At press time, the political debate surrounding the creation and final details of the Homeland Security Department was still being vehemently debated, rightfully so considering that it is perhaps the most significant U.S. government overhaul in nearly half a century. Those hoping for a clean and quick decision on the matter should have known that politics — and time — would eventually cool the fervor created by the September 11 attack. This is not to say that safety and security is no longer a top priority ... quite the opposite in fact. The marine business in and around the U.S. has been under intense scrutiny since 9/11, with measures…
Frankly, I ‘m tired. Having passed yet another summer and now embarked upon the path of Autumn 2004, my schedule is packed not only with work and the requisite travel, but the schedule of a fourth grader and the myriad of after school and weekend activities, not to mention the pile of paperwork from school and clubs. To tell the truth, I would rather evaluate the merits of a corporate consolidation than be forced to decipher the nuances of my son’s ‘school picture’ package. But my over tiredness has little real world consequences, the worst being a late afternoon nod-off in yet another meeting, or a missed ‘snooze’ alarm in the early Dawn, meaning I’m a half hour late to work. For mariners, being tired has a completely different meaning.
DNV GL Releases New Issue of Cruise Update Magazine
In conjunction with Seatrade Cruise Global, DNV GL has published the classification society’s latest Cruise Update magazine. It features outstanding projects with customers, interviews with industry leaders, and technology trends in the cruise sector. “The cruise industry promises to set new records once again this year, growing at an unprecedented rate, with many new vessels being commissioned or planned,” says Hans Eivind Siewers, Segment Director Passenger Ships and Ro-Ro at DNV GL – Maritime.
MarAd Launches New Website
The Maritime Administration has launched a new Web site, promoting its Marine Highway Initiative. • Contact information for marine operators and potential shippers. • A link to the Maritime Administration’s congestion relief partner, the I-95 Corridor Coalition.
American NW Ports Set Marine Emissions Goals
The ports of Seattle, Tacoma and Metro Vancouver, Canada, aim to cut diesel emissions by 75 percent per ton of cargo moved by 2015 and 80 percent by 2020, from a 2005 baseline. Factoring in projected cargo growth, this will result in overall reductions of 70 percent by 2015 and 75 percent by 2020. The ports also set a goal to reduce greenhouse gases by 10 percent by 2015 and 15 percent by 2020 per ton of cargo moved. The goals are part of the 2013 Northwest Ports Clean Air Strategy Update, which was adopted this week.
Britain to Review Tax to Speed up North Sea O&G Deals
Britain will look at ways of making it easier to sell North Sea oil and gas fields by changing tax rules in order to keep them producing for longer, the finance ministry said. The move, which is due to be announced in finance minister Philip Hammond's budget on Wednesday, follows a call by the industry's oil lobby group for a change to decommissioning tax rules that have prevented deals in the North Sea. Owners of oil and gas assets get tax relief on the future costs of dismantling them, but as assets are sold the relief cannot be passed on to new owners. "The UK government will publish a discussion paper and establish a panel of industry experts to consider how tax can assist sales of oil and gas fields, helping to keep them productive for longer," the ministry said in a statement.
New Nautican Facility Readies First Shipment
The new Nautican Research and Development manufacturing and integration facility in Summerside, Prince Edward Island, opened in December 2016 with the support of Babcock Canada and the provincial government. The first shipment, a set of rudders, is nearing completion and will soon be delivered to Pacific Fisherman in Seattle. The new facility produces Nautican’s High-Efficiency marine propulsion products. Over the coming years Nautican will progressively transition the manufacturing of its Integrated Propulsion Units (IPUs) to the new facility as well.
Orion Marine Group Updates Investors
Orion Marine Group, Inc. provides a broad range of marine construction and specialty services on, over and under the water along the Gulf Coast, the Atlantic Seaboard, the West Coast, Canada, and the Caribbean Basin and acts as a single source turn-key solution for its customers' marine contracting needs. While the Company is pleased with the recovery of backlog from the lows reached in 2011 and with recent legislative activity in Washington, dredge utilization remains below historical norms as Corps lettings continue to be choppy. As a result, margin improvement is unlikely in the foreseeable future. The Company has still not seen a material increase in lettings from the Army Corps of Engineers since the beginning of 2012.
