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10 Nov 2017

ITF supports challenge to Boskalis over crew replacement plans

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"The ITF (International Transport Workers' Federation) is standing ready to support its Dutch affiliate Nautilus NL/FNV Waterbouw as it resists plans by marine services and dredging company Boskalis to ditch and replace 20 crew members on five vessels. The latest plans would lead to the likely removal of 20 Netherlands nationals and their replacement by agency workers from other countries. It brings back to life plans that were previously successfully resisted by the union, with international support. Nautilus NL/FNV Waterbouw national secretary Marcel van Dam explained: ‘Boskalis told us that between now and mid 2019 its Dutch Fairmount crew will be replaced by crew from cheap labour countries, employed by employment agency Anglo Eastern. If Boskalis continues to pursue these plans we will contemplate taking them to court, along with possible industrial action.” ITF inland navigation section chair Nick Bramley added: “We are appalled to see Boskalis turn back the clock and recycle plans that were so effectively challenged last time around. The company’s profits – projected to reach EUR 150 million for 2017 – have been built with the help of its many crews around the world, and it is scandalous to see crew members being threatened with job losses in return. It is difficult not to see this as a case of simple social dumping, and the use of potentially lower skilled, cheaper and less protected workers in safety-critical roles. The ITF is ready to support our colleagues in the Netherlands in resisting this.”"

10 Nov 2017

"Indian Register of Shipping hosts a Customer Meet in Thailand"

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"Indian Register of Shipping (IRClass), leading classification society, hosted a customer meeting in Bangkok, Thailand as part of its efforts to increase its commitment to the Southeast Asia region. The meet was well-attended by locally-based ship owners and senior representatives from Thai Administration. At the meeting, IRClass gave a presentation on its recent developments and revealed that it was in the process of setting up an office in Manila, Philippines. It also shared news on major areas of research activities such as hydrodynamics, ship and offshore structure, and vibration and noise, among others. Managing Director of IRClass, Mr. Suresh Sinha said today: “We gained authorisation as a Recognised Organisation (RO) from Thailand earlier this year, and this meet with the ship owners in Bangkok was vital in further consolidating our presence in Thailand.” He added: “It is important for IRClass to be in active conversations with the maritime fraternity in Asia, in order to provide better tailored services and training courses.” Commenting on IRClass’ plans for the ASEAN region, he said: “We announced our plans to boost presence in the ASEAN region at the Sea Asia 2017 event in April this year, and with offices established in Singapore, Bangkok, Hong Kong, Indonesia, and Malaysia, we are looking to further expand our footprint with new offices in the region, as well as obtaining RO status from key ASEAN countries.”"

07 Nov 2017

Port State control regimes move to boost collaboration, harmonization and information sharing

