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Text of the Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act of 2009

This bill was introduced on July 8, 2009, in a previous session of Congress, but was not enacted. The text of the bill below is as of Sep 8, 2009 (Reported by Senate Committee).

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S 588 RS

111th CONGRESS

1st Session

S. 588

[Report No. 111-72]

To amend title 46, United States Code, to establish requirements to ensure the security and safety of passengers and crew on cruise vessels, and for other purposes.

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

March 12, 2009

Mr. KERRY (for himself, Mr. LIEBERMAN, and Mr. DODD) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation

September 8, 2009

Reported by Mr. ROCKEFELLER, with an amendment

[Strike all after the enacting clause and insert the part printed in italic]


A BILL

To amend title 46, United States Code, to establish requirements to ensure the security and safety of passengers and crew on cruise vessels, and for other purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

[Struck out->] SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE; TABLE OF CONTENTS. [<-Struck out]

    [Struck out->] (a) Short Title- This Act may be cited as the ‘Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act of 2009’. [<-Struck out]

    [Struck out->] (b) Table of Contents- The table of contents for this Act is as follows: [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->] Sec. 1. Short title; table of contents. [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->] Sec. 2. Findings. [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->] Sec. 3. Cruise vessel security and safety requirements. [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->] Sec. 4. Detailing Coast Guard personnel to enforce cruise ship requirements. [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->] Sec. 5. Study and report on the security needs of passenger vessels. [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->] Sec. 6. Amendment of the Death on the High Seas Act. [<-Struck out]

[Struck out->] SEC. 2. FINDINGS. [<-Struck out]

    [Struck out->] The Congress makes the following findings: [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->] (1) There are approximately 200 overnight ocean-going cruise vessels worldwide. The average ocean-going cruise vessel carries 2,000 passengers with a crew of 950 people. [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->] (2) In 2007 alone, approximately 12,000,000 passengers were projected to take a cruise worldwide. [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->] (3) Even with these high passenger numbers, few vacationing passengers on cruise vessels fully appreciate their potential vulnerability to crime while on an ocean voyage, and those who are victimized often do not know their legal rights or whom to contact for help in the immediate aftermath of the crime. [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->] (4) On numerous occasions, sexual violence, the disappearance of passengers from vessels on the high seas, and other serious crimes have occurred during luxury cruises. [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->] (5) Over the last five years, sexual assault and physical assaults on cruise vessels were the leading crimes reported to and investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation with regard to cruise vessel incidents. [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->] (6) These crimes at sea can involve attacks both by passengers and crewmembers on other passengers and crewmembers. [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->] (7) There are no Federal statutes or regulations that explicitly require cruise lines to report alleged crimes to United States Government officials, unless such crimes occur within the territorial waters of the United States. [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->] (8) It is not known precisely how often crimes occur on cruise vessels or exactly how many people have disappeared during ocean voyages because cruise line companies do not make comprehensive, crime-related data readily available to the public. [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->] (9) Obtaining reliable crime-related cruise data from governmental sources can be difficult, because multiple countries may be involved when a crime occurs on the high seas, including the flag country for the vessel, the country of citizenship of particular passengers, and any countries having special or maritime jurisdiction. [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->] (10) Due to the absence of law enforcement officials on ocean voyages, it can be difficult or impossible for professional criminal investigators to immediately secure an alleged crime scene on a cruise vessel, recover evidence of an onboard offense, and identify or interview potential witnesses to the alleged crime. [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->] (11) Most cruise vessels that operate into and out of United States ports are registered under the laws of another country, and investigations and prosecutions of crimes against passengers and crewmembers may involve the laws and authorities of multiple nations. [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->] (12) The Department of Homeland Security has found it necessary to establish 500-yard security zones around vessels to limit the risk of terrorist attack, but no viable means of communicating and enforcing the security zones has been established. Recently piracy has dramatically increased throughout the world and vessels have limited if any means of protection against piracy and terrorism while on the high seas. [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->] (13) To enhance safety of cruise passengers, the owner of these cruise vessels could upgrade, modernize, and retrofit the safety and security infrastructure on such vessels by installing peep holes in passenger room doors, installing security video cameras in targeted areas, limiting access to passenger rooms to select staff during specific times, installing acoustic hailing and warning devices capable of communicating and enforcing the 500-yard security zone. [<-Struck out]

[Struck out->] SEC. 3. CRUISE VESSEL SECURITY AND SAFETY REQUIREMENTS. [<-Struck out]

    [Struck out->] (a) In General- Chapter 35 of title 46, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following: [<-Struck out]

[Struck out->]
‘Sec. 3507. Cruise vessel security and safety requirements [<-Struck out]

    [Struck out->]

    ‘(a) Vessel Design, Construction, and Retrofitting Requirements- [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->]

      ‘(1) IN GENERAL- Each passenger vessel to which this subsection applies shall comply with the following design and construction standards: [<-Struck out]

        [Struck out->]

        ‘(A) The vessel shall be equipped with ship rails that are located not less than 4 1/2 feet above the deck. [<-Struck out]

        [Struck out->]

        ‘(B) Each passenger stateroom and crew cabin shall be equipped with entry doors that include-- [<-Struck out]

