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18 Jun 2018

Poland's World Maritime Day Parallel Event

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"How to create better shipping for a better future was a theme running throughout the 2018 IMO World Maritime Day Parallel Event (13-15 June), held in Szczecin, Poland. “IMO's heritage for 70 years has been to drive improvements in shipping to achieve a better world today. But we cannot rest on past achievements. Our challenge for the years to come remains the same: to create better shipping - for a better future,” said IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim, in his keynote address. The international audience was welcomed by Mr. Marek Gróbarczyk, Minister of Maritime Economy and Inland Navigation of Poland, and the importance of the event was recognized in remarks in a letter from Mr. Andrzej Duda, President of the Republic of Poland, presented by Mr. Pawel Mucha, Secretary of State, Deputy Chief of the Chancellery of the President of the Republic of Poland. Following the opening session, delegates heard high-level speakers on a range of topics, including: IMO70: Looking back/Looking forward; the Future of Shipping; Green and Smart Shipping; Big Data and Cyber Security in Shipping; Shipping in the Face of New Transport Routes; and the Future of the Maritime Labour Market. Participants also heard about the Polish maritime economy and visited the President Lech Kaczynski LNG Terminal in Swinoujscie and the Szczecin Swinoujscie Seaport. In addition, delegates attended a reception aboard the Polish sail training ship Dar Mlodziezy just before it departed on a round-the-world cruise to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the independence of Poland, another theme running through the parallel event. Closing ceremony - Colombia takes the flag for 2019 During the closing ceremony, a commemorative plaque was presented to Mr. Gróbarczyk, Minister of Maritime Economy and Inland Navigation of Poland, by Secretary-General Lim. The World Maritime Day Parallel Event flag was handed over by Mr. Gróbarczyk, to Rear Admiral Mario Germán Rodríguez Viera, Maritime General Director, Colombian National Navy. Colombia will host the 2019 Parallel Event. The event in Poland was attended by representatives from the maritime community in Poland and other countries, including government representatives and representatives from the maritime industry, non-governmental organizations and academia. Ministerial round table Transport and maritime Ministers/Vice-Ministers from 13 countries, who were attending the World Maritime Day Parallel Event, took part in a roundtable discussion with IMO Secretary-General Lim. Discussions focused on green shipping, smart shipping and capacity-building. Ministers highlighted the historic adoption in April of the initial IMO strategy on the reduction of GHG emission from shipping and looked ahead to the next stage, considering candidate measures to implement and achieve the strategy. They also emphasised that the forthcoming 1 January 2020 reduction in the limit of sulphur in fuel oil to 0.50% (from 3.0%) would not be delayed and that this was an important measure for human health and the environment. There was a fruitful exchange of views on the “fourth industrial revolution”, as it impacts the maritime sector, including increasing digitalization, the internet of things and artificial intelligence. IMO is already addressing related matters, including maritime autonomous surface ships and cyber security. Ministers also discussed and highlighted the continued need, now and in the future, for capacity building and technical cooperation, to ensure global effective implementation of IMO standards. The IMO Member States represented at ministerial level were: China, Croatia, Cyprus, Ghana, Greece, Islamic Republic of Iran, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Singapore, South Africa, Thailand and United Arab Emirates. "

18 Jun 2018

Ship crews undergo basic safety training

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"A GROUP of uncertified ship crew have successfully completed a safety training in Honiara last week. The training was facilitated by Sol-Safety Consultancy and Training Services (SSCTS), which is privately owned by Elijah Mouku. The training was made possible under the support of Solomon Islands Maritime Safety Administration (SIMSA). The training enabled uncertified marines crews who have been employed by local shipping companies throughout Solomon Islands to be trained on safety rules while working on a board.. Following the training the participants obtained a basic maritime safety certificate. During the practical session at Ranadi seafront, East Honiara the participants were able to undergo practical exercises on how to wear life jackets, unfold a life raft, how to jump into the ocean, how to remain as a group while floating and understanding other basic marines equipment. Since the establishment of SSCTS in 2013, it has been providing various training to crews and the latest was on Thursday. Mr Mouku explained the program is to ensure boat crews are qualified before working on the local vessels. “Its important for crews who work in many of these marine’s vessel to get basic safety qualification because it is part of SIMSA reform to see that all marine crews are qualified and must undergo safety training. “So I am here to help our uncertified marine crew to obtain basic marine safety knowledge. “My target is to teach people who work in many local boats ships that haven’t got any basic maritime safety training to have the skills.” He said its important for crews to have safety skills in order of any disaster during their time out at sea. “The five days basic maritime safety training should now give the students the confident to work in any marine vessels.” "

