Mechanisms of Compliance with United States Citizenship Requirements for the Ownership of Vessels Eligible To Engage in Restricted Trades by Publicly Traded Companies, 68203-68205 [2011-28447]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 213 / Thursday, November 3, 2011 / Notices To avoid duplication, please use only one of these four methods. See the ‘‘Public Participation and Request for Comments’’ portion of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section below for instructions on submitting comments. If you have questions on this notice, call or email Mr. Rogers W. Henderson, U.S. Coast Guard, Maritime Personnel Qualifications Division; telephone: (202) 372–1408, email: Rogers.W.Henderson@uscg.mil. If you have questions on viewing or submitting material to the docket, call Renee V. Wright, Program Manager, Docket Operations, telephone: (202) 366–9826. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: srobinson on DSK4SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Public Participation and Request for Comments All comments received will be posted, without change, to https:// www.regulations.gov and will include any personal information you have provided. Submitting comments: If you submit a comment, please include the docket number for this notice (USCG–2004– 17914) and provide a reason for each suggestion or recommendation. You may submit your comments and material online, or by fax, mail or hand delivery, but please use only one of these means. We recommend that you include your name and a mailing address, an email address, or a telephone number in the body of your document so that we can contact you if we have questions regarding your submission. To submit your comment online, go to https://www.regulations.gov, click on the ‘‘submit a comment’’ box, which will then become highlighted in blue. In the ‘‘Document Type’’ drop down menu select ‘‘Notices’’ and insert ‘‘USCG– 2004–17914’’ in the ‘‘Keyword’’ box. Click ‘‘Search’’ then click on the balloon shape in the ‘‘Actions’’ column. If you submit your comments by mail or hand delivery, submit them in an unbound format, no larger than 81⁄2 by 11 inches, suitable for copying and electronic filing. If you submit them by mail and would like to know that they reached the Facility, please enclose a stamped, self-addressed postcard or envelope. We will consider all comments and material received during the comment period. Viewing the Docket: To view comments and the MERPAC and MMMAC recommendations on the STCW SNPRM, go to https:// www.regulations.gov, click on the ‘‘read comments’’ box, which will then become highlighted in blue. In the VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:50 Nov 02, 2011 Jkt 226001 ‘‘Keyword’’ box insert ‘‘USCG–2004– 17914’’ and click ‘‘Search.’’ Click the ‘‘Open Docket Folder’’ in the ‘‘Actions’’ column. If you do not have access to the internet, you may view the docket online by visiting the Docket Management Facility in Room W12–140 on the ground floor of the Department of Transportation West Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. We have an agreement with the Department of Transportation to use the Docket Management Facility. Privacy Act: Anyone can search the electronic form of comments received into any of our dockets by the name of the individual submitting the comment (or signing the comment, if submitted on behalf of an association, business, labor union, etc.). You may review a Privacy Act, system of records notice regarding our public dockets in the January 17, 2008, issue of the Federal Register (73 FR 3316). Background On August 1, 2011, the Coast Guard published a Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (SNPRM) in the Federal Register entitled, ‘‘Implementation of the Amendments to the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers, 1978, and Changes to Domestic Endorsements’’ (STCW) (76 FR 45908). In response to Coast Guard Task Statement 75, the Merchant Marine Personnel Advisory Committee reviewed the SNPRM and made recommendations. The Merchant Mariner Medical Advisory Committee also reviewed the SNPRM and has issued recommendations. The recommendations from both committees are available to the public by following the directions in the ‘‘Viewing the Docket’’ section above. This notice is issued under authority of 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 33 CFR 1.05–1. Dated: October 28, 2011. Russell C. Proctor, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Chief, Office of Operating & Environmental Standards. [FR Doc. 2011–28440 Filed 11–2–11; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110–04–P PO 00000 Frm 00078 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 68203 DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard [Docket No. USCG–2011–0619] Mechanisms of Compliance with United States Citizenship Requirements for the Ownership of Vessels Eligible To Engage in Restricted Trades by Publicly Traded Companies Coast Guard, DHS. Notice and request for comments. AGENCY: ACTION: Under existing statutes, at least 75% of the ownership of vessels eligible to engage in the coastwise or fisheries trades must be vested in United States citizens. The Coast Guard is seeking comments and information on the various mechanisms that publicly traded companies have chosen to employ in order to assure compliance with those citizenship requirements. Although the Coast Guard may use information obtained in response to this notice to inform future rulemakings, we are not presently developing a new or revised regulation on this subject. DATES: Comments and related material must either be submitted to our online docket via https://www.regulations.gov on or before February 1, 2012 or reach the Docket Management Facility by that date. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments identified by docket number USCG– 2011–0619 using any one of the following methods: (1) Federal eRulemaking Portal: https://www.regulations.gov. (2) Fax: (202) 493–2251. (3) Mail: Docket Management Facility (M–30), U.S. Department of Transportation, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12–140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590– 0001. (4) Hand delivery: Same as mail address above, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The telephone number is (202) 366–9329. (5) For comments containing confidential information, business information or sensitive security information, please mail appropriately marked comments to Commandant (CG– 0943) (RM 1417), U.S. Coast Guard, 2100 2nd Street SW., STOP 7121, Washington, DC, 20593, Attention USCG–2011–0619. To avoid duplication, please use only one of these four methods. See the ‘‘Public Participation and Request for SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\03NON1.SGM 03NON1 68204 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 213 / Thursday, November 3, 2011 / Notices Comments’’ portion of the section below for instructions on submitting comments. