Headlines: GAO – assessing 100% container scanning requirement; Gulf of Aden – convoys scheduled; USCG – supplementary guidance on anti-piracy defensive measures; NTSB – report on small passenger vessel engineroom fire; Hearing scheduled on maritime domain awareness; Mandatory forum selection clause; Mixed contract not subject to Rule B attachment; New Zealand – ship inward and outward report forms updated; and UK – International Networks Improvement Program.
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GAO – assessing 100% container scanning requirement
The US Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued a report assessing the requirement to scan 100% of the US-bound maritime shipping containers. It notes that the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has been unable to achieve 100% scanning at any of the limited number of participating foreign ports. The program faces numerous challenges, including technology problems, high costs, and opposition from some foreign governments. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) intends to issue a blanket 2-year extension of the 2012 deadline, as authorized by law. GAO recommends that a thorough cost-benefit analysis be conducted. GAO-10-12 (12/2/09).
Gulf of Aden – convoys scheduled
The NATO Shipping Centre issued an update stating that the Russian Navy vessel Admiral Chabanenko is scheduled to carry out an eastbound convoy through the Gulf of Aden on December 4 and a westbound convoy on December 8. Requests for participation must be submitted to the Russian Maritime and Security Service (RMSS). (12/1/09).
USCG – supplementary guidance on anti-piracy defensive measures
The US Coast Guard issued Port Security Advisory 11-09 providing supplementary guidance on anti-piracy defensive measures, particularly for US vessels operating in high-risk waters. Maintaining the high practical vessel speed is a major factor in defeating piratical attacks. In considering use of heavy wheel movements, masters should be mindful of possible adverse impact on speed. Guidance is also provided regarding use of equivalent measures in lieu of those provided for in MARSEC Directive 104-6 (Rev 2). (12/1/09).
NTSB – report on small passenger vessel engineroom fire
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) issued the report of its investigation of an engineroom fire onboard a US small passenger vessel in the Columbia River on April 8, 2008. The probable cause of the fire was the failure of a pressurized component on the port main propulsion hydraulic system, resulting in hydraulic oil spraying onto the port engine’s exhaust piping and igniting. The report also identifies a safety issue related to inadequate requirements for small passenger vessels regarding out-of-water survival craft for passengers and crew – this vessel had only a rescue boat. The NTSB recommends that the US Coast Guard require such vessels to carry sufficient out-of-water survival craft for all passengers and crew. MAR-09/04/SUM (12/2/09).
Hearing scheduled on maritime domain awareness
On December 9, the Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure will conduct a hearing on maritime domain awareness. (12/2/09).
Mandatory forum selection clause
In an unpublished decision, the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled that language in a bill of lading providing: “Any disputes arising under the bill of lading to decided in London according to English Law” is a mandatory forum selection clause. Plaintiff’s attempt to have the dispute decided in US courts was properly dismissed. Macsteel International v. M/V Larch Arrow, No. 09-0045-cv (2nd Cir., December 1, 2009).
Mixed contract not subject to Rule B attachment
In an unpublished decision, the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled that attachment under Supplemental Rule B of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure is not available where the dispute involves a mixed contract that includes both marine and non-marine elements, where the elements are not severable. Tradhol Internacional v. Colony Sugar Mills, No. 09-0614-cv (2nd Cir., November 20, 2009).
New Zealand – ship inward and outward report forms updated
The New Zealand Customs Service issued a news release stating that the Ships Inward Report form C1 and Ships Outward Report form C2 have been updated. These forms have been amended to include information required for the amended method of calculating Maritime Safety charges that was introduced in November 2008. Ships should utilize the updated version of these forms henceforth. (12/2/09).
UK – International Networks Improvement Program
The UK Department for Transport issued a notice discussing its International Networks Improvement Program, which seeks to improve the passenger and freight end-to-end journeys through international networks and maximize the contribution of international networks in facilitating UK economic growth. (12/2/09).
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