Headlines: IMO – Secretary-General at COP 15; EU – first anniversary of EU NAVFOR; UNCTAD – Review of Maritime Transport 2009; Treasury – amendments to Terrorism Risk Insurance Program; USCG – e-mail submission of merchant mariner credential applications; Bill introduced re Arctic deep water sea port; Arbitration award of interest and attorneys’ fees upheld; and UK – report on grounding of sail training vessel.
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IMO – Secretary-General at COP 15
The IMO issued a news release stating that Secretary-General Efthimios Mitropoulos reminded delegates at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen (COP 15) of the importance of regulating the shipping industry through a competent international body that can establish the appropriate global standards. (12/11/09).
EU – first anniversary of EU NAVFOR
The EU Maritime Security Centre – Horn of Africa (MSC-HOA) issued a press release noting that 10 December marked the first anniversary of EU NAVFOR Somalia – Operation Atalanta. The missions of Operation Atalanta are: (1) to protect World Food Program shipments into Somalia; (2) to deter and disrupt piracy; and (3) to protect vulnerable shipping. (12/10/09).
UNCTAD – Review of Maritime Transport 2009
The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) issued a news release stating that its Review of Maritime Transport 2009 suggests that the global economic downturn and financial crisis slowed growth in world seaborne trade, while an increase in the supply of vessels has kept freight rates depressed. (12/8/09).
Treasury – amendments to Terrorism Risk Insurance Program
The US Department of the Treasury issued two final rules amending regulations relating to the Terrorism Risk Insurance Program (TRIP). The amendments implement the Terrorism Risk Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2007, which extends TRIP until December 31, 2014. The first amendment addresses recoupment of the Federal share of compensation for insured losses. In particular, the rule describes how Treasury will determine the amounts to be recouped and establishes procedures insurers are to use for collecting Federal Terrorism Policy Surcharges and remitting them to Treasury. 74 Fed. Reg. 66051 (December 14, 2009). The second amendment caps the annual liability for insured losses at $100 billion. In particular, the rule describes how Treasury intends to determine the pro rata share of insured losses under the Program when insured losses would otherwise exceed the cap on annual liability. 74 Fed. Reg. 66061 (December 14, 2009). Both rules come into effect on January 13, 2010.
USCG – e-mail submission of merchant mariner credential applications
The US Coast Guard issued a notice stating that, beginning January 4, 2010, it will accept merchant mariner credential applications at the 17 Regional Examination Centers (RECs) via e-mail. (12/10/09).
Bill introduced re Arctic deep water sea port
Senator Murkowski (R-AK) introduced the Arctic Deep Water Sea Port Act of 2009 (S. 2849) to require a study and report on the feasibility and potential of establishing a deep water sea port in the Arctic to protect and advance strategic United States interests within the evolving and ever more important region. (12/8/09).
Arbitration award of interest and attorneys’ fees upheld
In a non-precedential decision, the US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit upheld an award of interest and attorneys’ fees by an arbitrator even though the arbitration agreement did not address those issues. The underlying dispute in the instant case concerned responsibility for excess water in a cargo of fuel oil being delivered from Venezuela to New Jersey. The arbitrator ruled in favor of the ship owner, finding that the fuel oil was contaminated with excess water prior to loading. In addition to awarding demurrage damages, the arbitrator also awarded pre- and post-judgment interest and attorneys’ fees to the prevailing party. The cargo owner contended that the award should be vacated because the arbitrator exceeded his authority as defined in the arbitration agreement. In denying relief, the appellate court pointed out that both parties claimed pre- and post-judgment interest in their submittals to the arbitrator and that the cargo owner had claimed attorneys’ fees in its submittal to the arbitrator. Andorra Services v. Venfleet, No. 08-4902 (3rd Cir., December 10, 2009).
UK – report on grounding of sail training vessel
The UK Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) issued the report of its investigation of the grounding of a sail training vessel near Chapman’s Pool on 5 April 2009. The brig, with 23 sea cadets on board, was being operated by the relief captain, who was not a professional mariner. He became complacent, navigating the vessel, acting as helmsman and lookout, and directing the setting of sails simultaneously. He failed to notice that the vessel had deviated from its intended course. The subsequent grounding caused no major damage and no injuries. The Marine Society & Sea Cadets (MSSC) has since made extensive changes designed to improve navigational procedures on board its vessels. The Association of Sail Training Organizations (ASTO) is establishing a workgroup with the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) to consider the management of safety and develop best practice guidelines for the UK sail training industry. Report No. 26/2009 (12/11/09).
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 – December 2009