Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 04/02/2015
1. Seafarers Suffer as Owners Neglect MLC
Twenty-one Filipino seafarers have reportedly been found suffering after the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) detained their ship at Port Kembla, New South Wales, last January 28. The Filipino crew members of Bulk Brasil were "short of provisions" and had not received their paychecks for four months. AMSA held the Panamanian-registered bulk carrier due to alleged non-compliance with the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC), which was discovered following an inspection. Japanese company KeyMax Maritime, the vessel’s operator, reportedly tried to rectify the situation by sending most of the Filipino’s wages to their families and placed orders for provisions on Friday.
2. Union Demands Nazi Namechange
The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) is demanding that Allseas Group SA, the owner of a ship that honours convicted Nazi war criminal Pieter Schelte, immediately change the vessel’s name. The Panamanian flag vessel, contracted by Shell to service its Brent platforms situated on the UK continental shelf. It was named in honour of the Allseas Group’s owner’s father, who was a Nazi Waffen-SS officer. ITF president Paddy Crumlin said the vessel’s name was a disgrace and it should not be permitted to operate in UK or European waters. “For Allseas to name its vessel after a convicted Nazi war criminal is utterly shameful,” he said. Calling the Allseas management "twisted, arrogant and out-of-touch".
3. BIMCO Disease Clauses
Prompted by the recent Ebola outbreak, together with the issues raised by the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (“SARS”) outbreak, BIMCO have now drafted a new set of generic clauses (for voyage and time charters) dealing with infectious or contagious diseases. The wording of these clauses is based on the wording of the BIMCO piracy clause, war clause and other clauses addressing similarly extreme situations, so it will be familiar to the industry. In essence, the clauses give the shipowner the ability to refuse to proceed to (or stay at) a port where, in the master’s reasonable judgement, there is a risk of exposure to a highly infectious or contagious disease and/or to a risk of quarantine or other restrictions.
4. Time to Think Nuclear
Experts believe there is a need for (non-uranium) nuclear propulsion systems in ships. A solution it is believed offers future advantages over LNG. Fear of the unknown is still a major issue. “When you ask educated, professional groups whether they believe we should become more reliant on nuclear power, 30-40 percent are positive,” says a leading nuclear proponent. “When you ask the same group if they would be prepared to take their family on holiday on a nuclear-powered cruise ship, the number drops to below 10 percent.” Ashworth cites a study several years ago by naval architects CR Cushing and Co., which compared the costs for nuclear propulsion against a conventional system,
5. Greek Shipping Hall of Fame
The Greek Shipping Hall of Fame has announced details of its next major event which will take place in Athens on the evening of Monday 27 April 2015 at the Hilton Athens. The Greek Shipping Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony & Dinner 2015 will be a gala dinner evening that will celebrate Greek shipping and pay tribute to historic personalities who have helped to shape the industry. This prestigious event will include an exciting programme of content specially produced for the occasion, a highlight of which will be the unveiling of the latest Inductees to the Greek Shipping Hall of Fame. The 2014 Inductees will join the 20 ‘Greats’ already inducted into the Greek Shipping Hall of Fame.
6. European Shipping to Hear Political Views
Mr. Guy Verhofstadt, former Belgian Prime Minister and leader of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE), will be delivering a keynote speech at ECSA’s 50th anniversary gala dinner on March 4th – one of the European Shipping Week’s major events. Mr Verhofstadt said “The competitiveness of our shipping industry is an important, if not vital, element in the recovery of the European economy. This event is an excellent occasion to debate this issue with the different stakeholders involved.” The European Shipping Week is a week-long series of events that aims at raising the EU shipping industry’s profile, allowing EU decision makers to get acquainted with its numerous facets and intricacies.
7. Seafarer Supply Self-sufficiency
Leading international ship management company THOME Group is pleased to announce that it has become self-sufficient in recruiting junior officers thanks to its highly successful in-house cadet training program.Launched in 2005 under THOME’s “Human Element” initiative, the Thome Global Cadet Program has already trained in excess of 1,350 cadets from at least 12 countries in Asia, Europe and the Far East. Currently there are 650 cadets at various stages of training on the program with another 200 due to join soon as deck, engine, electrical or catering cadets. The success of this scheme has enabled THOME Group to fill all of its 2014 junior officer vacancies from within its own pool of trained seafarers.
8. Turkey Cements Naval Support
Turkish parliament on Tuesday adopted a motion to extend a mandate of Turkish naval missions to participate in international anti-piracy missions in the Gulf of Aden for another year. In 2009, the Turkish parliament gave the government authority to send units of the Turkish Naval Forces to the Gulf of Aden and adjacent waters to contribute to NATO’s anti-piracy mission, according to a UN Security Council decision taken in 2008. The mission has already been extended several times. The Turkish Navy mission protects the Turkish merchant ships sailing in the Gulf of Aden and off the Somali coast against pirates that often hijack commercial ships. In 26 operations since 2009, Turkish Navy has "defused" 179 pirates.
9. Directors Held for Dirty Bunkers
Three company directors were arrested this week in Brabant, the Netherlands, for blending fuel oil with hazardous waste, Dutch media reports. The Dutch Public Prosecutor (OM) alleges that the contaminated fuel was sold for use on ships as well as in heating and combustion plants. The illegal practice could have netted the as yet unnamed company "millions of Euros" in profit since 2010. An investigation into the company began after fuel testing of trucks, conducted in 2011 as part of a campaign by police and regulatory bodies, revealed fuel oil contained waste. A fourth company executive was expected to testify on Monday. The illegal practice could have netted the, as yet unnamed company, "millions of Euros".
10. Iran Sidestepping Sanctions
Iran is sidestepping Western sanctions and managing to sell hundreds of thousands of tonnes of fuel oil every month through companies based in the U.S.-allied United Arab Emirates. The U.S. and EU sanctions that came into force in 2012 prohibit the import, purchase and transport of Iranian petroleum products. But Tehran has been using innovative methods to circumvent the restrictions, tankers switching off their tracking systems, ship-to-ship transfers, discharging and loading at remote ports, blending Iranian products with fuels from another source to alter the shipment’s physical specification and selling them with Iraqi-origin documents, the sources said.
Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions www.seacurus.com
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