Jones Act Attack


[QUOTE=PaddyWest2012;149226]New conspiracy theory idea: C.Captain IS John McCain![/QUOTE]

the truth is no one has ever seen the two of us together in a room at the same time…

I will admit to being as ornery and nasty as that miserable old man and like I, John McCain, has a very pointy stick for stoopid Navee LCSs


Of course Juan McShame wants to do away with the Jones Act. He is all about helping illegal scum into our country. He has betrayed his oath of office and is a traitor. Not only that, but he was a lousy pilot and that is what caused him to be a POW. The only reason he was accepted into Naval aviation was because Juan’s daddy was an admiral/. Piss off Jaun!


[QUOTE=seadog6608;149234]Piss off Juan![/QUOTE]

and here I thought I was filled to the brim with vitriol for the miserable old man!


MSD Capital LP, the investment arm of Michael Dell and his and his family are reported bidders for Marquette Transportation Company LLC, the good old barging company moving american goods on the rivers you know !
Very smart people (sort of insider of the power); glad that they take advantage of the Jones Act to invest in the U.S Shipping industry, etc…


I believe this article in Maritime Executive concerning cabotage trade in Australia sums up why the Jones Act is so valuable to the USA!

[B]The Week in Review: Australia’s Jones Act[/B]

By Wendy Laursen 2015-11-06 21:34:09

The death of a foreign seafarer as he sailed into Australian waters last week has re-ignited debate about the role of foreign shipping in Australia.

ITF Australia coordinator Dean Summers was vocal in his frustration about the case. “All our information is being blocked,” said Summers, citing what he calls a “shroud of secrecy” that can hinder investigations on “flag of convenience” vessels.

Flags of convenience problems span more issues than this for Summers. Speaking in an interview published by the charity Human Rights at Sea, Summers says: “We’ve got to defend our environment. We’ve got to defend our national security, and we’ve got to defend our jobs as well.”

On the value of using Australian seafarers in Australian waters, he says: “Yes, they are more expensive, but it’s worthwhile. The army costs money; the navy and the air force cost money, so maybe the merchant marine should cost money. Maybe the merchant marine should also be considered part of the national security framework. They are going to have to be, because as soon as we get one explosion in a port, one possible terrorist incident, then we’ll be screaming: How come these ships are flagged in Monrovia and using exploited Burmese crew?

“Why don’t we treat our national shipping industry like the Americans, for example, with the Jones Act?” asks Summers. The ITF has asked the American administration to provide witnesses to come and talk to the Senate inquiry currently underway in Australia about how they treat seafarers as part of their national security program.

Summers says: “The Australian federal government is intent on abolishing any form of support for a national industry, so no encouragement for people to employ Australian seafarers; no encouragement for people to invest or trade on the Australian coast and the abolishment of cabotage by regulation. This is a dangerous thing.”

Labor Agreements

A flag of convenience is a way of registering a ship in a country that is prepared to prostitute its flag to get away from all sorts of regulatory costs, taxes, unions and other expenses, says Summers, who works to protect the rights of seafarers in Australian waters.

“My job is to coordinate the efforts of the union and others, including inspectors, to protect the rights of those seafarers. We’ve got three full-time inspectors in Australia, and around the world they join about 140 full-time inspectors.

“We try to encourage shipowners who go with the flags of convenience to have industrial agreements with us, and we are successful with about 40-50 percent of the world’s fleet. When they do, we have the authority and the right to police those agreements.”

One of the main agreements is a total crew cost agreement, which includes rights such as a minimum wage for seafarers and a maximum amount of time they can spend on board. The ITF polices the agreements and last year returned just under $60 million in wages to seafarers.

White Lists

Summers’ accusations about flags of convenience have been retorted by the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) in its submission to the Australian Senate inquiry.

The ICS notes that, in his opening remarks to the IMO Marine Environment Protection Committee in May 2015, the IMO Secretary-General, Koji Sekimizu, remarked “We have moved beyond flags of convenience… they have become international registries with international responsibilities.”

According to statistics published by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the largest fleets (in gross tonnage) operating under what are generally accepted to be open registers are, in descending order of size: Panama, Liberia, Marshall Islands, Singapore, Bahamas, Malta, Cyprus and Isle of Man.

Collectively, 64 percent of the world merchant fleet is registered under these flags, all of which feature on the white lists of the two principal regional Port State Control authorities: the Tokyo MOU (which includes Australia) and the Paris MOU.

The ICS tackles many of Summers’ claims in its submission:

Minimum Employment Standards

ICS believes that foreign ships have no direct impact on Australia’s minimum employment law standards. Except in those trades where Australian requirements may also apply, foreign seafarers are subject to the employment law of their flag state and their country of residence, as well as the requirements of the ILO Maritime Labour Convention (MLC).

