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Use of Foreign-Flag Anchor Handling Vessels in the Beaufort Sea or Chukchi Sea Adjacent to Alaska

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Maritime Administration, Department of Transportation.


Notice and request for comments.


As authorized by Public Law 111-281, the Secretary of Transportation, as represented by the Maritime Administration, is authorized to make determinations permitting the use of foreign-flag anchor handling vessels in certain cases (and for a limited period of time) if no U.S.-flag vessels are found to be suitable and reasonably available.

A request for such a determination regarding anchor handling vessels with a minimum ice class A3 has been received by the Maritime Administration. If the Maritime Administration determines that U.S.-flag vessels are not suitable and reasonably available for the proposed service, a determination will be granted allowing for the conditional use of these vessels, within a set timeframe. Those interested in providing the names of suitable and available vessels for the proposed service should refer to the docket number, and identify the U.S.-flag vessels available.


Submit U.S.-flag anchor handling ice class A3 or above vessel nominations on or before January 23, 2012.


U.S.-flag vessel nominations should refer to docket number MARAD-2011-0163. Written nominations may be Start Printed Page 79765submitted by hand or by mail to the Docket Clerk, U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M-30 West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590-0001. You may also send documents electronically via the Internet at All submissions will become part of this docket and will be available for inspection and copying at the above address between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m., E.T., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. An electronic version of this document, and all documents entered into this docket, is available on the World Wide Web at

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Michael Hokana, U.S. Department of Transportation, Maritime Administration, MAR-730 Room W21-304, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590. Telephone (202) 366-0760.

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The Maritime Administration has received a request from an attorney on behalf of a client seeking permission to charter a foreign-flag ice-classed A3 anchor handling vessel adjacent to the coast of Alaska. The foreign-flag anchor handling vessel (TOR VIKING II 9199622) would operate in the Beaufort Sea or Chukchi Sea adjacent to Alaska, under certain conditions, and for a limited period of time. Section 306 of Public Law 111-281 allows the use of foreign-flag vessels in this regard if the Maritime Administration determines that U.S.-flag vessels are not suitable or reasonably available.

The Maritime Administration is posting this notice in the Federal Register providing the public 30 days notice of our intention to provide a determination allowing for the use of a foreign-flag vessel in this regard, if suitable and available U.S.-flag vessels are not otherwise identified. Our determination will be for a period of one year from April 30, 2012 through April 30, 2013, but may be extended based on the demonstration of a binding commitment to acquire U.S.-flag replacement vessels. Foreign-flag anchor handling vessels may not be employed for the setting, relocation or recovery of anchors or other mooring equipment of a mobile offshore drilling unit after December 31, 2017.

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Dated: December 15, 2011.

By order of the Maritime Administrator.

Julie P. Agarwal,

Secretary, Maritime Administration.

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[FR Doc. 2011-32809 Filed 12-21-11; 8:45 am]