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"The port State control regimes which carry out inspections on ships to monitor and enforce compliance with international regulations have pledged to strengthen their collaboration with the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and amongst themselves. A recent workshop (24-26 October) for port State control (PSC) MoU/Agreement Secretaries and Database Managers and Member States, the seventh of its kind, was held at IMO headquarters in London, United Kingdom. Participants shared experiences, highlighted new projects and approved a wide range of recommendations, which are aimed at further collaboration, harmonization and information sharing. The recommendations will be forwarded for review by IMO and the regional governing bodies of PSC regimes. Since the first regional PSC agreement was signed in 1982 (the Paris MoU), IMO has supported the establishment of eight other regional PSC regimes, achieving a global maritime network. The areas of responsibility of the nine regional regimes cover all (or part of) Europe and the north Atlantic (Paris MoU); Asia and the Pacific (Tokyo MoU); Latin America (Acuerdo de Viña del Mar); Caribbean (Caribbean MoU); West and Central Africa (Abuja MoU); Black Sea (Black Sea MoU); Mediterranean Sea (Mediterranean MoU); Indian Ocean (Indian Ocean MoU); and Persian Gulf (Riyadh MoU). The United States Coast Guard maintains the tenth PSC regime. The Workshop noted the growing number of PSC regimes implementing targeted inspections mechanisms, as well as incentive schemes, so that ships found in compliance with international standards are subject to fewer inspections, while substandard ships are targeted more. The regimes feed IMO with PSC information, which has potential significant relevance to the IMO regulatory process. Specifically, annual reports on inspections and the outcome of concentrated inspection campaigns are reported to the IMO Sub-Committee on the Implementation of IMO Instruments (III). Furthermore, data exchange agreements enable a PSC module on the Global Integrated Shipping Information System (GISIS) to be populated. Among the recommendations made by the meeting, the PSC regimes agreed to explore the development of statistical output and to look into the compatibility of their systems. They also agreed to consider moving away from “black/grey/white lists” towards expanding an individual ship risk profile approach. As a potential step towards mutual recognition of other regimes’ activities, the PSC regimes agreed to convey to their regional governing bodies the recommended use of the results of interregional information exchanges in their internal procedures, including their targeting systems. The Workshop recommended that PSC regimes consider developing and maintaining, in their information systems, a coordinated list of under-performing ships. The possible development of a common platform for interregional exchange to facilitate informal exchange among PSC regimes, as well as the development of joint working policies, were also recommended. The Workshop considered the possibility of establishing an outreach partnership between IMO and PSC regimes, the objectives of which would be to disseminate the outcome of the work of IMO; to collect first-hand feedback on implementation; and to develop technical cooperation and capacity building activities. Appropriate fora at IMO and in PSC regimes will be invited to consider this matter. Existing technical cooperation activities, partially supported by IMO in order to encourage the sharing of expertise among PSC regimes, should be enhanced under IMO’s Integrated Technical Cooperation Programme (ITCP). Recognizing the need for training of new entrants in port State and flag State personnel, the Workshop recommended that IMO consider developing a harmonized training manual for use by flag State inspectors and PSC officers. To support the implementation of the Code of Good Practice included in the IMO Procedures for PSC, the III Sub-committee will be invited to consider developing a format for a “PSC letter to the Master”. This would set out how an inspection would be carried out and would be signed by both the PSC officer and the Master. The Workshop also recommended that a dedicated GISIS facility for complaints could be developed. The Workshop considered the simplification of reporting procedures for port States, in the context of practical data management involving both IMO and the International Labour Organization (ILO). The meeting requested the IMO Secretariat to liaise with the ILO Secretariat, with a view to establishing a “single window” system, through GISIS. Finally, the meeting recommended that future workshops be held every two years. The agenda should include discussion on the use of body cameras by PSC officers. Funding from the IMO “Voyage Together Trust Fund” supported the participation of representatives of the nine regional PSC regimes at the seventh IMO Workshop for PSC MoU/Agreement Secretaries and Database Managers, with an increased focus on Member States’ representatives. The meeting was chaired by Dr. Vitaly Klyuev (Russian Federation), and Ms. Carien Droppers (Paris MoU) was Vice-Chair."

