Headlines: UK MCA – MSC Napoli salvage operation completed; IMO – implementation of MARPOL Annex IV by United States; IMO – piracy reports – May & June 2009; IMO – AIS discrepancy reports; EPA – storm water permit violations by marine terminal alleged; FMC – motion to dismiss actions against Ports of LA/LB; FMC – civil monetary penalty inflation adjustment; CBP – quarterly interest rates; NOAA – Florida Keys NMS regulations – amendments; USACE – Matagorda Ship Channel Improvement Project; Ocean Research and Resources Advisory Panel – meeting; National Sea Grant Advisory Board – meeting; UK MAIB – Annual Report 2008; House passes USCG acquisition reform bill; Bill introduced re qualified withdrawals from capital construction fund; Bill introduced re mariner’s right of self-defense; and EC – multidisciplinary research.
Bryant’s Maritime Blog
Bryant’s Maritime Consulting - 4845 SW 91st Way - Gainesville, FL 32608-8135 - USA
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UK MCA – MSC Napoli salvage operation completed
The UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) issued a press notice stating that Hugh Shaw, the Secretary of State’s Representative for Maritime Salvage and Intervention (SOSREP) officially declared an end to the salvage and wreck removal operations of the MSC Napoli on Thursday, 29 July 2009, 924 days after it all began. The container ship was beached at Branscombe on Saturday, 20 January 2007 and since then there have been several salvage and wreck removal phases aimed initially at removing her fuel oil, then her cargo, and ultimately the wreck of the MSC Napoli itself. The final stage of the operations involved removing the stern section of the ship from the sea bed. The salvors lifted the final section from the sea bed, cut it up, and removed the scrap to an approved disposal contractor. Following completion, a multi-beam survey of the seabed was carried out to clearly demonstrate that there was no further risk to safety or risk of pollution from hazardous substances. (7/30/09). Full marks all around!
IMO – implementation of MARPOL Annex IV by United States
The IMO issued a circular forwarding a communication received from the United States concerning its implementation of MARPOL Annex IV (sewage). The United States is not party to Annex IV. Therefore, it will be unable to issue International Sewage Pollution Prevention Certificates for US-flag vessels when that requirement comes into effect on 1 January 2010. Alternatively, the US (or recognized organizations on its behalf) will issue a Statement of Voluntary Compliance to any US-flag vessel that is in compliance with the requirements of MARPOL Annex IV. MEPC.1/Circ.670 (7/7/09).
IMO – piracy reports – May & June 2009
The IMO issued circulars summarizing reports received from Member States on acts of piracy and armed robbery against ships reported during May and June 2009. The IMO received 48 such reports during May. MSC.4/Circ.137 (6/17/09). The IMO received 36 such reports during June. MSC.4/Circ.138 (7/7/09).
IMO – AIS discrepancy reports
The IMO issued a circular summarizing reports received from Member Governments of discrepancies noted in Automatic Identification System (AIS) transmissions of ships required to make such transmissions. This circular covers the period April to June 2009. MSC.6/Circ.3 (7/2/09).
EPA – storm water permit violations by marine terminal alleged
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a news release stating that it is proposing to fine a marine terminal company in the Port of Los Angeles $47,100 for violations of its storm water permit. (7/30/09).
FMC – motion to dismiss action against Ports of LA/LB
The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) issued an order by the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) certifying to the Commission a motion of the Bureau of Enforcement to dismiss the proceeding against the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach for possible violation of the Shipping Act of 1984. Docket No. 08-05 (7/30/09).
FMC – civil monetary penalty inflation adjustment
The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) promulgated regulations adjusting for inflation the maximum civil monetary penalty that may be imposed for violation of statutes that it administers. Effective immediately, the maximum civil monetary penalties (which have not been changed since August 15, 2000) are increased by approximately 26.92%. 74 Fed. Reg. 38114 (July 31, 2009).
CBP – quarterly interest rates
The US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) issued a notice stating that, for the calendar quarter beginning July 1, 2009, the interest rates for overpayments will be 3% for corporations and 4% for non-corporations, and the interest rate for underpayments will be 4%. 74 Fed. Reg. 38213 (July 31, 2009).
NOAA – Florida Keys NMS regulations – amendments
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has made technical corrections and minor substantive changes to the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary (NMS) regulations. 74 Fed. Reg. 38092 (July 31, 2009).
USACE – Matagorda Ship Channel Improvement Project
The US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) is seeking comments on the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for the Matagorda Ship Channel Improvement Project. Comments should be submitted by August 31. 74 Fed. Reg. 38173 (July 31, 2009).
Ocean Research and Resources Advisory Panel – meeting
The Ocean Research and Resources Advisory Panel, sponsored by the US Navy, will meet in Washington, DC on August 11 and 12. Topics on the agenda include: coastal hazards, fishery management initiatives, ocean science policy, ocean observations, ocean mapping, and education. 74 Fed. Reg. 38175 (July 31, 2009).
National Sea Grant Advisory Board – meeting
The National Sea Grant Advisory Board, sponsored by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), will meet in Seattle on August 26-28. 74 Fed. Reg. 38171 (July 31, 2009).
UK MAIB – Annual Report 2008
The UK Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) released its Annual Report 2008. It notes that complacency continues to be a major factor in marine accidents. Some vessels engaged on the short sea trade continue to operate without sufficient crew. Many owners and operators are instituting corrective action immediately after a casualty, reducing the need for formal recommendations. (7/30/09).
House passes USCG Acquisition Reform bill
Representative Elijah Cummings (D-MD) issued a press release stating that the House of Representatives unanimously passed the Coast Guard Acquisition Reform Act of 2009 (H.R. 1665). The bill, which now goes to the Senate for consideration, would, among other things, prohibit the Coast Guard from using a private sector lead systems integrator for procurement contracts. (7/29/09).
Bill introduced re qualified withdrawals from capital construction fund
Representative Davis (D-AL) introduced a bill (H.R. 3370) to permit qualified withdrawals from a capital construction fund account for the maintenance or repair of United States-flag vessels provided that the maintenance or repair is performed within the United States. Official text of the bill is not yet available. (7/29/09).
Bill introduced re mariner’s right of self-defense
Representative LoBiondo (R-NJ) introduced the United States Mariner and Vessel Protection Act of 2009 (H.R. 3376) to amend title 46, United States Code, to ensure the traditional right of self-defense of United States mariners against acts of piracy, and for other purposes. In addition to exonerating merchant mariners from liability for use of force against piracy, the bill directs the US Coast Guard to negotiate, through the IMO, similar limitations on liability with other nations. (7/29/09).
EC – multidisciplinary research
The European Commission (EC) issued a press release stating that it will allocate up to €34 million to multidisciplinary research projects to reconcile maritime activities with the preservation of seas and oceans. (7/30/09).
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 – July 2009