46 USC § 53203
Award of operating agreements
through Pub. L. 116-344, except Pub. Ls. 116-260 and 116-283

(a) In General.—The Secretary shall require, as a condition of including any vessel in the Cable Fleet, that the person that is the owner or operator of the vessel for purposes of section 53202(c) enter into an Operating Agreement with the Secretary under this section.

(b) Procedure for Applications.—

(1) Acceptance of applications.—Beginning no later than 60 days after the effective date of this chapter, the Secretary shall accept applications for enrollment of vessels in the Cable Fleet.

(2) Action on applications.—Within 120 days after receipt of an application for enrollment of a vessel in the Cable Fleet, the Secretary shall approve the application in conjunction with the Operating Agency, and shall enter into an Operating Agreement with the applicant, or provide in writing the reason for denial of that application.

(c) Priority for Awarding Agreements.—Subject to the availability of appropriations, the Secretary shall enter into Operating Agreements with those vessels determined by the Operating Agency, in its sole discretion, to best meet the national security requirements of the United States. After consideration of national security requirements, priority shall be given to an applicant that is a United States citizen under section 50501 of this title.

Editorial Notes

References in Text

The effective date of this chapter, referred to in subsec. (b)(1), probably means the date of enactment of Pub. L. 116–92, which enacted this chapter and was approved Dec. 20, 2019.

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