Headlines: Contact Group – seventh plenary meeting; USCG – Maritime Security Directive 104-6; DOJ – operator convicted of hiding pollution; Shipping Coordinating Committee – meeting; FMC – December meeting; USCG – merchant mariner credentialing report; Congress – Asian Carp Prevention and Control Act adopted; Hong Kong – lighted buoy at naval basin restricted area; and New Zealand – review of Oil Pollution Levy,
December 3, 2010
Bryant’s Maritime Blog
Bryant’s Maritime Consulting - 4845 SW 91st Way - Gainesville, FL 32608-8135 - USA
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Contact Group – seventh plenary meeting
The US Department of State (DOS) posted the report of the seventh plenary meeting of the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia, held in New York on November 10. The consensus was that fighting piracy must continue on three fronts: deterrence; security and the rule of law; and development. Progress is being made, but many challenges lie ahead. (11/17/10). Note: This item was brought to my attention by my good friend John Bennett of Maritime Protective Services.
USCG – Maritime Security Directive 104-6
The US Coast Guard issued a notice stating that Maritime Security Directive 104-6 (Rev 4) is available for eligible persons. The Directive only applies to US-flagged vessels subject to the Maritime Transportation Security Act (MTSA) on international voyages through or in designated high risk waters. It provides additional counter-piracy guidance and mandatory measures for these vessels and includes an annex that provides specific direction for vessels operating around the Horn of Africa. The Directive is designated Sensitive Security Information (SSI) and is not subject to public release. Revision 4 was made available on November 23 and replaces Revision 3, which is no longer valid. 75 Fed. Reg. 75486 (December 3, 2010).
DOJ – operator convicted of hiding pollution
The Department of Justice (DOJ) issued a news release stating that a ship operator pleaded guilty to making false statements and failing to accurately maintain an oil record book (ORB). The company was sentenced to pay a criminal fine of $800,000; pay $100,000 into a community service fund; and to serve three years probation during which time it must implement a comprehensive environmental compliance program. The offenses related to use of a magic pipe to bypass the oily water separator (OWS), pumping oily waste water into a ballast tank for later discharge directly overboard. The ship’s chief engineer and second assistant engineer also pleaded guilty. Two crewmembers who alerted the US Coast Guard to the violations were each awarded $125,000. (12/2/10).
Shipping Coordinating Committee – meeting
The Shipping Coordinating Committee (SHC), sponsored by the US Department of State (DOS), will meet in Washington, DC on January 18, 2011. The purpose of the meeting is to prepare for the upcoming session of the IMO Committee on Standards of Training and Watchkeeping (STW). Topics on the agenda include: validation of model training courses; unlawful practices associated with certificates of competency; casualty analysis; and development of an e-navigation strategy implementation plan. 75 Fed. Reg. 75532 (December 3, 2010).
FMC – December meeting
The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) issued an official 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. 75 Fed. Reg. 75469 (December 3, 2010).
USCG – merchant mariner credentialing report
The USCG National Maritime Center (NMC) issued its Performance Report for November 2010 illustrating its merchant mariner credential processing for the month. Overall, performance was down slightly from previous months, with the inventory of pending applications increasing and throughput decreasing. Net processing time has remained relatively steady. (12/2/10).
Congress – Asian Carp Prevention and Control Act adopted
Congress has adopted and is sending to President Obama the Asian Carp Prevention and Control Act (S. 1421). This bipartisan measure adds the bighead carp to the list of injurious species that are prohibited from being imported or shipped. (12/1/10). Note: Talk about closing the barn door after the horses have escaped! As for the Asian carp that were imported years ago and got into the Mississippi River and its tributaries, don’t ask and don’t tell.
Hong Kong – lighted buoy at naval basin restricted area
The Hong Kong Marine Department issued a notice stating that, with effect from 14 December 2010, a special mark light buoy will be established to mark the southwest extremity of the Ngong Shuen Chau Naval Basin restricted area. The buoy will be fitted with a continuous quick-flashing yellow light. Notice 182/2010 (12/1/10).
New Zealand – review of Oil Pollution Levy
Maritime New Zealand issued a media release stating that it has commenced a review of the Oil Pollution Levy. Currently, levy calculations are based on vessel tonnage. It is proposed to utilize a threat-based calculation method in the future. Comments on the proposal should be submitted by 31 January 2011. (12/2/10).
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