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11 Sep 2017

ISO 37001 – Anti-bribery management systems in Shipping

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"Bribery is one of the world’s most destructive and challenging issues. With over US$ 1 trillion paid in bribes each year (source: OCDE), the consequences are catastrophic, reducing quality of life, increasing poverty and eroding public trust. Yet despite efforts on national and international levels to tackle bribery, it remains a significant issue, especially in the maritime/shipping industry. The shipping sector operates with the whole world as a workplace, and depends on frequent interaction with public officials. A big challenge in the shipping industry is the frequent and persistent demands for low value amounts demanded by public officials to facilitate port operations (‘so called facilitation payments’). Typically, the demands are for cash (small or large amounts), cigarettes or soft drinks. Opposing demands in the interaction with public servants can reduce demands in one country and lead to severe consequences in another. The ship can be detained, or in worst cases the crew can be exposed to severe extortion situations. Governments have made progress in addressing bribery through international agreements such as the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions and the United Nations Convention against Corruption and through their national laws. In most jurisdictions, it is an offence for individuals to engage in bribery and there is a growing trend to make organizations, as well as individuals, liable for bribery. However, the law alone is not sufficient to solve this problem. Organizations have a responsibility to proactively contribute to combating bribery. This can be achieved by an anti-bribery management system, which this document is intended to provide, and through leadership commitment to establishing a culture of integrity, transparency, openness and compliance. The nature of an organization’s culture is critical to the success or failure of an anti-bribery management system. Recognizing this, ISO has developed a new standard to help organizations fight bribery and promote an ethical business culture. ISO 37001:2016 specifies requirements and provides guidance for establishing, implementing, maintaining, reviewing and improving an anti-bribery management system. The system can be stand-alone or can be integrated into an overall management system within the Company’s SMS. ISO 37001:2016 addresses the following in relation to the organization’s activities: bribery in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors; bribery by the organization; bribery by the organization’s personnel acting on the organization’s behalf or for its benefit; bribery by the organization’s business associates acting on the organization’s behalf or for its benefit; bribery of the organization; bribery of the organization’s personnel in relation to the organization’s activities; bribery of the organization’s business associates in relation to the organization’s activities; direct and indirect bribery (e.g. a bribe offered or accepted through or by a third party). ISO 37001, Anti-bribery management systems, specifies a series of measures to help organizations prevent, detect and address bribery. These include adopting an anti-bribery policy, appointing a person to oversee anti-bribery compliance, training, risk assessments and due diligence on projects and business associates, implementing financial and commercial controls, and instituting reporting and investigation procedures. It is designed to help your organization implement an anti-bribery management system, or enhance the controls you currently have. It helps to reduce the risk of bribery occurring and can demonstrate to your stakeholders that you have put in place internationally recognized good-practice anti-bribery controls. ISO 37001:2016 does not specifically address fraud, cartels and other anti-trust/competition offences, money-laundering or other activities related to corrupt practices, although an organization can choose to extend the scope of the management system to include such activities. The requirements of ISO 37001:2016 are generic and are intended to be applicable to all organizations (or parts of an organization), regardless of type, size and nature of activity, and whether in the public, private or not-for-profit sectors."

