46 CFR § 381.8 - Subsidized vessel participation.
(a) For the purpose of approving subsidized U.S.-flag liner and bulk vessels competing for the carriage of dry bulk preference cargoes, each department or agency having responsibility under the Cargo Preference Act of 1954 (46 U.S.C. 1214(b)), shall evaluate bids received from the operators of such vessels in the manner described in this section.
(b) When a subsidized vessel operator is the apparent low U.S.-flag responsive bidder for a dry bulk preference cargo, the responsible department or agency shall evaluate the subsidized operator's bid by:
(1) Requesting from MARAD an amount for the operating-differential subsidy (ODS) likely to be paid for the carriage of such cargo expressed as a cost per ton for performing the voyage by the apparent low responsive subsidized bidders;
(2) Deriving “augmented bids” for the subsidized operators by adding the ODS amount to each subsidized operator's bid;
(3) Comparing the augmented bids of the subsidized operators and the bids of unsubsidized operators to determine the apparent low responsive bidder;
(4) Requesting from MARAD a fair and reasonable guideline rate for the apparent low responsive bidder which shall be based on MARAD's calculation of anticipated costs (less ODS in the case of a subsidized vessel) for the voyage plus a reasonable amount for profit for the voyage; and
(5) Determining whether the subsidized operator's unaugmented bid or the unsubsidized operator's bid, whichever was determined to be the lowest responsive bid pursuant to paragraph (b)(3) of this section, is at or below the fair and reasonable guideline rate.
(c) If the amount of dry bulk cargo to be shipped is changed at any time prior to award, the department or agency shall request that MARAD provide new ODS amounts applicable to the carriage. The department or agency shall redetermine the augmented bids before determining the lowest responsive bid and requesting from MARAD a revised fair and reasonable guideline rate in accordance with the provisions of paragraph (b) of this section.
(d) Whenever a bid is submitted for a U.S.-flag vessel for the transportation of dry bulk preference cargo, the responsible department or agency shall only approve bids that apply to an individual vessel, and may not accept combined bids submitted for more than one vessel. If two or more vessels are offered, separate bids shall be submitted for each vessel. A bidder may submit a conditional lower bid for each vessel to be effective only if more than one vessel is contracted to carry the cargo.
(e) The requirements of this section shall apply only to those departments or agencies that directly pay or finance all or part of U.S.-flag ocean freight transportation costs for the carriage of dry bulk preference cargoes, in accordance with this part.
(f) The requirements of this section shall not apply to foreign aid consisting of direct cash transfer payments under specific agreements between departments or agencies and the recipient country with respect to the utilization of U.S.-flag vessels for transportation of commodities purchased with such funds.