Prime Contract – Clause I.61


(a) Except as provided in paragraph (e) of this clause, the Cargo Preference Act of 1954 (46 U.S.C. App. 1241(b)) requires that Federal departments and agencies shall transport in privately owned U.S.-flag commercial vessels at least 50 percent of the gross tonnage of equipment, materials, or commodities that may be transported in ocean vessels (computed separately for dry bulk carriers, dry cargo liners, and tankers). Such transportation shall be accomplished when any equipment, materials, or commodities, located within or outside the United States, that may be transported by ocean vessel are –

(1) Acquired for a U.S. Government agency account;

(2) Furnished to, or for the account of, any foreign nation without provision for reimbursement;

(3) Furnished for the account of a foreign nation in connection with which the United States advances funds or credits, or guarantees the convertibility of foreign currencies; or

(4) Acquired with advance of funds, loans, or guaranties made by or on behalf of the United States.

(b) The Contractor shall use privately owned U.S.-flag commercial vessels to ship at least 50 percent of the gross tonnage involved under this contract (computed separately for dry bulk carriers, dry cargo liners, and tankers) whenever shipping any equipment, materials, or commodities under the conditions set forth in paragraph (a) of this clause, to the extent that such vessels are available at rates that are fair and reasonable for privately owned U.S.-flag commercial vessels.


(1) The Contractor shall submit one legible copy of a rated on-board ocean bill of lading for each shipment to both —

(i) The Contracting Officer, and

(ii) The:
Office of Cargo Preference
Maritime Administration (MAR-590)
400 Seventh Street, SW
Washington DC 20590

Subcontractor bills of lading shall be submitted through the Prime Contractor.

(2) The Contractor shall furnish these bill of lading copies (i) within 20 working days of the date of loading for shipments originating in the United States, or (ii) within 30 working days for shipments originating outside the United States. Each bill of lading copy shall contain the following information:

(A) Sponsoring U.S. Government agency.

(B) Name of vessel.

(C) Vessel flag of registry.

(D) Date of loading.

(E) Port of loading.

(F) Port of final discharge.

(G) Description of commodity.

(H) Gross weight in pounds and cubic feet if available.

(I) Total ocean freight revenue in U.S. dollars.

(d) The Contractor shall insert the substance of this clause, including this paragraph (d), in all subcontracts or purchase orders under this contract, except those described in paragraph (e)(4).

(e) The requirement in paragraph (a) does not apply to —

(1) Cargoes carried in vessels as required or authorized by law or treaty;

(2) Ocean transportation between foreign countries of supplies purchased with foreign currencies made available, or derived from funds that are made available, under the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (22 U.S.C. 2353);

(3) Shipments of classified supplies when the classification prohibits the use of non-Government vessels; and

(4) Subcontracts or purchase orders for the acquisition of commercial products or commercial services unless —

(i) This contract is —

(A) A contract or agreement for ocean transportation services; or

(B) A construction contract; or

(ii) The supplies being transported are —

(A) Items the Contractor is reselling or distributing to the Government without adding value. (Generally, the Contractor does not add value to the items when it subcontracts items for f.o.b. destination shipment); or

(B) Shipped in direct support of U.S. military —

(1) Contingency operations;

(2) Exercises; or

(3) Forces deployed in connection with United Nations or North Atlantic Treaty Organization humanitarian or peacekeeping operations.

(f) Guidance regarding fair and reasonable rates for privately owned U.S.-flag commercial vessels may be obtained from the:

Office of Costs and Rates
Maritime Administration
400 Seventh Street, SW
Washington DC 20590
Phone: 202-366-4610