Headlines: National Commission – letter from Deepwater Horizon Study Group; DOI – OSC leasing reform; Chicago Sanitary & Ship Canal – temporary interim RNA; FMC – December meeting; NOAA – underwater heritage agreement with Spain; NOAA – grants awarded to fight aquatic nuisance species; Court – ad valorem duty for hull coating work protested; Indian Ocean – tanker outruns pirates; EC – alignment of air emission rules with IMO; Australia – Maritime Security Identification Cards Fact Sheets; Canada – agreements extended to ferry services in eastern provinces; Ireland – requirement for ship radio license; and UK – conviction for failure to comply with Exemption Certificate.
December 2, 2010
Bryant’s Maritime Blog
Bryant’s Maritime Consulting - 4845 SW 91st Way - Gainesville, FL 32608-8135 - USA
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. When all else fails, SHOUT.
National Commission – letter from Deepwater Horizon Study Group
The National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling posted a letter from the Deepwater Horizon Study Group regarding root causes for the casualty. The letter states, in part, that the incident was at least partially the result of failure to follow several key industry best practices related to well construction, well control, and secondary emergency systems. These voluntary practices were not mandated by law or regulation. To the extent that critical safety-related regulations existed, such as for blowout prevention plans, key requirements had been waived by the Minerals Management Service (MMS). (11/24/10).
DOI – OCS leasing reform
The Department of the Interior (DOI) issued a press release stating that the outer continental shelf (OCS) leasing program has been revised to enhance equipment, safety, and environmental safeguards and oversight. As a result, the Eastern Gulf of Mexico, Mid-Atlantic, and South Atlantic planning areas are no longer under consideration for potential development through 2017. The Western Gulf of Mexico, Central Gulf of Mexico, Cook Inlet, and the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas will continue to be considered for potential leasing. (12/1/10).
Chicago Sanitary & Ship Canal – temporary interim RNA
The US Coast Guard has promulgated a temporary interim rule, effective through December 1, 2011, establishing a regulated navigation area (RNA) on the Chicago Sanitary & Ship Canal near Romeoville, Illinois. This RNA placed navigational, environmental, and operational restrictions on all vessels transiting waters adjacent to and over the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) electrical dispersal fish barrier system. Comments on the rule should be submitted by January 31, 2011. 75 Fed. Reg. 75145 (December 2, 2010).
FMC – December meeting
The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) issued a notice stating that the Commission will meet in Washington, DC on December 8. During the open session, it will consider a staff update on Cruise West and an initiative to modernize Commission Rules of Practice and Procedure. During the closed session, it will consider, among other things, the fact-finding investigation regarding vessel capacity and equipment availability and passenger vessel financial responsibility. (12/1/10).
NOAA – underwater heritage agreement with Spain
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) issued a news release stating that it has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Government of Spain outlining a framework to jointly identify, protect, manage, and preserve underwater cultural resources of mutual interest within their respective areas of responsibility. (12/1/10).
NOAA – grants awarded to fight aquatic nuisance species
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) issued a news release stating that it has awarded $2 million in grants to combat high-priority aquatic nuisance species. (12/1/10).
Court – ad valorem duty for hull coating work protested
The US Court of International Trade denied a motion by defendant United States for summary judgment with regard to its assessment of a 50% ad valorem duty for certain coatings work performed on plaintiff’s vessel in a foreign shipyard. Plaintiff had its old antifouling coating removed from the hull of its vessel and had a new antifouling coating (compliant with new international and domestic requirements) applied. The US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) contended that this work constituted a foreign repair and assessed duties in the amount of $251,077.63. Plaintiff protested the assessment and commenced instant action. On the motion for summary judgment, the court held that the determination of whether the work performed constituted repairs is fact specific. Since the parties have disputed various material facts, the matter is inappropriate for resolution by means of summary judgment. Horizon Lines v. United States, No. 10-119 (CIT, October 21, 2010).
Indian Ocean – tanker outruns pirates
The EU NAVFOR issued a press release stating that the crude oil tanker Kythira evaded a pirate attack in the Indian Ocean more than 1,100 nautical miles east of Somalia by increasing speed and conducting evasive maneuvers. The pirates had fired on the tanker and attempted twice to board it. (12/1/10).
EC – alignment of air emission rules with IMO
The European Commission (EC) issued a press release containing the speech delivered by Janez Potocnik, European Commissioner for Environment, at the meeting of the European Marine Equipment Council in Brussels. The Commissioner reaffirmed the commitment to require use of very low sulphur fuel in the Baltic Sea, North Sea, and English Channel ECA commencing in 2015. In spring 2011, the EC will present a proposal to align EU legislation with IMO provisions in this regard. The proposal will align provisions on use of equivalent technology as much as possible with the IMO rules. (11/30/10).
Australia – Maritime Security Identification Cards Fact Sheets
The Australian Department of Infrastructure and Transport posted updated Maritime Security Identification Cards (MSICs) Fact Sheets. Among other things, with effect from 1 December 2010, card holders are obligated to report a maritime security relevant offense (MSRO) to their MSIC issuing body or to AusCheck. (11/26/10). Note: This item was brought to my attention by my good friend John Bennett of Maritime Protective Services.
Canada – agreements extended for ferry services in eastern provinces
Transport Canada issued a media release stating that it has extended, through March 31, 2014, the agreements allowing for ferry services between various ports in Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island. (11/30/10).
Ireland – requirement for ship radio license
The Irish Department of Transport issued a notice reminding ship operators that all Irish ships having radio communications or radio navigation equipment which transmits radio signals must hold a ship radio license. (11/30/10).
UK – conviction for failure to comply with Exemption Certificate
The UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) issued a press notice stating that the owner and manager of a UK container ship were convicted of allowing the ship to proceed to sea without complying with an Exemption Certificate issued by the MCA. The starboard lifeboat had been damaged during a drill. An Exemption Certificate was issued allowing the vessel to trade temporarily so long as it was fitted with additional liferafts and hydrostatic release units. Two weeks later, the ship was inspected by a port state control officer in Brazil and found to not be in compliance with its Exemption Certificate. The owner and manager were fined £5,000 each, plus costs. (12/1/10).
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 – December 2010