Voluntary Intermodal Sealift Agreement Open Season, 46501-46502 [2014-18812]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 153 / Friday, August 8, 2014 / Notices stimulate attraction to the metro Tucson area. [FR Doc. 2014–18755 Filed 8–7–14; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–13–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Maritime Administration Voluntary Intermodal Sealift Agreement Open Season Maritime Administration, DOT. ACTION: Notice of open season for enrollment in the VISA program. AGENCY: The Maritime Administration (MARAD) announces that the open season for Fiscal Year 2015 applications for participation in the Voluntary Intermodal Sealift Agreement (VISA) program will run for 30 days beginning today and ending September 8, 2014. The purpose of this notice is to invite interested, qualified U.S.-flag vessel operators that are not currently enrolled in the VISA program to apply. This is the only planned enrollment period for carriers to join the VISA program and derive benefits for Department of Defense (DOD) peacetime contracts initiated during the period from October 1, 2014, through September 30, 2015. Any U.S.-flag vessel operator organized under the laws of a state of the United States, or the District of Columbia, who is able and willing to commit militarily useful sealift assets and assume the related consequential risks of commercial disruption, may be eligible to participate in the VISA program. The mission of VISA is to provide commercial sealift and intermodal shipping services and systems, including vessels, vessel space, intermodal systems and equipment, terminal facilities, and related management services, to the Department of Defense (DOD), as necessary, to meet national defense contingency requirements or national emergencies. Carriers enrolled in the VISA program provide DOD with assured access to such services during contingencies. In return for their VISA commitment, DOD gives VISA participants priority for peacetime cargos. DATES: VISA Program applications must be received on or before September 8, 2014. ADDRESSES: Submit applications and questions related to this notice to Jerome D. Davis, Director, Office of Sealift Support, U.S. Department of Transportation, Maritime Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590. mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:51 Aug 07, 2014 Jkt 232001 Telephone (202) 366–0688; Fax (202) 366–5904. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jerome D. Davis, Director, Office of Sealift Support, U.S. Department of Transportation, Maritime Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590. Telephone (202) 366–0688; Fax (202) 366–5904, or visit http:// www.marad.dot.gov. The VISA program was established pursuant to Section 708 of the Defense Production Act of 1950, as amended (DPA). The VISA program was created to provide for voluntary agreements for emergency preparedness programs. Pursuant to the DPA, voluntary agreements for preparedness programs, including the VISA program expire five (5) years after the date they became effective. The VISA program is open to U.S.-flag vessel operators of oceangoing militarily useful vessels, to include tugs and barges. An operator is defined as an owner or bareboat charterer of a vessel. Tug enrollment alone does not satisfy VISA eligibility. Operators include vessel owners and bareboat charter operators if satisfactory signed agreements are in place committing the assets of the owner to VISA. Voyage and space charterers are not considered U.S.-flag vessel operators for purposes of VISA eligibility. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: VISA Concept The VISA program provides for the staged, time-phased availability of participants’ shipping services/systems through pre-negotiated contracts between the Government and participants. Such arrangements are jointly planned with the MARAD, USTRANSCOM, and participants in peacetime to allow effective and best valued use of commercial sealift capacity, provide DOD assured contingency access, and to minimize commercial disruption. There are three time-phased stages in the event of VISA activation. VISA Stages I and II provide for prenegotiated contracts between DOD and participants to provide sealift capacity to meet all projected DOD contingency requirements. These contracts are executed in accordance with approved DOD contracting methodologies. VISA Stage III provides for additional capacity to DOD when Stages I and II commitments or volunteered capacity are insufficient to meet contingency requirements, and adequate shipping services from non-participants are not available through established DOD PO 00000 Frm 00107 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 46501 contracting practices or U.S. Government treaty agreements. Exceptions to This Open Season The only exception to this open season period for VISA enrollment will be for a non-VISA carrier that reflags a vessel into U.S. registry. That carrier may submit an application to participate in the VISA program at any time upon completion of reflagging. Advantages of Peacetime Participation In return for their VISA commitment, DOD awards peacetime cargo contracts to VISA participants on a priority basis. Award of DOD cargoes to meet DOD peacetime and contingency requirements is made on the basis of the following priorities: U.S.