Maritime - Regulatory Compliance

Smooth Sailing


"A regular and excellent service, which clients rely on for
practical and well-considered advice."
Chambers USA

Throughout the world, shipowners and operators, shippers, builders, waterfront facilities, and their counsel trust Blank Rome to guide them safely through the hazards of U.S. and international regulation.  We assist you in achieving your business goals while helping to protect you from liability exposure. 

Our maritime regulatory compliance team anticipates challenges and prepares you before problems arise.  We can advise you on the requirements, audit your operations, and develop compliance and training programs that help protect you in the event of environmental or security incidents, or violations of regulations.  We can also provide training for your shoreside and shipboard employees to help ensure they understand requirements—as well as the potential pitfalls.

We routinely work with the U.S. Coast Guard, Maritime Administration, Federal Maritime Commission, Environmental Protection Agency (and state counterparts), U.S. Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Military Sealift Command, Office of Foreign Assets Control, the International Maritime Organization, and regional port authorities around the world.

Blank Rome's maritime regulatory practice for both U.S. and international maritime operations includes all aspects of regulatory compliance—from ballast water management, coastwise trade, import/export issues, and cargo preference to citizenship, deepwater ports, and environmental, safety, and maritime security matters.   

Blank Rome performs services related to all types of vessels—from tankers, cargo ships, and bulk carriers to tugs/barges, cruise ships, and smaller passengers vessels and yachts.  These services involve maritime casualty and environmental response; compliance counseling and training programs; defense of administrative enforcement actions, such as detentions and notices of violation; providing advice on outer continental shelf activities and citizenship; ship scrapping; and issues associated with ship registration, inspection, and manning.

We also counsel and guide you through the complexities of complying with U.S. statutes and international conventions, including:

  • Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships
  • Carriage of Goods by Sea Act
  • Clean Water Act
  • Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act or “Superfund” (CERCLA)
  • International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL)
  • International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, including the ISM Code and the ISPS Code
  • Maritime Transportation and Security Act of 2002
  • Oil Pollution Act of 1990
  • Shipping Act of 1984
  • Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW)