Maritime Cabotage Law

Page 80


The variants of maritime cabotage

The variants of maritime cabotage

We have discussed in some detail that the three forms in which maritime cabotage law is applied in different sovereign states are; protectionist, liberal and flexible approaches. Thus, we have looked at the law of maritime cabotage as the process of government choosing one of the three approaches and applying it in one geographical entity known as the sovereign state. In simple terms, we have viewed maritime cabotage law as a one approach-one country arrangement. Although this is the norm and in most countries, there are exceptions. The geographical characteristics of some countries means that it is not always possible or desirable for the government to adopt one maritime cabotage approach for the country. Hence, a liberal maritime cabotage approach may be applied in some parts of the country while a protectionist cabotage regime is implemented in other parts of the same country. Perhaps we should note that the financial and resource cost of implementing a variant of maritime cabotage law in some sectors of the economy may exceed by far the overall possible economic returns in that country. For instance, a report from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York in 2012 revealed the impact of the Jones Act on island and inland waterways. The report concluded that it costs an estimated $3,063 to ship a 20-foot container from the east coast of the United States to the island of Puerto Rico. The same shipment costs $1,504 to nearby Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic) and $1,687 to Kingston (Jamaica). Similarly, it cost $8,700 to ship a 40-foot container from Los Angeles to Honolulu, while the same shipment from Los Angeles to Shanghai costs only $790.1

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