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.

U.S. Congress Advances Cable, Tanker, and General Maritime Security Fleet Provisions 07/15/19

On July 12, 2019, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020 (H.R. 2500) which would reauthorize the existing Maritime Security Program and newly authorize similar programs for tank vessels and cable vessels.

MARAD Issues New Information Collection Notice for Cargo Preference Shipments 07/11/19

The U.S. Maritime Administration has issued a notice regarding the collection of information on shipments subject to the Cargo Preference Act of 1954, which requires that at least 50% of government-impelled cargoes be shipped on U.S.-flag vessels. 

Congress Considers Jones Act Changes Affecting Oil and Gas and Offshore Wind 06/26/19

On June 26, 2019, the U.S. House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure reported favorably the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2019 (H.R. 3409) including several Jones Act-related provisions affecting the offshore oil and gas and offshore wind industries.

U.S. Supreme Court Nixes Punitive Damages for Unseaworthiness 06/25/19

Resolving a split between the Federal Circuit Courts of Appeals, the U.S. Supreme Court held in the case of Dutra Group v. Batterton that sailors injured as a result of unseaworthy conditions on their vessels may not seek punitive damages from vessel owners.

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