The United States House of Representatives passed the Don Young Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2022 to authorize appropriations for the Coast Guard, and for other purposes. Inter alia, this amendment provides the following amendments on “Manning and Crewing Requirements for Certain Vessels, Vehicles and Structures” (see Sec. 419):
The Secretary may provide an exemption (…) to the owner or operator of a covered facility if each individual who is manning or crewing the covered facility is – (1) a citizen of the United States; (2) an alien lawfully admitted to the United States for permanent residence; or (3) a citizen of the nation under the laws of which the vessel is documented.
An exemption under this subsection is an exemption from the regulations established pursuant to section 30(a)(3) of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (43 U.S.C. 1356(a)(3)).
An exemption under this section – (1) shall provide that the number of individuals manning or crewing the covered facility (…) (a) may not exceed two and one- half times the number of individuals required to man or crew the covered facility under the laws of the nation under the laws of which the covered facility is documented; and (2) shall be effective for not more than 12 months, but may be renewed by application to and approval by the Secretary.
The term ‘covered facility’ means any vessel, rig, platform, or other vehicle or structure, over 50 percent of which is owned by citizens of a foreign nation or with respect to which the citizens of a foreign nation have the right effectively to control, except to the extent and to the degree that the President determines that the government of such foreign nation or any of its political subdivisions has implemented, by statute, regulation, policy, or practice, a national manning requirement for equipment engaged in the exploring for, developing, or producing resources, including non-mineral energy resources in its offshore areas.
This Bill also imposes the purchase of automatic identification systems for fishing vessels, fish processing vessels, fish tender vessels more than 50 feet in length (see Sec. 307). The Bill was received in the United States Senate on 30 March 2022 and referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. A full version of Bill H.R. 6865 may be found here.
A Court of Appeal in Norway (Gulating Lagmannsrett) confirmed the prison sentence of a ship owner for aiding and abetting the attempt to export a ship to Pakistan for scrapping, in violation of the Norwegian Pollution Control Act. The Court of Appeal found that it makes little difference to the criminality of the act if a shipowner himself sells the ship directly to a scrapper on the beach in Gadani, or sells to an intermediary and criminally contributes to its export and scrapping. Further information may be found in this press release from the Norwegian National Authority for Investigation and Prosecution of Economic and Environmental Crime (Økokrim). The background history on the case of this ship – the Harrier – was also published by the NGO Shipbreaking Platform.
The Emissions Trading Scheme Authority of the United Kingdom (UK ETS) is seeking stakeholder views on proposals to develop the UK ETS which operates across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. This call is of particular interest to individual companies and representatives of the maritime sector as Chapter 7 sets out proposals to expand the scope of the UK ETS to the domestic maritime sector. UK ETS replaced the UK’s participation in the EU ETS on 1 January 2021. This consultation is open until 17 June 2022; more information available here.
The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) of the United Kingdom (UK) has published a summary of the responses to a consultation on the proposed Merchant Shipping (Nuclear Ships) Regulations. MCA had opened this consultation in August 2021 seeking views to assist in transposing Chapter VIII in the Annex to the International Convention for Safety of Life at Sea, 1974 (‘SOLAS’ or ‘the Convention’) into UK law. Views were also sought on the accompanying draft Marine Guidance Notice. The UK Government now intends to make the Regulations and bring them into force by the autumn of 2022. The Marine Guidance Note will be finalised and published at that time. A summary of the responses to that consultation is available here.
The Judge Advocate General of the Navy (USA) has announced the 2022 Rear Admiral Horace B. Robertson Prize in International Law, which welcomes submissions in the field of international law, related to national security, until 20 June 2022. The prize is “open to all judge advocates, including reservists and retirees, in the armed forces of any country”, with the winning article being published in International Law Studies. For more information see here.
