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U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

Eligibility for Conveyance

An aerial view of a port.

To acquire surplus Federal real and related personal property at public benefit discount for port uses, an applicant must be both organizationally eligible and programmatically eligible.

Organizational Eligibility

The following entities, or any political subdivision, municipality, or instrumentality thereof, are eligible to apply for property via the Port Public Benefit Conveyance Program: 

  • any U.S. state,
  • the District of Columbia,
  • the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico,
  • Guam,
  • American Samoa,
  • the Virgin Islands,
  • the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, or
  • the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands

Native American tribes may not acquire excess real property directly by Federal agency transfer from the military department.  Native American tribes must make their requests known through the Bureau of Indian Affairs, within the Department of the Interior. 

Eligible applicants will be required to demonstrate they have authority to conduct the proposed program. In addition, the eligible applicant must demonstrate that it is legally authorized to hold titles to real property.

Programmatic Eligibility/Definition: Port Facility

In accordance with 46 CFR § 387.1, the applicant must use the property for “development or operation of a port facility.” The term “port facility” (for the purposes of the Port Conveyance Program) is listed in 46 CFR § 387.2. A port facility is defined as:

…any structure and improved property, including services connected therewith, whether located on the waterfront or inland, which is used or intended for use in developing, transferring, or assisting maritime commerce and water dependent industries, including, but not limited to, piers, wharves, yards, docks, berths, aprons, equipment used to load and discharge cargo and passengers from vessels, dry and cold storage spaces, terminal and warehouse buildings, bulk and liquid storage terminals, tank farms, multimodal transfer terminals, transshipment and receiving stations, marinas, foreign trade zones, shipyards, industrial property, fishing and aquaculture structures, mixed use waterfront complexes, connecting channels and port landside transportation access routes.

The definition of the term port facility offers operating flexibility to the applicant. A Port Facility Redevelopment Plan must involve the development or operation of port facilities but may, if approved by the Maritime Administration, include a blend of commercial enterprises so long as 1) auxiliary activities produce an income stream which is used for development and operation of the port facility and 2) the auxiliary activities do not interfere with the port facility operation and expansion identified in the Port Facility Redevelopment Plan.


For details about Port Conveyance, contact the Office of Deepwater Port Licensing & Port Conveyance.