06 Nov 2017

UN Climate Conference – ICS has Vision for Zero Carbon Shipping Future

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"The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) is representing the world’s national shipowners’ associations and over 80 percent of the world merchant fleet at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 23) in Bonn this week. ICS will emphasise how the shipping industry is supporting the UN International Maritime Organization (IMO) to develop an ambitious CO2 reduction strategy. ICS Director of Policy, Simon Bennett explained: “ICS has a vision of zero CO2 emissions from shipping in the second half of the century. We are confident this will be achievable with alternative fuels and new propulsion technologies.” ICS says its vision might be delivered with batteries or fuel cells using renewable energy, other new technologies such as hydrogen or even something not yet anticipated. In the meantime, the shipping industry has proposed that IMO Member States should adopt a suitably ambitious goal for reducing total emissions from the entire international shipping sector by an agreed percentage by 2050. ICS is pleased that a large number of IMO Member States have already come forward with detailed proposals. Several EU and Pacific island nations have jointly proposed that the sector should reduce total CO2 by as much as 70 percent by 2050. Mr Bennett commented: “Japan has set out in detail to IMO how a 50 percent total cut by 2060 might be achieved. In view of projections for future trade growth, an objective in this range, while still incredibly ambitious, therefore seems more realistic.” He added: “It will be for governments to agree the actual reduction number when they adopt an initial IMO strategy next April. And this is also going to have to address the legitimate concerns of major economies such as China and India about the implications for future trade and their sustainable development.” Whatever is decided, ICS says that the entire world fleet is probably unlikely to enjoy global access to new alternative fuels for at least another 20 or 30 years. Moreover, population growth and further improvements to global living standards will probably determine that demand for shipping must continue to increase, as it is already by far the most carbon efficient form of commercial transport. ICS says that, using a combination of technical and operational measures, the international shipping sector already appears to have reduced and held its total annual CO2 emissions at about 8 percent below its 2008 peak. This is despite an increase of about 30 percent in maritime trade, estimated in tonnes of cargo transported one nautical mile (tonne-miles) over the period up to the end of 2015. ICS cautions that these latest estimates by third parties will have to be verified by the next official IMO Greenhouse Study in 2019 using the new IMO CO2 Data Collection System. “They are nevertheless encouraging especially given the dramatic reduction in fuel prices since 2014. Moreover, a significant increase in marine fuel costs is expected in 2020 due to the mandatory global switch by the entire world fleet to low sulphur fuels. This should greatly incentivise, to the extent this is possible, the further reduction of fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by ships.” said Mr Bennett. "

02 Nov 2017

ClassNK releases updates to Good Maintenance Onboard Ships

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"Leading classification society ClassNK has just released the latest version of Good Maintenance Onboard Ships (October, 2017). The comprehensive checklist is designed to be used by shipmasters, crew, shipowners, and other key personnel in order to ensure vessels are safe, well-maintained and comply with regulations. To further improve the quality and efficiency of maintenance onboard ships, ClassNK has incorporated its knowledge and experience gained through surveys and audits, feedback from Port State Control (PSC) inspections, and comments from shipowners and mariners to provide the most up-to-date checklists for Routine Maintenance, PSC Inspections, Safety Management Systems, Ship Security Management Systems, as well as photos of the most common deficiencies. The latest edition now also includes a checklist for the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 (MLC, 2006). ClassNK’s Director of Survey Operations Division Yoshinori Kozeki said: “This easy-to-use checklist is a result of our ongoing commitment to improve the safety of life and property at sea, and the prevention of pollution of the marine environment. The latest edition of Good Maintenance Onboard Ships includes clear explanations, photo examples as well as guidance on the latest updates in the industry. We hope that crews will utilize this to help create a safer work environment, decrease the number of PSC detainments and prevent maintenance related problems before they occur.”"

01 Nov 2017

"Government of PNG under fire to review ICTSI port contracts"

