(a) Except as otherwise provided in this subtitle, pilots in the bays, rivers, harbors, and ports of the United States shall be regulated only in conformity with the laws of the States.
(b) The master of a vessel entering or leaving a port on waters that are a boundary between 2 States, and that is required to have a pilot under this section, may employ a pilot licensed or authorized by the laws of either of the 2 States.
(c) A State may not adopt a regulation or provision that discriminates in the rate of pilotage or half-pilotage between vessels sailing between the ports of one State and vessels sailing between the ports of different States, or against vessels because of their means of propulsion, or against public vessels of the United States.
(d) A State may not adopt a regulation or provision that requires a coastwise vessel to take a pilot licensed or authorized by the laws of a State if the vessel—
(1) is propelled by machinery and subject to inspection under part B of this subtitle; or
(2) is subject to inspection under chapter 37 of this title.
(e) Any regulation or provision violating this section is void.
(Pub. L. 98–89, Aug. 26, 1983, 97 Stat. 553; Pub. L. 98–557, §29(e), Oct. 30, 1984, 98 Stat. 2874.)
|Revised section||Source section (U.S. Code)|
Section 8501 establishes the general proposition that the States regulate pilots in the bays, rivers, harbors, and ports of the United States, unless otherwise specifically provided by law.
Subsection (a) states this general proposition and uses the word "only" for emphasis on this point. Further, except as specifically provided in law, the Committee intends that this chapter not be construed to annul or affect any regulation established by the laws of a State requiring a vessel entering or leaving a port in that State to employ a pilot licensed or authorized by the laws of that State. In at least two places in current law, this general proposition is stated in both a positive and negative manner. The Committee intends to consolidate those separate statements into one provision to avoid ambiguity and redundancy.
Subsections (b) and (c) contain provisions regarding pilotage in waters between two States.
Subsection (d) prohibits a State from requiring a State licensed pilot on certain coastwise vessels.
Subsection (e) voids any regulation or provision violating this section.
1984—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 98–557 substituted "subtitle" for "part".