tougher tanker vetting
Oil companies must modify their procedures for checking ships,
says France's Minister for Equipment and Transportation, Jean-Claude
The minister made this clear after receiving
a report on the loss of the tanker Erika sent to him by the Bureau
of Inquiries into Marine Accidents. The full contents of the
report will be made public tomorrow.
The minister wants all of the recommendations
of the report to be taken into account.
Many of these concern controls put in
place by charterers . The report says that the oil companies'
internal control procedures must be better integrated with their
structural inspections of vessels and these should become more
frequent as vessels age.
Other recommendations concern the controls
used by flag states, shipowners and classification societies.
The minister says that the report strengthens the case for reinforcing
France's capacity for surveillance, control and intervention
and for seeking, in the European and international arenas, stricter
regulation, harmonized controls and effective sanctions.
Report shows size, scope of U.S.-Flag Fleet
A large, diverse fleet of U.S.-flag
vessels is contributing to U.S. prosperity while meeting the
highest safety and environmental standards, the U.S. Maritime
Administration (MARAD) reported today.
According to data released today by MARAD, the fleet of U.S.-flag
vessels actively supporting the nation's commerce includes more
than 37,700 cargo and passenger ships, ferries, barges, tugs,
towboats and other work vessels.
Speaking before the Washington, D.C., Propeller Club, Maritime
Administrator Clyde J.Hart unveiled a new report that portrays
the complexity and capability of the U.S.-flag merchant fleet.
It draws upon and presents in a new framework information collected
by MARAD, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Coast
In its periodic U.S. Merchant Marine
Data Sheet, MARAD has long reported on the number of large,
self-propelled, deep-draft ships in the U.S.-flag fleet. The
new report, to be issued at least twice a year, includes that
information as well as many other vessel types, ranging from
large oceangoing barges to riverboats and ferries. It includes
only active vessels.
The report contains fleet information as
of Jan. 1, 1999. As of that date, the active U.S.-flag fleet
- 29,545 cargo-carrying vessels, of which
2,948 were larger than 1,000 gross tons;
- 1,491 passenger vessels, including ferries,
together capable of carrying more than 410,000 people;
- 5,446 tugs and towboats;
- 1,424 crewboats, and supply and utility
vessels serving the oil industry;
- 25,698 barges and 613 powered vessels
carrying cargoes on the inland waterways;
- 409 vessels serving U.S. foreign trade;
- 2,433 ships and barges carrying domestic
cargoes in coastal trades; and
- 206 ships and barges operating on the
To download the report in PDF format from the Marad website,
click here. MARAD expects shortly to publish
data as of July 1, 1999.
begins offer for NCL Shares
Star Cruises PLC today commenced its previously-announced offers
to purchase all outstanding ordinary shares of NCL Holding ASA
and all outstanding NCL Holding American Depositary Shares (each
representing four ordinary shares) not owned by Star Cruises
and related companies (the Star Group) at a price of 35 Norwegian
kronor (NOK) per share (140 NOK per American Depositary Share).
The offers -- which involve a concurrent international offer
for ordinary shares held by non-U.S. persons and U.S. offer for
ordinary shares held by U.S. persons and American Depositary
Shares -- are being made through Star Cruises' subsidiary, Arrasas
Limited, pursuant to the mandatory offer requirements of Norwegian
The offer price of 35 NOK per share is equal to the highest price
the Star Group has previously paid to acquire any shares. It
also represents a premium of over 40% to the 24.90 NOK closing
share price on the Oslo Stock Exchange on December 1, 1999, the
last trading day before Carnival Corporation's public announcement
that it intended to make a takeover offer for NCL shares, and
a premium of over 16.0% to the 30 NOK per share price in Carnival
Corporation's now-lapsed offer.
The offers are not subject to any conditions
and will remain open for acceptance through February 10, 2000
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