Jones Act shipping waiver for Puerto Rico expires, will not being extended: Report

Wednesday, 11 October 2017, 07:44:09 AM. The Jones Act waiver for Puerto Rico will not be extended after it expired late Sunday night, according to Reuters.

The Jones Act waiver for Puerto Rico will not be extended after it expired late Sunday night, according to Reuters.

The Department of Homeland Security made the decision last week after calls from American maritime carriers requested the agency allow the waiver to expire, the Maritime Executive, a business journal, reported.

A Homeland Security Department spokesman told the publication that the Department of Defense had not requested an extension and that no vessels had used the allowances granted by the waiver.

“We believe that extending the waiver is unnecessary to support the humanitarian relief efforts on the island. There is an ample supply of Jones Act-qualified vessels to ensure that cargo is able to reach Puerto Rico,” David Lapan, Homeland Security press secretary, said to the Maritime Executive.

The waiver allowed non-U.S. flag ships — meaning ships that were not manned or built by U.S. citizens — to carry goods out of U.S. ports. The law was lifted on Sept. 28 after outcry from members of Congress who accused the Trump administration of being slow to act in recovery efforts in Puerto Rico, which was hit by a hurricane. They claimed the waiver would allow more supplies to get to the island faster.

Puerto Rico faces much damage after Hurricane Maria made landfall last month, leaving much of the island without power or other essential supplies.

The Jones Act was waived after Hurricane Harvey hit Texas and Hurricane Irma slammed into Florida in August and September.

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