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION If you have questions on this proposed rule, call or email Mr. Douglas Cameron, United States Coast Guard, National Vessel Documentation Center; telephone 304–271–2506, email Douglas.G.Cameron@uscg.mil. If you have questions on viewing or submitting material to the docket, call Renee V. Wright, Program Manager, Docket Operations, telephone (202) 366–9826. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Public Participation and Request for Comments We encourage you to respond to this notice by submitting comments and related materials. All comments received will be posted, without change, to https://www.regulations.gov and will include any personal information you have provided. We will consider all comments and material received during the comment period regardless of whether you include identifying information. srobinson on DSK4SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES A. Submitting Comments If you submit a comment, please include the docket number for this rulemaking (USCG–2011–0619) and provide a reason for each suggestion or recommendation. You may submit your comments and material online, or by fax, mail or hand delivery, but please use only one of these means. We recommend that you include your name and a mailing address, an email address, or a phone number in the body of your document so that we can contact you if we have questions regarding your submission. To submit your comment online, go to https://www.regulations.gov, click on the ‘‘submit a comment’’ box, which will then become highlighted in blue. In the ‘‘Document Type’’ drop down menu select ‘‘Notices’’ and insert ‘‘USCG– 2011–0619’’ in the ‘‘Keyword’’ box. Click ‘‘Search’’ then click on the balloon shape in the ‘‘Actions’’ column. If you submit your comments by mail or hand delivery, submit them in an unbound format, no larger than 81⁄2 by 11 inches, suitable for copying and electronic filing. If you submit them by mail and would like to know that they reached the Facility, please enclose a stamped, self-addressed postcard or envelope. VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:50 Nov 02, 2011 Jkt 226001 B. Handling Confidential Information, Proprietary Information and Sensitive Security Information (SSI) Submitted in Public Comments Do not submit comments that include trade secrets, confidential commercial or financial information, or sensitive security information (SSI) 1 to the public regulatory docket. Please submit such comments separately from other comments on the rulemaking. Comments containing this type of information should be appropriately marked as containing such information and submitted by mail to the Coast Guard point of contact listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section. Upon receipt of such comments, the Coast Guard will not place the comments in the public docket and will handle them in accordance with applicable safeguards and restrictions on access. The Coast Guard will hold them in a separate file to which the public does not have access, and place a note in the public docket that Coast Guard has received such materials from the commenter. If the Coast Guard receives a request to examine or copy this information, we will treat it as any other request under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) (5 U.S.C. 552). C. Viewing Comments and Documents To view comments, as well as documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket, go to https://www.regulations.gov, click on the ‘‘read comments’’ box, which will then become highlighted in blue. In the ‘‘Keyword’’ box insert ‘‘USCG–2011– 0619’’ and click ‘‘Search.’’ Click the ‘‘Open Docket Folder’’ in the ‘‘Actions’’ column. If you do not have access to the internet, you may view the docket online by visiting the Docket Management Facility in Room W12–140 on the ground floor of the Department of Transportation West Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. We have an agreement with the Department of Transportation to use the Docket Management Facility. D. Privacy Act Anyone can search the electronic form of comments received into any of our dockets by the name of the individual submitting the comment (or 1 ‘‘Sensitive Security Information’’ or ‘‘SSI’’ is information obtained or developed in the conduct of security activities, the disclosure of which would constitute an unwarranted invasion of privacy, reveal trade secrets or privileged or confidential information, or be detrimental to the security of transportation. The protection of SSI is governed by 49 CFR part 1520. PO 00000 Frm 00079 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 signing the comment, if submitted on behalf of an association, business, labor union, etc.). You may review a Privacy Act notice regarding our public dockets in the January 17, 2008, issue of the Federal Register (73 FR 3316). II. Background The United States citizenship requirements for ownership of vessels eligible to engage in the coastwise or fisheries trades are established by 46 U.S.C. 50501. Among other things, they require that 75% of the ownership interest in qualified vessel-owning entities, as evidenced by title and voting power, must be vested in United States citizens. In addition, in accordance with 46 CFR 67.31(d), where title to a vessel is held by an entity comprised, in whole or in part, of other entities, each entity contributing to the stock or equity interest qualifications of the entity holding title must be a citizen eligible to document vessels in its own right with a coastwise or fisheries trade endorsement.2 Thus, for publicly traded companies, as with other entities holding title to coastwise or fisheries eligible vessels, each entity whose ownership interest in the stock or equity of that company contributes to the 75% ownership requirement for that company must itself be eligible to document vessels in its own right with a coastwise or fisheries trade endorsement. Moreover, for those entities to be so eligible themselves, they must also satisfy the requirements of 46 U.S.C. 50501 and 46 CFR 67.31(d), as would, consequently, any entities whose stock or equity ownership contributes in turn to their 75% United States citizen ownership requirement. In addition to the stock or equity ownership interest requirement discussed above, there are other requirements that entities must satisfy in order to be qualified, in their own right, to document vessels, including to document vessels with coastwise or fisheries trade endorsements. As set forth at 46 CFR 67.39(a), in the case of entities that are corporations, any such entity (1) must be incorporated under the laws of the United States or of a state; (2) its chief executive officer, by whatever title, must be a citizen of the United States; (3) the chairman of its board of directors must be a United States citizen; and (4) no more of its directors than a minority of the number necessary to constitute a quorum may be non-citizens of the United States. The process for determining the citizenship of applicants for 2 See, 46 CFR part 67, subpart C, ‘‘Citizenship Requirements for Vessel Documentation.’’ E:\FR\FM\03NON1.SGM 03NON1 Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 213 / Thursday, November 3, 2011 / Notices documentation of vessels, including for documentation with coastwise or fisheries trade endorsements, relies on self-certification. Because of that, it has long been the position of the Coast Guard that, when evidence of possible non-compliance is found, the burden is upon the applicant, or recipient of such privilege, to establish its qualifications. A clear statement of that obligation, offered in the context of publicly traded companies, was published at 58 FR 60256 (November 15, 1993) where it was stated at page 60259 as follows: The documentation laws are meant to be restrictive and are intended to limit the persons who are eligible to document vessels under U.S. law and acquire trading privileges. Corporations can make proof of citizenship less difficult, for instance by restricting sale of their stock to U.S. citizens, or using a transfer agent to administer a dual stock certificate system. Of course, any U.S. corporation that is unwilling to subject itself to the possibility of having to prove that it qualifies for coastwise or fisheries privileges can choose not to seek them. The Coast Guard will not be bound by any presumptions or inferences in making eligibility determinations for documentation purposes. srobinson on DSK4SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Against the background of this statement by the Coast Guard of the burden upon corporations to be able to prove their qualifications, as a necessary requirement of a self-certifying system for determining that U.S. citizenship standards have been met, the Coast Guard recently completed an investigation of a publicly-traded company owning vessels documented with coastwise endorsements and found that its U.S. citizenship could not be established. The report of that investigation, dated January 12, 2011, contains the Coast Guard’s findings, opinions and recommendations with respect to this issue, as pertinent to the company investigated, and can be found at https://www.uscg.mil/hq/cg5/nvdc/ nvdcreport.asp or go to the National Vessel Documentation Center home page at https://www.uscg.mil/hq/cg5/ nvdc/, click on ‘‘Latest News’’ on the left side of the page, then click on ‘‘Trico Investigation’’ under the dropdown menu. III. Information Requested This notice solicits information, for the benefit of the Coast Guard but also for the mutual benefit of industry, as to the mechanisms that publicly traded companies have employed, including but not limited to those mentioned in the quoted language above, to assure compliance with United States citizenship requirements. We are also requesting information on the manner in which those mechanisms function to VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:50 Nov 02, 2011 Jkt 226001 provide that assurance and, when called upon to do so, to offer proof of compliance. The Coast Guard will not retaliate against commenters that question or complain about citizenship requirements or any policy or action of the Coast Guard. This document is issued under authority of 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 33 CFR 1.05–1. Dated: October 25, 2011. Timothy V. Skuby, Director, National Vessel Documentation Center, U.S. Coast Guard. [FR Doc. 2011–28447 Filed 11–2–11; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110–04–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service [FWS–R9–IA–2011–N233; 96300–1671– 0000–P5] Endangered Species; Receipt of Applications for Permit Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. ACTION: Notice of receipt of applications for permit. AGENCY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, invite the public to comment on the following applications to conduct certain activities with endangered species. With some exceptions, the Endangered Species Act (ESA) prohibit activities with listed species unless a Federal permit is issued that allows such activities. The ESA laws require that we invite public comment before issuing these permits. DATES: We must receive comments or requests for documents on or before December 5, 2011. ADDRESSES: Brenda Tapia, Division of Management Authority, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 4401 North Fairfax Drive, Room 212, Arlington, VA 22203; fax (703) 358–2280; or email DMAFR@fws.gov. SUMMARY: FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Brenda Tapia, (703) 358–2104 (telephone); (703) 358–2280 (fax); DMAFR@fws.gov (email). SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Public Comment Procedures A. How do I request copies of applications or comment on submitted applications? Send your request for copies of applications or comments and materials concerning any of the applications to the contact listed under ADDRESSES. Please include the Federal Register PO 00000 Frm 00080 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 68205 notice publication date, the PRTnumber, and the name of the applicant in your request or submission. We will not consider requests or comments sent to an email or address not listed under ADDRESSES. If you provide an email address in your request for copies of applications, we will attempt to respond to your request electronically. Please make your requests or comments as specific as possible. Please confine your comments to issues for which we seek comments in this notice, and explain the basis for your comments. Include sufficient information with your comments to allow us to authenticate any scientific or commercial data you include. The comments and recommendations that will be most useful and likely to influence agency decisions are: (1) Those supported by quantitative information or studies; and (2) Those that include citations to, and analyses of, the applicable laws and regulations. We will not consider or include in our administrative record comments we receive after the close of the comment period (see DATES) or comments delivered to an address other than those listed above (see ADDRESSES). B. May I review comments submitted by others? Comments, including names and street addresses of respondents, will be available for public review at the address listed under ADDRESSES. The public may review documents and other information applicants have sent in support of the application unless our allowing viewing would violate the Privacy Act or Freedom of Information Act. Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment—including your personal identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. II. Background To help us carry out our conservation responsibilities for affected species, section 10(a)(1)(A) of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), require that we invite public comment before final action on these permit applications. III. Permit Applications A. Endangered Species Applicant: Laguna Vista Ranch, San Antonio, TX; PRT–180804. E:\FR\FM\03NON1.SGM 03NON1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 213 (Thursday, November 3, 2011)]
[Notices]
[Pages 68203-68205]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-28447]


