The U.S. Great Lakes Shipping Association represents vessel agents in U.S. Great Lakes Ports. We advocate for the safe, reliable and efficient navigation of commercial vessels through the St. Lawrence Seaway Great Lakes System.

Please check this page for policy papers and press releases regarding Great Lakes maritime issues.

Thank you.

USGLSA Objectives

USGLSA Membership adopted a statement of areas where Association activities will be focused as follows:

  • Water discharge and air emissions legislation and regulatory developments
  • Economic development of port and harbor facilities including dredging and disposal
  • Advocacy with regard navigation, pilotage, cargo, inspections, cyber security and to other issues which may affect our vessel operator customers in providing an economic, safe and efficient service in the Great Lakes/St. Lawrence Seaway System.

Position as to control and/or elimination of Aquatic Invasive Species (“AIS”) in the Great Lakes/St. Lawrence Seaway.

The Association will be available to advise and help guide vessel operator customers in complying with all applicable laws and regulations.

The Association is of the belief that existing rules and procedures currently being applied by the joint US/Canadian authorities through mandatory flushing and ballast water exchange, coupled with testing for salinity prior to entry into the System is effectively preventing the future introduction of AIS in ballast tanks by vessels arriving from other global locations.

As such, the concentration of regulatory activity should be directed toward reasonable strategies which will provide for the control of the spread of AIS already within the Lakes and from other vectors. Such policy should include all vessels and types of users of the Lakes, not just non-US flag commercial vessels, but all commercial vessels regardless of size or flag and to include recreational boaters, the fishing industry and other activities which may affect the Lakes water quality.

Any established standards should be coordinated to existing technology which is also reasonable as to cost and installation. To the extent such technology is not available within those parameters, Best Management Practices, which are established standards, should be observed.

USGLSA Assists in Founding of Green Marine

The United States Great Lakes Shipping Association participated in the formation of Green Marine and continues to actively participate in the promotion of the organization’s policies and programs.

Green Marine’s main goals are, through measurable means, to:

  • Strengthen Environmental Performance through a process of continuous improvement
  • Build strong relations with North American Waterway stakeholders
  • Heighten understanding of the industry’s activities and environmental benefits

Green Marine’s organization has grown to 149 operators/participants in North America from an initial alliance of U.S. and Canadian Great Lakes/St. Lawrence Seaway Marine Associations:

  • American Great Lakes Ports Association
  • Canadian Shipowners Association
  • Chamber of Marine Commerce
  • Ontario Marine Transportation Forum
  • Shipping Federation of Canada
  • St. Lawrence Economic Development Council (SODES)
  • St. Lawrence Shipowners
  • United States Great Lakes Shipping Association

Membership is available in several membership categories to shipping companies, ports, terminals, stevedoring companies, shipyards, agents, shippers, environmental organizations, government agencies and communities.

Specific Issues concerning Green Marine activities consist of:

  • Aquatic Invasive Species
  • Pollutant Air Emissions (SOx and NOx)
  • Greenhouse gasses
  • Cargo Residue
  • Oily Waters
  • Conflicts of use in Ports and terminals (noise, odors, dust, lights)

To learn more about Green Marine:

Phone: (418) 649-6004

USGLSA Endorses NAMO principles

As a member of the National Association of Maritime Organizations (NAMO), USGLSA endorse the publication of NAMO’s white paper setting forth policy and principles for the organization which is as follows:

The National Association of Maritime Organizations (NAMO) is a non-profit association comprised of Maritime Associations and Exchanges from seaports throughout the United States. In turn, these transportation industry organizations represent over 4,000 members in U.S. seaports. Established in 1991 to focus attention on the needs of vessel agents, owners/operators, and others concerned with the safety and efficiency of vessel and cargo operations, NAMO represents its members on a variety of matters affecting foreign or domestic waterborne commerce.

NAMO’s focus is on operational issues affecting the viability of maritime commerce, and its mission is to protect the climate for international shipping in the U.S. Members are engaged with their respective Congressional Delegations as well as the myriad administration and regulatory agencies.

