Headlines: Indian Ocean – two piratical attacks – one successful; ReCAAP – report covering January-September 2009; APHIS – meeting re agricultural quarantine and inspection user fees; USCG – meeting re ballast water standards – correction; Coral Reef Task Force – meeting; FMC – swearing in of new Chairman; Suisun Bay – cleanup and recycling of Reserve Fleet vessels; Puerto Rico – tank farm explosion; Cleveland – Ocean Policy Task Force meeting; CBP – electronic reading room; DHS – funding for Project SeaHawk; USCG – DGPS notice; House passes Coast Guard Authorization Act; Bills introduced re standards for discharges from cruise ships; Equitable vacatur of a maritime attachment; UNICTRAL – Niger signs the Rotterdam Rules; Australia – report on auxiliary boiler explosion; and New Zealand – reminder re amendments to ISM Code.
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Indian Ocean – two piratical attacks – one successful
The EU Maritime Security Centre – Horn of Africa (MSC-HOA) issued a press release stating that there were two piratical attacks on merchant vessels in the Indian Ocean on the morning of October 22. The first attack, on a ro-ro cargo vessel, was unsuccessful, even though the pirates fired automatic weapons and rocket-propelled grenades. The second attack, against a bulk carrier, was successful. A second press release confirms that the bulk carrier hijacked on October 19 has now arrived off the coast of Somalia near Hobyo. (10/22/09).
ReCAAP – report covering January-September 2009
The ReCAAP Information Sharing Centre issued its Quarterly Report covering the period January-September 2009. There were 69 reported incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships in the Asian region. Of these, 58 were actual incidents and 11 were attempted incidents. This is a slight decline in the number of incidents during the same period in recent years. (10/22/09).
APHIS – meeting re agricultural quarantine and inspection user fees
The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) will host a meeting in Riverdale, Maryland on October 27 to address questions and concerns regarding the agricultural quarantine and inspection user fee increases scheduled to come into effect on November 1. 74 Fed. Reg. 54758 (October 23, 2009).
USCG – meeting re ballast water standards – correction
The US Coast Guard published a correction to its prior notice relating to the location of its meeting in Oakland on October 27 regarding its proposed standards for living organisms in ships’ ballast water discharged in US waters. Written comments on the proposal should be submitted by December4. 74 Fed. Reg. 54383 (October 26, 2009).
Coral Reef Task Force – meeting
The US Coral Reef Task Force , sponsored by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), will meet in San Juan on November 2-5. 74 Fed. Reg. 54383 (October 26, 2009).
FMC – swearing in of new Chairman
The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) issued a news release stating that Richard A. Lidinsky has been sworn in as the new Chairman of the Commission. (10/23/09).
Suisun Bay – cleanup and recycling of Reserve Fleet vessels
The Maritime Administration (MARAD) issued a news release stating that contracts have been awarded for the cleanup and recycling of two obsolete vessels from the Suisun Bay Reserve Fleet. (10/22/09).
Puerto Rico – tank farm explosion
The US Coast Guard issued a news release stating that it has established a safety zone on waters adjacent to the Caribbean Petroleum Company in Bayamon, Puerto Rico, which suffered an explosion in its tank farm.
Cleveland – Ocean Policy Task Force meeting
The Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) issued a news release stating that the Ocean Policy Task Force will hold its Great Lakes Regional meeting in Cleveland on October 29. The Task Force is charged with developing a recommendation for a national policy that ensures protection, maintenance, and restoration of the oceans, our coasts, and the Great Lakes. (10/23/09).
CBP – electronic reading room
The US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) issued a news release stating that it launched an enhanced FOIA Electronic Reading Room where the public can access agency records and documents. (10/23/09).
DHS – funding for Project SeaHawk
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a news release stating that it will use $800,000 in FY 2009 homeland security grant funds to support state and local law enforcement personnel assigned to Project SeaHawk in the Port of Charleston. (10/23/09).
USCG – DGPS notice
The US Coast Guard Navigation Center issued a notice stating that RTCM Special Committee 104 is suggesting retirement of RTCM Message Types 4, 8, 11, 12, and 13. Any users requiring these specific RTCM Message Types should contact the Navigation Center by 1900Z on November 15, 2009. (10/23/09).
House passes Coast Guard Authorization Act
The House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure issued a press release stating that the House of Representatives, by a vote of 385 to 11, approved the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2010 (H.R. 3619). Among other things, the bill strengthens the Coast Guard’s ability to perform its marine safety mission. Additionally, the bill authorizes $153 million for the design and construction of a replacement icebreaker for the Great Lakes and provides for Congressional nominations for individuals to attend the Coast Guard Academy. Official text of the legislation as passed is not yet available. (10/23/09).
Bills introduced re standards for discharges from cruise ships
Senator Durbin (D-IL) and Representative Eshoo (D-CA) introduced companion bills (S. 1820 and H.R. 3888 respectively) to amend the Federal Water Pollution Control Act to establish national standards for discharges from cruise vessels. (10/21/09). Note: Official text of these bills is not yet available, but basically they would require, if enacted into law, cruise ships nationwide to comply with requirements now applicable to cruise ships operating in certain waters of Alaska.
Equitable vacatur of a maritime attachment
The US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit upheld the equitable vacatur of a maritime attachment, even though all the requirements for the Rule B attachment had been met. In the instant case, the parties were engaged in a wide-ranging series of lawsuits. In the instant case, plaintiff sought and obtained a Rule B attachment in the Southern District of New York, based on the (correct) assertion that defendant was not present in the District. Defendant moved to vacate the attachment, pointing out that the parties were engaged in a similar maritime lawsuit in the Southern District of Texas, where plaintiff had its corporate headquarters and where defendant was subject to personal jurisdiction. The District Court vacated the attachment because, among other things, the party that attached the funds and the party that owned the funds were present in another federal jurisdiction. Plaintiff appealed. In affirming the vacatur, the Appellate Court noted that equitable vacatur of writs of attachment, in contrast to vacatur for failure to comply with Rule B, turns not on the owner of attached funds’ relationship with the jurisdiction of attachment, but on both parties’ relationship with another jurisdiction. Proshipline v. Aspen Infrastructures, No. 08-0838-cv (2nd Cir., October 22, 2009).
UNITRAL – Niger signs Rotterdam Rules
The United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) issued a press release stating that the Rotterdam Rules received its 20th signature when Niger became a signatory. The Convention will enter into force one year after it is ratified by 20 nations. (10/23/09).
Australia – report on auxiliary boiler explosion
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) released the report of its investigation into the explosion of the auxiliary boiler on a bulk carrier off Newcastle on 18 November 2008. A ship’s engineer was burned in the explosion, which occurred during a routine boiler oil firing unit burner exchange. Investigation revealed that the crew was not aware of all the hazards associated with maintaining the boiler burner and were not aware of previous flashbacks involving similar burners. The safety bulletin previously issued by the manufacturer may not have reached the engineering personnel and did not inform operators that the oil firing unit could be modified. MO-2008-010 (10/22/09).
New Zealand – reminder re amendments to ISM Code
Maritime New Zealand issued a notice reminding the maritime community that amendments to the ISM Code come into effect on 1 July 2010. Among other things, masters will be required to periodically review the ship’s safety management system (SMS) and companies will be required to conduct an internal audit annually. General Notice 11 (10/22/09).
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