On December 29, 2023, the USCG issued Maritime Safety Information Bulletin (MSIB) 13-2023, Change 1, an updated version of MSIB 13-23, that now includes a Frequently Asked Questions section addressing compliance with the Safer Seas Act that was passed in December of 2022.
Continue Reading USCG Updates Guidance on Safer Seas Act Compliance, Continuing to Show Strict Interpretation and Enforcement of Its Requirements

The Port of New Orleans has been awarded a $73.8 million federal grant to support the initial construction of its Louisiana International Terminal (LIT) project in St. Bernard Parish. The new terminal, located in Violet, Louisiana, will be able to serve vessels of all sizes by avoiding height restrictions from bridges further up the Mississippi River and taking advantage of the deeper, 50-foot Lower Mississippi River Ship Channel.
Continue Reading Louisiana International Terminal Project Receives Federal Funding Boost

On December 4, 2023, in Marquette Transportation Co. Gulf-Inland, LLC v. Navigation Maritime Bulgare JSC, et al., the Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit held that state law—and specifically in this case, Louisiana law—governs the applicable negligence standard and burden of proof for a pilot’s error.
Continue Reading When It Comes to Pilot Errors: State Statutes Preempt General Maritime Law

On October 30, 2023, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana found that the rule established by the U.S. Supreme Court in Robins Dry Dock & Repair Co. v. Flint applied to the case at hand, barring claimants from recovering economic damages for deferred oil production.
Continue Reading Corporate Protection Pipeline: Court Denies Economic Damages Based on Robins Dry Dock

On October 18, 2023, the EPA published a Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“SNPR”) regarding incidental discharges from vessels, proposing national performance standards under the Vessel Incidental Discharge Act (“VIDA”).
Continue Reading EPA’s Proposed Rule on Vessel Incidental Discharges Brings VIDA One Step Closer to Full Implementation

On November 13, 2023, the U.S. Coast Guard published Policy Letter 23-05 which provides the first actual guidance for vessel owners and operators on the expectations for the surveillance equipment that they are required to install and maintain under the Safer Seas Act, which became law in December 2022 as part of the James M. Inhofe National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2023.
Continue Reading USCG Issues First Guidance on Safer Seas Act Camera Requirements

Fires at sea have been one of the greatest risks to ships and cargo for over a thousand years, and they implicate some of maritime law’s most unique aspects. 
Continue Reading Maritime Law: Key Legal Issues in Fires at Sea, Cargo Damage, Salvage, and More

On June 2, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit analyzed what constitutes a prima facie maritime claim sufficient to support attachment of property under Rule B of the Supplemental Rules of Admiralty of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
Continue Reading Third Circuit Restores Rule B Attachment Based On Breach of Contract Claim Under English Law, Implied Indemnity Claim Not Enough