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the district comprehending the port to which she belongs shall make and keep in some proper book of registry thereof, and shall grant a certificate of such registry, as nearly as may be, in the form following:
In pursuance of chapter one, Title XLVIII, “REGULATION OF COMMERCE AND NAVIGATION,” of the Revised Statutes of the United States (inserting here the name, occupation, and place of abode of the person by whom the oath was made), having taken and subscribed the oath required by law, and having sworn that he (or she, and if more than one owner, adding the words, "together with, and the name or names, occupation or occupations, place or places of abode, of the owner or owners, and the part or proportion of such vessel belonging to each owner) is (or are) the only owner or owners) of the vessel called the (inserting here her name), of (inserting here the port to which she may belong), whereof (inserting here the name of the master) is at present master, and is a citizen of the United States, and that the said vessel was (inserting here when and where built), and (inserting here the name and office, if any, of the person by whom she shall have been surveyed or measured) having certified that the said vessel has (inserting here the number of decks) and (inserting here the number of masts), and that her length 'is (inserting here the number of feet), her breadth (inserting here the number of feet), her depth (inserting here the number of feet), and that she measures (inserting here her number of tons); that she is (describing here the particular kind of vessel, whether ship, brigantine, snow, schooner, sloop, or whatever else, together with her build, and specifying whether she has any or no gallery or head); and the said (naming the owner, or the master, or other person acting in behalf of the owner or owners, by whom the certificate of measurement has been countersigned, as aforesaid) having agreed to the description and measurement above specified, according to law, the said vessel has been duly registered at the port of (naming the port where registered). Given under my hand and seal, at (naming the said port), this (inserting the particular day) day of (naming the month), in the year (specifying the number of the year, in words, at length). (R. S. 4155.)
When the master of such vessel himself makes oath touching his Being a citizen, the wording of the certificate shall be varied so as to be conformable to the truth of the case. Where a new certificate of registry is granted in consequence of any transfer of a vessel, the words shall be so varied as to refer to the former certificate of registry for her measurement. (R. S. 4156.) Numbering of Registers.
The collector of each district shall progressively number the certificates of the registry by him granted, beginning anew at the commencement of each year, and shall enter an exact copy of each certificate in a book to be kept for that purpose; and shall, once in three months, transmit to the Commissioner of Navigation copies of all the certificates which shall have been granted by him, including the number of each. (R. S. 4176; July 5, 1884, sec. 2.)
It shall be the duty of the Secretary of Commerce to cause to be provided blank certificates of registry, and such other papers as may be necessary, executed in such manner and with such marks as he
may direct. No certificate of registry shall be issued, except such as shall have been so provided and marked. (R. S. 4157.)
The Secretary of Commerce shall cause to be transmitted, from time to time, to the collectors of the several districts, a sufficient number of forms of the certificates of registry, attested under the seal of the Department of Commerce and the hand of the Commissioner of Navigation, with proper blanks, to be filled by the collectors, respectively, by whom also the certificates shall be signed and sealed, before they are issued; and where there is a comptroller of customs at any port, they shall be countersigned by him; and where there is a surveyor, but no naval officer (comptroller of customs), they shall be countersigned by him. A copy of each certificate issued shall be transmitted to the Commissioner of Navigation, who shall cause a record to be kept of the same. (R. S. 4158; July 5, 1884.) Custody and Surrender of Register.
A certificate of registry shall be solely used for the vessel for which it is granted, and shall not be sold, lent, or otherwise disposed of to any person whomsoever; and in case the vessel so registered shall be lost, or taken by an enemy, burned, or broken up, or shall be otherwise prevented from returning to the port to which she may belong, the certificate, if preserved, shall be delivered up within eight days after the arrival of the master or person having the charge or command of such vessel within any district of the United States, to the collector of such district; and if any foreigner, or any person for the rise and benefit of such foreigner, shall purchase or otherwise become entitled to the whole, or any part or share of, or interest in such vessel, the same being within a district of the United States, the certificate shall, within seven days after such purchase, change, or transfer of property, be delivered up to the collector of the district; and if any such purchase, change, or transfer of property shall happen when such vessel shall be at any foreign port or place, or at sea, then the master or person having the charge or command thereof shall, within eight days after his arrival within any district of the United States, deliver up the certificate to the collector of such district. Any master or owner violating the provisions of this section shall be liable to a penalty of not exceeding five hundred dollars, and the certificate of registry shall be thenceforth void. The Secretary of Commerce shall have the power to remit or mitigate such penalty if in his opinion it was incurred without willful negligence or intention of fraud. (R. S. 4146; Jan. 16, 1895, sec. 2.) Registers to Corporations.
