The Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act 2010, due to become US law very shortly, imposes substantial requirements on cruise ships carrying over 250 passengers on international voyages which embark or disembark passengers in any US port. They concern design and construction, medical facilities, passenger and crew information, training and measures to report and combat crime.
701 - 06/10 - Garbage Fines - USA
A Member was recently fined at a U.S. Port, for violating 7 CFR 330.400 which was established under the Plant Protection Act of 2000 (7 U.S.C. 7701). This regulation was designed to prevent the spread of plant pests as well as livestock and poultry diseases.
McGuire Woods Consulting memorandum to Congressional Staff on Amending the "Oil Pollution Act of 1990": Vessel Liability Provisions - Mr Brian Vanderbloemen, Vice President, McGuire Woods Consulting
This paper emphasises that differences between vessels and offshore facilities under OPA are necessary and that unlimited or unreasonable liability requirements for vessels under OPA should be opposed.
Statement from US Department of Justice before Congressional Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure - Thomas K Perrelli, Associate Attorney General
In this paper the Department of Justice is advocating the revision of OPA 90 and it believes the current limits are inadequate. Although it presents its argument in the context of offshore drilling it does not exclude shipping from its scope.
Intertanko testimony to the Congressional committee on transportation and infrastructure - Dr Peter Swift
This paper proposes that OPA 90's current limits for ships are realistic, adequate, allow for necessary increases, and incorporate well-tested, proactive spill response mechanisms. The removal of the shipowner's right of limitation would cut across the 'polluter pays' principle, the bedrock of OPA 90, which preserves a balance between shipowner and cargo owner/receiver liability. A shipowner must be able to insure its liabilities otherwise he cannot trade and revising any part of this equation could prejudice the continuance of oil imports to the United States.
Testimony of Mr Craig Bennett, Director of National Pollution Funds Center, on the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill: Ensuring a Financially Responsible Recovery
This paper reviews the role of the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund and the National Pollution Funds Center. The liability limits and financial responsibility of the proposed May 12th legislative package are reviewed. The arrangements put in place by BP to meet the requirements of the OPA claims process are also reviewed.
Testimony of Charles B Anderson, Skuld North America Inc, on behalf of the International Group of P&I Clubs
This paper provides a useful review of OPA 90 and argues that the offshore drilling industry warrants a different liability regime from that applicable to ship operators. It also provides comment on limitation and insurability.
International Chamber of Shipping position paper on proposals to amend vessel liability provisions under US OPA 90
This paper gives the ICS position on the proposed amendments that changes to the insurance and liability related aspects of OPA 90 are unwarranted given that few incidents have exceeded its limits.
Circular 6/09 (June 2009) Vessel Response Plans (VRPs) – Conformity with International Group Guidelines & other recent developments
The number of jurisdictions that require owners to maintain vessel response plans (VRP) has been increased. This circular reiterates the four areas of importance to the Club when reviewing contracts under VRP requirements. Two annexes to this circular contain the IG guidelines on VRP contracts in the US and outside the US.
A circular was recently released by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and the United States Department of Agriculture concerning AGM and action taken against infested ships.
The Convention on Contracts for the International Carriage of Goods Wholly or Partly by Sea (Rotterdam Rules) was adopted in December 2008 by the UN General Assembly. It will significantly increase the liability of shipowners and maritime carriers in respect of the carriage of cargo.