May 15, 2008
Hearing on Jones Act rebuilds
The issue of what does and what does not constitute the rebuilding of a Jones Act vessel is to get some Congressional attention.
The Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Marine Transportation of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure will conduct a hearing on the issue of June 11,
The issue has been brought into focus by cases such as that of the Seabulk Trader (see earlier report).
Last month a court overturned a Coast Guard decision and found that fitting a new interior hull in the vessel was indeed in violation of the second proviso of the Jones Act. The court ordered that Seabulk Trader should lose its Jones Act coastwise trading rights.
Latest word is that Seabulk has been granted a temporary stay of that order.
While the second proviso seems extremely clear in its meaning, it could be that next month's hearing will find a need to make it even clearer.