Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 18/01/2016
1. New Dawn for MLC Cover
Under the Maritime Labour Convention 2006 (MLC) shipowners must now have insurance to assist the seafarers on board vessels if they are abandoned. All ships, to which the convention applies, whose flag states have ratified the MLC must have the insurance certificate on board and on show in English as of January 18. Abandonment occurs when the shipowner fails to cover the cost of the seafarer’s repatriation; or has left the seafarer without the necessary maintenance and support; or has otherwise unilaterally severed their ties with the seafarer including failure to pay contractual wages for a period of at least two months’.
2. Abu Sayyaf Frees Seafarers
Captain Park Chul Hong, the master of the heavy lift ship Dongbang Giant II, returned to South Korea on Sunday after three months’ captivity as a hostage of the Abu Sayyaf terrorist organization. On his arrival in Incheon, South Korea, Park was taken to a hospital for a full evaluation. "They have been very stressed out. They were moved from one place to another, sometimes sleeping in forests, different houses, eating just dried fish and drinking water from brooks," said Jesus Dureza, a senior aide to Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte, speaking to AFP.
3. Analysts Jump on OOCL Rumour
Shipping analyst Alphaliner has voiced a rumour that has been circulating throughout the container shipping industry: that Orient Overseas International might sell its Hong Kong-based ocean carrier Orient Overseas Container Line (OOCL). “As the merger and acquisition activity has swept the global container shipping industry, OOCL can be the next victim.” Shares in Orient Overseas International have increased by over 20 percent at the Hong Kong stock market since the beginning of the year. Alphaliner says that China’ COSCO and Taiwan’s Evergreen are possible buyers of OOCL. https://goo.gl/0xXlXB
4. USCG Acting on Cyber Threats
The U.S. Coast Guard recently published CG-5P Policy Letter 08-16: Reporting Suspicious Activity and Breaches of Security, which outlines the criteria and process for reporting such events. An owner or operator of a vessel or facility that is required to maintain an approved security plan in accordance with parts 104, 105 or 106 of Title 33, Code of Federal Regulations, Subchapter H shall, without delay, report activities that may result in a transportation security incident to the National Response Center.
5. 2017 Record Scrapping Year
French container consultants Alphaliner suggest 2017 will be another record year for containership scrapping with some 750,000 teu of ships set to be torched this year. 2016 was a record year with the final number disputed – Alphaliner saying 655,000 teu, while Braemar ACM claimed the eventual total was around 700,000 teu. Alphaliner reports a total of 42,000 teu has already been removed from the global fleet in the first three weeks of this year, with a further 113,000 teu due to follow in the coming weeks. Panamaxes account for a majority of the ships to be scrapped, totalling 16 units of 4,000-5,000 teu.
6. Nigeria Tackling Corruption
Plans are in the pipeline by the Federal Government to deploy its anti-corruption mechanisms to significantly reduce the menace of fraudulent and criminal activities at the Nigerian ports. This comes as the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), is currently studying the various tariffs across ports in West Africa, with a view to determining how competitive Nigerian ports are compared to its neighbours. An October 2016 report identified corruption, which is closely linked to the inefficiencies at the ports, as costing Nigeria the loss of about N1trillion annually.
7. Seized Bulker Sold On
Shanghai Maritime Court has sold a seized bulk carrier to Hong Kong owner Zhongjiang Ocean Shipping via an auction on Chinese e-commerce platform Taobao for RMB16.89m ($2.41m). The Panama-flagged vessel Mahoni, which was owned by Indonesian company Meranti Maritime, was arrested at Shanghai Port in May 2016 under the court’s ruling after 31 Filipino crew of the ship filed a lawsuit against the owner over salary disputes. The crews claimed that they hadn’t been paid for 18 months. According to an official from the court, Zhongjiang Ocean Shipping will use the ship to transport lumber.
8. Record Year for Prosecutions
The U.S. Department of Justice says 2016 was record year for prosecuting shipping companies and crew for illegal discharges from ocean-going vessels in U.S. waters. At the end of 2016, criminal penalties of more than $363 million in fines and more than 32 years of imprisonment from cases related to intentional discharges of pollutants from vessels. Often times these cases involve a crew’s use of a so-called “magic pipe” to dump oil-contaminated water overboard, which is almost always followed by an attempt to cover the illegal dumping up by failing to record these discharges in the ship’s oil record book.
9. MSC Breaking New Cruise Ground
MSC Cruises announced that it has broken ground at last on the construction of its new private island, Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve. Ocean Cay, a former sand-mining facility, lies just south of Bimini and about 55 nm east of Miami. After redevelopment, the sands that once made it attractive for resource extraction will make it attractive for tourists, says Gianluca Suprani, head of global development and shoreside activities for MSC. "The island has some of the finest aragonite sands in the world, and once the work is completed, its surrounding waters will be home again to corals and rich aquatic life," he said in a statement.
10. Rolls Royce Shares Leap
Shares in Rolls-Royce jumped as much as 7 percent on Tuesday after the British maker of engines for planes and ships settled a long-running bribery probe and said 2016 profit would beat expectations. The conclusion to the bribery investigations by British, U.S. and Brazilian authorities helped remove a cloud hanging over one of Britain’s biggest corporate names since 2013. The settlement, and the forecast for better than expected profit, comes as a boost to CEO Warren East who, since joining in mid-2015, has led a drive to slash costs and restructure the group following a series of profit warnings.
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