ANNOUNCED AS TEMPORARYYes
A similar waiver for Puerto Rico was initially denied, after which the decision was reversed.
On September 26, 2017 the Department of Homeland Security decided against issuing a similar waiver for the transportation of fuel and supplies to Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria caused massive destruction in that U.S. territory. In a statement quoted by the press, but not formally posted to either the DHS or the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) websites, a CBP spokesman said that an assessment by the agency showed there was "sufficient capacity" of U.S.-flagged vessels to move commodities to Puerto Rico. "The limitation is going to be port capacity to offload and transit, not vessel availability," according to the spokesman.
The issue then attracted attention in both Congress and the White House, with several lawmakers urging that the decision be reconsidered. In comments to the press on September 27, 2017 President Trump indicated that he is considering a waigver that would allow foreign-flagged vessels to serve Puerto Rico as it recovers from Hurricane Maria, but also said that domestic interests are lobbying against it. "A lot of people that work in the shipping industry ... don't want the Jones Act lifted," he told reporters. "We have a lot of ships out there right now."
On September 28, 2017, Department of Homeland Security Acting Secretary Elaine Duke approved a waiver in response to a request from the governor of Puerto Rico and the Secretary of Defense’s determination that a waiver is in the interest of national defense. The waiver will be in effect for 10 days after signature and covers all products being shipped to Puerto Rico.
⚑ Please report this page in case you detect an inaccuracy in its content.