New Year changes
Despite the extended Christmas and New Year break, the Knowledge & Developments section of our website provided new information through that period. In addition to the frequent news bulletins on implementation of spill response contractor arrangements in China, there have been loss prevention updates on US west coast air emission controls and our own circular on an SGM for incorporating rule changes into the 2012 Club Rules & Bye-Laws.
Happy Thanksgiving 2011
We would like to wish a happy thanksgiving to all our American Members, colleagues, correspondents and friends. The Thomas Miller Americas offices are closed for the duration of the public holiday. However, a duty executive system continues to be maintained and contact details can be found on the Emergency Contacts page of this website.
In a recent decision in the Southern District of New York the court held that the rail carrier (BNSF) could not apply the ocean carriers' COGSA package limit of USD 500, with regard to an export shipment of goods that were damaged during inland rail transit before the goods arrived at the ship.
The US Coast Guard issued a Port Security Advisory stating that it has determined that the Republic of Congo is now maintaining effective anti-terrorism measures in its ports.
Increased liabilities under OSRO contracts
Last week the Club published circular 10/11 in respect of the increased liabilities that Members may potentially incur under the amended contract terms of one of the US based oil spill response organisations (OSRO). We strongly recommend all Members who might be affected to refer to this circular and check their vessel response plan arrangements.
MSRC's amendment to its service agreement includes a “dispersant addendum”. This addendum introduced liabilities on the vessel owner which fell outside the scope of club cover. Despite discussion and amendment the additional liabilities introduced still mean that the MSRC service agreement no longer conforms to International Group US vessel response plan guidelines (US VRP guidelines) because the liabilities are not reciprocal and the contract requires the owner to waive the right to limit in certain circumstances. September 7th UPDATE: Some examples of the Addendum sent to Members may be missing the 22nd August 2011 footer. This note details MSRC's policy on confirming the revised Addendum. For the avoidance of doubt the correct Addendum is attached to this note.
Circular 10/11: US Pollution - NRC and MSRC – MSRC Addendum Concerning Use of Dispersants
Under new US Coast Guard requirements, tank vessel response plans must cite an oil spill response organisation (OSRO) with capability for applying dispersants by air. MSRC has amended its service agreement for tank vessels by addition of a 'dispersant addendum' which contains indemnities that do not conform to the International Group's US VRP guidelines. Details of additional market cover are available from the Managers. No such addendum has been introduced by NRC at this time. There is no similar requirement for non tank vessels and most VRPs for non tank vessels are therefore unlikely to refer to dispersant capability in their citation of MSRC, in which case no action is required. Members should, however, confirm this by directly checking their VRPs or consulting their plan writers.
MARAD Advisory 2011-03: Update to vessels transiting to or from Japan or in waters in the vicinity of Honshu
This advisory gives recommendations to ship operators in respect of additional screening that may be required by US Coast Guard for ships that have transited waters in the vicinity of Japan's island of Honshu. This advisory cancels the previous advisory reference no. 2011-02.
The Bodily Injury News produced by our colleagues in New Jersey and San Francisco is published this week reviewing a number of recent developments and issues related to claims for bodily injury, illness and death among passengers and crews.