Gunvor Files Jones Act Waiver Request for Gasoline Cargo

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Published Jun 23, 2022 6:42 PM by The Maritime Executive

Swiss oil trading house Gunvor has asked U.S. Customs and Border Protection for a specific waiver to the Jones Act, according to Reuters. The politically sensitive request comes at a time of record high prices for gasoline, and it parallels a call from oil major ExxonMobil for consideration of Jones Act waivers as a policy tool. 

The vessel in question has been identified as the Singapore-flagged BW Egret, and she is reportedly carrying finished blended gasoline loaded in Europe and shipped across the Atlantic. According to Reuters, Gunvor seeks relief from a specific application of the Jones Act to blended fuel oil cargoes. 

The vessel's last port of call was in Amsterdam, according to AIS data provided by Pole Star, and her next intended port of call is in the United States. As of Thursday, BW Egret was waiting at sea to the north of Bermuda, within easy reach of the central Atlantic region. 

Her cargo amounts to 13 million gallons of fuel, which is currently worth about $65 million at the pump in the U.S. market. 

The waiver request drew immediate pushback from the American Maritime Partnership, the industry association for Jones Act carriers. 

"This unjustified Jones Act waiver request by Gunvor would pad the profits of foreign oil traders without delivering meaningful savings at the gas pump for American families. It’s a simple fact that the cost of gasoline is primarily driven by the price of crude oil and the processing of gas, which is spiking," said Ku'uhaku Park, the association's president. "The Jones Act is not a cost driver for increased gas prices, representing less than one cent per gallon of the overall cost of gasoline on average. Waiving the Jones Act outsources U.S. jobs and undermines America’s long-term economic security."