The Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration is seeking public input through April 3 on the availability of domestically manufactured components for commercial shipbuilding in the U.S. This information will be used to better assess waiver requests and encourage the use of domestic-made components in this sector.

The Federal Ship Financing Program provides loan guarantees to finance the construction of commercial vessels in U.S. shipyards or shipyard projects. While this statute does not contain any domestic content requirements, as a matter of policy MARAD has adopted a domestic content requirement by regulation. MARAD excludes from the loan amount that it guarantees the costs of foreign components and services used in vessel construction unless it agrees to grant a waiver for these costs. Waiver requests are reviewed based on certifications from the applicant that (1) a foreign item or service is not available in the U.S. on a timely or price-competitive basis, or (2) the domestic item or service is not of sufficient quality. MARAD does not grant waivers for major foreign components of the ship’s hull and superstructure.

As a baseline, MARAD has identified the following categories of ship components it believes are not currently manufactured in the U.S.:

- marine propulsion: energy generating systems, propulsion units, transmission propulsion systems, marine diesel, support systems, fuel service, spares

- navigation systems: interior / exterior communications, surface surveyance, navigation systems (RADAR, GMDSS, ECDIS, INMARSAT), spares

- auxiliary systems: pumps (including waterjet pumps and waterjet thrusters), climate control (HVAC systems), firefighting systems, compressed air systems, ventilation fans, boilers, ship control (steering, rudder, trim/heel, maneuvering, motion control/stabilizers and fins), cranes and elevators, anchoring and mooring systems

- electric plant: electric power generation, power distribution systems (electrical switchboards and switchgear), electric motors, lighting systems, batteries (EV power generation), power generation supports, special purpose systems, spares

- outfitting and furnishings: ship fittings, hull compartmentation (grating, ladders), motion compensation (walkway, accommodation ladder), coatings, living spaces (modular cabins)

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