Carnival Corp., the world’s largest cruise ship operator, plans to payback the U.S. government for costs incurred from rescues of two of its ships, company officials told USNI News on Monday.
The company is in the process of, “voluntarily submitting payment to the U.S. Treasury Department to reimburse the federal government for costs related to the Carnival Triumph and Splendor incidents,” read a Carnival statement provided to USNI News on Monday.
“Although no agencies have requested remuneration, the company has made the decision to voluntarily provide reimbursement to the federal government.”
The announcement from Carnival follows a terse back-and-forth letter exchange between the company and the chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, Sen. Jay, Rockefeller (D-W.Va.)
A March, 14 letter from Rockefeller called for the company to pay back the Navy and Coast Guard for assistance in the February rescue of Triumph and the 2010 response following an engine fire onboard Splendor. The total of the Splendor response came to $1.54 million for the Coast Guard and $1.88 million for the Navy, according to Rockefeller’s letter. The Coast Guard incurred a $780,000 cost for the Triumph rescue.
“I’m glad to see that Carnival owned up to the bare minimum of corporate responsibility by reimbursing federal taxpayers for these two incidents,” Rockefeller said in a Monday statement provided to USNI News.
“I am still committed to making sure the cruise industry as a whole pays its fair share in taxes, complies with strict safety standards, and holds the safety of its passengers above profits.”
In the March letter, Rockefeller justified the call for reimbursement after accusing Carnival of paying little or no U.S. taxes.
Carnival had a net income of $1.3 billion in 2012 from a total revenue of $15.3 billion, according to the company’s 2012 annual report to shareholders.