Seacurus Daily: Top Ten Maritime News Stories 03/12/2018
1. Trump and Jinping Blink
U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping have concluded a âhighly successful meetingâ in Argentina, and as a result Trump has agreed that on January 1, 2019, he will leave the tariffs on $200 billion worth of product at 10 percent and not raise them to 25 percent. The leaders have also agreed to immediately begin negotiations on structural changes with respect to forced technology transfer, intellectual property protection, non-tariff barriers, cyber intrusions and cyber theft. If after 90 days, they have not reached agreement on the issues, the 10 percent tariffs will be raised to 25 percent.
2. Call for Naval Help
Ukraine’s leader called on Germany and its allies to boost their naval presence in the Black Sea to deter Russia from further aggression in the region and said Russia was blockading Ukrainian ports on the nearby Sea of Azov. President Petro Poroshenko says Russia has deployed a large number of troops along its border with Ukraine. He alleged in an interview published Sunday that Russia intends to push inland into Ukraine following a clash in the Black Sea between the countries’ forces. “We need a strong, unified, unambiguous reaction to Russia’s aggressive behaviour,” Poroshenko said.
3. Major Ballast Problems
As many as four out of five ballast water treatment systems (BWTSs) operated by Intertanko members have experienced problems. Tim Wilkins, the environmental director at the international tanker owner organisation, said between 60 to 80% of BWTSs installed on membersâ ships had suffered a range of problems in operation. âThe 60-80% figures came about after members began using the systems more frequently and began to realise that although they may be operating and ballasting is occurring, the system wasnât necessarily treating as desired,â Wilkins reported.
4. On-going Digitalisation Debate
The on-going debate about the digitisation of shipping and reading time after time how this is the future. Be it voyage estimate software, complete integrated software to link operations with chartering and accounting, software to match supply and demand of vessels and cargoes, or even blockchain to tighten cybersecurity. A lot of hype, but where is it all coming from, and is it really disruptive to the model?
5. Terrible Enclosed Space Toll
Crew members are often blamed for deaths in enclosed spaces. Human error; so it would seem. But, there are those in the industry who believe that others should be held accountable, that new action should be taken. In a submission readied for the IMO this year, the International Dry Bulk Terminals Group (DBTG) reveals that its, admittedly not exhaustive, study shows that over 70 accidents occurred during the carriage or handling of solid bulk cargoes between 1999 and April 2018. 88 people lost their lives due to asphyxiation or carbon monoxide poisoning. Another 18 died as a result of fire or explosions.
6. Rise in Mental Health Claims
Captain Yves Vandenborn, director of loss prevention at The Standard Club, says improving the mental health of seafarers is critical but cannot be done in isolation. It needs to be part of a holistic approach to ensuring their overall wellbeing, which includes a diverse range of physical, emotional and organisational factors. Recent have rightly put a spotlight on the mental health of seafarers. Industry statistics seem to confirm that mental illness is a growing concern at sea, and this is now being reflected in P&I club claims data. At The Standard Club there has been an increase in mental-health-related claims since 2015.
7. Iran Oil on Slide
Imports of Iranian crude oil by major buyers in Asia hit a five-year low in October, as China, Japan and South Korea sharply cut purchases ahead of U.S. sanctions on Tehran that took effect in early November, government and ship-tracking data showed. China, India, Japan and South Korea last month imported about 762,000 barrels per day (bpd) from Iran, according to the data, down 56.4 percent from a year earlier. This marks the lowest volume of shipments since October 2013, when an earlier round of tough U.S. and E.U. sanctions had slashed exports from the OPEC member starting from early 2012.
8. SIRE Covers Cyber
With the release of the seventh edition of the SIRE Vessel Inspection Questionnaire (VIQ7) in September 2018, tanker owners and managers are scrambling to review their cyber security best practice and bring their policies and procedures up-to-date. It seems to be the case that any industry stakeholder with some degree of self-esteem has identified the necessity to publish their own Cyber Security Guidelines. While most of these documents surely are very helpful, they tend to focus on the âWhatâ rather than the âHow.â Remember though, that human error provides for the greatest, most immediate risk.
9. Greece Wants EU Vision
Greeceâs shortsea shipowners went to Brussels this month and called on Euro MPs to throw their weight behind Europeâs shortsea shipping sector as it faces challenges posed by the new regulatory environment. The Hellenic Shortsea Shipowners Association (HSSA) president, Charalampos Simantonis told a Brussels workshop, that measures and initiatives need to be adopted at the European level to improve the efficiency and competitiveness of the European fleet. He said these initiatives should cover financing, the cutting of bureaucracy and the introduction of new ways of transporting commodities,.
10. Car Carrier Stink Bugs
A vehicle carrier has been ordered to leave New Zealand waters following the discovery of stink bugs and other regulated pests, Biosecurity New Zealand said. Biosecurity officers intercepted 3 live and 39 dead brown marmorated stink bugs and 69 other dead regulated stink bugs after the Carmen arrived in Auckland from Europe on Wednesday morning. The 7,879 CEU vessel was carrying a range of vehicles from Europe and the United States. âThe interceptions indicated the cargo was likely to be infested with stink bugs. We also believed the ship itself was contaminated,â Biosecurity New Zealand, said.
Daily news feed from Seacurus Ltd â providers of MLC crew insurance solutions www.seacurus.com