46 CFR § 388.4 - Criteria for grant of a waiver.
(a) General Criteria.
(1) A waiver of the foreign build and/or foreign rebuild prohibition in the coastwise trade laws will be granted for an eligible vessel only if we determine that the employment of the vessel in the coastwise trade will not unduly adversely affect -
(i) United States vessel builders; or
(ii) The coastwise trade business of any person who employs vessels built in the United States in that business.
(2) The determination of “unduly adverse affect” on a coastwise operator or a U.S. vessel builder may not be limited to operators or builders of vessels carrying 12 or fewer passengers.
(3) We may evaluate the expected impact of the proposed waiver on the basis of the information received from all sources, including public comment, internal investigation and analysis, and any other sources of information deemed appropriate.
(b) Impact on U.S. vessel builders. We may use the following criteria to determine the effect on U.S. vessel builders: Whether a potentially affected U.S. vessel builder has a history of construction of similar vessels, or can demonstrate the capability and capacity and the fact it has taken definite steps to offer to build a similar vessel, for use in the same geographic region of the United States, as the proposed vessel of the applicant.
(c) Impact on coastwise trade business. We may use the following criteria to determine the effect on existing operators of U.S.-built vessels in coastwise trade:
(1) Whether the proposed vessel of the applicant and a vessel of an existing operator (or the vessel of an operator that can demonstrate it has taken definite steps to begin operation) would provide similar commercial service and would operate in the same geographic area.
(2) The number of similar vessels operating or proposed to operate in the same market with the same or similar itinerary, relative to the size of the market. For example, a single vessel may have a small impact on a large market.
(d) Advance notice and approval needed for changes. When we approve a waiver application, we will notify the applicant that no substantial change in the employment of the vessel in the coastwise trade may be made without prior notice to MARAD. In general, a substantial change in operating area will require a new waiver application.