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The Convention-which has already been approved by the Senate-makes important changes in the international rules for safe navigation. It will enter into force in July of 1977. The United States should become a party to it. If the United States does not implement the Convention before it enters into force, there will be major differences between the navigational rules followed by U.S. ships and by the ships of many other countries. These differences will increase the danger of collisions at sea and create hazards to life and property at sea.

I strongly urge the 95th Congress to pass legislation early next year that will be consistent with our Constitution, so that the United States can implement the Convention before it enters into force.

Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents, Vol. 12, No. 42, p. 1486.

The United States deposited an instrument of acceptance to the Convention on the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea, 1972, on November 23, 1976, and on January 19, 1977, the President proclaimed the entry into force of the convention for the United States, effective July 15, 1977. On the same date he signed Executive Order 11964 on implementation of the convention, directing the Secretary of the Navy, for vessels of the Navy, and the Secretary of the Department in which the Coast Guard is operating, for all other vessels, to determine and certify, in accordance with the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea, 1972, which vessels cannot comply fully with the provisions of any of those International Regulations with respect to number, positions, range or arc of visibility of lights or shapes, as well as the disposition and characteristics of sound-signalling appliances, without interfering with the special function of the vessel.

The Executive order also directs the respective Secretaries, to the extent permitted by law, to promulgate special rules with respect to additional station or signal lights for vessels of various types. They are likewise authorized to exempt, in accord with Rule 38 of the 1972 International Regulations, any vessel or class of vessels, the keel of which is laid, or which is at a corresponding stage of construction, before July 15, 1977, from full compliance with the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea, 1960 (TIAS 5813; 16 UST 794).

The Secretary of the Department in which the Coast Guard is operating is also authorized, to the extent permitted by law, to promulgate such rules and regulations as are necessary to implement the provisions of the Convention and International Regulations.

Fed. Reg., Vol. 42, No.15, Jan. 24, 1977, pp. 4327-4328.

In United States v. United Continental Tuna Corporation, 425 U.S. 164 (1976), the Supreme Court held, on March 30, 1976, that the

"reciprocity" requirement of the Public Vessels Act (43 Stat. 1112; 46 U.S.C. 781-790) is fully effective, notwithstanding a later amendment to the Suits in Admiralty Act (41 Stat. 525; 46 U.S.C. 741-752). Following a collision between a U.S. Navy destroyer and a Philippine-owned fishing vessel, the owner of the fishing vessel brought suit against the United States. Jurisdiction was alleged under both the Suits in Admiralty Act and the Public Vessels Act. The District Court dismissed the suit, holding that the reciprocity requirement of the Public Vessels Act had not been satisfied in that the vessel's Philippine owner had failed to establish that Americans could sue in the Philippine courts under similar circumstances. The Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reversed, ruling that the owner did not have to meet the requirements of the Public Vessels Act since it could maintain the suit independently under the Suits in Admiralty Act.

The Supreme Court granted the petition of the United States for certiorari and, in a 7-1 decision, reversed the ruling of the Ninth Circuit. It held that when a “public vessel” of the United States is involved, the requirements of the Public Vessels Act must be met before an action against the United States may be maintained. Although the Suits in Admiralty Act was amended in 1960 to contain broad language authorizing admiralty actions against the United States, the 1960 amendment was not intended to repeal the specific conditions which Congress in the Public Vessels Act imposed on suits involving public vessels of the United States

The Jones Act

In Koupetoris v. Konkar Intrepid Corporation, 535 F.2d 1392 (1976), a Greek seaman brought action against a Greek shipowner to recover damages under the Jones Act, 46 U.S.C. 688, and general maritime law for injuries sustained aboard ship in waters off the coast of Maryland. The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York dismissed the action for insufficiency under the Act and inappropriateness of the forum. The plaintiff appealed and the shipowner cross-appealed from so much of the lower court's opinion as held that the shipowner was subject to the Court's in personam jurisdiction and had been properly served with process.

The Court of Appeals affirmed the judgment of the lower court. It held that the activity of the shipowner's New York representative, as general or managing agent for the shipowner, was sufficient to meet the requirement of minimum contacts rendering the Greek shipowner amenable to suit in New York without violating due process. However, the Court upheld the dismissal of the plaintiff's Jones Act claim on the grounds of insufficiency. It held that where the

injured seaman, shipowner and shipowner's stockholders were citizens and residents of Greece, the shipowner's principal place of business was in Athens, and all of the members of the crew were aliens, the happenstance that the seaman's injuries occurred off the coast of the United States was not sufficient contact with the United States to allow the alien to invoke the Jones Act.

