Top Ten Maritime News Stories 09/04/2015

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 09/04/2015


1. EU Re-imposes Iranian Sanctions

The European Union re-imposed sanctions on an Iranian bank and 32 Iranian shipping companies on Wednesday using new legal grounds after the measures were struck down by a European court. Coming days after Iran and six major powers reached a framework agreement to end a long-running dispute over Iran’s nuclear program, the EU’s move is a signal that the 28-nation bloc will keep up sanctions pressure on Iran until a final nuclear deal is sealed. The EU, as it has done in other cases, responded by re-listing Bank Tejarat and 32 of the Iranian shipping firms, including Hamburg-based Ocean Capital Administration GmbH.




2. Owners Urging Action on Migrants

European and global operators of merchant ships have joined forces with seafarers’ unions in a letter urging EU Member States to take immediate collective action in addressing the growing humanitarian crisis in the Mediterranean Sea. In a joint letter to leaders of all 28 EU Members States, the European Community Shipowners’ Associations (ECSA), the European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF), the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) and the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) have warned that the crisis is spiralling out of control. They warn there is a serious risk of further catastrophic loss of life.




3. Shipping Fairytale Under Threat

The partnership of small, family-ran shipowners and cash-laden, private equity players mirrors the classic tale of Prince Charming and Cinderella. The Wall Street financial firms embraced lowly shipping companies, thinking they could catch the rebound in an industry with some of the largest boom-and-bust cycles. But the marriage between these two vastly different worlds has already gone sour. Five years into the union, the bulk shipping industry, which includes vessels that carry iron ore, coal, and other dry commodities, is in the depths of a depression. Rates are currently below vessel daily operating cost, which is a massive problem.




4. Liberia Expands into Istanbul

The Liberian Registry has established a regional office in Istanbul, Turkey, as part of the continued expansion of its global presence in major centers of international shipping and trade.  Erhan Esinduy has been appointed Regional Representative of the office and will be joining the Registry’s dedicated Special Agent Tevfik Çelepöven. Having gained practical seagoing and shore-based experience during a ten-year career with P&O Containers / P&O Nedlloyd, Erhan subsequently held a number of executive positions in the shipping industry before setting up and serving as managing director of ESKO Marine Trading Ltd Co in 2014.




5. ASEAN Looks to Expand Patrols

Attention is focused on the possible expansion of counter-piracy sea patrols in South-east Asia. Three basic options have been suggested: an Asean-led maritime force for counter-piracy and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR); observer status for Myanmar in the Malacca Strait Patrols (MSP); and counter-piracy patrols east of Singapore. Singapore has been exploring the possibility of introducing coordinated patrols east of the Singapore Strait, including the nearby reaches of the South China Sea. This is in response to a rise in attacks on shipping, including a spate of fuel siphoning incidents.




6. Welcoming Zambia into IMO

His Excellency Paul William Lumbi, High Commissioner of the Republic of Zambia to the United Kingdom, has paid a courtesy visit to the Headquarters of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), to mark Zambia’s status as the newest Member State of IMO. The Republic of Zambia became the latest Member of IMO, following the deposit, of an instrument of acceptance of the Convention on the International Maritime Organization with the Secretary-General of the United Nations. IMO Secretrary-General Koji Sekimizu said that the Republic of Zambia is an important member of the international community.




7. Bulkers Collide Off Shandong

A total of 14 crew members were rescued on 5 April after two bulk carriers collided off Shandong, China, according to local authorities. China-flagged Yang En 1, collided with Marshall Islands-flagged Panamax MARIA G.O. at 12:10 h local time on 5 April, a statement of Weihai Maritime Safety Administration said. The accident took place about 18 nautical miles southeast of Shidao Island off Weihai. Yang En 1, unloaded, took on water and all the 14 crew members onboard were evacuated to a life raft after abandoning the vessel. The 2011-built MARIA G.O., loaded with 10,000 tonnes of ores, sustained minor damages.




8. Baltic Rushes to Highlight UK Based Owners

The Baltic Exchange has highlighted the importance and value to the UK economy of the many foreign ship-owners who reside in the UK and pay tax in the UK but also enjoy the benefits of non-domiciled status to ensure their global businesses are not brought into the UK tax net. Contrary to the statement by Labour party leader Ed Miliband in his “The Fabric of Our Country” speech, delivered today at the University of Warwick, tax concessions for non-domiciled residents do not constitute a “200 year old loophole” but a refined system that has been under constant review since its inception.




9. Superyacht does Some Super Work

Under the direction of the yacht owners, the crew of M/Y Dragonfly put the hammer down and sailed 1600 nautical miles over 3.5 days to reach the south Pacific island nation of Vanuatu which had been devastated by cyclone Pam on 14 March 2015. Upon arrival the scene was desperate with little to no clean water and a a medical situation that was only getting worse. The Vanuatu government directed the crew of the Dragonfly to sail to the nearby Shepherd Islands to provide aid to the local community which had experienced some of the worse damage from the storm.




10. Abandoned Crew Struggling for Basic Supplies

Sixteen sailors have been left to their own devices for months after their vessel MT Surya Kuber got seized in Bahrain due to unpaid debts. The crude oil tanker was banned by a court order in February from leaving the country as the owners failed to pay Arab Shipbuilding & Repair Yard (Asry) and Kanoo Shipping more than $220,000. The vessel came to Bahrain for repairs, but the ship owner failed to pay Asry for the services, the ship builder has actually even been forced to step in to allocate resources to assist to provide food, provisions and amenities to the stranded sailors.




Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions


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S Jones
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