U.S. Customs Agency Rules Against Jones Act Changes


It’s around 30% more to build a comparable vessel in the States.

Still not reason not to do it. They already charge an outrageous price for what they do offer. Why not offer something worthwhile for that price.


come on people! this isn’t at all about the cost of the vessel or even the crews on them.

this is about the fact that if these ships all had 100% American mariners on them, that would open up the operators up to having Jones Act liability for their crews. recall that the Jones Act is not just for the carriage of cargoes between two US points but also for the welfare of US seafarers. just like the cruise industry, this sector of the offshore loathes US mariners because we can sue for damages in US Federal Court with all the onus on the operator to prove the seafarer’s claim in not bona fide. these companies would much rather pay higher wages (at least for officers) and all their transportation than to pay for the insurance to protect them against being sued. this part of the Jones Act makes the US mariner a pariah in the world maritime industry and why you see so few of us on foreign flagged ships.

this is what should be discussed here…let’s talk about all the reasons why the US citizen mariner is at a tremendous disadvantage to foreigners


just want to add this

U.S. maritime groups slam CBP U turn on Jones Act letters

MAY 11, 2017 — The Shipbuilders Council of America today joined the Offshore Marine Services Association (OMSA) and the American Maritime Partnership (AMP) in responding the announcement by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) that it has withdrawn a January 18 proposal to modify and revoke letter rulings associated with the Jones Act (see earlier story). Those letter rulings are seen by the U.S. domestic marine industry as creating huge loopholes in the Jones Act.

“We are disappointed the Administration chose to indefinitely kick this job-destroying regulatory can down the road,” said Matthew Paxton, President of SCA. “The correct interpretation and enforcement of the Jones Act is critical to the capitalization of the commercial shipbuilding and repair industry, and its industrial base, which is crucial to U.S. homeland and national security. This Administration’s needless delay only hurts the more than 400,000 men and women of the U.S. shipyard industry.”

“The offshore service industry is deeply disappointed in the Administration’s decision to delay the revocation of letter rulings that would correctly enforce the Jones Act and put American mariners first,” said Aaron Smith, President and CEO of the Offshore Marine Service Association. “This decision to move to a regulatory review process is deeply damaging to the American crews, shipyards, and companies who have waited more than eight years while the Administration studied taking corrective action. Additionally, during this time our industry has invested more than $2 billion to ensure offshore production and exploration would not be disrupted, while foreign interests lobbied the U.S. government to promote their own economic interests through their promotion of false statements and scare tactics. We call on President Trump to take immediate action and correct these damaging rulings that have continued to put foreign companies first and American companies and workers last.”


No, it doesn’t. Just like if a car were assembled in Mexico then brought to the US to have the American made engine installed it sure as fuck wouldn’t be “made in America”.


Does it cost only 30% more?? A figure of 2X or more has been banded around here by others.(???)

If the hulls were built in Brownsville as suggested earlier, towed the relatively short distance to outfitting yards on the Gulf coast, (still assuming mostly foreign machinery and equipment) could the cost be brought even further down, yet be Jones Act compliant??


Like I said; who can argue against such logic???


If I remember correctly when the Philly yard started cranking out Ships the idea was to use a modular construction method (ala Odense) using prefabricated sections. So I googled it for shits and giggles and man there is a lot of litigation involving Jones Act Ships and Foreign repair work!

But I believe the case I read about was Metalcrafts Trades vs Allen. Below is the USCG letter and case.




Now you are talking!!!
Like I have said many times, the only thing that stops you from reviving US Maritime industry and US Mariner jobs is the Jones Act as it stands today.

If it was modified to become only a Cabotage Law, i.e. regulate trade between US ports, but allowing any vessel under US flag MANNED BY US MARINERS ONLY to trade in US water, incl. the OCS, you could obtain what you have been advocating so strongly for fairly quickly.
This would entail removing the “US built” requirement, which is hollowed out anyhow.

It would also require the US Congress to ratify MLC 2006 and scrap the “offending” parts of the Jones Act that keep even US Owners from hiring US Mariners.

