Commercial Use Authorizations

Per 36 CFR (Code of Federal Regulations) 5.3, engaging in or soliciting any business in park areas, except in accordance with the provisions of a permit, contract, or other written agreement with the United States, except as such may be specifically authorized under special regulations applicable to a park area is prohibited.

Independence National Historical Park requires a Commercial Use Authorization or CUA for all tour companies who operate within the boundaries of the park. 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. The responsibility for obtaining a CUA will fall on the company that packaged, priced and sold the tour, not necessarily the individual tour guide. Individual tour guides employed by a tour company who holds a CUA with the park will be required to display an ID on their person while operating within the park. Much like a fishing license, when displayed properly, this ID will be visible to park law enforcement and will minimize the need for disruption to the guide’s program. The CUA will confer no other rights or privileges other than the ability to conduct commercial tour operations within the park. Commercial tour guides will still be prohibited from conducting interpretive programming inside park buildings.

Additionally, Public Law 105-391 Section 418, passed in 1998, provides the park the authority to issue CUAs to allow business operations and requires the National Park Service to collect a reasonable fee for CUA administration and management. Independence National Historical Park will assess fees according to the following draft schedule beginning with CUA renewals in January of 2020.

Number of visitors served per year Annual Monitoring Fee
Up to 300 No fee assessed
300 – 5,000 $1,000.00
5,000 – 20,000 $3,000.00
Over 20,000 $5,000.00


For specific questions relating to obtaining a CUA please email INDE_CUA@nps.gov.

This requirement applies to local, national and international tour companies who operate within Independence National Historical Park and every effort will be made to enforce this regulation fairly and equally. We appreciate your continued visits to Independence National Historical Park and thank you for including us in your travel and tour packages.

It is time to begin the process of renewing CUAs for 2020. Please note: There are two forms to submit this year, the standard CUA application and the NPS CUA Annual Report Form. The additional management fee will be assessed from the information given in the Annual Report.

Applicants should complete, sign and return the application (same as last year) and also complete sign and return the Annual Report Form (new for this year) and mail both documents, along with a certificate of insurance in the amount of $500,000.00, and a check for the $300 processing fee, plus the additional management/monitoring fee based off the number of clients you listed on question number 3 of the form. Both fees can be combined into the same check. Check should be made out to Independence National Historical Park.

The complete renewal package should include the completed signed application, the completed sign annual report form, the certificate of insurance and the check and should be mailed or fed ex'd to:

Special Use Office
Independence National Historical Park
143 South Third Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106

Your CUA renewal package should be received by December 14th, 2019. The new badges will be in effect on January 1st., 2020. We will be switching the color of the badges for 2020 in order for park staff to distinguish between 2019 and 2020 badges.

Thank you for choosing to conduct your business here at Independence National Historical Park. We look forward to a successful and prosperous 2020 for all our CUA holders.

Commercial Use Authorization Application
Annual Reporting Form

Last updated: February 25, 2020

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

143 S. 3rd Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106

Phone:

(215) 965-2305

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