[Federal Register Volume 73, Number 192 (Thursday, October 2, 2008)]
[Notices]
[Pages 57406-57407]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E8-23189]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Maritime Administration


Maritime Security Program

AGENCY: Maritime Administration, Department of Transportation.

ACTION: Applications are now being received for one Maritime Security 
Program (MSP) Operating Agreement.

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SUMMARY: The Maritime Administration (MARAD) is issuing this request 
for applications for one eligible vessel to fill one MSP Operating 
Agreement in accordance with the provisions of Subtitle C, Title XXXV 
of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2004, the 
Maritime Security Act of 2003 (MSA 2003). The MSA 2003 authorizes the 
creation of a Maritime Security Program (MSP) that establishes a fleet 
of active, commercially viable, privately owned vessels to meet 
national defense and other security requirements and to maintain a 
United States presence in international commercial shipping. This 
request for applications provides, among other things, application 
criteria and a deadline for submitting applications for enrollment of 
one vessel in the MSP.

Applications

    Applications are available by electronic mail. Please send requests 
for applications to Peter.Petrelis@dot.gov.

DATES: Application Due Date: Applications for enrollment of one vessel 
in the MSP are November 3, 2008. Applications should be submitted to 
the address listed in the ADDRESSES section below.

ADDRESSES: Application Submission: Submit applications for enrollment 
of vessels in the MSP to Peter E. Petrelis, Acting Deputy Director, 
Office of Sealift Support, W25-324, Maritime Administration, U.S. 
Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, 
DC 20590.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Peter E. Petrelis, Acting Deputy 
Director, Office of Sealift Support, Maritime Administration, Telephone 
202-366-6252. For legal questions, call Murray Bloom, Chief, Division 
of Maritime Programs, Maritime Administration, 202-366-5320. For 
military utility questions, call LTC Tony Moritz, United States 
Transportation Command, 618-229-1451/1529.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Background

    On November 24, 2003, the President signed the National Defense 
Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2004, which contained the MSA 2003 
creating a new MSP from FY 2006 through FY 2015. This program also 
provides financial assistance to operators of U.S.-flag vessels that 
meet certain qualifications. The MSA 2003 requires that the Secretary 
of Transportation (Secretary), in consultation with the Secretary of 
Defense (Sec Def), establish a fleet of active, commercially viable, 
militarily useful, privately-owned vessels to meet national defense and 
other security requirements. Section 53111 of the MSA 2003 authorizes 
$156 million annually for FYs 2006, 2007, and 2008; $174 million 
annually for FYs 2009, 2010, and 2011; and $186 million annually for 
FYs 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015 to support the operation of up to 60 
U.S.-flag vessels in the foreign commerce of the United States. 
Payments to participating operators are limited to $2.6 million per 
ship per year for FYs 2006 through 2008, $2.9 million per ship per year 
for FYs 2009 through 2011, and $3.1 million per ship per year for FYs 
2012 through 2015. Payments are subject to annual appropriations. 
Participating operators are required to make their commercial 
transportation resources available upon request by the SecDef during 
times of war or national emergency.

Application Criteria

    The implementing MSP Regulations at 46 CFR 296.24(b)(2) provide 
that awards made subsequent to October 1, 2005, including the re-award 
of temporary agreements, must meet the ownership and operational 
requirements of 46 U.S.C. 53103(c) (i.e., priority of awards), and 46 
CFR 296.24(b)(3) further stipulates that priority of subsequent awards 
will be assigned in accordance with requirements specified by the 
SecDef. Any re-award of an MSP Operating Agreement, or replacement of a 
vessel under an Agreement, is subject to approval by the SecDef, by and 
through the United States Transportation Command (USTRANSCOM).
    The recipient of an Agreement is required to meet the citizenship 
eligibility requirements specified in 46 U.S.C. Chapter 531 and the 
implementing regulations at 46 CFR Part 296. Applicants with a vessel 
that meets program requirements, and who are citizens of the United 
States within the meaning of 46 U.S.C. 50501 will be given first 
consideration. In the event that no applicants meet this citizenship 
requirement, the Maritime Administration and USTRANSCOM will consider 
other citizenship categories.

Vessel Requirements

    Acceptable vessels for this MSP Operating Agreement must meet the 
requirements of 46 U.S.C. 53102(b) and 46 CFR Sec.  296.11. The 
Commander, USTRANSCOM, established general evaluation criteria for 
operational requirements for eligible MSP vessels.

Payments

    The applicant chosen for this MSP Operating Agreement will be 
eligible for payments in accordance with 46 U.S.C. 53106 and 46 CFR 
296.41.

Maintenance and Repair (M&R) Work Agreement Requirement

    Subtitle A, section 3517 of the MSA 2003 provides for a pilot 
program under which the Secretary of Transportation shall, subject to 
the availability of appropriations, require one or more persons to 
enter into an agreement under this section as a condition of awarding 
an operating agreement to the person under chapter 531 of title 46, 
United States Code, for one or more vessels that normally make port 
calls in the United States. All qualified maintenance and repair on the 
vessel shall be performed in the United States. The MSP contractor 
shall be reimbursed for the costs of qualified maintenance or repair 
performed in the United States versus the difference in cost of 
performing this work in a geographic region in which the MSP vessel 
generally operates. The recipient of this Agreement is required to sign 
an MSP M&R agreement which stipulates that in the event that sufficient 
M&R funding is available, the MSP contractor will commit to perform M&R 
work in a U.S. shipyard.

National Security Requirements

    The applicant chosen to receive the MSP Operating Agreement will be 
required to enter into an Emergency Preparedness Agreement (EPA) 
pursuant to section 53107 of the MSA 2003. The EPA shall be a document 
incorporating the terms of the Voluntary Intermodal Sealift Agreement 
(VISA), as approved by the Secretary and the SecDef, or other agreement 
approved by the Secretaries.

[[Page 57407]]

Documentation

    The vessel chosen to receive the MSP Operating Agreement, if a 
foreign-flag vessel, must be documented as a U.S.-flag vessel under 46 
U.S.C. chapter 121 prior to being eligible for MSP payments. Further, 
proof of U.S. Coast Guard vessel documentation and all relevant charter 
and management agreements for the chosen vessel must be approved by the 
Maritime Administration before the vessel is eligible to receive MSP 
payments.

Vessel Operation

    The vessel chosen to receive the MSP Operating Agreement must be 
operated exclusively in the U.S.-foreign trade or in mixed foreign and 
domestic trade allowed under a registry endorsement issued under 46 
U.S.C. 12105, except for tankers, which may be operated in foreign-to-
foreign commerce, and shall not otherwise be operated in the coastwise 
trade of the United States.

Obligation of the U.S. Government

    The amounts payable as MSP payments under an MSP Operating 
Agreement shall constitute a contractual obligation of the United 
States Government to the extent of available appropriations.

 Merchant Marine Academy Cadets

    The MSP Operator shall agree to carry two Merchant Marine Academy 
cadets, if available, on each voyage.

Approval

    The Secretary in conjunction with the SecDef may approve 
applications to enter into an MSP Operating Agreement and make MSP 
Payments with respect to vessels that are determined by the Secretary 
to be the most commercially viable and those that are deemed by the 
SecDef to be most militarily useful for meeting the sealift needs of 
the United States in time of war or national emergencies.

    By Order of the Maritime Administrator.

    Dated: September 26, 2008.
Murray A. Bloom,
Acting Secretary, Maritime Administration.
 [FR Doc. E8-23189 Filed 10-1-08; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-81-P