-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY

Coast Guard

[Docket No. USCG-2011-0619]


Mechanisms of Compliance with United States Citizenship 
Requirements for the Ownership of Vessels Eligible To Engage in 
Restricted Trades by Publicly Traded Companies

AGENCY: Coast Guard, DHS.

ACTION: Notice and request for comments.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: Under existing statutes, at least 75% of the ownership of 
vessels eligible to engage in the coastwise or fisheries trades must be 
vested in United States citizens. The Coast Guard is seeking comments 
and information on the various mechanisms that publicly traded 
companies have chosen to employ in order to assure compliance with 
those citizenship requirements. Although the Coast Guard may use 
information obtained in response to this notice to inform future 
rulemakings, we are not presently developing a new or revised 
regulation on this subject.

DATES: Comments and related material must either be submitted to our 
online docket via https://www.regulations.gov on or before February 1, 
2012 or reach the Docket Management Facility by that date.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments identified by docket number USCG-
2011-0619 using any one of the following methods:
    (1) Federal eRulemaking Portal: https://www.regulations.gov.
    (2) Fax: (202) 493-2251.
    (3) Mail: Docket Management Facility (M-30), U.S. Department of 
Transportation, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New 
Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590-0001.
    (4) Hand delivery: Same as mail address above, between 9 a.m. and 5 
p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The telephone 
number is (202) 366-9329.
    (5) For comments containing confidential information, business 
information or sensitive security information, please mail 
appropriately marked comments to Commandant (CG-0943) (RM 1417), U.S. 
Coast Guard, 2100 2nd Street SW., STOP 7121, Washington, DC, 20593, 
Attention USCG-2011-0619.
    To avoid duplication, please use only one of these four methods. 
See the ``Public Participation and Request for

