Headlines: White House – Continuing Appropriations bill signed into law; DOD – Ships Bunkers Easy Acquisition Card proposal; USCG – “US build” determination; Pacific Ocean – international rescue of fishing vessel crew; USCG – Russian Northeast Border Directorate meeting; FMC – summary of NVOCC NRA process; USN – Marine Expeditionary Unit brings counter-piracy capability; Court – recovery of economic damages for invasion of proprietary interest; IMO – UAE signs Djibouti Code of Conduct; IMO – condemnation of pirates’ use of seafarers as human shields; and UK – investigation of collision in Kiel Canal.
April 19, 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. “Honesty is the best policy, but insanity is a better defense.” (Steve Landesburg).
White House – Continuing Appropriations bill signed into law
The White House issued a news release stating that President Obama signed into law the Department of Defense and Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act, 2011 (H.R. 1473). Among other things, this legislation reduces to $250 million the funding available for the Port Security Grant Program (PSGP) for FY 2011. The PSGP funding for FY 2010 was $300 million. (4/15/11).
DOD – Ships Bunkers Easy Acquisition Card proposal
The Department of Defense (DOD) proposes to amend the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) to allow the use of US Government fuel cards in lieu of a Purchase Order-Invoice-Voucher for fuel, oil, and refueling-related purchases not exceeding the simplified acquisition threshold. Among other things, the proposal would allow for creation and use of a Ships Bunkers Easy Acquisition (SEA) Card for use by small DOD and USCG vessels to obtain fuel and related supplies from non-contract providers, similar to private sector purchases using a VISA card. Comments on the proposal should be submitted by June 20. 76 Fed. Reg. 21849 (April 19, 2011).
USCG – “US build” determination
The US Coast Guard issued a determination letter concluding that installation of a foreign-manufactured crane into a new vessel when the vessel is other than in the United States would cause the vessel to not qualify as US built. The vessel was being built in the United States. It incorporated various foreign-built components, but those components were being assembled into the vessel in the United States. A determination was sought from the Coast Guard as to whether a deck crane manufactured abroad for the intended purpose of inclusion on the vessel could be installed on the vessel in that foreign port. The Coast Guard ruled that, because the deck crane was intended to be an integral part of the vessel, it must be installed into the vessel in the United States for the vessel to qualify as US built. (4/14/11).
Pacific Ocean – international rescue of fishing vessel crew
The US Coast Guard issued a news release stating that an international response rescued the crew of a foreign fishing vessel in the Pacific Ocean 540 miles east of Guam. The ship notified the Japanese Coast Guard that their vessel was on fire, forcing them to abandon ship. The distress call was passed to the US Coast Guard, which launched aircraft and surface vessels. Using the Automated Mutual-Assistance Vessel Rescue (AMVER) system, the Coast Guard located a merchant ship in the vicinity. The merchant ship diverted and recovered all 27 crew members without incident or injury. (4/18/11).
USCG – Russian Northeast Border Directorate meeting
The US Coast Guard issued a news release stating that a delegation from the Russian Northeast Border Directorate arrived in Kodiak for bi-annual meetings to coordinate international fisheries enforcement operations, responses to distresses at sea, and law enforcement operations along the US-Russian maritime boundary. (4/17/11).
FMC – summary of NVOCC NRA process
The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) issued a news release summarizing the steps that must be taken by a non-vessel-operating common carrier (NVOCC) wishing to utilize the negotiated rate arrangement (NRA) process, which entered into effect on April 18. (4/18/11).
USN – Marine Expeditionary Unit brings counter-piracy capability
The US Navy issued a news release stating that the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) brings counter-piracy capability in its return to the Gulf of Aden region. (4/15/11).
Court – recovery of economic damages for invasion of propriety interest
The US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled that negligent invasion of a proprietary interest is sufficient to allow for recovery of economic damages. In the instant case, defendant’s barge was involved in a collision with another vessel on the Mississippi River. The barge brought free of its tow and drifted into the inlet channel of plaintiff’s hydroelectric facility, where it grounded. The grounding reduced the flow of water, with the result that the facility produced (and sold) less electricity. In order to get the grounded barge out of the inlet channel, plaintiff was required to further reduce the flow of water so that a crane barge and towboat could enter the channel and raise/retrieve the barge. Plaintiff claimed damages for the value of the electricity that it was prevented from producing and selling. Defendant contended that, because plaintiff was suing for pure economic losses and suffered no physical damage, it was not entitled to recover. The district court agreed, granting defendant’s motion for summary judgment. Plaintiff appealed. The appellate court ruled that plaintiff’s propriety interest in the inlet channel was invaded and harmed. In addition, plaintiff’s costs in mitigating its damages by further reducing its water flow also constituted a proprietary interest for which it is entitled to recover. Catalyst Old River Hydroelectric v. Ingram Barge, No. 10-30466 (5th Cir., April 15, 2011).
IMO – UAE signs Djibouti Code of Conduct
The IMO issued a news release stating that the Djibouti Code of Conduct has been signed by the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The Code of Conduct is intended to develop regional capability to counter piracy in the Gulf of Aden and the western Indian Ocean. (4/18/11).
IMO – condemnation of pirates’ use of seafarers as human shields
The IMO issued a news release expressing concern over mistreatment of seafarers held hostage by pirates. In particular, use by the pirates of the seafarers as “human shields” on board recently hijacked ships used as motherships, or ashore. In the case of the MV Asphalt Venture, the pirates moved six of the hostage crew members ashore prior to releasing the ship. (4/18/11).
UK – investigation of collision in Kiel Canal
The UK Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) issued a news release stating that on April 14 the UK registered OOCL Finland was involved in a collision with the Russian registered Tyumen-2 in the Kiel Canal in restricted visibility. MAIB gas agreed to assist the German BSU in its investigation of this accident. (4/18/11).
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 – April 2011