< Back to H.R. 2839 (112th Congress, 2011–2013)

Text of the Piracy Suppression Act of 2011

This bill was introduced on September 8, 2011, in a previous session of Congress, but was not enacted. The text of the bill below is as of Sep 6, 2011 (Introduced).

This is not the latest text of this bill.

Source: GPO

I

112th CONGRESS

1st Session

H. R. 2839

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

September 2, 2011

(for himself and Mr. Mica) introduced the following bill

September 6, 2011

Referred to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, and in addition to the Committee on Armed Services, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned

A BILL

To suppress the threat of piracy on the high seas, and for other purposes.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Piracy Suppression Act of 2011.

2.

Act of piracy

Section 4297 of the Revised Statutes of the United States (33 U.S.C. 385) is amended by striking so much as precedes the text and inserting the following:

4297.

Penalty for piracy; seizure and condemnation of vessels

(a)

Penalty for piracy

(1)

Crime

Whoever commits an act of piracy shall be punished by death or imprisoned for life.

(2)

Act of piracy defined

In this subsection the term act of piracy means—

(A)

any illegal act of violence, detention, or depredation that is committed for private ends by the crew or passengers of a private vessel and directed against a vessel, person, or property on the high seas or in any other place outside the jurisdiction of any State; or

(B)

inciting or facilitating an act of piracy, as defined in subparagraph (A); and

(C)

any act of voluntary participation in the operation of a vessel with knowledge of facts making it a pirate ship.

(b)

Seizure and condemnation of vessels fitted out for piracy

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3.

Reimbursement for actions taken to protect foreign-flagged vessels from piracy

(a)

In general

Chapter 20 of title 10, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following new section:

410.

Reimbursement for actions taken to protect foreign-flagged vessels from piracy

(a)

In general

The Secretary of Defense shall, in consultation with the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Transportation, and the Secretary of the department in which the Coast Guard is operating—

(1)

determine the full cost to the United States of each action taken by the United States to protect or defend a vessel that is not documented under the laws of the United States from a pirate attack, including the cost of each action by the United States to deter such attack; and

(2)

seek reimbursement for such cost from the country under the laws of which the vessel for which protection or defense was provided is documented, which shall be credited back to the appropriations charged for such cost.

(b)

Reimbursements

Reimbursement under this section may be waived if—

(1)

such country contributes military forces to the Combined Maritime Forces’ Combined Task Force–151 within 180 days of the action taken;

(2)

such country deploys military forces to the Indian Ocean or Gulf of Aden to deter, prevent, or defend vessels from pirate attack within 180 days of the action taken;

(3)

such country assists in the prosecution or detention of pirates; or

(4)

the President determines it is in the national security interest of the United States to do so.

.

(b)

Clerical amendment

The analysis at the beginning of such chapter is amended by adding at the end the following new item:

410. Reimbursement for actions taken to protect foreign-flagged vessels from piracy.

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4.

Training program for use of force against piracy

(a)

In general

Chapter 517 of title 46, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following new section:

51705.

Training program for use of force against piracy

The Secretary of Transportation shall establish a training program for United States mariners on the use of force against pirates. The program shall include—

(1)

information on waters designated as high-risk waters by the Commandant of the Coast Guard;

(2)

information on current threats and patterns of attack by pirates;

(3)

tactics for defense of a vessel, including instruction on the types, use, and limitations of security equipment;

(4)

standard rules for the use of force for self defense as developed by the Secretary of the department in which the Coast Guard is operating under section 912(c) of the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2010 (Public Law 111–281; 46 U.S.C. 8107 note), including instruction on firearm safety for crewmembers of vessels carrying cargo under section 55305 of this title; and

(5)

procedures to follow to improve crewmember survivability if captured and taken hostage by pirates.

.

(b)

Deadline

The Secretary of Transportation shall establish the program required under the amendment made by subsection (a) by no later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act.

(c)

Clerical amendment

The analysis at the beginning of such chapter is amended by adding at the end the following new item:

51705. Training program for use of force against piracy.

.

5.

Security of Government impelled cargo

Section 55305 of title 46, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following new subsection:

(e)

Security of government impelled cargo

(1)

In order to assure the safety of vessels and crewmembers transporting equipment, materials, or commodities under this section, the Secretary of Transportation shall direct each department or agency responsible for the carriage of such equipment, materials, or commodities to provide armed personnel aboard vessels of the United States carrying such equipment, materials, or commodities while transiting high-risk waters.

(2)

The Secretary of Transportation shall direct each such department or agency to reimburse, subject to the availability or appropriations, the owners or operators of such vessels for the cost of providing armed personnel.

(3)

For the purposes of this subsection, the term high-risk waters means waters so designated by the Commandant of the Coast Guard in the Port Security Advisory in effect on the date on which the voyage begins.

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6.

GAO study

Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, the Comptroller General of the United States shall report to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate on efforts to track ransom payments paid to pirates operating in the waters off Somalia and improve the prosecution of such pirates. The report shall include—

(1)

the status of Working Group 5 of the Contact Group on Piracy Off the Somali Coast, any efforts undertaken by the Working Group, and recommendations for improving the Working Group’s effectiveness;

(2)

efforts undertaken by the United States Government to implement and enforce Executive Order 13536, including recommendations on how to better implement that order to suppress piracy;

(3)

efforts undertaken by the United States Government to track ransom payments made to pirates operating off the coast of Somalia, the effectiveness of those efforts, any operational actions taken based off those efforts, and recommendations on how to improve such tracking;

(4)

actions taken by the United States Government to improve the international prosecution of pirates captured off the coast of Somalia; and

(5)

an update on the United States Government’s efforts to implement the recommendation contained in General Accountability Office report GAO–10–856, entitled Maritime Security: Actions Needed to Assess and Update Plan and Enhance Collaboration among Partners Involved in Countering Piracy off the Horn of Africa, that metrics should be established for measuring the effectiveness of counter piracy efforts.

7.

Technical correction

Section 8107(c) of title 46, United States Code, is amended to read as follows:

(c)

Definition

For the purpose of this section, the term act of piracy has the meaning that term has in section 4297(a) of the Revised Statutes of the United States.

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