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e-CFR data is current as of January 15, 2021

Title 15Subtitle BChapter IXSubchapter DPart 970Subpart A → §970.103


Title 15: Commerce and Foreign Trade
PART 970—DEEP SEABED MINING REGULATIONS FOR EXPLORATION LICENSES
Subpart A—General


§970.103   Prohibited activities and restrictions.

(a) Prohibited activities and exceptions. (1) Except as authorized under subpart C of this part, no United States citizen may engage in any exploration or commercial recovery unless authorized to do so under:

(i) A license or a permit issued pursuant to the Act and implementing regulations;

(ii) A license, permit, or equivalent authorization issued by a reciprocating state; or

(iii) An international agreement which is in force with respect to the United States.

(2) The prohibitions of paragraph (a)(1) of this section will not apply to any of the following activities:

(i) Scientific research, including that concerning hard mineral resources;

(ii) Mapping, or the taking of any geophysical, geochemical, oceanographic, or atmospheric measurements or random bottom samplings of the deep seabed, if such taking does not significantly alter the surface or subsurface of the deep seabed or significantly affect the environment;

(iii) The design, construction, or testing of equipment and facilities which will or may be used for exploration or commercial recovery, if such design, construction or testing is conducted on shore, or does not involve the recovery of any but incidental hard mineral resources;

(iv) The furnishing of machinery, products, supplies, services, or materials for any exploration or commercial recovery conducted under a license or permit issued under the Act and implementing regulations, a license or permit or equivalent authorization issued by a reciprocating state, or under an international agreement; and

(v) Activities, other than exploration or commercial recovery activities, of the Federal Government.

(3) No United States citizen may interfere or participate in interference with any activity conducted by any licensee or permittee which is authorized to be undertaken under a license or permit issued by the Administrator to a licensee or permittee under the Act or with any activity conducted by the holder of, and authorized to be undertaken under, a license or permit or equivalent authorization issued by a reciprocating state for the exploration or commercial recovery of hard mineral resources. For purposes of this section, interference includes physical interference with activities authorized by the Act, this part, and a license issued pursuant thereto; the filing of specious claims in the United States or any other nation; and any other activity designed to harass deep seabed mining activities authorized by law. Interference does not include the exercise of any rights granted to United States citizens by the Constitution of the United States, any Federal or State law, treaty, or agreement or regulation promulgated pursuant thereto.

(4) United States citizens must exercise their rights on the high seas with reasonable regard for the interests of other states in their exercise of the freedoms of the high seas.

(b) Restrictions on issuance of licenses or permits. The Administrator will not issue:

(1) Any license or permit after the date on which an international agreement is ratified by and enters into force with respect to the United States, except to the extent that issuance of such license or permit is not inconsistent with such agreement;

(2) Any license or permit the exploration plan or recovery plan of which, submitted pursuant to the Act and implementing regulations, would apply to an area to which applies, or would conflict with:

(i) Any exploration plan or recovery plan submitted with any pending application to which priority of right for issuance applies under this part;

(ii) Any exploration plan or recovery plan associated with any existing license or permit; or

(iii) Any equivalent authorization which has been issued, or for which formal notice of application has been submitted, by a reciprocating state prior to the filing date of any relevant application for licenses or permits pursuant to the Act and implementing regulations;

(3) A permit authorizing commercial recovery within any area of the deep seabed in which exploration is authorized under a valid existing license if such permit is issued to a person other than the licensee for such area;

(4) Any exploration license before July 1, 1981, or any permit which authorizes commercial recovery to commence before January 1, 1988;

(5) Any license or permit the exploration plan or recovery plan for which applies to any area of the deep seabed if, within the 3-year period before the date of application for such license or permit:

(i) The applicant therefor surrendered or relinquished such area under an exploration plan or recovery plan associated with a previous license or permit issued to such applicant; or

(ii) A license or permit previously issued to the applicant had an exploration plan or recovery plan which applied to such area and such license or permit was revoked under section 106 of the Act; or

(6) A license or permit, or approve the transfer of a license or permit, except to a United States citizen.

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