— The Council of American Master Mariners, Inc. —
CAMM Views & Positions
Views & Positions Home Page
Page last updated on Sat, May 18, 2013
CAMM is widely recognized as an organization whose members are highly regarded and extremely knowledgeable about the issues on which we take positions.
The following are CAMM’s current positions on maritime matters. Positions were agreed on by attendees at our AGM.
Criminalization of Shipmasters
OPPOSE the arrest and detention of shipmasters and crew in the wake of a maritime incident. SUPPORT IFSMA position calling on the USCG, IMO, ICS and other international bodies to cease actions which may result in false imprisonment without trial.
Adopted 2004; 2013: Sent to committtee for re-wording
Ports of Refuge
SUPPORT the ancient doctrine of Port of Refuge and support the clarification of international law of the doctrine.
Adopted 2004; Amended 2013
One Man Bridge Watch
OPPOSE one-man bridge watch.
Adopted 2004, Amended 2013
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 period after which a D-1 visa would expire, leaving the crew member(s) unable to move about freely in this country.
Adopted 2006; Amended 2008, 2013
Contamination and Safety
SUPPORT the reduction of substandard vessels.
Adopted 2006; Amended 2013
ILO/IMO Guidelines for the Fair Treatment of Seafarers
SUPPORT the recommendations of an ILO/IMO Working Group on the Fair Treatment of Seafarers, to develop internationally accepted guidelines for addressing actions against and criminalization of seafarers.
ILO Maritime Labor Convention 2006
SUPPORT U.S. ratification of the ILO Maritime Labor Convention (MLC) 2006 to eliminate sub-standard shipping with respect to maritime labor. MLC 2006 lays down stringent rules regarding working conditions and requests proof of compliance from ships. Port State control officers have the power to fine and detain ships which do not abide by the “Seafarers’ Bill of Rights”.
Adopted 2006, Amended 2008
Watch Stander’s Fatigue and Task-based Manning
SUPPORT IFSMA position that minimum manning levels established by Flag States be “task-based”, taking into consideration ship type and trading pattern.
Adopted 2007; Reworded in 2012 to condense two related positions to one; Amended 2013.
Seaman’s Manslaughter Act
SUPPORT changing the Seaman’s Manslaughter Act to require a higher standard of proof than simple negligence.
Proposed 2007, Adopted 2008
Vessel Documentation, Inspection and Mariner Credentialing
SUPPORT the transfer of vessel documentation, vessel inspection and mariner credentialing from Department of Homeland Security to the Maritime Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation.
Proposed 2007, Adopted 2008, Amended 2013
IFSMA E-Navigation Comments
SUPPORT IFSMA Working Group Recommendation that watch standers participate in the design and development of E-NAV equipment and that watch standers, rather than technicians, operate said equipment on the bridge. This Position applies to all electronic navigation systems including but not limited to ECDIS.
Adopted 2007, Amended 2009, 2011, 2013
International Piracy On the High Seas – Elimination of
SUPPORT the UN resolution adopted Dec. 17, 2008 and urge the governments of the world to work to defeat piracy wherever it occurs. CAMM asserts that it is the responsibility of the U.S. Government to provide the force protection necessary to ensure the safety of life and property aboard U.S.-Flag vessels.
Adopted 2009, Amended 2013
Recognition of Foreign licenses, STCW certificates, and endorsements on U.S. 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, that any foreign seafarer holding a foreign license, certificate or document who is to be employed on a U.S. flagged vessel, be required to meet the same standards of certification and security check as would be required of a U.S. seafarer.
Read the CAMM Statement submitted to the docket.
Adopted 2011, Amended 2013
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
Physical Vetting for Merchant Mariners
SUPPORT changing physical standards systems required for the USCG Merchant Mariner Credential to conform with that of the Federal Aviation Administration.
Adopted 2011, Amended 2013
Redundant Navigation Systems
SUPPORTS proposals made at the IMO that a redundant electronic system, including but not limited to LORAN E, be established to back-up GPS technology.
Training in Celestial Navigation
SUPPORTS the inclusion of celestial navigation competency as a component of deck officer certification.
REAFFIRM our staunch SUPPORT for and retention of the Jones Act, Section 27 of the Merchant Marine Act of 1920 (P.L. 66-261)
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.
Proposed 2012, Adopted 2013
Regulatory Burden on Ship Masters
SUPPORT appeals to the International Maritime Organization to review and reduce the regulatory burden imposed on vessel masters.
Proposed 2012, Adopted 2013
Development of a Polar Code
SUPPORT the development and implementation of a Polar Code by IMO.
Food for Peace Program
SUPPORT the efforts of USA Maritime to prevent changes in the Food for Peace Program, proposed in the Administration’s FY 2014 Budget, from its current requirement that food purchased under that program be grown in the United States of America and transported in Congressionally prescribed percentages on U.S. Flag ships, to a cash donation program through which recipient countries may purchase food from anywhere in the world, with no cargo preference provision.
Increase in USF Requirement under Food for Peace Program
SUPPORT USA Maritime’s position that the percentage of PL 480 cargoes which must be required to move 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.
The following are CAMM’s proposed current views on maritime matters. Views will be discussed and voted as official positions or dismissed at the 2014 AGM. Please email Committee Chair Ms. Lyn McClelland 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 conducted without the benefit and protection guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States.
Adopted 2004; 2013: Tabled. Sent to committtee for further discussion.
U.S. Coast Guard ownership of Merchant Mariner Credential (MMC) / License
OPPOSE Coast Guard position that the agency owns the new Merchant Mariner Credential (MMC)/License issued to a seaman and can revoke or recall at 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.
Adopted 2008; 2013: Discontinued. Sent to committtee to submit new view that is more current.
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.
Adopted 2010; 2013: Tabled. Sent to committtee for clarification.
USCG advancement to Chief Mate 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.
To view full text on the USCG proposed changes, view/download the Federal Register.
Adopted 2010; 2013: Tabled. Sent to committteeto merge and re-word with "Under-Qualified Promotions".
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; 2013: Tabled. Sent to committtee for further discussion.
Emergency Response Infrastructure for Arctic Shipping
RECOMMEND that the International Maritime Organization require that infrastructure for emergency response be established by nations boarding the Arctic Shipping routes. Financing of recourses to be offset by toll and/or tax for ships using the Arctic Passages.
Discussion: With the continued increase of Arctic shipping it will be necessary to insure there are emergency response equipment and support readily available in the region. Due to the extreme weather and remote location, such infrastructure must be staged as close as practical to the Arctic Ocean. This will necessitate the adjoining nations to provide Arctic Ocean access and land area to house said support teams and attending equipment. It cannot be expected that the boarding nations be solely financially responsible for provide land, equipment and personnel.