The MLC addresses a wide range of standards including: the obligations of shipping companies with respect to seafarers’ contractual arrangements; the responsibilities of recruitment agencies, working hours, health and safety, crew accommodation, catering standards and seafarers’ welfare. New measures have been agreed and will enter into force in 2017 to ensure that shipping companies have financial guarantees in place to guarantee that, in the unlikely event of abandonment, the crew will be repatriated and unpaid wages will be recovered.

The MLC also reinforces the ILO principle of freedom of association and the right of all seafarers to join a trade union of their choice. Another important protection under the MLC is the requirement for ships to have an independent complaints procedure, which must be fully instituted in order for a ship to achieve certification.

National Security

All foreign ships trading with Australia are subject to the requirements of the IMO International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code, which is mandatory under the SOLAS Convention. All ships are also subject to national regulations introduced by Australian Customs, including advance cargo-screening rules.

Foreign seafarers hold Seafarers’ Identity Documents (SIDS) as required by applicable ILO Conventions. They are subject to Australian immigration rules, which for some nationalities necessitate visas in order to enjoy shore leave (contrary to practice in many other port states worldwide where applicable visa requirements are often waived for seafarers).

Marine Environment

With respect to the impact on the marine environment, says ICS, there have been dramatic improvements to the industry’s performance in recent decades. In the past 25 years, the average number of oil spills from tankers has halved. The latest figures since

2010 are the lowest yet with fewer than two spills (over 700 tonnes) per year worldwide.

The Jones Act

The ICS leaves aside one issue raised by Summers: that of Australian jobs. Here, the U.S. might add to the debate. For almost a century, presidents from both U.S. parties have supported the Jones Act including President Barack Obama, President George W. Bush, President Bill Clinton and President Ronald Reagan.

The Jones Act directly and indirectly employs over 500,000 workers and is responsible for $35 billion in GDP, $30 billion in labor compensation and $10 billion in taxes to federal, state and local governments.

Speaking at the 2015 Jones Act Shipping Forum in New York last month, U.S. Maritime Administrator Paul “Chip” Jaenichen affirmed the overwhelming support for the Jones Act in Congress, the Maritime Administration and the Obama Administration. “When everything is taken into consideration, the primary purpose of the Jones Act is to ensure a healthy domestic maritime sector for the Department of Defense to utilize in times of need, and it works. End of story,” said Jaenichen.

Australia’s Senate Inquiry has to report back by the first Senate sitting in 2016.


Hi c.captain,
The Costs of IMO International Ship regulations, security and inspections for foreign ships in a country like Australia or United States with vast coasts should not be externalized.

[/B]Thank you !


[QUOTE=tradax;173323]Hi c.captain,
The Costs of IMO International Ship regulations, security and inspections for foreign ships in a country like Australia or United States with vast coasts should not be externalized.

[/B]Thank you ![/QUOTE]

Of course they should. If you don’t want to pay the costs, like the rest of us, don’t come here.


Many countries operate both a “National” and an “International” register. The last allow 100% foreign ownership of ships in the “Open” register, but with various restrictions on where they are operated from and by whom.

The open registers allow crews on local terms and even the Master may be a non-national. What doesn’t change is that they have to comply with IMO rules for qualifications. (STCW’95 or 10)
For quality registers, minimum wages and terms of employment is governed by ITF agreements and by MLC.

Safety rules are also the same as for the “National” register, incl. any special rules that applies for each individual Flag State. IMO requirements applies equally to all registers as long as the Flag State has ratified the various conventions. (SOLAS, MARPOL etc.)

Which countries does this apply to??
Most European shipping nations, like Norway (NIS), Denmark (DIS), France (FIS), Britain (Isle of Man, Gibraltar, Bermuda)etc.
The Netherlands Antilles is an “Open” register, but the requirement to register under the normal Dutch flag has been eased lately.
China has their own “open” register.(Hong Kong)

Singapore has only one register, which is open to foreign ownership, but there are restrictions on operating management of the vessels. Internationally recognized rules and regulations apply in full, with some additions.

As for the traditional FoC registers, such as Panama and Liberia etc. they are getting competition from newer Flag states, such as Marshall Islands, Vanuatu, Bahamas, Antigua and any number of island states in the Pacific and Caribbean etc.
Most of these registers are actually managed from the US or London, several with the same actual “managers”.

Some of the “bad” registers, such as Bolivia, Cambodia, Mongolia and others are actually situated here in Singapore and has the same postal address.

The question of which Flag State is “Good”, “Bad” or “So so” can be determined by checking the annual WGB Lists issued by the Paris and Tokyo MOU. Here is a link to the latest list from Paris MOU:

NOTE: The list doesn’t separate “National” and “Open” registers, where that is applicable. It does include FoCs as well as purely “National” registers, like the US, however.

