process for the purposes of the rules of this subpart. Such designation must be acknowledged, in writing, by the designee. In any instance in which the designated agent cannot be served because of death, disability, or unavailability, the Secretary, Federal Maritime Commission, will be deemed to be the agent for service of process. A party serving the Secretary in accordance with the above provision must also serve the certificant, insurer, escrow agent, or guarantor, as the case may be, by registered mail, at its last known address on file with the Commission.

(f) In the case of any charter arrangements involving a vessel subject to the regulations of this subpart, the vessel owner (in the event of a subcharter, the charterer shall file) must within 10 days file with the Secretary of the Commission evidence of any such arrangement.

(g) Financial data filed in connection with the rules of this subpart shall be confidential except in instances where information becomes relevant in connection with hearings which may be requested by applicant pursuant to §540.26(a) or §540.26(b).

(h) Every person who has been issued a Certificate (Casualty) must submit to the Commission a semiannual statement of any changes that have taken place with respect to the information contained in the application or documents submitted in support thereof. Negative statements are required to indicate no change. Such statements must cover every such 6-month period commencing with the first 6-month period of the fiscal year immediately subsequent to the date of the issuance of the Certificate (Casualty). In addition, the statements will be due within 30 days after the close of every 6-month period.

Form FMC-132B to Subpart B of Part 540

Form FMC-132B

(5-67)

FEDERAL MARITIME COMMISSION

Surety Co. Bond No. ______

FMC Certificate No. ______

Passenger Vessel Surety Bond (46 CFR Part 540)

Know all men by these presents, that We ______ (Name of applicant), of _____ (City), ______ (State and country), as Principal (hereinafter called Principal), and ______ (Name of surety), a company created and existing under the laws of ______ (State and country) and authorized to do business in the United States, as Surety (hereinafter called Surety) are held and firmly bound unto the United States of America in the penal sum of ______, for which payment, well and truly to be made, we bind ourselves and our heirs, executors, administrators, successors, and assigns, jointly and severally, firmly by these presents.

Whereas, the Principal intends to become a holder of a Certificate (Casualty) pursuant to the provisions of subpart B of part 540 of title 46, Code of Federal Regulations, and has elected to file with the Federal Maritime Commission such a bond to insure financial responsibility to meet any liability it may incur for death or injury to passengers or other persons on voyages to or from U.S. ports, and

Whereas, this bond is written to assure compliance by the Principal as an authorized holder of a Certificate (Casualty) pursuant to subpart B of part 540 of title 46, Code of Federal Regulations, and shall inure to the benefit of any and all passengers or other persons to whom the Principal may be held legally liable for any of the damages herein described.

Now, therefore, the condition of this obligation is such that if the Principal shall pay or cause to be paid to passengers or other persons any sum or sums for which the Principal may be held legally liable by reason of the Principal's failure faithfully to meet any liability the Principal may incur for death or injury to passengers or other persons on voyages to or from U.S. ports, while this bond is in effect pursuant to and in accordance with the provisions of subpart B of part 540 of title 46, Code of Federal Regulations, then this obligation shall be void, otherwise, to remain in full force and effect.

The liability of the Surety with respect to any passenger or other persons shall in no event exceed the amount of the Principal's legal liability under any final judgment or settlement agreement, except that, if the aggregate amount of such judgments and settlements exceeds an amount computed in accordance with the formula contained in section 2(a) of Pub. L. 89-777 (46 U.S.C. 44103(b)), then the Surety's total liability under this surety bond shall be limited to an amount computed in accordance with such formula.

The Surety agrees to furnish written notice to the Federal Maritime Commission forthwith of all suits filed, judgments rendered, and payments made by said Surety under this bond.

This bond is effective the _______ day of _________, 19__, 12:01 a.m., standard time, at the address of the Principal as stated herein and shall continue in force until terminated as hereinafter provided. The Principal or the Surety may at any time terminate this bond by written notice sent by certified mail to the other and to the Federal Maritime Commission at its Office in Washington, D.C., such termination to become effective thirty (30) days after actual receipt of said notice by the Commission, except that no such termination shall become effective while a voyage is in progress. The Surety shall not be liable hereunder for any liability incurred for death or injury to passengers or other persons on voyages to or from U.S. ports after the termination of this bond as herein provided, but such termination shall not affect the liability of the Surety hereunder for such liability incurred for death or injury to passengers or other persons on voyages to or from U.S. ports prior to the date such termination becomes effective.

In witness whereof, the said Principal and Surety have executed this instrument on the ______ day of ________, 19__.

