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Pleasure Vessels of Marshall Islands Entitled to Cruising Licenses

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U.S. Customs Service, Department of the Treasury.


Final rule.


This document amends the Customs Regulations by adding the Marshall Islands to the list of countries whose pleasure vessels may be issued U.S. cruising licenses. Customs has been informed that yachts used and Start Printed Page 52862employed exclusively as pleasure vessels belonging to any resident of the U.S. are allowed to arrive at and depart from the Marshall Islands ports and cruise in the waters of the Marshall Islands without being subject to formal entry and clearance procedures. Therefore, Customs is extending reciprocal privileges to Marshall Islands-flag pleasure vessels.


These reciprocal privileges became effective for the Marshall Islands on July 9, 2002. This amendment is effective August 14, 2002.

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Glen Vereb, Entry Procedures and Carriers Branch, (202) 572-8730.

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Section 4.94(a), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 4.94(a)), provides that U.S. documented vessels with a recreational endorsement, used exclusively for pleasure, not engaged in any trade, and not violating the Customs or navigation laws of the U.S., may proceed from port to port in the U.S. or to foreign ports without entering or clearing, as long as they have not visited hovering vessels. When returning from a foreign port or place, such pleasure vessels are required to report their arrival pursuant to § 4.2, Customs Regulations (19 CFR 4.2).

Generally, foreign-flag yachts entering the U.S. are required to comply with the laws applicable to foreign vessels arriving at, departing from, and proceeding between ports of the U.S. However, as provided in § 4.94(b), Customs Regulations (19 CFR 4.94(b)), Customs may issue cruising licenses to pleasure vessels from certain countries if it is found that yachts of the United States are exempt from formal entry and clearance procedures (e.g., filing manifests, obtaining permits to proceed and paying entry and clearance fees) in those countries.

If a foreign-flag yacht is issued a cruising license, the yacht, for a stated period not to exceed one year, may arrive and depart from the United States and to cruise in specified waters of the United States without entering and clearing, without filing manifests and obtaining or delivering permits to proceed, and without the payment of entrance and clearance fees, or fees for receiving manifests and granting permits to proceed, duty on tonnage, tonnage tax, or light money. Upon arrival at each port in the U.S., the master of a foreign-flag yacht with a cruising license must report the fact of arrival to the appropriate Customs office. A list of countries whose yachts are eligible for cruising licenses is set forth in § 4.94(b).

By an exchange of diplomatic notes between the Government of the Marshall Islands and the United States Department of State, the Marshall Islands and the United States agree to extend to yachts of each other's country reciprocal privileges. Accordingly, U.S.-flag yachts, used exclusively as pleasure vessels and belonging to any resident of the U.S., may arrive at and depart from Marshall Islands ports and to cruise the waters of the Marshall Islands without entering and clearing the Marshall Islands Customs and without payment of any charges for entering or clearing, dues, duty per ton, tonnage taxes, or charges for cruising licenses. Marshall Islands yachts will be entitled to reciprocal privileges in the United States.

On July 22, 2002, the Department of State advised the Acting Chief, Entry Procedures and Carriers Branch, U.S. Customs Service, of the agreement between the United States and the Marshall Islands, which became effective July 9, 2002. The Acting Chief, Entry Procedures and Carriers Branch, is of the opinion that satisfactory evidence has been furnished to establish the reciprocity required in § 4.94(b), effective July 9, 2002. Accordingly, the Marshall Islands is added to the list of countries set forth in § 4.94(b). The authority to amend this section of the Customs Regulations has been delegated to the Chief, Regulations Branch.

Inapplicability of Public Notice and Delayed Effective Date Requirements, the Regulatory Flexibility Act and Executive Order 12866

Because this amendment merely implements a statutory requirement and confers a benefit upon the public, pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B), notice and public procedure are unnecessary for this amendment. Further, for the same reasons, good cause exists for the dispensing with a delayed effective date under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(1) and (3). Since this document is not subject to notice and public procedure requirements of 5 U.S.C. 553, it is not subject to the provisions of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.). This document does not meet the criteria for a “significant regulatory action” as specified in Executive Order 12866.

Drafting Information

The principal author of this document was Janet Johnson, Regulations Branch, U.S. Customs Service. However, personnel from other offices participated in its development.

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List of Subjects in 19 CFR Part 4

  • Customs duties and inspection
  • Maritime carriers
  • Vessels
  • Yachts
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Amendment to the Regulations

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To reflect the reciprocal privileges granted to vessels registered in the Marshall Islands, Part 4, Customs Regulations (19 CFR Part 4), is amended as set forth below.

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1. The general authority for Part 4 and the specific authority for § 4.94 continue to read as follows:

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Authority: 5 U.S.C. 301; 19 U.S.C. 66, 1431, 1433, 1434, 1624; 46 U.S.C. App. 3, 91.

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Section 4.94 also issued under 19 U.S.C. 1441; 46 U.S.C. App. 104.

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2. Section 4.94(b), Customs Regulations ( 19 CFR 4.94(b)), is amended by inserting, in appropriate alphabetical order, “Marshall Islands” in the list of countries.

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Dated: August 8, 2002.

Harold M. Singer,

Chief, Regulations Branch.

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[FR Doc. 02-20563 Filed 8-13-02; 8:45 am]