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U.S. Leadership Needed in Law of the Sea Convention

Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta says As the globe's preeminent maritime power, the United States has much to gain in ratifying the United Nations Law of the Sea Convention, Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta said here today.Panetta spoke at the Law of the Sea Convention forum. Ratifying the treaty, he said, would allow the United States to exert a leadership role in the development and interpretation of the rules that determine legal certainty on the world's oceans.Panetta listed five reasons why the Law of the Sea Convention strengthens U.S. national security."First, as the world's preeminent maritime power, and the country with one of the largest coastlines and extended continental shelf, we have more to gain from accession to the convention than any other country," he said.Right now, the United States has no seat at the table and is unable to help interpret the "rules of the road" on the oceans. Ratifying the convention "would give us the credibility to support and promote the peaceful resolution of disputes within a rules-based order," the secretary said.Panetta's second point is that by joining the convention, the United States would protect its navigational freedoms and global access for military and commercial ships, aircraft, and ...

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US Maritime Officers Call on Congress to Take Action on Insufficient Shipboard Manning

Insufficient Shipboard Manning Fuels Fatigue, Boosts Risks Cuts in manning levels and burgeoning paperwork loads are increasing the risk of maritime accidents worldwide. At a time when carriers have reduced crewing levels, ships' officers are being forced to manage the paperwork load generated by a growing number of government regulations. Representatives of officers aboard U.S.-flag ships are calling on Congress to urgently review the situation and respond to the growing risks it entails for people, the environment, and professional mariners-who are increasingly being held criminally liable for accidents."The criminalization of simple professional errors-often the result of fatigue or excessive workload-is without justification when there is no oversight regarding the sufficiency of personnel available to carry out shipboard responsibilities," says Don Marcus, International Secretary-Treasurer of the Masters, Mates & Pilots (MM&P), which represents professional mariners aboard U.S.-flag ships. "While crews are being reduced, the number of international, federal and state regulations that must be complied with and documented has grown exponentially," he says.Marcus made the remarks in testimony April 26 before the House of Representatives Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation. He spoke on behalf of members of MM&P, the Marine Engineers' Beneficial Association and the American Maritime Officers. Together, ...

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Will the US Become the Worlds Largest Exporter of LNG?

By 2017 the U.S. could be the largest exporter of liquefied natural gas in the world By 2017 the U.S. could be the largest exporter of liquefied natural gas in the world, surpassing leading LNG exporters Qatar and Australia. There is one big "if," however. America can produce more gas, export a surplus, improve the trade deficit, create jobs, generate taxable profits and reduce its dependence on foreign energy if the marketplace is allowed to work and politics doesn't get in the way.In May 2011Cheniere Energy received an Energy Department license to export LNG from its Sabine Pass LNG import terminal in Louisiana. Cheniere subsequently reached long-term deals with the U.K.'sBG Group, Spain's Gas Natural and India's GAIL. Cheniere is targeting operation in 2016 and plans to export up to 730 billion cubic feet of LNG annually, roughly 3% of current U.S. gas production.Sabine Pass originally was built as an import facility to alleviate projected U.S. gas shortages. Shale-gas technology changed that assumption radically. Now Sabine Pass is attractive because it already possesses much of the infrastructure for an export plant: LNG storage tanks, gas-handling facilities and docking terminals. Only a liquefaction plant is needed to convert natural gas into ...

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Coast Guard has area maritime security plans in place

Says GAO All 43 U.S. port areas requiring a Coast Guard area maritime security plan have one, the Government Accountability Office says.In a report dated April 6, the GAO says it examined in detail AMS plans in seven high risk port areas, and that the Coast Guard provided documentation that the other 36 port areas also covered by a plan requirement have indeed put together one that includes elements for recovery and salvage response after an incident.American ports, waterways and vessels handle more than $700 billion in goods annually, according to DHS; any disruption to the marine transportation system could have widespread impact on the global economy, the GAO notes. (A port area can include multiple ports; the Delaware Bay port area, for example, includes Philadelphia, Pa., Trenton, N.J., Wilmington, Del., and other local ports.)The Coast Guard is the lead federal agency in charge of facilitating recovery should a natural or made-made disaster affect the system. The Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002 requires the Coast Guard to develop AMS plans and updated them every 5 years. The SAFE Port Act of 2006 ) stipulates that the plans should also include protocols for resumption of trade following an incident, and ...

