Chapter 01 - Marine Inspection, Certification, License
Notwithstanding any other penalties, any person who is convicted or found guilty in a court of law of violating any section of this chapter or any rules promulgated thereto is guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be fined not more than $1,000 or be imprisoned not more than 1 year or both.
Any person who violates any of the provisions of Chapter 20.02 A.S.C.A., may be subject to a summary fine of $100 per violation.
The board may allow a vessel limited authority to carry passengers if the vessel owner establishes to the satisfaction of the board he is unable to immediately comply with the rules set forth in this chapter and elsewhere in this title. The authority exercised pursuant to this section shall be in the sole discretion of the board.
Nothing in the rules set forth in this chapter and elsewhere in this title shall be construed as limiting the board from making such tests or inspections as are reasonable and practicable to be assured of the seaworthiness and safety of the vessel.
The board may detain any foreign or domestic vessel temporarily to determine if there exists a violation of 20.0401 A.S.C.A., or the rules contained in this title. If after an inspection, the board determines a violation does exist and the safety of the passengers and crew are in danger, the vessel may be restrained or allowed to sail under such limitations as are necessary for the protection of the safety and property of the public and the crew of the vessel.
Any license issued by the board may be refused, revoked, suspended, limited or modified by the board for any 1 or combination of the following:
(1) Fraud or misrepresentation in obtaining a license authorized to be issued by the provisions of this chapter;
(2) Breach of duty tending to endanger life or property;
(3) Being under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs while actually performing required duties on a vessel;
(4) Hindering, delaying, or interfering with the board or its authorized representative in the performance of his duties under this chapter;
(5) Refusal to admit the board or its authorized representative on board the vessel while performing duties under this chapter;
(6) Violation of any of the provisions of this chapter or any of the rules promulgated by the board;
(7) Failure to comply with any qualification or requirement provided iii this chapter or any rule promulgated hereunder.
All licenses shall be renewed every 5 years when the holder of the license has been actively engaged in maritime activities for that period continuously, and once every year if the holder is not so engaged.
All persons operating or performing technical duties on vessels engaged in coastwise or interisland traffic in American Samoa or adjacent waters shall be duly licensed as an engineer. The qualifications for issuance of an engineer’s license are as follows:
(1) The individual must be a United States national, United States citizen, or a resident alien who has resided in American Samoa for at least 5 years or has met all requirements of the immigration rules of American Samoa;
(2) He must provide character references from at least 3 responsible persons, 2 of whom must be vessel’s officers;
(3) He must provide documentary proof that he has had shop experience or other engine room time corresponding to that as follows:
(A) He must have at least 18 months experience in the engine department of a motor vessel except as otherwise provided for in this section;
(B) For a license not exceeding 150 horsepower, 18 months shop experience as a watch tender or a total of at least 3 years sea experience standing watch in an engine room.
(C) For a license of over 150 horsepower and not exceeding 500 horsepower, 2 years shop experience and 1 year sea experience as a watch tender or a total of 4 years sea experience as a watch tender in an engine room.
(D) For a license over 500 horsepower and not exceeding 750 horsepower 4 years shop experience and 2 years sea experience as a watch tender or a total of 6 years sea experience as a watch tender in an engine room.
(4) All applicants will be required to successfully qualify for the class of license for which they are applying:
(A) The board shall designate upon the license any horsepower of a marine engine on which lie may act:
(B) The term vessel, as used in this section, includes any vessel of 15 gross tons or over propelled by gas, diesel, or diesel-electric power, or other machinery.
(C) The term “shop experience” means time served under apprenticeship or service in any mechanical workshop oilier than auto repair. Mechanical workshop service shall include service in a
powerhouse or on heavy equipment, machine shop, or any shop specializing in marine engine repair, diesel engine repair, or electrical repair. Documentary evidence shall be submitted showing at least 2 years experience in any mechanical or electrical shop.
(D) Requirements for officer qualification shall be first, second mate, and assistant engineer.
