ITF Cabotage Taskforce welcomes Jones Act fine

The ITF (International Transport Workers’ Federation) Cabotage Taskforce, which is meeting in Oslo, Norway, today applauded the United States Department of Justice’s announcement that the company Furie Operating Alaska LLC has agreed to pay USD10 million ‘to satisfy a civil penalty originally assessed against it by US Customs and Border Protection for violating the Jones Act,’ America’s freight cabotage law.

As reported by the Department of Justice (DOJ), the company was penalised for transporting a jack-up drill rig from the Gulf of Mexico to Alaska in 2011 using a foreign-flag vessel without acquiring a Jones Act waiver.
This is believed to be the largest Jones Act penalty in the nearly century-long existence of the law. While the Cabotage Taskforce’s preference is for proper adherence to individual nations’ respective cabotage laws, it’s critical that when regulations are violated, those breaking the rules are held accountable.
In its announcement of the USD10 million penalty, the DOJ noted, ‘Resolution of this case demonstrates that the Jones Act will be actively enforced and that an intentional violation will not be rewarded’.
The Cabotage Taskforce endorsed that approach and thanked both the Department of Justice and Customs and Border Protection for standing up for the Jones Act. Speaking from its Oslo meeting the Taskforce’s chair, James Given, said: “This is a really momentous decision. The size of the fine, the decisiveness and resolution of the decision and commitment to future action are the strongest possible markers of the importance and value of the Jones Act.”
David Heindel, chair of the ITF seafarers’ section, added: “Once again the Jones Act has been rightly used to defend safe and lawful maritime operations in American waters. This is the right decision at the right time."

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