It has been reported that the State of New Jersey’s February 13, 2014 request for a waiver of the requirement to transport merchandise in the U.S. coastwise trade by a qualified U.S.-flag vessel (that requirement and others popularly referred to as the “Jones Act”) has been denied by the U.S. Maritime Administration. The State of New Jersey indicated publicly that a waiver was necessary in order to replenish its depleted supplies of road salt and because of the purported lack of qualified U.S.-flag vessels to ship the salt from Maine. The denial of the waiver could be based either on the fact that the waiver was not “necessary in the interest of national defense” or that a U.S.-flag vessel was available.
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