Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 17/03/2015
1. BIMCO Looks to Anti-Corruption Measures
At the recent BIMCO Executive Committee meeting in Singapore a new BIMCO position paper on anti-corruption was approved. BIMCO believes corruption in the shipping industry hampers international trade, distorts markets and increases costs ultimately borne by the consumer. More specifically, demands by port and other officials to masters for payments in cash or kind to perform legitimate services make it difficult for owners and operators to avoid threats to the master, delays to the ship, and extra costs if such payments are refused. BIMCO supports the intended aims of the UN Convention against Corruption.
2. MLC Shortcomings Exposed
The International Labour Organization (ILO) Committee of Experts on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations (CEACR) has published its findings following the first national reports on the application of the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 (MLC). The ILO requires that all member states that have ratified the MLC complete an annual report into the implementation of the convention in their territory. This meeting reviewed the reports of the 30 member states for whom the convention came into force on 20 August, 2013. (As of November 2014, the MLC has been ratified by a total of 65 member states.)
3. IMO has Ballast Eureka Moment
Archimedes isn’t the only person to have had a Eureka moment in the bathtub. According to the ballast water invasive species documentary made by IMO and BBC Wildvision, one of the bosses of BP Shipping had a Eureka moment in his hot tub too. Perhaps seeing the need to convince more people about the importance of the 2004 IMO Ballast Water Management Convention, the IMO documentary looks at how marine invasive species are “affecting our coasts and millions of lives around the world and the measures taken by the global community to fight against these alien stowaways.”
4. Chinese Owners Leading Charge
Ships operated by owners based in China have become increasingly prominent on the world’s sea routes. China-owned container ships, bulk carriers, tankers and other vessels are seen more frequently in ports around the world. These ships now constitute the third largest fleet as identified by ownership and control nationality, following Greece in the number one position and Japan at number two. And the China-owned fleet is set to become much larger, one indication of which is a huge volume of new vessels on order at shipbuilding yards. This article looks at how and why rapid fleet expansion has evolved.
5. Rebrand for Aussie Owners
The Australian Shipowners Association (ASA) has revamped to reflect its changing identity and services, the industry association says. It is now Maritime Industry Australia Limited (MIAL) following an extraordinary general meeting held in Perth. "The new name represents the diverse base of the membership of the association and more accurately represents our role in the broader maritime industry in Australia," MIAL chairman Noel Hart says. "Our organisation has existed in various forms since 1899, when the Australasian Steamship Owners Federation was created. "Our new structure allows even greater customisation of service", he added.
6. New US Naval Strategy
The U.S. Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard have released their new maritime strategy in Washington, D.C. A follow-on to the 2007 version, the much anticipated A Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Seapower: Forward, Engaged, Ready (CS-21R) is a thoroughly updated version seeking to meet the strategic challenges of our current and future maritime environment and fiscal realities. The strategy, linked here, charts a course for the future as the US faces new challenges in the form of both non-state actors like transnational criminal organizations and terrorist organizations like ISIL, Al Shabab, and Al Qaeda, as well as nation states.
7. Protecting the Great Barrier Reef
New ship routing measures aimed at protecting environmentally sensitive areas in Coral Sea, home to the Great Barrier Reef, have been agreed by the IMO Sub-Committee on Navigation, Communications and Search and Rescue (NCSR). The proposed ship routing measures include two new five nautical mile wide two-way routes, located on either side of the area to be avoided. During its 2nd session held March 9-13, the NCSR sub-committee agreed to a recommended “Area to Be Avoided” as well as two-way shipping routes proposed by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA).
8. Platform Evacuated after Ship Strike
Fifteen workers have been evacuated from a North Sea oil platform after a supply vessel collided with the facility Monday morning. The incident occurred at Apache Corporation’s Forties Echo wellhead platform, located approximately 110 kilometers east-northeast of Aberdeen, Scotland on the UK Continental Shelf.
According to reports, the supply vessel Sea Falcon was offloading supplies onto the platform when the collision occurred. The 15 people were airlifted from the platform as a precaution, reports say. The platform has been shut down and there has been no leak of hydrocarbons and no injuries were reported.
9. Japanese Ramp Up Escort Duties
The Japan Self-Defense Forces (JSDF) vessels escorted a total of 3,522 commercial ships in the waters of the Gulf of Aden between 28 July 2009 and 28 February 2015 to protect them against pirate attacks, the Japanese transport ministry said on 13 March. Of the 3,522 commercial ships escorted by the JSDF vessels on 593 occasions under Japan’s Anti-Piracy Law, only 16 were Japan-registered and the remaining 3,506 were foreign-registered. Of the 3,506 foreign-registered ships, 643 were operated by Japanese shipping firms, while the remaining 2,863 were operated by foreign shipping companies.
10. Extended Winter Oil Demand
Demand for crude oil and oil product tankers is currently strong and both segments are enjoying an extended winter season with high earnings, according to BIMCO. Spot market earnings in January for VLCC and Suezmax reached USD 70,000 and USD 65,000 per day at the peak respectively. For the product tankers, Handysizes peaked at USD 35,000 per day in Q4 before heading south as the other product tanker segments did in January, only to rebound in the second half of February. “It seems confirmed that crude oil tankers are now responding to the improved trading environment by sailing at higher speed,”says BIMCO.
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