MarAd issues interim final rule for reauthorized MSP
The U.S. Maritime Administration has published its interim final rule for participation in the reauthorized Maritime Security Program (MSP).
The 2003 Maritime Security Act authorized the creation of a new MSP program to ensure that the American military has immediate access to a fleet of militarily useful commercial U.S.-flag vessels during times of war or national emergency.
The original MSP program, established in 1996, is due to expire on Sept. 30, 2005. It covers a commercial U.S.-flag fleet of 47 container and roll-on/roll-off ships. The government pays the MSP participants $2.1 million per ship per year.
The new MSP program will include 60 ships. To help offset the higher U.S.-flag vessel operations costs, MSP participants will receive a payment per ship starting at $2.6 million for fiscal years 2006-2008, $2.9 million for fiscal years 2009-2011, and $3.1 million per ship for fiscal years 2012-2015.
The new MSP program will grandfather the current vessel operators in the program. It also reserves slots for five new U.S.-flag product tankers, ranging from 35,000 to 60,000 deadweight tons.
According to MarAd, the interim rule, which lays out the MSP application procedures and deadline for enrollment in the program, becomes effective Oct. 1. The industry is invited to provide comments to the agency on the interim rule through Aug. 19.
For more information, access online: http://a257.g.akamaitech.net/7/257/2422/06jun20041800/edocket.access.gpo.gov/2004/04-16454.htm.