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September 6, 2014 / englandponticellostclair

An Overview of the Jones Act

England Ponticello & St. Clair is a Southern California law firm that has provided employers with workers’ compensation services for more than three decades. In addition to being well-versed in various areas of employment legislation, England Ponticello & St. Clair has worked on litigation involving the Jones Act.

The Jones Act, also known as the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, is a law used to determine which ships within the United States are legally permitted to participate in coastal trade. The act further details how these ships should conduct themselves while operating as U.S. trade ships. The Jones Act also bars foreign-built and foreign-flagged ships from taking part in coast-wise trade within American waters.

A number of additional laws work in connection with the Jones Act. The Passenger Services Act, for example, details how passenger vessels must function in relation to coast-wise trade. The definition of what constitutes a passenger has come into conflict over the years, though any person who is not a member of the ship’s crew or otherwise engaged in on-ship business is generally termed a passenger. The legal definition of tradeable merchandise, meanwhile, has extended to include any item of commercial value.


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