Headlines: influenza notification requirements imposed; multiple piracy issues; bills on Congress on maritime issues; LA/LB ports agreements documents; a warming Arctic; Panama Canal tariff reduction; Canadian environmental enforcement bill; Iraqi Navy
May 1, 2009
Bryant’s Maritime Blog
Note: This blog is one section of the Bryant’s Maritime Consulting website. Visit the site for more extensive maritime regulatory information. Individual concerns may be addressed by retaining Dennis Bryant directly. Much of the highlighted text in this newsletter constitutes links to Internet sites providing more detailed information. Links on this page may be in PDF format, requiring use of Adobe Acrobat Reader. Comments on these postings are encouraged and may be made by clicking the envelope that appears at the end of each posting. Be aware that the daily blog entry is a single posting, even though it contains a number of individual items. Improvements in this blog site, while slow, are due to the assistance of Kim Nettles. She rapidly points me to the improvements. I, with the speed of a glacier, implement them. Please bear with me.
USCG – notification of Influenza A(H1N1) cases on board arriving vessels
Coast Guard Sector Mobile issued a Marine Safety and Security Information Bulletin (MSSB) reminding owners, operators, and masters that the Influenza A(H1N1) [or swine flu] virus is considered a hazardous condition as defined by 33 CFR § 160.204. Any suspected cases of Influenza A(H1N1) aboard vessels entering COTP Zone Mobile must be reported immediately. Vessels required to submit an advance notice of arrival (ANOA) must identify the influenza cases as a hazardous condition in the ANOA. Note: Sector New Orleans issued a similar bulletin. It would be prudent to consider this a nationwide Coast Guard policy and to act accordingly. (4/27/09).
Panama Canal – H1NI swine flu virus notification requirement
The Panama Canal Authority issued an advisory stating that, effective immediately, vessels seeking to transit the Canal must include in their EDCS Ship Due form a declaration stating whether any of the previous ten port calls were in countries identified by the World Health Organization as having outbreaks of the H1N1 Swine Flu virus and whether any person on board is experiencing flu-like symptoms and, if so, what has been the evolution of these symptoms. Advisory 06-2009 (4/30/09).
WHO & CDC – update re Influenza A(H1N1)
The World Health Organization (WHO) issued an update stating that cases of Influenza A(H1N1) [previously referred to as the swine flu] has been confirmed in 257 individuals. There have been eight confirmed deaths caused by the flu. Countries reporting confirmed cases are: the United States-109; Mexico-97; Canada-19; Austria-1; Germany-3; the Netherlands-1; Spain-13; Switzerland-1; the United Kingdom-8; Israel-2; and New Zealand-3. There are numerous suspected, but unconfirmed, cases. Containment is no longer considered possible. Meanwhile, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued an update stating, in part, that a national health emergency has been declared in the United States. (4/30/09).
Singapore – swine flu precautions
The Singapore Maritime and Port Authority (MPA) issued a news release stating that the Singapore Government is taking a variety of steps to reduce the risk posed by the worldwide outbreak of swine flu. Among other things, MPA has deployed thermal scanners at the arrival halls of Singapore’s International Passenger Terminal, the Regional Ferry Terminal, and the Tanah Ferry Terminal. Temperature screening is being done at the West Coast Pier, the Marina South Pier, the Changi Ferry Terminal, and the Changi Point Ferry Terminal. Further details are provided in Port Marine Notice No. 50 of 2009 (4/29/09).
Senate hearing on piracy
The Senate Committee on Foreign Relations conducted a hearing on Confronting Piracy off the Coast of Somalia. Note: Those who saw the testimony of Captain Richard Phillips, master of the Maersk Alabama, were treated to an articulate and thoughtful explanation of the piracy problem and some potential approaches to its resolution. (4/30/09).
Hearings to be held on piracy
The Senate Committee on Armed Services issued a notice stating that, on May 5, it will conduct a hearing regarding ongoing efforts to combat piracy on the high seas. The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science & Transportation issued a notice stating that, on May 5, the Subcommittee on Surface Transportation and Merchant Marine will conduct a hearing on Piracy on the High Seas: Protecting our Ships, Crews, and Passengers. Note: This brings to four the number of Congressional hearings conducted or scheduled in this session of Congress. These hearings provide a clear indication that piracy is no longer an issue of interest only to mariners. Only time will tell how the problem is resolved, but at least it is now a front-burner issue. (4/30/09).
