CBP withdraws Jones Act proposalNews // September 22, 2009
Marinelog.com and other sources reports that US Customs and Border Protection has withdrawn a proposal that could have brought major changes to how the offshore industry operates on the Outer Continental Shelf.
As previously reported in Offshore Shipping Online, the CBP had proposed a stricter interpretation of a 1976 Jones Act ruling relating to the use of a foreign-built vessel "in the construction, maintenance, repair and inspection of offshore petroleum related facilities."
That ruling held that the "transportation by the vessel of such materials and tools as are necessary for the accomplishment of the mission of the vessel ... is not, generally speaking, an activity prohibited by the coastwise laws since such transportation is incidental to the vessels operations," said MarineLog.
CBP was proposing a tougher interpretation of what is and what is not equipment necessary for the mission of the vessel. The proposal followed a finding this year that a "Christmas tree" wellhead assemby was not part of the equipment of the vessel transporting it.
CBP received 140 comments on its proposed changes.
Although the proposal has been withdrawn, it seems that the CBP has also promised to publish a new notice on the subject in the Customs Bulletin "in the near future."