Top Ten Maritime News Stories 03/10/2016

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 03/10/2016

1. IMO Light Touch Ending
The IMO’s three-month so-called “light touch” enforcement of the SOLAS revision that all packed containers must have a certified VGM (verified gross mass) before loading on board a ship is coming to an end. Industry fears of supply chain chaos on 1 July, when the new VGM regulations came into force, were largely overcome; by education and a pragmatic approach by all stakeholders. According to data from the World Shipping Council, the VGM compliance reported by its member container lines is as high as 95%. That early approach is ending accurate VGM certification and universal enforcement of the rules are here.
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2. Maersk Acquisition Momentum
A.P. Moeller-Maersk A/S’s container arm altered its strategy this month by planning to expand its fleet through acquisition, which is of especial interest as the South Korean bankruptcy court that is handling the insolvency of Hanjin has opened the door to a quick acquisition. “The sale of Hanjin is one of the options we’re considering. If we conclude that it’s the best way to rehabilitate the company, we’ll do so,” said Choi Ung-young, an adjudicating judge at Seoul Central District Court. The fleet of the Korean company is certainly an attractive proposition with five large vessels that can carry 13,000 containers.
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3. VLCC Rates Set to Rise
Freight rates for very large crude carriers (VLCCs) are set to rise further next week, fuelled by a raft of cargoes from West Africa and the Middle East amid tight tonnage supply, ship brokers said. VLCC freight rates hit a multi-month high on Thursday. “The optimism among owners is punchy – I think the market has legs on it and could easily increase by another 10 points (on the Worldscale measure),” a European supertanker broker said on Friday. That would be a rise of around $10,000 per day in earnings for a VLCC from the Middle East to Asia, freight rate data on the Reuters Eikon terminal showed.
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4. ZIM Having  Tough Time
ZIM Integrated Shipping Services Ltd., one of the world’s leading container shipping carriers , today announced financial results for the three month period ended June 30, 2016. ZIM had reached an agreement with its creditors for rescheduling of payments in a total amount of approximately US$ 115 million, during a period of up to 12 month starting on September 30, 2016. With this agreement in place the company maintains its financial stability and will continue to develop its growth plan. Reaching this agreement is another proof of the confidence and trust that the creditors have in the company.
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5. NewBuild Orders Cancelled
Navig8 Chemical Tankers has revealed the cancellation of its contracts to build five 49,000 dwt MR tankers at Korea’s STX Offshore & Shipbuilding. The vessels, which were ordered during the last quarter of 2015, were schedule for delivery during 2017. Navig8 ordered a series of nine ships initially with two already delivered and two imminently scheduled for delivery, Navig8 Tourmaline in October and Navig8 Tanzanite in November. Navig8 said that all pre-delivery instalments have been refunded by Korea Development Bank, along with interest, as part of the refund guarantee.
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6. Human Rights at Sea Report
Videos of some of the speakers at the International Maritime Human Rights Conference 2016 last month have now been released.  Titled: “Respect, Responsibility and Remedy in the Maritime Environment” stakeholders from across the entire maritime space, commerce and civil society came together to outline their respective work, concerns and aspirations in relation to acknowledging and dealing with ongoing human rights abuses in the maritime environment. The event stressed that application of human rights "throughout the maritime environment at all times without exception.”
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7. Incredibly Drunken Sailor
A Russian skipper who was missing from the bridge of his 2,500-tonne ship as it made its way into a Cornish harbour was so drunk that his chief mate had to take command. Magistrates heard the harbour pilot was concerned when he boarded the Pur-Navolok to help navigate it up the river and into its berth at Fowey – and could not find Sergey Safronov at his post. And when the shipping agent went aboard to complete the paperwork he found Safronov was struggling even to do that due to his condition. Truro Magistrates’ Court was told that Safronov smelt of alcohol and was celebrating "a family event".
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8. Transport Canada Sniffs the Air
Transport Canada (TC) is rigorously monitoring all ships operating within the Canadian jurisdiction of the North American Emission Control Area (NA-ECA) to ensure they are using fuel containing not more than 0.10 per cent sulphur by mass. According to their Ship Safety Bulletin No.08/2016, Canadian marine safety inspectors may request samples of fuel to be drawn from the ship’s fuel service system during routine inspections and will use portable fuel analysers to measure the sulphur content of the sample. The inspector may also forward the sample to an accredited laboratory to confirm compliance.
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9. Keeping Eco Inspectors Off
The practice of "ecological inspectors" attempting to get on board vessels is still ongoing at ports in the Ukraine. Ecological inspectors in Ukraine are no longer included in the list of official personnel required to board vessels in order to issue inward clearance. Additionally, under the new legislation which came into force on the 3 April 2015, they are no longer authorised to board vessels with segregated ballast tanks and demand to take samples of the ballast water. Masters are advised to reject any attempts to board their vessel and invite the inspectors to return once a Club correspondent or local lawyer is in attendance.
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10. Time to Train for Ballast
Videotel, has revised its ballast water management (BWM) training package to address the requirements of the International Maritime Organization’s newly ratified BWM Convention. Beginning 2017, all ships engaged in international trade will need: a ballast water management plan to remove or neutralize harmful aquatic organisms and pathogens; an International Ballast Water Management Certificate; and, an onboard record book to prove compliance. "I am really pleased that Videotel is ahead of the game with our updated programme," says Nigel Cleave, CEO of Videotel.
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Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions  www.seacurus.com

 

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