Seacurus Bulletin 01/07/2014
MARITIME LABOUR CONVENTION AND SEAFARER NEWS
Guidelines helping shipowners comply with new International Maritime Organization (IMO) regulations, requiring ship-specific planned procedure for recovering individuals from the water, have been launched by the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS). Under the new SOLAS Regulation, effective July 1, all ships are required to develop plans and procedures that identify the equipment used for recovery purposes and measures to minimise the risks for shipboard personnel involved in recovery operations. ICS Marine Director, John Murray, explained: “This guidance outlines practical steps that shipowners and operators may wish to consider."
Release of the car carrier ‘Global Spirit’, which was detained for three weeks by Belgian environmental authorities in the port of Antwerp, has been welcomed by the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS). The vessel had been detained for alleged non-compliance with the European Union Waste Shipment Regulation, the ship having originally been scheduled to be recycled in a non-OECD country. ICS maintains that the detention was inappropriate, and that this EU Regulation was never intended for application to international shipping or to ships which are scheduled to be recycled.
‘Garnishment’ is the legal term relating to the collection of a monetary judgement on behalf of a claimant from a defendant. In the Philippines, this routinely occurs before the case has concluded and is central to the UK P&I Club Members’ many concerns relating to crew claims in this jurisdiction. The International Group Personal Injury Sub-Committee’s – Philippine Working Group (on which the UK P&I Club’s Tony Nicholson sits), has been monitoring the prejudice caused to owners & employers for a number of years, in addition to seeking to educate all interested stakeholders about the need for an equitable solution, to this continuing problem.
UK training provider Clyde Marine Training (CMT) has responded to comments made by the House of Commons Transport Committee and urged the government to address the "looming skills gap" in the UK maritime sector. Committee chairwoman Louise Ellman said: "The government’s new maritime strategy poses the right questions about UK shipping but does not yet provide compelling answers on a range of key points that will have a major impact on this valuable sector of our economy. In particular, it is unclear how the government plans to address the looming skills gap" – There are claims we will be 5,000 officers short by 2021. http://goo.gl/OZy3z7
The European Community Shipowners’ Associations (ECSA) is calling for European authorities to clarify regulations on the use of scrubbers, which many ship owners plan to use to comply with the new sulphur limits that take effect at the start of next year. The group notes that member states have different laws on the discharge of water used to filter exhaust, and EU water Framework Directive also lacks clarity on the classification of the discharges. "Not only does the current uncertainty jeopardise investments…it also hampers the commissioning of future installations, while time is dangerously running out" said ECSA Secretary-General.
PIRACY AND MARITIME SECURITY NEWS
An "anti-piracy feasibility study" has been conducted in Somalia. The mandate of this project was to gather information for government agencies to assess and implement projects which are working to eradicate piracy. The identified projects would have to contribute to the eradication of piracy by providing technical assistance and support for establishing a coast guard while addressing the landward reality of piracy, which is being launched for financial gain at the expense of the broader economy. An emphasis of the study was to identify elements that are key to creating sustainable socioeconomic development.
Over a period of three days FGS Brandenburg has escorted a World Food Programme (WFP) voyage chartered vessel from Djibouti to Bosaso, the capital of Puntland. The EU Naval Force Flagship ensured a safe passage for the World Food Programme vessel in The Gulf Of Aden. The WFP vessel had about 3,000 tonnes of food on board, which was destined for displaced people in Somalia. Protecting WFP vessels from pirate attack is the primary task of the European Union’s counter-piracy Operation Atalanta. For the duration of the escort constant communications were maintained between both ships.
Maputo Port Development Company (MPDC) last week warned road haulage companies that their trucks must be registered with the port authority in order to comply with both the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code. Non-compliant vehicles face being banned from the port from 31 July. Rules for entering and working within the port were put in place in 2011, but the latest crackdown is to ensure the port maintains its accreditation to ISO 28000:2007 Specification for security management systems for the supply chain. The port operates an ID card system for all port users.
A handheld X-ray gun that can look through metal, clothes, wood, rubber and other material to find guns, drugs, explosives or even human cargo is on the market. The world’s first X-ray handgun is made by the Massachusetts-based American Science and Engineering Inc. The company introduced the "MINI Z Backscatter" imaging scanner last week. The company’s press release notes that the gun has potential for a number of uses because of its unsurpassed compact size. For maritime security its uses may include screening the hulls and bulkheads of suspected drug running boats for contraband or narcotics.
A Royal Navy warship has handed over its anti-piracy role in the Indian Ocean and the Gulf region to its sister ship. HMS Northumberland has taken over ocean policing duties from HMS Somerset. HMS Somerset has been conducting patrols for six months protecting UK interests and supporting multinational maritime forces.
The two Plymouth-based Type 23 frigates met at sea to transfer essential stores and key information to enable HMS Northumberland to continue the fight against piracy, narcotics smuggling. HMS Somerset’s Commanding Officer, Commander Mike Smith said: “My ship’s company can be extremely proud".
A U.N. expert panel has concluded that a shipment of rockets and other weapons that was seized by Israel came from Iran and represents a violation of the U.N. arms embargo on Tehran, according to a confidential report. The finding comes just days ahead of the next round of negotiations in Vienna between Iran and six world powers aimed at securing a deal that would gradually lift international sanctions on Tehran — including the arms embargo — in exchange for curbs on the controversial Iranian nuclear program. The experts do not speculate in the report about why the arms were being sent to Sudan.
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