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Autonomous Vessels: How an Emerging Disruptive Technology Is Poised to Impact the Maritime Industry Much Sooner Than Anticipated

The maritime industry is currently experiencing a sea change in technological disruption through the increased development of advanced automation on unmanned surface vessels (“USVs”). Automated vessel technology is rapidly...more

12/4/2017  /  Maritime Transport , Shipping , Vessels

U.S. Coast Guard National Vessel Documentation Center Publishes Criteria for Making U.S. Build and Rebuild Determinations

Action Item: A recently published guidance document issued by the National Vessel Documentation Center (“NVDC”) for the first time provides the public with the key criteria it uses in making U.S. Build and Rebuild...more

11/14/2017  /  Coast Guard , Shipping , Vessels

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

The Continued Growth of Drones in the Energy Sector

The energy industry continues to see a marked growth in the use of drones as they provide cost efficient and time-saving services. For example, drones are being utilized as a tool to accurately inspect oil and gas pipelines,...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

Mainbrace: March 2017 (No. 2)

What’s different about “change” in 2017? It certainly seems that we need to redefine what we mean when we consider the term itself. Shipping historically has been a conservative industry, but its adaptability over the...more

Bridging the Gap: AMLC Launches Government Relations Initiative to Further Practice Area Understanding between Private and...

The scenario is a familiar one to lawyers practicing in maritime and admiralty law – a frantic middle-of-the-night call, a shipboard emergency, and your client looking to you for answers in a high-stakes scenario which could...more

2/23/2017  /  Coast Guard , DOJ , Investigations

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

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

New FAA Legislation Expands Safety and Security Programs and Provides New Authorities for Drone Operators

Action Item: On July 15, 2016, President Obama signed into law H.R. 636, the FAA Extension, Safety, and Security Act of 2016 (“the Act,” Pub.L. 114-190). The Act extends the authorization of the Federal Aviation...more

Drones – Is the Maritime Industry Ready?

Unmanned aerial systems (UAS), or “drones” in common parlance, are not a part of the historical maritime vocabulary. At least not yet. While the term “drones” may conjure images from science fiction, the reality is that...more

Updated Guidance on the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act of 2015

Action Item: On June 15, 2016, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) and the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) jointly issued a notice announcing the availability of the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act of...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

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