Master of American Samoa registered vessels:
(1) Show written evidence of at least 4 years experience in the deck department of a vessel;
(2) Successfully pass a physical examination and color blindness test;
(3) Successfully pass a written and practical examination in seamanship, navigation, rules of the road, chart work, aids to navigation, winds, weather, temperature, repairs to hull, lifesaving gear, rules and regulations;
(4) Be at least 21 years of age (show documentary evidence);
(5) Submit character references from at least 3 responsible persons.
No person shall operate as the master or engineer of any vessel engaged in the coastwise or interisland traffic of American Samoa and adjacent waters until he has been duly licensed under this chapter.
A certificate of inspection or registry provided for in this chapter may be refused, revoked, suspended, limited, or modified for any I or combination of the following:
(1)Failure to comply with any of the provisions of this chapter or valid rules of the board in furtherance of the purpose of this chapter;
(2) Fraud or misrepresentation in obtaining a registry or certificate of inspection;
(3) Refusal to permit inspection subsequent to a change of the physical conditions of the vessel.
No master, agent or owner shall in any way change the name of a registered vessel without the authorization of the board. There shall be levied a fee of $100 for every change of a vessel’s name.
If any vessel registered under the laws of American Samoa is sold or transferred in whole or in part, by way of trust, confidence or otherwise, to any other person and such sale or transfer is not be made known immediately to the board, such vessel, together with her tackle, apparel, and furniture, shall be forfeited. If such vessel, however, is so owned in part only and it is made to appear to the board that any other owner or owners of such vessel was (were) wholly ignorant of the sale or transfer the sale or interest of such owner or owners shall not be subject to such forfeit, and the residue only shall be so forfeited.
Whenever the master or person having charge of a vessel registered under the laws of American Samoa is changed, the owner, or 1 of the owners shall request authorization for such change as soon as possible from the board. Thereupon the board shall endorse upon the certificate of registry and inspection a memorandum of such change, specifying the name of the new master, if qualified, and shall subscribe the memorandum with their names.
(a) It shall be the duty of the board to provide blank certificates of registry and inspection. Such register shall cover ownership of the vessel, residence and citizen ship of owner and if there be more than 1 owner, the proportion of ownership to each owner his residence and citizenship, the name of the vessel its home port, name of present master his address and citizenship tonnage, kind of vessel, and appropriate ship measurement.
(b) Certificates of registry and inspection shall be issued for periods of 1 year but nothing herein shall be construed as preventing the revocation or suspension of such certificate in case such process is authorized by law. The certificates shall be signed by the examiner and chairman.
(c) Exhibition of certificates of registry and inspection: The certificates of registry and inspection shall be framed under glass and posted in a conspicuous place in the vessel where it will most likely be observed by passengers and others.
The board shall, once in every year and oftener, if it is determined necessary by them, carefully inspect every vessel licensed by the board. Such inspection shall determine that all requirements of law, such as seaworthiness, lifesaving equipment, firefighting equipment, pumps, hose, anchors, cables, electrical equipment, structure, and other things are faithfully observed. If in the opinion of the board any of the foregoing equipment is found unsatisfactory, shall order the correction of the fault arid may suspend the certificate of inspection or revoke the license of the master. Upon satisfactorily passing the inspection, the hoard shall issue to the vessel inspected the certificate of inspection. Such certificate of inspection shall state the number of liferings, water lights, rafts, boats, firefighting equipment, crew complement, anchors, cable, and other safety equipment, on the vessel, as the board requires.
All foreign vessels must have a master and engineer licensed by the country of the vessel’s registry. The license of the master and engineer must be produced upon demand of the board if the master or engineer fails to produce their license on demand, the vessel may be prohibited from carrying passengers or cargo to or from any port in American Samoa until the license is produced.
If the board determines that a foreign vessel has been registered, licensed, and inspected by a marine board of comparable jurisdiction in the vessel’s home port or country of registry the board will give consideration to the foreign board’s standards to determine if the vessel meets the fundamental safety requirements of Article I of 20.02 of this code.