18 Jun 2018

Krishnapatnam Port introduces latest ‘Container Scanner Technology’

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"Krishnapatnam Port Company Limited (KPCL), the country’s largest all-weather; deep water port, on the east-coast of India, in an industry first initiative, announced the installation of ‘Rapiscan Eagle P 60 (“Eagle P60’)’ a drive through X Ray Container Scanner & Radiation Portal Monitors. Besides increasing security and safety of the port, the container scanner will radically enhance the terminal’s overall performance whilst reducing the service time. Offering seamless movement of containers, the drive through container scanner at Krishnapatnam Port will enable it to increase the volume of handling import containers by at least 5000 TEUs per month. With this new development the port is expecting rise in transshipment cargo. Further, it will increase the frequency and connectivity of vessels, thus reducing the dwell time, transaction costs while ensuring timely delivery. Overall the new container scanner will give a boost to the volume of containers handled at Krishnapatnam Port. Krishnapatnam Port is the first & the only Seaport in India to procure and install the Drive through container scanner at its port. Rs.10-crore facility was inaugurated by Dr. John Joseph, Director General of Goods and Services Tax Intelligence, in the presence of GST Chief Commissioner Y.S. Shahrawat (Visakhapatnam zone), port Chief Executive Officer Anil Yendluri and others. Technology is a crucial driver of the shipping, logistics and trade industry. The newly introduced self-sealing of export containers by exporters themselves with RFID sealed and direct entry of these sealed containers will encourage more exporters. Whereas, the recent permissions for the import of metal scrap which requires setup of container scanner as well as import of apples, will boost container volumes through the port. Commenting on the development, Mr. Anil Yendluri, CEO Krishnapatnam Port Container Ltd. said, “Krishnapatnam has been at the forefront embracing technological advancements and integrating the most modern port solutions. The installation of the container scanner is a step forward to our ongoing commitment to offer the best in class and most competitive service offerings to our clients.” “We will continue to invest in cutting-edge technological innovations that not only bring immense benefits to the port operations and the trade community but also play a crucial role in contributing to the country’s economy.” he added. This will increase the speed of inspection; reduce the manual work at the terminal and enhance the efficiency of the entire logistic chain. The move will thus benefit Indian exporters who otherwise suffer losses when non-scanned containers are shipped back and will encourage increased transshipment activities. Besides backing direct port entry of export containers, the new scanner will help in Direct Port Delivery of import containers thus radically trimming down the congestion at the Container Terminal and the Container Freight Station The port recently announced rise of record 88% in its container handling capacity and 25% in total cargo handling for FY18. The port plans to become a key transhipment hub on the east coast of India. "