On 18 March 2022, the Secretary-General of the International Seabed Authority (ISA) and the Secretary-General of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) signed the Memorandum of understanding between the Indian Ocean Rim Association and the International Seabed Authority which aims to “provide a framework of cooperation and facilitate collaboration […] in the areas of common interest” (para. 1). This follows approval of the MoU by the IORA Member States (16 April 2020) and the Council of the ISA (10 December 2021) (ISBA/26/C/13/Add.1, para. 36). Such arrangements on consultation and cooperation by the ISA with international and non-governmental organizations is initiated by the Secretary-General of the ISA by virtue of the competence found in Article 169(1) of UNCLOS. As per Article 169(2) of UNCLOS, IORA now “may designate representatives to attend meetings of the organs of the Authority as observers” and “procedures shall be established for obtaining the views of [IORA] in appropriate cases”.
Areas of co-operation in the MoU, to implement through supplement arrangements (para. 3), include:
(a) To consult, where appropriate and practical, on matters of mutual interest with a view to promoting or enhancing a better understanding and coordination of their respective activities in respect of such matters;Memorandum of understanding between the Indian Ocean Rim Association and the International Seabed Authority, para. 2 (ISBA/26/C/16, Annex)
(b) To develop joint capacity-building programmes related to seabed exploration, legal and policy formulation, and environmental management planning;
(c) To cooperate, where appropriate and practical, for the sharing and managing of information and non-confidential data related to offshore hydrocarbon and seabed mineral deposits;
(d) To promote, where appropriate, exchange of information and sharing of technologies related to seabed exploration and mining;
(e) To promote and encourage marine scientific research.
See further the ISA press release.
The Centre d’études et de recherche internationales et communautaires (Aix-Marseille Université), supported by the International Association for the Law of the Sea, shall host a Colloquium, entitled, Colloque à l’occasion des 40 ans de la Convention des Nations unies sur le droit de la mer, 16-17 June 2022, in a hybrid format (Aix-en-Provence/Online). For more information see the programme and here.
The Center for Arctic Studies (University of Iceland), in partnership with the Arctic Circle, will co-host the 15th Polar Law Symposium, 12-14 October 2022, in Reykjavík, Iceland. Proposals for keynotes, panels, workshops and/or single topic presentations for inclusion on the PLS agenda are welcome until 15 April 2022. For more information see here.
On 8 March 2022 the President of the United States of America signed Executive Order 14066, entitled, Prohibiting Certain Imports and New Investments With Respect to Continued Russian Federation Efforts To Undermine the Sovereignty and Territorial Integrity of Ukraine, which includes, among others, the following:
Section 1. (a) The following are prohibited:Executive Order 14066
(i) the importation into the United States of the following products of Russian Federation origin: crude oil; petroleum; petroleum fuels, oils, and products of their distillation; liquefied natural gas; coal; and coal products;
On 11 March 2022 the President of the United States of America signed Executive Order 14068, entitled, Prohibiting Certain Imports, Exports, and New Investment With Respect to Continued Russian Federation Aggression, which includes, among others, the following:
Section 1. (a) The following are prohibited:Executive Order 14068
(i) the importation into the United States of the following products of Russian Federation origin: fish, seafood, and preparations thereof; alcoholic beverages; non-industrial diamonds; and any other products of Russian Federation origin as may be determined by the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Commerce;
The U.S.-Asia Law Institute (USALI) of NYU School of Law will host the 2022 Timothy A. Gelatt Dialogue on the Rule of Law in East Asia: Climate Change in Asia-Pacific, with panel 2, entitled, Rising Sea Levels in Asia, scheduled for 24 March 2022, online (Zoom). For more information see here.
The Centre for International Law (National University of Singapore) shall host a conference, entitled, UNCLOS at 40: An Assessment, 29-30 March 2022, online (Zoom). For more information, see here.
