To help ease the Hurricane Sandy-induced gas shortage, Governor Cuomo announced that New York would waive the requirements and fees that fuel tankers usually face when bringing in gasoline and other fuel oils, so desperate New Yorkers can get desperately-needed gas or diesel for their cars and generators. Cuomo said, "I don’t like to waive the tax, I don’t want to lose the money, but we do want to accelerate the flow of gasoline."

Cuomo's office explained, "Currently, transporters and distributors must be registered with the State Department of Taxation and Finance," but his executive order (you can read it below) will temporarily suspend the restrictions. The law is the Jones Act, part of the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, which "deals with cabotage (i.e., coastal shipping) and requires that all goods transported by water between U.S. ports be carried in U.S.-flag ships, constructed in the United States, owned by U.S. citizens, and crewed by U.S. citizens and U.S. permanent residents."

New York Harbor is now open.

Below is the text of the Executive Order:

E X E C U T I V E O R D E R

Temporary Suspension of Provisions Relating to Motor Fuel Distribution and Transportation for the State Disaster Emergency

WHEREAS, on October 26, 2012 I issued Executive Order Number 47 declaring a disaster emergency in all 62 counties in the State of New York;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, ANDREW M. CUOMO, Governor of the State of New York, by virtue of the authority vested in me by Section 29-a of Article 2-B of the Executive Law to temporarily suspend specific provisions of any statute, local law, ordinance, orders, rules or regulations, or parts thereof, of any agency during a State disaster emergency, if compliance with such provisions would prevent, hinder or delay action necessary to cope with the disaster, hereby temporarily suspend, for the period from the date of this Executive Order until further notice, the following laws:

Sections 282, 283 and 302 of the Tax Law, to the extent those sections require a person who imports motor fuel or diesel motor fuel to register as a distributor of motor fuel or as a distributor of diesel motor fuel;

Section 283-a of the Tax Law, to the extent it requires a person to register as an importing or exporting transporter;

Sections 285 and 285-a of the Tax Law, to the extent the requirements of these sections apply to motor fuel that is obtained from a person who is not required to be registered as a distributor of motor fuel by reason of this Executive Order;

Section 285-b of the Tax Law, to the extent the requirements of this section apply to diesel motor fuel that is obtained from a person who is not required to be registered as a distributor of diesel motor fuel by reason of this Executive Order;

Sections 286, 286-a, and 286-b of the Tax Law, to the extent the requirements of these sections apply to motor fuel or diesel motor fuel that is transported into or out of the State by a person who by reason of this Executive Order is not required to be registered as a distributor of motor fuel, a distributor of diesel motor fuel, or an importing or exporting transporter; and

Section 1134 of the Tax Law, to the extent that a person who by reason of this Executive Order is not required to register as a distributor of motor fuel or a distributor of diesel motor fuel is required to obtain a certificate of authority.

G I V E N under my hand and the Privy Seal of the State in the City of Albany this first day of November in the year two thousand twelve.

BY THE GOVERNOR
Secretary to the Governor