Headlines: House – bill introduced to largely eliminate liner antitrust immunity; UN – World Maritime Day; IMO – World Maritime Day; Singapore – World Maritime Day; IMO – seafarers’ rights centre launched; NIC – Deep Sea Subsurface Oil Assessment; House - resolution introduced re National Waterways Conference; House – hearing on US vessels in foreign trade; Somalia – EU warship disrupts pirate action group; Australia – response to offshore petroleum safety inquiries; and UK – freight traffic down 11% from 2008 to 2009.
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House – bill introduced to largely eliminate liner antitrust immunity
Representative Oberstar (D-MN) introduced a bill (H.R. 6167) to amend title 46, United States Code, to require the Federal Maritime Commission to maintain an Office of Dispute Resolution and Customer Advocate, and for other purposes. Official text of the bill is not yet available, but an advance copy of the Shipping Act of 2010 has been provided, along with a news release explaining that the most significant provision would be to largely eliminate the antitrust immunity accorded to the liner trade since 1916. (9/22/10). Note: One should expect a Committee hearing on this bill to be scheduled in short order.
UN – World Maritime Day
The United Nations (UN) issued a news release noting that September 23, 2010 is World Maritime Day. The theme of this year’s event is: “2010: Year of the Seafarer”. International Maritime Organization (IMO) Secretary-General Mitropoulos stated that the IMO and others in the maritime community understand and appreciate the extreme pressures that seafarers face and approach their tasks with genuine interest and concern for seafarers and their families. (9/23/10).
IMO – World Maritime Day
The IMO issued a news release noting that September 23, 2010 marks the 33rd celebration of World Maritime Day, the annual occasion for highlighting a key issue for the IMO and the shipping industry. This year, the theme is: “2010: Year of the Seafarer”. The IMO wishes the 1.5 million seafarers of the world calm seas, fair winds, and a safe return home. (9/23/10).
Singapore – World Maritime Day
The Singapore Maritime and Port Authority (MPA) issued a news release in commemoration of World Maritime Day, paying tribute to seafarers for their unique contributions to the global community. (9/23/10).
IMO – seafarers’ rights centre launched
The IMO issued a news release welcoming the launch of the Seafarers’ Rights International Centre, an independent forum dedicated to advancing seafarers’ interests. In a separate event, Secretary-General Mitropoulos received a petition signed by 930,406 people calling for Governments to do everything possible to protect the thousands of seafarers and hundreds of ships at risk of attack by pirates. Governments are urged to: (1) dedicate significant resources to finding real solutions to the growing piracy problem; (2) take immediate steps to secure the release and safe return of kidnapped seafarers; and (3) work with the international community to secure a stable and peaceful future for Somalia and its people. (9/23/10).
NIC – Deep Sea Subsurface Oil Assessment
The National Incident Command (NIC) posted an explanation of its Deep Sea Subsurface Oil Assessment program. (9/23/10).
House – resolution introduced re National Waterways Conference
Representative Hare (D-IL) introduced a resolution (H. Res. 1639) recognizing the contributions of the National Waterways Conference on the occasion of its 50th anniversary, and for other purposes. (9/22/10).
House – hearing on US vessels in foreign trade
On September 29, the Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure will conduct a hearing on its Continuing Examination of US-flagged Vessels in the US Foreign Trade. (9/23/10).
Somalia – EU warship disrupts pirate action group
The EU NAVFOR issued a press release stating that one of its warships disrupted a pirate action group off the coast of Somalia. A whaler and two skiffs were intercepted. The three vessels carried eleven suspected pirates, fuel drums, ladders, weapons, and ammunition. The paraphernalia was seized. The whaler and one skiff were destroyed. The individuals were released because they were not caught actually engaging in piracy. (9/23/10).
Australia – response to offshore petroleum safety inquiries
The Australian Department of Resources, Energy & Tourism issued the Government Response to three offshore petroleum safety inquiries, stating that it has commenced work to address issues raised in the reports. It is specifically concerned with the clear integration of integrity with safety and rapid growth in the offshore petroleum industry. This includes clarifying and strengthening Australia’s offshore occupational health and safety (OHS) framework through consolidation of safety regulations and amendments providing the National Offshore Petroleum Safety Authority (NOPSA) with power to regulate non-OHS structural integrity matters. (9/23/10). Note: This is effectively an interim response as review of the report of the Montara Commission of Inquiry pends and a major amendment of the Navigation Act 1912 is ongoing.
UK – freight traffic down 11% from 2008 to 2009
The UK Department for Transport issued its Maritime Statistics 2009. It showed that freight traffic handled by UK ports during 2009 was 501 million tonnes, down 11% from levels recorded in 2008. International sea passenger traffic was down 5% during the same period. (9/23/10).
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 – September 2010