          [Struck out->]

          ‘(i) peep holes; [<-Struck out]

          [Struck out->]

          ‘(ii) security latches; and [<-Struck out]

          [Struck out->]

          ‘(iii) time sensitive key technology. [<-Struck out]

        [Struck out->]

        ‘(C) Fire safety codes shall be implemented. [<-Struck out]

        [Struck out->]

        ‘(D) The vessel shall integrate technology that can be used for detecting passengers who have fallen overboard, to the extent that such technology is available. [<-Struck out]

        [Struck out->]

        ‘(E) The vessel shall be equipped with a sufficient number of operable acoustic hailing and warning devices to provide 360 degrees of communication capability around the vessel. The acoustic hailing and warning devices shall be capable of communicating clear voice instructions to approaching vessels that are 500 yards away, over 88 dB of background noise at the listener’s position with 90 percent intelligibility. The broadcasts made by such devices shall be directional in nature so as not confuse other vessel operators who are not in the security zone and to limit unnecessary noise. The device controls shall be manned and operable during transits in and out of harbors and whenever another vessel approaches within 500 yards of the passenger vessel. [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->]

      ‘(2) EFFECTIVE DATES- The requirements of paragraph (1) shall take effect 36 months after the date of enactment of the Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act of 2009. [<-Struck out]

    [Struck out->]

    ‘(b) Crew Access to Passenger Staterooms- The owner, charterer, managing operator, master, or individual in charge of a vessel to which this section applies shall-- [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->]

      ‘(1) establish and implement procedures and restrictions concerning-- [<-Struck out]

        [Struck out->]

        ‘(A) which crewmembers have access to passenger staterooms; and [<-Struck out]

        [Struck out->]

        ‘(B) the periods during which they have that access; and [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->]

      ‘(2) ensure that the procedures and restrictions are fully and properly implemented and periodically reviewed. [<-Struck out]

    [Struck out->]

    ‘(c) Log Book and Reporting Requirements- [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->]

      ‘(1) IN GENERAL- The owner, charterer, managing operator, master, or individual in charge of a vessel to which this section applies shall-- [<-Struck out]

        [Struck out->]

        ‘(A) record in a log book reports on reported deaths, missing individuals, and each significant alleged crime committed on the vessel, and all passenger and crewmember complaints regarding theft, sexual harassment, and assaults; and [<-Struck out]

        [Struck out->]

        ‘(B) make such log book available-- [<-Struck out]

          [Struck out->]

          ‘(i) upon request to any agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, any member of the Coast Guard, and any law enforcement officer; and [<-Struck out]

          [Struck out->]

          ‘(ii) to the Coast Guard in an electronic format prescribed by the Commandant. [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->]

      ‘(2) DETAILS REQUIRED- The information recorded under paragraph (1) shall include, at a minimum-- [<-Struck out]

        [Struck out->]

        ‘(A) the type of vessel; [<-Struck out]

        [Struck out->]

        ‘(B) the name of the cruise line; [<-Struck out]

        [Struck out->]

        ‘(C) the flag under which the vessel was operating at the time the reported incident occurred; [<-Struck out]

        [Struck out->]

        ‘(D) the age of the victim; [<-Struck out]

        [Struck out->]

        ‘(E) the nature of the alleged crime or complaint, as applicable, including whether the perpetrator was a passenger or a crewmember; [<-Struck out]

        [Struck out->]

        ‘(F) the vessel’s position at the time of the incident, if known, or the position of the vessel at the time of the initial report; [<-Struck out]

        [Struck out->]

        ‘(G) the time, date, and method of the initial report and the law enforcement authority to which the initial report was made; [<-Struck out]

        [Struck out->]

        ‘(H) the case number or other identifier provided by the law enforcement authority to which the initial report was made; and [<-Struck out]

        [Struck out->]

        ‘(I) whether the reported incident occurred on land or onboard. [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->]

      ‘(3) REQUIREMENT TO REPORT CRIMES AND OTHER INFORMATION- [<-Struck out]

        [Struck out->]

        ‘(A) IN GENERAL- The master of a passenger vessel to which this section applies-- [<-Struck out]

          [Struck out->]

          ‘(i) shall contact the nearest Federal Bureau of Investigation Field Office or Legal Attache by telephone as soon as possible after the occurrence on board the vessel of an incident involving homicide, suspicious death, a missing United States national, kidnapping, assault with serious bodily injury, any offense to which section 2241, 2242, 2243, or 2244 (a) or (c) of title 18, United States Code, applies, firing or tampering with the vessel, or theft of money or property in excess of $10,000 to report the incident; [<-Struck out]

          [Struck out->]

          ‘(ii) shall furnish a written report of the incident by facsimile or electronic mail to the Coast Guard National Command Center and by facsimile to the Federal Bureau of Investigation; [<-Struck out]

          [Struck out->]

          ‘(iii) may report any serious incident that does not meet the reporting requirements of clause (i) and that does not require immediate attention by the Federal Bureau of Investigation to the nearest Field Office or Legal Attache by facsimile or electronic mail; and [<-Struck out]

          [Struck out->]

          ‘(iv) may report any other criminal incident involving passengers or crewmembers, or both, to the proper State or local government law enforcement authority. [<-Struck out]

