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Title 20Chapter VPart 655Subpart F → Subject Group


Title 20: Employees' Benefits
PART 655—TEMPORARY EMPLOYMENT OF FOREIGN WORKERS IN THE UNITED STATES
Subpart F—Attestations by Employers Using Alien Crewmembers for Longshore Activities in U.S. Ports


General Provisions

§655.500   Purpose, procedure and applicability of subparts F and G of this part.

(a) Purpose. (1) Section 258 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (“Act”) prohibits nonimmigrant alien crewmembers admitted to the United States on D-visas from performing longshore work at U.S. ports except in five specific instances:

(i) Where the vessel's country of registration does not prohibit U.S. crewmembers from performing longshore work in that country's ports and nationals of a country (or countries) which does not prohibit U.S. crewmembers from performing longshore work in that country's ports hold a majority of the ownership interest in the vessel, as determined by the Secretary of State (henceforth referred to as the “reciprocity exception”);

(ii) Where there is in effect in a local port one or more collective bargaining agreement(s), each covering at least thirty percent of the longshore workers, and each permitting the activity to be performed under the terms of such agreement(s);

(iii) Where there is no collective bargaining agreement covering at least thirty percent of the longshore workers at the particular port and an attestation with accompanying documentation has been filed with the Department of Labor attesting that, among other things, the use of alien crewmembers to perform a particular activity of longshore work is permitted under the prevailing practice of the particular port (henceforth referred to as the “prevailing practice exception”);

(iv) Where the longshore work is to be performed at a particular location in the State of Alaska and an attestation with accompanying documentation has been filed with the Department of Labor attesting that, among other things, before using alien crewmembers to perform the activity specified in the attestation, the employer will make a bona fide request for and employ United States longshore workers who are qualified and available in sufficient numbers from contract stevedoring companies, labor organizations recognized as exclusive bargaining representatives of United States longshore workers, and private dock operators (henceforth referred to as the “Alaska exception”); or

(v) Where the longshore work involves an automated self-unloading conveyor belt or vacuum-actuated system on a vessel and the Administrator has not previously determined that an attestation must be filed pursuant to this part as a basis for performing those functions (henceforth referred to as the “automated vessel exception”).

(2) The term “longshore work” does not include the loading or unloading of hazardous cargo, as determined by the Secretary of Transportation, for safety and environmental protection. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) through the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), determines whether an employer may use alien crewmembers for longshore work at U.S. ports. In those cases where an employer must file an attestation in order to perform such work, the Department of Labor shall be responsible for accepting the filing of such attestations. Subpart F of this part sets forth the procedure for filing attestations with the Department of Labor for employers proposing to use alien crewmembers for longshore work at U.S. ports under the prevailing practice exception, the Alaska exception, and where it has been determined that an attestation is required under the automated vessel exception listed in paragraph (a)(1)(iv) of this section. Subpart G of this part sets forth complaint, investigation, and penalty provisions with respect to such attestations.

(b) Procedure. (1) Under the prevailing practice exception in sec. 258(c) of the Act, and in those cases where it has been determined that an attestation is required under the automated vessel exception for longshore work to be performed at locations other than in the State of Alaska, the procedure involves filing an attestation with the Department of Labor attesting that:

(i) The use of alien crewmembers for a particular activity of longshore work is the prevailing practice at the particular port;

(ii) The use of alien crewmembers is not during a strike or lockout nor designed to influence the election of a collective bargaining representative; and

(iii) Notice of the attestation has been provided to the bargaining representative of longshore workers in the local port, or, where there is none, notice has been provided to longshore workers employed at the local port.

(2) Under the automated vessel exception in sec. 258(c) of the Act, no attestation is required in cases where longshore activity consists of the use of an automated self-unloading conveyor belt or vacuum-actuated system on a vessel. The legislation creates a rebuttable presumption that the use of alien crewmembers for the operation of such automated systems is the prevailing practice. In order to overcome such presumption, it must be shown by the preponderance of the evidence submitted by any interested party, that the use of alien crewmembers for such activity is not the prevailing practice at the particular port, that it is during a strike or lockout, or that it is intended or designed to influence an election of a bargaining representative for workers in the local port.

(3) Under the Alaska exception in sec. 258(d) of the Act, and in those cases where it has been determined that an attestation is required under the automated vessel exception consisting of the use of such equipment for longshore work to be performed in the State of Alaska, the procedure involves filing an attestation with the Department of Labor attesting that:

(i) The employer will make a bona fide request for United States longshore workers who are qualified and available in sufficient numbers to perform the activity at the particular time and location from the parties to whom notice has been provided under paragraph (b)(3)(iv) (B) and (C) of this section, except that:

(A) Wherever two or more contract stevedoring companies which meet the requirements of section 32 of the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act (33 U.S.C. 932) have signed a joint collective bargaining agreement with a single labor organization recognized as an exclusive bargaining representative of United States longshore workers within the meaning of the National Labor Relations Act (29 U.S.C. 141 et seq.), the employer may request longshore workers from only one such contract stevedoring company, and

(B) A request for longshore workers to an operator of a private dock may be made only for longshore work to be performed at that dock and only if the operator meets the requirements of section 32 of the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act (33 U.S.C. 932);

(ii) The employer will employ all United States longshore workers made available in response to the request made pursuant to paragraph (b)(3)(i) of this section who are qualified and available in sufficient numbers and who are needed to perform the longshore activity at the particular time and location attested to;

(iii) The use of alien crewmembers for such activity is not intended or designed to influence and election of a bargaining representative for workers in the State of Alaska; and

(iv) Notice of the attestation has been provided to:

(A) Labor organizations which have been recognized as exclusive bargaining representatives of United States longshore workers within the meaning of the National Labor Relations Act (29 U.S.C. 141 et seq.) and which make available or intend to make available workers to the particular location where the longshore work is to be performed;

(B) Contract stevedoring companies which employ or intend to employ United States longshore workers at that location; and

(C) Operators of private docks at which the employer will use longshore workers.