-flag vessel capacity operated by VISA participants and U.S.-flag Vessel Sharing Agreement (VSA) capacity held by VISA participants; U.S.-flag vessel capacity operated by non-participants; Combination U.S.-flag/foreign-flag vessel capacity operated by VISA participants, and combination U.S.-flag/ foreign-flag VSA capacity held by VISA participants; Combination U.S.-flag/ foreign-flag vessel capacity operated by non-participants; U.S.-owned or operated foreign-flag vessel capacity and VSA capacity held by VISA participants; U.S.-owned or operated foreign-flag vessel capacity and VSA capacity held by non-participants; and Foreign-owned or operated foreign-flag vessel capacity of non-participants. Participation Applicants must provide satisfactory evidence that the vessels being committed to the VISA program are operational and are intended to be operated by the applicant in the carriage of commercial or government preference cargoes. Operator is defined as an ocean common carrier or contract carrier that owns, controls or manages vessels by which ocean transportation is provided. While vessel brokers, freight forwarders, and agents play an important role as a conduit to locate and secure appropriate vessels for the carriage of DOD cargo, they are not eligible to participate in the VISA program due to lack of requisite vessel ownership or operation. Commitment Any U.S.-flag vessel operator desiring to receive priority consideration for DOD peacetime contracts must commit no less than 50 percent of its total U.S.flag militarily useful capacity in Stage III of the VISA program. Participants operating vessels in international trade may receive top tier consideration in the award of DOD peacetime contracts by E:\FR\FM\08AUN1.SGM 08AUN1 46502 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 153 / Friday, August 8, 2014 / Notices committing the minimum percentages of capacity to all three stages of VISA or bottom tier consideration by committing the minimum percentage of capacity to only Stage III of VISA. USTRANSCOM and MARAD will coordinate to ensure that the amount of sealift assets committed to Stages I and II will not have an adverse national economic impact. To minimize domestic commercial disruption, participants operating vessels exclusively in the domestic Jones Act trades are not required to commit the capacity of those U.S. domestic trading vessels to VISA Stages I and II. Overall VISA commitment requirements are based on annual enrollment. In order to protect a U.S.-flag vessel operator’s market share during contingency activation, VISA allows participants to join with other vessel operators in Carrier Coordination Agreements (CCAs) to satisfy commercial or DOD requirements. VISA provides a defense against antitrust laws in accordance with the DPA. CCAs must be submitted to the MARAD for coordination with the Department of Justice for approval, before they can be utilized. mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Vessel Position Reporting If VISA applicants have the capability to track their vessels, they must include the tracking system used in their VISA application. Such applicants are required to provide MARAD access to their vessel tracking systems upon approval of their VISA application. If VISA applicants do not have a tracking system, they must indicate this in their VISA application. The VISA program requires enrolled ships to comply with 46 CFR Part 307, Establishment of Mandatory Position Reporting System for Vessels. Compensation In addition to receiving priority in the award of DOD peacetime cargo, a participant will receive compensation during contingency activation for that capacity activated under Stage I, II and III. The amount of compensation will depend on the Stage at which capacity is activated. During enrollment, each participant must select a rate methodology for compensation. The compensation methodology selection will be completed with USTRANSCOM, resulting in prices in contingency contracts between USTRANSCOM and the participant. Security Clearances All VISA applicants accepted for VISA participation, not having a Facility Security Clearance (FCL), will be VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:51 Aug 07, 2014 Jkt 232001 required to pursue the clearance process with the Defense Security Service (DSS). If the accepted applicant does not have a clearance, MARAD will initiate the clearance process with DSS. Participants must have a FCL and individual security clearances, at a minimum of SECRET level, for key personnel in order for them to participate in the VISA Joint Planning Advisory Group (JPAG) meetings and to meet VISA contingency contract obligations. One of the objectives of the JPAG is to provide the USTRANSCOM, MARAD and VISA participants a planning forum to analyze DOD contingency sealift/intermodal service and resource requirements against industry commitments. JPAG meetings are often SECRET classified sessions. Eligibility for VISA participation will be terminated if an applicant is rejected for a facility clearance or if it fails to progress in a timely manner in the clearance process. Application for VISA Participation New applicants may apply to participate by obtaining a VISA application package (Form MA–1020 (OMB Approval No. 2133–0532)) from the Director, Office of Sealift Support. Form MA–1020 includes instructions for completing and submitting the application, blank VISA Application forms and a request for information regarding the operations and U.S. citizenship of the applicant company. A copy of the VISA document as published in the Federal Register on March 24, 2010, will also be provided with the package. This information is needed in order to assist MARAD in making a determination of the applicant’s eligibility. An applicant company must provide an affidavit that demonstrates that the company is qualified to document a vessel under 46 U.S.C. § 12103, and that it owns, or bareboat charters and controls, oceangoing, militarily useful vessel(s) for purposes of committing assets to the VISA program. New VISA applicants are required to submit their applications for the VISA program as described in this Notice no later than 30 days after the date of publication of this Federal Register notice. Applicants must provide the following: U.S. citizenship documentation; Copy of their Articles of Incorporation and/or By Laws; Copies of loadline documents from a recognized classification society to validate oceangoing vessel capability; U.S. Coast Guard Certificates of Documentation for all vessels in their fleet; Copy of Bareboat Charters, if applicable, valid through the period of enrollment, which PO 00000 Frm 00108 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 9990 state that the owner will not interfere with the charterer’s obligation to commit chartered vessel(s) to the VISA program for the duration of the charter; and Copy of Time Charters, valid through the period of enrollment, for tug services to barge operators, if sufficient tug service is not owned or bareboat chartered by the VISA applicant. Barge operators must provide evidence to MARAD that tug service of sufficient horsepower will be available for all barges enrolled in the VISA program. Approved VISA participants will be responsible for ensuring that information submitted with their application remains up to date beyond the approval process. Any changes to VISA commitments must be reported to MARAD and USTRANSCOM not later than seven days prior to the change. If charter agreements are due to expire, participants must provide MARAD with charters that extend the charter duration for another 12 months or longer. Once MARAD has reviewed the application and determined VISA eligibility, MARAD will sign the VISA application document which completes the eligibility phase of the VISA enrollment process. After VISA eligibility is approved by MARAD, approved applicants are required to execute a VISA contingency contract with USTRANSCOM. The USTRANSCOM VISA contract will specify the following: Participant’s Stage III commitment, and appropriate Stage I and/or II commitments for the period October 1, 2014 through September 30, 2015; Drytime Contingency terms and conditions; and Liner Contingency terms and conditions, if applicable. Execution of the USTRANSCOM VISA contract completes the enrollment process and establishes the approved applicant as a VISA Participant. The Maritime Administration reserves the right to revalidate all eligibility requirements without notice. USTRANSCOM reserves the right to revalidate eligibility for VISA priority for DOD business at any time without notice. Authority: 49 CFR Sections 1.92 and 1.93 By Order of the Maritime Administrator. Dated: August 4, 2014. Julie P. Agarwal, Secretary, Maritime Administration. [FR Doc. 2014–18812 Filed 8–7–14; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–81–P E:\FR\FM\08AUN1.SGM 08AUN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 153 (Friday, August 8, 2014)]
[Notices]
[Pages 46501-46502]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-18812]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Maritime Administration


