WQIS to Release New Policy Form for 2014
On June 16, 2014 the Water Quality Insurance Syndicate (WQIS) will offer a new 2014 Worldwide Vessel Pollution Form. The new policy form will contain enhanced coverage that will follow the WQIS tradition of offering assureds the most comprehensive vessel pollution coverage in the industry. “We are constantly monitoring the market and researching how we can better support our assureds in an ever-changing world,” said Richard H. Hobbie III, WQIS President and CEO. Inclusion of State Fines and Penalties with an increased sub-limit to $1,000,000. 100% of Additional Public Relations coverage (formerly 80%). An increase in the Criminal Defense Limit without prior approval to $10,000; an increase in the per occurrence limit for Criminal Defense and the annual aggregate sub-limit to $100,000.
Linsin Joins Blank Rome
Blank Rome LLP announced that Gregory F. Linsin has joined the Firm as a Partner in the White Collar, Internal & Government Investigations practice group. Mr. Linsin brings more than 25 years of experience as a federal prosecutor and has an extensive background in the supervision and prosecution of complex maritime and environmental criminal cases with the Environmental Crimes Section of the United States Department of Justice. Mr. Linsin will be based in Firmâ€™s Washington, D.C. office. Prior to joining Blank Rome, Linsin served as Special Litigation Counsel for the United States Department of Justice, Environmental Crimes Section. In this capacity, Mr.
Safe Harbor Pollution Insurance Broadens In-house Capacity
Safe Harbor Pollution Insurance broadens panel of security, increases marine pollution capacity Vessel pollution liability insurance company Safe Harbor Pollution Insurance announced it has expanded its carrier partnerships to include Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance Company (BHSI) and Argonaut Insurance Company. With this expanded panel, Safe Harbor said it has more than tripled its in-house capacity. BHSI, which carries a financial strength rating of A++ from AM Best, and Argonaut, rated A by AM Best, join A rated Starr Indemnity & Liability Company on the Safe Harbor panel. Safe Harbor Pollution Insurance is a member of the Falvey Insurance Group, a MGA group specializing in cargo, yacht and marine pollution.
OSG to Pay $27m for Vessel Pollution
Overseas Shipholding Group Inc. General Matthew J. McKeown, U.S. Attorney Michael J. District of Massachusetts, and U.S. Sullivan. and outside independent auditing of OSG ships trading worldwide. $10 million. deliberate vessel pollution. from Ships, conspiracy, false statements, and obstruction of justice. projects coast to coast. role in blowing the whistle on illegal conduct. may be awarded up to half of a criminal fine. on the fine imposed according to the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships.
Senate Hearing on Reducing Oil Spill Risk
On August 1, the Subcommittee on Fisheries and Coast Guard of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation conducted a field hearing in Seattle on Reducing the Risk of Future Oil Spills. Among the various witnesses, Captain Myles Boothe, USCG testified that the majority of oil entering waters of the United States comes from land-based sources and the majority of vessel-based oil spills in the Pacific Northwest comes from recreational and fishing vessels. Mr. Dale Jensen, Washington State Department of Ecology, testified that state and regional agencies should be allowed to establish higher vessel pollution prevention standards than those utilized by the federal government. Dr.
Former Chief Engineer Arraigned on Vessel Pollution Charges
Patrick K. Brown, a former Chief Engineer of the M/V Fidelio was arraigned today on a six count indictment related to deliberate vessel pollution that was originally returned by a federal grand jury on July 26, 2007. The indictment was announced by Ronald J. Tenpas, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department's Environment & Natural Resources Division and U.S. Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein. According to the indictment, Brown was a U.S. licensed Chief Engineer and was responsible for managing and supervising the engine department, including compliance with laws regulating the discharge of oil from the ship.
Falvey Announces New Pollution Insurance Division
Falvey Insurance Group has formed a new division, Safe Harbor Pollution Insurance. Offering some of the broadest terms available in the commercial market, Safe Harbor's Global Vessel Pollution Policy provides comprehensive protection for any vessel, owner or operator. Veteran insurance professionals Russ Brown, Tony Gerone and Sean Quinn bring over 35 years of experience in underwriting marine pollution coverage to the new Long Island-based company. "The establishment of Safe Harbor Pollution Insurance Company represents the realization of our longstanding vision to offer an unparalleled level of service to our marketplace," said principal Russ Brown.