        [Struck out->]

        ‘(B) INCIDENTS TO WHICH SUBPARAGRAPH (A) APPLIES- Subparagraph (A) applies to an incident involving criminal activity if-- [<-Struck out]

          [Struck out->]

          ‘(i) the ship, regardless of registry, is owned, in whole or in part, by a United States person, regardless of the nationality of the victim or perpetrator, and the incident occurs when the vessel is within the admiralty and maritime jurisdiction of the United States and outside the jurisdiction of any State; [<-Struck out]

          [Struck out->]

          ‘(ii) the incident concerns an offense by or against a United States national committed outside the jurisdiction of any nation; [<-Struck out]

          [Struck out->]

          ‘(iii) the incident occurs in the Territorial Sea of the United States, regardless of the nationality of the vessel, the victim, or the perpetrator; or [<-Struck out]

          [Struck out->]

          ‘(iv) the incident concerns a victim or perpetrator who is a United States national on a vessel during a voyage that departed from or will arrive at a United States port. [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->]

      ‘(4) AVAILABILITY OF INCIDENT DATA VIA INTERNET- [<-Struck out]

        [Struck out->]

        ‘(A) WEBSITE- The Secretary shall maintain, on an Internet site of the department in which the Coast Guard is operating, a numerical accounting of the missing persons and alleged crimes recorded in each report filed under paragraph (1)(A). The data shall be updated no less frequently than quarterly, aggregated by cruise line, and each cruise line shall be identified by name. [<-Struck out]

        [Struck out->]

        ‘(B) ACCESS TO WEBSITE- Each cruise line taking on or discharging passengers in the United States shall include a link on its Internet website to the website maintained by the Secretary under subparagraph (A). [<-Struck out]

    [Struck out->]

    ‘(d) Crew Database Requirement- The Secretary shall prescribe regulations that require the owner of each vessel to which this section applies to participate in the establishment and maintenance of a database for reporting all individuals whose employment on such a vessel has been terminated for a matter reported under subsection (c)(1)(A). [<-Struck out]

    [Struck out->]

    ‘(e) Rape Kits- The owner of a vessel to which this section applies shall-- [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->]

      ‘(1) maintain on the vessel adequate, in-date supplies of anti-retroviral medications and other medications used to prevent sexually transmitted diseases after a sexual assault; [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->]

      ‘(2) maintain on the vessel equipment and materials for performing a medical examination to evaluate the patient for trauma, treat injury, and collect forensic evidence; [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->]

      ‘(3) make available on the vessel at all times an individual licensed to practice as a medical doctor in the United States who has received training in conducting forensic sexual assault examinations, to promptly perform such an examination upon request and to provide proper medical treatment of a victim, including antiretroviral medications and other medications that may prevent the transmission of human immunodeficiency virus and other sexually transmitted diseases; [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->]

      ‘(4) prepare, provide to the individual, and maintain written documentation of the performance and findings of such examination that is signed by the individual and ensure that no medical information is released to the cruise line or any legal representative thereof without the prior knowledge and approval in writing of the victim, or, if the victim is unable to provide written authorization, the victim’s next-of-kin; and [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->]

      ‘(5) provide the individual free and immediate access to-- [<-Struck out]

        [Struck out->]

        ‘(A) a description of the toll-free telephone number and website by which the individual may access the National Sexual Assault Hotline and the National Sexual Assault Online Hotline referred to in section 628 of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006 (Public Law 109-248; 42 U.S.C. 16985); [<-Struck out]

        [Struck out->]

        ‘(B) information for local law enforcement and the Federal Bureau of Investigation; and [<-Struck out]

        [Struck out->]

        ‘(C) a private telephone line and Internet-accessible computer terminal on the cruise ship by which the individual may confidentially access such hotline services. [<-Struck out]

    [Struck out->]

    ‘(f) Crime Scene Investigation Training for Passenger Vessel Crewmembers- The Secretary, in consultation with the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, shall develop a training curriculum for crewmembers and law enforcement officials of passenger vessels to educate them concerning appropriate methods for collecting evidence at a crime scene and proper evidence preservation. The Administrator of the Maritime Administration may certify organizations that offer the curriculum for training and certification under subsection (g). [<-Struck out]

    [Struck out->]

    ‘(g) Certification Requirement- Beginning 2 years after the date of enactment of the Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act of 2009, no passenger vessel may enter a United States port on a voyage (or voyage segment) on which a United States citizen is a passenger unless there is at least 1 crewmember onboard who is certified as having successfully completed training in the collection of crime scene evidence on passenger vessels under subsection (f). [<-Struck out]

    [Struck out->]

    ‘(h) Inspection- The Secretary shall conduct an annual inspection of each passenger vessel seeking to enter a port in the United States to determine whether the passenger vessel has adequate equipment to investigate covered crimes on the vessel and has at least 1 crewmember who is certified under subsection (f). [<-Struck out]

    [Struck out->]

    ‘(i) Video Recording- [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->]

      ‘(1) REQUIREMENT TO MAINTAIN SURVEILLANCE- The owner of a vessel to which this section applies shall maintain video surveillance to monitor and document crimes as they occur on the vessel and to provide evidence for the prosecution of such crimes, as determined by the Secretary. [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->]

