DBTG Operational and Technical Seminar

This week, Ryan is back from Barcelona, Spain where he attended a meeting of the Dry Bulk Terminal Group’s (DBTG) Operational and Technical Seminar on April 9-11. At the seminar, Ryan toured the ports of Barcelona and Tarragona and participated in meetings on dry bulk terminal safety and health issues. In particular, Ryan learned more about upcoming agenda items and papers at the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) meeting of the Subcommittee on the Carriage of Cargoes and Containers (CCC) in September. Ryan also participated in a meeting of the DBTG’s Executive Committee, during which the committee discussed DBTG finances and operations, as well as the transition to a new executive director.

A trip report for this travel will be available in the coming days.

IGTC Newsletter

The latest IGTC newsletter is now available! This edition features a report on the IPPC CPM, where the IGTC made a presentation on the IPPC ePhyto initiative, the continental free trade agreement in Africa, and a preview of upcoming IGTC events in Switzerland, China and Mexico.

Download the latest newsletter here!


IGTC Secretariat Katy Lee is back from Rome, Italy where she attended the International Plant Protection Convention’s 14th Commission on Phytosanitary Measures (CPM), a meeting of the 183 contracting parties to the IPPC. At the CPM Katy monitored agenda topics relevant to the IGTC policy priorities, including:

  • The contribution of the global trade of commodities to global food security and economic development
  • The business plan for the ePhyto Solution post 2019
  • International Year of Plant Health 2020 (IYPH 2020)
  • Next generation sequencing technologies as a diagnostic tool for phytosanitary purposes
  • Adding, deleting or modifying IPPC documents on the following subjects of interest to IGTC members:
  • Terms for consideration by the Technical Panel on the Glossary (TPG);
  • Diagnostic protocols for consideration by the Technical Panel on Diagnostic Protocols (TPDP);
  • Phytosanitary treatments for consideration by the Technical Panel on Phytosanitary Treatments (TPPT)

A trip report for this travel will be available in the coming days.

Contracts and Best Practices Seminars – Your advice requested

The NAEGA Contracts Committee is seeking your advice on the location, timing and curriculum of this year’s Contracts and Best Practices Seminars. We have scheduled a seminar in Tokyo for November 22.

Please let us know if you are interested in attending or hosting a seminar, and what topics we should focus on. The Committee is now considering contract seminars in the following locations:

  • Vancouver, British Columbia
  • St. Louis, MO
  • Winnipeg, Manitoba

NAEGA seminars are an intensive and informative review of commercial and official practices taught in an interactive environment. The goal of each seminar is to improve predictability, reduce risks, resolve trade barriers and facilitate profitable trade.

NAEGA conducts both public and private seminars, and curriculum can be tailored to your needs. Please contact Patrick if you are interested in hosting a private, tailored seminar at your office. Click here for more information on the in-depth, interactive programs NAEGA conducts!

London Grain Week

On June 9-13 Katy Lee, Sam Bonilla and Gary are planning to travel to London to lead and participate in events during the London Grain week, including meetings with International Grain Trade Coalition (IGTC), International Grains Council (IGC), the United Kingdom’s Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) and GAFTA. 

IPPC ePhyto Initiative Video

The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) have released a video on the IPPC’s ePhyto Solution. The IPPC ePhyto Solution aims to modernize the phytosanitary certification process and hold tremendous potential for trade facilitation. This video captures in simple terms the dynamics of the system and the benefits it holds both for National Plant Protection Organizations (NPPOs) and Industry.

A link to the video can be found here.

USCG final rule on sea farer access

The U.S. Coast Guard published the Seafarers’ Access to Maritime Facilities Final Rule in the Federal Register April 1, 2019, requiring owners and operators of Maritime Transportation Security Act-regulated facilities to provide seafarers holding valid U.S. visas and other covered individuals with the ability to transit through the facility in a timely manner and at no cost to the individuals.

Under this rule, each owner or operator of a maritime facility regulated by the Coast Guard is required to implement a system providing seafarers, pilots, and representatives of seamen’s welfare and labor organizations access between vessels moored at the facility and the facility gate, in a timely manner and at no cost to the seafarer or other individuals. The final rule provides regulatory flexibility to owners and operators to determine the method of shore access that best suits the size and function of their facility. These methods may include, but are not limited to, providing regularly scheduled or on-call shuttle service, taxi service, arrangements with seafarers’ welfare organizations, or monitoring of pedestrian routes.

The access procedures must be documented in the Facility Security Plan for each facility and approved by the local Captain of the Port. Although the final rule is effective May 1, 2019, each facility owner or operator has 14 months after publication of the final rule (June 1, 2020) to implement a system. This delayed implementation allows the Captain of the Port to work with each facility in the event of deficiencies in the plan.

A copy of the final rule can be found here.

EU announces negotiating mandate for U.S. trade agreement

On Monday, April 15 the European Commission’s council (EC) approved its negotiating objectives for upcoming trade negotiations with the United States. The directive covers two potential agreements with the U.S.:

  • A trade agreement strictly focused on industrial goods, excluding agricultural products;
  • A second agreement, on conformity assessment to make it easier for companies to prove their products meet technical requirements on both sides of the Atlantic

The directive compels the Commission, as part of negotiation of the agreement, to further examine the potential economic, environmental and social impacts of the agreement, taking into account the commitments of the EU in international agreements, including the Paris Agreement on climate change. This assessment, as well as the negotiating process itself, will be conducted in regular dialogue with the European Parliament, Member States, civil society and all relevant stakeholders, in line with the European Commission's commitment to transparency. As part of its engagement for an inclusive trade policy, the Commission is currently running a public consultation on voluntary regulatory cooperation.

Contracts Committee Sponsored Travel for Arbitrators

In 2019, the American Arbitration Association’s (AAA) International Centre for Dispute Resolution (ICDR) is planning a series of training seminars on ICDR case management, including two in North America. The seminar, titled ICDR International Symposia in Advanced Case Management Issues is intended to inform participants on AAA ICDR rules and procedures for arbitration panels and provide guidance on managing cases for chairpersons. This seminar fulfills the training requirement for NAEGA arbitrators who are interested in serving as Special Grain Arbitrators and chairpersons on arbitration panels.

In order to meet our Board of Directors mandated goal of increasing the number of qualified Special Grain Arbitrators, NAEGA is offering financial assistance of up to $1,000 to arbitrators who are interested in attending this ICDR training or the proposed ICDR trainings in North America. Financial assistance can be used to cover registration fees, airfare or lodging to attend a training seminar. ICDR has not yet announced dates for the North American events and we will notify Members when the dates are posted, and more information is available. If you are interested in learning more about this opportunity to attend an ICDR training and receive financial assistance, please contact