WQIS Issues New Policy Form
The WQIS Policy Form 2007 will be switched over to the WQIS Worldwide Vessel Pollution Policy Form 2011 on September 1, 2011. The new form was released on June 1, 2011 and will be applicable to new and renewal businesses on or after that date. The new 2011 form was developed to better reflect the current state of the industry: enhancing coverage where gaps existed, improving organization, providing simplification and adjusting to recent legal decisions. Visit WQIS.com to learn about the specific changes in the new policy. Clients who wish to continue on with the 2007 Policy Form, subject to certain amended conditions, may do so by negotiating with your underwriter before August 31, 2011.
Myanmar Accedes to Treaty Covering Bunker Oil Pollution Damage
The International Maritime Organization (IMO) treaty ensuring that adequate compensation is available to persons that suffer damage caused by oil spills, when carried as fuel in ships’ bunkers, has been ratified by Myanmar. The International Convention on Civil Liability for Bunker Oil Pollution Damage (BUNKER) applies to damage caused on the territory, including the territorial sea, and in exclusive economic zones of States under the Convention. Under the Convention, the registered owner of a vessel is required to maintain compulsory insurance cover…
Safe Harbor Unveils Online Broker Portal
In the first phase of a new website rollout, Safe Harbor Pollution Insurance (SHPI) delivers the ultimate in electronic convenience with its My Harbor broker portal. This industry-leading platform enables real-time policy and claim access, empowering brokers to better service customers. Brokers enter the personalized gateway by registering at www.safeharborpollution.com/myharbor. The unique portal grants instant access to all quotes and policies, as well as the ability to view claims and print loss runs. Brokers can also make non-rated changes through My Harbor. "Real-time information management and the ability to complete any insurance transaction with speed and ease are defining differences in SHPI services.
Canada Unveils New Arctic Shipping Safety Regulations
Canada's Arctic is a vast and diverse region that is an integral part of this country. Marine transportation in the Arctic connects Canada to other countries and provides an essential lifeline for northern communities. To uphold the Government of Canada's high standards for marine shipping in the north, Transport Canada has introduced new Arctic Shipping Safety and Pollution Prevention Regulations. The regulations incorporate the International Code for Ships Operating in Polar Waters (the Polar Code) into Canada's domestic legislation.
Execs Charged and Corporations Plead Guilty to Pollution
A federal grand jury in Anchorage indicted a corporate director, two corporate managers, a ship's captain and a first engineer for their roles in an ocean pollution conspiracy involving the direct discharges of oil from a fleet of large, refrigerated cargo ships that regularly travel through Alaska waters, the Justice Department announced. The indictment charges the individuals of conspiracy to lie to the U.S. Coast Guard in order to conceal the dumping of waste oil from the ships and to obstruct the investigation of the agency and the grand jury. The charges against In Seok Yang, a member of the Board of Directors of Boyang Maritime Kyeong Shin Deep Sea Fisheries Company of Pusan…
DSD Shipping Fined $2.5m Over Oil Dumping
Norwegian shipping company DSD Shipping has been fined $2.5m in a US federal court for oil dumping from an aframax. DSD has been sentenced of its convictions in Mobile, Alabama, for obstructing justice, violating the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships (APPS), tampering with witnesses and conspiring to commit these offenses. Three crew from the 104,000-dwt Stavanger Blossom (built 2007) were also convicted and sentenced to up to six months in jail. $500,000 of the $2.5 million…
Two More Ship Engineers Plead Guilty
Thomas L. Sansonetti, Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division, and Paula D. Silsby, the U.S. Attorney for the District of Maine, announced that late yesterday two chief engineers for a freighter pled guilty for their role in concealing the overboard dumping of waste oil from the M/V Kent Navigator and using false log books designed to deceive the U.S. Coast Guard. The defendants, Chief Engineers Felipe B. Arcolas and Alfredo D. Lozada, worked aboard the Kent Navigator, which is owned and managed by Petraia Maritime Ltd. The government’s investigation began when the U.S. Coast Guard received an anonymous tip that a vessel bound for Portland was illegally discharging its waste oil and its bilges while at sea.
Ship Officers Charged in Oil Discharge Cover Up
A federal grand jury in Greenville, North Carolina, has returned a nine-count indictment charging two engineering officers employed by Oceanfleet Shipping Limited with crimes relating to the illegal discharge of oily wastes directly into the sea, announced Assistant Attorney General John C. Cruden for the Department of Justice’s Environment and Natural Resources Division and U.S. Attorney Thomas G. Walker for the Eastern District of North Carolina. Oceanfleet Shipping Limited is a Greek shipping company that operates the cargo carrier M/V Ocean Hope. The two engineering officers indicted are the vessel’s Chief Engineer, Rustico Yabut Ignacio; and Second Engineer, Cassius Flores Samson, bolth of the Philippines.
