Thursday, July 28, 2011

Bryant’s Maritime Blog–28 July 2011


CBP – restrictions on importation of rice;

Key West – minor collision between two cruise ships;

House – bill introduced re Canadian vessels;

Senate – bill introduced to incentivize offshore wind energy production;

Senate – hearing on US economic interests in the Arctic;

Court – salvage contract unclear on arbitrability; and

Australia – fast rescue boat davit wave compensation mechanism.

July 28, 2011

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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. Searching for the elusive Higgs bison.

CBP – restrictions on importation of rice

clip_image004 The US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) issued a news release stating that, beginning July 30, it will enforce a federal quarantine order restricting the importation of rice into the United States from countries with known Khapra beetle infestations. Commercial shipments from those countries must be inspected and must be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate with an additional declaration stating that the shipment was inspected and found to be free of Khapra beetle. (7/25/11).

Key West – minor collision between two cruise ships

clip_image006 The US Coast Guard issued a news release stating that it is investigating the collision of two cruise ships in the Port of Key West. There were no reports of injury, structural damage, or pollution. (7/26/11).

House – bill introduced re Canadian vessels

clip_image008 Representative Owens (D-NY) introduced a bill (H.R. 2661) to amend the Tariff Act of 1930 to waive the requirement to report the arrival at any port or place within the United States of a vessel of Canada if the vessel does not anchor or dock at any harbor within the customs territory of the United States. Official text of the bill has not yet been posted. (7/26/11).

Senate – bill introduced to incentivize offshore wind energy production

clip_image010 Senator Carper (D-DE) introduced the Incentivizing Offshore Wind Power Act (S. 1397) to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide for an investment tax credit related to the production of electricity from offshore wind. (7/21/11).

Senate – hearing on US economic interests in the Arctic

clip_image010[1] The Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries, and Coast Guard of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science & Transportation conducted a hearing on Defending US Economic Interests in the Changing Arctic. Admiral Robert Papp, US Coast Guard, testified regarding Coast Guard operations in Arctic waters. RADM David Titley, US Navy, testified regarding Navy operations in Arctic waters. Ambassador David Balton, Department of State, testified regarding US Arctic policy. Mr. Peter Slaiby, Shell Oil Company, testified concerning oil and gas development in Arctic waters. Dr. Scott Borgerson, Institute for Global Marine Studies, testified concerning the importance of sustainable development in the Arctic. Dr. Andrew Metzger, University of Alaska, testified concerning the marine civil engineering challenges in the Arctic. (7/27/11).

Court – salvage contract unclear on arbitrability

clip_image012 The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that the arbitrability of contractual dispute is to be decided under federal law unless there is clear and unmistakable evidence that the parties intended to apply non-federal law. The instant case involved natural resource damages arising out of a marine salvage. Plaintiff’s vessel grounded on a coral reef off Oahu. Plaintiff hired defendant to salve the vessel. The salvage contract provided that any dispute arising under the salvage agreement should be settled by arbitration in London in accordance with English law. After the successful salvage, the federal government submitted a claim to plaintiff for damage to the coral reef. Plaintiff brought suit against defendant, alleging that the damage to the reef was caused by the gross negligence of defendant. Defendant’s motion to compel arbitration was denied and defendant appealed. The court held that, while arbitration of the merits of a dispute is favored, there is a presumption against the use of non-federal law to determine whether a particular dispute is arbitrable. Here, federal law narrowly construes “arising under” to exclude any dispute not directly related to the salvage contract. Cape Flattery Ltd v. Titan Maritime, No. 09-15682 (9th Cir., July 26, 2011). Note: Since the wording of this particular salvage contract was fairly standard, we can expect a revision of future contracts to clarify the intentions of the parties with regard to arbitrability.

Australia – fast rescue boat davit wave compensation mechanism

clip_image014 The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) released the report of its investigation into the fast rescue boat incident on board a liquefied natural gas LNG) carrier off Darwin on 16 May 2010. The boat made an uncontrolled drop of 18 meters into the water after the wave compensator mechanism was activated early. Investigation revealed safety issues relating to the commissioning, maintenance, testing, operating instructions, and procedures for the wave compensator and its safety interlock system. MO-2010-004 (7/27/11).

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 – July 2011

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