As far as allowing vessels to work in national waters, incl. EEZ is concerned, the Shelf State can approve or ban whichever flag they want from their waters.


and the sad saga in the land Downunder continues

[B]More Aussie Seafarers Fighting for their Jobs[/B]

By MarEx 2015-11-17 16:23:40

The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) has urged multi-billion dollar American corporation Alcoa to reassess its decision to sack Australian seafarers engaged in coastal trade.

The ITF – which represents 4.7 million transport workers worldwide – has expressed its concern alleging that Alcoa was trying to exploit local laws and circumvent workers’ rights, and that the company was attempting to whittle down wages to boost already healthy profits.

Forty seafarers on board the Portland, which trades exclusively between the states of Western Australia and Victoria in Australia, were told that the ship would be scrapped and they would be sacked. However, the company still intends to maintain the route with a foreign ship crewed with overseas workers.

Alcoa announced that it will sell the ship and replace it with a foreign-flagged vessel to save about A$6 million ($4 million) a year. “Currently it is cheaper to ship alumina from Western Australia to the Middle East or China than it is to ship it to Victoria,” a communique from the company said, reports The Age.

ITF maritime coordinator Jacqueline Smith said the move was a direct attack on the principle of cabotage protection and an unacceptable case of social dumping.

“The principle of cabotage is important for a number of reasons, including: retaining and nurturing maritime skills, national security, sovereignty and the right to work in one’s own country,” she said.

ITF president and MUA (Maritime Union of Australia) national secretary Paddy Crumlin said Alcoa’s product had been moved around the Australian coast for more than 50 years on Australian ships with Australian crews.

“Alcoa has profited off the back of Australian workers for many decades and is now using a loophole in Australia’s Coastal Trading Act to undermine cabotage,” he said.

“It’s a contemptible act by the company that the loyal, hard-working seafarers are being scrapped in order to save a couple of bucks.”

New Legislation

As part of the Shipping Legislation Amendment Bill, the Australian government hopes to open its coastline to more foreign-crewed and foreign flagged vessels. This relaxing of Australia’s cabotage laws is expected to boost to the nation’s economy.

However, according to a report by the Australia Institute (AI), the number of Australian seafarers could drop from about 1,177 to less than 100 if the new laws were approved. The proposed amendments would allow foreign-flagged ships and crews to be paid international wages on domestic shipping routes for up to half a year.

Additionally, the proposed legislation allows ships to anchor nearly anywhere along the coastline. Locations in which vessels would be permitted to dock include estuaries, navigable rivers, creeks, channels, docks and piers.


The Australian Labor party’s Shadow Minister for Infrastructure Anthony Albanese stood up in Parliament last week condemning the government for their part on allowing the Portland be replaced.

“I rise to express my concern for the workers who currently crew MV Portland, a ship operating around the Australian coast, between Victoria and Western Australia for Alcoa,” he said.

“Alcoa have advised that they will sell this vessel and replace it with a foreign ship employing foreign workers. This will result in a loss of 40 direct jobs and is completely consistent with what the legislation that is now before the Senate says would happen.”

Its explanatory memorandum states:

Many of the operators currently operating under the Australian General Register would likely re-flag their vessels in order to compete with the foreign operators who enjoy the benefit of comparatively lower wage rates. Australian seafarers’ jobs would be adversely affected as Australian operators re-flag from the Australian General Register. Ship operators are likely to replace Australian seafarers (paid under EA rates) with foreign seafarers (paid under ITF rates).

The modelling also showed that there was no inclusion of costs and the potential loss of Australian seafarers’ jobs in the legislation.

“We said this would happen as a result of the government’s legislation,” said Albanese. “In advance of that legislation being carried, a temporary permit has been granted by the department against the existing legislation. This is an outrageous decision.”

Tanker Crews Already Losing Out

In May this year, the crew of the Australian tanker British Loyalty lost their jobs after BP removed one of the last local ships from coastal transportation. Maritime workers protested the decision and condemned the use of the “unsafe” foreign-flagged ships increasingly operating in Australian waters.

British Loyalty is the third Australian tanker to stop operating in the last 18 months, leaving just two local tankers being used for coastal transport. The MUA alleges the work was going to international boats that have not passed Australian safety standards, crewed by foreign sailors who are also “grossly underpaid.”


“Alcoa have advised that they will sell this vessel and replace it with a foreign ship employing foreign workers. This will result in a loss of 40 direct jobs and is completely consistent with what the legislation that is now before the Senate says would happen.”

