Maritime Pollution Prevention Act Signed into Law
President Bush has signed into law the Maritime Pollution Prevention Act of 2008 (H.R. 802). This law implements for the United States Annex VI to the MARPOL Convention (Prevention of Air Pollution from Ships). The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a news release discussing the new legislation.
UK Chamber Stand on Seafarers Minimum Wage
The Government's newly issued 'Guide to the application of the Equality Act 2010 and National Minimum Wage for seafarers' does not make any change to legal entitlement for those working in UK waters, the UK Chamber of Shipping advises. "The guide does not amend the law and there has been no change in the entitlement of any seafarer in respect of the National Minimum Wage or the Equality Act. It is hoped that the clarification of the current position provided by the guide will be of use to companies and seafarers…
What Happens to Maritime Treaties?
Throughout the maritime world, the technical regulations developed and adopted by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) are well known. Shipmasters and officers, as well as expert trainers and educators, spend many hours getting to grips with the knowledge needed to implement and impart the detailed regulations governing ship safety and security and the prevention of pollution from ships. But there is an important first step which needs to happen between adopting a new regulation or amendment and its entry into force and application on board ships.
Owner and Operator Sentenced to $1m Fine
The US Department of Justice said that the owner and operator of a foreign freighter pleaded guilty to violation of federal law by illegally discharging waste oil while bypassing the ship’s oily water separator and making false entries in the ship’s oil record book. The owner and operator were sentenced to pay a fine of $1 million, make a community service payment of $250,000, and implement a court-monitored environmental compliance program. Source: HK Law
Intelsat Announces Proposed Offering of Senior Notes
Intelsat S.A. announced that its subsidiary, Intelsat (Luxembourg) S.A. intends to offer $1,500,000,000 aggregate principal amount of senior notes due 2021. Intelsat Luxembourg's obligations under the notes will be guaranteed by Intelsat S.A. The net proceeds from the sale of the notes are expected to be used by Intelsat Luxembourg to redeem $915,000,000 aggregate principal amount of its outstanding 11½/12½% Senior PIK Election Notes due 2017 (the "2017 PIK Notes") in its previously announced redemption on April 5, 2013, to redeem an additional $460,000,000 aggregate principal amount of its outstanding 2017 PIK Notes, to pay related fees and expenses and for general corporate purposes…
Pirates Release Tanker and Crew in Gulf of Guinea
Product tanker MT Barrett has been released and all crew are safe following a six-day piracy incident in the Gulf of Guinea, U.K. based Union Maritime has confirmed. Union Maritime said it lost communications with its 11,999-dwt product tanker while the vessel was at anchor off Benin, West Africa on the morning of January 10, after which the company immediately implemented its emergency response plan and alerted regional maritime authorities and other vessels. A resolution process began when the pirates holding the MT Barrett made contact with the Union Maritime late on January 12.
Dryships Announces Closing Of Private Offering
ATHENS, GREECE – April 28, 2011 - DryShips Inc. (NASDAQ: DRYS) (the “Company” or “DryShips”), a global provider of marine transportation services for drybulk and petroleum cargoes and off-shore contract drilling oil services, announced the closing of the sale of $500 million aggregate principal amount of 9.5% Senior Unsecured Bonds Due 2016 (the “Bonds”) offered by its majority-owned subsidiary Ocean Rig UDW Inc. (“Ocean Rig”) in a private placement made to Norwegian professional investors and eligible counterparties as defined in the Norwegian Securities Trading Regulation 10-2 to 10-4…
IMO – Mandatory Ship Reporting Systems
The IMO issued a circular regarding one new mandatory ship reporting system and amendments to two current systems. The new system is in the Galapagos Particularly Sensitive Sea Area (PSSA). The systems will be implemented on 1 July 2007. Source: HK Law
Australia Implements MSIC Program
The Australian Minister for Transport and Regional Services said that the government will implement its Maritime Security Identification Card (MSIC) program on 1 January 2007. Of the 57,000 maritime industry workers who submitted applications for such cards by the 27 October 2006 deadline, over 56,000 have been issued their permanent cards. The remaining 1,000 will be issued temporary passes until their permanent cards are available. An additional 9,000 applications that were submitted after the deadline will be processed as promptly as possible. Source: HK Law
MarAd Revises Maritime Security Program
The U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD) is revising and adopting as final its prior interim rule implementing the Maritime Security Program (MSP). Under MSP, owners and operators of active, commercially viable vessels are eligible for subsidies in return for making those vessels available to meet national defense and other security needs. The revisions consist mostly of clarifications of the interim rule. The final rule comes into effect on November 21. Source: HK Law
A working group of the Merchant Marine Personnel Advisory Committee (MERPAC), sponsored by the U.S. Coast Guard, will meet in Kings Point, New York on November 17 and 18. The purpose of the meeting is to discuss Task Statement #42 to review proposed revisions to the USCG regulation implementing the STCW Convention. 70 Fed. Reg. 61466 (HK Law)
House Committee Approves Air Emissions Bill
