Maritime Updates

Read need-to-know updates, commentary, and analysis on Maritime issues written by leading professionals.
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What is your broker up to? Broker found to have authority to enter into a fixture and guarantee

Mitsui OSK Lines Ltd v Salgaocar Mining Industries Private Ltd (2015) (Unreported) - After extensive negotiations, London brokers fixed a 10-year charterparty on behalf of their principals, the Charterers. The Charterers...more

Whistleblower Laws Increasingly Vital for Government Enforcement Efforts

In 2014, a crewman aboard a Japanese cargo ship videotaped the vessel illegally dumping oily waste into the ocean and later turned the tape over to the U.S. Coast Guard. One year later, the resulting $1.8 million penalty for...more

Texas Supreme Court Rules Additional-Insured Coverage is Limited by Underlying Indemnification Agreement in In re Deepwater...

In a much anticipated 8-1 decision, the Texas Supreme Court ruled Friday that BP is not entitled to additional-insured coverage in In re Deepwater Horizon, No. 13-0670 (Feb. 13, 2015)....more

The $750 Million Comma? BP Is Not Entitled To Coverage For The Gulf Oil Spill As An Additional Insured Under Policies Issued To...

The Supreme Court of Texas ruled on February 13, 2015, that BP is not entitled to coverage as an additional insured under insurance policies Transocean procured for the Deepwater Horizon. ...more

$750,000,000 Missing Comma Comes Unhinged in BP’s Additional Insured Claim

Action Item: Courts must consider whether an insurance policy incorporates other documents and the extent thereof in evaluating the existence of additional insured coverage. Parties should evaluate the policy and underlying...more

Fifth Circuit Clarifies Rules on Seamen Who Provide False Information During Pre-Employment Physicals

The U. S. Fifth Circuit recently held that an injured seaman was precluded from recovering maintenance and cure where he intentionally provided false information during a pre-employment physical conducted by a previous...more

What if the West Coast Ports Shut Down by Lockout or Strike? Is it Time to Invoke Taft-Hartley?

Since the expiration of a labor contract in July 2014, negotiations for a new contract have dragged on between management representatives of the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA)—a multi-employer bargaining association...more

A New Wave – Eleventh Circuit Rejects “Barbetta Rule,” Opts for Cruise Line Liability

What happens if a passenger gets sick on a cruise ship and the treating physician, employed by the cruise line, is negligent in caring for the passenger? Is the cruise line liable?...more

Court of Justice of the European Union Rejects the Appeal of Italian National Extradited to the United States for Price-Fixing...

On February 9, the Court of Justice of the European Union made public its January 28, 2015 order rejecting the appeal of Mr. Romano Pisciotti, an Italian national who was extradited from Germany to the United States in April...more

“OCEAN VICTORY” – Court of Appeal Decision

In Gard Marine & Energy Ltd v China National Chartering Co Ltd (Rev 1) [2015] EWCA Civ 16, the Appellant sub-charterers appealed the 2013 judgment of Teare J....more

EPA Promulgates Robust Emission Control Area Enforcement Policy

Action Item: Violators of Emission Control Area requirements face hefty penalties under the Environmental Protection Agency’s new penalty policy. Owners and operators of vessels operating in the North American and U.S....more

Major Changes to Cuban Assets Control and Export Regulations Create New Opportunities for Trade

Action Item: On January 16, 2015, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control and the U.S. Department of Commerce amended the Cuban Assets Control Regulations and the Export Administration...more

Mainbrace - January 2015 No. 1

In this issue: - A Sea Change Sweeps over Congress: A Look Back and a Look Ahead - Shipping & International Trade Law (Second Edition 2015) - Congress Passes Coast Guard Bill in Waning Hours of 113th...more

Seafarers’ Access to Marine Facilities

Action Item: Owners, operators, and other interested parties related to the operation of marine terminals should review and comment on a Coast Guard Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NPRM”) addressing new requirements to...more

Commerce Department Issues New Guidance on Technical Crude Export Issues

Action Item: New policy guidance in the form of “Frequently Asked Questions” was published by the Commerce Department on December 20, 2014, with regard to crude oil export controls. Stakeholders interested in crude oil...more

Administration’s Proposed Seafood Traceability Program Could Impose New Requirements on U.S. Fishing and Seafood Industries

Domestic fish harvesters and seafood producers could face new federal mandates under a seafood traceability program being developed by the Obama Administration. Last month, the Administration announced the Recommendations of...more

5th Circuit Blocks Punitive Damages in Maritime Case

In McBride v. Estis Well Service, LLC, the federal 5th Circuit Court of Appeals determined that punitive damages are not available to seamen under the Jones Act or under general maritime law. In those cases, recovery is...more

Old Dog New Tricks

The maritime community is sitting on the precipice of disaster. While regarded as one of the oldest and most well respected industries on the planet, the maritime community as a whole has failed to protect itself against the...more

Fifth Circuit upholds “seamen” exemption and dismisses “day-rate” FLSA collective action suit.

A wave of FLSA collective (class) actions have been filed against scores of marine shipping and towing companies in the Gulf States for violation of the FLSA. Specifically, these suits claim that the commonly used “day-rate”...more

Trade Sanctions Roundup: U.S. Closes Out 2014 with Major Actions on Cuba, Russia, and Syria

The end of 2014 has seen major developments in U.S. foreign relations and sanctions policy with broad implications for the maritime industry. On December 17, President Obama announced a paradigm shift in relations with Cuba,...more

LNG as a Fuel

The use of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) as a transportation fuel for ships, barges, and ferries has surged in recent months. This surge is due, in large part, to the boon in the production of natural gas in the U.S.; new low...more

OFAC Clarifies Treatment of Deferred Payments, Oil and Gas “Production,” and Artic Offshore Projects Under Russia Sanctions Regime...

On December 11, 2014, the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) released new guidance related to existing U.S. sanctions against Russian entities designated on the Sectoral Sanctions...more

Legislation Alters Shipping Act Treatment of Attorneys’ Fees

Late yesterday, both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate passed S. 2444, the Howard Coble Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Act of 2014....more

When In Doubt, File the Limitation Complaint (Part III): The Test Is Reasonable Possibility

On December 3, 2014, the Fifth Circuit, in In re: RLB Contracting, Inc., No. 14–40326 (5th Cir. Dec. 3, 2014), concluded that an ongoing exchange of correspondence between counsel for a dredge involved in a maritime casualty...more

New Jones Act Enforcement Initiative

Action Item: U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) issued a Notice to the Area Port of New Orleans Trade Community on November 12, 2014, announcing electronic online reporting of possible Jones Act violations. Owners and...more

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