United States International Trade Commision Rulings And Harmonized Tariff Schedule
faqs.org  Rulings By Number  Rulings By Category  Tariff Numbers
faqs.org > Rulings and Tariffs Home > Rulings By Number > 2007 HQ Rulings > HQ H016992 - HQ H017887 > HQ H017111

Previous Ruling Next Ruling
HQ H017111

September 17, 2007



Adrian Wilson
Boyd-Campbell Co.
210 S. Carancahua, Suite 620
Corpus Christi, Texas 78401

RE: Coastwise Transportation; 46 U.S.C. § 55103; 19 C.F.R. § 4.50(b)

Dear Mr. Wilson:

In your letter transmitted by facsimile on September 14, 2007, you requested that a riding crew of approximately 10 persons be permitted to travel aboard the foreign-flagged vessel, M/V AEGEAN HAWK, from Point Comfort to Corpus Christi, Texas. Our ruling on your request follows.


A riding crew of approximately ten persons would be transported aboard the non-coastwise-qualified M/V AEGEAN HAWK, embarking on September 20, 2007 at Point Comfort, Texas and disembarking at the port of Corpus Christi, Texas on or about September 23, 2007. The cruise line’s agent has stated that the riding crew would be traveling aboard to assist the vessel crew in cleaning the holds for the vessel’s next cargo in Corpus Christi.


Whether the individuals described above would be “passengers” within the meaning of 46 U.S.C. § 55103 and 19 C.F.R. § 4.50(b)?


The coastwise passenger statute, former 46 U.S.C. App. § 289 recodified as 46 U.S.C. § 55103, pursuant to P.L. 109-304 (October 6, 2006), states that no foreign vessel shall transport passengers between ports or places in the United States to which the coastwise laws apply, either directly or by way of a foreign port, under a penalty of $300 for each passenger so transported and landed (see 19 C.F.R. § 4.80(b)). The coastwise laws generally apply to points in the territorial sea, which is 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. Under § 55103 (see 19 C.F.R. § 4.80a(a)(5)), a “passenger” is any person carried aboard a vessel “who is not connected with the operation of the vessel, her navigation, ownership, or business.” (19 C.F.R. § 4.50(b)).

Pursuant to Headquarters Decision 101699, dated November 5, 1975, it is well settled that "workmen, technicians, or observers transported by vessel between ports of the United States are not classified as ‘passengers’ within the meaning of section 4.50(b) and section 289 if they are required to be on board to contribute to the accomplishment of the operation or navigation of the vessel during the voyage or are on board because of a necessary vessel ownership or business interest during the voyage." (See also, Headquarters Decision 116752, dated November 3, 2006, quoting HQ 116721). In the present case, the individuals would be traveling aboard the non-coastwise-qualified vessel to assist the vessel crew in cleaning the holds for the vessel’s next cargo. Consequently, the individuals would be necessary for the operation of the vessel during the voyage and would not be considered “passengers” under 46 U.S.C. § 55103.


The subject individuals are not “passengers” within the meaning of 46 U.S.C. § 55103 and 19 C.F.R. § 4.50(b). Therefore, the coastwise transportation of such individuals is not in violation of 46 U.S.C. § 55103.


Glen E. Vereb, Chief

Previous Ruling Next Ruling