Voluntary Intermodal Sealift Agreement (Visa)

Intermodal capacity includes dry cargo vessels, equipment, terminals and intermodal management services. Ship operators willing to voluntarily enter into visas simply register their vessel in the program and make it available at DoD`s request. In order to maximize resources and minimize disruptions to U.S. commercial operations, visa can activate its fleet of vessels in three stages, each level being a higher percentage of intermodal capacity commitment (as defined by DoD). Any U.S.-flagged ship operator seeking priority consideration for DOD peace agreements must register 100% of its useful military capabilities and services in the VISA program and commit no less than 50% of its total U.S. flag capacity to Visa Level III. Participants engaged in fishing activities in international trade can achieve a high level of conduct at the time of awarding DOD peace contracts by imposing minimum capacity percentages for the three stages of the VISA or basic animal examination, imposing the minimum capacity percentage only for Phase III of the VISA. USTRANSCOM and MARAD will coordinate to ensure that the amount of seabed engaged in Phases I and II will not have negative national economic effects. In order to minimize domestic trade disruptions, participants operating vessels exclusively in the domestic Market of the Jones Act are not required to require the capacity of these domestic commercial vessels at visa I and II levels. The requirements for the overall VISA requirement are based on annual registration. The VISA program operates on a simple model: a large number of qualified U.S.-flagged commercial vessels agree to voluntarily use their time and intermodal capability during the war in exchange for priority access to DoD cargoes during the peace period. The VISA program provides for the gradual availability of subscriber shipping services/systems through pre-negotiated contracts between the government and participants.

Such agreements are being considered in conjunction with MARAD, U.S. Transportation Command (USTRANSCOM) and peacetime participants to enable efficient and most valued use of whiting`s commercial capabilities, to enable DOD to safely access contingencies and to minimize commercial disruption. The VISA program was implemented in accordance with the amended version (DPA) (50 U.C 4558) of the Defense Production Act of 1950, p. 708. The VISA program was set up to provide voluntary agreements for emergency prevention programmes. According to the AP, voluntary agreements for preparation programs, including the VISA program, expire five (5) years after the effective date. Any U.S.-flagged vessel operator, organized in accordance with the laws of a U.S. state or district of Columbia, capable and willing to make militaryly useful marine bridge facilities and address the associated risks of commercial disruption, may be permitted to participate in the VISA program. All VISA applicants who are authorized to participate in visas but do not have a security guarantee of facilities (FCL) must continue the evacuation process with the Defence Security Service (DSS). If the accepted applicant is not downgraded, MARAD initiates the compensation procedure with DSS. Participants must have an FCL and individual security clearance after CHR. to enable key staff to participate in meetings of the Common Visa Planning Advisory Group (JPAG) and to fulfill the obligations arising from visa quota contracts.