Legal & Regulations

  • Biden approves Second Jones Act waiver to address...

    The Department of Homeland Security has approved temporary Jones Act waivers for two Gulf Coast refiners, allowing them to ship cargoes of fuel aboard foreign-flag vessels to areas on the East Coast that have been affected by the Colonial Pipeline shutdown. 

     

  • ILA lawsuit throttles South Carolina container...

    It is unclear whether ocean carriers will avoid a newly opened container terminal in South Carolina until a labor dispute is cleared up. But at least for now, it appears most shipping lines are steering clear of the Port of Charleston’s Hugh K. Leatherman Terminal to avoid being caught up in a lawsuit filed by the International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA).

     

  • US regulator probing China’s role in container...

    A top maritime official has started an informal investigation into whether China is using its market power to monopolize containers and other equipment crucial to international supply chains to pump up rates paid by American exporters.

     

  • A smart choice: UK High Court confirms shipowner...

    The High Court has issued an important judgment clarifying that ordinarily an owner is not liable to pay damages to a charterer if it collects freight due under its bills of lading even where no sums are due under a time charterparty.

     

  • UAE ratifies 1996 Protocol to LLMC 1976

    By Mazin El Amin, Senior Associate, Ince

     

    On 10 October 1957, the International Convention relating to the Limitation of the Liability of Owners of Sea-Going Ships was signed in Brussels (the “Brussels Convention”). On 19 November 1976, the Limitation of Liability for Maritime Claims Convention 1976 (the “LLMC”) was signed in London, addressing some of the pitfalls in the Brussels Convention. The LLMC continues to be the “base” Convention regulating shipowners’ ability to limit liability in certain circumstances. 

  • House of Commons passes Bill C-29 – Full...

    Operations at the Port of Montreal will regain their needed stability gradually over the next few hours, following passage by the House of Commons of an Act to provide for the resumption and continuation of operations at the Port of Montreal. This decision means that the operational and commercial uncertainty related to labour relations between the dockworkers’ union CUPE Local 375 and the Maritime Employers Association (MEA) is now over.

     

  • Greek diver recovers cocaine smuggled in ship’s...

    Illustrating the depths to which drug smugglers are going in their attempts to move their illicit cargo, the Hellenic Coast Guard released video of a drug seizure this week hidden underwater behind the grate on a water intake in a bulk carrier’s hull. The vessel’s management company is reporting that it is a victim in the case with its ship turned into an unknown carrier.

     

  • Bill to overturn key cruise restrictions sinks in...

    In a last-minute surprise maneuver, Florida’s House of Representatives sidelined for this session a bill that would have limited local ports’ ability to take actions deemed to have the potential to interrupt state or national commerce. Widely believed to have been a veiled attempt to override referendums approved by the voters in Key West to limit cruise ship calls, the bill was scuttled by proposed amendments and politics after having passed the state senate and seemingly destine to the governor for his approval before the legislative session concludes this week.

     

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Egypt: Suez Canal ship case adjourned for compensation talks

An Egyptian court on Saturday adjourned the case of a hulking cargo vessel that blocked the Suez Canal for nearly a week earlier this year. The move is to allow more time for negotiations aiming at resolving a financial dispute between the Suez Canal Authority and the vessel’s owner.

 
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One small step for MASS

The MSC regulatory working group on MASS released its report with recommendations that the best way forward to address MASS in the IMO regulatory framework should, preferably, be through the development of a new MASS Code. This is sensible given that addressing every IMO convention or SOLAS chapter separately can lead to inconsistencies, confusion and raise potential barriers for the application of existing regulations to conventional ships. The new MASS Code can then be made mandatory by amending one of the existing IMO Conventions, such as SOLAS. The MSC working group also suggested that the MASS Code should be developed following a goal-based approach. This is in line with the current Guidelines developed by the IMO.

 
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Teekay Corporation completes Banff Decommissioning Agreement

Teekay Corporation announces the completion of the remaining conditions precedent relating to the previously announced Decommissioning Services Agreement (DSA) with CNR International (UK) Limited (CNRI), on behalf of the Banff joint venture, whereby Teekay has engaged CNRI to decommission the Company’s remaining subsea infrastructure located within the CNRI-operated Banff Field. As part of the DSA, which is now in full effect, CNRI has assumed full responsibility for Teekay’s remaining asset retirement obligations (Phase II) for the above-mentioned facilities, which should enable CNRI to complete Teekay’s Phase II work in conjunction with their other decommissioning work at the Banff Field in a more efficient manner.

 
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CDC permits First Cruises to sail from U.S. Ports starting in June

The efforts to resume cruising from U.S. ports took a step forward with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issuing its first provisional acceptance letter for a simulated cruise and late today saying it would also permit the first fully vaccinated cruise ship to resume sailing in late June. The Royal Caribbean Group announced that two of its brands will operate the first cruises from U.S. ports since March 2020.

 
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IMO explores issues for regulation of autonomous shipping

To ensure that maritime regulations keep pace with the technological advancements in autonomous shipping, the International Maritime Organization’s Maritime Safety Committee finalizes an analysis of ship safety treaties seeking to identify the issues required for regulating Maritime Autonomous Surface Ships (MASS). The scoping exercise, which was initiated in 2017, sought to determine the actions needed by the IMO to ensure safe, secure, and environmentally sound MASS operations.  

 
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