12103. General eligibility requirements
"(a) IN GENERAL.--Except as otherwise provided, a certificate of documentation for a vessel may be issued under this chapter only if the vessel is--
"(1) wholly owned by one or more individuals or entities described in subsection (b);
"(2) at least 5 net tons as measured under part J of this subtitle; and
"(3) not documented under the laws of a foreign country.
"(b) ELIGIBLE OWNERS.--For purposes of subsection (a)(1), the following are eligible owners:
"(1) An individual who is a citizen of the United States.
"(2) An association, trust, joint venture, or other entity if--
"(A) each of its members is a citizen of the United States; and
"(B) it is capable of holding title to a vessel under the laws of the United States or a State.
"(3) A partnership if--
"(A) each general partner is a citizen of the United States; and
"(B) the controlling interest in the partnership is owned by citizens of the United States.
"(4) A corporation if--
"(A) it is incorporated under the laws of the United States or a State;
"(B) its chief executive officer, by whatever title, and the chairman of its board of directors are citizens of the United States; and
"(C) no more of its directors are noncitizens than a minority of the number necessary to constitute a quorum.
"(5) The United States Government.
"(6) The government of a State.
"(c) TEMPORARY CERTIFICATES PRIOR TO MEASUREMENT.--Notwithstanding subsection (a)(2), the Secretary may issue a temporary certificate of documentation for a vessel before it is measured.