Headlines: Hearing on USCG credentialing of mariners; MARAD – loan guarantee for construction of 39 barges; CBP – 2009 trade symposium; NOAA – critical habitat for North American Green Sturgeon; DHS – QHSR – third and final National Dialogue completed; UK – company fined for illegal export of waste tires; Singapore – recommendations for MSDS for MARPOL Annex I oil; and EMSA – October newsletter.
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Hearing on USCG credentialing of mariners
On October 7, the Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure conducted an oversight hearing on the Qualifications and Credentialing of Mariners. Committee Chair James L. Oberstar (D-MN) commended the Coast Guard for decreasing its credential net processing time from 55 days to 26 days and for eliminating its credential backlog. Subcommittee Chair Elijah E. Cummings (D-MD) noted the importance of the credentialing process and expressed particular interest in the medical examination procedures. Rear Admiral Kevin Cook, Director of the Office of Prevention Policy, testified that improvements were made across a spectrum of issues. Additional staff was assigned, computer problems were resolved, and outreach efforts were broadened. (10/7/09).
MARAD – loan guarantee for construction of 39 barges
The Maritime Administration (MARAD) issued a news release stating that it has agreed to guarantee loans of $40.8 million for construction of nine asphalt barges and 30 open hopper barges. The Title XI program guarantees 87.5% of the actual value of the project. (10/8/09).
CBP – 2009 Trade Symposium
The US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) issued a notice stating that the 2009 Trade Symposium will be held in Washington, DC on December 8-10. Topics on the agenda include: modernization; importer security filing; port operations; C-TPAT; and the Rulings process. (10/2/09).
NOAA – critical habitat for North American Green Sturgeon
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has designated critical habitat for the threatened Southern distinct population segment of North American Green Sturgeon. The designation includes certain coastal waters of the United States from Monterey Bay to and including the Strait of Juan de Fuca. The rule comes into effect on November 9. 74 Fed. Reg. 52299 (October 9, 2009).
DHS – QHSR – third and final National Dialogue completed
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is now in the final stages of completing its first Quadrennial Homeland Security Review (QHSR). The review looks at five principal study areas and has been facilitated by means of three National Dialogues to collect input from a broad spectrum of stakeholders. The final Dialogue closed on October 4. The information will be consolidated into a report for presentation to Congress. (10/8/09).
UK – company fined for illegal export of waste tires
The UK Environment Agency issued a news release stating that a company has been ordered to pay £10,000 in fines and costs for its involvement in the illegal export of waste tires to Vietnam. The company asserted that the tires, which were being stuffed into 40-foot shipping containers, did not need a special export permit since they would be used in construction of motorway embankments. The regulations, though, specifically prohibit the export of tires unless they are to be utilized as tires at their destination. (10/8/09).
Singapore – recommendations for MSDS for MARPOL Annex I oil
The Singapore Maritime and Port Authority (MPA) issued a notice reminding maritime stakeholders of the IMO recommendations regarding carriage of material safety data sheets (MSDSs) for MARPOL Annex I oil carried as either cargo in bulk or as marine fuel oil. Shipping Circular No. 20 of 2009 (9/28/09).
EMSA – October newsletter
The European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) released its October newsletter. This edition highlights the new Ship Risk Profile Calculator and the preliminary Company Performance Calculator to assist member states in prioritizing which ships need port state control inspections. (10/8/09).
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