Headlines: USCG – potentially hazardous conditions in cargo pump rooms; USCG – impact of NTAS on MTSA-regulated vessels and facilities; USCG – ROI re electrocution on chemical tanker; Columbia River – enforcement of security and safety zones; Wilmington, North Carolina – interagency operations center; FMC – shipment of household goods and personal property; FMC – container freight index and derivatives working group; House – bill introduced to amend SAFE Port Act; Senate – bill introduced to amend OCSLA; Court – bills of lading must be signed per Master’s instructions; Arctic Council – Ministerial Meeting in Greenland; Arctic Council – SAR Agreement and permanent Secretariat; Arctic Council – Ecosystem-Based Management initiative; Suez Canal – transit dues rate for Natural Gas Carriers; Suez Canal – cancellation of reduction offered to double-hull tankers; and India – development of dry bulk terminal approved.
May 13, 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. “It is a tale, told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.” – William Shakespeare.
USCG – potentially hazardous conditions in cargo pump rooms
The US Coast Guard issued a Marine Inspection Notice (MIN) advising of potentially hazardous conditions in cargo pump rooms aboard crude carriers. On some ships, the Vacuum Assist Stripping System (VASS) vents into collection tanks located in the cargo pump rooms. This may create a hazardous condition if the tanks were stripped with residues remaining in them. Preferably, the VASS should vent to the main deck or a slop tank. USCG marine inspectors and port state control officers should consult with the marine chemist and ship’s crew to confirm the venting arrangement for the VASS collection tanks prior to examining the cargo pump room. Entry into the cargo pump room with a VASS vent should only be made by Coast Guard personnel when a marine chemist certificate has been issued detailing the conditions for which safe entry can be made. MIN 03-11 (5/12/11).
USCG – impact of NTAS on MTSA-regulated vessels and facilities
The US Coast Guard issued an internal message providing guidance regarding the impacts on Maritime Transportation Security Act (MTSA) regulated vessels and facilities from implementation of the National Terrorism Advisory System (NTAS). The NTAS replaced the Homeland Security Advisory System (HSAS) on April 26. The Coast Guard’s Maritime Security (MARSEC) system is not directly affected by this change. All references, though, to HSAS in MARSEC regulations are obsolete and are in the process of being eliminated. References to HSAS in vessel and facility security plans should be deleted. Resubmittal of the security plans solely on the basis of these changes is not required. (4/25/11). Note: This item was brought to my attention by my good friend John Bennett of Maritime Protective Services.
USCG – ROI re electrocution on chemical tanker
The US Coast Guard issued its Report of Investigation (ROI) into the electrocution of a licensed third engineer onboard a chemical tanker offshore Galveston on January 7, 2009. The primary cause of the casualty was the failure of individuals involved in performing an electrical function check on a circuit breaker to follow the procedures provided for in the ship’s Safety Management System. Among other things, the ROI indicates that the Coast Guard intends to update its requirements for both Coast Guard inspectors and Authorized/Recognized Organizations with respect to ISM Code oversight and verification activities. (5/9/11).
Columbia River – enforcement of security and safety zones
The US Coast Guard issued a notice stating that it will enforce the security and safety zones for large passenger vessels operating in the Captain of the Port (COTP) Columbia River Zone intermittently between the months of May and September 2011. During the enforcement periods, no person or vessel may enter a security or safety zone without permission. 76 Fed. Reg. 27897 (May 13, 2011).
Wilmington, North Carolina – interagency operations center
The US Coast Guard issued a news release stating that it has opened an interagency operations center in Wilmington, North Carolina. Watchstanders from the Coast Guard, Customs and Border Protection (CBP), and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) will be co-located so as to better coordinate federal actions on the waterways. (5/12/11).
FMC – shipments of household goods and personal property
The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) issued a news release stating that it approved for action a series of recommendations intended to improve practices related to shipments of household goods and personal property. (5/12/11).
