US CBP withdraws proposed Jones Act changes

US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has withdrawn the proposed modifications to the Jones Act that it announced in January.

US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has withdrawn the proposed modifications to the Jones Act that it announced in January.

“Based on the many substantive comments CBP received, 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 should be reconsidered,” the agency said.

CBP received more than 3,000 comments on the proposal, it said.

The American Petroleum Institute applauded the withdraw. “By rescinding the proposal, CBP has decided not to impose potentially serious limitations to the industry’s ability to safely, effectively, and economically operate,” said Erik Milito, API upstream and industry operations group director.

A Calash Ltd. report, which API commissioned, warned that the proposed changes potentially could cost many jobs, reduce US oil and gas production, and cut federal and state government revenue (OGJ Online, Apr. 4, 2017).

The Offshore Marine Service Association in New Orleans, meanwhile, criticized CBP’s action. “This decision to move to a regulatory review process is deeply damaging to the American crews, shipyards, and companies who have waited more than eight years while the administration studied taking corrective action,” OMSA Pres. Aaron Smith said.

“Additionally, during this time, our industry has invested more than $2 billion to ensure offshore production and exploration would not be disrupted, while foreign interests lobbied the US government to promote their own economic interests through their promotion of false statements and scare tactics,” he said.

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com.

More in Pipelines & Transportation