Voluntary Intermodal Sealift Agreement Open Season
The Maritime Administration (MARAD) announces that the open season for Fiscal Year 2017 applications for participation in the Voluntary Intermodal Sealift Agreement (VISA) program will run for 30 days beginning today and ending August 29, 2016. 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, 2016, through September 30, 2017. 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 access to 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 carriage of peacetime cargos.