The Coast Guard Marine Safety Center received its tenth application for Ballast Water Management System type approval for the BIO-SEA B Ballast Water Management System manufactured by BIO-UV Group. MSC will review the application for compliance with US Coast Guard regulations in 46 CFR 162.060. Once it has been determined that the application meets the requirements, the MSC will issue a type approval certificate and this will be posted on MSC’s website.
Rear Adm. John Nadeau, US Coast Guard's assistant commandant for prevention policy, addressed leaders from industry at the Connecticut Maritime Association’s Shipping 2018 conference and provided a preview of the Port State Control statistics for the US ahead of the release of its annual report. More than 10,000 foreign ships called US ports last year representing 84 different flag administration, an increase of 8 percent from the previous year. Despite this increase and the increase in exams by 2 percent, the vessel detention rate was less than 1 percent, the lowest rate in recent history. Three leading causes for detentions were deficiencies in firefighting appliances, lifesaving equipment, and safety management systems. With respect to ballast water management systems, he indicated that the USCG will be more selective and restrictive on extensions now that there are six type approved systems.
The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) has voted to launch a formal investigation focused on practices of vessel operating common carriers and marine terminal operators related to detention, demurrage, and per diem charges. As the designated Investigative Officer, Commissioner Rebecca Dye will have broad authority to conduct Fact Finding 28, including the power to issue subpoenas, to hold public and non-public sessions, and to require reports. Under this Order, she is charged with making recommendations for Commission action including investigations of prohibited acts; enforcement priorities; policies; rulemaking proceedings; or other actions warranted by the record developed in the proceeding. The final report of Commissioner Dye's findings and recommendations is due on December 2, 2018.
The US Coast Guard issued a bulletin to clarify NVIC 01-18 and Ballast Water Management System (BWMS) compliance date extensions. No extensions will be granted to a vessel with an installed alternate management system (AMS) and no extensions will be granted to install an AMS. However, the Coast Guard will consider granting extensions to vessels that intend to install a BWMS that is expected to receive type approval in the near future. There are six Coast Guard type approved BWMS at this time and USCG has received its ninth application for type approval for the BALPURE BWMS.
The US has announced hefty new tariffs for imports of steel, at 25 per cent, and 10 per cent for aluminum that are to be implemented next week in his attempt to boost US manufacturers. Details on whether all countries, including Canada, will face the steep tariffs on steel and aluminum have not yet been released. The European Union could be ready to present a response next week to the US' planned tariffs on aluminum and steel. Steel manufacturers expect that exports to the US could be cut in half. Transport stocks such as Maersk and DSV are down following the announcement.
The first set of four cranes arrived from China earlier in the week and have been offloaded at the Port of Tacoma’s Pier 4 terminal on the Blair Waterway. The 295-foot tall cranes along with changes along South Harbour will create one contiguous berth that could simultaneously serve two, super-post-Panamax container ships that have the capacity of 18,000 containers each. The new cranes can lift containers 165 feet above the pier and reach out to a span of 24 containers. The current cranes only have an outreach of 18 containers.
TOTE Maritime Alaska has completed the first of four conversion periods that will see its two Orca class vessels equipped to use liquefied natural gas (LNG) as fuel. TOTE Maritime's North Star arrived in Anchorage last Sunday, completing her first voyage from Victoria Shipyards that outfitted her with two LNG tanks immediately behind the bridge. In addition to the LNG tanks and accompanying infrastructure, the ship received critical engine updates necessary to utilize LNG as a fuel and underwent a standard regulatory dry-dock. TOTE Maritime was the first maritime shipping company in the world to announce its intention to convert their fleet, enabling the engines to use both LNG and diesel and drastically reduce air emissions.
The US has introduced new unilateral sanctions against 27 companies, one individual, and 28 vessels located, registered, or flagged in North Korea, China, Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong, the Marshall Islands, Tanzania, Panama, and the Comoros. The sanctions are targeted at entities that are facilitating North Korea's ship-to-ship transfers of imported oil and petroleum products and its export of coal. The US Treasury Department published photos (pictured above) of a US-designated North Korean vessel, Kum Un San 3, which it said used false identifying information and conducted an illicit ship-to-ship transfer, possibly of oil, with a Panama-flagged vessel that was among the ships sanctioned.
The US Federal Trade Commission will challenge Wilhelmsen Maritime Services' plan to buy smaller US rival Drew Marine Group. The FTC said the $400 million proposed deal would reduce competition in the market for marine water treatment chemicals, used in a ship's boiler water and engine cooling water systems. If Wilhelmsen closed the deal with New Jersey's Drew Marine, the FTC said the company would have 60 percent of the market for marine water treatment chemicals, while its closest competitor would have 5 percent.
