Marine Link
Sunday, October 22, 2017

Act Waiver

How Difficult is it to Obtain a Jones Act Waiver?

The American Salvage Association’s Jon Waldron provides the ultimate cabotage primer. There always seems to be constant chatter about waiving the Jones Act. In reality, it is a simple task to demystify the thought that it is easy to obtain such waivers. To set the stage, in one of her first press conferences after taking the chairmanship of the Senate Energy Committee, Senator Mary Landrieu exclaimed that “Waiving the Jones Act literally hands over work to foreign shippers.”  The fact that Senator Landrieu’s comments were not directed against any potential waiver of the Jones Act shows the controversy that Jones Act waivers can rise in the maritime and energy sectors.  In reality, however, there exists a misconception amongst many about the ease of obtaining a waiver to the Jones Act.   Accordingly, this article will discuss the requirements for obtaining a waiver, analyze key past Jones Act waivers, and look to possibilities for future Jones Act waivers. Jones Act Waivers in Law and Practice The Jones Act prohibits the “transportation of merchandise by water, or by land and water, between points in the United States . . . either directly or via a foreign port” unless the vessel was built in the United States and is U.S.-owned and registered under the U.S.-flag (commonly called “coastwise vessels”)

MARAD: Jones Act Waiver Reporting Requirements

Maritime Administration Reporting Requirements For The Special Purpose Jones Act Waiver.   Hurricane Sandy Special-Purpose Jones Act Waiver Reports to Maritime Administration as Required by Waiver   On November 2, 2012, the Department of Homeland Security, in consultation with the US Department of Energy and the Maritime Administration, issued a waiver of the Jones Act to allow non U.S.-flagged oil tankers coming from ports in the Gulf Coast Petroleum Administration for Defense

Jones Act Waiver Requested for Skimmers to Gulf

(PRNewsFoto/Allegiance Capital Corporation)

Fred McCallister, an investment banker with Allegiance Capital Corporation, sent a letter to Incident Commander Admiral Thad Allen on June 17 asking for a limited waiver of the Jones Act, to enable 12 to 25 foreign flagged skimmer ships to assist in clean-up efforts in the Gulf. "Many in the Gulf have been calling for this equipment, which can collect 3,500 gallons of oil per hour per vessel from Gulf waters. With estimates now at 2

Task Force Opposes Repeal of Jones Act

The Maritime Cabotage Task Force stated that it opposes legislation to repeal the Jones Act, saying that all the McCain bill would do is put more Americans out of work. “The McCain bill proposes to eliminate the very American industry that is helping to clean up the spill - an industry that supports 500,000 U.S. jobs - and outsource that work to foreign workers and foreign companies registered in nations like Liberia and the Marshall Islands that operate outside of American law

Bill Introduced To Protect American Maritime Jobs

Working to create and preserve American jobs, Congressmen Elijah E. Cummings (D, MD-7) and Jeff Landry (R, LA-3) today introduced the American Mariners Job Protection Act (H.R. 3202), a bill with bipartisan support that will increase government transparency surrounding the issuance of waivers allowing non-Jones Act-qualified vessels to carry cargo between U.S. ports.    Under current law, when the head of the agency responsible for the administration of the Jones Act believes

OP/ED: Actions Speak Louder Than Words

Thomas Allegretti, President & CEO of the American Waterways Operators (AWO)

On June 27, I testified on behalf of the American Maritime Partnership (AMP) before the House Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Subcommittee at a hearing that questioned the Administration’s skirting of the Jones Act during last summer’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) drawdown.   Members of Congress were keenly interested in understanding how the Administration authorized waivers for foreign flag ships to carry U.S. oil between U.S

Jones Act Reform Legislation Reintroduced

Senators Sam Brownback (R-Kan.), Jesse Helms (R-N.C.), Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), Richard Lugar (R-Ind.), Conrad Burns (R-Mont.) and Peter Fitzgerald (R-Ill.) reintroduced legislation (S.1032) designed to reform the U.S.-build requirement of the Jones Act. This bill, similar to the one introduced by Brownback last summer, would allow foreign-built dry- and liquid-bulk oceangoing self-propelled ships over 1,000 tons to ply the U.S. Coastwise trade under U.S. flag. The U.S