11 Sep 2017

Reducing the risk of propulsion loss – new guidance

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"Bureau Veritas, TMC Marine, the casualty and salvage experts, and the London P&I Club, have issued a new booklet providing operational guidance for preventing blackout and main engine failures, which is launched during the London International Shipping Week 2017 In a joint project, leading international classification society Bureau Veritas and TMC Marine, a Bureau Veritas Group Company since 2016, have cooperated again with the London P&I Club to produce the second booklet in a series on loss prevention issues. This new publication focuses on the marine engineering issues and procedures related to loss of propulsion incidents - and how to prevent them. Blackouts, propulsion limitations, total loss of propulsion and loss of steerage capability are all serious incidents when they occur during navigation in non-congested waters. However, when incidents such as these occur during manoeuvring in restricted areas such as traffic lanes, when entering or leaving port, or when a vessel is navigating close to a coast during heavy weather, the risk to the vessel and personnel is critical and may result in a major casualty. The purpose of the new booklet is to provide general guidance and practical advice to marine engineers and ship owners on blackout and main engine failures, the risks associated with propulsion loss and the precautions that can be taken to prevent these risks. It is not intended to replace IMO regulations and guidance notes or documentation forming part of a vessel’s safety management system; the guidance is a practical tool for all involved in shipping. Jean-François Segrétain, Technical Director, Bureau Veritas Marine & Offshore, commenting said: ""The industry is aware of the continued incidence of blackouts and propulsion loss. We consider it important that the industry has an easy to use, concise, guide to the risks involved and, importantly, the guidance on the risk management tools that can reduce the risk of propulsion loss. The expertise of class, P&I and TMC is a strong combination. We will continue to provide guidance to help reduce risk in marine operations."" Carl Durow, Loss Prevention Manager, London P&I Club said that proper root cause analysis of loss of propulsion incidents regardless of severity is key to risk mitigation. ""The Club has seen an increase in the number of machinery failure related cases in recent years. This publication is aimed at raising awareness of the necessary good practices and post incident investigation activities, which in combination can result in a much reduced risk of significant claims. In the majority of cases it is the timing and location of the incident which dictates the severity of the claim."" Stephen Tierney, Managing Director, TMC Marine said that raising awareness is vital. ""We hope that this guidance will help those onboard and in management positions ashore to reduce the risk of propulsion loss. The combined experience of our Bureau Veritas, the London P&I Club and our expertise at TMC provides the insight to understand what is required to reduce risk."" "

10 Sep 2017

Reduction in GST on supply of scrips to boost exports: FIEO

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"Welcoming the decision of the GST council of reducing the rate on supply of various scrips from 12% to 5%, FIEO said the move will give a boost to the exports sector Welcoming the decision of the GST Council of reducing the rate on supply of various scrips from 12% to 5%, the Federation of Indian Export Organizations (FIEO) said the move will give a boost to the exports sector. “Reduction of the GST rate on supply of scrips like merchandise exports from India scheme (MEIS), service exports from India scheme (SEIS), duty free import authorisation (DFIA) from 12% to 5% follows the fitment formula adopted by the Council,” FIEO president Ganesh Kumar Gupta said in a statement issued here on Sunday. He said the decision will give a boost to premium on scrips which plummeted with restriction on utilisation of scrips in the GST regime. “Wider utilisation of scrips will also be looked by the new Committee as the government’s objective is to benefit the exporters through the grant of scrips rather than the importers,” Gupta said."

10 Sep 2017

Govt to promote exports in ‘shortest possible’ time: Commerce Minister,

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"The government will look at ways to promote exports in the shortest possible time by mitigating GST regime challenges faced by exporters and by providing support that could facilitate increase in both value and volume of outbound shipments, said Suresh Prabhu, Commerce & Industry Minister. India’s export-to-GDP ratio has to go up in order to increase capacity utilisation of existing manufacturing units. Exports have great ability to generate economic activity by its own steam. We have to work out what can be done to promote exports in the shortest possible time, Prabhu said in his first press conference after taking up charge as the Minister on Monday. GST issues The Minister said that he was aware of the issues that the exporters are facing in the GST regime and would work to mitigate them. There are certain challenges that the export sector is facing because of GST implementation. We are taking up these with the concerned authorities, Prabhu said. The Ministry will also work on a support package that could increase both value and volume of exports, he added. Policy review A mid-term review of the five year Foreign Trade Policy is scheduled to be announced this week. Fresh measures to boost exports could be part of the review. Although exports in 2016-17 posted an increase of 4.71 per cent to $274.64 billion after two years of continuous decline, growth has started decelerating again. In July 2017 export growth slowed down to 3.9 per cent to $22.5 billion. Agri export policy Prabhu has also asked his Ministry officials to prepare a agriculture export policy. Agriculture is the most important part of livelihood as well as employment. The paradox is that when production goes up, prices fall. For incomes to go up, you have to find markets for exports quickly as domestic market is not large enough to absorb increased production,the Minister added. Prabhu, who was earlier the Minister for Railways, said logistics was being added in the rules of business of commerce now, so the Ministry will work on this also. We will bring logistics to the forefront and work on that as there is a direct link between competitiveness of exports and logistics, he said. Industry policy A new industrial policy to support the Make in India initiative of the government will also be announced soon. On the Invest India initiative of the government, the Minister said that the focus has to be on districts and not States. He said that district-wise industrial plans need to be prepared as local situations like human resource availability, law and order situation and natural resources help attract investors more."

