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H.R. 7456 (117th): SHIP IT Act

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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Dec 14, 2022.

Stopping Hindrances to Invigorate Ports and Increase Trade Act or the SHIP IT Act

This bill temporarily waives various requirements and makes other changes to address congestion at U.S. ports.

For example, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration must waive the hours of service limits (i.e., the number of hours a driver may operate a truck or motor carrier in a set period of time) and minimum age requirements that apply to commercial driver's licenses for individuals transporting cargo directly to or from a U.S. port.

Additionally, the Coast Guard may temporarily allow foreign-built, -owned, and -crewed vessels to transport cargo between U.S. ports and engage in certain ship-to-ship transfers of cargo. Current coastwise law, commonly known as the Jones Act, generally requires that vessels transporting cargo domestically be U.S.-built, -owned, and -crewed.

The Department of Defense must (1) inventory its intermodal equipment (e.g., trailers and chassis used to transport shipping containers) to identify equipment available for loan to trucking companies to relieve congestion at U.S. ports, and (2) establish a process to allow trucking companies to request the loan of such equipment.

The Maritime Administration and the Federal Maritime Commission must jointly convene a meeting to discuss the long-term feasibility of, and strategies for, using land or property under the jurisdiction of U.S. inland ports for the storage and transfer of cargo containers.

The Government Accountability Office must submit to Congress a report describing the adoption of technology at U.S. ports as compared to foreign ports.