Interview: David C. Hanby, Jr., President & COO McDonough Marine

David C. Hanby, Jr., President & COO McDonough Marine

David C. Hanby, Jr., President & COO McDonough Marine shares with readers of MarineLink.com his insights on key market drivers for the coming year.    What legislative/political issue do you count as the most important for the marine industry in the next few years? DH: Effective funding of infrastructure improvements of the waterway facilities our industry depends on to provide efficient, safe, environmentally friendly transportation of our nation's commodities

Senator Landrieu Defends Jones Act

Source: wikimedia.org

The United States should strengthen a century-old law designed to protect the domestic shipping industry, rather than relax it under pressure from the energy industry, the chair of the Senate Energy Committee said on Tuesday.   The 1920 Jones Act restricts the delivery of goods between U.S. ports to ships made in the United States and flying the country's flags.   Mary Landrieu, a Louisiana Democrat, said defending the law is one of her top priorities and cautioned the Obama

Reps. Hunter, Garamendi Concerned over Jones Act Waiver

(File photo: Crowley)

Congressman Duncan Hunter (R-CA) and John Garamendi (D-CA), Chairman and Ranking Member respectively of the Subcommittee on the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation, raised concerns today over the Trump Administration’s decision to issue a 10-day waiver of the Jones Act for relief shipments into Puerto Rico. Hunter and Garamendi held a listening session Thursday morning with other members of the Maritime Transportation Committee and representatives from the American maritime

US Receives Request to Waive Jones Act Due to Harvey

U.S. Customs and Border Patrol said Friday it has received and is reviewing one request to waive the Jones Act due to the impact of Hurricane Harvey, which has shut down refineries and closed parts of a key pipeline.   The Jones Act mandates the use of U.S.-flagged vessels to transport merchandise between U.S. coasts. The CBP has occasionally allowed exemptions for oil and gas operators to use often cheaper, tax-free, or more readily available foreign flagged vessels.

Phillips 66 Charters Foreign Tanker for Domestic Voyage

Phillips 66 has chartered a Marshall Islands-flagged vessel, making use of a temporary waiver of the Jones Act that was put in place to meet fuel shortages in the wake of hurricanes Harvey and Irma, Argus Media reported on Thursday.   The vessel, Nave Jupiter, departed from Houston, Texas on Sept. 9, and was docked near the company's Alliance refinery in Louisiana, the report said. http://bit.ly/2fm5CD5  

US Denies Request for Puerto Rico Shipping Waiver

Flooded area in Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria (Photo by Jose Ahiram Diaz-Ramos / Puerto Rico National Guard)

The Trump administration on Tuesday denied a request to waive shipping restrictions to help get fuel and supplies to storm-ravaged Puerto Rico, saying it would do nothing to address the island's main impediment to shipping, damaged ports.   The Jones Act limits shipping between coasts to U.S. flagged vessels. However, in the wake of brutal storms, the government has occasionally issued temporary waivers to allow the use of cheaper, tax free

McCain Pushes Jones Act Exemption for Puerto Rico Again

U.S. Senator John McCain

U.S. Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Mike Lee (R-UT) this week introduced legislation that would permanently exempt Puerto Rico from the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, or the Jones Act, to aid recovery efforts in the wake of Hurricane Maria and encourage long-term economic growth.   The Trump administration's 10-day Jones Act waiver for Puerto Rico, despite the presence of more than enough U.S. flag tonnage to handle any and all relief sealift needs

New Navy Leaders as Trump Takes Office

The Honorable Sean J. Stackley assumed the responsibilities of acting secretary of the Navy Jan. 20, 2017. (U.S. Navy Photo)

The Honorable Sean J. Stackley assumed the responsibilities of acting secretary of the Navy Jan. 20 at noon. Stackley, who served as the assistant secretary of the Navy (Research, Development and Acquisition) for more than eight years, will carry out the day-to-day responsibilities of the secretary of the Navy until the incoming Trump administration nominates, and Congress confirms, a replacement for Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus.

Teekay Contemplates Norwegian Bond Issuance

Photo Teekay LNG

Teekay LNG Partners L.P. (Teekay LNG or the Partnership) (NYSE:TGP) announces that it intends to issue new senior unsecured bonds in the Norwegian bond market through an add-on to its existing Norwegian bonds due in October 2021 (TKLNG04 - ISIN: NO0010777089). The net proceeds from the bonds are expected to be used for refinancing of existing bonds and/or general partnership purposes, which may include funding installment payments on future newbuilding deliveries.