(c) Applicability. Subparts F and G of this part apply to all employers who seek to employ alien crewmembers for longshore work at U.S. ports under the prevailing practice exception, to all employers who seek to employ alien crewmembers for longshore work at locations in the State of Alaska under the Alaska exception, to all employers claiming the automated vessel exception, and to those cases where it has been determined that an attestation is required under the automated vessel exception.

[60 FR 3956, 3976, Jan. 19, 1995, as amended at 71 FR 35520, June 21, 2006]

§655.501   Overview of responsibilities.

This section provides a context for the attestation process, to facilitate understanding by employers that may seek to employ alien crewmembers for longshore work under the prevailing practice exception, under the Alaska exception, and in those cases where an attestation is necessary under the automated vessel exception.

(a) Department of Labor's responsibilities. The United States Department of Labor (DOL) administers the attestation process. Within DOL, the Employment and Training Administration (ETA) shall have responsibility for setting up and operating the attestation process; the Employment Standards Administration's Wage and Hour Division shall be responsible for investigating and resolving any complaints filed concerning such attestations.

(b) Employer attestation responsibilities. (1) Each employer seeking to use alien crewmembers for longshore work at a local U.S. port pursuant to the prevailing practice exception or where an attestation is required under the automated vessel exception for longshore work to be performed at locations other than in the State of Alaska shall, as the first step, submit an attestation on Form ETA 9033, as described in §655.510 of this part, to ETA at the address set forth at §655.510(b) of this part. If ETA accepts the attestation for filing, pursuant to §655.510 of this part, ETA shall return the cover form of the accepted attestation to the employer, and, at the same time, shall provide notice of the filing to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) office having jurisdiction over the port where longshore work will be performed.

(2) Each employer seeking to use alien crewmembers for longshore work at a particular location in the State of Alaska pursuant to the Alaska exception or where an attestation is required under the automated vessel exception for longshore work to be performed at a particular location in Alaska shall submit, as a first step, an attestation on Form ETA 9033-A, as described in §655.533 of this part, to ETA at the address of the Seattle regional office as set forth at §655.532 of this part. The address appears in the instructions to Form ETA 9033-A. ETA shall return the cover form of the accepted attestation to the employer, and, at the same time, shall provide notice of the filing to the DHS office having jurisdiction over the location where longshore work will be performed.

(c) Complaints. Complaints concerning misrepresentation in the attestation, failure of the employer to carry out the terms of the attestation, or complaints that an employer is required to file an attestation under the automated vessel exception, may be filed with the Wage and Hour Division, according to the procedures set forth in subpart G of this part. Complaints of “misrepresentation” may include assertions that an employer has attested to the use of alien crewmembers only for a particular activity of longshore work and has thereafter used such alien crewmembers for another activity of longshore work. If the Division determines that the complaint presents reasonable cause to warrant an investigation, the Division shall then investigate, and, where appropriate, after an opportunity for a hearing, assess sanctions and penalties. Subpart G of this part further provides that interested parties may obtain an administrative law judge hearing on the Division's determination after an investigation and may seek the Secretary's review of the administrative law judge's decision. Subpart G of this part also provides that a complainant may request that the Wage and Hour Administrator issue a cease and desist order in the case of either alleged violation(s) of an attestation or longshore work by alien crewmember(s) employed by an employer allegedly not qualified for the claimed automated vessel exception. Upon the receipt of such a request, the Division shall notify the employer, provide an opportunity for a response and an informal meeting, and then rule on the request, which shall be granted if the preponderance of the evidence submitted supports the complainant's position.

[60 FR 3956, 3976, Jan. 19, 1995, as amended at 71 FR 35521, June 21, 2006]

§655.502   Definitions.

For the purposes of subparts F and G of this part:

Accepted for filing means that a properly completed attestation on Form ETA 9033, including accompanying documentation for each of the requirements in §655.510 (d) through (f) of this part, or a properly completed attestation on Form ETA 9033-A, including accompanying documentation for the requirement in §655.537 of this part in the case of an attestation under the Alaska exception, submitted by the employer or its designated agent or representative has been received and filed by the Employment and Training Administration of the Department of Labor (DOL). (Unacceptable attestations under the prevailing practice exception are described at §655.510(g)(2) of this part. Unacceptable attestations under the Alaska exception are described at §655.538(b) of this part.)

Act and INA mean the Immigration and Nationality Act, as amended, 8 U.S.C. 1101 et seq.

Activity means any activity relating to loading cargo; unloading cargo; operation of cargo-related equipment; or handling of mooring lines on the dock when a vessel is made fast or let go.

Administrative law judge means an official appointed pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 3105.

Administrator means the Administrator of the Wage and Hour Division, Employment Standards Administration, Department of Labor, or such authorized representatives as may be designated to perform any of the functions of the Administrator under subparts F and G of this part.

Administrator, Office of Foreign Labor Certification (OFLC Administrator) means the primary official of the Office of Foreign Labor Certification (OFLC Administrator), or the OFLC Administrator's designee.