FMC – container freight index and derivatives working group
The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) issued a news release stating that it has launched an internal Container Freight Index and Derivatives Working Group. The group will gather information, research, analyze, consult with other government agencies, and advise the Commission on issues arising from the use of container freight rate indices in service contracts and index-based derivative transactions. (5/12/11).
House – bill introduced to amend SAFE Port Act
Representative Boustany (R-LA) introduced a bill (H.R. 1844) to amend the Security and Accountability for Every Port Act of 2006 to clarify that a notice of arrival is not required for certain documented vessels unless arriving from a foreign port or place. Official text of the bill has not yet been posted. (5/11/11).
Senate – bill introduced to amend OCSLA
Senator McConnell (R-KY) introduced a bill (S. 953) to authorize the conduct of certain lease sales in the Outer Continental Shelf, to amend the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act to modify the requirements for exploration, and for other purposes. Official text of the bill has not yet been posted. (5/11/11).
Court – bills of lading must be signed per Master’s instructions
The US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled that when the party signing bills of lading exceeds its authority by not signing in accordance with the Master’s instructions, the vessel owner cannot be held liable as a carrier under the Carriage of Goods by Sea Act (COGSA). In the instant case, plaintiff cargo owner contracted with defendants for shipment of steel pipes from Dalian, China to Houston. The charter party provided that the charterer or its agents were authorized to sign on the Master’s or Owner’s behalf bills of lading presented in accordance with the Mate’s Receipts. The Mate’s Receipts showed damage to a large number of pipe bundles. The agent, though, signed the bills of lading noting that the goods were “clean on board”. When the cargo was unloaded in Houston, many of the pipes were rusted or otherwise damaged. Plaintiff brought suit against the vessel in rem and against the vessel owner and others in personam. The court upheld the dismissal of the in personam claims because plaintiff’s agent clearly exceeded its authority when it signed the bills of lading in a manner in excess of its authority. QT Trading v. M/V Saga Morus, No. 10-20524 (5th Cir., May 11, 2011).
Arctic Council – Ministerial Meeting in Greenland
The Arctic Council issued a press release stating that the 7th Arctic Council Ministerial Meeting is being held in Nuuk, Greenland on May 11-12. The Ministers are expected to sign an agreement on Search and Rescue in the Arctic. (5/11/11).
Arctic Council – SAR Agreement and permanent Secretariat
The US Department of State issued a news release stating that members of the Arctic Council, meeting in Nuuk, Greenland, signed a Search and Rescue Agreement and augmented the group’s organizational structure by forming a standing Secretariat, to be based in Tromsø, Norway, (5/12/11).
Arctic Council – Ecosystem-Based Management initiative
The US Department of the Interior issued a news release stating that the Arctic Council Ministerial Meeting agreed to develop an Ecosystem-Based Management (EBM) initiative for protecting the Arctic’s environment and to negotiate measures for oil spill preparedness and response throughout the region. (5/12/11).
Suez Canal – transit dues rate for Natural Gas Carriers
The Suez Canal Authority issued a circular stating that the transit dues rate for Natural Gas Carriers shall remain in force and the rebate of 35% of dues, granted to this category of ships, shall also remain unchanged. Further rebates may be granted for clients making multiple round trips. Circular 3/2011 (5/11/11).
Suez Canal – cancellation of reduction offered to double-hull tankers
The Suez Canal Authority issued a circular stating that Paragraph (B) of Article Two of Circular No. 1/2007 pertaining to the reduction offered to double-hull tankers shall be canceled with effect from 1 July 2011. Circular 4/2011 (5/12/11).
India – development of dry bulk terminal approved
The Indian Ministry of Shipping issued a press release stating that the Cabinet Committee on Infrastructure has approved the project of developing a dry bulk terminal off Tekra near Tuna on BOT basis. The project is to be implemented within 24 months from the date of award of concession. (5/12/11).
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 – May 2011