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The Jones Act


Plato123
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3 hours ago, chengkp75 said:

Sola is one of 5 commissioners, and the one with probably the least experience in the maritime industry, unless of course you think yacht sales is part of the industry.  And, I don't see where the "Marine Industry" has joined with Sola?

 

No, with all due respect nobody is thinking about yacht sales.  I figured our other passengers would be interested to see your profession take a keen interest in helping Alaska's economy and the article speaks for itself.  It was an afterthought.

 

I am curious what your thoughts are about a legal loophole that covers the bases, if you follow my meaning.

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Let’s ignore the 2021 Alaska cruise for a moment, since cruises are not currently operating.

 

Perhaps the near foreign port exemption for the PVSA should be eliminated.  It has resulted in significant business and jobs inadvertently being created in Canada and Mexico.  Isn’t that exemption just a “scam” to allow violations of the PVSA?   It is putting US ports (and the resultant jobs and business) at a great disadvantage.  Looks like an uneven playing field to me.  I doubt that the creators of the PVSA intended for that kind of exemption being granted.  Probably just the opposite. It defeats the purpose of the PVSA as I understand it. In this particular situation instead of protecting jobs and industry, we are currently doing just the opposite with these limited number of cruises.  

Allowing so many Alaskan jobs to be depend on the direct influence of a foreign country is just absurd.  Look what can happened. 
 

If there was even a hint of the exemption being eliminated, perhaps the cruise industry and Congress would readdress/redefine the intent of the PVSA and modify it according.  Or allow certain US ports to be defined as near foreign ports for purposes of the existing law.  
 

I have little expectation that this will actually happen.  Be thankful that I am not in charge.  I would force a reassessment of the objections of the PVSA and a total rewrite it if appropriate.  I cannot imagine why the PVSA should have a requirement to protect the US cruise ship construction industry when there isn’t one. (Just one example) IMO another unintended consequence.  It is not a criticism of the creator of the law, but things change.

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3 minutes ago, jagoffee said:

I have little expectation that this will actually happen.  Be thankful that I am not in charge.  I would force a reassessment of the objections of the PVSA and a total rewrite it if appropriate.  I cannot imagine why the PVSA should have a requirement to protect the US cruise ship construction industry when there isn’t one. (Just one example) IMO another unintended consequence.  It is not a criticism of the creator of the law, but things change.

You are so very right about the unintended consequences statement.  So many laws, executive orders, etc.. sound so good on the surface, but when one looks deeper and/or into the future they often hurt what they originally intended to help.  Sometimes it's simply that they've aged; sometimes it's about a true desire to help which is enacted quickly without thorough analysis; and sometimes (all too often) it is more about optics than about actually improving anything.  

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35 minutes ago, phoenix_dream said:

You are so very right about the unintended consequences statement.  So many laws, executive orders, etc.. sound so good on the surface, but when one looks deeper and/or into the future they often hurt what they originally intended to help.  Sometimes it's simply that they've aged; sometimes it's about a true desire to help which is enacted quickly without thorough analysis; and sometimes (all too often) it is more about optics than about actually improving anything.  

I believe you are correct.  In this case I think it more about the changes in many industries over time.  It would be interesting for someone  to evaluate the original PVSA objectives and see if the law meet the objectives.  As reported here by others, there is little doubt some very good and appropriate aspect of the law have been effective.  Other aspects have not.

 

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1 hour ago, jagoffee said:

I believe you are correct.  In this case I think it more about the changes in many industries over time.  It would be interesting for someone  to evaluate the original PVSA objectives and see if the law meet the objectives.  As reported here by others, there is little doubt some very good and appropriate aspect of the law have been effective.  Other aspects have not.

 

Elimination of PVSA would make little of no difference unless the rules for H2B visas are changed too.  Wages for crew would approximately double and the crew when on a US cruise would be subject to US taxation etc.

Eliminate Vancouver?  Then the number of Alaska cruises would be reduced by over 50% as they have more dockage.