It would also enable US companies to renew and modernize their fleet at a very low cost, especially as top modern vessels are in the market at rock bottom prices at the moment. (It will not last much longer, however)

When that option dries up US Shipyard would be forced to compete for contracts at even terms with foreign yards, thus need to modernize, or go bust. (Cutting top management numbers and remuneration would be a first step)

As for US-flag vessels in foreign trade, they must be allowed to hire qualified foreign rating to stay competitive. US Officers doesn’t cost any more than their European eqv.

Then maybe you could see VLCCs, VLNGCs, HLVs, Containers ships and even Cruise ships under US-flag, carrying at least their “fair share” of US export and import.

To try to “demand” that others pay more for the privilege of using US-flag ships and US mariners has not worked in the past, nor is it likely to work in the future, no matter how many Aircraft Carriers you put on the oceans.


Who besides bankers and stockbrokers gives a shit how much more it costs?

Heaven forbid all the people who mine the ore, make the steel, machine the parts, build the hull and machinery, man the ships and pay the taxes should get a few drops of the river of cash that flows from OUR oil fields to the banks and politicians.

If an oil company will not pay whatever it costs to hire Americans to operate American machinery in American oil fields then they have no business in American waters. Throw them out, ban them from bidding on American resources. At the very least, tax them an amount equal to what it would cost to build American and hire American workers. Tax them what those discarded Americans would have paid in taxes. Then use those taxes to support American health and education.

I don’t care if a ship or mudboat costs twice as much. What is the real cost of the destruction of American industry and American taxpayers? If American civilization and society is not worth the cost of a handful of mudboats then we are truly in very deep shit.


Brownsville is in the USA you effing moron! building vessels there automatically makes them Jones Act compliant you bloody fool.

btw herr doctor with the most immense brain, Pasha announced yesterday they are building a series of containerships right there for their Hawaii trade

Keppel AmFELS to build LNG fueled Pasha containerships

MAY 11, 2017 — Honolulu-based Pasha Hawaii today announced that the company has selected the Keppel AmFELS shipyard in Brownsville, TX, a subsidiary of Keppel Offshore & Marine (Keppel O&M) for the construction of two new Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) fueled containerships, with the option to order two additional vessels.

Pasha Hawaii says it is in the process of finalizing contract specifications.

The new U.S. Jones Act vessels will carry 2,525 TEU, including a fully laden capacity of 500 45-foot containers, 400 refrigerated containers, and 300 40-foot dry containers, with a sailing speed of 23.0 knots. Delivery of the first vessel is expected 1Q 2020, with delivery of the second vessel in 3Q 2020.

“Keppel O&M’s technical expertise in LNG propulsion and commitment to customer service were two very important factors in our selection decision,” said George Pasha, IV, President and CEO. “From the start, they went above and beyond and worked closely with us in customizing a vessel design that matched our requirements. Their experience in LNG vessel conversions will also prove to be very valuable as we build LNG dual-fueled vessels for the Hawaii trade.”

The new vessels will operate fully on LNG from day one in service, dramatically reducing environmental impact and increasing fuel efficiency. Energy savings will also be achieved with a state-of-the-art engine, an optimized hull form, and an underwater propulsion system with a high-efficiency rudder and propeller.

When compared to conventional fuels, LNG is a much cleaner alternative fuel for shipping and offers significant environmental benefits, including the reduction of up to 95 percent sulphur oxides, nearly 100 percent particulate matter, up to 90 percent nitrogen oxides, and up to 25 percent carbon dioxide emissions from engine exhaust emissions.

“As with the construction of our Jean Anne and Marjorie C, we look forward to working with an extremely qualified shipyard, based in the United States,” added Pasha, IV. “Pasha Hawaii is a firm believer in the Jones Act, and is proud to support our shipyards and the highly skilled workers who make valuable contributions to this important industry on a daily basis.”

now go and hide your face in shame for such stoopidity…you truly are this forum’s greatest irritating ignoramus


NEGATIVE! Tax them THREE TIMES the difference…just like punitive damages!

that would learn those miserable FUCKERS!


