Headlines: Congress – Iran sanctions legislation passed; MARAD – high-risk waters of the Gulf of Guinea; MARAD – Jones Act has not impeded spill response; COAC – meeting; PHMSA – updating facility response plans; USCG – engine troubles sideline Polar Sea; USCG – port state control annual report; New Bedford – sulfur mustard contamination cleanup completed; CBP – mutual recognition arrangement with Korean Customs Service; NMDACO – 2010 GMISS conference; DOJ - US citizen sentenced for bribery in Panamanian maritime contract; Senate – call for action to fight Asian carp; Senate – bill introduced to repeal Jones Act; House – bill introduced to strengthen homeland security; IMO – Manila amendments to STCW Convention and Code; IMO – fitness for duty – hours of rest; UK – heavy landing of ro-ro passenger ferry; and Canada – centennial of the Canadian Navy.
Note: This blog is one section of the Bryant’s Maritime Consulting website. Visit the site for more extensive maritime regulatory information. Individual concerns may be addressed by retaining Dennis Bryant directly. Much of the highlighted text in this newsletter constitutes links to Internet sites providing more detailed information. Links on this page may be in PDF format, requiring use of Adobe Acrobat Reader. Comments on these postings are encouraged and may be made by clicking the envelope that appears at the end of each posting. Be aware that the daily blog entry is a single posting, even though it contains a number of individual items. Bringing chaos out of order.
Congress – Iran sanctions legislation passed
The House of Representatives and the Senate have both passed the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act of 2010 (H.R. 2194). It is now officially an enrolled bill and will soon be on its way to President Obama for consideration. The legislation is intended to place enhanced economic sanctions against Iran, some of which will impact the maritime industry. For the maritime industry, the most significant provision in this lengthy bill is the one prohibiting exportation of refined petroleum products to Iran. It specifically applies to providing ships or shipping services to deliver such products to Iran, as well as providing insurance/reinsurance or financing/brokering for such sale, lease or provision. Further, the sanctions would come into effect as soon as the legislation is signed into law. US persons everywhere and foreign persons who are involved in trade both to the United States and Iran must pay heed to avoid inadvertent violations. (6/25/10).
MARAD – high-risk waters of the Gulf of Guinea
The Maritime Administration (MARAD) issued an Advisory providing guidance to vessels transiting territorial waters of the Gulf of Guinea. Groups armed with automatic weapons have attacked ships (particularly in the vicinity of oil platforms in Nigerian waters), taken the master and other crew members off the vessels, and demanded ransoms in exchange for their safe return. Other attackers steal valuables and equipment from the vessels. US-flag vessels transiting subject waters are to comply with US Coast Guard MARSEC Directive 104-6 (rev. 3). (6/24/10).
MARAD – Jones Act has not impeded spill response
The Maritime Administration (MARAD) issued a statement underscoring that the Jones Act has not hindered the response to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Foreign-flag vessels have been participating, and will continue to participate, in the cleanup effort. If the Unified Command determines that specific assets are necessary but require a Jones Act waiver, MARAD will do whatever is needed to ensure those assets are deployed. (6/25/10).
COAC – meeting
The Advisory Committee on Commercial Operations of US Customs and Border Protection (COAC), sponsored by the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP), will conduct a teleconference meeting on July 15. The meeting is limited to one topic: the 2010 National Strategy for Global Supply Chain Security. 75 Fed. Reg. 36663 (June 28, 2010).
PHMSA – updating facility response plans
The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) issued an Advisory Bulletin to operators of hazardous liquid pipeline facilities required to prepare and submit an oil spill response plan under 49 CFR part 194. In light of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, which has resulted in the relocation of oil spill response resources to address the oil spill, PHMSA is reminding operators of their responsibilities to review and update their oil spill response plans and to comply with other response plan requirements to ensure the necessary response to a worse case discharge from their pipeline facility. 75 Fed. Reg. 36773 (June 28, 2010). Note: While this Advisory Bulletin does not directly affect many in the maritime community, it does, in my opinion, reflect a disconnect between regulations and reality. The regulations to which the Bulletin refers requiring a ready stockpile of response personnel and equipment were written based on the assumption that all spills would be modest, or at least short-term. The reality is that the Gulf of Mexico oil spill is off the charts. The current stockpile of surplus response personnel and equipment in the entire United States is not sufficient to adequately handle it. President Obama has directed his Administration to focus on this response effort. He did not exempt the PHMSA from this important effort. Rather than blindly threatening strict enforcement of its regulations, PHMSA should be working with its regulated industry and their contracted responders to develop innovative approaches to get through this temporary shortfall.
USCG – engine troubles sideline Polar Sea
The US Coast Guard issued a news release stating that an unexpected engine casualty aboard the icebreaker Polar Sea will keep the cutter from getting underway for its fall 2010 Arctic patrol. It may also keep the icebreaker from providing standby capability for Operation Deep Freeze in support of the resupply of McMurdo Station, Antarctica. The nation’s other heavy, polar icebreaker, the Polar Star, is in the process of reactivation, but will not be operational until 2013. The medium icebreaker Healy is fully operational. (6/25/10).
