Seacurus Daily Top Ten News Stories 17/09/2014
1. MLC Expert Review Lacking
Just a quarter of the 64 states that have ratified the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC) have to date submitted their reports to the International Labor Organization (ILO) for expert review. Under Article 22 of the ILO Constitution (Annual reports on ratified Conventions), states are required to submit their reports to the ILO secretariat after consulting with their social partners, the International Chamber of Shipping(ICS) and the International Transport Workers’ Federation. However, Natalie Shaw, director of employment affairs at the International Chamber of Shipping claims that only 16 of the 64 states have submitted their reports.
2. Epic Terrorist Failure
A newly established Al Qaeda group in India have failed in their first mission, according to various media reports. The terrorists thought they were storming an American aircraft carrier in Karachi in light of the 13th anniversary of the September 11 attacks, but the ship turned out to be a Pakistan navy frigate. Three jihadis were killed and seven more were arrested. Two Pakistan Navy guards were injured during the attack. A senior official confirmed that there was no kind of damage done, and more captures may come. The attackers were well-equipped and came with the intention of taking a ship into their custody.
3. Port State to Assess Fire Controls
The Riyadh MOU (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and UAE) will launch a concentrated inspection campaign (CIC) on fire safety systems from 1 October 2014 to 31 December 2014. The purpose of the CIC is to ensure compliance with the requirements of SOLAS convention, checking that firefighting equipment is properly maintained and readily available, that the master officers and crew are familiar with the equipment and have received training in carrying out their duties, and general awareness of fire safety related issues.
4. BP Looks to Hoover Up Cover
BP Plc, which has paid more than $28 billion for the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, seeks to get $750 million of that back by convincing a Texas court that a missing comma allows the energy company access to Transocean Ltd.’s insurance policies on the doomed Deepwater Horizon rig. BP filed claims with Transocean’s carriers in 2010, seeking to tap a $50 million primary policy issued by Ranger Insurance and $700 million in excess coverage from Lloyd’s of London and other underwriters. The carriers asked the court overseeing the spill litigation to rule that BP wasn’t entitled to unlimited access to Transocean’s insurance.
5. US Looking to Tackle Asian Piracy
In a sign of how seriously the United States is taking a growing maritime piracy problem in Asia, the U.S. will join a multinational organization battling crime at sea next month. "The high-risk waters of the Strait of Malacca are a concern for our U.S.-flagged vessels," said Robert Gauvin, executive director of piracy policy at the U.S. Coast Guard. He said that joining ReCAAP will "provide a higher level of security and lessening of the threat to those vessels." In addition, it’s hoped that by working with other ReCAAP nations, the U.S. can help blunt piracy in the region before maritime criminals there begin taking hostages for ransom. http://goo.gl/PsIIVn
6. Sad Legacy of Piracy Haunts Seafarers
The legacy of Somali piracy is haunting thousands of seafarers today; but the reports from individual seafarers mostly go unnoticed, as some shipowners leave seafarers high and dry after release — ignored and uncompensated. The Seamen’s Church Institute’s (SCI) Douglas B. Stevenson, Director of SCI’s Center for Seafarers’ Rights, recently sat down with former hostages from the MV Iceberg 1 in Accra, Ghana to hear about their experiences and how they find life two years after release from pirate captivity.
7. Fighting Piracy is the Aim of Many
Representatives from around the world have come together in Bahrain to discuss the ongoing fight to counter the piracy threat to shipping posed by criminal gangs from Somalia.The European Union Naval Force (EUNAVFOR) chaired the 33rd Shared Awareness and Deconfliction (SHADE) meeting in Bahrain. The meeting, hosted on a rotational basis by the EUNAVFOR, NATO and the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF), included 103 representatives from 32 nations from around the world. SHADE provides an international forum for frank and open discussions about ongoing counter-piracy operations in the area.
8. Balancing Freight Rates and Fuel Consumption
In view of the prospects on the freight market and anticipated future fuel prices, Stena Bulk is focusing even more on maximising the relationship between freight and bunker fuel. The fleet will continue to operate at low speed in the foreseeable future and great importance is attached to the development and adaptation of technology. “In today’s market, it is very important that we shipowners utilise our existing fleet in the best possible way from an energy and environmental perspective and carefully investigate the potential for improvement, both technological and operational”, says Erik Hånell, President & CEO of Stena Bulk.
9. Canal Stamps See Foolish Error
The Egyptian postal service had the best intentions when issuing a series of stamps to commemorate the Suez Canal and its multi-billion expansion project, only there was one glaring error: the stamp showed a picture of the rival Panama Canal (for those of you who don’t know, Suez Canal has no locks). Noticing the blunder, people took to Twitter to point out the FAIL – which is of enormous embarrassment to all involved. However, anyone who owns one of the Panama/Suez stamps can expect to see a windfall in time to come, as values are likely to rocket.
10. Shipping Tax Exemptions Approved
The European Free Trade Association Surveillance Authority (EFTA Surv) has approved an amendment to the Norwegian Special Tax System for Shipping. Under this scheme, shipping income is exempted from ordinary corporate tax and only a tonnage tax related to the vessel’s tonnage is due. The approved amendment concerns income that shipping companies may generate as a result of their joint and several liability for employer obligations under Norwegian law. Without the amendment, such income would fall under the general corporate taxation rules.
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