18 Jun 2018

GST leads to Formalization of Economy and Widening of Tax Base

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"Historic tax reform, the Goods and Service Tax (GST), has resulted in formalization of economy and consequently information flow would eventually augment not only the Indirect Tax collections but also Direct Tax collections. In the past, the Centre had little data on small manufacturers and consumption because the excise was imposed only at the manufacturing stage while the States had little data on the activities of local firms outside their borders. Under the GST, there will be now seamless flow of availability of common set of data to both the Centre and the States making Direct and Indirect Tax collections more effective. There are early signs of tax base expansion. Between June and July 2017, 6.6 lakh new agents, previously outside the tax net, sought GST registration. This is expected to rise consistently as the incentives for formalization increase. Entire Textile chain is now brought under tax net. Further, a segment of land and real estate transactions has also been brought into tax net “works contracts”, referring to housing that is being built. This in turn would allow for greater transparency and formalization of cement, steel and other sales which earlier tended to be outside the tax net. The formalization will occur because builder will need documentation of these input purchases to claim tax credit. The introduction of GST, a common Indirect Tax for both the States as well as the Central Government with its end to end digitization of all processes, is the biggest reform measure which is already creating more jobs in formal sector and eliminating transactions which are not recorded earlier in the books of accounts and thus, were outside the tax net so far. GST is designed to bring about better tax compliance and transparency in tax system. It is putting a premium on honesty. It would make increasingly difficult for those (who are liable to pay tax) to remain outside the tax net. A number of procedural changes have also been made since the roll-out of GST on 1st July, 2017 in order to simplify the processes. An extensive exercise was undertaken for tax payers education and facilitation by way of knowledge sharing, dissemination of information and replies to FAQs among others. Further, steps are also being undertaken for further simplification in order to facilitate the tax payers and to extend benefit to the customers."

18 Jun 2018

Commerce Minister releases study report on Indian pharma exports to China

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"For India to make a strong pitch for pharma exports to China, the Department of Commerce in coordination with Embassy of India at Beijing commissioned a study on “Enhancing Indian Exports of Pharmaceutical products to China” under the Market Access Initiative Scheme (MAI) to have a proper understanding of Chinese market and to help the Indian pharma industry to evolve appropriate and focused strategy for entry of the Indian generic drugs. The study examines the health care market, pharmaceutical market the distribution system, procurement and bidding process and the regulatory landscape in China. The study also gives recommendations on how to access the Chinese market. China’ s health-care sector continues togrowrapidly with spending projected to grow from $ 357 billion in 2011 to $ 1 trillion in 2020. From pharmaceuticals to medical products to consumer health, China remains among the world’s most attractive markets, and by far the fastest-growing of all the large emerging ones. The study has been done by IMS Health team which worked with PHARMEXCIL and Industry stakeholders."

