Signed into law by President Obama in 2010, the Coast Guard Authorization Act is the first major piece of maritime legislation enacted by Congress since 2006. The Act includes measures to address Coast Guard Modernization and reform of the acquisition directorate of the Coast Guard, and ensure that maritime safety is put on an equal footing with other Coast Guard responsibilities. It also includes measures relating to oil pollution prevention, port security, implementation of the Convention on the Control of Harmful Anti-Fouling Systems on Ships (2001), and general maritime safety laws that have been under consideration since 2006.
Specifically, the Authorization Act is divided into ten titles:
Title I: Authorization
Title II: Coast Guard
Title III: Shipping and Navigation
Title IV: Acquisition Reform
Title V: Coast Guard Modernization
Title VI: Marine Safety
Title VII: Oil Pollution Prevention
Title VIII: Port Security
Title IX: Miscellaneous Provisions
Title X: Clean Hulls
To help understand the Act, the law firm Blank Rome, LLP provides a section-by-section analysis of the Authorization Act primarily focusing on the various provisions of the new law that affect commercial interests. Owners and operators of vessels and facilities and other maritime interests, in particular, should review this advisory to determine possible effects on their activities.
The full summary can be found HERE.