Top Ten Maritime News Stories 09/06/2015

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 09/06/2015


1. IMO Liability Limits in Force

Amendments to increase the limits of liability for maritime claims enter force under the 1996 LLMC Protocol. The limits in the LLMC Protocol 1996 were raised and subsequently adopted in 2012 by IMO’s Legal Committee. The amendments increase the amount claimable for loss of life or personal injury on ships (not exceeding 2,000 gross tonnage) to 3.02 million Special Drawing Rights (SDR), up from 2 million SDR. The 1976 LLMC Convention sets specified limits of liability for certain types of claims against shipowners such as claims for loss of life or personal injury, and miscellaneous claims including property claims, delay, spills and pollution.




2. Vessel Woes Continue

A Filipino seafarer was helicoptered off the Sage Sagittarius coal carrier today suffering severe abdominal pains. The ship has been at the centre of an inquest in Sydney in recent weeks over the mysterious deaths of three seafarers in a six-week period in 2012. The inquest has attracted much local media coverage with Australians now referring to the Sage Sagittarius as the ‘death ship’. A helicopter landed on the vessel controlled by NYK subsidiary Hachiuma Steamship at 11.50 this morning off the port of Newcastle and took the seafarer to a nearby hospital. His condition is described as stable now.




3. Pirates Board in Panama

A group of five pirates boarded a Panamanian-flagged cargo ship bound for scrapping on Sunday off Colon Port. The 1986-built ship VFM Alita, owned by Venezuela Feeder Maritime, was anchored west of the entrance to the breakwater in the province of Colon when it was boarded. The ship has been in lay-up since last year and is pending scrapping. The perpetrators were arrested shortly after by members of the National Air and Navy Service of Panama (SENAN), who stormed the ship. Having been informed of the boarding, SENAN dispatched units to the scene to inspect the situation and found five men on board including one minor.




4. Fresh Look at Current Issues

The latest "Shipping and transport bulletin", takes a  look at piracy; freight uncertainty; and more. It assesses private areas in Italian public ports: and asks when are they lawful?  It discussed an Italian Supreme Court ruling that VAT is applicable to the sale of second-hand container. While two recent judgments rendered by English Courts on piracy are examined. A Finnish Court clarifies when a marine carrier is liable for pilferage during port transit  and covers the compensation for the damage resulting from the failure to pay



5. Latest UK Chamber News

The UK Chamber of Shipping participated in ECSA’s Energy Efficiency Working Group on 5 May. The Group focused its discussions on the EU Regulation on the monitoring, reporting and verification of Carbon Dioxide emissions from ships (EU MRV). The UK Chamber also attended the annual meeting of the 3 GLAs (Joint User Consultative Group) at which updates were given on all major developments regarding aids to navigation around the shores of the British Isles, wind farm developments and research they are conducting, particularly with respect to e navigation. Also the ICS Dangerous Goods Panel on Friday 8 May.




6. Crew Agency Kicked Out

The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration has ordered the cancellation of the license of Mid-South Ship and Crew Management Inc. for collecting placement fees from two seafarers. The cancellation arose from the complaints of two jobseekers who alleged that they applied with Mid-South Ship and Crew Management Inc. and was assured employment as fishermen for a Taiwan-based fishing vessel. One paid P30,000 and the other P60,000, but they were not issued corresponding official receipts. The fishermen allegedly signed employment contracts with duration of two years for a monthly salary of US$250.00.




7. Indians Reassess Cargo Allocations

Indian shipowners are lobbying hard with the government to make it mandatory for state-owned companies to allocate 50% of its cargo volumes for Indian-flagged ships, a top shipping company official has reported. The Indian National Shipowners’ Association, the body representing the interest of Indian shipping companies, is pressing hard as only 10% of India’s inbound and outbound cargoes being handled by the Indian-flagged vessels, Thapar said the Indian shipping sector is still in its nascent stages and needed support from the government.




8. Migrant Rescuers Need Support

The Migrant Offshore Aid Station (MOAS) was born from one family’s need to reach out to people in distress and make a difference.  Christopher and Regina Catrambone of Malta were on a yachting holiday visiting Italy’s island of Lampedusa when they spotted a winter jacket floating in the water. When they asked the yacht’s captain, who happened to be a 26-year veteran in migrant search and rescue operations, about the jacket, he told them that it belonged to somebody who lost their life trying to reach Europe. This sparked the family into action – but they are now in need of funds to continue.




9. China Looks to Environmental Controls

China is considering regulating emissions from boats and ships, the environment ministry said on Monday, as it tries to clamp down on pollution. Facing mounting public pressure, leaders in Beijing have declared a war on pollution, vowing to abandon a decades-old growth-at-all-costs economic model that has spoiled much of China’s water, skies and soil. The Ministry of Environmental Protection said it was seeking public feedback on whether to pass the regulation, which could include new standards on marine fuel quality and usage. He estimated that the shipping sector accounted for 8.4 percent of China’s sulphur dioxide emissions.




10. New Approach Needed In Med

Strong liaison across different agencies, including the commercial shipping sector will need to be a central element in the EU’s plans to act against human traffickers in the Mediterranean says leading maritime security company MAST. Whilst talks are currently taking place in Brussels focused on the EU plans to set up a European Naval Force to fight people smuggling operations in Libya, the lessons learnt from Operation Atalanta (the EU’s anti-piracy mission off the coast of Somalia) must not be forgotten according to Gerry Northwood OBE, COO of MAST and a former Royal Navy Captain.






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S Jones
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