18 Jun 2018

Development of Indian Ports and its impact on Sri Lankan Port performance

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"Jawaharlal Nehru Port Urgency of infrastructure development and improving “Ease of Doing Business” Slow progress despite relaxation in India There had been much discussion about the development in Indian Ports and its impact on transshipment volumes to Sri Lanka. The recent removal of the Cabotage rule which restricted foreign flagged vessels from carrying export – import laden containers for trans-shipment and empty containers for repositioning on local routes have brought this topic once again to the lime light. So we thought it is timely to analyse the Ports and Shipping sector in India to assess the impact to Sri Lankan Ports Indian Port Performance It is well known that India’s domestic infrastructure is not up to the global standards. It is also a common knowledge that low quality infrastructure raises business costs and reduces global competitiveness. Despite efforts to improve infrastructure for several years, the results are not yet promising. This is evident from India’s low global rank in ease of trading across borders. It is also evident from the challenges India is facing in developing a global maritime hub through the port-led development initiative of ‘Sagarmala’. Ports integrate host countries with global production networks. Countries with high shares in global goods trade, or having trade as a major source of their national incomes, have no alternative other than having efficient ports. Depending on the size of the country’s coastline and degree of integration with regional and global economies, ports play multiple roles. These include not just facilitating exports, but also supplying imported resources and commodities to their hinterlands. Some ports specialise in trans-shipment and are vital for enabling cross-continental traffic and smooth functioning of global value chains. Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Busan, Jebel Ali and Colombo are some examples. India is yet to develop major trans-shipment ports. Vallarpadam in Kochi was supposed to be a major trans-shipment port, but hasn’t got going. Its trans-shipment container terminal is functioning at just around half of the installed capacity. More trans-shipment capacity is in the pipeline, as the Vizhinjam port develops on the Kerala coast. For becoming a global maritime hub, as the Sagarmala aims to, India must develop good trans-shipment facilities. But such facilities, are unlikely to produce results simply from more new ports or upgrading of existing ports. Till the cost of using port facilities in India remain uneconomic, they would have limited presence in global production networks. It is unfortunate that even relatively new port facilities in India hardly match the global efficiency standards. Several ports have come up in India over the last two decades. Except JNPT, which is ranked in the mid-30s on global port efficiency scale, no Indian port figures among the top 50 best ports in the world. This is because of high logistics costs of Indian ports. India’s low rank of 146 in the World Bank’s Trading Across Borders Index underlines the high cost. The costs for Indian ports continue to be high for two major sets of factors. The first of these are due to features of the ports themselves. While some of these point to quality of existing infrastructure, a substantive part includes procedures. The most important among the latter are lengthy processes that are still necessary for export and import. While customs operations in India are rapidly going paperless and converting to digital, inspections and scrutiny continue to be lengthy for cargo and other shipping operations. The second important set of reasons for high logistics costs of Indian ports pertains to issues arising from problems of movement in hinterland. Connectivity between ports and hinterland is still a formidable hindrance. “Sagarmala” is trying to address this issue by emphasising on multi-modal connectivity to ports. But connectivity improvement plans continue to be affected by operational problems on roads as well as perennial problems of acquiring land for expansion. Removal of Cabotage law Previously, the cabotage law did not allow a foreign flag ship to carry export-import cargo between Indian ports which has been transported on the same shipping line. The law did not even allow for empty containers to be transshipped between Indian ports on a foreign flagged shipping line. This affects the ‘Just in Time Logistics concept’ to an extent as it increases the cost of the end product and burdens the associated infrastructure. Easing the Cabotage rule and allowing transshipping export-import cargo at Indian ports would put a lot less pressure on the road and rail transportation in India, thus allowing for lower emissions and more efficient transportation. One must understand that India has a significant volume of domestic cargo and liberalising the local routes would therefore make supply chains more effective. Taking the automobile industry as an example it is evident that Indian automobile manufacturers are dispersed around the country which makes their supply chain more complex as the finished goods need to reach all parts of India. With the ease of Cabotage, these supply chains can experience cost advantages. Cabotage was relaxed in specific ports of India during different times. With the vision of developing Vallarpadam as a Trans-shipment Port, in 2012 the government relaxed regulation. However as stated above, its trans-shipment terminal is functioning at just around half of the installed capacity. Cabotage relaxation in isolation is just not enough. To reduce India’s dependence on neighbouring hub ports, a collective and concerted effort is required. Despite relaxation of regulation, Ports in India had been struggling to show progress. With a population of 1.3 billion people, India has only recorded a throughput of 13.7 million TEUs (2016/17 FY) whereas with the same population China records a throughput of 199 million containers. From 2008 to 2016 India’s container throughput has only increased by 57% whereas the container throughput of Sri Lanka has increased by 100% during the same period. How can Sri Lanka respond Sri Lankan Ports sector was growing at a steady pace with many interesting strides made last year. Colombo Port in particular became the 13th best connectivity port in the world and handled over 6.1 million TEUs in 2017. When looking at the World Bank’s Trading Across Borders Index, Sri Lanka is ranked 86 whereas India is ranked 146. This shows the ease of trading across borders provided by Sri Lanka and is a main factor to attract more cargo to Colombo. However our Port Capacity needs to continuously improve in order to stay ahead with the competition. Let’s talk about few other areas that Sri Lanka should urgently work on. Development of Port infrastructure has become a very urgent need. Currently the Colombo International Container Terminal with an 18m berth depth caters to modern ships and has reported a throughput of 2.3 million TEUs for the 12 months ending 31st December 2017, achieving impressive YOY growth of 19.3 per cent in volume. CICT is jointly developed by CMHI (China Merchants Holdings International) and SLPA (Sri Lanka Ports Authority) as part of the Colombo Port Expansion Project (CPEP). The terminal started operations in 2013 and is the biggest container facility currently in the Port of Colombo in terms of draft and crane size. However CICT is currently operating at 80% capacity and will soon exceed capacity which creates an urgent need for another deep water terminal. East Container Terminal therefore plays an important role in Sri Lanka’s journey of becoming the transshipment hub in Asia. Development and innovative changes in terms of infrastructure, strategic changes in thinking towards a more global centred maritime operation and radical changes in policies are necessary to revolutionise the island’s operations and standards in maritime. The 4th Industrial Revolution is now taking place through digitalisation, innovation, technology, data and internet. Digitalisation to drive efficiencies through automation, paperless trade, and electronic data interchange, cashless transactions, are therefore, important aspects that needs immediate attention. The need for a single window instead of having so many different authorities and stages for and the need for streamlining procedures, such as the elimination of different authorities boarding vessels as has been done in Singapore are measure of easing the process of doing business. We believe that this can be done through the formation of an independent maritime authority. The need of a quality passenger terminal, repair berths for urgent afloat repairs, rest and sanitary facilities for crew and passengers, bonded warehouse facilities are few other necessities to stay ahead of competition. With LNG gaining popularity as a clean energy, it is important to build facilities to handle LNG as most of the ships will be powered by LNG in the future. These requirements are regularly taken up by CASA as we consider it our responsibility to develop the industry to be in par with the best global ports. Conclusion Despite India’s huge population of 1.3 billion it handles approximately 13 Million TEUs per annum. Having said that it has a huge break bulk cargo market segment which can get containerised. With India building its container handling capacity, this break bulk traffic will gradually get converted into containerised cargo which will help the Port of Colombo to be of greater importance to the Indian trade. India building its container ports can only complement and supplement our efforts. Therefore expediting port infrastructure investments and improving “Ease of Doing Business” would keep Colombo ahead of competition. CASA actively engages in initiatives to improve Ease of Doing Business by way of consultation and by providing support in pilot projects initiated by government agencies. As the voice of the shipping industry the Association commits itself to improving investor confidence and facilitate trade."

