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Court Decision

AWO Supports Federal Regulatory Authority

The American Waterways Operators (AWO) officially went on record in the U.S. Supreme Court in support of the preemptive authority of federal statutes and regulations governing vessel operations. AWO is supporting the position of Intertanko and the U.S. in a challenge to a decision by the Ninth Circuit Court on the extent to which the State of Washington can regulate the operation of tank vessels. In a "friend of the court" brief filed with the Supreme Court, AWO asserted the Circuit Court's decision is a threat to the uniformity of federal and international standards vital to interstate transportation and, unless reversed, federal safety rules and regulations could be rendered inconsequential. The AWO brief argues the Ninth Circuit Court fundamentally misinterpreted the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Ray v. Atlantic Richfield Co., in which the limits of state regulatory authority over federally regulated vessels were carefully defined. The brief further states the Circuit Court decision ignores the preemptive nature of acts of Congress, such as OPA 90 and the Ports and Waterways Safety Act, which grants the USCG the authority to prescribe regulations that preempt state or local law. The brief cites the example of a decision taken by Rhode Island to unilaterally require a phase-out of single-hull tank vessels in state waters fully 14 years before the time prescribed by Congress in OPA 90


Aker Philly Shipyard Build Methodologies Confirmed in Court Decision

In a decision filed by the U.S. District Court of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania has upheld the United States Coast Guard interpretation of the Jones Act as it relates to the modern building methods employed by Aker Philadelphia Shipyard. The decision rejected a lawsuit filed by the Metal Trades Department of the AFL-CIO.  Aker Philadelphia Shipyard President and CEO, Jim Miller remarked “We wish to reiterate that Aker Philadelphia Shipyard is extremely proud to


NYC Considers Local Law on Passenger Vessels

The New York City Council is considering a proposed Local Law


Carriers Ponder Dutch Ruling in CMR Dispute

Netherlands law firm AKD Prinsen Van Wijmen says a recent decision of the Dutch Supreme Court indicates that, whilst Holland remains an extremely carrier-friendly jurisdiction for disputes under the Convention on the Contract for the International Carriage of Goods by Road (CMR), a much stricter approach is to be adopted to the Act of God exemption from liability for loss and damage under CMR. In its April 24 decision in Philips Electronics NV v Vos Logistics


Salazar Statement on Leasing Court Ruling

U.S. Department of the Interior Secretary Ken Salazar issued the following statement regarding the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruling on DOI’s request for clarification of the Court’s earlier decision to vacate the 2007-2012 Outer Continental Shelf oil and natural gas leasing program:  “I am pleased with the Court’s decision.  Consistent with the Department’s request


Protests Shut Channel Tunnel Again

The Channel Tunnel closed again on Tuesday due to protesting MyFerryLink workers, its operator Eurotunnel and French traffic supervision body Bison Fute said. The entrance to the tunnel was blocked by angry workers who set fire to tyres thrown on the tracks, a Reuters witness said. Employees at MyFerryLink, the ferry service recently sold by Eurotunnel maintained their blockade of the northern French port of Calais for a second day on Tuesday after a court rejected their bid to extend a


Maine BEP Endorses Tank Barge Regulations

The Maine Board of Environmental Protection (BEP) approved proposed Chapter 600 vessel operating regulations by a vote of five to one, with one abstention. Chapter 600 regulations address the operation of both oil terminal facilities and vessels transporting oil on state waterways. The regulations will be forwarded to the Attorney General for review and compliance with the state's Administrative Procedures Act. If the Attorney General approves the regulations


INTERTANKO to Intervene in Ballast Water Decision

A U.S. Federal judge in the Northern California District has granted INTERTANKO's Motion to Intervene on the court's decision that the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) exemption of ballast water discharges from the permit requirements of the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) was improper under the Clean Water Act. INTERTANKO filed this motion along with industry coalition partners the American Waterways Operators (AWO), the Chamber of Shipping of America (CSA)


Raising a Red Flag?

A Review of Recent Developments with the Americans with Disabilities Act's Requirements for U.S. and Foreign Flag Passenger-Vessels By James P. Nader & Rudolph F. Lehrer Douglas Spector and Tammy Stevens presumably do not know each other, but they have a lot in common. Approximately five years ago, both Spector and Stevens boarded cruise ships out of major ports in the southern United States. Both Spector and Stevens, who are wheel-chair bound


China Tells US to Play Constructive South China Sea Role

(Photo: CSIS Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative)

China told the United States on Tuesday that it should play a constructive role in safeguarding peace in the disputed South China Sea, as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry called for talks and a peaceful resolution. China claims most of the South China Sea, through which $5 trillion in ship-borne trade passes every year. The Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan and Brunei have overlapping claims, as well as close military ties with the United States.


