Headlines: Indian Ocean – bulk carrier hijacked; Singapore – unauthorized boarding confirmed; CBP – foreign repairs to US vessels; Shipping Coordinating Committee meetings; USCG – MI/PSCO Certification Policy; Lower Mississippi River – PORTS declared operational; and UK – consultation re Port of Bristol Port Security Authority.
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Indian Ocean – bulk carrier hijacked
The EU Maritime Security Centre – Horn of Africa (MSC-HOA) issued a press release stating that a bulk carrier has been hijacked in the Indian Ocean 550 nautical miles northeast of the Seychelles and 700 nautical miles off the coast of Somalia. The vessel was not registered with the MSC-HOA. (10/19/09).
Singapore – unauthorized boarding confirmed
The Singapore Maritime and Port Authority (MPA) issued a news release confirming that the Singapore-registered container ship Kota Wajar was boarded by unidentified men in the Indian Ocean north of the Seychelles on 15 October 2009. The ship was transiting from Singapore to Mombasa. There are 21 crew on board, of which two are Singapore Permanent Residents. The MPA is currently working with the owner and relevant agencies. (10/16/09).
CBP – foreign repairs to US vessels
The US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) issued a final rule updating its regulations relating to the declaration, entry, and dutiable status of repair expenditures made abroad for certain US vessels. The principal changes involve: conforming the regulations to statutory changes that provide an exemption from vessel repair duties for the cost of certain equipment, repair parts, and materials; and adding a provision to advise that certain free trade agreements between the United States and other nations may limit the duties on vessel repair expenditures made in those nations. The amendments come into effect immediately. 74 Fed. Reg. 53651 (October 20, 2009).
Shipping Coordinating Committee – meetings
The Shipping Coordinating Committee, sponsored by the US Department of State, will meet in Arlington, Virginia on November 4, 2009; December 15, 2009; and February 23, 2010. The purpose of the meetings is to prepare for the upcoming session of the IMO Subcommittee on Radiocommunications and Search and Rescue. Topics on the agenda include: GMDSS, satellite services, development of procedures for updating shipborne navigation and communication equipment, and measures to protect the safety of persons rescued at sea. 74 Fed. Reg. 53791 (October 20, 2009).
USCG – MI/PSCO Certification Policy
The US Coast Guard issued an internal policy letter clarifying and updating its Marine Inspector/Port State Control Officer (MI/PSCO) Certification Policy. It incorporates guidance from a variety of sources to set baseline standards to ensure field personnel maintain adequate proficiency to perform the Coast Guard Commercial Vessel Safety (CVS) mission. CG-543 Policy Letter 09-04 (10/16/09).
Lower Mississippi River – PORTS declared operational
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) issued a news release stating that the Physical Oceanographic Real-Time System (PORTS) is now operational for the Lower Mississippi River (LMR). Extending from the pilot station near the river’s mouth up to Port Allen/Baton Rouge, the system provides real-time data on tides, currents, temperatures, etc. via either internet or telephone. (10/19/09).
UK – consultation re Port of Bristol Port Security Authority
The UK Department for Transport initiated a consultation on the Designation Order for the Port of Bristol Port Security Authority. The Designation Order, if adopted, would extend port security responsibilities and authorities in the Port of Bristol from the current ship/shore interface to the entire port area, in line with the EU directive on this issue. The consultation closing date is 25 November. (10/19/09).
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