      ‘(2) ACCESS TO VIDEO RECORDS- The owner of a vessel to which this section applies shall provide to law enforcement officials, upon request, a copy of all records of video surveillance that may provide evidence of a crime reported to law enforcement officials. [<-Struck out]

    [Struck out->]

    ‘(j) Safety Information- The owner of a vessel to which this section applies shall-- [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->]

      ‘(1) prominently post in each stateroom and crew cabin and in other places specified by the Secretary information regarding-- [<-Struck out]

        [Struck out->]

        ‘(A) the name of each country the cruise ship will visit during the course of such carriage; [<-Struck out]

        [Struck out->]

        ‘(B) the locations in such country of the embassy and each consulate of the United States; [<-Struck out]

        [Struck out->]

        ‘(C) the contact information for the National Sexual Assault Hotline and the National Sexual Assault Online Hotline referred to in section 628 of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006 (Public Law 109-248; 42 U.S.C. 16985); [<-Struck out]

        [Struck out->]

        ‘(D) telephone numbers for the Federal Bureau of Investigation; and [<-Struck out]

        [Struck out->]

        ‘(E) the degree to which the owner is responsible or liable for the safety of passengers while they are on shore excursions; and [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->]

      ‘(2) include in mandatory crew training the details of this section, its application, and the determination of the United States to protect its citizens against crimes committed at sea. [<-Struck out]

    [Struck out->]

    ‘(k) Criminal Penalties- [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->]

      ‘(1) PENALTIES- Any person that violates this section or a regulation under this section shall be fined not more than $250,000 or imprisoned not more than 1 year, or both. [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->]

      ‘(2) DENIAL OF ENTRY- The Secretary may deny entry into the United States to a cruise vessel if the owner of the cruise vessel-- [<-Struck out]

        [Struck out->]

        ‘(A) commits an act or omission for which a penalty may be imposed under this subsection; or [<-Struck out]

        [Struck out->]

        ‘(B) fails to pay a penalty imposed on the owner under this subsection. [<-Struck out]

    [Struck out->]

    ‘(l) Procedures- Within 6 months after the date of enactment of the Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act of 2009, the Secretary shall issue guidelines, training curricula, and inspection and certification procedures necessary to carry out the requirements of this section. [<-Struck out]

    [Struck out->]

    ‘(m) Regulations- The Secretary and the Commandant shall each issue such regulations as are necessary to implement this section. [<-Struck out]

    [Struck out->]

    ‘(n) Application- This section applies to any passenger vessel that embarks or disembarks passengers in the United States or that is a vessel of the United States.’. [<-Struck out]

    [Struck out->] (b) Clerical Amendment- The table of sections at the beginning of such chapter is amended by adding at the end the following: [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->]

      ‘3507. Cruise vessel security and safety requirements.’. [<-Struck out]

[Struck out->] SEC. 4. DETAILING COAST GUARD PERSONNEL TO ENFORCE CRUISE SHIP REQUIREMENTS. [<-Struck out]

    [Struck out->] (a) In General- Section 7(b)(3) of the Ports and Waterways Safety Act (33 U.S.C. 1226(b)(3)) is amended to read as follows: [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->]

      ‘(3) dispatch properly trained and qualified armed Coast Guard Personnel on vessels and public or commercial structures on or adjacent to waters subject to United States jurisdiction-- [<-Struck out]

        [Struck out->]

        ‘(A) to deter or respond to acts of terrorism or transportation security incidents, as defined in section 70101 of title 46, United States Code; [<-Struck out]

        [Struck out->]

        ‘(B) to act as environmental observers for the purposes of-- [<-Struck out]

          [Struck out->]

          ‘(i) monitoring compliance with the requirements of all applicable Federal laws and regulations regarding the discharge of waste into United States territorial waters; [<-Struck out]

          [Struck out->]

          ‘(ii) observing operation and maintenance procedures for onboard waste treatment systems; [<-Struck out]

          [Struck out->]

          ‘(iii) ensuring the proper handling and disposal of all hazardous wastes; and [<-Struck out]

          [Struck out->]

          ‘(iv) verifying logbook entries for all records required by the Coast Guard related to waste treatment and disposal; and [<-Struck out]

        [Struck out->]

        ‘(C) to act as public safety officers for the purposes of-- [<-Struck out]

          [Struck out->]

          ‘(i) assisting vessel passengers and crew, as needed, with the reporting and investigation of potential criminal activities occurring on board vessels to which section 3507 of title 46, United States Code, applies while such vessels are in United States territorial waters; [<-Struck out]

          [Struck out->]

          ‘(ii) securing, to the degree possible, suspected crime scenes on such vessels; and [<-Struck out]

          [Struck out->]

          ‘(iii) collecting evidence of alleged crimes against passengers and crew on such vessels.’. [<-Struck out]

    [Struck out->] (b) Fees and Charges- The Commandant of the Coast Guard may promulgate regulations under section 9701 of title 31, United States Code, establishing charges for services provided by the Coast Guard under section 7(b)(3)(C) of the Ports and Waterways Safety Act (33 U.S.C. 1226(b)(3)(C)) as amended by subsection (a). [<-Struck out]

