Alaska – Kulluk response update;
San Francisco Bay – allision with Bay Bridge;
USCG – members sought for MERPAC;
MMC – meetings;
DOJ – proposed consent decree;
DHS – unified agenda;
NTSB – retrospective analysis of regulations;
CBP – quarterly interest rates;
FMC – unlicensed companies;
Court – wholly-foreign maritime disputes;
Court – Jones Act seaman status;
Court – Carmack Amendment and limitation on liability;
IMO – IAMSAR Manual; and
Panama Canal – December operations summary.
January 8, 2013
Bryant’s Maritime Blog
Bryant’s Maritime Consulting – 4845 SW 91st Way – Gainesville, FL 32608-8135 – USA
Note: This blog is one section of the Bryant’s Maritime Consulting website. Visit the site for more extensive maritime regulatory information. Individual concerns may be addressed by retaining Dennis Bryant directly. Much of the highlighted text in this newsletter constitutes links to Internet sites providing more detailed information. Links on this page may be in PDF format, requiring use of Adobe Acrobat Reader. Comments on these postings are encouraged and may be made by clicking the envelope that appears at the end of each posting. Be aware that the daily blog entry is a single posting, even though it contains a number of individual items. Bringing the idiot back to idiosyncratic.
Alaska – Kulluk response update
The Kulluk Response Unified Command issued a news release stating that the CDU Kulluk arrived safely in Kiliuda Bay, following its tow from Sitkalidak Island. It will now undergo an assessment of its condition. A second news release states that the Kulluk is safely anchored and its support vessels are standing by. There has been no indication of a discharge of oil from the unit. The homepage of the Kulluk Response Unified Command website includes a link to a 3D animation of the Kulluk towing route. (1/7/13).
San Francisco Bay – allision with Bay Bridge
The US Coast Guard issued a news release stating that a double-hull tanker allided with a tower of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, causing minor damage to both the ship and the tower. There have been no reports of injury or pollution. The incident is under investigation. (1/7/13).
USCG – members sought for MERPAC
The US Coast Guard seeks applications for membership on the Merchant Marine Personnel Advisory Committee (MERPAC). Applications should be submitted by 11 March. 78 Fed. Reg. 1217 (January 8, 2013).
MMC – meetings
The Marine Mammal Commission (MMC) issued a notice stating that it will conduct open meetings in St. Petersburg, Florida (25 January) and La Jolla, California (29 January). The purpose of the meetings is to hear from representatives of the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) as to the most pressing marine Mammal research and management needs. 78 Fed. Reg. 1265 (January 8, 2013).
DOJ – proposed consent decree
The Department of Justice (DOJ) seeks comments on a proposed consent decree. The proposed consent decree would require defendants to pay $7.5 million to resolve claims for removal costs, natural resource damages, and assessment costs of the United States and the State of Hawaii relating to the February 2005 grounding of the MV Cape Flattery on coral reef habitat outside the entrance channel to Barbers Point Harbor, Oahu, Hawaii. Comments must be submitted within 30 days. 78 Fed. Reg. 1251 (January 8, 2013).
DHS – unified agenda
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) posted its unified agenda of regulatory and deregulatory actions. 78 Fed. Reg. 1586 (January 8, 2013).
NTSB – retrospective analysis of regulations
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) issued a notice stating that it is engaged in analyzing and updating its regulations, taking into consideration comments provided following its notice of retrospective analysis. 78 Fed. Reg. 1193 (January 8, 2013).
CBP – quarterly interest rates
The US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) issued a notice stating that the interest rates for the quarter beginning on 1 January 2013 for overpayments will be 2% for corporations and 3% for non-corporations, and the interest rate for underpayments will be 3% for both. 78 Fed. Reg. 1222 (January 8, 2013).
FMC – unlicensed companies
The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) issued a news release stating that it recently received reports of unlicensed international moving companies misrepresenting their FMC license status on websites and advertisements. The FMC suggests that consumers carefully check the company’s name and other information against the official list of FMC-Licensed & Bonded OTIs. (1/7/13).
Court – wholly-foreign maritime disputes
The US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit affirmed the dismissal of a lawsuit under the Labor Management Relations Act and the National Labor Relations Act brought by former cabin stewards on defendant’s cruise ships for alleged wrongful withholding of tips. Plaintiffs are Indian nationals. The cruise ships are registered in the Bahamas. The court held that the dispute here was outside the jurisdiction of either statute due to the foreign status of the parties, as the statutes do not apply to an internal wage dispute involving a foreign ship. Lobo v. Celebrity Cruises, No. 10-13623 (11th Cir., January 7, 2013).
Court – Jones Act seaman status
In an unpublished decision, the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled that two ironworkers who performed part of their work on the reconstruction of a bridge spanning Lake Pontchartrain from a derrick barge were seaman for purposes of the Jones Act and were entitled to pursue their claims for personal injury under that statute because they contributed to the mission of the derrick barge and their connection to the barge was substantial in terms of nature and duration. Grab v. Boh Brothers Construction Co., No. 11-30606 (5th Cir., January 4, 2013).
Court – Carmack Amendment and limitation on liability
The US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled that, under the Carmack Amendment, limitations on liability apply to subcontractors only if there is evidence of contractual intent that they so extend. In the instant case, plaintiff’s insured contracted with an interstate carrier for shipment of cargo. The contract included a limitation on liability for the carrier and its subsidiaries. The carrier contracted with defendant service company to provide drivers for its trucks. The cargo was damaged en route. The carrier paid damages up to the limitation and plaintiff brought suit against defendant service company for the reminder. Defendant contended that it was entitled to the benefit of the limitation provision in the original contract. The court held that the Carmack Amendment does not displace traditional contract principles except insofar as it specifically provides. Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance v. IMSCO, No. 12-172-cv (2nd Cir., January 7, 2013). Note: Although this is not a maritime case, the principle involved applies to all cases covered by the Carmack Amendment.
IMO – IAMSAR Manual
The IMO issued a circular making various amendments to the International Aeronautical and Maritime Search and Rescue ( IAMSAR) Manual. The primary purpose of the amendments is to harmonize search and rescue (SAR) procedures in the aviation and maritime sectors. Significant changes have been made to Volume III (Mobile Facilities) of the IAMSAR Manual. The amendments will enter into effect on 1 July 2013. Vessels covered by SOLAS should have a revised edition of the Manual on board by that date. MSC.1/Circ.1415 (5/25/12).
Panama Canal – December operations summary
The Panama Canal Authority issued an advisory summarizing Canal operations for December 2012. It also includes a schedule of locks maintenance outages for the remainder of the fiscal year. Advisory 01-2013 (1/3/13).
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If you have questions regarding the above items, please contact the editor:
Dennis L. Bryant
Bryant’s Maritime Consulting
4845 SW 91st Way
Gainesville, FL 32608-8135
© Dennis L. Bryant – January 2013