MarAd Issues Order Regarding Seabulk America

On August 15, 1994, the Maritime Administrator and Maritime Subsidy Board issued an opinion and order in Docket No. A-184, addressing the remand of the U. S.

District Court in Keystone Shipping Co. v. United States, 801 F.

Supp. 771 (D.D.C. 1992). The court had remanded for a fuller explanation, both MarAd and U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) determinations which allowed the chemical carrier, Seabulk America, to operate in domestic trade. The vessel was constructed by joining the stern of the FUJI, a wrecked foreign-built vessel, with the forebody of Barge 4102, a U.S.-built vessel constructed and acquired, respectively, with the aid of construction-differential subsidy (CDS) and the capital construction fund (CCF).

On June 14, 1994, the USCG reaffirmed its previous determination that the Seabulk America is eligible, under the Wrecked Vessel Act operation in domestic trade, so far as the Jones Act (section 27 of the Shipping Act of 1920) is concerned.

By the opinion and order issued in Docket No. A-184, MarAd reaffirmed its previous determination and concluded that once the Barge 4102 was cut up, it no longer was a vessel subject to CDS and CCF trading restrictions; such determination is in accord with relevant MarAd precedent; introduction of the Seabulk America into the domestic trade did not have an undue adverse competitive impact on domestic operators, and introduction of the Seabulk America, into the domestic trade furthers the purposes and policy of the Merchant Marine Act, 1936, as amended. MarAd announces the establishment of the Voluntary Intermodal Sealift Agreement (VISA), pursuant to section 708 of the Defense Production Act of 1950, as amended (50 U.S.C. App. 2158).

The purpose of the agreement is to promote and facilitate the use of intermodal transportation systems, including ships, ships' space, intermodal equipment and related management services, and to maximize the Department of Defense's use of commercial transportation resources to support the emergency deployment and sustainment of U.S.

military forces through cooperation among the maritime industry, the Department of Transportation and the Department of Defense. Copies of the VISA are available to the public upon request from MarAd's Office of National Security Plans.

For further information contact: Thomas M.P. Christensen, Director, Office of National Security Plans, MarAd, 400 - Seventh St., SW, Washington, DC 20590, tel: (202) 366-5900 or fax: (202) 488- 0941.

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