Headlines: USCG - Conditions of entry re Timor-Leste; Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal – assessment of fish deterrent barriers; EPA – proposed “no discharge” zone for NYS Canal System; Port Arthur – marine casualty hearing adjourns; USCG – existing systems and equipment on uninspected towing vessels; St. Lawrence Seaway – notices in anticipation of season opening; Senate – hearing on VADM Papp nomination; Court – don’t abandon your customer’s MIG; NATO – handover of counter-piracy mission; IMSO – LRIT Service Agreements to cover 90% of SOLAS fleet; IOPCF – recourse action in Hebei Spirit incident; New Zealand – judicial review of revocation of survey approval; and Singapore – AFS Convention.
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USCG – conditions of entry re Timor-Leste
The US Coast Guard announced that, effective March 29, it is imposing conditions of entry on vessels arriving in the United States after having called at any port in the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste, during their last five port calls. In summary, each affected vessel must: (1) implement the Security Level 2 measures from its ship security plan while in a Timor-Leste port; (2) ensure that each access point is guarded and that guards have total visibility of the exterior of the vessel while in a Timor-Leste port; (3) attempt to execute a Declaration of Security while in a Timor-Leste port; (4) log all security actions; and (5) report actions taken to the pertinent USCG Captain of the Port [COTP] prior to arrival in the US. 75 Fed. Reg. 12250 (March 15, 2010).
Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal – assessment of fish deterrent barriers
The US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) is requesting public comments for a planned Environmental Assessment of the impacts of implementing additional in-stream barrier/deterrent technologies at key locations in the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal and in the Illinois and Chicago Area Waterways. Specific technologies under consideration include acoustic deterrents, air bubble curtains, and strobe lights used both individually and in combination. Comments should be submitted by March 19. 75 Fed. Reg. 12217 (March 15, 2010). Note: This is a five-day comment period!
EPA – proposed “no discharge” zone for NYS Canal System
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a notice stating that it received a petition from the state of New York requesting a determination that adequate facilities for the safe and sanitary removal and treatment of sewage from all vessels are reasonably available for the waterways of the New York State (NYS) Canal System, including the 524 linear miles of navigable waterways within the Erie, Oswego, Champlain, and Cayuga-Seneca canal segments and including Onondaga, Oneida, and Cross Lakes. Comments on this petition should be submitted by April 14. 75 Fed. Reg. 12233 (March 15, 2010).
Port Arthur – marine casualty hearing adjourns
The US Coast Guard issued a news release stating that the formal hearing investigating circumstances surrounding the January 23 collision and oil spill in the port of Port Arthur, Texas has adjourned. The investigating panel will now review the evidence and forward its report, including its conclusions and recommendations, to the District Commander, who will examine it and forward it to the Commandant for final consideration and approval. Once approved, the report will be available to the public. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) will generate an independent report on the incident. (3/11/10).
USCG – existing systems and equipment on uninspected towing vessels
The US Coast Guard issued internal guidance for inspection of existing systems and equipment on uninspected towing vessels (UTV). Policy Letter 10-02 (3/11/10).
St. Lawrence Seaway – notices in anticipation of season opening
In anticipation of the March 25 opening of its 2010 navigation season, the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway System issued the routine notices. Maximum allowable drafts - Notice 2/2010; Tie-up services at lock approach walls – Notice 3/2010; Communications – Notice 4/2010; Mooring and casting off in locks – Notice 5/2010; and 96-hour pre-entry notification required for foreign-flag vessels – Notice 6/2010. In addition, the Seaway announced that it will be conducting a survey of shipmasters to gauge progress and solicit opinions on a number of key issues – Notice 7/2010. (3/11/10).
Senate – hearing on VADM Papp nomination
On March 18, the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation will conduct a nomination hearing. Among others, it will consider the nomination of VADM Robert J. Papp, Jr. to be Commandant of the US Coast Guard. The hearing will also consider the nominations of Dr. Larry Robinson (Assistant Secretary for Oceans and Atmosphere, Department of Commerce); Dr. Earl F. Weener (Member, National Transportation Safety Board); Dr. Michael F. Tillman (Member, Marine Mammal Commission); and Dr. Daryl J. Boness (Chairman, Marine Mammal Commission – reappointment). (3/12/10).
Court – don’t abandon your customer’s MIG
In a teasingly brief unpublished decision, the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reversed and remanded a District Court ruling. The decision only hints at the facts, but it seems that the plaintiff was shipping a MIG aircraft via a Maersk vessel to Hong Kong. Plaintiff alleged that Maersk intentionally abandoned the cargo to the Hong Kong authorities and that this act deviated from the contract of carriage. The District Court had granted Maersk’s motion for summary judgment. The case now has been sent back for trial on the merits. M-Cubed LLC v. Maersk Line Ltd, No. 08-35194 (9th Cir., March 11, 2010).
NATO – handover of counter-piracy mission
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO issued a news release stating that responsibility for the NATO counter-piracy mission in the Gulf of Aden and the Somali Basin has been transferred from Standing NATO Maritime Group 1 to Standing NATO Maritime Group 2. NATO has been conducting counter-piracy patrols (code-named Operation Ocean Shield) since October 2008. (3/12/10).
IMSO – LRIT Service Agreements to cover 90% of SOLAS fleet
The International Mobile Satellite Organization (IMSO) issued a news release stating that, as more Service Agreements are signed, the total number of Data Centres integrated into the LRIT System, including prototypes, will shortly amount to 56 overall, providing services to 91 SOLAS Contracting Governments and dependent territories, covering more than 90% of the world SOLAS fleet. (2/18/10).
IOPCF – recourse action in Hebei Spirit incident
The International Oil Pollution Compensation Fund (IOPCF) 1992 issued a press release stating that it has joined the owner and the insurer of the Hebei Spirit in a recourse action against Samsung Heavy Industries for damages arising from the 7 December 2007 incident when the tanker Hebei Spirit was struck by a crane barge owned and operated by SHI, spilling about 10,500 tons of oil off the west coast of the Republic of Korea. The IOPCF seeks $200 million in addition to the $200 million sought by the owner and insurer of the tanker. (2/6/10).
New Zealand – judicial review of revocation of survey approval
Maritime New Zealand issued a media release stating that a judicial review of the decision of the Director of Maritime New Zealand to revoke approval for a survey company to operate as a Safe Ship Management (SSM) company was held in the High Court in Wellington. The Director had notified the company in November of her decision to withdraw the approval to operate as an SSM company due to safety concerns over the company’s performance. The company filed notice seeking judicial review of the decision and obtained an interim order allowing the company to continue operating pending that review. The court has completed its review and the decision has been reserved. The interim order will remain in effect until the court has made its decision. (3/12/10).
Singapore – AFS Convention
The Singapore Maritime and Port Authority (MPA) issued a circular reminding owners, operators, and masters of Singapore ships that the International Convention on the Control of Harmful Anti-Fouling Systems on Ships, 2001 (AFS Convention) comes into effect for Singapore on 31 March 2010. Covered Singapore ships engaged in international voyages must have undergone a survey and been issued an International Anti-Fouling System Certificate by that date. Shipping Circular 5/2010 (3/12/10).
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