The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has created the National Jones Act Division of Enforcement following pressure from U.S.
maritime interest groups and members of Congress
who have long been concerned with Jones Act cabotage violations, particularly in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico’s
oil drilling operations.
The division will be located within the CBP’s New
Orleans Field Office, according to a July 15 announcement from the agency’s Office of Field Operations.
“The Jones Act Division of Enforcement (JADE), has
a mission to assist CBP and industry partners on coast-
wise matters with the goal of being a clearinghouse for
all coastwise trade issues,” Steven Stavinoha, director
of CBP Field Operations, New Orleans, said in a state-
ment to Seapower. “Our JADE subject-matter experts
have begun outreach presentations to our industry and
Pressure on CBP to safeguard the U.S. offshore
service industry has for years been a key aspect in
making the case for establishing the JADE. As the
oil drilling industry continues to
slow as a result of lower gas prices,
the stakes have gotten higher for
offshore support vessels to find
steady work transporting materials
that support the drilling and pro-
duction platforms in the U.S. Gulf
region — work, according to the
Jones Act, that only U.S.-flagged,
-owned and -operated vessels are
entitled to if it involves the move-
ment of materials.
“The market for offshore support
vessels is really, really bad. Probably
the worst we have seen,” said Charlie
Nonetheless, Jones Act supporters, Papavizas said,
are well aware that the JADE is not necessarily the
answer to the economic challenges that have beset the
offshore services industry. Still, it is a start.
“I don’t think the people who have been pushing
this for years and years would say, ‘[the JADE] is going
to solve our economic problems,’” he said. “But that
doesn’t make it not worth their effort, because if they
help themselves on the margin, that still helps.”
Known also as the Merchant Marine Act of 1920,
the Jones Act requires that all cargo shipped between
U.S. domestic ports — or in the case of the Gulf of
Jones Act Watchdog
New enforcement unit aims to curb U.S. maritime commerce violations
By DAISY R. KHALIFA, Special Correspondent
Mark of Progress
The National Jones Act Division of Enforcement, or JADE, was
created by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to be a
clearinghouse for coastwise trade issues and beef up enforcement
of the nearly century-old Jones Act.
n The law regulates maritime commerce — the transportation of
goods — in U.S. waters and between U.S. ports.
n U.S. maritime interest groups and members of Congress have
been concerned about violations of the law in the U.S. Gulf of
Mexico’s oil drilling operations.
n Pressure on CBP to safeguard the U.S. offshore service industry has for years been a key aspect in making the case for establishing the JADE.