CRS – Piracy off the Horn of Africa
The Congressional Research Service (CRS) issued a 31-page analysis of Piracy off the Horn of Africa. There is little new information in the report, but it does provide an excellent summary of the issue. R40528 (4/21/09).
EU MSC(HOA) – escort provided to cruise ship
The European Union Maritime Security Centre – Horn of Africa [EU MSC(HOA)] issued a news release stating that a Spanish warship operating with EU NAVFOR sailed in company with the cruise ship Melody until it was clear of piracy waters. The Melody had been the object of an unsuccessful piratical attack the previous day. The release also stated that the trials or the first 9 suspected pirates captured by an EU NAVFOR warship earlier this year recently commenced in Mombasa, Kenya. (4/30/09).
Bill introduced re marine mammal rescue assistance
Senator Cantwell (D-WA) introduced the Marine Mammal Rescue Assistance Amendments of 2009 (S. 859) to amend the provisions of law relating to the John H. Prescott Marine Mammal Rescue Assistance Grant Program, and for other purposes. (4/22/09).
Bill introduced to improve port and intermodal supply chain security
Senator Lautenberg (D-NJ) introduced a bill (S. 915) to improve port and intermodal supply chain security. While text of the bill is not yet available, Senator Lautenberg issued a news release summarizing the aims of the legislation. Among other things, it would, if enacted into law, require cargo to be monitored from the moment it is packed into containers abroad until it reaches its destination in the United States. Containers that do not meet the standards would be refused entry. The bill would also set minimum security standards for essential port services, such as supply and launch vessels and bunker and fuel deliveries. (4/28/09).
Bills introduced re marine renewable energy technologies
Senator Murkowski (R-AK) and Representative Inslee (D-WA) introduced companion bills (S. 923 and H.R. 2148 respectively) to promote the development and use of marine renewable energy technologies, and for other purposes. (4/28/09).
Bills introduced to promote secure ferry transportation
Senator Murray (D-WA) and Representative Larsen (D-WA) introduced companion bills (S. 930 and H.R. 2172 respectively) to promote secure ferry transportation and for other purposes. (4/29/09).
FMC – LA/LB Ports Agreements
The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) issued a notice providing links to the various documents relating to the Los Angeles/Long Beach Ports Agreements. All in favor of transparency raise your hands! (4/30/09).
Hearing to be held on global implications of a warming Arctic
The Senate Committee on Foreign Relations issued a notice stating that, on May 5, it will hold a hearing on the Global Implications of a Warming Arctic. (4/30/09).
Hawaii – reports on catamaran casualties
The US Coast Guard issued a press release stating that investigations of two recent catamaran casualties raised questions regarding the adequacy of mast and rigging design, maintenance, surveys, and inspections of commercial sailing vessels operating in Hawaiian waters. Examination of similar vessels revealed discrepancies on some that required correction before the vessels could return to service. (4/30/09).
TSA – TWIC update
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) issued an update to its status report on the implementation of the Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) program. The TWIC Dashboard shows that (as of 30 April) 1,158,765 maritime workers have enrolled for a TWIC and that 957,501 cards have been activated. (4/30/09).
Panama Canal – temporary tariff reduction
The Panama Canal Authority issued an advisory stating that, effective June 1 and continuing through Septembr30, tariffs for transiting vessels will be reduced. Advisory 07-2009 (4/30/09).
Canada – environmental enforcement bill introduced
Environment Canada issued a news release stating that a bill has been introduced in Parliament that would, if enacted into law, increase penalties for pollution offenses and provide agents with new enforcement tools. The Environmental Enforcement Act (C-16) is presently under consideration by the House of Commons. (3/4/09).
Iraqi Navy assumes control of offshore oil terminal
The US Navy issued a news release stating that the Iraqi Navy has assumed responsibility for security of the Khawr Al Amaya Oil Terminal (KAAOT) in the North Arabian Gulf off the coast of Iraq. (4/30/09). The news release neglects to mention that, on April 24, 2004, Coast Guard Petty Officer Nathan Bruckenthal and two US Navy sailors died while intercepting a terrorist-suicide mission attempting to attack the terminal. Coast Guard Petty Officer Joseph Ruggierio and three US Navy sailors were wounded in the unsuccessful attack. (4/30/09).
If you have questions regarding the above items, please contact the editor:
Dennis L. Bryant
Bryant’s Maritime Consulting
4845 SW 91st Way
Gainesville, FL 32608-8135
© Dennis L. Bryant – May 2009