Attestation means documents submitted by an employer attesting to and providing accompanying documentation to show that, under the prevailing practice exception, the use of alien crewmembers for a particular activity of longshore work at a particular U.S. port is the prevailing practice, and is not during a strike or lockout nor intended to influence an election of a bargaining representative for workers; and that notice of the attestation has been provided to the bargaining representative, or, where there is none, to the longshore workers at the local port. Under the Alaska exception, such documents shall show that, before using alien crewmen to perform longshore work, the employer will make bona fide requests for dispatch of United States longshore workers who are qualified and available in sufficient numbers and that the employer will employ all such United States longshore workers in response to such a request for dispatch; that the use of alien crewmembers is not intended or designed to influence an election of a bargaining representative for workers in the State of Alaska; and that notice of the attestation has been provided to labor organizations recognized as exclusive bargaining representatives of United States longshore workers, contract stevedoring companies, and operators of private docks at which the employer will use longshore workers.

Attesting employer means an employer who has filed an attestation.

Attorney General means the chief official of the U.S. Department of Justice or the Attorney General's designee.

Automated vessel means a vessel equipped with an automated self-unloading conveyor belt or vacuum-actuated system which is utilized for loading or unloading cargo between the vessel and the dock.

Certifying Officer (CO) means a Department of Labor official, or the CO's designee, who makes determinations about whether or not to grant applications for labor certification. The National Certifying Officer, which is the OFLC Administrator, makes such determinations in the national office of the OFLC.

Chief Administrative Law Judge means the chief official of the Office of the Administrative Law Judges of the Department of Labor or the Chief Administrative Law Judge's designee.

Contract stevedoring company means a stevedoring company which is licensed to do business in the State of Alaska and which meets the requirements of section 32 of the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act (33 U.S.C. 932).

Crewmember means any nonimmigrant alien admitted to the United States to perform services under sec. 101(a)(15)(D)(i) of the Act (8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(15)(D)(i)).

Date of filing means the date an attestation is accepted for filing by ETA.

Department and DOL mean the United States Department of Labor.

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) through the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) makes the determination under the Act on whether an employer of alien crewmembers may use such crewmembers for longshore work at a U.S. port.

Division means the Wage and Hour Division of the Employment Standards Administration, DOL.

Employer means a person, firm, corporation, or other association or organization, which suffers or permits, or proposes to suffer or permit, alien crewmembers to perform longshore work at a port within the U.S. For purposes of §§655.530 through 655.541, which govern the performance of longshore activities by alien crewmembers under the Alaska exception, “employer” includes any agent or representative designated by the employer.

Employment and Training Administration (ETA) means the agency within the Department of Labor (DOL) which includes the Office of Foreign Labor (OFLC).

Employment Standards Administration (ESA) means the agency within the Department of Labor (DOL) which includes the Wage and Hour Division.

Lockout means a labor dispute involving a work stoppage, wherein an employer withholds work from its employees in order to gain a concession from them.

Longshore work means any activity (except safety and environmental protection work as described in sec. 258(b)(2) of the Act) relating to the loading or unloading of cargo, the operation of cargo related equipment (whether or not integral to the vessel), or the handling of mooring lines on the dock when the vessel is made fast or let go, in the United States or the coastal waters thereof.

Longshore worker means a U.S. worker who performs longshore work.

Office of Foreign Labor Certification (OFLC) means the organizational component within the ETA that provides national leadership and policy guidance and develops regulations and procedures to carry out the responsibilities of the Secretary of Labor under the INA concerning alien workers seeking admission to the United States in order to work under the Immigration and Nationality Act, as amended.

Port means a geographic area, either on a seacoast, lake, river or any other navigable body of water, which contains one or more publicly or privately owned terminals, piers, docks, or maritime facilities, which is commonly thought of as a port by other government maritime-related agencies, such as the Maritime Administration. U.S. ports include, but are not limited to, those listed in Appendix A to this subpart.

Qualified and available in sufficient numbers means the full complement of qualified longshore workers needed to perform the longshore activity, as determined by industry standards in the State of Alaska, including safety considerations.

Secretary means the Secretary of Labor or the Secretary's designee.

Strike means a labor dispute wherein employees engage in a concerted stoppage of work (including stoppage by reason of the expiration of a collective-bargaining agreement) or engage in any concerted slowdown or other concerted interruption of operations.

Unanticipated emergency means an unexpected and unavoidable situation, such as one involving severe weather conditions, natural disaster, or mechanical breakdown, where cargo must be immediately loaded on, or unloaded from, a vessel.

United States is defined at 8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(38).

United States (U.S.) worker means a worker who is a U.S. citizen, a U.S. national, a permanent resident alien, or any other worker legally permitted to work indefinitely in the United States.

[60 FR 3956, 3976, Jan. 19, 1995, as amended at 71 FR 35520, June 21, 2006]

§655.510   Employer attestations.

(a) Who may submit attestations? An employer (or the employer's designated U.S. agent or representative) seeking to employ alien crewmembers for a particular activity of longshore work under the prevailing practice exception shall submit an attestation, provided there is not in effect in the local port any collective bargaining agreement covering at least 30 percent of the longshore workers. An attestation is required for each port at which the employer intends to use alien crewmembers for longshore work. The attestation shall include: A completed Form ETA 9033, which shall be signed by the employer (or the employer's designated agent or representative); and facts and evidence prescribed in paragraphs (d) through (f) of this section. This §655.510 shall not apply in the case of longshore work performed at a particular location in the State of Alaska. The procedures governing the filing of attestations under the Alaska exception are set forth at §§655.530 through 655.541.