So this will result in lower prices for the citizens of Australia?
Whenever the banksters and corporations say they must “compete with the world” get ready to get screwed. How many times have we seen prices drop for things we buy right after jobs were moved to the “world market” ? None! World market is a euphemism for I am going to take your job, give it to the cheapest guy I can find, keep the money and there is nothing you can do about it. Say what you want about organized labor and unions but 50-75 years ago bright ideas like taking jobs from working people while making a few at the top richer would have had consequences. It would have been politically unfeasible and possibly hazardous to your operation. Sadly with the demonization of organized labor and scared workers the balance of power has completely shifted. Eventually, sooner rather than later, a feudal system of the extreme minority once again ruling the majority will ensue.


Recently in NY, in one day during my watch I saw HYUNDAI, USAC, ZIM and HANJIN containerships outbound for sea with destinations set in AIS as Charleston, Savannah and the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. In several cases the same ships returned to NY days later, and over the course of the next several weeks it was the same story with HAPAG LLOYD, OOCL and COSCO ships. Have we been granting mass waivers or is this already a collapse of some sort of the Jones Act?


Dude…they can make multiple port calls in the US, as much as they want, from here to infinity. They just cant carry domestic cargo between US ports. They run a route discharging and loading international cargo at each port, then turn around and do it again coming back in the other direction.


[QUOTE=ShooterMcGavin;182596]Recently in NY, in one day during my watch I saw HYUNDAI, USAC, ZIM and HANJIN containerships outbound for sea with destinations set in AIS as Charleston, Savannah and the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. In several cases the same ships returned to NY days later, and over the course of the next several weeks it was the same story with HAPAG LLOYD, OOCL and COSCO ships. Have we been granting mass waivers or is this already a collapse of some sort of the Jones Act?[/QUOTE]

There’s nothing in the Jones Act that prevents ships from stopping in multiple US ports. They can discharge cargo of foreign origin and load cargo with a foreign destination in any US port they want in any order.


Manned by U.S crew
250$/day for a tankerman, I laught maybe less than $20/h for all the real time they spend on the ship/barge.
Comparable to what a trucker would do.

If you are a Washington DC Lobbyist, Pro-Amnesty, Pro Mexico labor, [B]how much you’d rake per hour. [/B]


      • Updated - - -

The Jones Act topic and this discussion is inextricably linked to the U.S and international energy markets…

NWE-USAC Clean products waterborne freight was very depressed lately.

The pipeline comes with 5-10 years Committed Shippers and the space line can be traded at[B] multiples[/B] over the tariff between Houston and Linden NJ.
In the real world Jones Act Barges are Uncommitted, provide much contractual flexibility to shippers in addition to destination and storage optionality.


Jones Act barges have small tenor, provide additional product control to shippers, convenience and enhance connectivity.



Jones Act barges have small tenor …[/QUOTE]

Not lately, he had to take some time off.


Nothing to do with the Jones Act directly, but this may affect the Jones Act trade in some ways??:


[QUOTE=ombugge;188912]Nothing to do with the Jones Act directly, but this may affect the Jones Act trade in some ways??:[/QUOTE]

I don’t think so. If anything it’s going to affect trucking and rail. Previously those goods bound for the east but unlading in the west would not have seen a Jones Act vessel, either.

Prolly really good news for Charleston. Poor SC always needs every bit of help they can get, economically. Having the deepest port should be amazing for them. Hope they get to keep some of that money in state and it’s doesn’t get magicked away to Dubai or something.


nice to read CBP weighing in on our side of this issue

[B]Jones Act protects U.S. maritime interests, Customs official says[/B]

By Ken Hocke on September 29, 2016

Without the Jones Act, thousands of foreign-flagged vessels would enter U.S. waterways and the Coast Guard and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) would be overwhelmed. That’s one of the messages that Michael Hebert of the CBP’s Jones Act Division of Enforcement (JADE) delivered to about 200 attendees at yesterday’s Offshore Marine Service Association quarterly meeting in New Orleans.

JADE was created in an effort to present a uniformed approach on issues involving the Jones Act, working in partnership with industry stakeholders in the enforcement of the act, along with all other coastwise trade laws.

“The Jones Act is there to protect the maritime interests of the U.S.,” said Hebert, who is based in New Orleans. “The industry has been responding to this, saying we’ve been needing it.”

Three of JADE’s major goals are establishing training to DHS agencies and outreach to industry parties, providing uniformity across CBP and the industry regarding coastwise trade, and offering information and guidance. “Our federal laws extend to the seas,” said Hebert. “CBP enforces coastwise laws and the Coast Guard determines vessel eligibility for coastwise endorsement and issues certificates of documentation.”

JADE’s field office in New Orleans is set up to assist CBP and industry partners with issues concerning coastwise trade and the goal of being a clearinghouse for all coastwise trade issues.

The new division is staffed by a team of Jones Act experts to assist industry partners with questions and concerns about coastwise trade. All formal ruling requests will continue to be forwarded to Regulations and Rulings, Office of Trade.

To report a Jones Act violation, go to