[[Page 68204]]

Comments'' portion of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section below for 
instructions on submitting comments.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: If you have questions on this proposed 
rule, call or email Mr. Douglas Cameron, United States Coast Guard, 
National Vessel Documentation Center; telephone 304-271-2506, email 
Douglas.G.Cameron@uscg.mil. If you have questions on viewing or 
submitting material to the docket, call Renee V. Wright, Program 
Manager, Docket Operations, telephone (202) 366-9826.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Public Participation and Request for Comments

    We encourage you to respond to this notice by submitting comments 
and related materials. All comments received will be posted, without 
change, to https://www.regulations.gov and will include any personal 
information you have provided. We will consider all comments and 
material received during the comment period regardless of whether you 
include identifying information.

A. Submitting Comments

    If you submit a comment, please include the docket number for this 
rulemaking (USCG-2011-0619) and provide a reason for each suggestion or 
recommendation. You may submit your comments and material online, or by 
fax, mail or hand delivery, but please use only one of these means. We 
recommend that you include your name and a mailing address, an email 
address, or a phone number in the body of your document so that we can 
contact you if we have questions regarding your submission.
    To submit your comment online, go to https://www.regulations.gov, 
click on the ``submit a comment'' box, which will then become 
highlighted in blue. In the ``Document Type'' drop down menu select 
``Notices'' and insert ``USCG-2011-0619'' in the ``Keyword'' box. Click 
``Search'' then click on the balloon shape in the ``Actions'' column. 
If you submit your comments by mail or hand delivery, submit them in an 
unbound format, no larger than 8\1/2\ by 11 inches, suitable for 
copying and electronic filing. If you submit them by mail and would 
like to know that they reached the Facility, please enclose a stamped, 
self-addressed postcard or envelope.

B. Handling Confidential Information, Proprietary Information and 
Sensitive Security Information (SSI) Submitted in Public Comments

    Do not submit comments that include trade secrets, confidential 
commercial or financial information, or sensitive security information 
(SSI) \1\ to the public regulatory docket. Please submit such comments 
separately from other comments on the rulemaking. Comments containing 
this type of information should be appropriately marked as containing 
such information and submitted by mail to the Coast Guard point of 
contact listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ ``Sensitive Security Information'' or ``SSI'' is information 
obtained or developed in the conduct of security activities, the 
disclosure of which would constitute an unwarranted invasion of 
privacy, reveal trade secrets or privileged or confidential 
information, or be detrimental to the security of transportation. 
The protection of SSI is governed by 49 CFR part 1520.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Upon receipt of such comments, the Coast Guard will not place the 
comments in the public docket and will handle them in accordance with 
applicable safeguards and restrictions on access. The Coast Guard will 
hold them in a separate file to which the public does not have access, 
and place a note in the public docket that Coast Guard has received 
such materials from the commenter. If the Coast Guard receives a 
request to examine or copy this information, we will treat it as any 
other request under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) (5 U.S.C. 
552).

C. Viewing Comments and Documents

    To view comments, as well as documents mentioned in this preamble 
as being available in the docket, go to https://www.regulations.gov, 
click on the ``read comments'' box, which will then become highlighted 
in blue. In the ``Keyword'' box insert ``USCG-2011-0619'' and click 
``Search.'' Click the ``Open Docket Folder'' in the ``Actions'' column. 
If you do not have access to the internet, you may view the docket 
online by visiting the Docket Management Facility in Room W12-140 on 
the ground floor of the Department of Transportation West Building, 
1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 
p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. We have an 
agreement with the Department of Transportation to use the Docket 
Management Facility.

D. Privacy Act

    Anyone can search the electronic form of comments received into any 
of our dockets by the name of the individual submitting the comment (or 
signing the comment, if submitted on behalf of an association, 
business, labor union, etc.). You may review a Privacy Act notice 
regarding our public dockets in the January 17, 2008, issue of the 
Federal Register (73 FR 3316).