From 10-11 March 2022 the IMO Council virtually held its 35th Extraordinary Session (C/ES.35), addressing, the impacts on shipping and seafarers of the situation in the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov. The IMO Council made decisions on the situation, including: condemnation of “the Russian Federation’s violation of the territorial integrity and the sovereignty of a United Nations Member State, extending to its territorial waters” as inconsistent with the UN Charter and the purposes of IMO as set forth in Article 1 of the IMO Convention; deploring “attacks of the Russian Federation aimed at commercial vessels” threatening maritime safety and the marine environment; and recalling “Ukraine must be afforded, without delay, all its rights in regard to the implementation of the instruments adopted within the framework of this Organization, as a flag State, port State and coastal State”. Decisions of the IMO Council also included the encouragement of “the establishment, as a provisional and urgent measure, of a blue safe maritime corridor” and the welcoming of a series of proposals to support seafarers, directed at coastal states, port states, transit states and states of nationality.
For more information see here and here.
Applications are welcome until 6 April 2022 for the position of PhD Fellow in offshore renewable energy in the Arctic and the Law of the Sea, undertaken at the Changing Arctic Research School and affiliated to the Norwegian Centre for the Law of the Sea (NCLOS), Arctic University of Norway (Tromsø, Norway).
For more information see here.
The 45th Annual Conference on Oceans Law & Policy, entitled, UNCLOS at 40, will be held 16-18 March 2022, Online (Zoom). For more information see here.
This year, COLP is sponsored by Stockton Center for International Law (SCIL) at the United States Naval War College and the Maritime Institute of Malaysia (MIMA), co-sponsored by the Embassy of Japan in Malaysia, World Maritime University (WMU)-Sasakawa Global Ocean Institute (GOI) and the Korea Maritime Institute (KMI), with additional generous support from the Centre for International Law (CIL NUS), the National Center for the Sea and Maritime Law (DEHUKAM) (Turkey), and the Japan Institute of International Affairs (JIIA).
The Ankara University Research Center of the Sea and Maritime Law (DEHUKAM) will host an international panel, entitled, From Mediterranean Sea to Japan Sea: Maritime Issues: Industrialization and Marine Resources, 10 March 2022, Online (Zoom). For more information see here.
The Center for Law, Energy & the Environment (UC Berkeley School of Law) shall host the 2022 Harry & Jane Scheiber Lecture in Ocean Law & Policy, entitled, The Law of the Sea and Democracy, 10 March 2022, in a hybrid format (UC Berkeley Law School/Zoom).
For more information and registration see here.
On 3 March 2022, Canada, the Kingdom of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, and the United States issued a joint statement, entitled, Joint Statement on Arctic Council Cooperation Following Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine, stating “our representatives will not travel to Russia for meetings of the Arctic Council. Additionally, our states are temporarily pausing participation in all meetings of the Council and its subsidiary bodies, pending consideration of the necessary modalities that can allow us to continue the Council’s important work in view of the current circumstances”.
The United Kingdom (UK) banned Russian owned, operated, controlled, chartered, registered or flagged ships from entering UK ports. The ban entered into force on 1 March 2022 (see The Russia (Sanctions) (EU Exit) (Amendment) (No. 4) Regulations 2022 here and here). See also the UK Department of Transport‘s press release.
The European Parliament adopted on 1 March 2022 a resolution (2022/2564(RSP)) calling for ports of European Union (EU) Member-States to block Russian vessels from entering. This call specifies that the ban should include “ships whose last or next port of call is in the Russian Federation, except in the case of necessary justified humanitarian reasons”.
Canada is also preparing to ban Russian vessels from entering its ports. A press release from the Government of Canada on the matter can be found here .
The United Nations Environment Assembly of the United Nations Environment Programme adopted on 2 March 2022 a resolution deciding that “the intergovernmental negotiating committee is to develop an international legally binding instrument on plastic pollution, including in the marine environment, which could include both binding and voluntary approaches“. The resolution, entitled “End Plastic Pollution: Towards an internationally legally binding instrument”, was adopted with the conclusion of the three-day UNEA-5.2 meeting. More information is available here and here. A draft version of the resolution can be read here.
The Aegean Institute of the Law of the Sea and Maritime Law is hosting an online event entitled Coopération en Méditerranée et droit de la mer. The conference will be held via Zoom on Friday 4 March 2022. More information is available here.