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Transportation Law

President Bush signs Marine Highway Legislation

On Dec. 19, 2007, President George W. Bush signed into law the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, which contains provisions establishing a formal marine highway program within the federal government. Under the new law, marine highway or "short sea" transportation refers to the carriage by vessel of cargo in containers, loaded on the vessel by cranes or by means of wheeled technology. Specifically, the new law requires the establishment of a program and the designation of transportation projects to mitigate landside congestion. The program will encourage the development and expansion of vessels, shippers, port and landside infrastructure, and marine transportation strategies by state and local governments. Water transportation routes will be designated as extensions of the surface transportation system to focus public and private efforts to use the waterways to relieve landside congestion along coastal corridors. A project may be so designated if it offers a waterborne alternative to available landside transportation services using vessels and provides transportation services for passengers, freight or both. For designated transportation projects, the federal government will promote the use of waterborne transportation services as well as coordinate the development of landside facilities and infrastructure with ports, state departments of transportation, localities, other public agencies, and the private sector


Maritime Transportation Act Signed into Law

The White House issued a Press Release stating, among other things, that President Bush signed into law the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Act of 2004 (H.R. 2443). In addition to serving as the annual authorization act for the Coast Guard and the Federal Maritime Commission, this law inserts an exemption for certain passive owners (primarily institutional lenders) into OPA 90, mandates oil spill response plans for non-tank vessels in excess of 400 gross tons


DHS: Limited Waiver of Coastwise Restrictions

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published the temporary waiver of compliance with coastwise trade restrictions to assist in the recovery from the effects of Hurricanes Rita and Katrina. The coastwise trade laws have been waived, until 12:01 a.m., October 24, 2005, for transportation of petroleum and refined petroleum products from one U.S. port to another U.S. port. The earlier waiver of coastwise trade laws for transportation of petroleum released from the Strategic Petroleum


Administrative Process For Jones Act Waivers

The U.S. coastwise laws (primarily the Jones Act and the Passenger Vessel Services Act) require to carry cargo or passengers between U.S. ports, a vessel must be U.S.-flagged, U.S.-crewed, U.S.-built, and U.S.-owned. Traditionally, the only way for a non-qualified vessel to obtain the right to engage in domestic service has been for Congress to enact special legislation granting the privilege to the vessel by name. Public Law 105-383, enacted in November 1998


Field Hearing On Delaware Oil Spill

The House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure released a Schedule stating that the Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation will conduct a field hearing in Philadelphia on January 18. The hearing will examine circumstances surrounding the recent oil spill in the Delaware River. (HK Law)


Bill Promotes US LNG Vessel Transport

Congressman John Garamendi (D-CA-03), Ranking Member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure’s Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Subcommittee, introduced H.R. 5270, the Growing American Shipping Act, which aims to modernize U.S. LNG shipping export laws and strengthen the maritime industry. The Subcommittee’s Chairman, Congressman Duncan Hunter (R-CA-50), joined the legislation as an original cosponsor.


U.S. National Transportation Statistics 2002 Released

The U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics released the National Transportation Statistics 2002 In the maritime sector, the report notes that the number of U.S.-flag ocean-going vessels of 1,000 gross tons and over decreased from 2,926 in 1960 to 443 in 2001. The U.S. ocean-going tonnage decreased from 32,567,000 dwt to 14,978,000 dwt during this same period. Average vessel size rose from 11,130 dwt to 33,810 dwt. Source: HK Law


TRB – Harbor Safety Committee Conference

The Puget Sound Harbor Safety Committee will host the 2008 Harbor Safety Committee Conference in Seattle on May 12-14. The conference offers an opportunity for HSCs and other stakeholders from around the country to exchange information on current challenges, best practices, case studies, and lessons learned and to engage both public and private executive leaders on issues relating to marine transportation. The conference is organized by the U.S


Hearing on Vessel Rebuilding

The Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure conducted a hearing on Rebuilding Vessels under the Jones Act. The law requires, for vessels eligible to engage in the coastwise trade, that any rebuilding, including the construction of any major component of the hull or superstructure, be done in the . Committee Chair James Oberstar (D-MN) noted the need for consistency in application of the rebuild regulations


Hearing on New Orleans Oil Spill

On September 16, the Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure will conduct an oversight hearing on the Oil Spill in New Orleans in July 2008 and Safety on the Inland River System. Source: HK Law


Senate Hearing on USMMA Issues Scheduled

The Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies of the Senate Committee on Appropriations will hold a hearing on 5 April to examine protecting midshipmen, focusing on preventing sexual assault and sexual harassment at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy.


