46 USC 3202 - Application

(a) Mandatory Application.— 
This chapter applies to a vessel that
(1) 
(A) is transporting more than 12 passengers described in section 2101 (21)(A) of this title; or
(B) is of at least 500 gross tons as measured under section 14302 of this title and is a tanker, freight vessel, bulk freight vessel, high speed freight vessel, or self-propelled mobile offshore drilling unit; and

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(2) 
(A) is engaged on a foreign voyage; or
(B) is a foreign vessel departing from a place under the jurisdiction of the United States on a voyage, any part of which is on the high seas.
(b) Voluntary Application.— 
This chapter applies to a vessel not described in subsection (a) of this section if the owner of the vessel requests the Secretary to apply this chapter to the vessel.
(c) Exception.— 
Except as provided in subsection (b) of this section, this chapter does not apply to
(1) a barge;
(2) a recreational vessel not engaged in commercial service;
(3) a fishing vessel;
(4) a vessel operating on the Great Lakes or its tributary and connecting waters; or
(5) a public vessel.