Registers for vessels owned by any incorporated company may be issued in the name of the president or secretary of such company; and such register shall not be vacated or affected by sales of any shares of stock in such company. (R. S. 4137.)
Upon the death, removal, or resignation of such president or secretary of any incorporated company owning any vessel, a new register shall be taken out for such vessel. (R. S. 4138.)
Previous to granting a register for any vessel owned by any incorporated company, or by an individual or individuals, the president or
secretary of such company, or any other officer or agent thereof, duly authorized by said company in writing, attested by the corporate seal thereof, to act for the company in this behalf, or the managing owner, or his agent duly authorized by power of attorney, when such vessel is owned by an individual or individuals, shall swear to the ownership of the vessel without designating the names of the persons com, posing the company, when such vessel is owned by a corporation, and the oath of either of said officers or agents shall be deemed sufficient without requiring the oath of any other person interested and concerned in such vessel. (R. S. 4139; June 24, 1902, sec. 1.) Change of Owner of Registered Vessel.
Whenever it appears, by satisfactory proof, to the Commissioner of Navigation that any vessel has been sold and transferred by process of law, and that the register of such vessel is retained by the former owner, the Commissioner may direct the collector of the district to which such vessel may belong to grant a new register, under such sale, on the owners complying with such terms and conditions as are by law required for granting such papers; excepting only the delivering up of the former certificate of registry. But nothing in this section shall be construed to remove the liability of any person to any penalty for not surrendering the papers belonging to any vessel, on a transfer or sale of the same. (R, s. 4164; July 5, 1884, sec. 2.)
When any vessel, registered pursuant to any law of the United States, shall, while she is without the limits of the United States, be sold or transferred in whole or in part to a citizen of the United States, such vessel on her first arrival in the United States thereafter, shall be entitled to all the privileges and benefits of a vessel of the United States: Provided, That all the requisites of law, in order to the registry of vessels, shall be complied with, and a new certificate of registry obtained for such vessel, within three days from the time at which the master or other person having the charge or command of such vessel is required to make his final report upon her first arrival afterward. (R. S. 4166.) Change of Ownership or Build.
Whenever any vessel, which has been registered, is, in whole or in part, sold or transferred to a citizen of the United States, or is altered in form or burden, by being lengthened or built upon, or from one denomination to another, by the mode or method of rigging or fitting, the vessel shall be registered anew, by her former name, according to the directions hereinbefore contained; otherwise she shall cease to be deemed a vessel of the United States. The former certificate of registry of such vessel shall be delivered up to the collector to whom application for such new registry is made, at the time that the same is made, to be by him transmitted to the Commissioner of Navigation, who shall cause the same to be canceled. In every such case of sale or transfer, there shall be some instrument of writing, in the nature of a bill of sale, which shall recite, at length, the certificate; otherwise the vessel shall be incapable of being so registered anew. (R. S. 4170; July 5, 1884, sec. 2.)
Change of Master of Registered Vessel.
When the master or person having the charge or command of a registered vessel is changed, the owner, or one of the owners, or the new master of such vessel, shall report such change to the collector of the district where the same has happened, or where the vessel shall first be after the same has happened, and shall produce to him the certificate of registry of such vessel, and shall make oath, showing that such new master is a citizen of the United States, and the manner in which or means whereby he is so a citizen. Thereupon the collector shall indorse upon the certificate of registry a memorandum of such change, specifying the name of such new master, and shall subscribe the memorandum with his name; and if other than the collector of the district by whom the certificate of registry was granted, shall transmit a copy of the memorandum to him, with notice of the particular vessel to which it relates; and the collector of the district, by whom the certificate shall have been granted, shall make a like memorandum of such change in his book of registers, and shall transmit a copy thereof to the Commissioner of Navigation. If the change is not reported, or if the oath is not taken, as above directed, the registry of such vessel shall be void, and the master or person having the charge or command of her shall be liable to a penalty of one hundred dollars. (R. S. 4171; July 5, 1884, sec. 2.) Mortgage and Bill of Sale.1
No bill of sale, mortgage, hypothecation, or conveyance of any vessel, or part of any vessel, of the United States, shall be valið against any person other than the grantor or mortgagor, his heirs and devisees, and persons having actual notice thereof, unless such bill of sale, mortgage, hypothecation, or conveyance is recorded in the office of the collector of the customs where such vessel is registered or enrolled. The lien by bottomry on any vessel, created during her voyage, by a loan of money or materials necessary to repair or enable her to prosecute a voyage, shall not, however, lose its priority, or be in any way affected by the provisions of this section." (R. S. 4192. See ship mortgage act, p. 464.)
