In compliance with federal law, Fort Pulaski National Monument is instituting a commercial use authorization program. As of January 1, 2019, all businesses who provide commercial services within the park must obtain a Commercial Use Authorization (CUA).
What is a CUA?A commercial use authorization (CUA) allows an individual, group, company, or other for-profit entity to conduct commercial activities and provide specific visitor services within a national park unit. The National Park Service (NPS) issues CUAs to manage a wide-range of commercial visitor services in addition to road-based commercial tours.
Federal law mandates the NPS issue CUAs only for commercial activities and visitor services that:
Why does NPS require CUAs?The requirement is in 36 CFR 5.3 - It is illegal to conduct business in a park area without a permit, contract, or other written agreement. Additionally, Public Law 105-391 Section 418, passed in 1998, provides NPS the authority to issue CUAs to allow business operations and requires NPS to collect a reasonable fee for CUA administration and management.
Do I need a CUA?You may not conduct commercial activities in Fort Pulaski National Monument without a valid CUA.
A CUA is required if you provide any goods, activities, services, agreements, or other function for members, clients, or the public that:
How do I apply for a CUA?Early planning helps ensure you have a CUA in-hand before you start commercially operating. To receive a CUA, businesses must submit a commercial use authorization application (NPS Form 10-550) filled out in its entirety, a copy of liability insurance, and the application fee.
The CUA must provide commercial liability insurance against claims arising out of or resulting from the acts or omissions of the CUA operator or the CUA operator's employees, agents, or contractors, in carrying out the activities and operations required and/or authorized under the CUA. Fort Pulaski National Monument must receive verification of general liability (and transportation insurance, if applicable) coverage before a CUA can be issued and the coverage must be maintained as current during the term of the authorization.
The park will process the application materials as quickly as possible. Processing time for CUA permits can take four or more weeks depending on the time of year so please plan accordingly. All applications will be processed in the order in which they are received. Please submit all required documents in one application packet. Any incomplete applications will be placed on hold until all required documents are received.
Once an authorization is approved, the business must make arrangements to schedule each visit in advance. Each visit will require the prior payment of associated site visit fees as well as permit conditions that must be signed off on by the responsible party of the business. In order for all visitors to have the best experience possible, permit restrictions will be enforced. Businesses and individuals may not conduct commercial activities in the park without a valid CUA or in a manner inconsistent with the terms of the CUA. All CUA management fees stay within Fort Pulaski National Monument and are used to recover day-to-day management and monitoring costs and to fund visitor experience improvement projects.
What fees do I need to pay?
Application FeeSee Road-based Commercial Tour CUA Information section (below) for road-based commercial tour CUA application fee information.
You are required to pay a nonrefundable application fee each time you submit an application. The application fee amount is currently determined by each park, with the exception of application fees for road-based commercial tour CUAs (see below). This fee allows the park to recover costs associated with processing and approving or denying your CUA application.
Management FeeSee Road-based Commercial Tour CUA Information section (below) for road-based commercial tour CUA management fee information.
In addition to the application fee, you must pay a management fee that allows the park to recover costs associated with managing CUAs. This fee varies because each CUA type requires a different degree of management and monitoring. Contact the CUA Coordinator to find out more about required management fees.
Market Price FeeThis Market Price Fee section does not apply to road-based commercial tour operators.
Since 2015, parks can charge a market price fee in order to recover all costs associated with the administration and management of the CUA program. You still pay the application fee when you submit your application, but this amount is credited back to you when you pay the market price fee at the end of the operating season. In other words, the market price fee covers both the application fee and management fee previously described.
The market price fee is based on a percentage of your revenue earned from in-park or park-based operations. You are required to report this information each year when you submit the mandatory annual report (see below). The market price fee is based on the following:
What am I responsible for after I get a CUA?Failure to submit required reports or misrepresentation of reported statistics or earning will result in denial of your next CUA application.
As a condition of the CUA, all CUA holders in the NPS are required to complete the annual CUA report (NPS Form 10-660). The form includes questions about visitor use statistics, reportable injury data, and gross receipts earned from operations at Fort Pulaski National Monument. The information requested and collected by the annual CUA report is Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approved. The annual CUA report is due early in the calendar year for the preceding operating year (e.g., report for 2018 will be due in early 2019).
As new requirements are implemented, notifications will be e-mailed to existing CUA holders. They will also be posted here. We appreciate your adherence to and cooperation with all current and upcoming CUA requirements.
Road-based Commercial Tour CUA Information
Fort Pulaski National Monument has standardized its road-based commercial tour CUA requirements and fees.
What is included in the standard process?The standard process effects road-based commercial tour operations occurring after December 31, 2018. After that date, road-based commercial tour operators are required to:
How does the National Park Service define a road-based commercial tour operator?We define road-based commercial tours as one or more persons traveling by vehicle on an improved roadway on an itinerary that a company or individual has packaged and priced for leisure/recreational purposes. Road-based commercial tours generally provide no other visitor services except those incidental to road-based travel in an NPS unit (on-board interpretation and information, and incidental stops at visitor centers, wayside exhibits, etc.). At the discretion of the park superintendent, however, road-based commercial tour CUAs may cover minor additional services such as guided day hiking.
Transportation-only services such as taxis, shuttles, and chartered motorcoach companies do not meet the definition of road-based commercial tours if those services are not prepackaged. Parks may issue these transportation-only providers a road-based transportation CUA if the park superintendent decides managing the use is necessary for preservation and proper management of park resources and values.
Who needs to acquire the road-based commercial tour CUA — the tour operator or the chartered motorcoach company?
The responsibility for obtaining a road-based commercial tour CUA will fall on the company that packaged, priced, and sold the tour. A chartered motorcoach company does not need a road-based commercial tour CUA if the tour company paying for charter service determines the origin, destination, and scheduling of the trip. A charter company advertising tours to national parks, however, meets the definition of road-based commercial tour and must have a road-based commercial tour CUA.
Last updated: February 6, 2022