2/23/2018: U.S. Dept. of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announces new global shipping advisory regarding sanctions risks related to North Korea’s shipping practices

The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), with the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Coast Guard, issued an advisory to alert persons globally to deceptive shipping practices used by North Korea to evade sanctions.

2/8/2018: Availability of list of vessels prohibited from entering or operating within navigable waters of the U.S.

The Coast Guard announced in the Federal Register the availability of a list of vessels that are generally prohibited from entering the navigable waters of the United States or transferring cargo in the United States, under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA).

11/28/2017: New policy letter available regarding issuance and acceptance of electronic certificates

This policy letter authorizes and states the conditions under which Authorized Classification Societies and Recognized Organizations may issue electronic certificates to U.S. flag vessels as well as the conditions under which they will be accepted by the Coast Guard for foreign vessels subject to Port State Control Exams in the United States. Nothing in this policy letter requires a vessel owner, operator, ACS or RO to request or issue electronic certificates.

4/14/2017: New E-Zero initiative will recognize exceptional compliance

E-Zero is part of the existing QUALSHIP 21 program and recognizes exceptional compliance across multiple environmental areas.

1/5/2017: US will follow IMO recommendation for enforcement of STCW 2010 amendments (transitional provisions)

In November 2016, the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) Maritime Safety Committee issued MSC circular (MSC.1/Circ.1560), which outlined the difficulties that have been encountered by Administrations and seafarers in meeting the 2010 amendments to the International Convention on Standards for Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers, 1978, as amended (STCW). Due to these difficulties, the IMO recommended that this situation be taken into account when taking action under the control procedures in Article X and Regulation I/4 of the STCW Convention. After a review of the impacts on the maritime industry, individual mariners and the related IMO guidance, the United States has chosen to follow the IMO recommendation for delayed enforcement actions resulting from the new credentialing standards.

12/21/2015: Guidance on port state control examinations for foreign flagged yachts

The Coast Guard set forth procedures for the examination of foreign flagged yachts that are passenger vessels and for other such vessels measuring 300 or more gross tons as measured under the ITC operating in U.S. navigable waters.

12/17/2015: Port state control detection deficiency areas – MSIB published

The Coast Guard published a safety bulletin to address the top five deficiency areas that port state control officers find on foreign vessels and have led to detentions in 2015.

9/14/2015: Riyadh port state control regime announces Safety of Navigation Concentration Inspection Campaign – MSIB published

The Maritime Authority of the Riyadh Memorandum of Understanding on Port State Control announces a Concentrated Inspection Campaign on Safety of Navigation, SOLAS V to verify that the master and watchkeeping officers are familiar with shipboard navigation systems and equipment.

9/1/2015: 2014 Port State Control Annual Report posted

The Coast Guard’s Office of Commercial Vessel Compliance Foreign and Offshore Compliance Division released the 2014 annual Port State Control report.

Regional port state control regimes announce 2015 joint concentrated inspection campaign – MSIB published

The Maritime Authorities of the Paris and Tokyo Memoranda of Understanding on port state control, or PSC, will launch a joint concentrated inspection campaign on Crew Familiarization for Enclosed Space Entry; other PSC regimes may participate as well. The campaign’s aim is to verify that effective procedures and measures are in place to safeguard the seafarers who are serving on board ships.

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