WQIS Celebrates 40th Anniversary
Forty years is a considerable amount of time in any case, but for the marine pollution liability industry, it’s an entire lifetime. WQIS, which essentially founded the industry in 1971, is celebrating its 40th Anniversary in 2011 with signature moments taking place throughout the year. The anchor event was a cocktail party at The Public House in New York’s midtown. Attended by close to 300 industry professionals, it was a veritable who’s-who of the marine industry. “We wanted an event that was simple and elegant, but that really said ‘thank you’ to all of those in attendance, as they’re the ones who have helped us reach this milestone,” said Richard Hobbie, President of WQIS. “This is a big deal for us,” said Russ Brown, Executive Vice President of WQIS.
NTSB Issues Report on 2016 Columbia River Bulker Grounding
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) issued a report on its investigation into the November 2016 grounding of the bulk carrier Nenita in the Columbia River. The Marshall Islands-flagged vessel was fully laden when it suffered an engine failure that impacted its ability to maneuver and subsequently ran aground at Three Tree Point on the Washington State side of the river. The ship’s bulbous bow and hull were damaged, but no injuries or pollution were reported. The vessel was towed to Longview, Wash.
EPA, USCG MOU for Enforcement & Compliance
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) outlining steps the agencies will take to better coordinate efforts to prevent illegal discharges of pollutants from more than 61,000 commercial ships based in the U.S. and more than 8,000 foreign ships operating in U.S. waters. Today’s MOU creates a framework for improving EPA and USCG cooperation on data tracking, training, monitoring, verifying compliance, and industry outreach.
Shipping Firms to Pay $10.4 Million in Pollution Penalties
Two shipping firms based in Germany and Cyprus were sentenced today in federal court in Newark, N.J., to pay a $10.4 million penalty for felony obstruction of justice charges and violating the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships related to the deliberate concealment of vessel pollution from four ships that visited ports in New Jersey, Delaware and Northern California, the U.S. Attorney’s Offices in New Jersey and Delaware, the U.S. Department of Justice Environment and Natural Resources Division and the U.S. Coast Guard announced. Columbia Shipmanagement (Deutschland) GmbH (CSM-D), a German corporation, and Columbia Shipmanagement Ltd.
Ship Company to Pay $10.5M for Covering up Oil Pollution
MSC Ship Management (Hong Kong) Limited—a Hong Kong-based container ship company—has agreed to plead guilty to charges that it engaged in conspiracy, obstruction of justice, destruction of evidence, false statements and violated the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships, the Department of Justice announced today. Per the terms of a plea agreement that must be approved by the court, MSC Ship Management will pay $10.5 million in penalties. This is the largest fine in which a single vessel has been charged with deliberate pollution and the largest criminal fine paid by a defendant in an environmental case in Massachusetts history. According to the plea agreement…
Chief Engineer Sentenced for Falsifying Records
Dimitrios Dimitrakis, Chief Engineer of the cargo ship M/V New Fortune, was sentenced in federal court in Oakland today to three years probation, a $5,000 fine, and a $100 special assessment for failing to maintain an Oil Record Book, a document required by MARPOL, a treaty ratified and implemented by the United States, United States Attorney Melinda Haag announced. This sentence stems from the overboard disposal of oil residue, sludge, oil, and oily mixtures into the ocean and Dimitrakis’s subsequent efforts to conceal these discharges by falsifying onboard records. According to Court documents, the M/V New Fortune is a ocean-going bulk cargo ship registered in the Marshall Islands that carried bulk products in world-wide commerce.
Marine Underwriting Division Launched by Blades Marine
J. H. Blades's new marine underwriting division will underwrite brown water exposures for specialty retail agents and brokers. Specific coverages will include hull and liability, protection and indemnity, builder’s risk, miscellaneous marine liability, vessel pollution, excess marine liability, bumbershoots and other related marine coverages. At the helm of the new venture is David Manion, who joins Blades Marine as Executive Vice President. Manion has spent more than 20 years in marine underwriting. He has extensive experience in the brown water exposure space as well as providing London specialty marine lines wholesale broker services. He holds a B.S. in Occupational Safety and Health from Murray State University in Kentucky.
WQIS President Hobbie to Retire
Richard Hobbie III will retire from his position as President & CEO of the Water Quality Insurance Syndicate (WQIS) after four decades as underwriter, claims manager and board member. Hobbie and the board of managers have agreed upon January 1, 2015 as his official retirement date, and Rich will be available as a consultant to WQIS until Dec. 31, 2017 under the agreement. “This is something that I’ve been considering for a while now, but I needed to feel absolutely sure that WQIS was going to be in good hands,” Hobbie said.