MaritimeFedWatch features updates and discussions on current maritime legal issues and developments. The blog covers environmental regulation and crimes, piracy, the Jones Act, U.S. Coast Guard initiatives, U.S. Congressional enactments, and many other topics of interest to the U.S.-flag industry and the world wide maritime industry’s interaction with the United States.
On May 14, 2020, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), together with the Department of State and the United States Coast Guard, published the long-awaited Sanctions Advisory regarding the maritime industry, energy and metals sectors, and related communities that was originally due in early April.
President Trump declared a national emergency as a result of the spread of the COVID-19 virus on March 13, 2020 and he selectively invoked the Defense Production Act on March 27 and April 2. These announcements were narrowly drawn and did not address potential maritime supply chain disruptions. Under existing U.S. law, the President has a range of maritime-related authorities he can invoke to deal with maritime-related supply chain issues if necessary.
Supreme Court Decides Not to Rock the Boat in Frescati Shipping Co.; Resolves Circuit Split Regarding Safe Berth 04/01/20
On March 30, 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its long-awaited CITGO Asphalt Refining Co. v. Frescati Shipping Co. decision, which resolved the meaning of the “safe berth” clause found in most standard charter party forms by clarifying the contractual duty imposed on charterers. No-18,565 (March 30, 2020).
The U.S. State Department (State) previewed on March 9, 2020, new U.S. Government economic sanctions compliance measures that will have a substantial effect on the worldwide maritime industry. The measures were set out by David Peyman, the Deputy Assistant Secretary (DAS) of State for Counter Threat Finance and Sanctions in an interview at the Foundation for Defense of Democracy.