Top Ten Maritime News Stories 17/11/2017

Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 17/11/2017

1. Ports Ripping Off Owners
Shipping lines calling at Chinese ports have been ripped off for years, a major investigation carried out by Beijing has concluded, and port fees at top ports could now be slashed by as much as a fifth. China’s National Development and Reform Committee (NDRC) has recently concluded an anti-monopoly investigation into major ports in the country. According to the NDRC, the two-month investigation uncovered a series of irregularities in several major ports including Shanghai, Tianjin, Ningbo-Zhoushan and Qingdao.
2. Dirty Ships Unseaworthy
The IMO has warned there will be no exceptions to the 1 January 2020 0.5% global sulphur cap for marine fuel oils. Speaking at a conference in Athens, Edmund Hughes, IMO’s head of air pollution and energy efficiency, Marine Environment Division, said the global sulphur limit would enter into force on 1 January 2020 “with no delay”. He said how to ensure consistent implementation will be the subject of important discussions at the next session of IMO’S Sub-Committee on Pollution Prevention and Response session in February 2018 and later in the year.
3. Fix ECDIS Risks
The cyber security risks to ECDIS navigation systems, many of which run on old, and unsupported operating systems, are well known. ABS director of cyber security Paul Walters says an ECDIS system can be taken offline by the simple act of crew member plugging their phone into charge on the computer on which the ECDIS system is run. “We’ve had a number of owners call us up and one person or another had plugged in their phone to charge it, the ECDIS goes and looks for the drivers for the phone, can’t find it, so its crashes. And they are very difficult to get back"
4. Port Transparency Tools
The E.U.’s PORTOPIA partners have presented the outcome of the project with new transparency tools developed. The PORTOPIA project, which started in 2013, was aimed at the development of key performance data for European ports and the accompanying tools facilitating data collection and analysis, assisting the industry in moving towards a more sustainable and competitive port system. The tools include environmental dashboards, port governance trends and a user perception measurement tool. 
5. Scorpio Tankers Losses
Monaco-based tanker shipping company Scorpio Tankers posted a net loss of USD 36.9 million for the third quarter of this year, further widened when compared to the net loss of USD 27.1 million for the three months ended September 30, 2016.  For the nine months ended September 30, 2017, the net loss surged to USD 116.7 million, switching from a net income of USD 4.8 million reported for the same period last year. The company plunged deeper into the red as it finalizes the integration of tankers acquired from Navig8 Product Tankers (NPTI).
6. First Officer Blamed
The first officer of Mount Hope, a bulk carrier which collided with a pier at the German Port of Brake on November 11, is in the centre of a criminal investigation related to a misconduct, German water police inspection informed. The first findings of the investigation revealed that the first officer, a 42-year-old Philippine national, is guilty of endangering vessel traffic. In order for the criminal proceedings to be secured, a deposit of EUR 8,000 (around USD 9,400) will be collected after consultation with the Oldenburg Public Prosecutor’s Office on the decision of the relevant district court.

7. Autonomous Code of Conduct
Maritime UK has launched a new Industry Code of Practice for the design, construction and operation of autonomous maritime systems. Seeking to provide practical guidance for autonomous and semi-autonomous vessels less than 24 metres long, the Industry Code of Practice will provide guidelines while the more detailed regulatory framework for autonomous systems is developed. It is designed to set initial standards and best practice for all those involved with the development and operation of autonomous systems. It covers design, manufacturing, safety, communication and navigation through to training and skills.

8. Turkish Ship Ban
The Turkish government has issued a decision prohibiting ships arriving from or calling at Crimea and its ports from visiting a Turkish Port. Turkish ports, marine agents, operators and ship owners are officially informed that ships arriving from Crimea and its ports are not allowed to enter the country, and no permit will be given if a ship is calling/has called at these ports. Such vessels will not be allowed to get custom clearance and/or perform discharging/loading operation in any Turkish Port. Further, Authorities have the right to request last port clearance via agents, log book copies AIS, VDR records and any tracking systems.
9. Drones for Ship Surveys
The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) is working on an acceptance criteria for the use of remote inspection techniques in ship surveys, including aerial drones and ship-inspecting robots. This acceptance criteria for Singapore-registered ships will likely be rolled out in the first quarter next year, said MPA chief executive Andrew Tan. Speaking at the Singapore Registry of Ships (SRS) Forum on Friday, Mr Tan said MPA has already been conducting several trials using aerial drones for ship surveys.
10. Chinese Scatter Pirates
A destroyer from the 27th Chinese naval escort taskforce successfully dispersed a number of suspected pirate vessels aiming for two container ships. As the Haikou was escorting the vessels, registered in Hong Kong and Italy, towards the Gulf of Aden, three targets travelling at high speed were detected 5.1 nautical miles ahead. Thanks to photoelectric sensors, the destroyer was able to ascertain that the unwelcome fleet consisted of three double-hook ships containing five people each. The Chinese naval ship turned to intercept and initiated its anti-piracy protocol, and the offending vessels immediately fled at high speed. 

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


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