04 Sep 2017

ShipServ and MarTrust partner to simplify international maritime payments

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"ShipServ, the world's largest procurement platform for the marine industry, has entered into a close partnership with MarTrust, a Marcura Group company. MarTrust is a global payments provider focused entirely on the maritime industry. The aim of the partnership is to make it easier for ship operators and managers to vet suppliers and make international payments. MarTrust can provide ShipServ customers with independent compliance checks, bank account vetting and validation, as well as process payments for the benefit of the 65,000 suppliers trading on the ShipServ platform. These due diligence and compliance checks are critical to processing the payments in accordance with increasingly complex financial regulations. Combining MarTrust's and ShipServ's expertise will help shipping companies to avoid often lengthy due diligence enquiries from their banks that often cause delays or complications in the cross-border payment process, and also increase accounts department costs. Kim Skaarup, Chief Operating Officer, ShipServ, commented: ""By collaborating with MarTrust, ShipServ is confident the required operational and financial due diligence checks are undertaken by trusted, independent maritime industry specialists that understand the pressures placed on owners and operators, and their need to make efficient, reliable and secure transactions worldwide. ShipServ's overall objective is to reduce OPEX for shipowners and managers and this new solution fits perfectly with that. In working together, we can now offer transaction efficiencies, as well as monitoring and analytics, through the entire end-to-end purchasing and procurement process. This solution is available now and in the future the partnership will look into developing additional advanced payments tools."" More than 200 shipowners and managers use ShipServ for their procurement of stores and spares and all suppliers can use the ShipServ platform free-of-charge, thereby providing a competitive marketplace for a wide range of relevant maritime goods and services. Domenico Carlucci, Managing Director, MarTrust, commented on the collaboration: ""The problem for ship owners and managers is that their banks often do not have a thorough understanding of the maritime industry, or access to the relevant information or contacts to complete compliance checks quickly and accurately. As a result, these processes can end up being burdensome and costly for both the banks and more importantly for ship operators and ship management companies, which need to move quickly and take advantage of the most suitable offers from suppliers to manage operating costs. The truth is that the problems are not with the banks but the banks do find it extremely hard to manage the cost of compliance in the maritime space. ""MarTrust is the only financial services provider operating exclusively within the maritime industry, offering unparalleled industry insight and expertise. Our network and maritime specialism also means we have the ability to work more efficiently and with greater accuracy in vetting companies across the shipping supply chain."" Although an independent financial services provider, MarTrust works in close partnership with leading global financial institutions to make safe and efficient cross-border payments. In keeping with Marcura's operating principles, MarTrust discloses its costs, benchmarks its FX rates, and delivers savings to its customers while ensuring adherence to strict compliance standards. MarTrust is part of The Marcura Group of maritime businesses, which includes DA-Desk, PortPoint, PortsDirect, CP-Desk, PortLog and MarDocs. The Group comprises over 600 employees across the globe. The MarTrust services are offered in partnership with Paymaster (1836) Limited which is authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority under the Payment Services Regulations 2009 (FCA Reference Number 315407)."