4th Annual Global Marine Renewable Energy Conference
Wednesday April 27, Industry Development Day there will be reports and discussion about current research on MHK advancement from Sandia National Laboratories, National Renewable Energy Laboratory; and the Department of Energy. There will also be a workshop on Government Advocacy. Thursday April 28 features industry updates from CEOs and keynotes from Paul O'Brien of Scottish Development International; Michael Bromwich, Director, BOEMRE; John Wellinghof, Chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission; and William Tayler, Director Shore Energy, Office of the Deputy Asst. Secretary of Navy (Energy). The day concludes with status reports from the International Energy Agency Ocean Energy Systems Implementing Agreement updates from participating countries.
Government Update: Cargo Security Strategy
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security recently released its draft White Paper on a National Cargo Security Strategy. The Department is seeking stakeholder feedback. The White Paper is a long-belated and somewhat half-hearted attempt to mend fences and appear to be moving forward, while expending little new capital. The paper runs on for nine pages, offering no new ideas and making few commitments. It has the appearance of an uneasy political compromise between feuding federal agencies. The one clear commitment is found on page eight, where it says the Department “will, as a short-term step, mandate the use of high security mechanical seals on all in-bound containers.” There is, as yet, no official government standard as to what constitutes a high security mechanical seal.
Government Update: Signed Confessions
Many in the maritime industry are beginning to view the oil record book as a signed confession. The number of prosecutions in the United States for fraudulent entries in oil record books is rising exponentially and fines have recently skyrocketed. In the years 1998 through 2001, research has revealed one prosecution in each year for oil record book violations. In 2002, there were seven prosecutions - and four of those were against individual chief engineers. In 2003, nine prosecutions, four of which were again against individual chief engineers. Through the middle of August 2004, there have been seven prosecutions, and only two were directed at individual chief engineers. Criminal fines to date have totaled $52,285,000.
Government Update:The Maritime Transportation Security Act 101
After a series of procedural maneuvers, the 107th Congress adopted the Maritime Transportation Security Act as one of its final bills prior to adjournment. President Bush signed measure into law on November 25, 2002 (Public Law 107-295). The new law represents the most significant expansion of maritime and port security authority since enactment of the so-called Magnuson Amendment in 1950. This Act contains a number of provisions authorizing the Coast Guard and other agencies to establish maritime security standards and mandate certain security enhancements to be undertaken by maritime industry. The Act requires facility and vessel vulnerability assessments to be done by the Coast Guard.
Government Update: U.S. Manifest Presentation Requirements
By Dennis L. The United States, like all other nations, has required from its founding that manifests of imported cargo be filed with its Customs agency. Traditionally, the manifest was filed (or "presented") when the ship arrived in port. Official entry was not completed and cargo could not be unladed until the manifest was presented. This process was drastically reworked following the horrific terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. The U.S. Customs Service, since reorganized into the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection (CBP), demanded that the information be provided earlier and in greater detail. On October 31, 2002, Customs…
Government Update: Ballast Water Management Acquiring Teeth
Effective August 13, 2004, the U.S. Coast Guard will have the authority to impose civil penalties of up to $27,500 per day against vessels that fail to submit ballast water management reports. The basic ballast water management program has been in existence for some years, but submittal of reports has been largely voluntary since the agency lacked the power to require submittal. As a result, participation in the program has been abysmal - at less than 30 percent. It is expected that participation will rapidly become universal as the penalty regime takes hold. The goal of ballast water management is to reduce the risk of transport in a ship's ballast tanks of aquatic species from one location to another where the species is not indigenous and may have no natural enemies.
Government Update: Continuous Synopsis Record
One of the numerous provisions in the December 2002 amendments to the International Convention on the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS Convention) requires ships subject to the Convention to maintain a continuous synopsis record as of July 1, 2004. All is not going smoothly though. Owners and operators should prepare to take individual action prior to the deadline. The continuous synopsis record is intended to provide an on-board record of the history of the ship. m. The date on which the ship ceased to be registered with that nation. Any changes relating to entries in the continuous synopsis record are to be made by the flag administration within three months and provided to the ship so that the information remains current.
By Dennis L. Bryant, senior maritime counsel, Holland & Knight, Washington, D.C. The federal government has concluded that one means of enhancing maritime security is by making maritime activity transparent. The theory is that if the federal government can look through or behind all maritime transactions, it can determine if any of them have ties to terrorists and take appropriate action before the threat manifests itself. The problem is that many of the participants in maritime activities value the current opaqueness of most maritime transactions, generally for legitimate commercial reasons. If your competitor knows early-on what you are doing, he or she can more successfully compete against you.
