[Senate Report 112-246]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]

112th Congress  }                                             {  Report
  2d Session    }         SENATE                              { 112-246

                       AMERICA'S CUP ACT OF 2011 


                              R E P O R T

                                 OF THE



                                S. 1759



                December 5, 2012.--Ordered to be printed

                         U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE 

29-010 PDF                       WASHINGTON : 2012 

                      one hundred twelfth congress
                             second session

            JOHN D. ROCKEFELLER IV, West Virginia, Chairman
JOHN F. KERRY, Massachusetts         OLYMPIA J. SNOWE, Maine
BARBARA BOXER, California            JIM DeMINT, South Carolina
BILL NELSON, Florida                 JOHN THUNE, South Dakota
MARIA CANTWELL, Washington           ROGER F. WICKER, Mississippi
MARK PRYOR, Arkansas                 ROY BLUNT, Missouri
CLAIRE McCASKILL, Missouri           JOHN BOOZMAN, Arkansas
AMY KLOBUCHAR, Minnesota             PATRICK J. TOOMEY, Pennsylvania
TOM UDALL, New Mexico                MARCO RUBIO, Florida
MARK WARNER, Virginia                KELLY AYOTTE, New Hampshire
MARK BEGICH, Alaska                  DEAN HELLER, Nevada
                     Ellen Doneski, Staff Director
                   James Reid, Deputy Staff Director
                     John Williams, General Counsel
               Richard Russell, Republican Staff Director
            David Quinalty, Republican Deputy Staff Director
               Rebecca Seidel, Republican General Counsel

112th Congress  }                                            {   Report
  2d Session    }             SENATE                         {  112-246


                       AMERICA'S CUP ACT OF 2011


                December 5, 2012.--Ordered to be printed


     Mr. Rockefeller, from the Committee on Commerce, Science, and 
                Transportation, submitted the following


                         [To accompany S. 1759]

    The Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, to 
which was referred the bill (S. 1759) to facilitate the hosting 
in the United States of the 34th America's Cup by authorizing 
certain eligible vessels to participate in activities related 
to the competition, having considered the same, reports 
favorably thereon without amendment and recommends that the 
bill do pass.

                          Purpose of the Bill

  The America's Cup Act of 2011 is intended to address a 
technicality under coastwise trade law that would prohibit 
foreign competitors in the America's Cup competition from being 
able to come within U.S. navigable waters. Under current law, 
foreign-flagged vessels are prohibited from sailing between two 
U.S. ports. The America's Cup competition will move between 
multiple locations in the United States as part of a sailing 
competition. The bill is intended to make those movements 
between ports legal.

                          Background and Needs

  The America's Cup is a 160 year old series of ocean races 
between teams of sailing boats. The 34th America's Cup is being 
held in California and Rhode Island throughout 2011 and 2012, 
and will culminate in a final race in San Francisco Bay in 
2013. This is the first America's Cup race to be held within 
the three-mile territorial sea limits of the United States. 
Previous America's Cup races had been held outside the 
territorial limits and thus did not require support vessels to 
enter U.S. ports.
  Coastwise trade law, which stems from the Jones Act (also 
known as the Merchant Marine Act, 1920) bans vessels engaged in 
coastwise trade from being foreign-flagged. The America's Cup 
race raises issues under sections 55102, 55103, and 55111 of 
title 46 of the United States Code because the support vessels 
for sailing ships will be transporting passengers and supplies 
between U.S. ports during the lead-in to the final competition. 
The Coast Guard is granting special permits to America's Cup 
vessels for Marine Events of National Significance in regard to 
vessel inspection laws. However, for foreign vessels to fully 
participate in the America's Cup, legislation is necessary to 
make them compliant with coastwise laws. Previous races in the 
United States had occurred far from the coastal waters of the 
United States and thus did not require the waivers.

