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Mainbrace: October 2017 (No. 4)

Note from the Maritime Industry Team - Large sectors of the maritime industry—especially offshore—remain in the doldrums, but it nonetheless has been a busy few months for our Blank Rome Maritime group. Our Washington,...more

Department of Homeland Security Approves Jones Act Waiver for Deliveries to Puerto Rico

Action Item: On September 28, 2017, Acting Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) Secretary Elaine Duke issued a 10-day Jones Act waiver in the interest of national defense and in response to the devastation caused by...more

Department of Homeland Security Extends Jones Act Waiver

Maritime - ACTION ITEM: On September 12, 2017, Acting Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) Secretary Elaine Duke issued a new Jones Act waiver for refined products, effectively broadening and extending the previously...more

Jones Act Waiver Granted in Response to Hurricanes Harvey and Irma

Action Item: On September 8, 2017, Acting Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) Elaine Duke granted a seven-day waiver of the Jones Act in the interest of national defense. The waiver was issued to...more

U.S. Coast Guard National Vessel Documentation Center Issues Rebuild Determination with Newly Imposed “Cumulative Steelweight”...

Action Item: A recently published Rebuild Determination Letter issued by the National Vessel Documentation Center (“NVDC”) adds a significant new criteria in making Jones Act rebuild determinations by calling into question...more

7/6/2017  /  Coast Guard , Jones Act , Vessels

Mainbrace: June 2017 (No. 3)

Welcome to the summer 2017 edition of Mainbrace. To say we live in interesting times would be a serious understatement. We read headlines on a daily basis that challenge traditionally accepted notions of how governments...more

U.S. District Court Finds U.S. Coast Guard’s National Pollution Funds Center Acted Arbitrarily and Capriciously When Denying Oil...

Action Item: In December 2016, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia found that the U.S. Coast Guard’s National Pollution Funds Center (“NPFC”) wrongfully denied a reimbursement claim by the Water Quality...more

Mainbrace: January 2017 (No. 1)

As we launch into a new year, uncertainty remains the word of the day. Whatever your political leanings, it would be hard to dispute that the inauguration of the Trump administration augurs change on many fronts, from...more

U.S. Coast Guard Issues First Ballast Water Management System Type-Approval Certificate and New Policy Guidance

Action Item: Vessel owners and operators should re-evaluate their plans to comply with U.S. ballast water management (“BWM”) requirements in light of the U.S. Coast Guard’s type-approval of Optimarin AS’ UV-based treatment...more

Offshore Crewing Requirements: Could It Make Things Worse?

It has been years (2009) since I last wrote an article discussing the availability of U.S. citizens to work offshore in support of oil and gas projects during a downturn in the economy. And now, it is even worse. With the...more

U.S. Ballast Water Compliance Challenges and Considerations Now That IMO’s Ballast Water Convention Has Been Ratified

Action Item: Although the ratification of the IMO’s Ballast Water Convention will not alter U.S. compliance obligations, industry stakeholders must now consider their obligations under international law to ensure compliance...more

Mainbrace: September 2016 (No. 4)

It’s hard to believe another summer has come and gone. The kids are back in school, the commuter trains are a bit more crowded, and everyone is back from their holidays, hopefully refreshed and ready to get back down to...more

Mainbrace: September 2016 (No. 4)

It’s hard to believe another summer has come and gone. The kids are back in school, the commuter trains are a bit more crowded, and everyone is back from their holidays, hopefully refreshed and ready to get back down to...more

CBP Announces the “JADE”—A New Enforcement Division for the Jones Act

Action Item: The creation of the National Jones Act Division of Enforcement (“JADE”) signals that U.S. Customs and Border Protection has made Jones Act outreach and enforcement a national priority. U.S. and foreign...more

U.S. Coast Guard Updates Marine Casualty Reporting Forms

Action Item: The U.S. Coast Guard released an updated version of the CG-2692 forms for reports of marine casualties, commercial diving casualties, and outer continental shelf-related casualties. Vessel owners and operators...more

Final Rule On Inspection Of Towing Vessels Published After 12 Years In The Making

Action Item: The recently published Subchapter M Final Rule establishes a comprehensive safety system and inspection program for towing vessels. Stakeholders involved in the operation or ownership of towing vessels should...more

Mainbrace: June 2016 (No. 3)

As the July 1, 2016, effective date for the SOLAS Regulation VI/2 amendments quickly approaches, unanswered questions and difficulties complying with varied international and domestic implementations loom large. In an effort...more

SOLAS Verified Gross Mass (“VGM”) Countdown: Will You Be Ready on July 1, 2016?

Action Item: With less than 30 days remaining before the July 1, 2016, effective date of the new International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (“SOLAS”) Regulation VI/2 amendments, the International Maritime...more

The Well Control Final Rule Is Here, Finally

Action Item: The recently published Well Control Rule will require significant changes to Blow-Out Preventer (“BOP”) systems and well operations. Stakeholders in offshore oil and gas operations should carefully evaluate the...more

Critical Habitat for Right Whales Expanded

Action Item: The National Marine Fisheries Services (“NMFS”) promulgated a final rule identifying critical habitats for the endangered Northern Atlantic Right Whale. Stakeholders involved in spill response, ocean and offshore...more

Heavy Lifting: U.S. Coast Guard Confirms Container Verified Gross Mass Requirement Will Not Be Delayed

Action Item: A recent amendment to the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (“SOLAS”) regarding requirements for providing certain cargo information, including weight, prior to loading has caused industry...more

Mainbrace: January 2016 No. 1

2015 was an interesting year for the shipping industry. The dry bulk market had a very challenging 2015, with the Baltic Dry Index hitting new all-time lows. Based on various reports, the outlook for 2016 is not very...more

U.S. Coast Guard Issues Final Rule Raising OPA 90 Liability Limits

Action Item: The U.S. Coast Guard published a Final Rule increasing limits of liability for vessels, deepwater ports, and onshore facilities under the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (“OPA 90”). The raise in liability limits also...more

New Regulations Further Ease Maritime Transport and Travel Restrictions on Cuba

Action Item: The Administration further implemented its new Cuba policy facilitating passenger vessel service to Cuba and opening opportunities in Cuba’s maritime, telecommunications, and construction sectors. Considering the...more

U.S. Coast Guard Revises Policy on Extensions for the Installation of Ballast Water Treatment Systems

Action Item: The U.S. Coast Guard issued a new policy letter that streamlines the process for vessel owners and operators to apply for an extension to their compliance date for installing ballast water treatment systems....more

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