US Ship 'Jones Act Enforcer' Hunts Foreign Sinners

The Offshore Marine Service Association (OMSA), an association of American maritime companies, has launched the Jones Act Enforcer, a new vessel with which the association is hunting foreign shipping companies that it believes are violating the protectionist American Jones Act.

The vessel will be used to collect video and photographic evidence of Jones Act violations, according to the OMSA, which will then be “made available to authorities, made public and shared with the media.”

The Jones Act states that transportation between U.S. ports may only be carried out by ships with American crews built and financed in the United States, but the OMSA states that many foreign companies do not comply.

The association recently said it was “tired of foreign ships taking work from Americans.” “Stay tuned to see what we’re going to do to fight back,” the OMSA said. That fighting back will now happen with the sailing ‘Jones Act Enforcer’. The association presented the new ship with a Robert de Niro-esque motto: ‘We’ll be watching’. The vessel is the first of its kind, according to the OMSA.

The Jones Act Enforcer, the OMSA said, "will document that foreign-flagged ships are violating U.S. law by transporting goods between points in the U.S., taking advantage of significantly reduced crew costs, thereby enhancing the position of U.S. ships and U.S. undercut workers’.

“Now we’re going to shine a spotlight on their actions to show everyone how much foreign companies are taking money from the pockets of American maritime companies,” the association said.

I wish them well, many other avenues of detection were available well before this little grey hulled vessel. At least it is getting some attention, whether good or bad, depending on the guilty parties and violators. A first step perhaps, but the powers that be will evade or litigate their purpose to be there.

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Does any foreign Offshore vessel sneak into US waters and perform illegal tasks, or do they have some sort of dispensation from US Authorities??

It would be hard to hide anything like this anywhere in the wold:

PS> This was in Mexican waters, but she has been working in US waters as well:

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Who is doing the violating? Seriously, wouldn’t it be pretty obvious?

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Yes to Bug and yacht sailor. This lil ole boat has good intentions, but the deck is stacked well before they cast the first line. Although I wish them well, not likely to be effective.

Yes best of luck, but what exactly are they looking for? The foreign CSVs or whatever that gets contracted to do some work in US waters does not carry cargo between US ports and everything the do have to be cleared by whichever US Authority is responsible for overseeing the activity.

Don’t they have US observers on board while working within US EEZ/OCS??
Do foreign CSVs perform any work inside US territorial waters?
If so, are there different rules governing their activity?

PS> There are lots of US owned and operated OSVs working outside US.
Are they exposed to similar rules when working in other countries EEZ??

A good point sir. Athough those other countries may not have the supposed protections Jones Act was meant to encompass for the USA. Loosely enforced at best.

No obviously not, since the Jones Act is uniquely American. Some other countries have Cabotage Laws, and others have Laws that put restrictions on foreign flag vessels working within their territorial waters, and in the offshore industry within their EEZ. (per UNCLOS)
Within EU/EEA there is a common market, so vessels and personnel can operate freely within the entire area, with some restriction on fishery.

The nearest I can think of would be Australia, where the union (MUA) put restrictions on foreign crews on vessels working in the Offshore Oil & Gas industry, but not on flag, where built, or ownership.
I.e. a Foreign Offshore vessel has to take Aussie crew when operating in Oz, incl. Master.
BTW; This applies to US flag vessels too. How does that tally with US Law? (US Master on US vessel) .

Well, some places maybe, but other places strictly enforced, especially for fishing vessel.

PS> But no “XXXX Enforcer”, owned and operated by a civilian association, chasing around trying to find elusive “offenders”.

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