(b) Where and when should attestations be submitted? (1) Attestations must be submitted, by U.S. mail, private carrier, or facsimile transmission to the U.S. Department of Labor office(s) which are designated by the OFLC Administrator. Attestations must be received and date-stamped by DOL at least 14 calendar days prior to the date of the first performance of the intended longshore activity, and shall be accepted for filing or returned by ETA in accordance with paragraph (g) of this section within 14 calendar days of the date received by ETA. An attestation which is accepted by ETA solely because it was not reviewed within 14 days is subject to subsequent invalidation pursuant to paragraph (i) of this section. Every employer filing an attestation shall have an agent or representative with a United States address. Such address shall be clearly indicated on the Form ETA 9033. In order to ensure that an attestation has been accepted for filing prior to the date of the performance of the longshore activity, employers are advised to take mailing time into account to make sure that ETA receives the attestation at least 14 days prior to the first performance of the longshore activity.

(2) Unanticipated Emergencies. ETA may accept for filing attestations received after the 14-day deadline when due to an unanticipated emergency, as defined in §655.502 of this part. When an employer is claiming an unanticipated emergency, it shall submit documentation to support such a claim. ETA shall then make a determination on the validity of the claim, and shall accept the attestation for filing or return it in accordance with paragraph (g) of this section. ETA shall in no case accept an attestation received later than the date of the first performance of the activity.

(c) What should be submitted?—(1) Form ETA 9033 with accompanying documentation. For each port, a completed and dated original Form ETA 9033, or facsimile transmission thereof, containing the required attestation elements and the original signature of the employer (or the employer's designated agent or representative) shall be submitted, along with two copies of the completed, signed, and dated Form ETA 9033. (If the attestation is submitted by facsimile transmission, the attestation containing the original signature shall be maintained at the U.S. business address of the employer's designated agent or representative). Copies of Form ETA 9033 are available at the National Processing Centers and at the National Office. In addition, the employer shall submit two sets of all facts and evidence to show compliance with each of the attestation elements as prescribed by the regulatory standards in paragraphs (d) through (f) of this section. In the case of an investigation pursuant to subpart G of this part, the employer shall have the burden of proof to establish the validity of each attestation. The employer shall maintain in its records at the office of its U.S. agent, for a period of at least 3 years from the date of filing, sufficient documentation to meet its burden of proof, which shall at a minimum include the documentation described in this §655.510, and shall make the documents available to Department of Labor officials upon request.

Whenever any document is submitted to a Federal agency or retained in the employer's records pursuant to this part, the document either shall be in the English language or shall be accompanied by a written translation into the English language certified by the translator as to the accuracy of the translation and his/her competency to translate.

(2) Statutory precondition regarding collective bargaining agreements. (i) The employer may file an attestation only when there is no collective bargaining agreement in effect in the port covering 30 percent or more of the longshore workers in the port. The employer shall attest on the Form ETA 9033 that no such collective bargaining agreement exists at the port at the time that the attestation is filed.

(ii) The employer is not required to submit with the Form ETA 9033 documentation substantiating that there is no collective bargaining agreement in effect in the port covering 30 percent or more of the longshore workers. If a complaint is filed which presents reasonable cause to believe that such an agreement exists, the Department shall conduct an investigation. In such an investigation, the employer shall have the burden of proving that no such collective bargaining agreement exists.

(3) Ports for which attestations may be filed. Employers may file an attestation for a port which is listed in appendix A (U.S. Seaports) to this subpart. Employers may also file an attestation for a particular location not in appendix A to this subpart if additional facts and evidence are submitted with the attestation to demonstrate that the location is a port, meeting all of the criteria as defined by §655.502 of this part.

(4) Attestation elements. The attestation elements referenced in paragraph (c)(1) of this section are mandated by sec. 258(c)(1)(B) of the Act (8 U.S.C. 1288(c)(1)(B)). Section 258(c)(1)(B) of the Act requires employers who seek to have alien crewmembers engage in a longshore activity to attest as follows:

(i) The performance of the activity by alien crewmembers is permitted under the prevailing practice of the particular port as of the date of filing of the attestation;

(ii) The use of the alien crewmembers for such activity is not during a strike or lockout in the course of a labor dispute, and is not intended or designed to influence an election of a bargaining representative for workers in the local port; and

(iii) Notice of the attestation has been provided by the owner, agent, consignee, master, or commanding officer to the bargaining representative of longshore workers in the local port, or, where there is no such bargaining representative, notice has been provided to longshore workers employed at the local port.

(d) The first attestation element: prevailing practice. For an employer to be in compliance with the first attestation element, it is required to have been the prevailing practice during the 12-month period preceding the filing of the attestation, for a particular activity of longshore work at the particular port to be performed by alien crewmembers. For each port, a prevailing practice can exist for any of four different types of longshore work: loading of cargo, unloading of cargo, operation of cargo-related equipment, or handling of mooring lines. It is thus possible that at a particular port it is the prevailing practice for alien crewmembers to unload vessels but not the prevailing practice to load them. An employer shall indicate on the attestation form which of the four longshore activities it is claiming is the prevailing practice for such work to be performed by alien crewmembers.

(1) Establishing a prevailing practice. (i) In establishing that a particular activity of longshore work is the prevailing practice at a particular port, an employer shall submit facts and evidence to show that in the 12-month period preceding the filing of the attestation, one of the following conditions existed:

(A) Over fifty percent of vessels docking at the port used alien crewmembers for the activity; or

(B) Alien crewmembers made up over fifty percent of the workers in the port who engaged in the activity.