Following is a list of some of the issues of concern to NAMO and its members:

  • Cyber Security (USCG)
  • Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund
  • Dredging
  • Federal Government Automation (CBP, Coast Guard, etc)
  • Single window reporting
  • Safety & Security
  • Port Security Grants
  • Transportation Worker Identification Credential (PORTS)
  • Physical Oceanographic Real-Time System (PORTS)
  • Mapping & Charting
  • Ballast Water
  • Clean Air/Water legislation & regulations (e.g. Vessel General Permit)

NAMO Members:

    • Association of Ship Brokers & Agents (USA) Inc.
    • Columbia River Steamship Operators Association
    • Connecticut Maritime Association
    • Louisiana Maritime Association
    • Maritime Exchange of Puget Sound
    • Maritime Association of the Port of New York/New Jersey
    • Maritime Exchange for the Delaware River and Bay
    • U.S. Great Lakes Shipping Association
    • Virginia Maritime Association
    • West Gulf Maritime Association
    • International Propeller Club of the United States



    The U.S. Great Lakes Shipping Association is made up of steamship agents whose clients may or do compete directly and indirectly in various segments of the U.S. and International Shipping Industry. It is the Association’s policy to comply fully and strictly with both federal and state antitrust laws.

    The Association’s policy is motivated by a firm respect and belief in the antitrust laws and the free market philosophy underlying these laws, as well as by recognition of the potentially severe detri-mental consequences of antitrust violations. Our aim is to conduct ourselves in such a way as to avoid any potential for antitrust exposure in the first instance.

    Full compliance with the antitrust laws is a requirement to participate in the Association, and responsibility for compliance rests with each participant. Under the Noerr-Pennington doctrine, joint action by trade associations or groups of competitors to influence government policy generally does not violate the antitrust laws; these activities are protected under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. This doctrine covers legislative activ-ity, litigation in the courts, and proceedings before administrative bodies.

    However, “sham” lobbying or petitioning of the government for standards or other actions that exclude competitors may be illegal under the antitrust laws. The Noerr-Pennington doctrine also does not cover conduct that is fraudulent, attempts to harass or interfere with the business relation-ships of a competitor, or is an abuse of the regulatory process.

    In order to comply with the antitrust laws, competitors should not discuss certain subjects when they are together—either at formal meetings or in informal contacts with other industry members. Topics to avoid include: prices, price trends, timing of price changes, costs of common inputs, margins, terms of sale, discounts and rebates, promotional programs, inventory levels, production levels, capacities, new projects, and the like. Further, with rare exceptions that should be made only upon the advice of counsel, prohibited topics include:

      • Fixing or setting prices for selling products or services to customers
      • Allocating geographic markets or customers between or among competitors
      • Bid rigging, bid rotation, or otherwise distorting the bid process
      • Boycotting customers or suppliers. Boycotting occurs when competitors agree with or pressure each other not to deal with others
      • Agreeing upon levels of production or output
      • Conspiring to exclude competitors or customers from the market; and
      • Discussing specific sales or marketing plans or any company’s individual confidential strategies.

    Members have an obligation to terminate any discussion, seek legal counsel’s advice, or, if neces-sary, terminate any meeting if the discussion might be construed to raise any antitrust risks.

    Summary of Antitrust Dos and Don’ts

    The intent of this summary is not to make you an expert in antitrust law, but to give you enough information about the law so you will know a dangerous area when you see it. The following are some of the most critical “Dos and Don’ts” for antitrust compliance:


    • DON’T discuss prices, fees, rates, or features that can impact (raise, lower, stabilize) discounts, costs, salaries, terms of sale, warranties, or profit margins.
    • DON’T share data concerning fees, prices, production, sales, bids, costs, salaries, customer credit, or other business practices unless the exchange is made pursuant to a well-considered plan that has been approved by the Association’s and each Association member’s legal counsel.
    • DON’T agree with competitors on uniform terms of sale, warranties, or contract terms.
    • DON’T agree with competitors as to restrictions on production or other output.
    • DON’T agree with competitors to divide customers, markets, or territories.
    • DON’T agree with competitors not to deal with certain suppliers, customers, or others.
    • DON’T try to prevent a supplier from selling to your competitor(s).
    • DON’T discuss your customers with your competitors.
    • DON’T agree to any association membership restrictions, standard-setting, certification, accreditation, or self-regulation programs without consultation and approval by the Asso¬ciation’s and each member’s legal counsel.Dos:
    • DO insist that Association meetings have agendas that are circulated in advance, and that minutes of all meetings properly reflect the actions taken at the meeting.
    • DO leave any meeting (formal or informal) where improper subjects are being or will be discussed. Tell everyone why you are leaving.
    • DO ensure that only Association staff sends out all written and electronic correspondence on behalf of the Association and that individual officers, directors, Association members, or other members do not hold themselves out as speaking or acting with the authority of Association unless they do, in fact, have such authority.