US Urges ASEAN Unity on South China Sea Ruling

Photo: Permanent Court of Arbitration

China risks "terrible" damage to its reputation if it ignores an impending international court ruling on the South China Sea, the United States said on Thursday, while urging Southeast Asian countries to rally behind the court decision.  


ICS Criticises 'Prestige’ Judgement by Spanish Court

An oil cleanup volunteer holds up Comorant covered in oil from the sunken Prestige oil tanker on the coast of Galicia, Spain. Photo Greenpeace

At a meeting of the International Oil Pollution Compensation Funds (IOPCF) this week, the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) has strongly criticised the judgement of the Spanish Supreme Court in the ‘Prestige’ Case.  


Korean Shipbuilder Could Be Liquidated

Photo: STX Offshore & Shipbuilding Co.

 South Korea's STX Offshore & Shipbuilding Co. has filed for receivership, following massive losses that have mounted up over the past two years, says a report in the WSJ.    According to multiple sources from the shipbuilding industry


UAE Top Court: Physical Bunkers Suppliers Have No Right to Recourse against Owners/Charterers

File photo: OW Bunker

The OW saga - UAE Federal Supreme Court decides that physical suppliers of bunkers have no right to recourse against Owners/Charterers. In the first decision on the issue from the most senior court in the country, the UAE Federal Supreme Court has decided that physical suppliers of bunkers have


EU Court Strikes Down Spanish Ship Finance Scheme

Court says scheme does not give firms selective advantage; EU regulators cracking down on unfair tax systems. Europe's second-highest court gave clearance on Thursday to a Spanish tax lease scheme in the shipbuilding industry, annulling a decision by EU regulators two years ago that this gave a


Maritime Cybersecurity: What Next?

The maritime community is no more immune from cyber threats than any other entity that relies on computers and the internet.     The maritime industry, though, constitutes part of the world’s critical infrastructure.  Thus


EU to Fight Spanish Ship Finance Scheme

Regulators cracking down on national schemes which benefit some; more legal battles ahead with Luxembourg, Dutch tax appeals. EU state aid regulators are looking to Europe's top court to back their decision against a Spanish tax lease scheme for shipbuilders


BIMCO: Recommended Amendments To Bunker Contracts

Pic: WP Marine

 As widely reported in the maritime press, the United Kingdom's Supreme Court has granted an expedited hearing to Product Shipping & Trading's case against the collapsed OW Bunker (the Res Cogitans).    The hearing will take place on 22 March in London and will deliver the


BP Escapes US Lawsuits Over Post-Gulf Spill Drilling Ban

BP Plc does not have to face U.S. lawsuits by energy and drilling companies over losses they suffered from an offshore drilling ban imposed soon after the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, a federal judge ruled.   U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier in New Orleans agreed with BP that federal law


Transocean Defeats Shareholder Appeal over Gulf Spill

Transocean Ltd on Thursday won the dismissal of an appeal by shareholders accusing the owner of the doomed Deepwater Horizon drilling rig of deceiving them about its safety practices prior to the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill. The 2nd U.S


World Court to Draw up Nicaragua-Colombia Maritime Boundary

The International Court of Justice on Thursday said it would consider a claim by Nicaragua to expand its maritime boundaries in a mineral-rich part of the Caribbean Sea toward Colombia, a ruling set to further strain relations between the two countries.


Oil Spill Response: Responder Immunity Analyzed

On February 16, 2016, Judge Carl J. Barbier of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana granted summary judgment in favor of the various commercial oil spill response companies involved in the federal government’s response to the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil


Primorsk Shelves Restructuring Plans

Photo: Primorsk International Shipping

 Russian tanker player Primorsk International Shipping has dropped its restructuring plans in favour of pushing through asset sales, reports WSJ.    This is what Primorsk's lawyers told a bankruptcy court in Manhattan on Friday


How Politics Impacts OPA 90 Responder Immunity

Steven Candito

Many people today are frustrated with the current U.S. political process as we endure various government stalemates on budgets, Supreme Court appointments, and, of course, the Presidential election. The general theme is voters are angry with the political establishment and, as a result


Stockholm Norvik Port Construction to Start

Stockholm  Norvik Port Image courtesy Ports of Stockholm

The planned freight port, the Stockholm Norvik Port, just north of Nynäshamn, is extremely important for the establishment of an efficient, eco-friendly supply of goods to the Stockholm region. In accordance with the Swedish Environmental Code






 
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