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United States issues final rule on ballast water management

Standards for living organisms The new the US regulations on ballast water management and regular removal of hull fouling will enter into force 21 June 2012, despite the fact that the IMO's International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships' Ballast Water and Sediments, 2004 (BWM Convention) might not have entered into force due to lack of a sufficent number of raticifications from IMO members states holding the remaining 8.54% of the world tonnage required to reach the total 35% of the world tonnagerequired by the BWM Convention. The current status of ratification is33 IMO Member States, representing 26.46%. All ships intending to discharge ballast water are required to use an approved ballast water treatment system meeting the US ballast water discharge standard equal to the IMO D-2 standard as per below:New shipswith any ballast capacity have to be in compliance on or after 1 December 2013. Existing ships with less than 1,500 m3 ballast water capacity have to be in compliance by the first scheduled drydocking after 1 January 2016. Existing ships with 1,500 - 5,000 m3 ballast water capacity have to be in compliance by the first scheduled drydocking after 1 January 2014. Existing ships withmore than ...

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US BWM regulations will be superseded by new requirements for ballast water treatment

With effect from 21 June, 2012 With effect from 21 June, 2012, the US regulations on ballast water management and reporting (detailed in Classification News 14/2004*) will besuperseded by new regulations which will require ships to treat ballast water and regularly remove hull fouling.Ships calling at US ports and intending to discharge ballast will be required to use an approved ballast water treatment system that meets theUS discharge standard (which is the same as the IMO D-2 standard) in accordance with the following timetable.Ballast water treatment systems are to be approved by the United States Coast Guard (USCG). Alternatively, a system that has an approvalcertificate to the IMO standard issued by or on behalf of a flag administration may be acceptable if the IMO approval has been reviewed andaccepted by the USCG**.An IMO-approved system must have been installed before the date a ship is required to comply with the US requirements (as detailed in the table above) and may be used for five years after this date. A further alternative is for ships to use potable water as ballast if: the water is supplied from the US public water system; the ship obtains a certificate stating that the water meets ...

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U.S. bound cargo remains vulnerable to terrorists

he vast majority of cargo containers entering the U.S. go unchecked It's been more than a decade since Islamic terrorists attacked the U.S., yet the agency created to protect the nation from another strike is asleep at the wheel, failing to adequately screen the monstrous amounts of cargo that enter the country each day, according to a government report issued this week."Cargo containers that are part of the global supply chain-- the flow of goods from manufacturers to retailers -- are vulnerable to threats from terrorists ," state thegovernment analysts whoassembled data forthe new report.Itmay seem unbelievable to most Americans that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that more than ten years after the worst terrorist attack in U.S. history, the vast majority of cargo containers entering the U.S. go unchecked. Incredibly, it's true and the alarming details are outlined in the GAO report published this week by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), the investigative arm of the U.S. Congress.The Maritime Transportation Security Act (MTSA) of 2002 and the Security and Accountability For Every (SAFE) Port Act of 2006 required the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to take actions to improve maritime transportation security.Also, the Implementing Recommendations of the 9/11 ...

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US Business Delegation meets Union Shipping Minister G.K. Vasan

India invites US to participate in the country's port development plan India has invited investors from the US to participate in the country's port development plans and earn rich rewards. This invitation was extended by the Union Shipping Minister Shri G.K. Vasan when a business delegation from USA led by Undersecretary to the Government of the United States of America, Mr. Sanchez met him in Chennai today. Foreign Direct Investments in ports are permitted in India under the automatic route. USA is the second largest source of FDI inflows into India.Recalling the maritime cooperation between India and the USA Sh. Vasan said, a Memorandum of Cooperation on Maritime Transport, Science and Technology between the two countries was signed during 2005. It covers a wide area of mutual interest including maritime safety and security, port management and technological developments related to the maritime sector. It also envisages cooperative arrangements between the US Merchant Marine Academy and the Indian Institute of Maritime Studies, which is now a constituent of the Indian Maritime University in the field of maritime training and education.Stating that India train and educate more than 3,000 marine engineers every year on an average the Minister said, there was adequate ...

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Atlantic Ro-Ro Launches Tampa-Russia Service

Multi-purpose service to St. Petersburg kicked off this week Atlantic Ro-Ro Carriers launched a general cargo service between the Port of Tampa and the Port of St. Petersburg..The service kicked off this week with a call at Tampa by the Baltic Merkur, which was loaded at the Ports America terminal with containers, heavy equipment work vehicles and freight trucks.The new monthly service uses a fleet of multi-purpose vessels that can carry a variety of general cargoes such as steel, containers, roll-on/roll-off traffic, project cargoes and bulk commodities. Transit time is 18 days, according to a company statement.Source: Journal of Commerce

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