Friday, 11 January 2019 14:27

Update on mariner credentials in the US

National MAritime Centre


The National Maritime Center (NMC)  posted updated information on Jan. 8, 2019 for merchant mariners impacted by the lapse in appropriation. 

  • Merchant Mariner Credentials (MMC) (National Endorsements only) and Medical Certificates that expired in December 2018 or expire in January 2019 are extended as valid until March 31, 2019.  
  • Approval to Test (ATT) letters and mariner training course certificates that expired in December 2018 or expire in January 2019 are extended until March 31, 2019.



Friday, 11 January 2019 14:26

NHL All-Star Jersey made from Ocean Waste

543 Hockey Sweater


Adidas and the National Hockey League created new hockey jerseys in partnership with Parley for the Ocean using repurposed and upcycled materials. NHL players are expected to don the new jerseys for All-Star Games this month in San Jose.  The special edition Adizero Authentic Pro x are made from Parley Ocean Plastic, i.e. materials made from plastic bottles and other plastic waste intercepted in marine environments. Adidas has committed to eliminate the use of virgin plastic for manufacturing by 2024.



Friday, 11 January 2019 14:25

Largest shipping cranes reach Virginia

543 Cranes Virginia


The Port of Virginia celebrated the arrival of the Zhen Hua 27 to Virginia International Gateway in Portsmouth. The ship finished its voyage from China with four fully-assembled, 170-foot-tall gantry cranes aboard, which are now the largest shipping cranes ever in the United States. The Port of Virginia now has 30 ship-to-shore cranes and new are among the final pieces of the $320 million expansion project to increase capacity and efficiency at VIG. 



Friday, 04 January 2019 14:57

New US Maritime Advisory System


The US Maritime Advisory System will initiate a new type of US Maritime Alert to relay urgent maritime related information from other USG sources or international regional maritime security reporting centers (i.e. United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations, Maritime Domain Awareness for Trade Gulf of Guinea, Regional Cooperation Agreement on combating Piracy and Armed Robbery, International Maritime Bureau Piracy Reporting Center), when warranted.  To subscribe to the alerts visit the Maritime Security Communications with Industry (MSCI) Portal at Maritime industry professionals (civilian or military) may also register to receive additional Company Security Officer related information. Although housed on MARAD’s website.

Friday, 04 January 2019 13:54

Government shutdown affects FMC and others


The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) issued a news release stating that the agency is closed due to the partial federal government shutdown and will resume operation upon enactment of appropriations legislation.  The shutdown has also affected the US Coast Guard Academy, NOAA and the Maritime Administration, which prepared to cease all activities in the Committee on Marine Transportation Systems, the Office of Policy and Plans, and the Office of Maritime Education and Training, among others.

541 uscg

The Office of Commercial Vessel Compliance  has published the 2017 Domestic Vessel Annual Report, highlighting for the first time U.S. domestic fleet deficiencies, inspections, and marine casualty statistics. The data will serve as a baseline to study trends, identify key performance indicators, and bring attention to issues in the fleet. A few key findings discussed in the report are:

  • Coast Guard marine inspectors conducted 18,424 inspections on 12,189 U.S. flag vessels
  • During these inspections, 21,629 deficiencies were documented, which is an average of 1.77 deficiencies per vessel
  • The number of inspections and deficiencies have increased 7.5 percent and 3 percent respectively, over the last five years



The US Coast Guard has issued type approval certificates to Panasia Co., Ltd. for its GloEn-Patrol BWMS and to De Nora Water Technologies Texas, LLC for its BALPURE BWMS after a detailed under 46 CFR 162.060.  The GloEn-Patrol BWMS consists of filtration with UV treatment at uptake and discharge whereas the BALPURE BWMS consists of filtration with electrolysis during uptake and neutralization during discharge.  For the latest updates on approved systems and those in progress, visit the US Coast Guard's website, Marine Safety Center.

540 srkw

Washington State Governor, Jay Inslee,wants $1.1 billion to help save Puget Sound’s critically endangered Southern Resident Killer Whales. The recommendations in his plan closely track those of the governor’s task force for orca recovery, the result of months of work by more than 40 members. Tax increases will be needed to pay for the recovery efforts, as well as other initiatives in Inslee’s proposed biennial budget. His proposals include:

  • a 400-yard permanent "go-slow" zone for all vessels within half a nautical mile of SRKW;
  • a temporary, three year suspension on all SRKW whale watching;
  • converting two of the State's Jumbo Mark II ferries from diesel to hybrid-electric ferries; and
  • funds for rule-making that will require tug escorts for barges transporting oil through high risk areas of Puget Sound.


Friday, 14 December 2018 13:25

VIDA passes US House and Senate

540 vida

The United States (US) House of Representatives and Senate passed the US Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2017, which includes the Vessel Incident Discharge Act (VIDA). Once this legislation is signed into law by the President, it will change how ballast water, and other incidental discharges, are regulated in the United States.  VIDA provides for a uniform, national standard to govern discharges that are incidental to vessel operations, such as ballast water discharges.  The EPA has a two-year period to promulgate the regulation. The USCG may review and has a 60-day window to concur with the regulation. Until the final regulations are promulgated, the 2013 Vessel General Permit (VGP) shall remain in force and effective. The new regulations being promulgated cannot be less stringent that the 2013 VGP or USCG BWM regulations.


The Federal Maritime Commission voted at its meeting last week to take this action when it approved the recommendations of Commissioner Rebecca Dye as set forth in her final report of the Fact Finding 28 investigation. The investigation found that demurrage and detention charges can incentivize cargo to move expeditiously and that standardizing practices for when these fees are levied would improve velocity at ports and that focusing demurrage practices on notice of when cargo is actually available would likely eliminate many of the circumstances that lead to the imposition of demurrage fees. Toward that goal, the Commission will convene Innovation Teams that will address how to provide:

  • Transparent, standardized language for demurrage and detention practices
  • Clear, simplified, and accessible demurrage and detention billing practices and dispute resolution process
  • Explicit guidance regarding the types of evidence relevant to resolving demurrage and detention disputes
  • Consistent notice to cargo interests of container availability

Friday, 14 December 2018 12:57

CARB releases modelling for health analyses


On November 5, 2018, CARB staff published the report, Preliminary Health Analyses: Control Measure for Ocean-Going Vessels At Berth and At Anchor and has since has received requests from the public to provide the modeling files for the health analyses and the emission inventory methodology. In support of this request, CARB is releasing the modeling files and databases used to conduct the health risk assessment discussed in the analyses and will release the emissions inventory methodology by early January. CARB is also providing additional time for comments on the health analyses through to January 31, 2019 via their electronic comment log.

539 oil

According to Bloomberg, the US turned into a net oil exporter briefly last week, breaking almost 75 years of continued dependence on foreign oil.  The shale revolution has transformed oil wildcatters into billionaires and the US into the world’s largest petroleum producer, surpassing Russia and Saudi Arabia. The power of OPEC has been diminished, undercutting one of the major geopolitical forces of the last half century.  In an effort to boost oil prices and reduce oversupply, OPEC has just announced a cut in oil production by 1.2 billion barrels per day.  Oil prices spiked immediately following the decision. 

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