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Transportation Blog

Welcome to the Holland & Knight Transportation Blog, featuring news, observations and analysis related to the many sectors of the transportation and infrastructure industry.

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Comprehensive studies regarding the environmental effects of discharges from vessel's open-loop scrubbers released during the last several weeks by the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) and the major classification society Det Norske Veritas Germanischer LLoyd (DNVGL) appear likely to change the course of the current industry controversy over the International Maritime Organization (IMO) low sulfur fuel regulations coming into effect in January 2020 (IMO 2020).
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President Donald Trump issued an Executive Order (EO) on Jan. 31, 2019, expanding upon the "Buy American and Hire American" EO issued in April 2017. The new EO, "Strengthening Buy-American Preferences for Infrastructure Projects," further reinforces the Buy American elements of the previous EO by mandating that federal agencies encourage recipients of federal financial assistance to use domestically produced products for widely defined infrastructure projects.
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On Jan. 15, 2019, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its opinion in New Prime Inc. v. Oliveira, No. 17-340, holding (1) that a court (rather than an arbitrator) should resolve a dispute over the applicability of the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA)'s § 1 exemption for "contracts of employment" of transportation workers, and (2) Mr. Oliveira's independent contractor agreement with New Prime falls within the § 1 exemption.
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President Trump has made the reduction of federal regulation in the marketplace a centerpiece of his campaign and administration. While numerous efforts to review existing aviation regulations are underway, the newly-signed FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018 (Public Law 115-254), which reauthorizes funding of the Federal Aviation Administration through Sept. 30, 2023, contains several provisions which indicate that Congress remains deeply invested in the issue of airline passenger rights.
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The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) on Dec. 17, 2018, published proposed rule changes to its regulations governing ocean transportation intermediary (OTI) licensure, financial responsibility requirements and other general duties. The proposed rules are primarily administrative and procedural in nature. The FMC indicated that the proposed rules are intended to clarify existing regulations and reduce the regulatory burden on regulated entities.
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The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) on Dec. 17, 2018, adopted an interpretive rule that tightens certain prohibitions under the 1984 Shipping Act. Specifically, the change tightens the Section 10(d)(a) prohibition against regulated entities acting unjustly or unreasonably in connection with the receiving, handling, storing or delivering of property.
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New immigration policy proposals involving H-1B visas and the legalization of recreational marijuana use in Canada and a few U.S. states will have an important impact on transportation and infrastructure companies, as well as individuals.
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December 3, 2018
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The FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018, enacted on Oct. 5, 2018, has clarified and confirmed the pre-emptive effect of the federal statute intended to shield from liability owners, lessors and secured parties not in operational control of an aircraft for injuries to persons on board an accident aircraft. This clarification comes by way of an amendment to the federal statute, 49 U.S.C. §44112(b).
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Holland & Knight recently advised a client in connection with the purchase of an Airbus A320-200 aircraft registered in Jordan. With a timeframe of just over 10 months from receiving the first draft of the novation agreement to close, several issues that almost led to the deal being scrapped completely and a minor panic that the financing availability end date would pass before we transferred title, this was a deal that kept on giving.
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October 29, 2018
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On Oct. 3, 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral argument in the case of New Prime Inc. v. Oliveira, No. 17-340.
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According to a California statute set to take effect in January 2019, ocean carriers, marine terminal operators and shippers engaging port drayage motor carriers that default on obligations to pay employees will be jointly and severally liable for the sums that the PDMCs fail to pay to or for the benefit of their drivers.
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A federal agency nudges Metra and Amtrak to settle a dispute over use of Amtrak’s station in downtown Chicago.
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September 14, 2018
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Holland & Knight’s Aircraft Finance Team has partnered with SMBC Aviation Capital Limited to co-direct and participate in Euromoney’s Latin America School of Aviation Finance Sept. 11-12 in Mexico City.
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September 10, 2018
The unintended consequences of regulatory action may sometimes come as a surprise, but often there are clues that could inform decision makers—if they know where to look. Two colossuses of the rail industry, Union Pacific Railroad (UP) and BNSF Railway Company, are butting heads over UP's right (or lack of a right) to perform switching operations on a BNSF main line in Washington state.
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August 7, 2018
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In July 2018, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 200, a bill that includes the Modernizing Recreational Fisheries Management Act of 2017 (Modern Fish Act). The Modern Fish Act seeks to change recreational fishing regulations and permit more regulation on the state level.
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Tabasco is known for being one of Mexico's oil states, with a very developed industry and fields. As such, the federal Port Authority Dos Bocas (API Dos Bocas), located in the southeast of the Gulf of Mexico, has an industrial and oil calling, and is a major node of the Pemex logistic network. Recently, because of oil rounds, there is increasing activity of exploration and production of oil.
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In a case decided on March 28, 2018, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held that a maritime lien on a vessel for the "maintenance and cure" of an injured seaman was not subject to the "automatic stay" that generally arises as the result of a bankruptcy filing by the owner of the vessel.
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The Federal Maritime Commission  voted unanimously to approve significant changes that will relieve regulatory burdens on Ocean Transportation Intermediaries and simplify requirements for using non-vessel-operating common carrier (NVOCC) Negotiated Rate Arrangements and NVOCC Service Arrangements.
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El 6 de junio de 2018, la Comisión Federal Marítima de Estados Unidos aprobó en un voto un unánime ciertos cambios que aliviarán las cargas regulatorias sobre intermediarios de transporte oceánico y simplificarán requisitos para utilizar acuerdos de tarifas negociadas y de servicio de consolidadores de carga marítima.
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The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) granted tank truck drivers an exemption from the 30-minute break requirement in the hours of service regulations, which became effective April 9, 2018. 83 FR 15221 (Apr. 1, 2018). The rest break regulation requires interstate commercial truck drivers (other than those who qualify for a short-haul exception) to take at least a 30-minute rest break within the first 8 hours of going on duty in order to continue driving that day. 49 C.F.R § 395.3(a)(3).
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