Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Bryant’s Maritime Blog – 13 October 2010

Headlines: DOI – deepwater drilling given conditional authorization to resume; National Commission – meeting 4 announced; DOD – peaceful resolution urged for conflicting maritime claims; St. Lawrence Seaway – AIS water level data transmission; Mobile – search for missing stowaways; GAO – challenges implementing 10+2 filing requirements; Court – no admiralty jurisdiction over claim of equitable interest; Court – don’t blame your insurer for your inaction; EU – ship passenger rights; EC – EurOcean 2010; Hong Kong – dredging operations; Chennai – mega container terminal approved; Iraq – maritime security shifts to national control; Singapore – advisory re weather planning; and US Navy – founded October 13, 1775.

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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. Isn’t it quiet around the house when the goldfish dies?

DOI – deepwater drilling given conditional authorization to resume

clip_image004 The Department of the Interior (DOI) posted the announcement of Secretary Ken Salazar that he has conditionally authorized the resumption of oil and gas drilling in deepwater areas of the Gulf of Mexico, effective immediately. The decision document cites two conditions for resumption of drilling: (1) each operator must ensure that containment resources are available promptly in the event of a deepwater blowout and (2) the CEO of each operator must certify that the operator has complied with all applicable regulations, including the new drilling safety rules. Before deepwater drilling resumes, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation, and Enforcement (BOEMRE) intends to inspection each operation for compliance. A moratorium on deepwater drilling commenced shortly after the April 20 explosion, fire, and sinking of the MODU Deepwater Horizon with the loss of eleven lives. (10/12/10).

National Commission – meeting 4 announced

clip_image006 The National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling issued a news release stating that it will hold its fourth public meeting in Washington, DC on October 13. The Commission will deliberate on preliminary findings related to root causes of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill and options to guard against and mitigate the impacts of future spills. (10/12/10).

DOD – peaceful resolution urged for conflicting maritime claims

clip_image008 The Department of Defense (DOD) issued a news release stating that Secretary Robert Gates, at a meeting of defense leaders from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Hanoi, urged the peaceful resolution of maritime territorial disputes that have beset the region, most notably in the South China Sea. (10/12/10).

St. Lawrence Seaway – AIS water level data transmission

clip_image010 The Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway System issued a Notice stating that, effective October 5, the water level data being transmitted via AIS will be based on actual readings or based on readings of adjacent sensors, in the event of problems with the primary sensor. The AIS water level message type will display ‘act0’ when the level is from the primary sensor and ‘est1’ when the level is estimated using data from adjacent sensors. (10/5/10).

Mobile – search for missing stowaways

clip_image012 The US Coast Guard issued a news release stating that a search is underway for two stowaways who jumped into the Mobile River from an incoming freighter. A second news release states that the search has been suspended. (10/12/10).

GAO – challenges implementing 10+2 filing requirements

clip_image014 The Government Accountability Office (GAO) released its report on supply chain security. The report concludes that the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has made progress in assisting the trade community in implementing the new Importer Security Filing (ISF) requirements [known as the 10+2 rule], but that some challenges remain. The report recommends that CBP update its regulatory assessment to include information to improve transparency and completeness and set time frames and milestones for updating its national security targeting criteria. GAO-10-841 (10/12/10).

Court – no admiralty jurisdiction over claim of equitable interest

clip_image016 The US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled that all claims against a vessel invoke admiralty jurisdiction. In the instant case, a dispute arose between parties involved in an oyster-dredging venture. After the venture failed, one party brought suit against another party for breach of contract and wrongful conversion and against the oyster dredge, seeking a court order for an equitable title in the vessel. The court ruled that a Rule D claim asserting only equitable interests, with no separate basis for admiralty jurisdiction, is not cognizable in admiralty. Gulf Coast Shell & Aggregate v. Newlin, No. 09-40942 (5th Cir., October 6, 2010).

Court – don’t blame your insurer for your inaction

clip_image018 In an unpublished decision, the US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit affirmed a summary judgment ruling against a vessel operator and in favor of its insurer. Plaintiff had chartered two vessels to carry similar cargoes between a port in Korea and a port in Turkey. The vessels were entered with two difference insurers. When the operator was notified of suit being filed in Turkey regarding the cargo transported on the first vessel, it mistakenly asked the insurer for the second vessel to arrange for defense of the action. The second insurer (defendant here) notified the operator that it would utilize the same counsel as the local shipping agent. The operator raised no objection. Shortly thereafter, operator was notified of a similar law suit regarding the cargo carried by the second vessel. After an adverse judgment was entered against the operator in both law suits in Turkey, operator brought this action against the second insurer, alleging negligence and breach of fiduciary obligation. The appellate court affirmed the summary judgment against the operator, holding that there was no causal connection between any possible neglect by the second insurer and the adverse judgment of the Turkish court. Industrial Maritime Carriers v. Thomas Miller (Americas) Inc., No. 10-1232 (3rd Cir., October 7, 2010). Note: This item was brought to my attention by my good friend Michael Marks Cohen of Nicoletti Hornig & Sweeney.

EU – ship passenger rights

clip_image020 The Council of the European Union issued a press release stating that it adopted a new regulation providing enhanced rights to compensation and assistance for ship passengers when their journey is cancelled or delayed. Passengers with disabilities or reduced mobility will be entitled to assistance providing they inform the carrier at least 48 hours in advance about the assistance needed. (10/11/10).

EC – EurOcean 2010

clip_image020[1] The European Commission (EC) issued a press release stating that it is sponsoring the EurOcean 2010 Conference in Ostend on October 12-13. The Conference focuses on marine research and the challenges ahead. (10/12/10).

Hong Kong – dredging operations

clip_image022 The Hong Kong Marine Department issued a notice stating that dredging operations will be carried out for approximately four months in waters immediately adjacent to the Hung Hom Fairway. Vessels operating in this vicinity should exercise caution. Notice 147/2010 (10/12/10).

Chennai – mega container terminal approved

clip_image024 The Indian Ministry of Shipping issued a press release stating that it has approved construction of a mega container terminal at Chennai Port. The planned capacity of the new terminal is 4 million TEU per annum. The terminal will be able to handle ultra large container vessels. Construction is expected to be completed within seven years from the date of award of the concession. (10/12/10).

Iraq – maritime security shifts to national control

clip_image026 The US Navy issued a news release stating that, beginning September 1, the leading role in providing security for Iraqi waterways shifted from coalition forces to the Iraqi Navy. (10/4/10).

Singapore – advisory re weather planning

clip_image028 The Singapore Maritime and Port Authority (MPA) issued a circular reminding owners, operators, and masters of the importance of voyage planning and avoiding dangerous situations in adverse weather and sea conditions. Shipping Circular 16/2010 (10/12/10).

US Navy – founded October 13, 1775

clip_image030 The United States Navy is celebrating the 235th anniversary of its founding. On October 13, 1775, the Continental Congress established the Continental Navy. The Navy was disbanded as a separate entity after the Revolution, but reestablished when Congress, on March 27, 1794, directed the construction and manning of six frigates, whose original mission was to attack the Barbary pirates. From these humble beginnings has been created the most powerful Navy ever, a portion of which is once again fighting pirates. Happy birthday!

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 – October 2010

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