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January 30, 2022

Cabotage / ˈbalēˌho͞o / noun

Definition: Cabotage is a term created by the French that relates to maritime and trade laws. It involves the movement of people or products from one area of a country to another.

The law protects coastal trade routes from illegal transport by outside vendors and couriers. It requires people to request permission from a country’s local maritime authority to use designated trade routes within a country.

The French originally designed cabotage to cover coastal trade routes only. Today, cabotage provides blanket legal permissions for vendors and couriers to transport goods and people via aviation, rail, and roadways, port-to-port.

In the US, cabotage is granted under Maritime Law or The Jones Act.

Etymology: Originally used as caboter, The French created the term in the 16th century to protect trade routes within the country of France. Since its inception, America and other nations began using the term and adopted cabotage in the early 1800s.

In a Sentence

The coast guard patrols the waters to enforce cabotage law.

Cabotage applies to the transport of goods and people by land, air, and sea.

Almost every country has its own version of cabotage maritime rules and regulations.


Seafaring, Sailing, Navigation


Wrongness, Improper, Inaccurate


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