US CBP Withdraws Proposed Changes to Jones Act

Illustration; Image Courtesy: Nordic American Tankers

US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has withdrawn the proposed modifications to the country’s Jones Act which regulates maritime commerce in US waters and between US ports.

The changes, which were presented on January 18, 2017 by President Barack Obama’s administration, would have revoked waivers that helped oil and gas operators to stay in line with restrictions, Reuters cited US Customs and Border Protection’s data.

CBP said that, based on the comments received on the matter, both supporting and opposing the proposed action, and CBP’s further research on the issue, “we conclude that the agency’s notice of proposed modification and revocation of the various ruling letters relating to the Jones Act should be reconsidered.”

The agency added that the move, relating to customs application of Jones Act to the transportation of certain merchandise and equipment between coastwise points, came info effect on May 10.

Following the announcement, the American Petroleum Institute (API) welcomed CBP’s action, describing the proposed modifications as “harmful new Jones Act rulings.”

“A recent report projected that this proposal could have resulted in the loss of thousands of American jobs, reduced U.S. oil and natural gas production, and diminished revenues for federal and state government,” Erik Milito, API Upstream Director, said.

“By rescinding the proposal, CBP has decided not to impose potentially serious limitations to the industry’s ability to safely, effectively, and economically operate,” Milito added.

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