Australia has submitted a notification to the WTO’s Committee on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures regarding “2019-2020 Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB)”, applying to a wide range of manufactured products from a number of countries including Canada.
The proposed measures will apply to goods loaded from September 1, 2019 and that arrive in Australian territory by May 31, 2020 (inclusive), and vessels arriving in Australian territory between September 1, 2019 and May 31, 2020 (inclusive).
This year’s concentrated inspection campaign (CIC) by port state authorities under the Tokyo and Paris MOUs start on 1 September 2019 and focus on emergency systems and procedures, including emergency drills for crew. The CIC will be included as an additional part of routine port state control (PSC) inspections during the implementation period and attending PSC officers (PSCO) will use a tailored questionnaire to verify specific topics and areas relevant to the CIC. According to a press release by the Paris MOU, the CIC Questionnaire on Emergency Systems and Procedures is now available.
Shipping associations are calling on ship owners to alert the British Navy of their movements before sailing into the Middle East Gulf and Strait of Hormuz due to the escalating international crisis in the region. About a fifth of the world's oil passes through the Strait of Hormuz and shipping companies are already deploying more unarmed security guards as an extra safeguard. The information provided would be passed onto the U.S. Navy and other naval forces involved in efforts to create a United States-led multinational security initiative known as Operation Sentinel. Washington says the plan is to increase surveillance of and security in key waterways in the Middle East.
CSL Group and Oldendorff have joined the Trident Alliance, a network of shipping companies and other stakeholders with a shared interest in robust and transparent enforcement of environmental regulations. By joining the Alliance, the companies have committed to compliance with the new IMO 2020 maritime sulphur regulations and support transparent enforcement of the regulations.
The UK navy has intervened to stop Iran from blocking a commercial oil tanker leaving the Persian Gulf, heightening friction just as European nations scramble to salvage a landmark nuclear accord with the Islamic Republic. The BP Plc-operated British Heritage, which can carry as much as 1 million barrels of oil, was attempting to pass through the Strait of Hormuz when three Iranian vessels tried to impede it, according to a U.K. government statement. Iran denied the charge. The British Heritage was able to pass safely through the Strait of Hormuz and was now sailing along the Omani coast.
Panama will withdraw its flag from more vessels that violate sanctions and international legislation. The country has already removed approximately 60 ships linked to Iran and Syria from the Panamanian registry. Most of those vessels were owned by Iranian state-run companies but they also included ships linked to oil deliveries to Syria.
Gibraltar police detained the Iranian supertanker Grace 1 and arrested two second mates last week on suspicion it was breaking European sanctions by taking oil to Syria. The 300,000 dwt vessel had 2.1 million barrels of light crude oil on board. Gibraltar and the UK will facilitate the release of the vessel if there are guarantees that the ship will not be going to Syria. Iran claims that the seizure of the tanker is not lawful as the country is not an EU member.
Japan has run their first tests of new bunker fuels that will comply with the International Maritime Organization’s 2020 sulphur cap regulations without any problems in operation. The trials took place in late June and with the ministry testing fuel with less than 0.5% of sulphur content on coastal vessels that had previously run on high-sulphur fuel oil. They are carrying out the tests to ensure a smooth transition to IMO-compliant fuels for owners and operators who chose not to install scrubbers.
The world’s largest containership has been delivered by South Korea’s Samsung Heavy Industries. At 400 m long and 61.5 m wide, the MSC Gülsün is the first boxship in the world to feature 24 rows across giving it up to 1,500 extra container capacity compared to the existing largest container vessels. The vessel is the first of 11 giants MSC is set to operate when they deliver from South Korea in the coming nine months. The MSC Gülsün embark from Xingang on July 8 to northern Europe.
Around 200 cattle in trucks on a roro vessel that grounded and listed last week are being rescued in Southern Chile. The first cattle were taken off the Coyhaique earlier this week after the navy stabilized the ship and moved it to a more sheltered location. A series of smaller vessels are coming alongside the ship and the cattle are slowly being moved to a nearby port. Around 40 of the 244 cattle have perished. Local authorities are looking into sanctioning the ship’s owner, Navimag, over the accident and the conditions under which the animals were being transported. The accident happened in a remote part Chile and there have been some reports of oil pollution and a boom has been put around the ship.
Heerema’s newest vessel, Sleipnir, the world’s largest and strongest crane vessel, will be departing Indonesia on its maiden voyage. The vessel is designed to work on large offshore projects such as installing and removing jackets, topsides, deep-water foundations, moorings and other offshore structures, such as windmills. With two 10,000-tonne revolving cranes, the vessel can lift loads of up to 20,000 tonnes in tandem. Speipnir is also the world’s first crane vessel with dual-fuel engines capable of running on traditional MGO and LNG.
The IMO has released updated guidelines to help shipping companies prepare for implementation of the global sulphur cap for ships’ fuel oil. The comprehensive guidelines on implementation planning will help ensure compliance across the shipping industry. The full guide can be accessed here.
China’s Ministry of Transport has raised its security recommendation for Chinese vessels in the Malacca Strait to the highest level. The Malacca Strait is a major potential bottleneck for global oil. While the security level has been raised to MARSEC level three, no details have been given on heightened threats.
A new 24-hour nine-language seafarer helpline, iCall, has been launched by The Synergy Marine Group, in collaboration with the Tata Institute of Social Sciences and iCall. The helpline is intended to address growing industry concerns around seafarer wellbeing. The service hopes to reduce seafarer suicides, raise awareness of mental health and gender, and equip participants with self-help coping mechanisms for addressing their own distress and/or help them offer support to others at sea. The service is available free-of-charge via phone, email, and the chat-based nULTA App.
Dubai's DP World has expanded its shipping portfolio with the $1.079bn takeover of Middle East offshore support vessel operator Topaz Energy & Marine. It has bought the company from Oman's Renaissance Services and Standard Chartered Private Equity/Affirma Capital. Topaz has a fleet of 117 vessels, predominantly in the Caspian Sea, Middle East and North Africa, and West Africa regions.
IMO has proposed a review of the in-water performance of Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) lifejackets after the UK’s Marine Accident Investigation Branch reported on the deaths of three fishing vessel crew members who had drowned while wearing SOLAS lifejackets. Although sea and environmental conditions were calm, these seafarers were found by the rescue services in a face-down position. Evidence has shown that the organisation’s requirements for the design and testing of lifejackets may not provide the necessary safety assurances.
HMM has joined THE Alliance, becoming the fourth member of the liner grouping set up by Hapag-Lloyd, Ocean Network Express and Yang Ming in 2016. HMM will join the alliance as a full member, with a new contract between the four lines set to officially start on April 1, 2020. Additionally, all four members have agreed to extend the partnership for 10 years through to 2030. Previously, HMM was aligned to the Maersk and MSC alliance 2M, but was only able to negotiate a vessel sharing agreement which was due for renewal next April.