The International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA) and its members with vessels active in US waters have welcomed news that the period for public consultation and comment has been extended by an additional 60 days.
“This means that we, and others, including our members, and their clients, have until April 18 to comment on the proposals put forward by the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency to revoke longstanding decisions made over the last 40 years concerning the Jones Act,” said Allen Leatt, IMCA’s chief executive.
“The additional 60 days will enable us to undertake very necessary research into the likely economic and technical impact of the proposed revocations.
"We understand the drive to protect US tonnage given the difficulties in the PSV market today, but the deepwater construction market represents a very different sector with very different vessels and technologies.
"It is a truly international market, as no single domestic market can support the heavy investments of these assets. Consequently, there is a real risk to damaging the whole Gulf of Mexico market as the unintended consequences do not seem to have been thought through. Our assessment will be published within the consultation/comment period.
“The CBP’s proposals were made in the final two days of the Obama Administration. The Trump Administration has called for a freeze pending a review of all regulatory initiatives; equally it is well known that President Trump is ambitious for the US to increase domestic oil and gas production. These proposals seem to run contrary to both objectives.”