Voluntary Intermodal Sealift Agreement Open Season

AGENCY: Maritime Administration, DOT.

ACTION: Notice of open season for enrollment in the VISA program.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The Maritime Administration (MARAD) announces that the open 
season for Fiscal Year 2015 applications for participation in the 
Voluntary Intermodal Sealift Agreement (VISA) program will run for 30 
days beginning today and ending September 8, 2014. The purpose of this 
notice is to invite interested, qualified U.S.-flag vessel operators 
that are not currently enrolled in the VISA program to apply. This is 
the only planned enrollment period for carriers to join the VISA 
program and derive benefits for Department of Defense (DOD) peacetime 
contracts initiated during the period from October 1, 2014, through 
September 30, 2015.
    Any U.S.-flag vessel operator organized under the laws of a state 
of the United States, or the District of Columbia, who is able and 
willing to commit militarily useful sealift assets and assume the 
related consequential risks of commercial disruption, may be eligible 
to participate in the VISA program.
    The mission of VISA is to provide commercial sealift and intermodal 
shipping services and systems, including vessels, vessel space, 
intermodal systems and equipment, terminal facilities, and related 
management services, to the Department of Defense (DOD), as necessary, 
to meet national defense contingency requirements or national 
emergencies. Carriers enrolled in the VISA program provide DOD with 
assured access to such services during contingencies. In return for 
their VISA commitment, DOD gives VISA participants priority for 
peacetime cargos.

DATES: VISA Program applications must be received on or before 
September 8, 2014.

ADDRESSES: Submit applications and questions related to this notice to 
Jerome D. Davis, Director, Office of Sealift Support, U.S. Department 
of Transportation, Maritime Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., 
Washington, DC 20590. Telephone (202) 366-0688; Fax (202) 366-5904.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jerome D. Davis, Director, Office of 
Sealift Support, U.S. Department of Transportation, Maritime 
Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590. 
Telephone (202) 366-0688; Fax (202) 366-5904, or visit http://www.marad.dot.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The VISA program was established pursuant to 
Section 708 of the Defense Production Act of 1950, as amended (DPA). 
The VISA program was created to provide for voluntary agreements for 
emergency preparedness programs. Pursuant to the DPA, voluntary 
agreements for preparedness programs, including the VISA program expire 
five (5) years after the date they became effective.
    The VISA program is open to U.S.-flag vessel operators of 
oceangoing militarily useful vessels, to include tugs and barges. An 
operator is defined as an owner or bareboat charterer of a vessel. Tug 
enrollment alone does not satisfy VISA eligibility. Operators include 
vessel owners and bareboat charter operators if satisfactory signed 
agreements are in place committing the assets of the owner to VISA. 
Voyage and space charterers are not considered U.S.-flag vessel 
operators for purposes of VISA eligibility.

VISA Concept

    The VISA program provides for the staged, time-phased availability 
of participants' shipping services/systems through pre-negotiated 
contracts between the Government and participants. Such arrangements 
are jointly planned with the MARAD, USTRANSCOM, and participants in 
peacetime to allow effective and best valued use of commercial sealift 
capacity, provide DOD assured contingency access, and to minimize 
commercial disruption.
    There are three time-phased stages in the event of VISA activation. 
VISA Stages I and II provide for pre-negotiated contracts between DOD 
and participants to provide sealift capacity to meet all projected DOD 
contingency requirements. These contracts are executed in accordance 
with approved DOD contracting methodologies. VISA Stage III provides 
for additional capacity to DOD when Stages I and II commitments or 
volunteered capacity are insufficient to meet contingency requirements, 
and adequate shipping services from non-participants are not available 
through established DOD contracting practices or U.S. Government treaty 
agreements.

Exceptions to This Open Season

    The only exception to this open season period for VISA enrollment 
will be for a non-VISA carrier that reflags a vessel into U.S. 
registry. That carrier may submit an application to participate in the 
VISA program at any time upon completion of reflagging.

