The Maritime Administration (MarAd) published a notice in the Federal Register announcing the extension of the Voluntary Intermodal Sealift Agreement (VISA) for an additional two-year period, until February 13, 2001, pursuant to the provision of the Defense Production Act of 1950, as amended. The VISA program is the principal commercial sealift readiness program of the Department of Defense, and is sponsored by the Maritime Administration. The purpose of VISA is to make intermodal shipping services, intermodal equipment and related management services available to the DoD as required for emergency deployment and sustainment of U.S. military forces.
MarAd has published an additional notice in the Federal Register inviting public comment on an administrative waiver of the Coastwise Trade Laws relating to the vessel Strike Enhancer. MarAd by delegated authority, is authorized to grant a waiver of the U.S. build requirement of the coastwise laws under certain circumstances. If approved, the vessel would be allowed to carry no more than 12 passengers for hire in coastwise trade. Carriage of cargo and commercial fishing would not be permitted.