The Maritime Administration's Ship Sales Program

CED-77-80: Published: May 26, 1977. Publicly Released: May 26, 1977.

Additional Materials:


Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800

There are inconsistencies among the legislation and policies used to govern the vessel sales programs at the Maritime Administration (MARAD), the General Services Administration (GSA), and the Department of Defense (DOD).

Discussions with officials at the three agencies indicated that it is not clear which policies are in the best interest of the government and the American maritime industry. MARAD is authorized to sell surplus vessels from the National Defense Reserve Fleet for scrap or other nontransportation uses and to dispose of all surplus government vessels determined to be merchant type or convertible to merchant type and weighing 1,500 gross tons or more. DOD is authorized to dispose of surplus military vessels that are not merchant class vessels or convertible to merchant class and merchant class vessels under 1,500 tons. GSA is authorized to dispose of surplus government property including naval vessels. Only the laws covering the MARAD sales require that preference be given to U.S. citizens.

Matter for Congressional Consideration

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Matter: The Secretary of Commerce, through the Assistant Secretary for Maritime Affairs, should review MarAd's policy of providing preference to the American shipbreaking industry, and should analyze MarAd's policy for restricting the sales of vessels of less than 1,500 tons, such as tugs, for scrapping or other nontransportation use. Included in this analysis should be an evaluation, together with DOD, of the effect of DOD selling similar vessels without the nontransportation requirement. The Secretary of Commerce should then propose legislation to the Congress to resolve this difference in MarAd's and DOD's legislation.


Explore the full database of GAO's Open Recommendations »

Feb 28, 2018

Jan 30, 2018

Jan 16, 2018

Dec 21, 2017

Dec 14, 2017

Dec 4, 2017

Nov 30, 2017

Nov 15, 2017

Nov 2, 2017

Oct 31, 2017

Looking for more? Browse all our products here