                         Summary of Provisions

  The America's Cup Act of 2011 would allow specified foreign 
boats recognized for their official participation in America's 
Cup events to operate domestically, but only in direct 
connection with official America's Cup events and subject to an 
eligibility certification by the Maritime Administration 
(MARAD). Further, it limits participating boats to those that 
do not carry more than 25 individuals outside the crew, and 
boats that are not employed in the transportation of 
individuals from point to point for hire. The legislation thus 
leaves a role for the U.S. flag fleet of harbor cruise boats, 
dinner cruise boats, local ferries, and locally qualified 
vessels, while still allowing the crews and support staff of 
competing vessels to support their team in the race. The bill 
also assists the Coast Guard and the Customs and Border Patrol 
with their waivers for the event, by making the MARAD 
Administrator the judge of what constitutes an eligible vessel.

                          Legislative History

  The legislation was introduced by Senator Feinstein on 
October 20, 2011, with Senators Boxer, Reed, and Whitehouse as 
original cosponsors. S. 1759 was approved by the Committee in 
an Executive Session by a voice vote. S. 1759 was passed by 
unanimous consent by the full Senate later on November 3, 2011. 
A House companion measure, H.R. 3321, was passed by the House 
and sent to the Senate. H.R. 3321 was amended by the Senate to 
include a series of unrelated waivers at the end, but kept the 
language of S. 1759 intact. H.R. 3321 was enacted on November 
29, 2011.

                            Estimated Costs

  In compliance with subsection (a)(3) of paragraph 11 of rule 
XXVI of the Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee states 
that, in its opinion, it was necessary to dispense with the 
requirements of paragraphs (1) and (2) of that subsection in 
order to expedite the business of the Senate.

                      Regulatory Impact Statement

  In accordance with paragraph 11(b) of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee provides the 
following evaluation of the regulatory impact of the 
legislation, as reported:

                       NUMBER OF PERSONS COVERED

  The bill is limited in scope to foreign-flagged boats 
competing in the 34th America's Cup.

                            ECONOMIC IMPACT

  The bill's economic impact is limited to the races associated 
with the 34th America's Cup.


  This bill will not have any adverse impact on the personal 
privacy of individuals.


  This bill will require boats eligible for a waiver to receive 
certification by MARAD.

                   Congressionally Directed Spending

  In compliance with paragraph 4(b) of rule XLIV of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee provides that no 
provisions contained in the bill, as reported, meet the 
definition of congressionally directed spending items under the 

                      Section-by-Section Analysis

Section 1. Short title
  Section 1 would state the short title, the ``America's Cup 
Act of 2011''.
Section 2. Definitions
  Section 2 would define 34th America's Cup, America's Cup Race 
Management, and Eligibility Certification in the bill.
  Section 2 would define an ``eligible vessel'' as a competing 
or supporting vessel that is recognized by America's Cup Race 
Management, transports no more than 25 individuals, is not a 
ferry, does not transport individuals in point-to-point 
service, and does not transport merchandise between ports in 
the United States.
  A ``supporting vessel'' would be defined as a vessel that 
positions competing vessels on the race course, transports 
equipment and supplies for the competition, and transports 
individuals who did not purchase tickets who are engaged in the 
staging of the competition.
Section 3. Authorization of eligible vessels
  This section would allow eligible vessels to position 
competing vessels, equipment, and supplies around ports in the 
United States.
Section 4. Certification
  Section 4 would require all ships operating to receive an 
Eligibility Certification from the Administrator of MARAD. The 
Eligibility Certification would be based solely on the 
Administrator's discretion of whether boats meet the bill's 
standards of an eligible vessel.
Section 5. Enforcement
  Section 5 would stipulate that an Eligibility Certification 
issued by MARAD can be considered conclusive evidence to the 
Department of Homeland Security that a vessel has been 
authorized to participate in the 34th America's Cup.
Section 6. Penalty
  Section 6 would state that participating vessels that have 
not received Eligibility Certifications or are not in 
compliance shall be subject to penalties provided in chapters 
221 and 551 of title 46, United States Code.

                        Changes in Existing Law

  In compliance with paragraph 12 of rule XXVI of the Standing 
Rules of the Senate, the Committee states that the bill as 
reported would make no change to existing law.