[Struck out->] SEC. 5. STUDY AND REPORT ON THE SECURITY NEEDS OF PASSENGER VESSELS. [<-Struck out]

    [Struck out->] (a) In General- Within 3 months after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary of the department in which the Coast Guard is operating shall conduct a study of the security needs of a passenger vessel depending on number of passengers on the vessel, and report to the Congress findings of the study and recommendations for improving security on those vessels. [<-Struck out]

    [Struck out->] (b) Report Contents- In recommending appropriate security on those vessels, the report shall take into account typical crewmember shifts, working conditions of crewmembers, and length of voyages. [<-Struck out]

[Struck out->] SEC. 6. AMENDMENT OF THE DEATH ON THE HIGH SEAS ACT. [<-Struck out]

    [Struck out->] (a) Application of Act- Section 30302 of title 46, United States Code, is amended by striking ‘3 nautical miles’ and inserting ‘12 nautical miles’. [<-Struck out]

    [Struck out->] (b) Nonapplication to Incidents Within 12-Mile Limit- Section 30308 of title 46, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end thereof the following: [<-Struck out]

    [Struck out->]

    ‘(c) Incidents Occurring Within 12-Mile Limit- This chapter does not apply if the death of an individual is caused by wrongful act, neglect, or default occurring on the high seas 12 nautical miles or less from the shore of the United States.’. [<-Struck out]

    [Struck out->] (c) Damages- Section 30303 of title 46, United States Code, is amended-- [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->] (1) by inserting ‘and nonpecuniary’ after ‘pecuniary’; and [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->] (2) by adding at the end ‘In this section, the term ‘nonpecuniary loss’ means loss of care, comfort, and companionship. The individuals for whose benefit the action is brought may also recover damages for the decedent’s pre-death pain and suffering.’. [<-Struck out]

    [Struck out->] (d) Conforming Amendment- [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->] (1) Chapter 303 of title 46, United States Code, is amended by striking section 30307. [<-Struck out]

      [Struck out->] (2) The chapter analysis for such chapter is amended by striking the item relating to section 30307. [<-Struck out]

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE; TABLE OF CONTENTS.

    (a) Short Title- This Act may be cited as the ‘Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act of 2009’.

    (b) Table of Contents- The table of contents for this Act is as follows:

      Sec. 1. Short title; table of contents.

      Sec. 2. Findings.

      Sec. 3. Cruise vessel security and safety requirements.

      Sec. 4. Study and report on the security needs of passenger vessels.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

    The Congress makes the following findings:

      (1) There are approximately 200 overnight ocean-going cruise vessels worldwide. The average ocean-going cruise vessel carries 2,000 passengers with a crew of 950 people.

      (2) In 2007 alone, approximately 12,000,000 passengers were projected to take a cruise worldwide.

      (3) Passengers on cruise vessels have an inadequate appreciation of their potential vulnerability to crime while on ocean voyages, and those who may be victimized lack the information they need to understand their legal rights or to know whom to contact for help in the immediate aftermath of the crime.

      (4) Sexual violence, the disappearance of passengers from vessels on the high seas, and other serious crimes have occurred during luxury cruises.

      (5) Over the last 5 years, sexual assault and physical assaults on cruise vessels were the leading crimes investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation with regard to cruise vessel incidents.

      (6) These crimes at sea can involve attacks both by passengers and crewmembers on other passengers and crewmembers.

      (7) Except for United States flagged vessels, or foreign flagged vessels operating in an area subject to the direct jurisdiction of the United States, there are no Federal statutes or regulations that explicitly require cruise lines to report alleged crimes to United States Government officials.

      (8) It is not known precisely how often crimes occur on cruise vessels or exactly how many people have disappeared during ocean voyages because cruise line companies do not make comprehensive, crime-related data readily available to the public.

      (9) Obtaining reliable crime-related cruise data from governmental sources can be difficult, because multiple countries may be involved when a crime occurs on the high seas, including the flag country for the vessel, the country of citizenship of particular passengers, and any countries having special or maritime jurisdiction.

      (10) It can be difficult for professional crime investigators to immediately secure an alleged crime scene on a cruise vessel, recover evidence of an onboard offense, and identify or interview potential witnesses to the alleged crime.

      (11) Most cruise vessels that operate into and out of United States ports are registered under the laws of another country, and investigations and prosecutions of crimes against passengers and crewmembers may involve the laws and authorities of multiple nations.

      (12) The Department of Homeland Security has found it necessary to establish 500-yard security zones around cruise vessels to limit the risk of terrorist attack. Recently piracy has dramatically increased throughout the world.

      (13) To enhance the safety of cruise passengers, the owners of cruise vessels could upgrade, modernize, and retrofit the safety and security infrastructure on such vessels by installing peep holes in passenger room doors, installing security video cameras in targeted areas, limiting access to passenger rooms to select staff during specific times, and installing acoustic hailing and warning devices capable of communicating over distances.

SEC. 3. CRUISE VESSEL SECURITY AND SAFETY REQUIREMENTS.