The House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure said that it approved a number of bills, including H.R. 802, which, if enacted, will implement for the United States Annex VI to the MARPOL Convention. The Annex addresses regulations for the prevention of air pollution from ships. Source: HK Law
USCG to Require Drydocking of Single Hull Tank Ships
The Coast Guard has decided (somewhat belatedly) to implement IMO Resolution MSC.105(73) by not allowing any US flag non-double hull tank ship 15 years and older that trades internationally and is subject to SOLAS to conduct an underwater inspection in lieu of drydock (UWILD). A certificated tug and non-double hull barge that operate as a push-mode ITB is treated by the Coast Guard as a tank ship for this purpose. Source: HK Law
Corporate Investigation Service Launched
London-based law firm Lawrence Graham has launched LG Corporate Investigations - a multi-disciplinary team of experts who advise clients on the potential for corporate risk, and implement solutions to contain and minimize it, while also offering a full investigation service for those faced with possible fraud or regulatory breach. The team is also ideally positioned to advise businesses or directors who may require independent advice - both independent of the company and its existing advisers. Led by partner Andrew Witts, a specialist in corporate fraud and international asset tracing, the team brings together the firm's wide-ranging expertise in areas including: corporate governance…
Shipping Company Fined $3.5M
The U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Washington issued a Press Release stating that a Norwegian shipping company was sentenced to pay a fine of $3.5 million for seven felony violations relating to falsification of records concealing the intentional dumping of waste oil into the ocean. In addition, the company was ordered to develop and implement a comprehensive environmental compliance program and serve four years on probation. The violations were reported by a crewmember, who has been awarded $300,000 for his actions. (Source: HK Law)
NOAA & FWS: Ship Reporting System Proposed
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) are proposing regulations for a ship reporting system for waters of the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument, located at the northwest end of the Hawaiian Island chain. This action would implement measures adopted by the IMO. Comments on the proposal should be submitted by August 6. 73 Fed. Reg. 38375 (HK Law).
Challenges to Verify Security Ops
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued a report stating that US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has enhanced its partnership with import trade sectors, but that challenges remain in verifying security practices. It recommends that CBP improve its electronic validation instrument, improve the validation process, enhance its records management system, and establish performance measures for improving supply chain security. The report also notes that CBP considered implementing tiered benefits for international carriers, but was not able to identify additional benefits to offer carriers in a tiered structure. GAO-08-240 (HK Law).
Brazil Implements Ballast Water Convention
The IMO issued a Circular forwarding a communication from the Government of Brazil stating that, effective 15 October 2005, Brazil has implemented domestic legislation, based on the ballast water convention, requiring ships to carry out ballast water discharge and related measures. Source: HK Law
Australian Customs Issues Addresses Maritime Surveillance
The Australian Minister for Customs issued a Media Release stating that the Australian Customs Service’s Annual Report has been tabled in Parliament. Among other things, the report discusses the significant enhancement to maritime surveillance that the agency implemented during 2005. Source: HK Law
NOAA Study Shows Value of PORTS Program
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) issued a News Release stating that a recent study of operation of the Physical Oceanographic Real-Time System (PORTS) program in Tampa Bay demonstrated that the local economy receives more than $7 million a year in savings and direct income from operation of the program. Among other things, groundings and spills in the bay have decreased substantially since the program was implemented. Source: HK Law
Canada Proposes Amendments to MTSR
Transport Canada published proposed amendments to the Maritime Transportation Security Regulations (MTSR). The proposal, if adopted, would implement for Canada recent changes to the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW Convention) and require that the vessel security officer (VSO) have a certificate of proficiency. Comments on the proposal should be submitted by November 12. [Source: HK Law]
USCG – Coordination of e-NOA/D with SLSDC
The USCG National Vessel Movement Center (NVMC) issued a news item stating that it is working with the Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation (SLSDC) to include their “at least 96 hours prior to westbound entry of the Saint Lawrence Seaway (SLS) at C.I.P. 2” notification into the USCG electronic Notice of Arrival and Departure (e-NOA/D) system. It is anticipated that this coordinated notification system will be implemented prior to the start of the 2008 SLS navigation season. Source: HK Law
USCG Implements Authorization Act
Admiral Bob Papp, Commandant, US Coast Guard issued ALCOAST 507/10, explaining in part how he intends to implement the recently-signed Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2010. Even though the new law does not require continuation of the Atlantic and Pacific Area Commands, he will retain these positions. The Chief of Staff will become the Deputy Commandant for Mission Support (DCMS). The position of Deputy Commandant for Operations (DCO) will become a Vice Admiral billet. (10/15/10). (Source: Bryant’s Maritime News)