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HQ 115366

May 18, 2001

VES-3-19-RR:IT:EC 115366 GEV


G. Michael Hubbard
Vice President California Operations
Quay Cruise Agencies, U.S.A.
1025 W. 190th Street, Site 165
Gardena, CA 90248-4332

RE: Coastwise Trade; Passengers; Employees; 46 U.S.C. App. § 289

Dear Mr. Hubbard:

This is in response to your fax of May 14, 2001, regarding the coastwise transportation of staff members of a vessel owner/operator aboard a foreign-flag vessel. Our ruling on this matter is set forth below.


The French-flag vessel SEVEN SEAS MARINER will be arriving at San Diego on May 21, 2001, to disembark and embark passengers, and at Los Angeles, California, on May 22, 2001, to do the same en route to San Francisco, California, and Juneau, Alaska. This will commence their 2001 Alaska Cruise Season. While en route to San Francisco, the following employees of Radisson Seven Seas (the vessel owner) and V-Ships (the vessel operator) are required to conduct, implement, and monitor initial new programs on board. Radisson Seven Seas has requested Quay Cruise Agencies, U.S.A., as their agent, to request permission for these employees to embark in San Diego and/or Los Angeles and disembark in San Francisco and/or Juneau.

Name Position Nationality D.O.B.

Abaello, Oscar Senior Director U.S. 04/05/62

Choban-Rozman, Margeret
Director of Sales U.S. 11/25/48

Conroy, Mark President & CEO U.S. 12/15/52

Devine, Karin Director, Charter U.S. 01/20/64 & Incentive Sales

Gerek, Sherri Manager of Air Sea U.S. 06/23/64

Goodwin, Paul V.P. Pricing & Canadian 10/31/60 Planning

Grimsland, Roy V.P. Sales U.S. 08/15/57

Healy, Tracy Ann Manager of Ops U.S. 11/08/70

Levene, David Director of Sales U.S. 12/18/35

Levene, Estelle Social Hostess U.S. 02/25/39

Mantia, Maggie V.P. Charter & U.S. 09/29/44 Incentive Sales

Poulton, Andrew Director of Strategic U.S. 09/24/57 Marketing

Remillard, Donna V.P. Marketing U.S. 10/15/51

Grothaus, Kami Reservation Agent U.S. 07/25/73

Zeigler, Joslyn Reservation Agent U.S. 09/04/79

Lynch, Dawn Reservation Agent U.S. 09/07/69

Palensky, Denise Reservation Agent U.S. 07/17/70

Scheer, Pat Director of Cruise
Reservation Operation U.S. 10/15/61

Soy, Randall Director of National U.S. 12/08/66 Accounts

Astone, Angelo Charter/Incentive U.S. 12/22/32 Sales

Asonte, Frances Charter/Incentive U.S. 10/07/35 Sales

Sauleau, Christion V.P. of Operations U.S. 10/27/54

Giorgio, Roberto Managing Director Italian 04/30/50 V-Ships

Facco, Vittorio New Builds, V-Ships Italian 11/14/50


Whether the above-listed individuals are “passengers” within the meaning of 19 CFR § 4.50(b) so that their transportation between San Diego and/or Los Angeles and San Francisco and/or Juneau aboard the foreign-flag SEVEN SEAS MARINER would violate 46 U.S.C. App. § 289.


The U.S. Customs Service enforces various navigation laws which deal with the use of vessels in what is recognized as coastwise trade. Included among these laws is the Act of June 19, 1886, as amended (24 Stat. 81; 46 U.S.C. App. § 289, sometimes called the coastwise passenger law), which provides that:

No foreign vessel shall transport passengers between ports or places in the United States either directly or by way of a foreign port, under a penalty of $200 for each passenger so transported and landed.

Pursuant to § 4.50(b), Customs Regulations (19 CFR § 4.50(b)), the word "passenger," for purposes of the above-cited statute, is defined as "...any person carried on a vessel who is not connected with the operation of such vessel, her navigation, ownership, or business."

Customs has consistently interpreted the prohibition set forth in 46 U.S.C. App. § 289 to apply to all vessels except United States-built, owned, and properly documented vessels (see 46 U.S.C. § 12106, 12110; and 46 U.S.C. App. § 883). Furthermore, Customs has promulgated regulations pursuant to 46 U.S.C. App. § 289. These regulations may be found in title 19, Code of Federal Regulations, § 4.80a.

The coastwise laws generally apply to points in the territorial sea, defined as the belt, three nautical miles wide, seaward of the territorial sea baseline, and to points located in internal waters, landward of the territorial sea baseline, in cases where the baseline and coastline differ.

With respect to the above-listed individuals, upon reviewing their status as employees of the vessel owner/operator, as well as their activities while on board the subject vessel during the voyage in question, it is our position that they would be sufficiently connected to the business of the vessel so as not to be considered “passengers” within the meaning of 19 CFR § 4.50(b).

Accordingly, the proposed transportation of these individuals between San Diego and/or Los Angeles and San Francisco and/or Juneau aboard the French-flag SEVEN SEAS MARINER would not be violative of 46 U.S.C. App. § 289.


The above-listed individuals are not “passengers” within the meaning of 19 CFR § 4.50(b) so that their transportation between San Diego and/or Los Angeles and San Francisco and/or Juneau aboard the foreign-flag SEVEN SEAS MARINER would not violate 46 U.S.C. App. § 289.


Larry L. Burton

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