The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority has released its third Port Emissions Inventory Report that indicates a decrease in air pollutant emissions since 2010, despite an increase in trade through the port - a result of stronger regulation and investment in technology. The port authority’s inventory report estimates air emissions from marine, rail, on-road, non-road and administrative activities associated with the Port of Vancouver. It complements regional and national emission inventories that capture other sources, such as commuter vehicles, buildings, and commercial activity, to provide a complete picture of emissions in the Lower Mainland. In addition to capturing detailed estimates of emissions by type in 2015, the report provides an emissions backcast and forecast, which helps to track how emissions have changed and are expected to change in the future.
Congratulations to Seaspan Shipyards (Seaspan) for launching the first of three Offshore Fisheries Science Vessels (OFSV) designed and built under the Government of Canada’s National Shipbuilding Strategy (NSS) last Friday. The vessel, named Sir John Franklin, is 63 metre in length, with a beam of 6.16 metres and capable of speeds of up to 12.5 knots. After a period of sea trials and finishing touches, the ship will be used to gain a better understanding of fish stocks and their ocean environment.
Ship owners participating in the Green Marine environmental certification program have demonstrated leadership in reducing greenhouse gases (GHG). Green Marine’s first carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) emissions data gathering and analysis indicate an average annual reduction in GHG intensity of 1.4%. This initiative was undertaken to better gauge Green Marine’s impact since the environmental program’s launch 10 years ago. The ship owners that provided data for this voluntary initiative represent more than 250 vessels of various types, including: tug, passenger and cargo ferry, bulk, self-unloading, tank, container, and articulated tug barge.
The Québec Port Authority (QPA) announced its plan to invest $400 million on a new container terminal at the site of the Beauport 2020 project. This initiative, part of the Beauport 2020 expansion project, is the culmination of a lengthy process by the QPA to identify economic niches with the highest potential for the future Port’s development. The project includes a 610 metre extension of the wharf and development of 17 hectares. For the Québec City area and all along the St. Lawrence, this promising project could potentially create a new international economic hub geared toward logistics, distribution centers, and new businesses.
Regulations Amending the Commercial Vehicle Drivers Hours of Service Regulations (Electronic Logging Devices and Other Amendments) are published in the Canada Gazette Part I, December 16, 2017. The proposed amendments would align with the US requirements mandating drivers of commercial buses and trucks to use electronic logging devices (ELDs). The amendments would also incorporate by reference a technical standard to establish minimum performance and design specifications for ELDs.
Proposed Regulations Amending the Canada Grain Regulations are published in the Canada Gazette Part I, December 16, 2017 Vol.151, No. 50. The amendments seek to update fees for the Canadian Grain Commission (CGC) from April 1, 2018 and seeks to adjust fees with the annual adjustment factor provided for in the new Services Fee Act.
Bill C-23, an Act respecting the preclearance of persons and goods in Canada and the United States has received Royal Assent. This important milestone brings Canada and the United States closer to implementing the Agreement on Land, Rail, Marine and Air Transport Preclearance between the Government of Canada and the Government of the United States of America. Once enabling regulations are in place, Canada and the United States can ratify the Agreement and start expanding preclearance operations to other modes of transportation – land, rail and marine – in addition to new locations in the air mode. The Agreement also opens the door to explore possibilities for cargo preclearance. The regulations for the air mode are expected to be in place by the end of 2018.
The Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, Dominic LeBlanc has signed eight Critical Habitat Orders under the Species at Risk Act (SARA). The approved orders will allow for further protection of eight at-risk species, including two whales – the North Atlantic Right Whale and Beluga Whale of the St. Lawrence Estuary. A Critical Habitat Order (Order) triggers the prohibition in subsection 58(1) of SARA against the destruction of any part of the critical habitat. This may apply to any ongoing or future human activities that might result in their destruction. SARA provides for conservation agreements that can be entered into by the Minister with any government in Canada, organization or person to benefit a species at risk or enhance its survival in the wild, and allows for the making of regulations, codes of practice, and national standards or guidelines with respect to the protection of critical habitat.
Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, has announced that the following themes that will guide Canada’s 2018 G7 Presidency:
The National Transportation Safety Board released more than 50 recommendations after its two year, 30,500 hour investigation into the SS El Faro's sinking on October 1, 2015 during Hurrican Joaquin. The recommendations include review and implement training of Coast Guard inspectors and accredited classification society surveyors to ensure that they are properly qualified and supported to perform effective, accurate, and transparent vessel inspections, and perform a “proof-of-concept” project to establish whether AIS, or another suitable alternative, can practically deliver, in a single message (1) meteorological and oceanographic data obtained directly from automated instrumentation and manual observation on board vessels at sea, (2) vessel position and time of observation, and (3) other important metadata, by satellite and land-based receivers, to global meteorological authorities via the Global Telecommunication System with acceptable time delay.
BIMCO has released a new leaner version of the BARECON form for bareboat chartering which introduces a formula for calculating a fair share of costs for any compulsory structural changes or new equipment that may be implemented during the charter period. Following the “Ocean Victory” judgment earlier this year, BIMCO has also clarified the wording of the insurance clauses in relation to an insurer’s right to claim against third parties. BARECON 2017 keeps pace with modern bareboat chartering practice and will be useful for all those involved in specialized long term bareboat chartering agreements.
BIMCO and the international association for the marine electronics industry, CIRM (Comité International Radio-Maritime), is hoping to establish an industry-wide standard for software maintenance. BIMCO has seen incidents, where ships for example, suffer complete blackouts, and malfunctions in radar and other related systems, as a result of unforeseen difficulties with a software update. The goal of the Standard on Software Maintenance of Shipboard Equipment is to make sure software updates happen in a secure and systematic way as these update are also necessary to minimize hacking and malware problems. BIMCO and CIRM would like to see the standard become an ISO-standard, to make it more robust. ISO has provisionally accepted the proposal. BIMCO expects a working group to complete the standard in 2021.
The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) has injected another S$12 million (US$8.9 million) to boost LNG bunkering in the Port of Singapore. Half of this S$12 million has been set aside to co-fund the building of new LNG bunker vessels to facilitate the development of ship-to-ship LNG bunkering in the Port of Singapore. The remaining half will be used to top up MPA’s existing co-funding programme to support the building of LNG-fuelled vessels. Launched in 2015, the initial funding for this programme has been fully utilized to support Keppel SMIT Towage Pte Ltd, Maju Maritime Pte Ltd, Harley Marine Asia Pte Ltd, Sinanju Tankers Pte Ltd, and most recently, PSA Marine (Pte) Ltd.
At its largest-ever gathering, the IMO Assembly met for its 30th session in London, UK last week and adopted its strategic plan for 2018-2023 that includes a revised mission statement, a vision statement and seven newly-identified strategic directions. The strategic directions are to improve implemenation; integrate new and advancing technologies in the regulatory framework; respond to climate change; engage in ocean governance; enhance global facilitation and security of international trade; ensure regulatory effectiveness, and ensure organizational effectiveness.
The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority has posted the Tsawwassen Container Examination Facility (TCEF) Operator Request for Proposal (RFP) on BC Bid. The RFP will close on January 9, 2018 at 2:00pm with the aim of having an operator selected by the end of February 2018.
Effective January 1, 2018 the amount the port authority charges container trucking companies that are authorized to operate within the port will be changed to benefit smaller companies. Trucking companies were formally advised of the changes to the access charges and provided with amended access agreements on November 1, 2017, providing 60-days written notice before the new structure goes into effect on January 1, 2018. About one third of those companies authorized to access the port, representing the smaller companies, will pay $25,000 per year instead of the previous $35,000. The port authority’s Truck Licensing System is operated on a cost-recovery basis, so the savings realized by the smaller companies will be equally distributed across the largest.
On November 30th the BC Maritime Employers (BCMEA) served notice to bargain to the International and Longshore and Warehouse Union – Canada (ILWU – Canada) and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union Ship and Dock Foreman Local 514. The current collective agreements, the Longshore Collective Agreement and the Foreman Collective Agreement, both expire on March 31, 2018. Bargaining is anticipated to begin in January 2018. The BCMEA represents the interests of its member companies and is responsible for negotiating two coast-wide collective agreements covering over 6,000 men and women working in the Ports of the lower mainland of Vancouver to Prince Rupert and Vancouver Island.