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Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Us Government News

(Photo: Crowley)

US Says No Requests Yet to Waive Jones Act to Help Oil Companies

The U.S. government said on Monday it has not yet received requests to waive a 100-year-old law on shipping goods between domestic ports, despite some interested parties who say temporarily lifting the regulation would help energy companies hurt by the oil price plunge.Kelly Cahalan, a spokesperson at the U.S Customs and Border Protection agency of the Department of Homeland Security, said no requests to waive the Merchant Marine Act, better known as the Jones Act, have been received.U.S.

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CLIA: Any Action to Limit Cruising is Unwarranted

A cruise industry trade association has hit back at reports speculating that the U.S. government may move to discourage some travelers from taking cruises as part of a broader Trump administration effort to limit the spread of coronavirus."Any action to restrict cruising is unwarranted, and at odds with the World Health Organization which 'continues to advise against the application of travel or trade restrictions to countries experiencing COVID-19 outbreaks'," the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) said in a statement on Friday.U.S.

Photo: CakeBoxx Technologies

CakeBoxx Technologies Introduces ThermoBoxx

CakeBoxx Technologies has rolled out a new product line of refrigerated shipping containers: ThermoBoxx 20' Shipping Container with Lifted Lid and ThermoBoxx 20ft Container.CakeBoxx Technologies designed these new models as a time saving, cost-effective solution for the movement of temperature-sensitive cargos that would normally be difficult to load and unload through conventional reefer container doors due to their size, shape or weight. The side and top loading capability is a key differentiation from conventional containers and provides a strong value proposition for speed of loading…

“Doing business the same way over and over will not last; we know technology will advance our industry, and if we just sit back and don’t take an active role, we’re going to lose. There is no room for complacency.” 
Morgan Fanberg, President, Glosten

@ Glosten: “Crazy ideas are not off the table”

From racing scows on the inland lakes of Minnesota to graduating from the United States Merchant Marine Academy to taking the helm of Glosten, Morgan Fanberg has led a ‘maritime life.’ We caught up with Fanberg in his Seattle office to discuss the path ahead for one of the U.S.’ most progressive and respected naval architecture and marine engineering firms.Morgan Fanberg has always been a ‘maritime guy,’ but his early maritime aspirations centered on racing sailboats. “I went to St.

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IMO 2020: U.S. Restricts the Use of Certain Fuels in Scrubber Vessels

With the January 1 implementation of IMO 2020, which requires dramatic reductions in the sulfur content of emissions from ocean-going vessels, the United States government issued a new rule that it asserts actually facilitates the distribution of compliant fuel.The US Environmental Protection Agency asserts that it is taking steps to allow for the distribution of distillate fuel with sulfur content of up to 5,000 ppm sulfur—something that it asserts was previously prohibited.

Pic: Samsung Heavy Industries Co.

SHI to Pay $75m in Fine: US Justice Dept

South Korean shipbuilder Samsung Heavy Industries Co. (SHI) has agreed to pay $75 million in penalties to avoid prosecution in the United States over its scheme to pay millions of dollars in bribes to Brazilian officials to win a contract.“Samsung Heavy Industries paid millions of dollars to a Brazilian intermediary, knowing that some of that money would be used to bribe high-level executives at Petrobras and obtain a lucrative shipbuilding contract,” said Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division.

River dredging operations in the State of Louisiana (CREDIT: Port of New Orleans)

US Funds $30 million for Coastal Flood Protection

The U.S. government's oceans and waterways agency will provide $30 million to improve coastal resilience, officials said, aiming to reduce the impacts of worsening storms, flooding and rising seas in nearly half of U.S. states.Grants through the program are designed to restore or expand coastal wetlands, dunes, reefs, mangroves and barrier islands that are key to coastal protection, said the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in an announcement.Coastlines worldwide are being damaged or threatened by more extreme and destructive weather…

Source: BIMCO

Growth of US Inbound Containers Has Slowed

The accumulated growth rate for US inbound containers has almost been cut in off half from 5.1% in 2018 to 2.6% in August of 2019.Towards the end of 2018, US retailers frontloaded consumer goods ahead of the planned tariff hike in January 2019. While another US tariff hike of 10% on Chinese goods worth USD 160 billion is planned for December 15, BIMCO does not expect the same frontloading to occur this time around, due to heightened uncertainty about the rumored trade deal.According to communication by the US government…

AdobeStock / © Jose Gill

Unipec Resumes Using COSCO Tankers

China's Unipec has resumed using tankers owned by COSCO weeks after it suspended bookings due to U.S. sanctions on some of the Chinese shipping company's subsidiaries, trade sources said on Tuesday.Refinitiv data showed one COSCO owned tanker - belonging to a subsidiary not affected by the U.S. sanctions - was sailing to Asia with a cargo of oil chartered by Unipec, the trading arm of Asia's top oil refiner, Sinopec.Sinopec officials did not immediately respond to requests for comment after business hours.In one of the biggest sanctions actions taken by the U.S.

Photo: DSC Dredge

DSC Dredge Wins USACE Dredge Bid

DSC Dredge, LLC wins bid for a new, non-propelled, cutter suction head dredge solicited by The Marine Design Center (MDC) of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) earlier this month. When completed, the new cutter suction head dredge will operate out of Astara, Azerbaijan to not only maintain the harbor depth and harbor entrance but the US Government is purchasing this dredge for the country of Azerbaijan as a part of Azerbaijan’s support of the US in anti-terrorism efforts.

AdobeStock / © Kasto

CNOOC Seeks Replacements for Sanctioned COSCO LNG Tankers

China National Offshore Oil and Gas Company (CNOOC) is on the hunt for liquefied natural gas (LNG) tankers to charter, several industry sources told Reuters, looking to replace ships it had previously hired that are linked to a Chinese company sanctioned by the United States for allegedly transporting Iranian oil.The company, COSCO Shipping Tanker (Dalian), is one of four Chinese firms on which the Trump administration imposed sanctions on Sept. 25, in what it described as the biggest sanctions taken by the U.S.

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Iranian Tanker Hit by Missiles, Oil Rises

Oil prices jumped more than 2% on Friday, October 11, 2019, after Iranian media said a state-owned oil tanker had been struck by missiles in the Red Sea near Saudi Arabia, raising the prospect of supply disruptions weeks after attacks on Saudi oil plants.The Suezmax crude tanker Sabiti was ablaze and suffered heavy damage after being hit by two missiles, Iranian media reported.Both oil benchmarks recorded their biggest daily rise since Sept. 16, the first trading day after the…

AdobeStock / © rawf8

China to U.S.: Remove Sanctions on Chinese Firms

China strongly urges the U.S. to remove sanctions on Chinese firms and will take any necessary measures to firmly protect its own interests, China's commerce ministry said in a statement late on Tuesday.The U.S. government on Monday expanded its trade blacklist to include some of China's top artificial intelligence startups, saying it was in reaction to Beijing's treatment of Muslim minorities. The move ratcheted up tensions ahead of high-level trade talks in Washington this week.The ministry also said it strongly urges the U.S.

Naval architecture and marine engineering degrees can lead to major job opportunities and high-salary careers. 

(Photo: © Adobe Stock / Aleksandr)

Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering Tops for Jobs

The results of a recent survey conducted by financial services company Bankrate, LLC show that naval architecture and marine engineering take the top spot as the most valuable college degrees in which to major.A total of 162 degrees were covered in the company’s research. Drama and theater arts, on the other hand, were shown to be the least valuable degrees in terms of earning power after graduation. The survey revealed that the overall median income for those trained to build, design and maintain maritime vessels was $90,000 and that less than 2 percent of degree holders were unemployed.

File Image: the former M/T Grace 1 at sea (CREDIT: MarineTraffic.com)

Iran: Oil Sold from Tanker Released by Gibraltar

Iran has sold the oil from a tanker released by Gibraltar after weeks in the custody of British Royal Marines and the vessel's owner will decide on its next destination, IRIB news agency quoted an Iranian government spokesman as saying on Monday.Separately, Tehran - embroiled in a spiralling confrontation with Washington over U.S. sanctions meant to strangle Iranian oil exports - announced that it had deployed a naval destroyer with cruise missiles to help secure Iranian ships.The Iranian government spokesman did not identify the recipient of the oil carried by the Adrian Darya tanker.

Ronald Baczkowski is the President and Chief Executive Officer of VT Halter Marine, Inc.

Shipbuilding Interview: Ron Baczkowski, VT Halter

VT Halter in Pascagoula, MS has been on a strong run, capped by its winning the high-profile contract to build the U.S. Coast Guard’s next generation of icebreakers. Maritime Reporter recently spoke with Ron Baczkowski, President and CEO, VT Halter Marine, for insights on the shipyard’s recent success and future prospects. Globally, the shipbuilding industry has gone through some ‘interesting’ times of late. How has it looked from your perspective?The shipbuilding market and activity at VT Halter during the past 12 months has been dynamic.

