Headlines: Indian Ocean – container ship hijacked – vessels advised to avoid area; DOJ – ship captain sentenced to 10 months confinement; Port of Miami - $341 million loan from DOT to build tunnel; Port of Los Angeles – Channel Deepening Project SEIS; FEMA – private sector accreditation and certification preparedness program; SLSDC Advisory Board meeting; FMC meeting; TSA – explosives detection technology to be tested on passenger ferry; Canada – 15% temporary surcharge for Great Lakes pilotage services; Panama Canal – mandatory use of EDCS-BAPLIE for cargo declaration; and Panama Canal – H1N1 pandemic flu virus.
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Indian Ocean – container ship hijacked – vessels advised to avoid area
The EU Maritime Security Centre – Horn of Africa (MSC-HOA) issued a press release stating that pirates hijacked a container ship in the Indian Ocean approximately 300 nautical miles north of the Seychelles. The NATO Shipping Centre issued a notice recommending that, to the maximum extent possible, ships transiting the Indian Ocean maintain a distance of 600 nautical miles from the Somali coast. (10/15/09). Note: If ships would just avoid the entire Indian Ocean, Gulf of Aden, and the Red Sea, then the Somali piracy problem goes away. Am I the only one who finds this situation ludicrous?
DOJ – ship captain sentenced to 10 months confinement
The Department of Justice (DOJ) issued a news release stating that the former captain of a cargo ship has been sentenced to 10 months confinement after pleading guilty to one count of obstruction of justice, one count of violating the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships (APPS), and two counts of violating the Ports and Waterways Safety Act (PWSA). In addition, the former captain must pay a fine of $4,000. He must depart the United States within 72 hours of his release from confinement and may not re-enter the United States (by ship or any other means) for three years. (10/15/09).
Port of Miami – $341 million loan from DOT to build tunnel
The US Department of Transportation (DOT) issued a news release stating that it has approved the loan of $341 million to the Port of Miami to build a tunnel linking the port to the widened MacArthur Causeway and to I-395. When finished, the tunnel will remove thousands of commercial trucks and cruise line buses from local streets. (10/15/09).
Port of Los Angeles – Channel Deepening Project SEIS
The US Army Corps of Engineers issued a notice stating that it has made the Final General Conformity Determination (GCD) and executed a Record of Decision (ROD) for the Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) for the Port of Los Angeles Channel Deepening Project. 74 Fed. Reg. 53223 (October 16, 2009).
FEMA – voluntary private sector accreditation and certification preparedness program
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is seeking comments on its proposal to adopt standards for the Voluntary Private Sector Accreditation and Certification Preparedness Program (PS-Prep). The program is intended to facilitate planning and preparedness for disasters and emergencies by private sector entities. Comments should be submitted within the next 30 days. 74 Fed. Reg. 53383 (October 16, 2009). The program is further explained in a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) news release.
SLSDC Advisory Board – meeting
The Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation (SLSDC) Advisory Board will meet in Washington, DC on October 26 via conference call. 74 Fed. Reg. 53320 (October 16, 2009).
FMC – meeting
The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) issued the official agenda for its meeting on October 21. Matters to be considered during the open session are: (1) discussion of the Court of Appeals mandate in Landstar; and (2) briefing on the conclusion of the FY 2009 budget. During the closed session, the Commission will consider, among other things, the evidence of financial responsibility for Lindblad Expeditions. 74 Fed. Reg. 53242 (October 16, 2009).
TSA – explosives detection technology to be tested on passenger ferry
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) issued a press release stating that, for the next three weeks, it and the Woods Hole, Martha’s Vineyard, and Nantucket Steamship Authority will test advanced explosives detection technology by screening passenger vehicles boarding the Martha’s Vineyard ferry at the Woods Hole terminal in Falmouth. (10/15/09).
Canada – 15% temporary surcharge for Great Lakes pilotage services
Transport Canada issued a media release stating that it promulgated regulatory amendments to enable the Great Lakes Pilotage Authority to adjust its tariff rates implementing a 15% temporary surcharge that applies to shipping industry vessels transiting the Great Lakes until December 31, 2010. (10/14/09).
Panama Canal – mandatory use of EDCS-BAPLIE for cargo declaration
The Panama Canal Authority issued an advisory stating that, effective November 15, 2009, all full container vessels planning to transit the Canal must declare their cargo using only the Electronic Data Collection System (EDCS-BAPLIE). Advisory 20-2009 (10/13/09).
Panama Canal – H1N1 pandemic flu virus
The Panama Canal Authority issued an advisory stating that the requested radio pratique may be granted to vessels that declare no sickness or flu-like symptoms on board, even if the vessel has visited infected ports prior to arrival in the Canal. All other health reporting requirements remain in effect. Advisory 21-2009 (10/15/09).
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 – October 2009