Trump White House Seeking Public Comment on Which Maritime Regulations to Remove

bulk carrier ballast water
Photo: sunsinger / Shutterstock

The White House’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs is seeking public input on how the federal government can reduce the regulatory burdens imposed on the maritime sector as part of the Trump Administration’s broad plan to deregulate American industries.

The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) posted the public Request for Information (RFI) last week. 

The RFI seeks public comment on how existing federal agency requirements affecting the maritime sector can be modified or repealed in an effort to “increase efficiency, reduce or eliminate unnecessary or unjustified regulatory burdens, or simplify regulatory compliance while continuing to meet statutory missions,” the request states.

The OIRA says the request is consistent with President Trump’s deregulatory agenda, set in motion by Executive Order 13771 signed by President Trump in the early days of his Presidency. 

The RFI seeks public on all matters related to maritime commerce, including but not limited to “(1) Designing, building, acquiring, repairing, or scrapping vessels; (2) operating, manning, or maintaining vessels, port facilities, or shipyards; (3) operating shipping lines, customs brokerage services, shipping and freight forwarding services, or maritime activities related to resource extraction, renewable energy, cable laying, or marine research.”

OIRA says it is particularly interested in learning more about experiences with regulations involving cargo or passenger vessels, but that it welcomes any comment falling under the categories listed.

Federal agencies involved in regulating the U.S. maritime industry include the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC), the Department of Transportation and U.S. Maritime Administration, the Department of Homeland Security, which includes the U.S. Coast Guard, the Department of Defense, the Department of Labor, the Department of Commerce, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Council on Environmental Quality, and the Department of the Interior.

“OIRA seeks information from members of the public on maritime regulations promulgated by agencies of the Federal government. The goal is to identify existing rules that are inefficient, obsolete, unnecessary, redundant, or otherwise not justified. OIRA seeks views from the public on specific rules or information requirements that should be altered, streamlined, or eliminated,” the RFI states.

Comments submitted through the RFI will be used to inform on the development of regulatory reform proposals. You can view the full Request for Information here.