What would happen if a week long cruise to Alaska cost another $1000?  The complaints over AI generated thousands of complaints over a few hundred dollars.

As many have said Alaska 2021 is not going to happen.  Cruises in summer are possible to many destinations.  Not possible to many others in both the Caribbean and Europe..

Tomorrow we should all know RCL's decision.

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2 hours ago, jagoffee said:

Perhaps the near foreign port exemption for the PVSA should be eliminated.

 

Honestly, I think that's the least likely provision to be changed. And it's not even in the USC; it's a CFR definition, and I have no idea where that authority came from. The actual act doesn't allow that at all.

 

If you removed the near foreign port exemption, the ships would have to meet all the requirements for a coastwise endorsement, which among other things means US owned, built in the US (that's actually not a PVSA requirement, BTW, the US code traces the current requirements to public laws passed from 1986 to 2006). And the crew would either need US work visas, or would need to be US citizens. Even if you amended the code to allow a foreign built, foreign owned vessel to engage in cabotage, you'd immediately open up all the immigration concerns for the crew.

 

Replacing the distant port requirements with a near foreign port requirement might make some sense. But that really only helps longer cruises, and eliminates silliness like bussing people from Mexico to San Diego. It "could" open up the possibility of Alaska to San Diego via Mexico, and back, but that would be a much longer cruise.

 

Bluntly, as long as foreign owned and flagged vessels are allowed to travel those routes with a foreign stop, the cruise lines are going to be perfectly happy. I would wager that if they suddenly did NOT require a near foreign stop, they'd still make one for all the other financial benefits they gain, and to avoid the immigration and visa issues. And they'd be left blubbering at the podium explaining why they weren't hiring US citizens and complying with US labor laws on those routes. And everyone on this board would be complaining about the price increase...

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20 minutes ago, markeb said:

Honestly, I think that's the least likely provision to be changed. And it's not even in the USC; it's a CFR definition, and I have no idea where that authority came from. The actual act doesn't allow that at all.

 

Too late to edit. 46 U.S. Code § 55103 is actually silent on the idea of traveling to and from the same port with a foreign stop. Probably because in 1886 no one dreamed of an industry built on that concept. Transporting passengers "between ports or places in the United States to which the coastwise laws apply, either directly or via a foreign port" is what's specifically prohibited, and I don't know where the authority to substitute a distant foreign port in the CFR came from. Because the law really doesn't seem to allow it.

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1 hour ago, markeb said:

 

Too late to edit. 46 U.S. Code § 55103 is actually silent on the idea of traveling to and from the same port with a foreign stop. Probably because in 1886 no one dreamed of an industry built on that concept. Transporting passengers "between ports or places in the United States to which the coastwise laws apply, either directly or via a foreign port" is what's specifically prohibited, and I don't know where the authority to substitute a distant foreign port in the CFR came from. Because the law really doesn't seem to allow it.

Some interesting reading 

https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-1985-07-01/pdf/FR-1985-07-01.pdf#page=1

26984

https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-1985-09-16/pdf/FR-1985-09-16.pdf#page=23

37519

 

The Federal Register entries for 19 CFR § 4.80a - Coastwise transportation of passengers.

Edited by nocl
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  • 3 weeks later...
11 minutes ago, Young and Restless said:

Thought I would ask this group:

A cruise ship is leaving a Florida port going to New York and leaving the next day for Europe.

If I got on the ship in Florida and stayed on to Europe would that be against PVSA/Jones?

   

No, but it would be if you disembarked in New York.

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The details of which ship and when might be useful to know.  
 

Fouremco is absolutely right that you aren’t allowed to get on the ship in Florida and off in New York, but what ship has that itinerary?

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Actually I do see one ship that has a special itinerary. One of the MSC ships goes from Florida to New York in April 2022 and then the next day on to Europe. Its itinerary takes it down to the ABC islands.