01 Sep 2017

India's eight core industries grow by 2.4% in July, 2017

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"The growth in production in eight major industries accelerated during July when total output grew by 2.4 percent in comparison with a 0.8 percent marginal increase during the previous month, official data showed on Thursday. The Index of Eight Core Industries (ECI), representing the output of major industrial sectors like coal, steel, cement and electricity, grew by 3.1 percent in the corresponding month of the previous year. ""The combined Index of Eight Core Industries stands at 119.8 in July, 2017, which was 2.4 percent higher compared to the index of July, 2016. Its cumulative growth during April to July, 2017-18 was 2.5 percent,"" the Ministry of Commerce & Industry said in the summary of the ECI for July. The ECI index carries 40.27 percent weightage of the Index of Industrial Production (IIP). On a sector-specific basis, refinery production, which has the highest weightage of 28.03 percent, plunged by 2.7 percent in July 2017 as compared with the corresponding month of last year. However, electricity generation, which has the second highest weightage of 19.85, rose by 5.4 percent last month. Steel production, the third most important component with weightage of 17.92, increased by 9.2 percent during the month under review, whereas, coal mining, with a 10.33 weightage, inched up by 0.7 percent in July 2017. Extraction of crude oil, which has an 8.98 weightage, slipped by 0.5 percent during the month under consideration. On the other hand, the sub-index for natural gas output, with a weightage of 6.88, stood higher by 6.6 percent. Conversely, cement production, which has a weightage of 5.37, decreased by 2 percent in July 2017. Similarly, fertiliser manufacturing, which has the least weightage -- of only 2.63 -- dipped by 0.3 percent."

29 Aug 2017

"Fourth Session of the India-Tanzania Joint Trade Committee (JTC) "

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"The Fourth Session of the India-Tanzania Joint Trade Committee meeting was held in New Delhi, on 29th September, 2017. The Indian delegation was led by Hon’ble Minister for State for Commerce and Industry (Independent Charge) Ms. Nirmala Sitharaman. The Tanzanian delegation was led by the Hon’ble, Minister for Industry, Trade and Investment Mr. Charles John Mwijage. The Hon’ble Minister of State(C&I) Ms Nirmala Sitharaman in her opening remarks highlighted that India and Tanzania enjoy close and cordial relations and underscored the unwavering bonds of friendship and solidarity, underpinned by a shared history of struggle against colonialism and the growing strategic partnership, multifaceted co-operation and vibrant people to people contact existing between the two countries. During the meeting Hon’ble Prime Minister’s state visit to Tanzania on 9-10 July 2016 was recalled. During the visit, discussions were held on all aspects of bilateral cooperation. It was mentioned that Tanzania is one of the most important countries in Africa in so far as India’s bilateral co-operation in various sectors is concerned. With an investment of US $ 2.2 billion, Tanzania is among the top 5 investment destinations for India. The Indian side conveyed to the Tanzanian side that the potential areas for Tanzania in India include Light oils and petroleum or bituminous minerals, motor cars and vehicles, medicaments etc Similarly, Metals and Minerals, dried cashew nuts in shells from Tanzania are required in India. The Tanzanian side encouraged co-operation in the field of Fisheries, Industrial Development including Industrial Research and Development and SMEs Development, Information, Communication and Technology, Labour and Employment, Information, Culture, Arts and Sports. The Indian Duty Free Tariff Preference Scheme of which Tanzania is a beneficiary has boosted considerably Tanzanian export to India in recent years. India and Tanzania agreed to enhance sectoral co-operation based on respective needs and comparative advantage for mutual benefit. In the sectoral co-operation Gems and Jewellery, energy (Hydro/Thermal/Gas/Diesel/solar power plants), Oil and Natural Gas, Mining, Transport, Agriculture, Water Supply Projects, Human Resource Development, Capacity Building and trade promotion were discussed. A liberal visa regime facilitates trade and investments. Visa on arrival is available in Tanzania though only for a three-month period. During the discussions, it was mentioned that long-term (at least one year visas) for reputed business companies with multi-entry facility will be helpful to promote investments and business collaboration between the two countries. The discussion concluded in a warm and cordial atmosphere reflecting the friendly relations between the two countries. The meeting concluded with the signing of the mutually agreed document."

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