That would eliminate US unlicensed sailors and thus cut out the hawsepipe mode of advancement.


He asked earlier about building in Brownsville with Mexican labor. So he’s saying build the hulls like that then tow them North for final fitting.


well that is just as EFFING STOOPID!

and if anyone (besides herr doctor theBugge) here is in favor of importing yet more foreign workers into the US to do the work of American citizens (or at least resident aliens), then step right up and testify. and it does not matter if the job in the GoM is highly skilled and technical or basic grunt labor…all of them are supposed to be reserved for Americans.


No one has mentioned the ravaging barristers that run up the cost of labor with frivolous lawsuits. And how much are they are sucking off the medical insurance tit. Let’s ask Dick the butcher…


Maybe we can just use illegal aliens and DACA child labor to keep the cost down…no need to import any labor…we can just use what we already have. However, Brownsville is not the best option due to a recent Texas state law. Maybe San Fransisco? less chance of losing your workforce.


I know perfectly well were Brownsville is. That is why I said; “build the hulls in Brownsville and do the outfitting at already existing US yards”.

Since most of the yards building Offshore vessels are situated along the Gulf coast, this would be an easy way to be Jones Act compliant, yet take advantage of cheaper Mexican labour in Brownsville to build the vessels needed to compete for high end jobs in the GoM and beyond.

As for the Container ships to be built at Keppel AmFELS, those are typical example of how vessels can be built to foreign design (Keppel O&M S’pore), with mostly foreign machinery and equipment, yet be Jones Act compliant.


Since there is a large domestic fleet of all types of vessels, couldn’t Hawsepipers get their initial training and seatime in the domestic trade? Or does your separation between Academy and Hawsepipe. + your complicated licensing system make this difficult?

In most other countries Mariners are educated in a fairly straight forward way, through Maritime Schools, which is civilian. The licensing being per STCW’10 requirements only and issued by Maritime Authorities run by civilians, not the Navy or Coast Guard.

Additional training, as required by STCW’10, or for those serving on MODUs, large Fishing Vessels, Tankers and LNG Carriers etc. are runs by Training Institutes approved by Maritime Authorities, as is mandatory Survival Training, Simulator training etc.per STCW’10 requirements,

Seatime may be obtained as Cadets, by Apprenticeship, or by serving through the ranks on vessels of any kind in any trade, with some limitations.

In my days (1959-69) the system in Norway was simple. Here is how it worked for Deck Officers;

  • Serve 3 years at sea, of which min. 6 months as AB before being allowed into Maritime School.
  • First year (10 months) was mainly concentrated on Navigation, ROR etc. after which you obtained a license to serve up to rank of second mate.
  • Second year (10 moths) was mainly concentrated on Stability, Cargo Handling and Navigation, after which you could serve as Ch.Mate, given enough seatime as second mate.
  • Third year (10 months) was mainly concentrated on Legal aspects, incl. accounting etc.leading to licence as unlimited Master, given at least 1 year as Ch. mate. (That didn’t necessarily give you the job as Master though)

I’m afraid it has become a lot more complicated with STCW. Not necessarily better, but more attuned to today’s reality at sea…


then whatever is your point…SIR? being in the US, Brownsville shipbuilders MUST hire US citizens or resident aliens to build ships. they must follow OSHA rules for worker safety. they must pay taxes to the US Treasury. Brownsville is on the GoM so labor rates there are not any different that say in Houma. there is no cost savings to be realized with this idiotic suggestion or do you advocate importing Mexican labor from across the border to come do the work for Mexican wages? like that is possible or even desirable? do they import Romanians into Norway to work for Romanian wages?

I have always believed you to be an IDIOT but now you have simply proven that…

what do you mean “mostly” foreign machinery or equipment? do you not realize that at least 75% of any Jones Act compliant vessel must be built of US procured components?

please simply go away now


I say do what they do in Singapore…import the labor from Bangladesh to work for $10/day and house them in secure compounds where they can’t mingle with the general population. Herr doctor Bugge has spent years in Singapore so knows their system well and probably thinks it is simply sooper!