Headlines: MARAD – transfers to foreign registry of US vessels over 1,000 GT; MARAD – application of cargo preference requirements to maritime loan guarantee program; OESAC – meeting; House – hearing on potential GPS interference; House – Appropriations bill amended to protect GPS; GAO – international food assistance program; GAO – DOD planning for maritime homeland defense; and UK – Human Element wins safety award.
June 27, 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. The Ship of Theseus sails forever.
MARAD – transfers to foreign registry of US vessels over 1,000 GT
The Maritime Administration (MARAD) issued a notice clarifying its approval process in accordance with 46 CFR Part 221 for requests relating to proposed transfers to foreign registry of US-documented vessels over 1,000 gross tons. The approval process will require vessel owners to self-certify that the vessel(s) does not contain polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in regulated quantities and to provide notice to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of the transfer request. MARAD will provide the EPA with up to 30 days’ notice prior to approving any transfer request. Comments on this policy should be submitted by July 27. 76 Fed. Reg. 37280 (June 27, 2011).
MARAD – application of cargo preference requirements to maritime loan guarantee program
The Maritime Administration (MARAD) issued a notice clarifying the agency’s position on the application of cargo preference requirements under 46 U.S.C. § 55305 to its shipyard and vessel financing guarantees. As part of MARAD’s review of the Actual Cost of a project, it requests the applicant or shipyard to provide copies of the original, freighted, stamped-“onboard” bills of lading for the shipment of any foreign component items submitted for inclusion as part of the Actual Cost. MARAD intends to review all such bills of lading to verify that at least 50% of all foreign component items were shipped via US-flag vessels. In the event that an impermissible amount of cargo was shipped on foreign-flag vessels, MARAD interprets 46 U.S.C. § 55305(d)(2)(B) to authorize it to require the applicant or its contractors to move whatever amount of gross tons of cargo, not otherwise subject to cargo preference requirements, that are necessary to generate an equivalent amount of ocean freight tonnage on US-flag vessels within a specified time frame. Comments on this policy should be submitted by July 27. 76 Fed. Reg. 37402 (June 27, 2011).
OESAC – meeting
The Ocean Energy Safety Advisory Committee (OESAC), sponsored by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation, and Enforcement (BOEMRE), will meet in New Orleans on July 13 and 14. 76 Fed. Reg. 37371 (June 27, 2011).
House – hearing on potential GPS interference
The Subcommittee on Aviation and the Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure conducted a joint hearing on potential GPS interference. The hearing focused primarily on plans by the company LightSquared to build a nationwide broadband internet infrastructure that may affect GPS reliability. Preliminary government testing has validated concerns that the high-powered signal proposed by LightSquared may adversely impact the GPS signal. The committee staff prepared an extensive briefing memo on this topic. Testimony was received from the Honorable Roy W. Kienitz, Department of Transportation; the Honorable Teresa M. Takai, Department of Defense; and Rear Admiral Robert E. Day, Jr., US Coast Guard. The non-government witnesses were: Ms. Margaret T. Jenny, RTCA, Inc.; Mr. Philip Straub, Garmin International, Inc.; Mr. Craig Fuller, Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association; Mr. Thomas L. Hendricks, Air Transport Association; and Mr. Jeffrey J. Carlisle, LightSquared, Inc. (6/23/11).
House – Appropriations bill amended to protect GPS
The House Committee on Appropriations issued a press release stating that it approved the FY 2012 Financial Services Appropriations Bill, as amended. Among the amendments included in the bill is one that prohibits funding for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to remove conditions on or permit certain commercial broadband operations until the FCC has resolved concerns of harmful interference by these operations on global positioning system (GPS) devices. (6/23/11).
GAO – international food assistance program
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued a report on the US international food assistance program. Among other things, it states that ocean transportation costs represent about one third of the cost to procure and ship commodities. Legal requirements to ship 75% of the commodities on US-flag vessels further increase costs. The number of participating US-flag vessels has declined by 50% since 2002. Participation may be limited by rules that require formerly foreign-flag vessels to wait three years before they are eligible to participate in the program. GAO-11-636 (6/23/11).
GAO – DOD planning for maritime homeland defense
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) released its report on actions needed to improve Department of Defense (DOD) planning and coordination for homeland defense maritime operations. The Northern Command, which is the component in charge of DOD’s involvement in homeland defense, has not received supporting plans from other DOD commands regarding how the homeland defense maritime mission is to be accomplished and whether gaps exist between tasks and capabilities. Challenges have been identified with regard to sharing of maritime domain information. GAO-11-661 (6/23/11).
UK – Human Element wins safety award
The UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) issued a press release stating that a consortium led by the MCA has won a Safety at Sea Award for “The Human Element: a guide to human behavior in the shipping industry”. (6/24/11).
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 – June 2011