Office of Sealift Support
Voluntary Tanker Agreement
The Voluntary Tanker Agreement (VTA) program is sponsored by the Maritime Administration pursuant to the authority contained in the Defense Production Act of 1950, as amended. The VTA is a partnership between the Maritime Administration, the United States Transportation Command and U.S. companies that own, operate or charter tankers and integrated ocean-going tug/barge tank vessels. VTA participants’ tankers must meet militarily useful criteria. Eligible tankers are those greater than 20,000 deadweight tons (DWT) up to 100,000 DWT.
By signing the VTA Agreement, Participants agree to commit their vessels for a period beginning with the effective date and continuing through at least an entire fiscal year (October 1 through September 30). VTA vessel enrollment will automatically renew for each subsequent fiscal year unless the Participant provides written notification to the Maritime Administration of its intent to terminate participation in the VTA and Maritime Administration approval is granted. Maritime Security Program participants are required to commit their tankers to the VTA.
The VTA was published in Federal Register, Vol. 73, No. 172, Pages 51692-51697, Dated September 4, 2008. The Federal Register notice invited applicants to participate in the VTA. Participants selected for the VTA agree to commit specifically enrolled tankers or tanker capacity to the Department of Defense in times of war or national emergency.
The VTA benefits both the Government and the tanker operators. The VTA provides for a Tanker Requirements Committee (TRC) whereby the Government and tanker participants are provided a forum to identify and make plans for tanker capacity to meet specific contingency requirements. Tanker operators who enroll in the VTA receive information not available to them otherwise. Participants are afforded a defense to civil or criminal anti-trust actions while carrying out the terms of the VTA.
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