The Court affirmed also that dismissal of the Greek seaman's claim under general maritime law on forum non conveniens grounds was proper, since the only connection of the United States with the controversy was that the accident occurred while the ship was in U.S. waters, there was a Greek forum available, dismissal would not operate to foreclose a remedy, and the seaman would not be put to unreasonable expense by litigating the claim in Greece.

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By exchange of notes dated October 27 and November 1, 1976, the United States and Brazil concluded an interim agreement for the operation of scheduled air services (TIAS 8445; 27 UST) pending a final resolution of outstanding issues. The agreement provides that Pan American World Airways would be able to operate services into Congonhas Airport, Sao Paulo, pursuant to a leasing agreement with VASP, a Brazilian airline, and that differences concerning the interpretation of the 1946 U.S.-Brazil Air Transport Agreement, as amended (TIAS 1900, 6672; 61 Stat. 4121; 20 UST 658), regarding change of gauge and unrestricted use of the above airport by Pan American would be discussed at a later date.

The agreement further provides for changes in statistical schedule filing procedures under existing prescreening arrangements with Brazil, permits dual numbering of flights under certain conditions, and commits both sides to renew the bilateral Air Transport Agreement provisions concerning rates and changes in routes.

U.S.-United Kingdom

The United Kingdom, on June 22, 1976, requested consultations under the provision of article 13 of the Air Services Agreement between the United States and the United Kingdom of February 11, 1946 (TIAS 1507; 60 Stat. 1499; 12 Bevans 726), as amended (the "Bermuda Agreement"), and simultaneously served notice of termination of that agreement, effective twelve months from the date of its receipt. The notice was given in a note from the British Ambassador in Washington, received on June 22, stating the British view that the agreement had become “out of date” in a number of respects and was conferring benefits on the United States much in excess of the

benefits to the United Kingdom. It recommended a substantial revision of the rights conferred by the agreement.

The British note also referred to difficulties that had been encountered in the interpretation and implementation of the agreement, particularly as regards capacity and fares. It suggested that understandings reached in 1974 and 1975 for establishing a close relationship between capacity and demand needed to be consolidated into a new agreement and systematic procedures established for implementing them. It described the provisions of the Bermuda Agreement regarding establishment of airline tariffs as "unworkable" and usually disregarded.

The U.S. reply note, dated July 8, 1976, noted that the reasons presented by the British Government would be discussed in the course of consultations, but added that "the United States Government... does not share the view that the difficulties which have arisen in our civil aviation relations are due to basic deficiencies in the Air Services Agreement, nor does it agree that a substantial revision of the route rights conferred by the agreement is necessary at this time." It agreed to work constructively to conclude an agreement which would be equitable for both countries and for the traveling and shipping public.

Dept. of State File No. P76 0101-374. On Sept. 17, 1976, the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) ordered five British carriers to file all of their existing and proposed schedules of service between the United Kingdom, its territories and the United States pursuant to Part 213 of the Board's Economic Regulations. The CAB announcement stated that the British Government had recently issued a note setting forth frequency levels and equipment types which U.S. carriers could operate between the U.K. and the U.S. during the coming winter season. It stated that the United States regarded this British unilateral action, if implemented, as a violation of the Air Transport Agreement between the two countries. CAB Press Release 76-144, Sept. 17, 1976. On Oct. 14, 1976, the Dept. of State announced that during July and August the British authorities had expressed official concern that the levels of U.S. airline operations planned for the winter season would result in excess seat capacity in the Miami-London and ChicagoLondon markets, and they had imposed winter limitations on airline flights in those markets. The U.S. Government, according to the announcement, took the position that unilateral restrictions were inconsistent with the U.S.-U.K. Air Services Agreement, but had communicated to the British U.S. airline operation plans for the winter season, and those were found satisfactory. Dept. of State Press Release, No. 511, Oct. 14, 1976.


Pending the negotiation of a full air transport agreement, the United States and Yugoslavia, on May 14, 1976, concluded an agreement by exchange of notes (TIAS 8305; 27 UST 2191; entered

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