(ii) Prevailing practice after Secretary of State determination of non-reciprocity. Section 258(d) of the Act provides a reciprocity exception (separate from the prevailing practice exception) to the prohibition on performance of longshore work by alien crewmembers in U.S. ports. However, this reciprocity exception becomes nonapplicable where the Secretary of State determines that, for a particular activity of longshore work, a particular country (by law, regulation, or practice) prohibits such activity by U.S. crewmembers in its ports. When the Secretary of State places a country on the non-reciprocity list (which means, for the purposes of this section, Prohibitions on longshore work by U.S. nationals; listing by country at 22 CFR 89.1), crewmembers on vessels from that country (that is, vessels that are registered in that country or vessels whose majority ownership interest is held by nationals of that country) are not permitted to perform longshore work in U.S. waters, absent applicability of some exception other than the reciprocity exception. The Secretary of State's determination has the following effects in the establishment of a prevailing practice for a particular longshore activity at a particular U.S. port for purposes of the prevailing practice exception.

(A) An employer from any country, other than the country which is placed on the non-reciprocity list, may include the longshore activities performed by alien crewmembers on all vessels in establishing the prevailing practice for a particular longshore activity in a particular port.

(B) An employer from a country which is placed on the non-reciprocity list may file an attestation for the prevailing practice exception under the standards and requirements established in this subpart F (except as provided in paragraph (d)(1)(ii)(C) of this section), provided that the attestation is filed at least 12 months after the date on which the employer's country is placed on the list.

(C) An employer from a country which is placed on the non-reciprocity list may file an attestation pursuant to the prevailing practice exception earlier than 12 months from the date on which the employer's country is placed on the list, except that the following restrictions shall apply to such attestation:

(1) The employer shall submit facts and evidence to show that, for the 12-month period preceding the date of the attestation, the use of alien crewmembers to perform a particular activity of longshore work was permitted by the prevailing practice in the port (as defined in paragraph (d)(1)(i) of this section) without considering or including such activity by crewmembers on vessels from the employer's country; or

(2) The employer shall submit facts and evidence (including data on activities performed by crewmembers on vessels from the employer's country) to show that the use of alien crewmembers to perform a particular activity of longshore work was permitted by the prevailing practice in the port (as defined in paragraph (d)(1)(i) of this section) for one of two periods—

(i) For the employer whose country has not previously been on the non-reciprocity list, the period is the continuous 12-month period prior to May 28, 1991 (the effective date of section 258 of the Act); or

(ii) For the employer whose country was at some time on the non-reciprocity list, but was subsequently removed from the non-reciprocity list and then restored to the non-reciprocity list (on one or more occasions), the period is the last continuous 12-month period during which the employer's country was not under the reciprocity exception (that is, was listed on the non-reciprocity list).

(iii) For purposes of this paragraph (d)(1):

(A) “Workers in the port engaged in the activity” means any person who performed the activity in any calendar day;

(B) Vessels shall be counted each time they dock at the particular port):

(C) Vessels exempt from section 258 of the INA for safety and environmental protection shall not be included in counting the number of vessels which dock at the port (see Department of Transportation Regulations); and

(D) Automated vessels shall not be included in counting the number of vessels which dock at the port. For establishing a prevailing practice under the automated vessel exception see §655.520 of this part.

(2) Documentation. In assembling the facts and evidence required by paragraph (d)(1) of this section, the employer may consult with the port authority which has jurisdiction over the local port, the collective bargaining representative(s) of longshore workers at the local port, other employers, or any other entity which is familiar with the practices at the port. Such documentation shall include a written summary of a survey of the experience of shipmasters who entered the local port in the previous year; or a letter, affidavit, or other written statement from an appropriate local port authority regarding the use of alien crewmembers to perform the longshore activity at the port in the previous year; or other documentation of comparable weight. Written statements from collective bargaining representatives and/or shipping agents with direct knowledge of practices regarding the use of alien crewmembers in the local port may also be pertinent. Such documentation shall accompany the Form ETA 9033, and any underlying documentation which supports the employer's burden of proof shall be maintained in the employer's records at the office of the U.S. agent as required by paragraph (c)(1) of this section.

(e) The second attestation element: no strike or lockout; no intention or design to influence bargaining representative election. (1) The employer shall attest that, at the time of submitting the attestation, there is not a strike or lockout in the course of a labor dispute covering the employer's activity, and that it will not use alien crewmembers during a strike or lockout after filing the attestation. The employer shall also attest that the employment of such aliens is not intended or designed to influence an election for a bargaining representative for workers in the local port. Labor disputes for purposes of this attestation element relate only to those involving longshore workers at the port of intended employment. This attestation element applies to strikes and lockouts and elections of bargaining representatives at the local port where the use of alien crewmembers for longshore work is intended.

(2) Documentation. As documentation to substantiate the requirement in paragraph (e)(1) of this section, an employer may submit a statement of the good faith efforts made to determine whether there is a strike or lockout at the particular port, as, for example, by contacting the port authority or the collective bargaining representative for longshore workers at the particular port.

(f) The third attestation element: notice of filing. The employer of alien crewmembers shall attest that at the time of filing the attestation, notice of filing has been provided to the bargaining representative of the longshore workers in the local port, or, where there is no such bargaining representative, notice of the filing has been provided to longshore workers employed at the local port through posting in conspicuous locations and through other appropriate means.

