In the US, the current partial shutdown of the federal government continues, now for more than a month, and this includes affecting such agencies as the U.S. Coast Guard.
While certain emergency or essential functions are being carried out without interruption thus far, there have been instances of outage or delay of some ancillary activities and services that impact the maritime shipping community.
In particular, the processes involving application and confirmation of Certificates of Financial Responsibility (commonly known as COFR’s), that are required for vessels entering U.S. waters under regulations issued pursuant to the Oil Pollution Act of 1990, are now being affected. The web page of the USCG National Pollution Funds Center has a current notice regarding the situation, and vessel owners and operators should be aware of same:
Members and clients may wish to consult with their COFR issuers and/or Qualified Individual’s for further detailed guidance and assistance with any particular port of call issues or general COFR documentary delays, until the partial governmental shutdown ends.
Please reference the NPFC website to review their most recent information or to access the ECOFR site: https://publicsearch.npfc.uscg.mil/COFR/Default.aspx.