Assisting the maritime industry in regulatory compliance

Bryant's Maritime Consulting

April 22nd, 2016 at 11:02 am

Bryant’s Maritime Blog – 22 April 2016


USCG – AIS reminder;

USCG – NVIC 02-16;

USCG – safety management systems;

FMC – summary of recent meeting;

Middle East – merchant ships participate in IMCMEX;

UK – loss of cement carrier and 8 crew;

Germany – message in a bottle recovered;

Earth Day – 22 April 2016; and

MREN – verified gross mass.

April 22, 2016

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Bryant’s Maritime Consulting – 4845 SW 91st Way – Gainesville, FL 32608-8135 – USA

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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. Be the person that your dog thinks you are.

USCG – AIS reminder

clip_image004 The US Coast Guard issued a news release reminding stakeholders that the expanded Automatic Identification System (AIS) requirements entered into effect on 7 April. Most commercial vessels operating on US waterways are now required to have and utilize AIS while underway. (4/21/16) [located at]. Note: The final rule was promulgated on 30 January 2015, but final approval by OMB for the recordkeeping and reporting requirements was delayed until 7 April 2016.

USCG – NVIC 02-16

clip_image004[1] The US Coast Guard posted its long-awaited Navigation and Vessel Inspection Circular (NIC) entitled “Inspection Guidance for Sail Rigging and Masts on Inspected Sailing Vessels”. The NVIC also provides guidance regarding preventive maintenance. NVIC 02-16 (4/13/16) [located at].

USCG – safety management systems

clip_image005 The Spring 2016 edition of the Proceedings of the USCG Marine Safety and Security Council has been published. This issue focuses on safety management systems. (4/21/16) [located at].

FMC – summary of recent meeting

clip_image007 The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) issued a news release summarizing the Commissioners’ meeting. They were briefed on the work of the Supply Chain Innovation Team. The FMC also seeks comments on two of its current rulemakings: Optional Method for Filing Carrier and MTO Agreements and Modernizing Rules of Practice and Procedure. (4/20/16) [located at].

Middle East – merchant ships participate in IMCMEX

clip_image009 The US Navy issued a news release stating that more than 30 merchant vessels and cruise ships are participating with warships from more than thirty nations in the international Mine Countermeasures Exercise (IMCMEX) in waterways of the Middle East. (4/21/16) [located at].

UK – loss of cement carrier and 8 crew

clip_image011 The UK Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) issued the report of its investigation of the capsize and sinking of the cement carrier Cemfjord in the Pentland Firth, Scotland on 2-3 January 2015 with the loss of all eight crew members. Investigation revealed that the vessel capsized in extraordinarily violent sea conditions caused by gale force winds and a strong opposing tidal stream. Such conditions are commonly experienced within Pentland Firth, were predictable, and could have been avoided by effective passage planning. The master’s decision to proceed at that time was probably influenced by actual or perceived commercial pressures and his personal determination to succeed. Report 8-2016 (4/21/16) [located at].

Germany – message in a bottle recovered

clip_image013 Discovery News issued a news release stating that the oldest known message in a bottle has been recovered. The bottle with a postcard was released by a marine research institute in Plymouth, England 108 years ago. It was found on a beach in the North Friesen islands of Germany. (4/20/16) [located at].

Earth Day – 22 April 2016

clip_image015 Today marks the forty-sixth anniversary of the recognition of Earth Day, intended to increase our awareness of the complexity and interdependence of life. A lot has changed in those 46 years. There have been a number of ecological success stories, such as the increase in the number of bald eagles. Other species, such as the North Atlantic right whale, remain at risk. Do your part today. And, if you are aware of another Earth nearby, please share.

MREN – Verified gross mass

clip_image017 In the April 2016 edition of Maritime Reporter and Engineering News, you can find my article entitled "Verified gross mass". In the article, I discuss prior marine casualties in which significant disparities between the declared mass of shipping containers and their actual mass was a factor; the 2014 amendment to the SOLAS Convention requiring shippers to provide to the master (prior to loading) the verified gross mass of each container; and the currently unresolved process issues required for completion of this upcoming task. (4/20/16). Note: The link in yesterday’s newsletter was erroneous. My bad!

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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 – April 2016

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  • Ron Signorino
    12:03 am on April 23rd, 2016 1

    Dennis, the last item in your daily blog (VGM) was particularly interesting to me, given all the melodrama and intrigue that has flowed from these SOLAS amendments of late.

    In the controversies that have evolved, however, very few have pointed out that, for the U.S at least, the excess container weight issue has been a one-way problem. That is to say, over the years I’ve often heard complaints from our domestic stevedores and marine terminal operators (and longshore workers) that cite to a multitude of overweight containers being discharged from vessels. They speak of lifting appliances straining to hoist such boxes, and how heavily such loads rest upon the shoreside conveyances that transport them to container yards. I’ve always been sympathetic to such complaints.

    Export loads emanating from the U.S. and being discharged at foreign ports are quite another story, however. I seldom hear foreign stevedoring firms complaining about overweight boxes being received from U.S. ports. The question arises: Why is that?

    Since the late 1960’s the U.S. Labor Department (first through the regulations developed by the Labor Standards Bureau, followed by such regulations’ adoption and modest revision by OSHA) has required all export loads to be weighed “at the terminal or elsewhere” before being hoisted. Moreover, such regulations demand that the measurement equipment used to memorialize those weights meet the accuracy requirements of the State where the device is situated. In sum, no more and no less than the SOLAS VGM requirements.

    Perhaps this blog can produce a lucid explanation then, as to why, after forty some odd years of complying with OSHA’s container weight regulations, the U.S. finds itself in the unenviable position of having to say that its marine terminals are not able to accurately provide the gross weight of containers coming into their custody?


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    logo11 Confidential near-miss reporting

    In the September 2018 edition of Maritime Reporter and Engineering News, you can find my article entitled "Confidential near-miss reporting". The article discusses the value of near-miss reporting in the improvement of safety and identifies a methodology that the US Coast Guard could adopt, with industry support, to implement a confidential near-miss reporting regime similar (but not identical) to the program utilized in the aviation industry.