(1) Notification of bargaining representative. No later than the date the attestation is received by DOL to be considered for filing, the employer of alien crewmembers shall notify the bargaining representative (if any) of longshore workers at the local port that the attestation is being submitted to DOL. The notice shall include a copy of the Form ETA 9033, shall state the activity(ies) for which the attestation is submitted, and shall state in that notice that the attestation and accompanying documentation are available at the national office of ETA for review by interested parties. The employer may have its owner, agent, consignee, master, or commanding officer provide such notice. Notices under this paragraph (f)(1) shall include the following statement: “Complaints alleging misrepresentation of material facts in the attestation and/or failure to comply with the terms of the attestation may be filed with any office of the Wage and Hour Division of the United States Department of Labor.”

(2) Posting notice where there is no bargaining representative. If there is no bargaining representative of longshore workers at the local port when the employer submits an attestation to ETA, the employer shall provide written notice to the port authority for distribution to the public on request. In addition, the employer shall post one or more written notices at the local port, stating that the attestation with accompanying documentation has been submitted, the activity(ies) for which the attestation has been submitted, and that the attestation and accompanying documentation are available at the national office of ETA for review by interested parties. Such posted notice shall be clearly visible and unobstructed, and shall be posted in conspicuous places where the longshore workers readily can read the posted notice on the way to or from their duties. Appropriate locations for posting such notices include locations in the immediate proximity of mandatory Fair Labor Standards Act wage and hour notices and Occupational Safety and Health Act occupational safety and health notices. The notice shall include a copy of the Form ETA 9033 filed with DOL, shall provide information concerning the availability of supporting documents for examination at the national office of ETA, and shall include the following statement: “Complaints alleging misrepresentation of material facts in the attestation and/or failure to comply with the terms of the attestation may be filed with any office of the Wage and Hour Division of the United States Department of Labor.”

(3) Documentation. The employer shall provide a statement setting forth the name and address of the person to whom the notice was provided and where and when the notice was posted and shall attach a copy of the notice.

(g) Actions on attestations submitted for filing. Once an attestation has been received from an employer, a determination shall be made by the Certifying Officer whether to accept the attestation for filing or return it. The Certifying Officer may request additional explanation and/or documentation from the employer in making this determination. An attestation which is properly filled out and which includes accompanying documentation for each of the requirements set forth at §655.510(d) through (f) shall be accepted for filing by ETA on the date it is signed by the Certifying Officer unless it falls within one of the categories set forth in paragraph (g)(2) of this section. Once an attestation is accepted for filing, ETA shall then follow the procedures set forth in paragraph (g)(1) of this section. Upon acceptance of the employer's attestation by ETA, the attestation and accompanying documentation will be forwarded and shall be available in a timely manner for public examination at the ETA national office. ETA shall not consider information contesting an attestation received by ETA prior to the determination to accept or return the attestation for filing. Such information shall not be made part of ETA's administrative record on the attestation, but shall be referred to ESA to be processed as a complaint pursuant to subpart G of this part if the attestation is accepted by ETA for filing.

(1) Acceptance. (i) If the attestation is properly filled out and includes accompanying documentation for each of the requirements at §655.510(d) through (f), and does not fall within one of the categories set forth at paragraph (g)(2) of this section, ETA shall accept the attestation for filing, provide notification to the DHS office having jurisdiction over the port where longshore work will be performed, and return to the employer, or the employer's agent or representative at a U.S. address, one copy of the attestation form submitted by the employer, with ETA's acceptance indicated thereon. The employer may then use alien crewmembers for the particular activity of longshore work at the U.S. port cited in the attestation in accordance with DHS regulations.

(ii) DOL is not the guarantor of the accuracy, truthfulness or adequacy of an attestation accepted for filing.

(2) Unacceptable attestations. ETA shall not accept an attestation for filing and shall return such attestation to the employer, or the employer's agent or representative at a U.S. address, when one of the following conditions exists:

(i) When the Form ETA 9033 is not properly filled out. Examples of improperly filled out Form ETA 9033's include instances where the employer has neglected to check all the necessary boxes, or where the employer has failed to include the name of the port where it intends to use the alien crewmembers for longshore work, or where the employer has named a port that is not listed in appendix A and has failed to submit facts and evidence to support a showing that the location is a port as defined by §655.502, or when the employer has failed to sign the attestation or to designate an agent in the United States;

(ii) When the Form ETA 9033 with accompanying documentation is not received by ETA at least 14 days prior to the date of performance of the first activity indicated on the Form ETA 9033; unless the employer is claiming an unanticipated emergency, has included documentation which supports such claim, and ETA has found the claim to be valid;

(iii) When the Form ETA 9033 does not include accompanying documentation for each of the requirements set forth at §655.510 (d) through (f);

(iv) When the accompanying documentation required by paragraph (c) of this section submitted by the employer, on its face, is inconsistent with the requirements set forth at §655.510 (d) through (f). Examples of such a situation include instances where the Form ETA 9033 pertains to one port and the accompanying documentation to another; where the Form ETA 9033 pertains to one activity of longshore work and the accompanying documentation obviously refers to another; or where the documentation clearly indicates that only thirty percent, instead of the required fifty percent, of the activity attested to is performed by alien crewmembers;

(v) When the Administrator, Wage and Hour Division, has notified ETA, in writing, after an investigation pursuant to subpart G of this part, that the particular activity of longshore work which the employer has attested is the prevailing practice at a particular port, is not, in fact, the prevailing practice at the particular port;

(vi) When the Administrator, Wage and Hour Division, has notified ETA, in writing, that a cease and desist order has been issued pursuant to subpart G of this part, with respect to the attesting employer's performance of the particular activity and port, in violation of a previously accepted attestation;

(vii) When the Administrator, Wage and Hour Division, has notified ETA, in writing, after an investigation pursuant to subpart G of this part, that the particular employer has misrepresented or failed to comply with an attestation previously submitted and accepted for filing, but in no case for a period of more than one year after the date of the Administrator's notice and provided that DHS has not advised ETA that the prohibition is in effect for a lesser period; or

(viii) When the Administrator, Wage and Hour Division, has notified ETA, in writing, that the employer has failed to comply with any penalty, sanction, or other remedy assessed in a final agency action following an investigation by the Wage and Hour Division pursuant to subpart G of this part.

