CRUISE Act Seeks to Exempt Certain Foreign Ships from the Jones Act

In July, U.S. Representative Blake Farenthold (R-Tex.) introduced legislation that would amend federal maritime law to allow foreign ships to travel from U.S. port to U.S. port. Under the Jones Act, foreign ships are generally restricted from traveling directly from one U.S. port to another. To travel directly between U.S. ports, passenger or cargo vessels must be U.S.-flag ships built in the U.S. and owned by citizens or permanent residents. Supporters of the bill believe the Jones Act provision barring foreign-flag cruise ships from making consecutive U.S. port calls limits tourism development in coastal states.

Farenthold’s Creating and Restoring U.S. Investment and Stimulating Employment Act (CRUISE Act) would exempt certain foreign-flag ships from the Jones Act. Exempted passenger ships would not include public or government vessels or ships on a regular schedule. Farenthold hopes the legislation will help development of deepwater ports in his home state, including ports in Brownsville, Port Lavaca and Corpus Christi. The bill is currently in the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.

The Jones Act not only regulates travel between U.S. ports, it also protects sailors and other maritime workers in the U.S. Anyone considered a “seaman” can file a claim under the Jones Act for injuries caused by their employer. Are you an injured seaman? Pursuing a claim under the Jones Act requires a deep understanding of maritime law, making it important for you to contact a knowledgeable Boston maritime attorney who specializes in Jones Act litigation. A non-maritime attorney may have little to no experience handling seaman injury cases and possess limited knowledge of the Jones Act.

Latti & Anderson LLP – Boston Jones Act lawyers