PRINCIPAL

 Name
 By

         (Signature and title)

 Witness

SURETY

 Name
 By [SEAL]

         (Signature and title)

 Witness

Only corporations or associations of individual insurers may qualify to act as Surety, and they must establish to the satisfaction of the Federal Maritime Commission legal authority to assume the obligations of surety and financial ability to discharge them.

[49 FR 36313, Sept. 14, 1984, as amended at 74 FR 50732, Oct. 1, 2009]

Form FMC-133B to Subpart B of Part 540

Form FMC-133B

(5-67)

FEDERAL MARITIME COMMISSION

 Guaranty No.
 FMC Certificate No.

Guaranty in Respect of Liability for Death or Injury, Section 2 of the Act (46 U.S.C. 44101, 44103-44106)

1. Whereas ______ (Name of Applicant) (Hereinafter referred to as the “Applicant”) is the Owner or Charterer of the passenger Vessel(s) specified in the annexed Schedule (“the Vessels”), which are or may become engaged in voyages to or from U.S. ports, and the Applicant desires to establish its financial responsibility in accordance with section 2 of Public Law 89-777, 89th Congress, approved November 6, 1966 (“the Act”) then, provided that the Federal Maritime Commission (“FMC”) shall have accepted, as sufficient for that purpose, the Applicant's application, supported by this Guaranty, and provided that FMC shall issue to the Applicant a Certificate (Casualty) (“Certificate”), the undersigned Guarantor hereby guarantees to discharge the applicant's legal liability in respect of claims for damages for death or injury to passengers or other persons on voyages of the Vessels to or from U.S. ports, in the event that such legal liability has not been discharged by the Applicant within 21 days after any such passenger or other person, or, in the event of death, his or her personal representative, has obtained a final judgment (after appeal, if any) against the Applicant from a U.S. Federal or State Court of competent jurisdiction, or has become entitled to payment of a specified sum by virtue of a compromise settlement agreement made with the Applicant, with the approval of the Guarantor, whereby, upon payment of the agreed sum, the Applicant is to be fully, irrevocably and unconditionally discharged from all further liability to such passenger or other person, or to such personal representative, with respect to such claim.

2. The Guarantor's liability under this Guaranty shall in no event exceed the amount of the Applicant's legal liability under any such judgment or settlement agreement, except that, if the aggregate amount of such judgments and settlements exceeds an amount computed in accordance with the formula contained in section 2(a) of the Act (46 U.S.C. 44103(b)), then the Guarantor's total liability under this Guaranty shall be limited to an amount computed in accordance with such formula.

3. The Guarantor's liability under this Guaranty shall attach only in respect of events giving rise to causes of action against the Applicant in respect of any of the Vessels for damages for death or injury within the meaning of section 2 of the Act, occurring after the Certificate has been granted to the Applicant and before the expiration date of this Guaranty, which shall be the earlier of the following dates:

(a) The date whereon the Certificate is withdrawn, or for any reason becomes invalid or ineffective; or

(b) The date 30 days after the date of receipt by FMC of notice in writing (including telex or cable) that the Guarantor has elected to terminate this Guaranty, except that if, on the date which would otherwise have been the expiration date of this Guaranty under the foregoing provisions of this Clause 3, any of the Vessels is on a voyage in respect of which such Vessel would not have received clearance in accordance with section 2(e) of the Act (46 U.S.C. 44105) without the Certificate, then the expiration date of this Guaranty shall, in respect of such Vessel, be postponed to the date on which the last passenger on such voyage shall have fully disembarked.

4. If, during the currency of this Guaranty, the Applicant requests that a vessel owned or operated by the Applicant, and not specified in the annexed Schedule, should become subject to this Guaranty, and if the Guarantor accedes to such request and so notifies FMC in writing (including telex or cable), then provided that, within 30 days of receipt of such notice FMC shall have granted a Certificate, such vessel shall thereupon be deemed to be one of the Vessels included in the said Schedule and subject to this Guaranty.

5. The Guarantor hereby designates ______, with offices at ______, as the Guarantor's legal agent for Service of process for the purposes of the Rules of the Federal Maritime Commission, subpart B of part 540 of title 46, Code of Federal Regulations, issued under section 2 of the Pub. L 89-777 (80 Stat. 1357, 1358), entitled “Security for the Protection of the Public.”

 

      (Place and Date of Execution)

 

         (Name and Guarantor)

 

         (Address of Guarantor)

 By

         (Name and Title)

Schedule of Vessels Referred to in Clause 1

Vessels Added to This Schedule in Accordance With Clause 4

[49 FR 36313, Sept. 14, 1984, as amended at 74 FR 50732, Oct. 1, 2009]

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