(3) Resubmission. If the attestation is not accepted for filing pursuant to the categories set forth in paragraph (g)(2) of this section, ETA shall return to the employer, or the employer's agent or representative, at a U.S. address, the attestation form and accompanying documentation submitted by the employer. ETA shall notify the employer, in writing, of the reason(s) that the attestation is unacceptable. When an attestation is found to be unacceptable pursuant to paragraphs (g)(2) (i) through (iv) of this section, the employer may resubmit the attestation with the proper documentation. When an attestation is found to be unacceptable pursuant to paragraphs (g)(2) (v) through (viii) of this section and returned, such action shall be the final decision of the Secretary of Labor.

(h) Effective date and validity of filed attestations. An attestation is filed and effective as of the date it is accepted and signed by the Certifying Officer. Such attestation is valid for the 12-month period beginning on the date of acceptance for filing, unless suspended or invalidated pursuant to subpart G of this part or paragraph (i) of this section. The filed attestation expires at the end of the 12-month period of validity.

(i) Suspension or invalidation of filed attestations. Suspension or invalidation of an attestation may result from enforcement action(s) under subpart G of this part (i.e., investigation(s) conducted by the Administrator or cease and desist order(s) issued by the Administrator regarding the employer's misrepresentation in or failure to carry out its attestation); or from a discovery by ETA that it made an error in accepting the attestation because such attestation falls within one of the categories set forth in paragraph (g)(2) of this section.

(1) Result of Wage and Hour Division action. Upon the determination of a violation under subpart G of this part, the Administrator shall, pursuant to §655.660(b), notify the DHS of the violation and of the Administrator's notice to ETA.

(2) Result of ETA action. If, after accepting an attestation for filing, ETA finds that the attestation is unacceptable because it falls within one of the categories set forth at paragraph (g)(2) of this section, and as a result, ETA suspends or invalidates the attestation, ETA shall notify the DHS of such suspension or invalidation and shall return a copy of the attestation form to the employer, or the employer's agent or representative, at a U.S. address. ETA shall notify the employer, in writing, of the reason(s) that the attestation is suspended or invalidated. When an attestation is found to be suspended or invalidated pursuant to paragraphs (g)(2) (i) through (iv) of this section, the employer may resubmit the attestation with the proper documentation. When an attestation is suspended or invalidated because it falls within one of the categories in paragraphs (g)(2) (v) through (viii) of this section, such action shall be the final decision of the Secretary of Labor, except as set forth in subpart G of this part.

(j) Withdrawal of accepted attestations. (1) An employer who has submitted an attestation which has been accepted for filing may withdraw such attestation at any time before the 12-month period of its validity terminates, unless the Administrator has found reasonable cause under subpart G to commence an investigation of the particular attestation. Such withdrawal may be advisable, for example, when the employer learns that the particular activity(ies) of longshore work which it has attested is the prevailing practice to perform with alien crewmembers may not, in fact, have been the prevailing practice at the particular port at the time of filing. Requests for such withdrawals shall be in writing and shall be directed to the Certifying Officer.

(2) Withdrawal of an attestation shall not affect an employer's liability with respect to any failure to meet the conditions attested to which took place before the withdrawal, or for misrepresentations in an attestation. However, if an employer has not yet performed the particular longshore activity(ies) at the port in question, the Administrator will not find reasonable cause to investigate unless it is alleged, and there is reasonable cause to believe, that the employer has made misrepresentations in the attestation or documentation thereof, or that the employer has not in fact given the notice attested to.

(Approved by the Office of Management and Budget under Control No. 1205-0309)

[60 FR 3956, 3976, Jan. 19, 1995, as amended at 71 FR 35520, June 21, 2006]

§655.520   Special provisions regarding automated vessels.

In general, an attestation is not required in the case of a particular activity of longshore work consisting of the use of automated self-unloading conveyor belt or vacuum-actuated systems on a vessel. The legislation creates a rebuttable presumption that the use of alien crewmembers for the operation of such automated systems is the prevailing practice. In order to overcome such presumption, it must be shown by the preponderance of the evidence submitted by any interested party, that the use of alien crewmembers for such activity is not the prevailing practice. Longshore work involving the use of such equipment shall be exempt from the attestation requirement only if the activity consists of using that equipment. If the automated equipment is not used in the particular activity of longshore work, an attestation is required as described under §655.510 of this part if it is the prevailing practice in the port to use alien crewmembers for this work, except that in all cases, where an attestation is required for longshore work to be performed at a particular location in the State of Alaska, an employer shall file such attestation under the Alaska exception pursuant to §§655.530 through 655.541 on Form ETA 9033-A. When automated equipment is used in the particular activity of longshore work, an attestation is required only if the Administrator finds, based on a preponderance of the evidence which may be submitted by any interested party, that the performance of the particular activity of longshore work is not the prevailing practice at the port, or was during a strike or lockout or intended to influence an election of a bargaining representative for workers in the local port, or if the Administrator issues a cease and desist order against use of the automated equipment without such attestation.

