Headlines: USCG – conditions of entry for vessels arriving from the Congo; Singapore Strait – attempted boarding; South Korea – new ship joins counter-piracy task force; Lower Mississippi River – safety zone for revetment work; MERPAC meeting; IMO – prohibition of blending MARPOL cargoes on a sea voyage; IMO – unified interpretation on measurement of distances; IMO – replacement of existing certificates; Tokyo MOU – report of PSC Committee meeting; Allocation of LHWCA liability based on roles as employer and time-charterer; NOAA – sea level anomaly along US Atlantic coast; USCG – rulemaking re vessel and facility response plans; USCG – proposal for non-tank vessel response plans; EMSA – training and cooperation newsletter; and Australia – oil leak for offshore rig – updates.
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USCG – conditions of entry for vessels arriving from the Congo
The US Coast Guard issued a notice stating that, effective September 15, it will impose conditions of entry on vessels arriving to the United States from the Republic of the Congo, with the exception of vessels arriving from the Djeno Oil Terminal, a single buoy mooring off-shore, during their last five port calls. In summary, each affected vessel must: (1) implement the Security Level 2 measures from its ship security plan while in a Congolese port; (2) ensure that each access point is guarded and that guards have total visibility of the exterior of the vessel while in a Congolese port; (3) attempt to execute a Declaration of Security while in a Congolese port; (4) log all security actions; and (5) report actions taken to the pertinent USCG Captain of the Port [COTP] prior to arrival in the US. 74 Fed. Reg. 45230 (September 1, 2009).
Singapore Strait – attempted boarding
The ReCAAP Information Sharing Centre issued an Incident Alert reporting that at 1845 hours local on 30 August, five men (two armed with machine guns) attempted to board a bulk carrier anchored just west of Pulau Nipa in the Singapore Strait. The men aborted the boarding when the ship’s master raised the alarm. This is the third incident in these waters during 2009. (8/30/09).
South Korea – new ship joins counter-piracy task force
The US Navy issued a news release stating that the Republic of Korea Ship (ROKS) Dae Jo Yeong has relieved the ROKS Munmu the Great as part of the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) engaged in counter-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden and off the coast of Somalia. (8/30/09).
Lower Mississippi River – safety zone for revetment work
The US Coast Guard has established, through November 1, a temporary moving safety zone on the Lower Mississippi River from mile marker 869.0 to mile marker 303.0, extending the entire width of the river, 0.5 miles downriver to 0.5 miles upriver from the 2009 US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) revetment work. 74 Fed. Reg. 45120 (September 1, 2009).
MERPAC – meeting
The Merchant Marine Personnel Advisory Committee (MERPAC), sponsored by the US Coast Guard, will meet in Martinsburg, West Virginia on September 22 and 23. 74 Fed. Reg. 45231 (September 1, 2009).
IMO – prohibition of blending MARPOL cargoes during a sea voyage
The IMO issued a circular providing for prohibition of blending MARPOL cargoes on board during a sea voyage. Physical blending refers to the process whereby the ship’s cargo pumps and pipelines are used to internally circulate two or more different cargoes within the ship with the intent to achieve a cargo with a different product designation. MSC-MEPC.2/Circ.8 (8/3/09).
IMO – unified interpretation on measurement of distances
The IMO issued a circular forwarding a unified interpretation on measurement of distances. It provides that, where distances such as tank length, height, width, or ship length are to be measured, moulded dimensions should be used, unless explicitly stipulated otherwise. MSC-MEPC.5/Circ.5 (8/3/09).
IMO – replacement of existing certificates
The IMO issued a circular forwarding guidance on the timing of replacement of existing certificates by the certificates issued after the entry into force of amendments to certificates in IMO instruments. MSC-MEPC.5/Circ.6 (8/6/09).
Tokyo MOU – report of PSC committee meeting
The Tokyo MOU issued a press release summarizing the nineteenth Port State Control (PSC) Committee meeting held in Port Moresby, Papua new Guinea on 24-27 August. Among other things, the Committee agreed to conduct concentrated inspection campaigns on the International Maritime Dangerous Goods (IMDG) Code and MARPOL Annex III from September to November 2010. (8/31/09).
Allocation of LHWCA liability based on roles as employer and time-charterer
The US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit reversed and remanded a personal injury case brought under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) for, among other things, reapportioning liability while considering only those acts of negligence that one defendant committed as time-charterer of the vessel involved and not those acts of negligence committed as the plaintiff’s employer. In the instant case, plaintiff was injured on an offshore rig. His employer was the time-charterer of the offshore supply vessel (OSV) on which the actions occurred that resulted in his injury. He brought suit against both the owner of the OSV and his employer, as time-charterer of the OSV. Under the LHWCA, an injured employee may not sue his employer when the employer is acting as such. The District Court ruled that all of the employer’s negligent actions were in its capacity as time-charterer. In review, the appellate court ruled that some of defendant employer’s negligence (such as a failure to properly train its employee how to operate the Coflex hose system) were duties imposed on it as employer. Remand was necessary to recalculate the allocation of liability. Becker v. Tidewater Inc., No. 08-30183 (5th Cir., August 28, 2009).
NOAA – sea level anomaly along US Atlantic coast
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) issued a news release stating that the US Atlantic coast experienced a sea level anomaly in June and July. Sea levels were six inches to two feet higher than predicted from Florida to Maine. The cause seems to have been a weakening of the Florida Current Transport (which feeds the Gulf Stream) and steady and persistent northeast winds during this period. (8/31/09).
USCG – rulemaking re vessel and facility response plans
The US Coast Guard issued a news release advising that it published a final rule amending the tank vessel and facility response plan regulations. The rule updates requirements for oil spill removal equipment. It also revises the compliance date for updates to tank vessel response plans required by the salvage and marine firefighting final rule. The date for submittal of tank vessel response plans that have been changed to incorporate both the salvage and marine firefighting and the oil spill removal equipment requirements is now February 22, 2011. (8/31/09).
USCG – proposal for non-tank vessel response plans
The US Coast Guard issued a news release advising that it is proposing to require certain non-tank vessels to have oil spill response plans in order to operate on waters of the United States. (8/31/09).
EMSA – training and cooperation newsletter
The European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) issued the first edition of its Training and Cooperation Newsletter. This edition reports that thirteen training activities were delivered between January and August 2009. It also lists the trainings planned for the remainder of the year. (8/31/09).
Australia – oil leak from offshore rig – updates
The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) issued a media release providing an update on the extent of the oil leak from the rig located off the northwest coast of Western Australia. A second media release discusses efforts to track the spill and to apply dispersants. (8/30/09).
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 – September 2009