The US Coast Guard has issued Policy Letter 18-02, “Guidelines for Evaluating Potential Courses of Action When a Vessel Bound for a Port in the United States has an Inoperable Ballast Water Management (BWM) System to give guidance to vessel masters, owners, operators, agents, and persons in charge of vessels subject to Subparts C and D of Part 151 of Title 33 of the Code of Federal Regulations (33 CFR 151 Subparts C and D) as well as Coast Guard personnel when evaluating potential courses of action when a vessel destined for a US port has an inoperable ballast water management system (BWMS). This policy letter does not address situations where the inoperable BWMS is the result of an emergency situation caused by weather, vessel casualty, flooding, etc.
Earlier this week the White House released President Donald Trump's budget proposal for 2019-2028 which included a reduction in the Harbor Maintenance Tax in order to provide ports with "greater flexibility to finance their capital and operating costs on their own." This line item's net impact on the budget in 2019 would be $378 million less than what ports will receive in 2018 resulting in less federal funds for dredging and jetty maintenance. The proposal is thought to bring in line what is collected with the funds appropriated. In fiscal 2017, US ports received about 75 percent of the $1.5 billion collected. How US ports will pass on higher tariffs for infrastructure costs will be of interest.
In the two years since Washington lifted a 40-year ban on oil exports, tankers filled with US crude have landed in more than 30 countries, ranging from massive economies like China and India to tiny Togo. The US is now the second largest oil exporter in the world and country currently produces more oil than top exporter Saudi Arabia and the US is likely to take over the No.1 producer spot from Russia by the end of the year. The export boom has filled pipelines and sparked a surge of investment in new shipping infrastructure on the Gulf Coast. Export volumes would be even greater but no U.S. port can handle the Very Large Crude Carriers(VLCC). US producers now export between 1.5 million and 2 million barrels of crude a day, which could rise to about 4 million by 2022. The nation’s output is expected to account for more than 80 percent of global supply growth in the next decade, according to Paris-based International Energy Agency.
Washington State Governor Jay Inslee has rejected Vancouver Energy's permit to develop a crude oil distribution facility that would include a rail unloading facility, storage tanks, and a vessel loading area on a 42 acre site along the Columbia River in southwest Washington state. Vancouver Energy, a joint venture of Tesoro Corp. and Savage Companies had proposed to bring up to 360,000 barrels of North American crude oil by rail to the port daily for shipment to refineries in Alaska, California and Washington. The project developers have 30 days to appeal the governor's decision.
TOTE Maritime, which announced last August that it intends to establish a new domestic shipping service from the US mainland to Hawaii, is putting the plan on hold indefinitely after a technical review determined that its berths in Honolulu would need considerable upgrade and improvements. TOTE had plans to build four new Jones Act ship to compete with Matson and Pascha Group.
After almost 30 years of acting as a strong voice for the ocean carrier industry in the US transpacific trade, the Transpacific Stabilization Agreement (TSA) will officially close its doors on February 8, 2018. Established in 1989, TSA was among the first carrier discussion agreements formed after passage of the 1984 Shipping Act in the US. In addition to TSA’s commercial initiatives, the Agreement has provided a forum for the lines to discuss trade conditions, market developments, and business and economic trends. Changes to the commercial and operational environment has resulted in the TSA’s original mission becoming less important and no longer viable.
The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) issued a notice stating that the time for replies and further submissions to the record in the Petition of the Coalition for Fair Port Practices (Petition P4-16) has been extended to February 1, 2018.
The Coast Guard offloaded more than 47,000 pounds of cocaine worth over US$721 million from the Coast Guard Cutter Stratton in San Diego following 23 separate interdictions in the eastern Pacific Ocean by US and Canadian forces operating in international waters off the coast of Central and South America. The crew of Stratton stopped two low profile go fast boats in three days, resulting in the seizure of more than 5,800 pounds of cocaine worth almost $78 million. The crews stopped five suspected drug smuggling boats in less than two months, resulting in the seizure of more than 12,000 pounds of cocaine worth more than $165 million.
The Coast Guard will also offload a case executed by HMCS Nanaimo and a US Coast Guard law enforcement detachment, which occurred Nov. 21, 2017. The Canadian-US crew seized more than 3,300 pounds of cocaine worth more than $44 million from a go fast boat in international waters off the coast of Central America. During their patrol, the Canadian-US crew of Nanaimo seized 4,385 pounds of cocaine worth more than $58 million.
The multinational effort to combat criminal networks in the region includes more than 19 Partner Nations operating with Joint Interagency Task Force South (JIATFS) a component of US Southern Command. This includes Canadian forces, who helped stop more than 16,960 pounds of illegal drugs worth more than $227 million since Oct. 1, 2016. JIATFS’ Partner Nations removed approximately 113 of the 283 tons of cocaine seized or disrupted for FY17. JIATFS detects and monitors illicit trafficking in the air and maritime domains to facilitate International and Interagency interdiction and apprehension of illicit traffickers.