II. Background

    The United States citizenship requirements for ownership of vessels 
eligible to engage in the coastwise or fisheries trades are established 
by 46 U.S.C. 50501. Among other things, they require that 75% of the 
ownership interest in qualified vessel-owning entities, as evidenced by 
title and voting power, must be vested in United States citizens. In 
addition, in accordance with 46 CFR 67.31(d), where title to a vessel 
is held by an entity comprised, in whole or in part, of other entities, 
each entity contributing to the stock or equity interest qualifications 
of the entity holding title must be a citizen eligible to document 
vessels in its own right with a coastwise or fisheries trade 
endorsement.\2\ Thus, for publicly traded companies, as with other 
entities holding title to coastwise or fisheries eligible vessels, each 
entity whose ownership interest in the stock or equity of that company 
contributes to the 75% ownership requirement for that company must 
itself be eligible to document vessels in its own right with a 
coastwise or fisheries trade endorsement. Moreover, for those entities 
to be so eligible themselves, they must also satisfy the requirements 
of 46 U.S.C. 50501 and 46 CFR 67.31(d), as would, consequently, any 
entities whose stock or equity ownership contributes in turn to their 
75% United States citizen ownership requirement.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \2\ See, 46 CFR part 67, subpart C, ``Citizenship Requirements 
for Vessel Documentation.''
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In addition to the stock or equity ownership interest requirement 
discussed above, there are other requirements that entities must 
satisfy in order to be qualified, in their own right, to document 
vessels, including to document vessels with coastwise or fisheries 
trade endorsements. As set forth at 46 CFR 67.39(a), in the case of 
entities that are corporations, any such entity (1) must be 
incorporated under the laws of the United States or of a state; (2) its 
chief executive officer, by whatever title, must be a citizen of the 
United States; (3) the chairman of its board of directors must be a 
United States citizen; and (4) no more of its directors than a minority 
of the number necessary to constitute a quorum may be non-citizens of 
the United States.
    The process for determining the citizenship of applicants for

[[Page 68205]]

documentation of vessels, including for documentation with coastwise or 
fisheries trade endorsements, relies on self-certification. Because of 
that, it has long been the position of the Coast Guard that, when 
evidence of possible non-compliance is found, the burden is upon the 
applicant, or recipient of such privilege, to establish its 
qualifications. A clear statement of that obligation, offered in the 
context of publicly traded companies, was published at 58 FR 60256 
(November 15, 1993) where it was stated at page 60259 as follows:

    The documentation laws are meant to be restrictive and are 
intended to limit the persons who are eligible to document vessels 
under U.S. law and acquire trading privileges. Corporations can make 
proof of citizenship less difficult, for instance by restricting 
sale of their stock to U.S. citizens, or using a transfer agent to 
administer a dual stock certificate system. Of course, any U.S. 
corporation that is unwilling to subject itself to the possibility 
of having to prove that it qualifies for coastwise or fisheries 
privileges can choose not to seek them. The Coast Guard will not be 
bound by any presumptions or inferences in making eligibility 
determinations for documentation purposes.

    Against the background of this statement by the Coast Guard of the 
burden upon corporations to be able to prove their qualifications, as a 
necessary requirement of a self-certifying system for determining that 
U.S. citizenship standards have been met, the Coast Guard recently 
completed an investigation of a publicly-traded company owning vessels 
documented with coastwise endorsements and found that its U.S. 
citizenship could not be established. The report of that investigation, 
dated January 12, 2011, contains the Coast Guard's findings, opinions 
and recommendations with respect to this issue, as pertinent to the 
company investigated, and can be found at https://www.uscg.mil/hq/cg5/nvdc/nvdcreport.asp or go to the National Vessel Documentation Center 
home page at https://www.uscg.mil/hq/cg5/nvdc/, click on ``Latest News'' 
on the left side of the page, then click on ``Trico Investigation'' 
under the drop-down menu.

III. Information Requested

    This notice solicits information, for the benefit of the Coast 
Guard but also for the mutual benefit of industry, as to the mechanisms 
that publicly traded companies have employed, including but not limited 
to those mentioned in the quoted language above, to assure compliance 
with United States citizenship requirements. We are also requesting 
information on the manner in which those mechanisms function to provide 
that assurance and, when called upon to do so, to offer proof of 
compliance. The Coast Guard will not retaliate against commenters that 
question or complain about citizenship requirements or any policy or 
action of the Coast Guard.
    This document is issued under authority of 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 33 
CFR 1.05-1.

    Dated: October 25, 2011.
Timothy V. Skuby,
Director, National Vessel Documentation Center, U.S. Coast Guard.
[FR Doc. 2011-28447 Filed 11-2-11; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 9110-04-P