Subject: UK Approves New Internal Procedure for Marine Research Vessel Clearances.
Released by the Department of State, Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental
and Scientific Affairs, September 1996.
OES/OA has been advised by our Embassy in London that they have arranged a new internal, behind-the-scenes procedure for clearances for research vessels, particularly those operating in the waters of UK's dependent territories of the Caribbean, including Tortola, Grand Caymen, Anguilla, Montserrat, BVIs, Grand Turks, and Bermuda. Hopefully, this new procedure will speed up the process for research vessel clearance requests. To facilitate this change, it is requested that clearance requests for the United Kingdom be submitted to the Department of State at least four months prior to the proposed start of research, and in compliance with the "UNOLS Handbook for International Operations of U.S. Research Vessels," Appendix D (Foreign Clearance Request Forms). -------------------------------------------------------- The following cable was received from American Embassy London via State Reftel No. 126647. Summary: In response to efforts of Embassy and Department to simplify the marine research vessel clearance procedures for U.S. vessels fishing in the Caribbean, (Reftel) the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has sent the letter below to the appropriate authorities in its dependent territories including Tortola, Grand Caymen, Anguilla, Montserrat, BVIs, Grand Turks, and Bermuda. The following letter from the Aviation and Maritime Department of the FCO dated August 28, 1996, notifies the island authorities that future clearance requests sent from the U.S. Embassy London through the FCO to the territories will not require a "No Objection Response," but rather will assume clearance unless the authorities respond negatively no later than three weeks before the cruise. The FCO will review the procedure in six months. This step will eliminate unnecessary paper work in a region where research vessel clearance approvals are almost always routine. Begin text of letter: Clearances For U.S. Research Cruise Vessels As you know the procedures involved in clearing U.S. research cruise vessels place a considerable burden on the limited resources on AMD (the Aviation and Maritime Department of the FCO), other government departments, and our staff in the dependent territories (nearly all the cruises are in the waters of Caribbean dependent territories). As the majority of these cruises are uncontentious, I propose to change the clearance procedures, hopefully reducing the work-load for all concerned. The new system will work as follows: The American Embassy will write to AMD requesting clearance. We will forward the applications to all interested parties (in line with the current procedures). However, there will no longer be a requirement for individuals to reply confirming "No Objection." From now on, you will only need to reply if there are local concerns about the proposal. These should reach us no later than three weeks before the cruise is due to start. These slight changes should reduce the administration of the clearance procedures, while still guaranteeing that they continue to work effectively. I would be grateful for your assistance during this initial period while the changes come into effect. I will review the system in six months time to evaluate the effect of the changes. If it has been successful, I will look to extend them to all research cruise applications. [end of document]
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