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CAMM Views & Positions

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Page last updated on Sun, Feb 12, 2017

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CAMM is widely recognized as an organization whose members are highly regarded and extremely knowledgeable about the issues on which we take positions.

Current Positions

The following are CAMM’s current positions on maritime matters. Positions were agreed on by attendees at our 2016 AGM or revised by the Positions Committee as instructed by membership.


Criminalization of Shipmasters

OPPOSE the immediate arrest of shipmasters after civil maritime incidents until appropriate criminal investigations are completed and all rights of the master are protected.

OPPOSE the detention of shipmasters by any arresting Port State not respecting the warrant and status of the shipmaster.

OPPOSE the use of “risk of flight” as the sole judicial reason for detention of the shipmaster under domestic law.

SUPPORT IFSMA Resolution 1/2004 (AGA 30) calling on IMO, ILO and other regulatory interests to develop guidelines for Port States with regard to the arrest and detention of Masters without trial following maritime casualties. (See IFSMA AGA 30 - Resolution 1/2004 for full statement.)

Adopted 2004; 2013: Sent to committee for re-wording, amended 2014; continued 2015, amended 2016


Ports of Refuge

SUPPORT the ancient doctrine of Port of Refuge and support the clarification of international law of said doctrine.

Adopted 2004; amended 2013, continued 2016


One Man Bridge Watch

OPPOSE one-man bridge watch.

Adopted 2004; amended 2013, continued 2016


Contamination and Safety

SUPPORT strengthening U.S. law to assure that all U.S. regulatory agencies take decisive action to prevent: 1) contamination of U.S. waters by vessels of all registries, through discharge of oil, contaminated water, sludge, sewage, etc.; and 2) entry into U.S. waters of vessels infested with vermin, having insufficient potable water for the crew, and/or lacking basic safety and sanitation features.

Adopted 2006; amended 2013, 2014, discontinued 2015


Witness Treatment by U.S. Officials

OPPOSE detention of crew of violating ships for the purpose of serving as material witness(es), for an unreasonable period of time, resulting in loss of liberty, wages, and proper due process. “Unreasonable period of time” is defined in this instance as exceeding the 29-day shore pass period.

Adopted 2006; amended 2008, 2013; continued 2015, amended 2016


ILO Maritime Labor Convention 2006

SUPPORT U.S. ratification of the ILO Maritime Labor Convention (MLC) 2006.

Adopted 2006; amended 2008, 2013; continued 2015, amended 2016


Watch Stander’s Fatigue and Task-based Manning

SUPPORT flag state implementation and enforcement of new IMO requirements under IMO resolution A.1047, Principles of Minimum Safe Manning, SOLAS Chapter V/14, Ships’ Manning, and ISM revision to Chapter 6, placing responsibility on owners for proper manning under all operational conditions.

Adopted 2007; reworded in 2012 to condense two related positions to one; amended 2014, 2015; continued 2016


Seaman’s Manslaughter Act

SUPPORT changing the Seaman’s Manslaughter Act (U.S. Code, Title 18, Section 1115) to require a higher standard of proof than simple negligence.

Proposed 2007; adopted 2008, continued 2016


Vessel Documentation, Inspection and Mariner Credentialing

SUPPORT the transfer of vessel documentation, vessel inspection and mariner credentialing from Department of Homeland Security to the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Proposed 2007; adopted 2008, amended 2013, continued 2015, amended 2016


International Piracy On the High Seas – Elimination of

SUPPORT the re-authorization of United Nations Security Council Resolution #2446 (renewed 10 November, 2015 and recalling its previous resolutions) to authorize funding for international action to fight piracy, and to urge the governments of the world to work to defeat piracy wherever it occurs.

NB: Position 2013-01 deals with an IMO recommendation making the Flag State responsible for a much broader range of Flag State mariner care.

Adopted 2009; amended (for resolution number and date) 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 (2 dissenting votes)


Physical Guidelines for Merchant Mariners

SUPPORT the International Labor Organization, Maritime Labour Convention 2006 (ILO-MLC 2006), Regulation 1.2 – Medical Certificate.

Note of Clarification: Adoption of ILO-MLC 2006, Regulation 1.2 - Medical Certificate would oblige the USCG to remove the medical fitness requirements from the certificate of professional competency currently required in the Merchant Marine Credential (MMC). An independent two (2) year Medical Certificate would be added to the MMC. Said Medical Certificate would be in compliance with MLC 2006, Regulation 1.2.

Adopted 2011; amended 2013; discontinued 2015


Requirements for Foreign Crew Aboard U.S. Flag Vessels

OPPOSE any expansion of the language of CFR 46 USC 8103 (b) (3) to include any vessel other than those specifically cited therein. Furthermore, require that any non-US citizen employed on a US Flagged vessel be required to meet the same standards of certification, endorsement and security check as a U.S. Seafarer.

Read the CAMM Statement submitted to the CFR docket for public comment.

Adopted 2011; amended 2013, 2014; continued 2016


Lifeboat Safety

SUPPORT IFSMA’s position on developing industry standards for design study, stability, and fall-preventer devices for on-load release hooks for lifeboats. CAMM Further supports the development of international standards for lifeboat controls and operations, including procedures for launching and retrieving the lifeboats.

Adopted 2011; amended 2013, Dicontinued 2015


Redundant Navigation Systems

SUPPORT international effort to require that redundant and independent electronic navigation system(s) (such as e-Loran) be established to back up Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) technology.

Adopted 2012; amended 2014, 2015, continued 2016


Training in Celestial Navigation

SUPPORTS the inclusion of celestial navigation competency as a component of deck officer certification.