It is declared to be the policy of the board that the safety standards established in the law and the rules set out in this chapter and elsewhere in this title are minimum safety standards which should be met by all vessels operating in interisland and coastwise shipping in American Samoa and adjacent waters and these standards should be complied with by all such vessels regardless of the country of registry.
All vessels entering Pago Pago Harbor operating in interisland or coastwise shipping carrying goods or people to or from American Samoa, shall be subject to periodic inspection by the board to determine if the vessel meets the safety standards as established by Chapter 20.02 ASCA and the rules set out in this chapter and elsewhere in this title.
Section 20.0230 A.S.C.A., grants the board authority to inspect foreign vessels entering Pago Pago Harbor carrying goods or people to or from American Samoa to ascertain if the vessel’s safety precautions and equipment meet the standards established by Chapter 20.02 A.S.C.A., and the rules set out in this chapter and elsewhere in this title.
As used in the rules set forth in this chapter and elsewhere in this title, the words in this section mean as follows:
(a) “approved”, when applied to safe equipment approved, shall in all cases means United States Coast Guard approved or any foreign nation signatory to the International Convention for Safety of Life at Sea having inspection laws approximating those of the United States.
(b) “board” means the board of marine inspectors or a person designated to act on behalf of the board of marine inspectors.
(c) “certificate of inspection” means a certificate as required by 20.0212 A.S.C.A.
(d) “certificate of registry” means a certificate issued pursuant to 20.0215 A.S.C.A.
(e) “examiner” means a person designated by the board of marine inspectors to examine and inspect vessels in the enforcement of provision of Title 20 A.S.C.A., and the rules set out; this chapter and elsewhere in this title:
(f) “person” means an individual, firm, partnership, joint venture, or corporation when the context so requires.
(g) “port director” means the port director of American Samoa or his designated representative.
(h) “vessel” means every description of watercraft (except longboats and paopaos) used or intended to be used as a means of transporting passengers or freight for profit.
Any vessel owned or operated by the ASG or the United States is exempt from inspection by the board unless it is requested to do so.
Vessels while laid up and out of commission are exempt from any and all inspection by the board. Before a vessel is placed back in operation, an inspection by the board shall be made to ascertain that all rules required are complied with.
(a) In 20.0204 A.S.C.A., the board of marine inspectors is granted the following authority:
(1) To issue registers and certificates of inspection (hull and machinery) for the operation of vessels;
(2) To issue license for masters, pilots and engineers alter appropriate written and oral examinations as determined necessary by the board:
(3) To maintain records of board proceedings and preserve copies of documents issued under this chapter:
(4) To make all necessary inspections of vessels in furtherance of the provisions of this chapter;
(5) To promulgate all rules necessary to effectuate the purpose of this chapter;
(6) To hold hearings, compel attendance of witnesses, to order the production of documents and other tangible evidence and to administer oaths;
(7) To refuse to issue, revoke, suspend, limit, or modify any register, certificate of inspection, or license provided for in this title.
(b) The rules contained in this title are promulgated pursuant to the authority contained in paragraph (a) (5).
It is the Legislature’s declared purpose in 20.0201 A.S.C.A., to establish standards for the protection and promotion of the health, safety, and general welfare of the people of the territory in dealing with vessels operating in interisland and coastwise shipping in American Samoa and adjacent waters. The board was created to effect that purpose and these rules promulgated pursuant to 20.0204
(5) A.S.C.A., and the rules set out in this chapter and elsewhere in this title should be construed so as to carry out the legislative purpose.
The board of marine inspectors has been established pursuant to 20.0203 A.S.C.A., which reads as follows:
“There is hereby created a Board of Marine Inspectors composed of five qualified persons appointed by the Governor of American Samoa, which shall have general superintendence over all vessels and seamen operating in inter-island coast-wise traffic in American Samoa and adjacent waters.”