Jones Act Enforcer crew meets with U.S Customs and Border Protection

Written by Nick Blenkey
Vessel is boldly labeled Jones Act Enforcer

Jones Act Enforcer will gather video and photographic evidence of violations

The Offshore Marine Service Association (OMSA) reports that the crew of the Jones Act Enforcer met this week with Michael Hebert, the head of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) Jones Act Division of Enforcement (JADE), to learn what information JADE wants to see documented in allegations of Jones Act violations.

The Jones Act requires seaborne cargo shipped between two U.S. points to be carried by U.S.-built, crewed, and owned vessels. The Jones Act Enforcer is a fast supply vessel (FSV) recently chartered by OMSA to collect evidence of foreign vessels violating the Jones Act during offshore energy projects. The vessel has been outfitted with aerial and surface surveillance equipment. Once the evidence of Jones Act violations has been gathered by the vessel it will submitted by OMSA to CBP, other authorities, and made public.

“Having CBP reach out and set up yesterday’s meeting was a huge step forward in our fight against violators of the Jones Act,” said OMSA President and CEO Aaron Smith. “I feel confident that moving forward, the communication and information sharing between OMSA and JADE will improve dramatically as we continue our fight against violators of the Jones Act.”

“JADE’s mission is focused on education and outreach so I am always pleased to meet with industry stakeholders to explain the Jones Act, JADE’s role in Jones Act enforcement, and what information should be submitted to JADE,” said Hebert. “I look forward to working with the professional mariners that make up the crew of the Jones Act Enforcer as we further these mutual goals.”

Started in 2016, JADE is a special division within CBP that serves as a clearinghouse for Jones Act outreach, questions, and enforcement operations. The division is headquartered in New Orleans, but its officers have nationwide jurisdiction for Jones Act issues.

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