Headlines: USCG – policy re voluntary use of TWIC readers; House – hearing on piracy off Horn of Africa; Somalia – pirates release another hijacked vessel; OMB – engine cut-off switches; Crescent City – tsunami damage; NOAA – members sought for IOOSAC; MARAD – Buy America waiver; Senate – bill introduced re harbor maintenance funding; Canada – agreement to expand Prince Rupert container terminal; Panama Canal – clarification of term “Information Requests”; and Amoco Cadiz oil spill – 16 March 1978.
March 16, 2011
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. Planck’s Constant isn’t.
USCG – policy re voluntary use of TWIC readers
The US Coast Guard posted its policy on voluntary use of Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) readers [PAC 01-11]. Any person seeking unescorted access to secure areas must present a valid TWIC to be checked for (1) identity verification; (2) card validity; and (3) card authentication. Use of an electronic TWIC reader from the TSA list of readers that have passed the Initial Capability Evaluation (ICE) Test has been determined to meet or exceed the effectiveness of the identity verification check requirement. Use of a TWIC reader to check for card validity by either: (a) comparing the card’s internal Federal Agency Smart Card Number (FASC-N) to the TSA Canceled Card List, or (b) using a Certificate Revocation List, has been determined to meet or exceed the effectiveness of the card validity check requirement. Use of a TWIC reader to perform the Challenge/Response protocol using the Card Authentication Certificate and the card authentication private key on the TWIC has been determined to meet or exceed the effectiveness of the card authentication requirement. Owners and operators using electronic TWIC readers should ensure that the readers are operated and maintained according to manufacturer’s instructions and are operated by trained individuals. The security plan for any vessel or facility using TWIC readers must be amended to incorporate that process and must be resubmitted for USCG approval. Owners and operators using grants from the Port Security Grant Program (PSGP) to fund purchase and utilization of TWIC readers should review FEMA Grant Programs Directorate Information Bulletin No. 343 for interim guidance. (3/15/11).
House – hearing on piracy off the Horn of Africa
The Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure conducted an oversight hearing on Assuring the Freedom of Americans on the High Seas: The United States Response to Piracy. Subcommittee Chair Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ) expressed his concern about the expanding threat posed by Somali pirates and the increased violence of their attacks on ships. Rear Admiral Kevin Cook, USCG, testified concerning deterrence and prevention efforts on commercial vessels and concerning counter-piracy enforcement and prosecution efforts. Mr. William Wechsler, Department of Defense, testified that disrupting piracy will continue to be a challenge. Mr. Kurt Amend, Department of State, testified that the root cause of piracy is state failure in Somalia and that the situation cannot be resolved exclusively through military means. Mr. Stephen Caldwell, Government Accountability Office, testified that the US counterpiracy action plan should be updated and the roles and responsibilities of the various federal agencies should be clarified. (3/15/11).
Somalia – pirates release another hijacked vessel
The EU NAVFOR issued a press release stating that Somali pirates released the M/V Jahan Moni and its 26 crewmembers. An EU warship provided fresh water, food, and medical assistance to the crew after it left Somali waters. The ship was hijacked on 5 December 2010 in the Somali Basin about 1300 nautical miles east of Eyl. (3/15/11).
OMB – engine cut-off switches
The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) is reviewing a proposed rule submitted by the US Coast Guard regarding installation and use of engine cut-off switches on recreational boats. (3/14/11). Note: Review generally takes about two months.
Crescent City – tsunami damage
The US Coast Guard issued a news release stating that the tsunami from the earthquake in Japan resulted in the sinking of 16 vessels in the Port of Crescent City, California. In addition, 47 vessels remain afloat but incurred some damage. There has been significant damage to moorings and docks in the port. (3/15/11).
NOAA – members sought for IOOSAC
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has established the Integrated Ocean Observing System Advisory Committee (IOOSAC). Persons interested in membership on the Committee should submit applications by May 16. 76 Fed. Reg. 14375 (March 16, 2011).
MARAD – Buy America waiver
The Maritime Administration (MARAD) issued a notice stating that it has found that a Buy America waiver is appropriate for the purchase of foreign mobile harbor cranes in the Federal-aid/TIGER II grant for the Port of Providence, as such items are not manufactured in the United States. The waiver is effective on March 17. 76 Fed. Reg. 14457 (March 16, 2011).
Senate – bill introduced re harbor maintenance funding
Senator DeMint (R-SC) introduced a bill (S. 573) to establish a harbor maintenance block grant program to provide maximum flexibility to each State to carry out harbor maintenance and deepening projects in the State, to require transparency for water resources development projects carried out by the Corps of Engineers, and for other purposes. Official text of the bill is not yet available, but Senator DeMint issued a press release explaining his goal. (3/14/11).
Canada – agreement to expand Prince Rupert container terminal
Transport Canada issued a news release stating that agreements have been reached with various First Nations to expand the Port of Prince Rupert container terminal. (3/14/11).
Panama Canal – clarification of term “Information Requests”
The Panama Canal Authority issued an advisory to clarify the meaning of the term “Information Requests” in its prior advisory regarding the Customer Services Management System (CSMS). Advisory 5/2011 (3/11/11).
AMOCO CADIZ oil spill – 16 March 1978
On March 16, 1978, the very large crude carrier (VLCC) AMOCO CADIZ lost steering in a Force 10 storm and grounded on Portsall Rocks off the coast of Brittany, France. As it broke up, the tanker lost its entire cargo of 1.6 million barrels of crude oil. The coastal areas in the vicinity were heavily impacted by the spill. After receiving limited compensation under the Civil Liability Compensation (CLC) and Funds Conventions, the Government of France brought suit in the United States against Amoco Oil Company, the parent company (twice removed) of the ship owner. The federal court awarded damages in favor of France, holding that the liability allocation and channeling provisions in the conventions were not applicable since the US was not party thereto.
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 – March 2011