Advantages of Peacetime Participation

    In return for their VISA commitment, DOD awards peacetime cargo 
contracts to VISA participants on a priority basis. Award of DOD 
cargoes to meet DOD peacetime and contingency requirements is made on 
the basis of the following priorities: U.S.-flag vessel capacity 
operated by VISA participants and U.S.-flag Vessel Sharing Agreement 
(VSA) capacity held by VISA participants; U.S.-flag vessel capacity 
operated by non-participants; Combination U.S.-flag/foreign-flag vessel 
capacity operated by VISA participants, and combination U.S.-flag/
foreign-flag VSA capacity held by VISA participants; Combination U.S.-
flag/foreign-flag vessel capacity operated by non-participants; U.S.-
owned or operated foreign-flag vessel capacity and VSA capacity held by 
VISA participants; U.S.-owned or operated foreign-flag vessel capacity 
and VSA capacity held by non-participants; and Foreign-owned or 
operated foreign-flag vessel capacity of non-participants.

Participation

    Applicants must provide satisfactory evidence that the vessels 
being committed to the VISA program are operational and are intended to 
be operated by the applicant in the carriage of commercial or 
government preference cargoes. Operator is defined as an ocean common 
carrier or contract carrier that owns, controls or manages vessels by 
which ocean transportation is provided. While vessel brokers, freight 
forwarders, and agents play an important role as a conduit to locate 
and secure appropriate vessels for the carriage of DOD cargo, they are 
not eligible to participate in the VISA program due to lack of 
requisite vessel ownership or operation.

Commitment

    Any U.S.-flag vessel operator desiring to receive priority 
consideration for DOD peacetime contracts must commit no less than 50 
percent of its total U.S.-flag militarily useful capacity in Stage III 
of the VISA program. Participants operating vessels in international 
trade may receive top tier consideration in the award of DOD peacetime 
contracts by

[[Page 46502]]

committing the minimum percentages of capacity to all three stages of 
VISA or bottom tier consideration by committing the minimum percentage 
of capacity to only Stage III of VISA. USTRANSCOM and MARAD will 
coordinate to ensure that the amount of sealift assets committed to 
Stages I and II will not have an adverse national economic impact. To 
minimize domestic commercial disruption, participants operating vessels 
exclusively in the domestic Jones Act trades are not required to commit 
the capacity of those U.S. domestic trading vessels to VISA Stages I 
and II. Overall VISA commitment requirements are based on annual 
enrollment.
    In order to protect a U.S.-flag vessel operator's market share 
during contingency activation, VISA allows participants to join with 
other vessel operators in Carrier Coordination Agreements (CCAs) to 
satisfy commercial or DOD requirements. VISA provides a defense against 
antitrust laws in accordance with the DPA. CCAs must be submitted to 
the MARAD for coordination with the Department of Justice for approval, 
before they can be utilized.

Vessel Position Reporting

    If VISA applicants have the capability to track their vessels, they 
must include the tracking system used in their VISA application. Such 
applicants are required to provide MARAD access to their vessel 
tracking systems upon approval of their VISA application. If VISA 
applicants do not have a tracking system, they must indicate this in 
their VISA application. The VISA program requires enrolled ships to 
comply with 46 CFR Part 307, Establishment of Mandatory Position 
Reporting System for Vessels.

Compensation

    In addition to receiving priority in the award of DOD peacetime 
cargo, a participant will receive compensation during contingency 
activation for that capacity activated under Stage I, II and III. The 
amount of compensation will depend on the Stage at which capacity is 
activated. During enrollment, each participant must select a rate 
methodology for compensation. The compensation methodology selection 
will be completed with USTRANSCOM, resulting in prices in contingency 
contracts between USTRANSCOM and the participant.