 

So in this case, because it visits a distant foreign port, passengers will be allowed to travel from Florida to New York without violating the PVSA.

 

But back to the question asked by Young and restless, there is no violation of the PVSA when boarding in Florida and disembarking in Europe.

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I may be looking in the wrong place,  but I don’t see an NCL cruise that starts in Florida and ends in New York at that time.  

 

i see a r/t Port Canaveral on the 16th, and the TA on the 25th but I don’t see the “connection” between them.  
 

please provide more details before you head off to fight with NCL.

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I don’t see a cruise from Orlando/ Port Canaveral to New York in April 2022.  Perhaps that’s the issue. It’s possible the ship will sail empty to New York because to do otherwise would violate PVSA.  That seems kind of unlikely to me but I suppose it could be done

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2 hours ago, Alakegirl said:

The details of which ship and when might be useful to know.  
 

Fouremco is absolutely right that you aren’t allowed to get on the ship in Florida and off in New York, but what ship has that itinerary?

We did that itinerary a few years ago on Cunard's Queen Elizabeth. The last legs of the World Cruise (or whatever they called it) were from the west coast through the Panama Canal to Florida, then transatlantic to Southampton by way of New York. We boarded in Fort Lauderdale, stopped in New York (Manhattan cruise terminal), and got off in Southampton.

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I interpreted YoungandRestless question that there is Cruise A from Florida to New York followed by Cruise B transatlantic.  I can’t find any listing for said Cruise A, but perhaps I am not looking at the right place.

 

A cruise from Florida to New York needs to call at a distant foreign port in between in order to be a legal cruise.
 

The Cunard voyage began in Florida and ended in Europe and passengers would not have been allowed to disembark in New York

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2 hours ago, cruisestitch said:

Actually I do see one ship that has a special itinerary. One of the MSC ships goes from Florida to New York in April 2022 and then the next day on to Europe. Its itinerary takes it down to the ABC islands.

 

So in this case, because it visits a distant foreign port, passengers will be allowed to travel from Florida to New York without violating the PVSA.

 

But back to the question asked by Young and restless, there is no violation of the PVSA when boarding in Florida and disembarking in Europe.

It is legal because the cruise leaves from Florida, then visits the ABC islands which are considered to be far distant ports, then goes to New York.  Doesn't matter where it goes from there.

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34 minutes ago, ExArkie said:

We did that itinerary a few years ago on Cunard's Queen Elizabeth. The last legs of the World Cruise (or whatever they called it) were from the west coast through the Panama Canal to Florida, then transatlantic to Southampton by way of New York. We boarded in Fort Lauderdale, stopped in New York (Manhattan cruise terminal), and got off in Southampton.

However, if someone boarded in Florida on the cruise your are mentioning they would not be able to get off in New York.  If someone boarded on the West Coast and the cruise stopped in the ABC islands or in Cartagena, Columbia, then they could get off in either Florida or New York because of the far distant port between the west cost and either of the 2 east coast ports.

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Posted (edited)
9 minutes ago, nocl said:

It is legal because the cruise leaves from Florida, then visits the ABC islands which are considered to be far distant ports, then goes to New York.  Doesn't matter where it goes from there.

NCL Escape lists 3 cruises on their website for April 2022, two Caribbean and one FROM NY to Europe TA and it sure isn't stopping in the ABC's.  Poster needs to clarify or do homework with more detail, specifically said going from NY to Europe.

Edited by LGW59
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8 minutes ago, Alakegirl said:

All I can surmise is that the ship will be sailing empty between Florida and New York but the poster wants to book that segment, which isn’t bookable

Unless he/she has friends in VERY high places.

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31 minutes ago, Alakegirl said:

All I can surmise is that the ship will be sailing empty between Florida and New York but the poster wants to book that segment, which isn’t bookable

 

You are correct.  NCL Escape sailing round trip out of Port Canaveral April 16 - 23, then sails out of New York April 25.  No posted sailing for April 23 - 25....non revenue re-positioning.

 

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