    (a) In General- Chapter 35 of title 46, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:

‘Sec. 3507. Passenger vessel security and safety requirements

    ‘(a) Vessel Design, Equipment, Construction, and Retrofitting Requirements-

      ‘(1) IN GENERAL- Each vessel to which this subsection applies shall comply with the following design and construction standards:

        ‘(A) The vessel shall be equipped with ship rails that are located not less than 42 inches above the cabin deck.

        ‘(B) Each passenger stateroom and crew cabin shall be equipped with entry doors that include peep holes or other means of visual identification.

        ‘(C) For any vessel the keel of which is laid after the date of enactment of the Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act of 2009, each passenger stateroom and crew cabin shall be equipped with--

          ‘(i) security latches; and

          ‘(ii) time-sensitive key technology.

        ‘(D) The vessel shall integrate technology that can be used for capturing images of passengers or detecting passengers who have fallen overboard, to the extent that such technology is available.

        ‘(E) The vessel shall be equipped with a sufficient number of operable acoustic hailing or other such warning devices to provide communication capability around the entire vessel when operating in high risk areas (as defined by the United States Coast Guard).

      ‘(2) FIRE SAFETY CODES- In administering the requirements of paragraph (1)(C), the Secretary shall take into consideration fire safety and other applicable emergency requirements established by the U.S. Coast Guard and under international law, as appropriate.

      ‘(3) EFFECTIVE DATE-

        ‘(A) IN GENERAL- Except as provided in subparagraph (B), the requirements of paragraph (1) shall take effect 18 months after the date of enactment of the Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act of 2009.

        ‘(B) LATCH AND KEY REQUIREMENTS- The requirements of paragraph (1)(C) take effect on the date of enactment of the Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act of 2009.

    ‘(b) Video Recording-

      ‘(1) REQUIREMENT TO MAINTAIN SURVEILLANCE- The owner of a vessel to which this section applies shall maintain a video surveillance system to assist in documenting crimes on the vessel and in providing evidence for the prosecution of such crimes, as determined by the Secretary.

      ‘(2) ACCESS TO VIDEO RECORDS- The owner of a vessel to which this section applies shall provide to any law enforcement official performing official duties in the course and scope of an investigation, upon request, a copy of all records of video surveillance that the official believes may provide evidence of a crime reported to law enforcement officials.

    ‘(c) Safety Information- The owner of a vessel to which this section applies shall provide in each passenger stateroom, and post in a location readily accessible to all crew and in other places specified by the Secretary, information regarding the locations of the United States embassy and each consulate of the United States for each country the vessel will visit during the course of the voyage.

    ‘(d) Sexual Assault- The owner of a vessel to which this section applies shall--

      ‘(1) maintain on the vessel adequate, in-date supplies of anti-retroviral medications and other medications designed to prevent sexually transmitted diseases after a sexual assault;

      ‘(2) maintain on the vessel equipment and materials for performing a medical examination in sexual assault cases to evaluate the patient for trauma, provide medical care, and preserve relevant medical evidence;

      ‘(3) make available on the vessel at all times medical staff who have undergone a credentialing process to verify that he or she--

        ‘(A) possesses a current physician’s or registered nurse’s license and--

          ‘(i) has at least 3 years of post-graduate or post-registration clinical practice in general and emergency medicine; or

          ‘(ii) holds board certification in emergency medicine, family practice medicine, or internal medicine;

        ‘(B) is able to provide assistance in the event of an alleged sexual assault, has received training in conducting forensic sexual assault examination, and is able to promptly perform such an examination upon request and provide proper medical treatment of a victim, including administration of anti-retroviral medications and other medications that may prevent the transmission of human immunodeficiency virus and other sexually transmitted diseases; and

        ‘(C) meets guidelines established by the American College of Emergency Physicians relating to the treatment and care of victims of sexual assault;

      ‘(4) prepare, provide to the patient, and maintain written documentation of the findings of such examination that is signed by the patient; and

      ‘(5) provide the patient free and immediate access to--

        ‘(A) contact information for local law enforcement, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the United States Coast Guard, the nearest United States consulate or embassy, and the National Sexual Assault Hotline program or other third party victim advocacy hotline service; and

        ‘(B) a private telephone line and Internet-accessible computer terminal by which the individual may confidentially access law enforcement officials, an attorney, and the information and support services available through the National Sexual Assault Hotline program or other third party victim advocacy hotline service.

    ‘(e) CONFIDENTIALITY OF SEXUAL ASSAULT EXAMINATION AND SUPPORT INFORMATION- The master or other individual in charge of a vessel to which this section applies shall--

      ‘(1) treat all information concerning an examination under subsection (d) confidential, so that no medical information may be released to the cruise line or other owner of the vessel or any legal representative thereof without the prior knowledge and approval in writing of the patient, or, if the patient is unable to provide written authorization, the patient’s next-of-kin, except that nothing in this paragraph prohibits the release of--

        ‘(A) information, other than medical findings, necessary for the owner or master of the vessel to comply with the provisions of subsection (g) or other applicable incident reporting laws;

        ‘(B) information to secure the safety of passengers or crew on board the vessel; or

        ‘(C) any information to law enforcement officials performing official duties in the course and scope of an investigation; and

      ‘(2) treat any information derived from, or obtained in connection with, post-assault counseling or other supportive services confidential, so no such information may be released to the cruise line or any legal representative thereof without the prior knowledge and approval in writing of the patient, or, if the patient is unable to provide written authorization, the patient’s next-of-kin.

