Headlines: NATO – anti-piracy mission extended through the end of 2012; EC – application of counter-piracy measures recommended; Malaysia – ship robbed while anchored at night; FMC – March 17 meeting cancelled; North Pacific – search for overboard crewmembers; Oregon/Washington – Columbia River & Tillamook Bay bars closed; Seattle – icebreaker Polar Star to be reactivated; Ocean Research and Resources Advisory Panel meeting; Inland Waterways Users Board meeting; Port Arthur – investigation into marine casualty continues; USCG – report of Cargo Security Symposium; White House – National Export Initiative; IMO – Liberia pays its 2010 contribution; EMSA – new map-based shipping surveillance system launched; EU – improving the rights of ship passengers; Australia – proposed amendments to Transport Security Legislation; Singapore – six-month extension of port dues concession; and UK – provisional port statistics.
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NATO – anti-piracy mission extended through the end of 2012
Buried in NATO’s Weekly Press Briefing are statements by Spokesman James Appathurai that the North Atlantic Council has decided to extend NATO’s anti-piracy mission through the end of 2012. The NATO Maritime Group patrolling near Somalia consists of five warships: one each from Greece, Italy Turkey, the UK, and the US. (3/11/10). Note: This item was brought to my attention by my good friend John Bennett of Maritime Protective Services.
EC – application of counter-piracy measures recommended
The European Commission (EC) issued a press release urging Member States to ensure that their registered vessels have applied the Best Management Practices (BMP) for self-protection against the threat of piracy and armed attacks against ships. In particular, ships planning to transit the western Indian Ocean should register with the Maritime Security Centre-Horn of Africa (MSC-HOA) and have an adequate number of crew members on board. (3/11/10).
Malaysia – ship robbed while anchored at night
The ReCAAP Information Sharing Centre issued an incident alert stating that a chemical tanker anchored at night off southeast Malaysia was boarded by an unknown number of robbers, who stole some engine spare parts. Masters are reminded to maintain vigilance and to adopt precautionary measures when anchored in the area. (3/11/10).
FMC – March 17 meeting cancelled
The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) issued a notice stating that the Commission meeting previously scheduled for March 17 has been cancelled. (3/11/10).
North Pacific – search for overboard crewmembers
The US Coast Guard issued a news release stating that it is searching for two mariners who fell overboard from a container ship in the North Pacific Ocean about 850 miles south of Kodiak. (3/11/10).
Oregon/Washington – Columbia River & Tillamook Bay bars closed
The US Coast Guard issued a news release stating that it has closed the bars at the Columbia River and Tillamook Bay due to hazardous conditions. During this period, vessels may only transit those bars with prior permission of the Captain of the Port (COTP) Portland, Oregon. (3/11/10).
Seattle – icebreaker Polar Star to be reactivated
The US Coast Guard issued a news release stating that the icebreaker Polar Star, homeported in Seattle, will be reactivated. (3/11/10).
Ocean Research and Resources Advisory Panel – meeting
The Ocean Research and Resources Advisory Panel, sponsored by the Department of the Navy, will meet in Washington, DC on March 15 and 16. 75 Fed. Reg. 11870 (March 12, 2010).
Inland Waterways Users Board – meeting
The Inland Waterways Users Board, sponsored by the US Army Corps of Engineers, will meet in Springfield, Virginia on April 13. 75 Fed. Reg. 11870 (March 12, 2010).
Port Arthur – investigation into marine casualty continues
The US Coast Guard issued a news release summarizing the results of the second day of the formal investigation of the circumstances surrounding the marine casualty that occurred in the Port of Port Arthur on 23 January. (3/10/10).
USCG – report of Cargo Security Symposium
The US Coast Guard posted the Report of the Cargo Security Symposium, held in Reston, Virginia on 24-25 September 2009. The purpose of the symposium was to inform and guide the development of a national strategy for reducing the maritime security risks present in the bulk transportation and transfer of Certain Dangerous Cargo (CDC) within ports and waterways of the United States. Attendees represented a diverse mix of industry (shippers, facility operators, and carriers), state and local government representatives (law enforcement, emergency response, and homeland security), other government agencies, congressional staff, legal and insurance industries, and U.S. Coast Guard (field and headquarters) representatives. (2/18/10).
White House – National Export Initiative
The White House released the Executive Order signed by President Obama establishing the National Export Initiative to develop programs designed to enhance export assistance, particularly to small and medium-sized enterprises. (3/11/10). Note: Since the vast majority of US exports (and imports) are carried by ships, this initiative should prove beneficial to the maritime industry.
IMO – Liberia pays its 2010 contribution
The IMO issued a news release stating that the Government of Liberia has paid its full 2010 contribution, presenting a check for £2,457,663.65. (3/11/10).
EMSA – new map-based shipping surveillance system launched
The European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) issued a press release stating that EU Member States now have access to a new user-friendly web-based service for tracking shipping in European waters. The tracking module allows authorities to see all commercial vessels in and around EU waters in a single view. (3/10/10).
EU – improving the rights of ship passengers
The Council of the European Union issued a press release stating that it has adopted a position at first reading on a proposal on nondiscrimination and assistance to disabled persons or persons with reduced mobility, as well as provisions on the rights of ship passengers in the case of delays or cancellation, information to be provided to passengers, and the handling of complaints. (3/10/10).
Australia – proposed amendments to Transport Security Legislation
The Honourable Anthony Albanese, MP, Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, and Local Government, introduced the Transport Security Legislation Amendment Bill, which, if enacted into law, would modify security requirements for ships calling in Australian ports, among other things. The bill is discussed more fully in the accompanying Explanatory Memorandum. (3/11/10). Note: This item was brought to my attention by my good friend John Bennett of Maritime Protective Services.
Singapore – six-month extension of port dues concession
The Singapore Maritime and Port Authority (MPA) issued a news release stating that the 10% port dues concession for ocean-going ships with a port stay of not more than ten days has been extended through 30 September. (3/11/10).
UK – provisional port statistics
The UK Department for Transport released the provisional port statistics for the fourth quarter of 2009. Total port traffic for 2009 was 10% below that of 2008. For the fourth quarter of 2009, traffic was down 9% from the fourth quarter of 2008. (3/11/10).
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 – March 2010