Seacurus Daily Top Ten News Stories 29/09/2014
1. K Line Hit With Massive Fine
Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha (K Line) is paying a $67.7m fine under a plea bargain with US Department of Justice for breaking anti-trust laws. The fine and agreement relate to the sale of ro-ro shipping services, and K Line said it had cooperated fully with the investigations and would continue to do so. “K Line takes this matter seriously and has taken steps to further strengthen its compliance and training programmes to ensure compliance to applicable laws and regulations,” the Japanese line said. K Line said it would report an extraordinary loss in the second quarter, which would consolidated into its FY2015 results.
2. Pirates Being Slapped on Wrist
Eighty percent of maritime pirates are being let off because of lack of effective international legal mechanism to put them to trial, CBI’s Special Director Anil Sinha said. Quoting an international study, he said out of every 10 pirates caught, eight are being let off either due to lack of treaties and Standard Operation Protocols for transfer between the involved countries or disinterest shown by the countries which harbour such pirates. Sinha said actions taken by agencies including the Indian Navy and Coast Guard have resulted in apprehension of a number of pirates.
3. Tackling A Very Different Piracy Problem
No guns. That’s the first rule for foreign private security firms operating in Nigerian waters. The second rule: no foreign private security firms allowed. So how do maritime security companies hope to become market leaders in West Africa? One, Port2Port has spoken on the confusion over what Nigeria allows to combat piracy in its waters is unnecessary. Laws to prevent militias carrying arms were introduced for good reasons, and national licensing of private security companies (PSCs) means only a handful of international operators are currently operating lawfully. There is no such thing as a foreign private security company in Nigeria.
4. US Visa Issues Affecting Seafarer Freedoms
The Seamen’s Church Institute’s (SCI) Center for Seafarer’s Rights has found that 1,030 seafarers on 97 vessels were denied shore leave last year in the USA. An overwhelming majority (86%) of these seafarers were denied shore leave because they did not have visas. Other reasons for shore leave denials included terminal restrictions (7%), vessel operations (7%) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection restrictions (< 1%). They are urging the US to find answers as the actions of those supposedly protecting homeland security are making the job of seafaring even harder. SCI is looking to MLC to find answers as they look to force change.
5. South African Navy Looks West
The SA Navy will deploy warships on Africa’s west coast as far north as the Gulf of Guinea. The deployments, early next year, will involve frigates and possibly submarines Johannesburg daily, The Times, reported. Ships of the Namibian and Angolan navies will also take part in the operation to combat pirate attacks. Oil tankers have been the pirates’ preferred targets. According to The Presidency 220 SANDF members from the air force, military health service and the navy will be employed in Mozambican, Tanzanian and international waters monitoring and deterring piracy along the southern African coast of the Indian Ocean.
6. US Investors Angered by Jones Act
Some have been calling the US Jones Act, “the most stupid law ever on the books.” It adds about 15¢ to the price of every gallon of gas. but to many US citizens and investors the act is so obscure many have no idea it exists. According to investors it’s the maddening reason why it costs 3 times as much to ship a barrel of oil from Houston to New York as it does to ship the same barrel from Saudi Arabia on the other side of the world. It seems that the money men are irked as the Jones Act is being seen as just a sweetheart deal for U.S. whose profits are practically “guaranteed” by law. Lack of competition hurts investment.
7. Oil Slick Owner in Spotlight
Dar es Salaam residents, were shocked to see an oil slick on their pristine sea shore last week – and are pressing for tough action against the perpertrators. The slick has come from an abandoned ship, "RAK Indiana", owned by JAK Enterprises. In the past the authorities have been relatively relaxed about the vessel, but now things could be set to change. There is real pressure on the Tanzanian National Environmental Management Council (NEMC) to act positively and to enact the swathes of international conventions which are designed to ensure that the "polluter pays" concept is one which stands the world over.
8. US Creates Worlds Largest Marine Reserve
President Obama on Thursday signed a proclamation designating the world’s largest marine reserve and declaring it completely off limits to commercial fishing and mining. The proclamation expands the existing Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument to six times its current size, resulting in 490,000 square miles (about 390,000 square nautical miles) of protected environment around tropical islands and atolls in the south-central Pacific Ocean. At that size, it is now the largest protected area on the planet, land or sea. For comparison, the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park covers an area of about 214,000 square miles.
9. Ships Look to Dazzle and Shine
Design in shipping has long been a very functional in scope – if it doesn’t do a job, then it doesn’t need to be done. Now, however, there is something of a change – and the offshore market is recognising the image and identity of vessels can have a massive impact on reputation and to winning business. Offshore shipping is bringing sexy back to the industry , and Atlantic Offshore’s new "PSV Ocean Art", has been dubbed the “coolest looking” vessel in the North Sea.Polish street artist Mariusz “M-City” Waras, who spent three days painting the vessel. Good looking ships demonstrate pride, and that can only be a good thing.
10. Singapore Looking At Insurance Options
The Singapore Shipping Association (SSA) is pushing for greater development of the city state’s maritime insurance and finance sectors, including possibly a war risk mutual. SSA’s president Patrick Phoon, has noted that the government’s pro-business policies had transformed Singapore into a vibrant maritime hub. "However, in my opinion, to fully regard Singapore as an influential international maritime centre, we have to further develop and strengthen the pillars in marine insurance and shipping finance," he said. To spur development the SSA Council has commissioned consultants to assist in producing reports on these two areas.
Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions www.seacurus.com
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