18 Jun 2018

Transport, productivity, maritime and Brexit top the bill in week two of the International Business Festival

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"Global event being held at Exhibition Centre Liverpool until June 28 is expected to attracted 27,000 visitors and more than 150 delegations from across the world. Tony McDonough reports Transport, manufacturing, maritime & logistics and Brexit all take centre stage in the next few days as the second week of Liverpool’s International Business Festival gets under way. The festival, being held at Exhibition Centre Liverpool, started on June 12 and runs until June 28. It is expected to attracted 27,000 visitors and more than 150 delegations from across the world. Festival held in 2014 and 2016 generated an extra £600m in new business for UK firms and organisers say their target this year is to push that total past the £1bn mark. High profile speakers last week included CBI director general Carolyn Faibairn, who urged more companies to start trading overseas; former Minister for Merseyside Lord Heseltine who said said the UK’s education system was a ‘disgrace’; and the festival cultural director Jude Kelly who said the skills and talents of women were too often being ignored or under-utilised, holding back our economy. On Tuesday, June 19, the theme will ‘Future Transport’ with the question being posed: “As the world becomes better connected, should we move away from cities? How will China’s reimagination of the ‘Silk Road’ affect global commerce?” Speakers on the day will include Alex Cruz, chairman and chief executive of British Airways. Manufacturing is top of the agenda on Wednesday with questions such as why UK productivity remains stubbornly low and examining why business needs to be a force for good in the world. Speakers include Simon Jack, business editor of the BBC. Global logistics and shipping is the topic of the day in Thursday with the International Maritime Forum taking place at the festival. Speakers at that event include Chris Shirling-Rooke, chief executive of Mersey Maritime, the voice of Liverpool city region’s £4bn maritime sector. The thorny and all-encompassing issue of Brexit will also be tackled on Thursday and Gina Miller, one of the UK’s most prominent Brexit sceptics will be coming to Liverpool to offer her latest perspective on unfolding events."

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