United States Agencies Regulating Maritime Law 

Maritime laws, regulations, procedures, and standards are applied by United States Regulatory Agencies:

  1. United States Federal Maritime Commission: United States Federal Maritime Commission regulates ocean shipping practices, including common carrier tariffs and agreements, freight forwarders and non-vessel operation common carrier (NVOCC) licensing and bonding, marine terminal operators, and practices in restraint of maritime trade.
  2. United States Coast Guard: United States Coast Guard regulates ship safety, ship construction and inspection standards, ship operations, mariner credentials (The Merchant Mariner Credential show United States mariner’s qualifications that is in accordance with guidelines of the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW), and ship documentation. United States Coast Guard also regulates waterfront facilities, port and ship safety, maritime environmental matters, maritime casualty matters, and enforces PSC (Port State Control) requirements on foreign-flag ships that call in United States ports. Furthermore, United States Coast Guard also provides the lead representatives to the International Maritime Organization and its committees.
  3. United States Customs and Border Protection: United States Customs and Border Protection regulates imports, exports, and immigration matters, including the enforcement of the Jones Act (cabotage) in the United States and the entry of ships and seafarers into the United States.
  4. United States Maritime Administration: United States Maritime Administration regulates the commercial aspects of the United States merchant marine, including shipping on behalf of the United States, cargo preference laws, maritime subsidies, the repatriation of seamen, and ship transfer restrictions.
  5. United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration: United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration regulates maritime worker safety matters except when preempted by United States Coast Guard
  6. United States Environmental Protection Agency: United States Environmental Protection Agency shares responsibility with United States Coast Guard for enforcing laws against sea, river, water and air pollution. United States Environmental Protection Agency regulates air emissions from all kinds of ships in United States waters.
  7. United States National Marine Fisheries Service: United States National Marine Fisheries Service regulates fisheries and operations of commercial fishing ships.
  8. United States Army Corps of Engineers: United States Army Corps of Engineers is responsible for regulating locks, dams and other navigational matters.
  9. United States Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement: United States Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement regulates the development of mineral resources on the outer continental shelf.