USCG – port state control annual report
The US Coast Guard issued its Annual Report 2009 on port state control in the United States. It notes that, compared to 2008, detentions of foreign vessels for environmental protection and safety deficiencies decreased from 176 to 162, while detentions for security deficiencies decreased from 27 to 18. During 2009, the Coast Guard developed a policy which may ban vessels from calling on US ports whenever the vessel is subject to three detentions within the previous twelve months and whenever failure to effectively implement the Safety Management System is a contributing factor for the substandard conditions that led to the detentions. (6/23/10).
New Bedford – sulfur mustard contamination cleanup completed
The US Coast Guard issued a news release stating that cleanup of the fishing vessel and cold storage warehouse contaminated by sulfur mustard has been completed. On June 6, the clam dragger hauled up some World War I munitions (mustard gas canisters) in a load of clams off Long Island. At least one crewmember was exposed to the hazardous substance, which also contaminated the vessel and its 504,000 pounds of clams. The crewmember was treated for his exposure. The clams were temporarily stored in a cold storage warehouse and then hauled to appropriate waste sites doe disposal. (6/26/10).
CBP – mutual recognition arrangement with Korean Customs Service
The US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) issued a news release stating that it has entered into a mutual recognition arrangement with the Korean Customs Service, promoting end-to-end supply chain security and facilitation at a global level. (6/25/10).
NMDACO – 2010 GMISS conference
The 2010 Global Maritime Information Sharing Symposium (GMISS), sponsored by the National Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA) Coordination Office, will be held in Baltimore on 14-16 September. The theme of this year’s symposium is: Charting the Course for MDA. (6/25/10).
DOJ – US citizen sentenced for bribery in Panamanian maritime contract
The US Department of Justice (DOJ) issued a news release stating that a US citizen was sentenced to 37 months in prison for his role in a conspiracy to pay bribes to former Panamanian government officials to secure maritime contracts. (6/25/10).
Senate – call for action to fight Asian carp
Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL) issued two press releases following the recent discovery of a 19-pound Asian carp in Calumet Lake (north of the fish barrier in the Chicago Sanitary & Ship Canal and connected to Lake Michigan). The first press release urges federal agencies to accelerate use of effective Asian carp control methods. The second press release calls for immediate action and asks President Obama to appoint a federal “Coordinated Response Commander” to lead the fight. (6/25/10).
Senate – bill introduced to repeal Jones Act
Senator McCain (R-AZ) introduced the Open America’s Waters Act (S. 3525) to repeal the Jones Act restrictions on coastwise trade and for other purposes. Senator McCain issued a news release discussing the legislation. (6/23/10).
House – bill introduced to strengthen homeland security
Representative King (R-NY) introduced a bill (H.R. 5590) to strengthen measures to protect the United States from terrorist attacks and to authorize appropriations for the Department of Homeland Security for fiscal year 2011, and for other purposes. Official text of the bill is not yet available. (6/24/10).
IMO – Manila amendments to the STCW Convention and Code
The IMO issued a news release stating that the Diplomatic Conference of Parties to the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers, 1978 adopted major revisions to the STCW Convention and its associated STCW Code, thereby assuring that the necessary global standards will be in place to train and certify seafarers to operate technologically advanced ships for some time to come. The amendments, to be known as “The Manila amendments to the STCW Convention and Code”, will come into force on 1 January 2012 under the tacit acceptance procedure. (6/25/10).
IMO – fitness for duty – hours of rest
The IMO issued a news release stating that the Diplomatic Conference of Parties to the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers, 1978 agreed to a series of new provisions on the issue of “fitness for duty – hours of rest”, to provide watchkeeping officers aboard ships with sufficient rest periods. (6/25/10).
UK – heavy landing of ro-ro passenger ferry
The UK Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) issued a summary of its Preliminary Examination of the heavy landing of a ro-ro passenger ferry in Portsmouth on 28 March 2010. The vessel was somewhat behind schedule when it approached the berth stern-first. Because its speed was faster than normal, the radius of turn was increased. The master applied a significant amount of lateral thrust using the vessel’s Voith Schneider propulsion units. This resulted in insufficient ahead power being available to prevent the ferry’s stern ramp from hitting the linkspan fendering at speed. Two persons suffered minor injuries and the stern ramp was damaged. (6/25/10).
Canada – Centennial of the Canadian Navy
The Canadian Navy was established as a separate force in 1910. In celebration of the 100th year of the Canadian Navy, the Maritime Forces Atlantic (MARLANT) is hosting an International Fleet Review Week in Halifax from 28 June to 02 July 2010. Approximately 22 foreign ships have gathered in Halifax to mark this event. Other events are being celebrated around Canada to mark this occasion. (6/28/10). A proud service with a rich history!
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 – June 2010