The Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) issued an advisory informing that the US has designated Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PdVSA) as a Specially Designated National and Blocked Person (SDN) and therefore RMI will be unable to provide services to vessels linked to PdVSA.
Iran could target US commercial ships, including oil tankers, sailing through key Middle East waterways, as one of the threats to US interests posed by Tehran, the US Maritime Administration (MARAD) said in an advisory posted on Thursday.
The Significant Reduction Exemptions (SREs) granted last November to eight countries by the US for Iranian crude oil imports will not be renewed and are due to expire on 2 May 2019, the US State Department announced.
As Nooshin Namazi, Partner at Nicoletti Hornig & Sweeney, IUMI Professional Partner, informs, the US Federal Maritime Commission discovered that issues with charges for holding onto cargo beyond free time, traditionally referred to as demurrage or detention is prevalent among all actors in the international ocean supply chain, and not just shippers and consignees.
The US Coast Guard announced that it will impose conditions of entry on ships arriving from ports in the Republic of Seychelles. Conditions of entry are intended to protect the US from vessels arriving from countries that have been found to have deficient anti-terrorism port measures in place. Starting on April 12, 2019, certain conditions of entry will apply to any ship that visited a port in the Seychelles in its last five port calls.
The US Coast Guard published an alert for towboats, warning them for very strong currents at the Lower Mississippi River. Namely, three marine casualties led to the sinking of towing vessels, while one of them resulted in a fatality. USCG says that it is vital for vessel operators to provide a wide berth when maneuvering around any other vessel or object.
Venezuela closed its maritime border with Dutch Caribbean islands, because of the opposition’s plan to bring in humanitarian aid on February 23, in order to alleviate an economic crisis. Namely, the border is closed with the islands of Aruba, Curacao and Bonaire. This decision was taken after Curacao said that it would help store aid destined for Venezuela.
Asian gypsy moth is a serious pest that can be carried on ships and cargo. AGMs exist mainly in some seaport areas in Far East Russia, Japan, Korea, and Northern China. If introduced to North America, AGM would significantly affect forestry and agriculture, the natural environment, the commerce that relies on those plant resources, and market access.
More than 20 tankers loaded with 9.6 million barrels of Venezuelan oil were anchored off the US Gulf Coast as of 7 February. Some buyers had purchased the cargoes before US imposed the sanctions in late January, using the vessels as floating storage, while others weighed how to pay under the new rules.
Due to the US government shutdown, the processes regarding application and confirmation of Certificates of Financial Responsibility (COFRs), that are needed for ships entering US waters under regulations issued pursuant to the Oil Pollution Act of 1990, are now being affected. Operators should consult with their COFR issuers and/or Qualified Individual’s for a detailed guidance.
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