Headlines: CBP – proposal to modify coastwise transportation policy; CBP – residual chemicals within shipping containers; CBP – assessment of damages for “10+2” violations; DOD – private security contractors; Panama Canal – consortium selected to design and build new locks; Panama Canal – temporary reduction in transit booking slots; COAC meeting; MACOSH meeting; Mississippi River Commission meetings; Bill introduced to limit foreign investments; UK Department for Transport Annual Report; EU MSC-HOA coordination and cooperation with CMF; and Port Valdez – boaters fined for violating security zones.
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CBP – proposal to modify coastwise transportation policy
The US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) issued a proposed modification of its long-standing policy regarding application of the Jones Act to transportation of certain merchandise and equipment between US coastwise points. CBP proposes to modify its position regarding which merchandise may be transported between coastwise points without violating the Jones Act, strictly enforcing that statute. In addition, the agency proposes to modify its position regarding how it determines what constitutes “vessel equipment”. The proposed policy would limit “vessel equipment” to articles necessary and appropriate for the navigation, operation, or maintenance of the vessel itself and the safety and comfort of persons on board, as opposed to being necessary and appropriate for a vessel to engage in a particular activity. Comments on this proposal must be submitted by August 16. (7/17/09).
CBP – residual chemicals within shipping containers
The US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) issued a General Notice stating that, effective for shipping containers arriving in the United States on or after August 16, chemical residue within the container must be classified, entered, and manifested. This constitutes a change from long-standing policy that allowed such containers to be entered as empty. (7/17/09).
CBP – assessment of damages for “10+2” violations
The US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) issued guidelines for the assessment and cancellation of claims for liquidated damages for failure to comply with the vessel stow plan, container status message, and importer security filing requirements. The advance trade data regulations (commonly referred to as the “10+2” rule) requires importers to file ten data elements with CBP and requires carriers to file two data elements with CBP. These new guidelines, which come into effect immediately, provide for the assessment and (possible) cancellation of damages by CBP against importers and carriers for failure to provide the required advance electronic information to CBP within the time period and manner prescribed by the regulations or for providing inaccurate or invalid information. CBP Dec. 09-26 (7/17/09).
DOD – private security contractors
The Department of Defense issued an interim final rule establishing policy and assigning responsibilities, and providing procedures for the regulation of the selection, accountability, training, equipping, and conduct of personnel providing private security functions under a covered contract during contingency operations. Comments on the interim rule should be submitted by August 31. 74 Fed. Reg. 34690 (July 17, 2009). Note: This rulemaking has little, if any direct applicability to the maritime industry, but is of interest due to increased use of private security contractors to protect ships from the threat of piracy and armed robbery against ships. Standards against which these contractors may be evaluated remain a work in progress. Promulgation of these procedures by the DOD may influence the process.
Panama Canal – consortium selected to design and build new locks
The Panama Canal Authority issued a press release stating that it selected the consortium Grupo Unidos por el Canal to design and build the new set of locks for the Canal Expansion Project. The base price submitted by the consortium was $3,118,880,001.00. The order to proceed should be issued shortly. (7/15/09).
Panama Canal – temporary reduction in transit booking slots
The Panama Canal Authority issued an advisory stating that, from 0001 hours, July 20 through 2359 hours, July 23, transit reservation system Condition 2 will be in effect, reducing the number of available transit booking slots. This decrease is necessary because the east lane of Pedro Miguel Locks will be out of service for dry chamber work. Advisory 12-2009 (7/13/09).
COAC – meeting
The Advisory Committee on Commercial Operations of Customs and Border Protection (COAC), sponsored by the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP), will meet in Washington, DC on August 5. Topics on the agenda include trade facilitation, import safety initiatives, importer security filing (“10+2”), and automation. 74 Fed. Reg. 34770 (July 17, 2009).
MACOSH – meeting
The Maritime Advisory Committee for Occupational Safety and Health (MACOSH) and its shipyard and longshore workgroups, sponsored by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), will meet in Newport News on September 1 and 2. 74 Fed. Reg. 34795 (July 17, 2009).
Mississippi River Commission – meetings
The Mississippi River Commission will conduct public meetings in St. Louis, Missouri (August 14) and Tiptonville, Tennessee (August 17). Topics on the agenda include national and regional issues affecting the US Army Corps of Engineers and Commission programs and projects on the Mississippi River and its tributaries. 74 Fed. Reg. 34802 (July 17, 2009).
Bill introduced to limit foreign investments
Representative Turner (R-OH) introduced the Reciprocity and Fairness in Foreign Investment Act (H.R. 3196) to impose limitations on investment and certain operations by foreign entities in the United States. If enacted into law, the bill would, among other things, prohibit a foreign person from acquiring an interest in US critical infrastructure (such as a port facility) unless a US person could acquire a similar interest in the critical infrastructure of the other country. (7/14/09).
UK – Department for Transport Annual Report
The UK Department for Transport released its Annual Report and Resource Accounts 2008-09. It explains how the Department has spent its money and what it plans to do in the future. (7/16/09).
EU MSC-HOA – cooperation and coordination with CMF
The European Union Maritime Security Centre – Horn of Africa (MSC-HOA) issued a press release discussing the cooperation and coordination in counter-piracy operations in waters off the Horn of Africa between the EU NAVFOR and the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) established as part of Operation Enduring Freedom. (7/16/09).
Port Valdez – boaters fined for violating security zone
The US Coast Guard issued a news release stating that it assessed civil penalties of up to $1,000 against recreational boaters who violated security zones in Port Valdez, Alaska. (7/15/09).
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 – July 2009