Articles Question for US Territories

I have never sailed on a ship that went to a US territory like Guam, Puerto Rico, or the Virgin Islands. However, I am curious as to about how Articles work for those territories.

Do you sign coastwise articles if just going from the USA to PR? And when do you break coastwise Articles aka can people quit whenever on coastwise articles?

For the Asian island trade, does the ship break articles and pay off the crew everytime they hit Guam?

Depends on what it says in the articles. This is the example in NVIC 1-86


That is interesting I’ve never sailed on Articles that exempt parts of the United States or US territories from the automatic breaking of Articles at the first US port. Articles I have sailed on usually break when hitting the first the US port. This means the crew is paid off, the crew can quit, get a relief, or technically be fired and have to fly home at their own expense.

I think the article length should like up with the union contracts that way it forces the company to provide a relief bc the Mariner could quit after the articles ended and not sign new ones. More work for Captains but it would be more beneficial for attracting and retaining mariners especially for these foreign only trips.
No wonder why the unions can’t get anyone to do these 4 month fly out jobs. It only gets worse especially as more people realize a 4 month job could easily turn into 6months.
….I’m ranting a bit but MMP has the longest contracts compared to the rest of the unions. All jobs are called for 4 months regardless of the ships normal trip length. Yes you can take an LOA etc. but the MMP system is confusing for new mariners and needs change-
77 day trips should be called for 77 day rotary
45 days should be called as 90
50 days should be called for 100
It never made since to me to call every job as 120.
I know this doesn’t matter for older guys but for the younger guys it does.

When the MEBA first started rotary shipping the jobs were called for 6 months. It was use it or lose it. I rarely saw anyone make the entire 6 months (at least on the run I was on). The 6 months got reduced to 120 days and then to 90 days. That said if the guy doesn’t want to stay the full 120 days, he can always quit sooner. Length of articles and the length of rotary assignments are 2 different things.

Well that’s my point, he can quit but can’t go home because he is still bound by the articles to stay onboard for 6 or 9 months or whatever the articles say. The company via the union contract might be required to call for a relief but no guarantee of one ever coming.
If the articles and the hitch length matched he would actually be able to walk off ant the end of the article length and the company would have to get a relief.

. What I posted was just an example. The articles could say first port in the U.S. And even if they do say “last port of discharge” the articles may in fact be broken in the first port in the U.S.

It’s not a contract, it’s an assignment.

1 Like