Oh boy, this should be interesting


Get rid of the useless TWIC.

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Make us tax free like the U.K. That’d be nice.


color me cynical but to me “public input” to the deepest hole in the swamp means lobbyist with deepest pockets or a foreign leader willing to pull the cheeto’s tiny rod.


Researching this carefully… Public comments are called for…

Here’s worthwhile link…


Hello, retirement.

Without the Jones Act, safety and professional standards would erode. The main reason U.S. shippers and mariners are not competitive outside the U.S. is because standards are so low in many places where the global fleet is registered.

If you keep repeating this everyone is going to believe this in the end or not.

U.S. flag vessels by law must comply with the world’s most stringent safety standards

Referring to the El Faro incident this remains to be seen.


The ship may not have been in A1condition, but that is not the reason El Faro sank.

Most US ships in foreign trade are NOT: as new, well maintained, regulated, or operated, to high standards.

US Inland and Coastal Trade vessels are NOT up to Northern European standards, but they are much better than the small hometrade ships in many other parts of the world, e.g. the Caribbean, Latin America, Africa, and most of Asia.


About stringent safety standards:

A couple of the key conclusions of the preliminary USCG report were:

  • Operated with minimal stability margin, with limited ballast capacity and available freeboard, leaving little flexibility.

  • If built in 2016: As operated would not meet current intact and damage stability standards.

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Owned 84
Chartered 148

Owned 309
Chartered 445

Owned 195
Chartered 322

Owned 181
Chartered ?

Merchant ships in 2015: 1988

Nothing wrong with these foreign fleets and there are many more like these.

Compare US Mississippi River vessels to foreign vessels on the Amazon, Parana, Nile, Congo, Mekong, Yangtze, and other major world rivers.

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Surely you can find examples of simple, low standard, badly maintained vessels in mediocre condition in inland and coastal trade in some parts of the world, but surely that is not what the US Maritime industry wants to be compared to??

If the US is serious about wanting to simplify regulations and improve standard they should fully implement IMO regulations for any vessel over 15 GT. This should include SOLAS, MARPOL, STCW’10 and all other conventions US is signatory to. (At least for any type of vessels and licensed persons operating outside base line)

USA should also implement MLC’06 and ratify UNCLOS to be in line with all other countries it is natural to compare yourselves with. (Not with the “bottom of the barrel”)

Getting ride of old outdated rules, use of GRT and the multiples of licenses that are now in force would be a good first step.

Actually ombrugge we have to compare ourselves to the bottom of the barrel because they do the same for less and at the end of the day, that is our competition. Here is a piece from a good book “Crossing the Bar”

Flags of Convenience – Crossing the Bar by Paul Lobo
"Flags of Convenience (FOC), sometimes called “Ships of Shame”, are ships registered in a company’s home country. 34 countries, mostly in the developing world, offer FOCs. Companies do this for a variety of reasons. They have no obligation to the FOC state; they want to avoid higher taxes and skirt state or international standards; and they can pay much lower wages. This is not only bad for pilots who have to deal with them, but also for the crews themselves, many of whom aren’t paid a decent wage and are forced to live under substandard conditions. There is such a concern for FOC crewmen that Australia regularly monitors crew conditions because there are so many death on FOC ships. In October 2012, three crewmen died on the Sage Sagittarius while in Australian waters.
FOCs have had a particularly devastating impact on US flagged shipping, as the number of US ships shrunk because they couldn’t compete with foreign ships, particularly ones from the Far East. So unless an American ship is trading solely in the US or carrying US government cargo, it’s difficult for American companies to survive. Of the 7,863 ships trading with the US, only 89 are American bottoms. Only about one third of the ships I piloted were American, with fewer and fewer as time went by. My first year I moved 480 American ships (late 80’s), while my last year I moved only 41 (2010)!
The crews changed also. For example, over time, Japanese ships replaced their ships with Filipinos. Eventually the Japanese officers were also replaced, but with Indians, and now there might be Korean officers with crews from Bangladesh. The search for cheap labor in the shipping business is relentless.
Mixing nationalities had also made the crews’ living conditions worse. At least with one nationality, they could speak to one another. I’ve been on ships where the captain and chief engineer were the only people from the same country. For the length of their contract, which can be as long as eight months, the captain would only be able to converse with the chief, and captains and engineers are famous for disagreeing. What if they didn’t get along? What a long voyage that would be.
Here is an example of how diversified ships and crews are today: on March 17, 2014, the USS Roosevelt’s seal team boarded a North Korean tanker, Morning Glory, owned by a United Arab Emirates company. Her crew consisted of six Pakistanis, six Indians, three Sri Lankans, two Syrians, two Sudanese, and two Eritreans. How anyone can control a ship full of oil with so many nationalities on board is mind-boggling. I saw many mixed crews, but this one takes the cake and I’m glad I never piloted a North Korean ship.

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I don’t know who this author is, but his opinions are actually crazy. I’ve worked aboard: four Bahamian, one American, one Vincentian, and one Norwegian flagged vessels. North Korea isn’t even a member of the IMO, I’m sure it would be problematic to work on a North Korean ship, but not because of the “mind-boggling” mix of nationalities. I’m sure I’ll be forgetting some, but I’ve worked with Pakistani, Indian, Chinese, Japanese, Russian, Filipino, Indonesian, Australian, New Zealander, Peruvian, Brazilian, Argentinian, Trinidadian, Mexican, American, Canadian, Cameroonian, Nigerian, Algerian, South African, Morrocan, Libyan, Egyptian, Syrian, Lebanese, Greek, Italian, Croatian, Romanian, Ukrainian, Russian, Polish, Norwegian, Swedish, Dutch, British, German, French, Finnish, Faroese, and Irish. Two of them were very well controlled “ships full of oil,” nothing mind-boggling about it.


Mississippi River tug maybe??

As they should. Its part of the job of any port state control to do this. Lots of places will send some one to look at living conditions: its completely normal. I’ve undergone this inspection in UK, Canada, and Nigeria.

No. It hasn’t. Multinational crews know how to speak to each other. Living conditions are better, generally, than what I experienced on the American ship where I worked, which would be, frankly, not acceptable to most mariners. The issue of language is non-conflatable with the issue of living conditions. We can talk to each other. Its good that everyone, typically, has their own cabin (unlike the American ship I was on), or we’d never get any peace from talking to each other.

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Cool, you should direct your comments to retired San Francisco bar pilot Paul Lobo, I think he would disagree. I was simply stating that we have to compare ourselves to the competition on some level.

I have sailed mostly with more or less mixed crews. This was never a problem, on the contrary better then with all Dutch crews who were always complaining about anything. This was the worst ship ever with the worst food and worst crew etc.

We also got jail birds on board who got shortened sentences if prepared to sail on a ship. I will spare you the details… One condition with mixed crews was that you had to be fluent in Pidgin English. For instance Ascension Day was Jesus-Fly-Up Day…