    ‘(f) Crew Access to Passenger Staterooms- The owner of a vessel to which this section applies shall--

      ‘(1) establish and implement procedures and restrictions concerning--

        ‘(A) which crewmembers have access to passenger staterooms; and

        ‘(B) the periods during which they have that access; and

      ‘(2) ensure that the procedures and restrictions are fully and properly implemented and periodically reviewed.

    ‘(g) Log Book and Reporting Requirements-

      ‘(1) IN GENERAL- The owner of a vessel to which this section applies shall--

        ‘(A) record in a log book, either electronically or otherwise, in a centralized location readily accessible to law enforcement personnel, a report on--

          ‘(i) all complaints of crimes described in paragraph (3)(A)(i),

          ‘(ii) all complaints of theft of property valued in excess of $1,000, and

          ‘(iii) all complaints of other crimes,

        committed on any voyage that embarks or disembarks passengers in the United States; and

        ‘(B) make such log book available upon request to any agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, any member of the United States Coast Guard, and any law enforcement officer performing official duties in the course and scope of an investigation.

      ‘(2) DETAILS REQUIRED- The information recorded under paragraph (1) shall include, at a minimum--

        ‘(A) the vessel operator;

        ‘(B) the name of the cruise line;

        ‘(C) the flag under which the vessel was operating at the time the reported incident occurred;

        ‘(D) the age and gender of the victim and the accused assailant;

        ‘(E) the nature of the alleged crime or complaint, as applicable, including whether the alleged perpetrator was a passenger or a crewmember;

        ‘(F) the vessel’s position at the time of the incident, if known, or the position of the vessel at the time of the initial report;

        ‘(G) the time, date, and method of the initial report and the law enforcement authority to which the initial report was made;

        ‘(H) the time and date the incident occurred, if known;

        ‘(I) the total number of passengers and the total number of crew members on the voyage; and

        ‘(J) the case number or other identifier provided by the law enforcement authority to which the initial report was made.

      ‘(3) REQUIREMENT TO REPORT CRIMES AND OTHER INFORMATION-

        ‘(A) IN GENERAL- The owner of a vessel to which this section applies (or the owner’s designee)--

          ‘(i) shall contact the nearest Federal Bureau of Investigation Field Office or Legal Attache by telephone as soon as possible after the occurrence on board the vessel of an incident involving homicide, suspicious death, a missing United States national, kidnapping, assault with serious bodily injury, any offense to which section 2241, 2242, 2243, or 2244(a) or (c) of title 18 applies, firing or tampering with the vessel, or theft of money or property in excess of $10,000 to report the incident;

          ‘(ii) shall furnish a written report of the incident to an Internet based portal maintained by the Secretary of Transportation;

          ‘(iii) may report any serious incident that does not meet the reporting requirements of clause (i) and that does not require immediate attention by the Federal Bureau of Investigation via the Internet based portal maintained by the Secretary of Transportation; and

          ‘(iv) may report any other criminal incident involving passengers or crewmembers, or both, to the proper State or local government law enforcement authority.

        ‘(B) INCIDENTS TO WHICH SUBPARAGRAPH (A) APPLIES- Subparagraph (A) applies to an incident involving criminal activity if--

          ‘(i) the vessel, regardless of registry, is owned, in whole or in part, by a United States person, regardless of the nationality of the victim or perpetrator, and the incident occurs when the vessel is within the admiralty and maritime jurisdiction of the United States and outside the jurisdiction of any State;

          ‘(ii) the incident concerns an offense by or against a United States national committed outside the jurisdiction of any nation;

          ‘(iii) the incident occurs in the Territorial Sea of the United States, regardless of the nationality of the vessel, the victim, or the perpetrator; or

          ‘(iv) the incident concerns a victim or perpetrator who is a United States national on a vessel during a voyage that departed from or will arrive at a United States port.

      ‘(4) AVAILABILITY OF INCIDENT DATA VIA INTERNET-

        ‘(A) WEBSITE- The Secretary of Transportation shall maintain a statistical compilation of all incidents described in paragraph (3)(A)(i) on an Internet site that provides a numerical accounting of the missing persons and alleged crimes recorded in each report filed under paragraph (3)(A)(i) that are no longer under investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The data shall be updated no less frequently than quarterly, aggregated by cruise line, each cruise line shall be identified by name, and each crime shall be identified as to whether it was committed by a passenger or a crew member.

        ‘(B) ACCESS TO WEBSITE- Each cruise line taking on or discharging passengers in the United States shall include a link on its Internet website to the website maintained by the Secretary under subparagraph (A).

    ‘(h) Enforcement-

      ‘(1) PENALTIES-

        ‘(A) CIVIL PENALTY- Any person that violates this section or a regulation under this section shall be liable for a civil penalty of not more than $25,000 for each day during which the violation continues, except that the maximum penalty for a continuing violation is $50,000.

        ‘(B) CRIMINAL PENALTY- Any person that willfully violates this section or a regulation under this section shall be fined not more than $250,000 or imprisoned not more than 1 year, or both.

