2001 Maritime

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September 19, 2001

Coast Guard requires notification of crew nationalities
The U.S. Coast Guard is in the process of instituting a new port security measure, according to the useful e-mail newsletter circulated by Dennis Bryant of law firm Haight Gardner Holland and Knight.

All deep-draft vessels coming to any port in the United States must include in their advance notice of arrival a crew list that includes the nationality of each crewmember. COTPs have been provided with a list of countries of particular concern.

The entire list is not publicly available, but includes Afghanistan, Algeria, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Malaysia, the Maldives, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, the United Arab Emirates, and Uzbekistan.

Crewmembers of listed nationalities will be more carefully screened. This new measure is not part of the long-standing Special Interest Vessel (SIV) Program. It is an effort to ensure that suspect individuals and individuals with criminal records do not enter the country unbeknownst to federal officials.

While there has been one instance where the Coast Guard, under this new program, required a particular master of a listed nationality be removed from that position prior to allowing the vessel to enter port, that should not be the usual situation.

Each COTP has discretion with regard to how the policy is enforced, depending on local conditions. Some COTPs are also more carefully scrutinizing vessels that have made recent port calls in ports of such nations, but there is no uniform policy in this regard. Go to Haight Gardner site for further information. http://www.hklaw.com/maritimedev.asp

Kværner chief to step down
Under pressure from its lenders, the Kværner Group is being forced to go to its shareholders for fresh capital. It is seeking up to NOK 2 billion (about US $ 231 million). The Group's President & CEO Kjell E. Almskog will step down at the end of the year.

The decision to seek new capital has been taken following consultation with the company's largest shareholders and principal lenders. A proposal will be put before shareholders at an Extraordinary General Meeting planned to be held before the end of October.

Many observers believe that these events clear the way for investor Kjell Inge Røkke to take control of Kværner. His Aker Maritime has a 17.8% stake in Kværner and he has long been pressing fora merger of Kværner and Aker Maritime opertations in certain areas.