The collectors of the customs shall record all such bills of sale, mortgages, hypothecations, or conveyances, and, also, all certificates for discharging and canceling any such conveyances, in books to be kept for that purpose, in the order of their reception; noting in such books, and also on the bill of sale, mortgage, hypothecation, or conveyance, the time when the same was received; and shall certify on the bill of sale, mortgage, hypothecation, or conveyance, or certificate of discharge or cancellation, the number of the book and page where recorded; but no bill of sale, mortgage, hypothecation, conveyance, or discharge of mortgage or other incumbrance of any vessel, shall be recorded, unless the same is duly acknowledged before a notary public or other officer authorized to take acknowledgment of deeds. (R. S. 4193; June 19, 1886. See ship mortgage act, p. 465.)
The collectors of the customs shall keep an index of such records, inserting alphabetically the names of the vendor or mortgagor, and of the purchaser or mortgagee, and shall permit such index and
1 See sec. 30, subsection X, merchant marine act, 1920, p. 471, which reenacts so much of R. S. 4192 to 4196, inclusive, as is not inconsistent therewith and repeals other provisions.
books of records to be inspected during office hours, under such reasonable regulations as they may establish, and shall, when required, furnish to any person a certificate, setting forth the names of the owners of any vessel registered or enrolled, the parts or proportions owned by each, if inserted in the register or enrollment, and also the material facts of any existing bill of sale, mortgage, hypothecation, or other incumbrance upon such vessel, recorded since the issuing of the last register or enrollment, viz, the date, amount of such incumbrance, and from and to whom or in whose favor made. (R. S. 4194; June 19, 1886. See ship mortgage act, pp. 465, 467.)
The collectors of the customs shall furnish certified copies of such records, on the receipt of fifty cents for each bill of sale, mortgage, or other conveyance. (R. S. 4195. See ship mortgage act, p. 467, subsection 1.)
All bills of sale of vessels registered or enrolled, shall set forth the part of the vessel owned by each person selling, and the part conveyed to each person purchasing. (R. S. 4196.) Sale to Alien.
If any vessel registered as a vessel of the United States shall be sold or transferred, in whole or in part, by way of trust, confidence, or otherwise, to a subject or citizen of any foreign prince or state, and such sale or transfer shall not be made known, as hereinbefore directed, such vessel, together with her tackle, apparel, and furniture, shall be forfeited. If such vessel, however, be so owned in part only, and it is made to appear to the jury before whom the trial for such forfeiture is had, that any other owner of such vessel, being a citizen of the United States, was wholly ignorant of the sale or transfer to or ownership of such foreign subject or citizen, the share or interest of such citizen of the United States shall not be subject to such forfeiture, and the residue only shall be so forfeited. (R. S. 4172. See sec. 9, shipping act, 1916, p. 437.) Loss of Register.
Whenever the certificate of the registry of any vessel is lost, destroyed, or mislaid, the master or other person having the charge or command thereof may make oath before the collector of the district where such vessel shall first be after such loss, destruction, or mislaying in the form following: “I (inserting here the name of the person swearing), being master (or having the charge or command) of the ship or vessel called the (inserting the name of the vessel), do swear (or affirm) that the said vessel hath been, as I verily believe, registered according to law, by the name of (inserting again the name of the vessel), and that a certificate thereof was granted by the collector of the district of (naming the district where registered), which certificate has been lost (or destroyed, or unintentionally and by mere accident mislaid, as the case may be); and (except where the certificate is alleged to have been destroyed) that the same, if found again, and within my power, shall be delivered up to the collector of the district in which it was granted.” Such oath shall be subscribed by the party making the same; and upon such oath being made, and the other requisites of this Title [R. S. 4131–4305] in order to the registry of vessels being complied with, it shall be lawful for the collector of the district before whom such oath is made, to