US Customs and Border Protection announced the creation of the National Jones Act Division of Enforcement (JADE) in July 2016, but tough enforcement of the Jones Act proceeded that development. Experts say that JADE’s advent will likely herald an even tougher enforcement environment.
The Jones Act case that was settled earlier this month actually had its beginnings in 2011, when Furie Operating Alaska wanted to transport a Spartan 151 jack-up oil rig from the Gulf of Mexico to upper Cook Inlet, Alaska, for exploration work at its Kitchen Lights gas field. Furie chartered the Chinese heavy-lift vessel Kang Sheng Kou to carry the rig around South America and up to Vancouver, British Columbia. At that point, US-flagged tug boats brought it the remaining distance to Alaska.
Furie’s managers had obtained a Jones Act waiver for the voyage during the George W. Bush administration, but it had expired, and the Department of Homeland Security during the Obama administration refused to renew it. CBP determined that the move violated the Jones Act and fined the company $15 million.
The company sued CBP in 2012 challenging the assessment of the civil penalty. Three weeks ago, Furie agreed to pay $10 million to satisfy the civil penalty originally assessed against it in 2011. It was the largest Jones Act penalty ever assessed…
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