Robert G. (Bob) Wellner and David R. Minetti (CREDIT: Liberty Global Logistics)

LGL Announces Retirement of Robert G. Wellner

Liberty Global Logistics LLC (LGL) announced today that Robert G. (Bob) Wellner, its current President, will retire effective December 31, 2019. Mr. Wellner is a widely respected industry veteran with more than 46 years of experience in the U.S.-flag shipping and logistics industry and was a key player in the formation and growth of LGL.Mr. Wellner joined forces with Philip J. Shapiro in 2003 which led to the formation of LGL. LGL commenced operations in 2004. Mr. Shapiro had previously formed Liberty Maritime Corporation in 1988…

AdobeStock / © Kasto

Oil slumps 7% as More Tariffs Loom

Oil prices plummeted more than 7% on Thursday, with the U.S. benchmark posting its worst day in more than four years, after President Donald Trump said he would impose additional tariffs Chinese imports starting Sept. 1.The drop in Brent crude was the steepest in more than three years, undoing a fragile oil rally built on steady drawdowns in U.S. inventories even as global demand looked shaky due to the U.S.-China trade dispute.Trump's announcement of an additional 10% levy on…

The author, By Curt Cultice, U.S. Commercial Service, U.S. Department of Commerce.

Export Licensing: Tips U.S. Exporters Shouldn’t Overlook

Export Control Lists Include Key Marine Tech Categories  Each year, the U.S. Department of Commerce receives thousands of inquiries from businesses looking to export, many of which involve licensing questions. The Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS), together with other USG agencies, is responsible for export licensing and controls. BIS export licenses may be required for items (commodities, software, or technology) with proliferation, military, or terrorist uses, or which warrant control for other reasons.

Photo: LOOP

Light Sweet Crude Exports Jump at LOOP

The Louisiana Offshore Oil Port (LOOP) exported a record 283,333 barrels per day of light sweet crude last month, according to trade sources, as prices weakened against global Brent.LOOP, which exports mostly medium sour grades produced in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, last month exported more than twice the amount of light sweet from the prior month. Overall exports of U.S. crude hit a record 3.77 million barrels per day (bpd) one week in June, U.S. government data showed.A decline in oil imports at the facility, stemming from record U.S.

File Image: CREDIT AdobeStock / © 14KT gold

Storm Approaching: Firms Fear IMO's 2020 Rules

U.S. furniture company RC Willey Home Furnishings is so concerned that new global clean air rules will cause transport disruption that it brought forward the shipment of arm chairs and sofas from China by two months.The tougher regulations, set by the United Nations shipping agency, the International Maritime Organization (IMO), come into force on Jan 1. Costs will rise for ships towards the end of this year and there will be a knock on effect for trucks and other transporters…

A typical fleet oiler in support of U.S. Naval operations (CREDIT: USN)

London P&I clubs Widen Middle East Threat Zone

London's marine insurance market has extended the list of waters deemed high risk to include Oman, the United Arab Emirates and the Gulf after ship attacks off Fujairah, officials said on Friday, in a move that could push up premiums.The London insurance market's Joint War Committee said in a statement that the additions cover areas of perceived enhanced risk for marine insurers and reflected enhanced regional risk."The situation will be kept under close review," said the Joint War Committee…

File Image: AdobeStock / © Scanrail

U.S.-China Trade Talks Go to the Wire

World shares tumbled for a fourth day running on Thursday after a warning from U.S. President Donald Trump that a long-worked-on trade deal with China was in serious danger.Chinese Vice Premier Liu He was heading to Washington for two days of talks, but Trump's insistence that China "broke the deal" and Beijing's response that it would retaliate against a planned U.S. tariff increase raised the stakes.Europe's main stock markets and Wall Street futures sank 0.5 to 1.3 percent after a torrid day for Asia saw more than 1.8 percent taken off China and more than 3 percent off South Korea…

US warns Hong Kong about Iranian Oil Tanker

The United States has warned Hong Kong to be on alert for a vessel carrying Iranian petroleum that may seek to stop in the Asia financial hub, and said that any entity providing services to the vessel will be violating U.S. sanctions.The news comes two weeks after U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration stepped up moves to choke off Iran’s oil exports by scrapping waivers it had granted to big buyers of Iranian crude oil, including China.The fully laden Pacific Bravo abruptly changed course on Monday to head towards Sri Lanka, according to shipping data on Refinitiv Eikon.

AdobeStock / © Nightman 1965

China Urges Dialogue, Negotiations to Solve US Trade Row

China's commerce ministry on Tuesday urged dialogue and negotiation to solve trade differences with the United States.It is common to make revisions, suggestions and adjustments in trade negotiations, it said in a statement in response to U.S. government comments that China was pursuing a "blame game".Reporting by Reuters Hong Kong and Beijing newsrooms

U.S. seizes 'sanction buster' North Korean Ship

The United States has for the first time seized a North Korean cargo ship it accused of illicit coal shipments in violation of U.S. and United Nations sanctions, the U.S. Justice Department announced on Thursday.The ship, known as the "Wise Honest," was first detained by Indonesia in April 2018. Under an unusual U.S. civil forfeiture action, the vessel is now in the possession of the United States and is currently approaching U.S. territorial waters heading toward American Samoa, U.S.