(a) Procedure when attestation is required. If it is determined pursuant to subpart G of this part that an attestation is required for longshore work consisting of the use of automated equipment at a location other than in the State of Alaska, the employer shall comply with all the requirements set forth at §655.510 of this part except paragraph (d) of §655.510. In lieu of complying with §655.510(d) of this part, the employer shall comply with paragraph (b) of this section. If it is determined pursuant to subpart G of this part that an attestation is required for longshore work consisting of the use of automated equipment at a particular location in the State of Alaska, the employer shall comply with all the requirements set forth at §§655.530 through 655.541 of this part.

(b) The first attestation element: prevailing practice for automated vessels. For an employer to be in compliance with the first attestation element, it is required to have been the prevailing practice that over fifty percent (as described in paragraph (b)(1) of this section) of a particular activity of longshore work which was performed through the use of automated self-unloading conveyor belt or vacuum-actuated equipment at the particular port during the 12-month period preceding the filing of the attestation, was performed by alien crewmembers. For purposes of this paragraph (b), only automated vessels shall be included in counting the number of vessels which dock at the port.

(1) Establishing a prevailing practice. (i) In establishing that the use of alien crewmembers to perform a particular activity of longshore work consisting of the use of self-unloading conveyor belt or vacuum-actuated systems on a vessel is the prevailing practice at a particular port, an employer shall submit facts and evidence to show that in the 12-month period preceding the filing of the attestation, one of the following conditions existed:

(A) Over fifty percent of the automated vessels docking at the port used alien crewmembers for the activity (for purposes of this paragraph (b)(1), a vessel shall be counted each time it docks at the particular port); or

(B) Alien crewmembers made up over fifty percent of the workers who performed the activity with respect to such automated vessels.

(ii) Prevailing practice after Secretary of State determination of non-reciprocity. Section 258(d) of the Act provides a reciprocity exception (separate from the prevailing practice exception) to the prohibition on performance of longshore work by alien crewmembers in U.S. ports. However, this reciprocity exception becomes nonapplicable where the Secretary of State determines that, for a particular activity of longshore work, a particular country (by law, regulation, or practice) prohibits such activity by U.S. crewmembers in its ports. When the Secretary of State places a country on the non-reciprocity list (which means, for the purposes of this section, Prohibitions on longshore work by U.S. nationals; listing by country at 22 CFR 89.1), crewmembers on vessels from that country (that is, vessels that are registered in that country or vessels whose majority ownership interest is held by nationals of that country) are not permitted to perform longshore work in U.S. waters, absent applicability of some exception other than the reciprocity exception. The Secretary of State's determination has the following effects in the establishment of a prevailing practice for a particular longshore activity at a particular U.S. port for purposes of the prevailing practice exception.

(A) An employer from any country, other than the country which is placed on the non-reciprocity list, may include the longshore activities performed by alien crewmembers on all vessels in establishing the prevailing practice for a particular longshore activity in a particular port.

(B) An employer from a country which is placed on the non-reciprocity list may file an attestation for the prevailing practice exception under the standards and requirements established in this subpart F (except as provided in paragraph (b)(1)(ii)(C) of this section), provided that the attestation is filed at least 12 months after the date on which the employer's country is placed on the list.

(C) An employer from a country which is placed on the non-reciprocity list may file an attestation pursuant to the prevailing practice exception earlier than 12 months from the date on which the employer's country is placed on the list, except that the following restrictions shall apply to such attestation:

(1) The employer shall submit facts and evidence to show that, for the 12-month period preceding the date of the attestation, the use of alien crewmembers to perform a particular activity of longshore work was permitted by the prevailing practice in the port (as defined in paragraph (d)(1)(i) of this section) without considering or including such activity by crewmembers on vessels from the employer's country; or

(2) The employer shall submit facts and evidence (including data on activities performed by crewmembers on vessels from the employer's country) to show that the use of alien crewmembers to perform a particular activity of longshore work was permitted by the prevailing practice in the port (as defined in paragraph (b)(1)(i) of this section) for one of two periods—

(i) For the employer whose country has not previously been on the non-reciprocity list, the period is the continuous 12-month period prior to May 28, 1991 (the effective date of section 258 of the Act); or

(ii) For the employer whose country was at some time on the non-reciprocity list, but was subsequently removed from the non-reciprocity list and then restored to the non-reciprocity list (on one or more occasions), the period is the last continuous 12-month period during which the employer's country was not under the reciprocity exception (that is, was listed on the non-reciprocity list).

(2) Documentation. In assembling the documentation described in paragraph (b)(1) of this section, the employer may consult with the port authority which has jurisdiction over the local port, the collective bargaining representative(s) of longshore workers at the local port, other employers, or any other entity which is familiar with the practices at the port. The documentation shall include a written summary of a survey of the experience of shipmasters who entered the local port in the previous year; or a letter, affidavit, or other written statement from an appropriate local port authority regarding the use of alien crewmembers to perform the longshore activity at the port in the previous year; or other documentation of comparable weight. Written statements from collective bargaining representatives and/or shipping agents with direct knowledge of practices regarding the use of alien crewmembers may also be pertinent. Such documentation shall accompany the Form ETA 9033, and any underlying documentation which supports the employer's burden of proof shall be maintained in the employer's records at the office of the U.S. agent as required under §655.510(c)(1) of this part.

(Approved by the Office of Management and Budget under Control No. 1205-0309)

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