Adopted 2012, continued 2015, 2016


Jones Act
REAFFIRM our staunch SUPPORT for and retention of the Jones Act, Section 27 of the Merchant Marine Act of 1920 (Public Law 66-261)

Adopted 2012, continued 2016


Administrative Burden on Ship Masters

SUPPORT efforts to review and reduce the administrative burden imposed on vessel masters.

Proposed 2012; adopted 2013; amended 2014, continued 2015; retitled, amended 2016


Food for Peace Program ‒ Public Law (P.L.) 480

SUPPORT U.S. maritime industry efforts to prevent changes in the Food for Peace Program, proposed in the Administration’s FY 2016 Budget.

Note of Clarification: The current requirement requires that food purchased under the program be grown in the United States of America and transported in Congressionally prescribed percentages on U.S. Flag ships. The FY 2016 Budget changes P.L. 480 to a cash donation program through which recipient countries may purchase food from anywhere in the world, with no cargo preference provision.

Adopted 2013, amended 2015


Increase in USF Requirement under Food for Peace Program

SUPPORT the U.S. maritime industry’s position that the percentage of PL 480 cargoes which must be carried on U.S. Flag ships be restored to 75 percent. Further SUPPORT efforts to legislate a meaningful penalty for failure to ship on U.S. Flag vessels, at the required percentage.

Adopted 2013, amended 2015


U.S. Coast Guard ownership of Merchant Mariner Credential (MMC) / License

Continue to OPPOSE Coast Guard position that the agency owns the new Merchant Mariner Credential (MMC)/License issued to a seaman and that USCG can revoke or recall the document any time without cause as set forth in the Code of Federal Regulations. CAMM contends that the credential is the property of the user, and that it is to be surrendered to the Coast Guard only after due process. CAMM SUPPORTS changing the CFRs to that affect.

CLARIFICATION: Positions Committee notes that the Original Position was discontinued because the USCG has taken actions indicating that it considers this a moot point. USCG no longer uses the word “license” when referring to the merchant mariner’s license. Revived because CAMM members wish to press the issue with Congress. CAMM does not challenge USCG right to revoke the Z card, as long as due process is followed.

Adopted 2008; discontinued 2013; reinstated 2014, continued 2015


Design Requirement for New Ship Construction

SUPPORT a design requirement whereby all new ship construction shall include an elevator/lift when the navigation bridge is more than 4 decks or 12 meters, whichever is greater, from the main deck or pilot embarkation point.

Adopted 2012; tabled 2013; reinstated 2014, continued 2015


Emergency Response Infrastructure for Arctic Shipping

RECOMMEND that the International Maritime Organization require that infrastructure for emergency response be established by nations bordering the Arctic Shipping routes and that vessels using Arctic passages provide funding for emergency response infrastructure.

COMMENT from Position Committee: Specifics regarding rescue in the Polar Region are under development. CAMM wants to assure that their Position is considered.

Proposed 2013, adopted 2014, discontinued 2015 - part of IMO Polar Code.


Support of U.S. Flag LNG Vessels

SUPPORT Congressman John Garamendi’s (D-CA-03) efforts to promote U.S.-Flag and U.S.-built LNG vessels.

Proposed as View 03-2015; adopted 2015

Current Views

The following are CAMM’s proposed current views on maritime matters. Views will be discussed and voted as official positions or dismissed at the 2017 AGM. Please email Committee Chair Captain Frank Zabrocky with additional comments.


UN Convention of the Law of the Seas Treaty

OPPOSE U.S. ratification of the Law of the Sea Treaty, which would give important domestic powers to an international authority based in Brussels. Specifically oppose provisions which would result in American ship masters accused of offenses at sea being tried by an international court in Europe, and proceedings conducted without the benefit and protection guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States.

Text of UNCLOS may be found online at the U.N. website.

Adopted 2004; tabled 2013, 2014, 2015 for further analysis.


Misuse of the ISM Code

CAMM SUPPORTS limiting the use of the international Safety-Quality Codes to the improvement of vessel safety and quality, and not as a disciplinary tool to be used against Masters.

Proposed 2015. Maintain as View.


Authority of MODU/DP Masters

CAMM SUPPORTS the rightful authority of the MODU or Dynamic Positioning (DP) certified Master to cease operations for safety reasons, without pressure from the company to take actions he considers unsafe.

Proposed 2015. Maintain as View.


Flag State Responsibilities in Incidents of Piracy

RECCOMEND that the International Maritime Organization create a regulation holding the flag state of any merchant vessel held captive by pirates politically and financially responsible for patrolling the pirate zone, freeing the crew, releasing the vessel from the control of the pirates and compensating the crew and their families for lost wages and hardship.

NB: 2009-04 Recommends U.S. support for U.N. Resolution urging world governments to defeat piracy.

Proposed 2012; adopted 2013 as Position 2013-01; 2015 tabled for further discussion


Under-Qualified Officer Promotions

OPPOSE Coast Guard’s proposed regulations which would allow a third or second mate to progress to an unlimited master’s license with only 36 months’ service as a third or second mate, removing the requirement of six-months service as Chief Mate on unlimited tonnage vessels. (Formerly View 03-2013, offered as Officer Promotion Requirements.)

OPPOSE Coast Guard proposal to allow a third mate with only 12 months’ service as an Officer in Charge of Navigational Watch (OICNW) to progress directly to Chief Mate Unlimited Tonnage. (Formerly View 04-2013, offered as USCG Advancement to Chief Mate Requirements.)

To view full text on the USCG proposed changes, view/download the Federal Register.

Adopted 2010; tabled 2013 to combine two related positions; adopted 2014 as postion 2014-04; tabled 2015 pending further review.