Security Clearances

    All VISA applicants accepted for VISA participation, not having a 
Facility Security Clearance (FCL), will be required to pursue the 
clearance process with the Defense Security Service (DSS). If the 
accepted applicant does not have a clearance, MARAD will initiate the 
clearance process with DSS. Participants must have a FCL and individual 
security clearances, at a minimum of SECRET level, for key personnel in 
order for them to participate in the VISA Joint Planning Advisory Group 
(JPAG) meetings and to meet VISA contingency contract obligations. One 
of the objectives of the JPAG is to provide the USTRANSCOM, MARAD and 
VISA participants a planning forum to analyze DOD contingency sealift/
intermodal service and resource requirements against industry 
commitments. JPAG meetings are often SECRET classified sessions. 
Eligibility for VISA participation will be terminated if an applicant 
is rejected for a facility clearance or if it fails to progress in a 
timely manner in the clearance process.

Application for VISA Participation

    New applicants may apply to participate by obtaining a VISA 
application package (Form MA-1020 (OMB Approval No. 2133-0532)) from 
the Director, Office of Sealift Support. Form MA-1020 includes 
instructions for completing and submitting the application, blank VISA 
Application forms and a request for information regarding the 
operations and U.S. citizenship of the applicant company. A copy of the 
VISA document as published in the Federal Register on March 24, 2010, 
will also be provided with the package. This information is needed in 
order to assist MARAD in making a determination of the applicant's 
eligibility. An applicant company must provide an affidavit that 
demonstrates that the company is qualified to document a vessel under 
46 U.S.C. Sec.  12103, and that it owns, or bareboat charters and 
controls, oceangoing, militarily useful vessel(s) for purposes of 
committing assets to the VISA program.
    New VISA applicants are required to submit their applications for 
the VISA program as described in this Notice no later than 30 days 
after the date of publication of this Federal Register notice. 
Applicants must provide the following: U.S. citizenship documentation; 
Copy of their Articles of Incorporation and/or By Laws; Copies of 
loadline documents from a recognized classification society to validate 
oceangoing vessel capability; U.S. Coast Guard Certificates of 
Documentation for all vessels in their fleet; Copy of Bareboat 
Charters, if applicable, valid through the period of enrollment, which 
state that the owner will not interfere with the charterer's obligation 
to commit chartered vessel(s) to the VISA program for the duration of 
the charter; and Copy of Time Charters, valid through the period of 
enrollment, for tug services to barge operators, if sufficient tug 
service is not owned or bareboat chartered by the VISA applicant. Barge 
operators must provide evidence to MARAD that tug service of sufficient 
horsepower will be available for all barges enrolled in the VISA 
program.
    Approved VISA participants will be responsible for ensuring that 
information submitted with their application remains up to date beyond 
the approval process. Any changes to VISA commitments must be reported 
to MARAD and USTRANSCOM not later than seven days prior to the change. 
If charter agreements are due to expire, participants must provide 
MARAD with charters that extend the charter duration for another 12 
months or longer.
    Once MARAD has reviewed the application and determined VISA 
eligibility, MARAD will sign the VISA application document which 
completes the eligibility phase of the VISA enrollment process.
    After VISA eligibility is approved by MARAD, approved applicants 
are required to execute a VISA contingency contract with USTRANSCOM. 
The USTRANSCOM VISA contract will specify the following: Participant's 
Stage III commitment, and appropriate Stage I and/or II commitments for 
the period October 1, 2014 through September 30, 2015; Drytime 
Contingency terms and conditions; and Liner Contingency terms and 
conditions, if applicable.
    Execution of the USTRANSCOM VISA contract completes the enrollment 
process and establishes the approved applicant as a VISA Participant. 
The Maritime Administration reserves the right to revalidate all 
eligibility requirements without notice. USTRANSCOM reserves the right 
to revalidate eligibility for VISA priority for DOD business at any 
time without notice.

    Authority: 49 CFR Sections 1.92 and 1.93

    By Order of the Maritime Administrator.

    Dated: August 4, 2014.
Julie P. Agarwal,
Secretary, Maritime Administration.
[FR Doc. 2014-18812 Filed 8-7-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-81-P