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"This week the Government of Papua New Guinea has been the target of global protests calling on the government to review the decision to award port operations in Lae and Port Moresby to Philippine port operator, International Container Terminal Services Inc. (ICTSI). The campaign has seen protests outside of the PNG Consulate in Sydney, Australia, and High Commission in Wellington, New Zealand. Paddy Crumlin, President of the International Transport Workers’ Federation today urged the Government of PNG to act in the best interests of its people by standing with workers, landowners and communities exposed to ICTSI’s poor record on safety and labour relations. “The ITF, alongside the Maritime International Federation, is calling on the Minister of Transport, Hon. Wesley Nukundj, to intervene and urgently convene a meeting of stakeholders – including union and landowner representatives – to find a solution to the current crisis,” Crumlin said. Over the past month, embattled global port operator ICTSI has been the target of international condemnation over emerging patterns of labour violations their network, poor safety standards, and insufficient managerial oversight to ensure productive industrial relations, and compliance with local laws and international labour conventions. “The decision to award contracts at PNG’s two biggest ports to ICTSI will have a profound impact. The Papua New Guinea Maritime and Transport Workers Union, an affiliate of the ITF, says that more than 1,000 jobs will be lost at the ports and in associated industries due to the contracts awarded to ICTSI. “The number of family and community members who rely on those jobs numbers is in the thousands. We believe ICTSI intends to replace workers with a mixture of casual, outsourced labour and Filipino workers under the guise of mentors. This is nothing short of a disgrace.” Joe Fleetwood, General Secretary of the Maritime Union of New Zealand, also called on the Government of PNG to act: “The PNG government must put its workers’ interests first, and protect the jobs of its people. We stand ready to continue our support for the PNG workers and landowners in their just fight.” There are significant concerns about how the entry of ICTSI into the PNG port sector will impact on landowner groups, the county’s domestic coastal shipping network and local communities. The 25-year contract will see landowners lose their shareholding, without any compensation. “Both the Government of PNG and ICTSI need to answer some serious, unanswered questions. The recognition of landowners’ cultural and historic connection with their land, compensation for their investment in the ports, and their ongoing participation in the port operations remain a mystery. And the impact of ICTSI’s entry on the viability of PNG’s domestic coastal shipping network and implications that ICTSI’s predatory pricing structures will have on the costs of goods in the country need to be addressed,” added Crumlin. The protests were organised by the ITF and MIF, and affiliates the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) and the Maritime Union of New Zealand (MUNZ)."

31 Oct 2017

Liberia’s electronic oil record book scoops up two more innovation awards

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"The innovative electronic oil record book (e-ORB) produced by LISCR, the US-based manager of the Liberian Registry, in co-operation with Cyprus-based maritime technology company, Prevention at Sea, has received two more prestigious industry awards. At the Lloyd’s List Asia Pacific Awards ceremony in Singapore on 26 October, the e-ORB won the Lloyd’s List Intelligence Innovation Award, organized in association with Lloyd’s List Intelligence. This award seeks to set a benchmark for excellence while rewarding boundary-challenging innovative ideas and concepts. Meanwhile, the e-ORB secured the Innovation Marine Environment Protection Award from the North American Marine Environment Protection Association (NAMEPA) at its 10th Anniversary celebrations in New York, which also took place on October 26. NAMEPA’s mission is to preserve the marine environment by promoting sustainable marine industry best practice. Earlier this year, the e-ORB won the 2017 Lloyd’s List North America Maritime Services Award. The e-ORB is a Lloyd’s Register-certified maritime software application designed to replace the traditional paper oil record book and to establish software transparency, credibility and traceability. Following highly productive and encouraging meetings with leading international shipping organisations, including the IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee, US Coast Guard, AMSA, Paris MoU, EMSA, Intertanko, Intercargo, OCIMF and numerous port and flag states, the Liberian Registry is pushing ahead with moves to expedite the smooth introduction of e-ORB throughout the fleet registered under its flag. LISCR CEO Scott Bergeron says, “Daily paper record-keeping is a heavy administrative burden that leads to an inefficient use of time for engineers. Liberia is well ahead of the game in producing user-friendly technology that curtails man-hours, reduces overtime costs and eliminates vague entries and mistakes. We are grateful that our innovative leadership has been recognised by these three leading industry awards.” Photo caption: Pictured from left to right: Mark Laudi, host of the 2017 Lloyd’s List Asia Pacific Awards, Scott Bergeron, CEO, Liberian Registry, and Liz McCarthy, Publisher, Lloyd’s List Intelligence. l The Liberian Registry is the world’s most technologically advanced maritime administration. It has a long-established track record of combining the highest standards of safety for vessels and crews with the highest levels of responsive and innovative service to owners. Moreover, it has a well-deserved reputation for supporting international legislation designed to maintain and improve the safety and effectiveness of the shipping industry and protection of the marine environment."

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