Alabama Port Signs Agreement with Cuba

Photo by Alabama State Port Authority

 The Alabama State Port Authority has announced a new memorandum of understanding with the National Port Administration of Cuba, potentially laying the groundwork for future trade deals.   The five-year, cooperative agreement  was signed at the Tampa Marriott Waterside Hotel in Tampa, Florida.   Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Port of Mobile and the Cuban ports marks the first ports agreement signed on U.S. soil since 1959.  

Togo Accedes to Treaties Covering Unlawful Acts at Sea and Anti-fouling

Photo: International Maritime Organization (IMO)

 Togo has acceded to two International Maritime Organization (IMO) treaties dealing with unlawful acts against the safety of maritime navigation, and the control of harmful anti-fouling systems on ships.   The SUA Protocol covers acts including the seizure of ships by force, acts of violence against persons on board ships, and the placing of devices on board a ship which are likely to destroy or damage it.  

Vega Reederei faces Penalty for Ballast Water Discharge

cg emblem

The Coast Guard, after an investigation of ballast water discharge violations, initiated civil penalty proceedings against the operator, Vega Reederei GmbH & Co. KG, of the bulk carrier Vega Mars, Feb. 2, 2017. Investigators found that around Jan. 29, 2017, while moored in Tacoma, ballast water was discharged from the vessel without the use of a Coast Guard approved ballast water management system or other approved means

The Looming sVGP Deadline

Photo: Alexander Maksimenko

The sVGP and recent ballast water treatment system approvals create another headache for small vessel owners. Steve Candito provides a primer.    The long delayed Small Vessel General Permit (sVGP) legislation is scheduled to come into force on December 18, 2017. Despite some confusion and inconsistencies on this issue generally, there is currently no serious effort to delay the sVGP requirement. Thus, vessel owners should be preparing now for compliance

FMC Establishes Regulatory Reform Task Force

 Acting Chairman of the U.S. Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) Michael A. Khouri has designated the agency’s Managing Director, Karen V. Gregory, to serve as Regulatory Reform Officer.   Gregory will stand up a Regulatory Reform Task Force that will work to identify burdensome, unnecessary and outdated directives and recommend how they should be remedied.   "Relief from regulatory requirements that have outlived their usefulness is one of the easiest contributions

Oil Firm Penalized by DOJ for Jones Act Violation

DOJ.jpg

Alaska Oil Company Agrees to Pay $10 Million in Penalties to Settle Federal Claims for Violating the Jones Act.   Acting U.S. Attorney Bryan Schroder announced today that Furie Operating Alaska LLC (“Furie”), a company whose focus is exploration and production of natural gas and oil in Cook Inlet, has agreed to pay $10 million to satisfy a civil penalty originally assessed against it by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) for violating the Jones Act

Jones Act MPSV Harvey Sub-Sea Delivered

Harvey Sub-Sea (Photo: Harvey Gulf International Marine)

Harvey Gulf International Marine has announced the delivery of the first of two, large capacity multipurpose support vessels (MPSV) scheduled for 2017 deliveries, enhancing the domestic Jones Act Fleet. This first vessel, the M/V Harvey Sub-Sea, is a Jones Act-qualified vessel that has the technical capabilities to efficiently, effectively and safely perform high quality field development activities that are currently being performed by a foreign fleet.

CBP Withdraws Obama-proposed Jones Act Changes

U.S. Customs and Border Protection has withdrawn an Obama-era proposal to modify a law that governs shipping, which would have revoked waivers that make it easier for oil and gas operators to skirt restrictions, according to an agency bulletin published Wednesday.   For nearly 40 years the CBP has provided exemptions to the Jones Act, which mandates the use of U.S.-flagged vessels to transport merchandise between U.S. coasts

IMCA Supports CBP's Jones Act Decision

Allen Leatt (Photo: IMCA)

The International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA) welcomed withdrawal of the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) notice to revoke and modify rulings relating to offshore vessels under the Jones Act.   Allen Leatt, Chief Executive of IMCA, explained, “Members of the International Marine Contractors Association with vessels active in U.S. waters, together with their clients, welcome the decision by the U.S

Maritime Reporter Magazine Cover Oct 2017 - The Marine Design Annual

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