Headlines: USCG – large US passenger vessel crew requirements; LMRWSAC meeting; NOAA – meetings re protection of killer whales; FMC – passenger vessel financial responsibility; UK – Mode Shift Revenue Support (MSRS) Scheme; MARAD – Women on the Water Conference; and Australia – update re offshore oil leak.
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USCG – large US passenger vessel crew requirements
The US Coast Guard promulgated a final rule regarding merchant mariner documentation requirements for large US-flag passenger vessels. The final rule adopts, with minor non-substantive changes, the interim rule published on April 24, 2007. It allows issuance of merchant mariner credentials to certain non-resident aliens for service in the steward’s departments of large US-flag passenger vessels eligible to engage in the coastwise trade. The rule comes into effect on October 19. 74 Fed. Reg. 47729 (September 17, 2009).
LMRWSAC – meeting
The Lower Mississippi River Waterway Safety Advisory Committee (LMRWSAC), sponsored by the US Coast Guard, will meet in New Orleans on October 7. 74 Fed. Reg. 47810 (September 17, 2009).
NOAA – meetings re protection of killer whales
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) issued a notice stating that it will host meetings in Anacortes (September 24), Seattle (September 30), and Friday Harbor (October 5) to receive public comments on its proposed regulations to protect killer whales in the Northwest Region by prohibiting vessels from approaching within 200 yards of the whales and from parking in the path of whales in inland waters. The Anacortes meeting is newly scheduled. The Seattle and Friday Harbor meetings were announced earlier. Written comments must be submitted by October 27. 74 Fed. Reg. 47779 (September 17, 2009).
FMC – passenger vessel financial responsibility
The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) issued a news release stating that the Commission voted to discontinue its pending rulemaking regarding passenger vessel financial responsibility. Rather, the staff has been directed to develop new methods for assessing the adequacy of financial responsibility for passenger vessel operators. (9/16/09).
UK – Mode Shift Revenue Support (MSRS) Scheme
The UK Department for Transport issued its Guide to Mode Shift Revenue Support (MSRS) Scheme. The booklet explains the process whereby rail or inland waterway carriers may be eligible for reimbursement of some or all of the transportation costs that exceed the costs of transporting the same goods by truck within the UK. The goal is to shift the mode of goods transport off the roads and onto trains and vessels. The scheme has been approved through 31 March 2015. (9/16/09). Note: If this scheme proves successful in removing trucks from the highway in the UK, it should be considered for adoption in the United States.
MARAD – Women on the Water Conference
The Maritime Administration (MARAD) issued a news release stating that its third annual Women on the Water Conference will be held on the campus of the Maine Maritime Academy on October 15-17. (9/11/09).
Australia – update re offshore oil leak
The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) issued a media release stating that it continues to monitor the oil leak from the offshore platform off the northwest coast of Australia. (9/16/09).
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