Government Update: Maritime Security and the Hazards of Unilateralism
The United States Congress is working hard to enact maritime security legislation. At the same time and under the leadership of the United States, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) is working hard to develop an international convention on maritime security. There is little doubt that Congress will complete its task before IMO completes its mission. There is also little doubt that, in some areas, the U.S. approach will differ from that to be taken by IMO. The international maritime community will thus be facing a situation not wholly dissimilar from that of just over ten years ago when the U.S. Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA 90) challenged the approach taken by IMO with regard to double hulls on oil tankers and related matters.
Government Update: Open Letter to the U.S. Coast Guard Regarding Maritime Security
On December 30, 2002, the U.S. Coast Guard published a Notice of meetings and a request for comments relating to maritime security (67 Fed. Reg. 79742). Following are some thoughts on this important issue. I must commence by stating that I have the highest respect for the Coast Guard. The maritime and port security missions are vital to the U.S. and the world. There is no agency better qualified to lead this important program. Congress has assigned heavy responsibilities to the Coast Guard and, at the same time, required that the initial work be done in an impossibly short time. The Coast Guard is accustomed to working in real time and will accomplish the mission in the shortest possible period. While the U.S.
ICS Stresses Importance of Treaty Ratification
Governments must not impede the smooth operation of a global maritime regulatory regime by failing to ratify and implement crucial maritime conventions, warns the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS). parts of the voyage, advises ICS - the principal international trade association for shipowners, representing 80% of the world merchant fleet. ICS and its sister organisation, the International Shipping Federation (ISF), have produced a campaign brochure (launched this week - attached) which reiterates the importance of maritime treaty ratification and which is intended to help member national shipowner associations lobby their governments to support the global regulatory system that shipping requires. "A global industry requires global rules." said ICS Secretary General, Peter Hinchliffe.
UKHO Updates Digital Navigation
The UKHO today announced another simple way to view the most accurate and up-to-date navigational charts, with the release of SevenCs ORCA Master Electronic Chart System (ECS) compatible with the Admiralty Information Overlay. The Overlay, brings the latest navigational updates from Admiralty to an ECDIS or ECS to help make digital navigation safer, more efficient and fully compliant. Available from Admiralty, the Overlay is now compatible with both Transas and SevenCs systems. Transas was the first to announce availability via the Transas Admiralty Data Service (TADS), and the UKHO is also working with other major ECDIS manufacturers to ensure the Admiralty Information Overlay can be displayed on their systems. Further availability will be announced in the next few months.
Next Step for Ship Recycling in Bangladesh
International Maritime Organization (IMO)’s work to promote safe and environmentally sound ship recycling made further progress this week (6-8 November) in Dhaka, Bangladesh, where a roundtable meeting of donors discussed next steps in IMO’s SENSREC project. At the meeting, the Government of Bangladesh announced plans to take on phase II of the project, which will establish a Treatment Storage and Disposal Facility (TSDF) in the Chittagong region. The facility will help to manage hazardous materials derived from ship recycling and other industries in the region.
Construction Update: Mein Schiff 3 and Mein Schiff 4
TUI Cruises President and CEO Richard Vogel is in Finland this week reviewing the status of the construction of the company’s two ship orders, Mein Schiff 3 and Mein Schiff 4, and provided an update. Mr. Vogel noted that construction on Mein Schiff 3 at STX Finland is now 25% complete, and the main engines have completed their acceptance testing. Formal keel-laying has been set for Friday May 24, 2013 with delivery almost exactly one year later. In light of recent public speculation relating to the shipyard…
Russian Ammunition Ship Did Dock in Syria Say Rights Group
According to Reuters, Washington condemned the reported weapons delivery. "Today's updated shipping databases show that the cargo ship Professor Katsman did in fact dock in the port of Tartus on May 26, 2012 before heading to Piraeus, Greece," Sadia Hameed of Human Rights First told Reuters. Western officials confirmed her remarks, adding that they understood the ship had been carrying arms for the government of Syria, which for 14 months has been using its security forces to attack an increasingly militarized opposition. One Western diplomat told Reuters the shipment included heavy weapons, though it was not immediately clear what kind of heavy arms.