      ‘(2) DENIAL OF ENTRY- The Secretary may deny entry into the United States to a vessel to which this section applies if the owner of the vessel--

        ‘(A) commits an act or omission for which a penalty may be imposed under this subsection; or

        ‘(B) fails to pay a penalty imposed on the owner under this subsection.

    ‘(i) Procedures- Within 6 months after the date of enactment of the Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act of 2009, the Secretary shall issue guidelines, training curricula, and inspection and certification procedures necessary to carry out the requirements of this section.

    ‘(j) Regulations- The Secretary of Transportation and the Commandant shall each issue such regulations as are necessary to implement this section.

    ‘(k) Application-

      ‘(1) IN GENERAL- This section and section 3508 apply to a passenger vessel (as defined in section 2101(22)) that--

        ‘(A) is authorized to carry at least 250 passengers;

        ‘(B) has onboard sleeping facilities for each passenger;

        ‘(C) is on a voyage that embarks or disembarks passengers in the United States; and

        ‘(D) is not engaged on a coastwise voyage.

      ‘(2) FEDERAL AND STATE VESSELS- This section and section 3508 do not apply to a vessel of the United States operated by the Federal Government or a vessel owned and operated by a State.

    ‘(l) OWNER DEFINED- In this section and section 3508, the term ‘owner’ means the owner, charterer, managing operator, master, or other individual in charge of a vessel.

‘3508. Crime scene preservation training for passenger vessel crewmembers

    ‘(a) IN GENERAL- Within 1 year after the date of enactment of the Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act of 2009, the Secretary, in consultation with the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Maritime Administration, shall develop training standards and curricula to allow for the certification of passenger vessel security personnel, crewmembers, and law enforcement officials on the appropriate methods for prevention, detection, evidence preservation, and reporting of criminal activities in the international maritime environment. The Administrator of the Maritime Administration may certify organizations in the United States and abroad that offer the curriculum for training and certification under subsection (c).

    ‘(b) MINIMUM STANDARDS- The standards established by the Secretary under subsection (a) shall include--

      ‘(1) the training and certification of vessel security personnel, crewmembers, and law enforcement officials in accordance with accepted law enforcement and security guidelines, policies, and procedures, including recommendations for incorporating a background check process for personnel trained and certified in foreign ports;

      ‘(2) the training of students and instructors in all aspects of prevention, detection, evidence preservation, and reporting of criminal activities in the international maritime environment; and

      ‘(3) the provision or recognition of off-site training and certification courses in the United States and foreign countries to develop and provide the required training and certification described in subsection (a) and to enhance security awareness and security practices related to the preservation of evidence in response to crimes on board passenger vessels.

    ‘(c) CERTIFICATION REQUIREMENT- Beginning 2 years after the standards are established under subsection (b), no vessel to which this section applies may enter a United States port on a voyage (or voyage segment) on which a United States citizen is a passenger unless there is at least 1 crewmember onboard who is certified as having successfully completed training in the prevention, detection, evidence preservation, and reporting of criminal activities in the international maritime environment on passenger vessels under subsection (a).

    ‘(d) INTERIM TRAINING REQUIREMENT- No vessel to which this section applies may enter a United States port on a voyage (or voyage segment) on which a United States citizen is a passenger unless there is at least 1 crewmember onboard who has been properly trained in the prevention detection, evidence preservation and the reporting requirements of criminal activities in the international maritime environment. The owner of a such a vessel shall maintain certification or other documentation, as prescribed by the Secretary, verifying the training of such individual and provide such documentation upon request for inspection in connection with enforcement of the provisions of this section. This subsection shall take effect 1 year after the date of enactment of the Cruise Vessel Safety and Security Act of 2009 and shall remain in effect until superseded by the requirements of subsection (c).

    ‘(e) CIVIL PENALTY- Any person that violates this section or a regulation under this section shall be liable for a civil penalty of not more than $50,000.

    ‘(f) DENIAL OF ENTRY- The Secretary may deny entry into the United States to a vessel to which this section applies if the owner of the vessel--

      ‘(1) commits an act or omission for which a penalty may be imposed under subsection (e); or

      ‘(2) fails to pay a penalty imposed on the owner under subsection (e).’.

    (b) Clerical Amendment- The table of contents for such chapter is amended by adding at the end the following:

      ‘3507. Passenger vessel security and safety requirements

      ‘3508. Crime scene preservation training for passenger vessel crewmembers’.

SEC. 4. STUDY AND REPORT ON THE SECURITY NEEDS OF PASSENGER VESSELS.

    (a) In General- Within 3 months after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary of the department in which the United States Coast Guard is operating shall conduct a study of the security needs of passenger vessels depending on number of passengers on the vessels, and report to the Congress findings of the study and recommendations for improving security on those vessels.

    (b) Report Contents- In recommending appropriate security on those vessels, the report shall take into account typical crewmember shifts, working conditions of crewmembers, and length of voyages.

Calendar No. 156

111th CONGRESS

1st Session

S. 588

[Report No. 111-72]

A BILL

To amend title 46, United States Code, to establish requirements to ensure the security and safety of passengers and crew on cruise vessels, and for other purposes.


SEPTEMBER 8, 2009

Reported with an amendment