Top Ten Maritime News Stories 13/04/2017

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 13/04/2017

1. Fake Registry Scam
Ships and seafarers are being illegally registered under a fake international registry. The Federated States of Micronesia, a tiny archipelago in the western Pacific, has warned of the scam in a letter sent to the United Nations. “The Permanent Mission of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) wishes to inform about the illegal registration of vessels, as well as the illegal issuance of seafarers’ certification in the name of the Federated States of Micronesia,” the letter states. The document adds: “Currently the laws of the FSM do not provide or otherwise allow for an international ship registry.
goo.gl/2FjMAq
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2. UK Faces Catastrophe
The UK is facing an “absolute catastrophe” if it does not sort out a “frictionless and seamless” border at Dover and other ports, the shipping industry has warned. The UK Chamber of Shipping, which represents more than 170 freight ship, tanker and cruise liner companies, has called on governments across Europe to urgently grasp the challenge, arguing that a problem for the UK will also be a problem for ports in Holland, Belgium, France and Ireland. “I think the UK government gets it, but I am not so sure other countries do,” said Guy Platten, the chief executive officer.
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3. Indian Seafarer Tax Debacle
The Central Board of Direct Taxes, Ministry of Finance, Government of India, has finally clarified that salary accrued to a non-resident seafarer for services rendered outside India on a foreign ship shall not be included in the total income merely because the said salary has been credited in the NRE account maintained with an Indian bank the seafarer. Indian seafarers have fought a campaign by the government to grab taxes from them, and this is an important announcement, as it could have led many to abandon maritime careers had it entered into force.
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4. Search Vessel in Trouble
The hunt for the Stellar Daisy has been plunged into chaos with another converted VLOC that had been leading the search and rescue mission in the South Atlantic – also belonging to the same beleaguered Korean owner – forced to head to Cape Town for repairs. Polaris, the world’s largest VLOC owner with earlier ambitions of listing in Seoul within the next three months, has suffered a triple whammy in less than two weeks with the sinking of the Stellar Daisy and the likely loss of 22 seafarer lives, a crack appearing on another VLOC, Stellar Unicorn, days later, and now a defect has been found on the 1992-built "Stellar Cosmo".
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5. Somali Pirate Kingpin Missing
The whereabouts of one of Somalia’s pirate leaders is unclear with speculation mounting that Aw Koombe, a man responsible for many hijackings over the years, has been apprehended by the Chinese navy. The Chinese and Indian navies helped thwart an attack on a bulker called OS 35 over the weekend. The Voice of America is reporting that Abdikarim Salah aka Aw Koombe could not leave the ship in time and was likely taken by Chinese naval forces. He has not been since and two of his accomplices who made it back ashore claim the pirate kingpin as well as two others were captured.
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6. MOL Major Triumph
Mitsui O.S.K. Lines has announced that the MOL Triumph, the world’s largest containership with a carrying capacity of 20,170 TEU, successfully arrived at Yangshan Port in Shanghai on April 10, 2017. MOL took delivery of MOL Triumph, the first of six 20,000 TEU-class containerships from Samsung Heavy Industries Co., Ltd. on March 27, 2017(*). At 400 meters in length and 58.8 meters in width, MOL Triumph is longer than the Oriental Pearl Radio and TV Tower of Shanghai is tall. The arrival is hailed as a significant milestone for MOL and the 20,170 TEU-capacity vessel is equipped with various new technologies.
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7. New Shipmanagement Merger
German feeder containership specialists Leonhardt & Blumberg Reederei and Buss Shipping have agreed to merge their ship management activities, forming a new venture operating a combined 55 vessels. The joint venture, named Leonhardt & Blumberg Shipmanagement, will be managed by a board of Christian Rychly, Torben Kölln and Mathias Gaethje. Leonhardt & Blumberg operates containerships ranging from 1,500 teu to 3,600 teu capacity while Buss Shipping’s fleet consists of 17 vessels with two newbuildings to be delivered later 2017.
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8. New Oversupply Beckons
As the growth potential for global trade appears to be limited for the time being, ship owners should continue to look to trim further tonnage supply, in order to avoid a new crisis in the freight market. In its latest weekly analysis, shipbroker Allied Shipbroking said that “with focus being turned on the G7 meeting taking place in Italy this week and part of W-O-W change the main agenda to be discussed being the openness of trade and a hold on the growing trend towards protectionism, the prospects of global growth and its reliance on the openness of international trade are once again on the defence.
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9. Indian Dock Strike Action
India’s labour unions, representing dockworkers employed at major ports, have announced an indefinite nationwide industrial action starting April 19, 2017. The ports that are likely to be affected by the strike are Kolkata, Paradip, Visakhapatnam, Chennai, Tuticorin, Cochin, New Mangalore, Mumbai, Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT), Kandla and Marmugao. JNPT port authorities have already been given notice by dockworker unions. The strike is targeting changes proposed in the Major Ports Authority Bill 2016 aimed at restructuring the country’s port system.
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10. Hamburg Launches Tech Drive
The Port of Hamburg has achieved a new level of digitalization with the introduction of the first fully-automatic system for monitoring reefer containers at the C. Steinweg (Süd-West Terminal) multi-purpose cargo handling facility. Usually, reefer containers are manually checked by staff at cargo handling terminals at specific intervals, usually of between four and eight hours, for normal functioning, temperature, humidity and other parameters. This effort is supplanted by the CTAS Reefer System developed by the Austrian company Identec Solutions, which records, notifies and processes all data fully automatically.
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Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd – providers of MLC crew insurance solutions  www.seacurus.com

 

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