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Maritime Administration

Who is MARAD?

The Maritime Administration is the agency within the U.S. Department of Transportation dealing with waterborne transportation. Its programs promote the use of waterborne transportation and its seamless integration with other segments of the transportation system, and the viability of the U.S. merchant marine. The Maritime Administration works in many areas involving ships and shipping, shipbuilding, port operations, vessel operations, national security, environment, and safety. The Maritime Administration is also charged with maintaining the health of the merchant marine, since commercial mariners, vessels, and intermodal facilities are vital for supporting national security, and so the agency provides support and information for current mariners, extensive support for educating future mariners, and programs to educate America’s young people about the vital role the maritime industry plays in the lives of all Americans.

The Maritime Administration also maintains a fleet of cargo ships in reserve to provide surge sea-lift during war and national emergencies, and is responsible for disposing of ships in that fleet, as well as other non-combatant Government ships, as they become obsolete.

What Does MARAD Do?

Foster and promote the U.S. Merchant Marine and the American maritime industry to strengthen the maritime transportation system — including landside infrastructure, the shipbuilding and repair industry, and labor — to meet the economic and national security needs of our Nation.

Safety Programs

From 1967 to 2003 the United States Coast Guard belonged to DOT and was the maritime safety program under MARAD. However, on 25 February 2003, the USCG became part of the Department of Homeland Security where marine safety and enforcement is still part of their function.

Office of Safety

The Office of Safety (OS) is one of three Offices that report to the Associate Administrator for Environment and Compliance.

It is the mission and responsibility of this office to develop, coordinate and oversee Agency matters related to maritime industry safety and maritime safety compliance.

This office promotes and encourages the development and application of best management practices, procedures and technologies that reflect state-of-the-art improvements in maritime safety. This office also assists in developing national and international standards designed to enhance the efficiency and safety of the maritime industry. In turn, these initiatives contribute to an improved, integrated, national transportation system that is safe, secure and environmentally friendly.