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In an effort to provide even greater service, I would like to point out a critical issue related to the 1.08 percent of the total federal fuel tax that is attributable to motorboat fuel. Due to past changes in the legislation affecting the Highway Trust Fund, only 11.5 cents of the 18.3 cents per gallon federal tax, is used for purposes of calculating the amount to be transferred to the Aquatic Resources Trust Fund. Our Association, along with the American League of Anglers and Boaters (ALAB), highly recommends the recovery of the 6.8 cents per gallon and its transfer to the Aquatic Resources Trust Fund. Further, our Association and ALAB believes it is very important the language be written so the revenue generated be divided equally between the State Boating Safety Program and the Sport Fish Restoration Program.
We feel the State program to date, is a shining example of an ideal state/federal partnership, and showcases the“user pays-user benefits”concept. We will continue to strive for more innovative use of the funds to better educate boaters and further reduce boating fatalities. However, we cannot over emphasize the need for stability in the Boating Safety Trust Funds for us to be successful. The Federal Boat Safety Trust Funds are critical to the success or failure of our States recreational boating safety programs.
We appreciate this Subcommittee's continuing support and ask for your consideration through whatever legislative method available, for reauthorization of the State Boating Safety Trust Funds from the Aquatic Resources Trust Fund (Wallop-Breaux) at the greater amount of which ever is $70 million or one-half of the total funds attributable to federal motorboat gasoline tax paid by our nation's boaters.
I am writing to you in my capacity as President of The Maritime Law Association of the United States to express on behalf of the Association our great interest in the Carriage of Goods by Sea Act of 1998, SB In so doing, I will briefly set forth the organization, activities and purposes of this Association and our deep involvement in the fostering of maritime law, its administration, the law on international transportation by water, and circumstances surrounding the proposal of the Carriage of Goods by Sea Act 1998
The Maritime Law Association of the United States was founded in 1899. Its membership consists of persons residing in all coastal states and has a membership of approximately three thousand, seven hundred maritime lawyers, maritime industry executives, academics and representatives of all segments of the industry. This includes shippers. ship owners, insurance, ship building and other related maritime enterprises and lawyers for those interests.
The Association, soon to celebrate its centennial next year, has been, since its inception, devoted to international commercial matters including the Carriage of Goods by Sea.
The Honorable Wayne T. Gilchrest
Further, since its inception it has been an entirely volunteer organization with no staff. For years it has been called on by numerous governmental agencies, both state and federal, to provide expertise. It continues this voluntary service to courts by the filing of selective amicus curiae briefs in the United States Supreme Court and the United States Courts of Appeals.
A. National Activities.
In coordinating with numerous government agencies, The Maritime Law Association of the United States has been the recipient of numerous compliments from agencies and the courts, including the Supreme Court of the United States. The latter having termed the MLA “an organization of experts in admiralty law" '. In furtherance of the MLA purposes, it has been a significant proponent of wide-ranging legislation dealing with maritime matters during its 99 years of existence. These include, but are not limited to: the Carriage of Goods by Sea Act of 1936, ? the Federal Arbitration Act, 3 and the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act". Further, it has been a significant source of resource information in the formulation of other maritime laws. S
Offshore Logistics y. Tallentire. 447 U.S. 210. 223 (1986). * 46 U.S.C. $$ 1300-1315. S9U.S.C. $$ 1-5. *28 U.S.C. SS 1330, 1602-1611
E.g. Water Pollution Control Act Amendments of 1972, 33 U.S.C. SS 1251-1376; Convention on the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea, 28 U.S.T. 3459, as amended, TLA.S. 10672, Oct. 20, 1972, reprinted in 6 Benedict on Admiralty. Doc. No. 3-4 (Frank L. Wiswall, Jr. Ed., 7* ed. Rev. 1996), see 33 C.F.R. Ch. 1 Subch. D, Special Note, at 176 (1995); United States Inland Navigation Rules; 33 U.S.C. $8 2001-2073.
Merchant Marine Vessel and Safety Personnel, Hearings on HR 2247 before the Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Navigation and Merchant Marine, Committee on Merchant Marine and Fisheries. 98** Cong. 1Sess., 521-527 (1983) (statement of the President of the Maritime Law Association); Merchant Marine Vessel Safety and Personnel Hearings on HR 7103 before Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Navigation and Merchant Marine, Committee on Merchant Marine and Fisheries, 97* Cong.. 2d. Sess. (September 23, 1982) (statement of the President of the Maritime Law Association).
The Honorable Wayne T. Gilchrest
In its pro bong work on the above cited matters and many others too numerous to mention, the Association has squarely met its objectives as stated in the Articles of Incorporation:
The objectives of the Association shall be to advance reforms
In addition to substantive matters of law, the Association is involved with aspects of procedural law and sharing its expertise.o
In international matters, The Maritime Law Association of the United States works closely with the Comité Maritime International (CMI) and with the International Maritime Organization (IMO) that was established by the United Nations. IMO is located in London with its primary objectives being the improvement of maritime safety and prevention of pollution. Frequently, in fact at nearly every meeting of the IMO Legal Committee, the MLA is called on to furnish advisers to the US Delegation to the IMO.
In recent years, the MLA has participated in several projects of a maritime law nature undertaken by agencies of the United Nations including its commission on Trade
The Maritime Law Association of the United States has drafted and developed Model Local Admiralty Rules, some of which have already been adopted by United States District Courts and many other District Courts have them under study today. It is hoped that this Model will eliminate disparities in the admiralty practice. This is current work in progress.
Further, the MLA has coordinated with the Judicial Conference of the U.S. to present admiralty law programs
The Honorable Wayne T. Gilchrest
Law (UNCITRAL) and Trade and Development (UNCTAD). Thus, it has the international perspective from participation in international organizations to supplement its broad-based bipartisan perspective on the national scene.
III. CARRIAGE OF GOODS BY SEA ACT OF 1998
In full recognition that the Carriage of Goods by Sea Act 1936 was created in a different era, a need was seen by The Maritime Law Association of the United States to create from members of its standing Committee of Carriage of Goods, a Steering Committee composed of all points of view to revisit this Act. Ocean transportation had changed from break bulk cargo to containers. Moreover, technical changes had occurred in bulk shipments and other types of specialized cargo. Technology also had impacted the methodology of bills of lading and other commercial paper. Moreover, court rulings in certain monetary and limitation aspects had greatly and somewhat confusingly changed the landscape of maritime transportation in legal areas.
It was apparent that the sixty year old legislation should be reviewed and its effectiveness considered in the current era.
The Steering Committee began its efforts. During this time, comments were received from all over the country. A half dozen meetings were held throughout the nation to get points of view from all regions. The end result was that in May. 1996 an overwhelming vote of the Association approved the Committee's work. This proposal grew into a universal acceptance by all points of view among those organizations of our nation involved in international shipping. These diverse groups that have shared their expertise with The Maritime Law Association of the United States now favorably support this Carriage of Goods by Sea Act 1998.
Together with this report, we enclose herewith additional matters to be used as the Committee or Subcommittee needs:
An executive summary of the Carriage of Goods by Sea Act 1998