Maritime Administration News Release

News Release #: MARAD 03.01.11
Date: Mar 1 2011
Contact: Cheron Wicker
Contact Phone: 202-366-5067

Maritime Administration Reaches Agreement With Department of Energy on Cargo Preference Requirements

The US Department of Transportation's Maritime Administration has successfully reached an agreement with the Department of Energy (DOE) on the application of cargo preference requirements to the DOE loan guarantee program. The Maritime Administration’s cargo preference requirements allow for U.S. flag ocean carriers, hiring U.S. crews, to bid on at least 50 percent of cargoes shipped as part of a federally-financed project. These requirements allow at least 75 percent for the case of food-aid cargoes, and 100 percent for military cargoes. In an effort to resolve a difference of legal opinion, the two Agencies engaged in a dialogue over a period of months to address the issue, and have agreed as a matter of policy to apply the cargo preference requirements. As a direct result of the collaborative effort between the Agencies, language posted on the DOE website—in the form of a Frequently Asked Question—is updated to clarify how the agencies will work together to apply the requirements and consider waiver requests should compliance be unachievable.

"We thank our partners at the U.S. Department of Energy for working with us to make sure this new business opportunity for U.S. companies will support American maritime jobs," said Maritime Administrator David Matsuda. "These crews are the same ones who respond in wartime or other national emergencies, so it is critical we keep that capability by allowing them to carry our Nation's cargo, whether in support of wars abroad or America's clean energy economy."