Vard to Build Live Fish Transport Vessel

Image: Vard

Vard Holdings Limited has secured a contract for the design and construction of one live fish transportation vessel for Fjordlaks Aqua in Ålesund, Norway.   The new live fish transportation vessel of VARD 8 50 design is scheduled for delivery from Vard Aukra in Norway in 3Q 2018


Lines in the Water

Photo: Carlos Rivera / U.S. Customs and Border Patrol

There are a variety of jurisdictional lines in the water. The first line to be considered is the national boundary between two adjacent or nearby countries. Adjacent countries tend to draw agreed boundaries extending their shoreside boundaries, with accommodations for headlands, capes, etc


Op/Ed: CBP’S Lawful Jones Act Revocation

© currahee_shutter / Adobe Stock

In 2009, the U.S. offshore marine sector received a long over-due indication that the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) was preparing to close loopholes and enforce U.S. law in accordance with the Jones Act. This happened when the agency unhesitatingly issued its first revocation of more than


TFI Acquires National Fast Freight

Image: National Fast Freight

 TFI International Inc., formerly known as TransForce Inc., a North American leader in the transportation and logistics industry, has announced that a wholly-owned subsidiary of TFI International has acquired Brampton, Ontario based National Fast Freight (NFF) from Calyx Transportation Group


Workshop Promotes Maritime Security Cooperation in Kenya

Photo: International Maritime Organization (IMO)

 Kenyan officials involved in maritime law enforcement are taking part in a workshop and scenario-based simulation exercise in Mombassa, Kenya (31 January – 3 February).    The International Maritime Organization (IMO)-led event will enhance inter-agency cooperation in the


NTSB Reports on Safety Risks in Shared Waterways

Photo: Larry Dosta / NTSB

The National Transportation Safety Board issued a report Thursday identifying the risks associated with the shared use of America’s Marine Transportation System by recreational and commercial vessels.   The growth of both commercial and recreational vessel traffic during the last


Future Maritime Leaders Practice Policy Planning

Photo: International Maritime Organization (IMO)

 Maritime law students in Malta have been introduced to key issues in maritime transport policy making in a seminar at the IMO International Maritime Law Institute (IMLI) in Malta (7-9 February).    The event focused on the National Maritime Transport Policy (NMTP) concept


Spain's Government, Port Unions on Collision Course

file Image: the port of Barcelona, Spain (CREDIT: AdobeStock)

Spain's cabinet passed a draft law on Friday to end closed-shop hiring at the country's ports, putting the government on a collision course with unions which have called nine days of strikes that are likely to decimate trade flows.   Around two-thirds of Spain's imports and exports pass


USCG, Navy Conduct Joint Maritime Security Mission

U.S. Navy photo by Daniel Kelley

The U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Navy completed an 18-day joint mission in the Central and South Pacific under the Oceania Maritime Security Initiative to combat transnational crimes, enforce fisheries laws and enhance regional security.  


Last Port of Call for the U.S. Merchant Marine?

Part II in a two-part series, continued from the January 2017 edition of Maritime Reporter & Engineering News. Read Part I here.     Government Ownership If reliance on the foreign commercial market is risky because of uncertain reliability, then what of U.S


Container Lines to Cut Terminal Cost in China

Pic: Cosco

 Eleven container liner transportation companies have promised to cut or standardize the Terminal Handling Charges (THC) in order to lower nearly 3.5 billion yuan burden of export enterprises each year, according to National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC).   


Dinh-Zarr to Serve as NTSB Acting Chairman

Bella Dinh-Zarr (Photo: NTSB)

Christopher A. Hart’s term as Chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board concluded on schedule Wednesday and Vice Chairman Bella Dinh-Zarr will serve as the agency’s acting chairman.   Hart will remain at the NTSB


Deck Carrier BigRoll Beaufort Delivered

BigRoll Beaufort (Photo: BigRoll Shipping)

The heavy marine transportation provider BigRoll Shipping has reached a milestone. The fourth and final MC Class vessel for BigRoll shipping was handed over by Cosco Dalian Shipyard Co. Ltd to new owner BigRoll Shipping in Leiden, the Netherlands.  


Ocean RIG Files for Bankruptcy Protection in US

Photo: Ocean RIG

Rig contractor Ocean RIG UDW Inc filed for Chapter 15 bankruptcy protection in a U.S. court amid a deep and prolonged downturn in the industry. Shares of the company plunged 36.4 percent to 46 cents in early trading on Tuesday. The Cyprus-based company, which had $3






 
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