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11 Sep 2017

London International Shipping Week 2017 Begins With The Opening Of The London Stock Exchange

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"The UK Government together with industry launched what will be the biggest London International Shipping Week yet, by opening trading on the London Stock Exchange (LSE). Flanked by Government Ministers, dignitaries as well as leaders from global shipping, Nikos Gazelidis, Global Head of Shipping Sales for ATPI Griffinstone and The Rt Hon John Hayes CBE, MP, Minister of State for Transport, performed the market opening ceremony. Jeremy Penn, Chairman of the London International Shipping Week 2017 Steering Group, said the opening of the LSE was a fitting way to launch this year’s LISW. “London International Shipping Week 2017 (LISW17) has exceeded all our expectations in terms of size and international reach, so much so that we are looking forward this week to welcoming thousands of leaders from the global shipping industry into what is widely acknowledged as the number one maritime financial services capital of the world,” he said. Taking place from September 11 to 15, LISW17 is the must-attend event of the global maritime calendar with more than 150 industry functions and unique networking opportunities. The events have been organised either by the industry at large through the various LISW17 Supporting Organisations or by Sponsoring Companies of LISW17. Britain’s famous Red Duster will fly proudly in new ports across the globe as part of our new trade drive after our exit from the EU. The flag of the UK’s Merchant Navy, more properly known as the Red Ensign, is one of the most admired and well known emblems on the high seas with every vessel sporting it under the protection of the Royal Navy. And now Shipping Minister John Hayes wants to increase the amount of trade carried under the Duster to showcase Britain’s trading and maritime might around the world. The Government is working to double the size of the UK Ship Register from 16 to 30 million gross tonnage (GT) after we leave and build a new partnership with the EU – propelling the UK from 15th place into the top ten global maritime nations. This will be good for the UK, helping boost trade and exports, create jobs and ultimately boost the economy across the UK."

11 Sep 2017

"BIMCO launches new guidance for seafarers on avoiding life boat accidents "

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"BIMCO has developed new guidance for seafarers on the safe launching and recovery of lifeboats using fall preventer devices (FPDs), to reduce the number of seafarer fatalities and injuries. Lifeboat accidents resulting in fatalities and serious injuries are all too frequent, despite efforts in recent years to reduce them. Most of the accidents happen in boats using conventional davits and on-load release systems. However, recently other parts of the suspension and lifting systems have been identified as points of failure too, particularly the wire rope falls on larger lifeboats. The International Maritime Organization (IMO) recommends the use of FPDs because so many recent lifeboat and rescue boat accidents have resulted in fatalities and injuries to seafarers. This constitutes an unacceptable risk and the use of FPDs is intended to be an interim measure to reduce this risk while new, safe IMO approved systems are developed. However, this process will take some years, and so FPDs are recommended for the intervening time until approval is secured. The new guidance has been produced in a handy illustrated pamphlet titled: 'Avoid Lifeboat Accidents'. It can be downloaded free of charge from the BIMCO website. Aron Sorensen, Head of Maritime Technology & Regulation at BIMCO said: ""We have seen too many accidents with lifeboats resulting in fatalities and injuries. This pamphlet provides the master and crew with solid, experience-based advice on the use of fall preventer devices (FPDs) during lifeboat operations. We sincerely hope that this pamphlet can help to reduce and avoid such tragic accidents in the future"". The 'Avoid Lifeboat Accidents' pamphlet gives clear guidance on how to prevent accidents with lifeboats and rescue boats equipped with on-load release systems. It advises whether additional precautions in the form of FPDs are appropriate, and if so, when and how to use them safely and effectively when launching and recovering the boat. Other failure devices, and new innovative hook systems are examined too. "

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."" "

08 Sep 2017

Invaders in the Arctic: How ships and climate change are bringing strange species to Nunavut

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"As higher temperatures proliferate in Canada's Arctic, scientists have begun to notice signs of encroaching species from warmer climes. As Ivan Semeniuk reports, the race is on for them to establish a baseline while they still can There's no mistaking the Crystal Serenity. Like a luxury hotel on water, the giant cruise ship loomed at the entrance to Cambridge Bay, Nunavut, late last month on its second trip through the Northwest Passage in as many summers. Faced with more than 1,500 passengers and crew – enough to nearly double the population of the tiny port town – the community carefully manages the ship's arrival. On this occasion, tourists were cycled through in batches for one-hour visits. The southern interlopers wore tangerine-coloured jackets, which made them easy to spot as they wandered the northern locale's gravel thoroughfares. This scene of an increasingly accessible Arctic was visible from the deck of the Polar Prince, whose stop in Cambridge Bay as part of the C3 Expedition happened to coincide with the cruise ship's arrival. The expedition, a Canada 150 initiative, is traversing the Northwest Passage with a cargo of scientists, artists, Indigenous elders, historians, community leaders, youth, journalists and educators. Among the participants on board for this leg of the trip was Kim Howland, a research scientist with Fisheries and Oceans Canada, who joined C3 to continue a DNA sampling study that has been part of the expedition's science mission since its voyage began in June. Unlike the easy-to-spot passengers from the Crystal Serenity, the visitors that Dr. Howland is most concerned about are hidden invaders that could soon be arriving in these waters as climate change opens the doors to increased maritime traffic. Dr. Howland's focus is on the invasive species that can travel across oceans in the ballast water of commercial ships and that have a devastating impact when they arrive in places where they don't belong. ""The Arctic hasn't had to face this problem until now,"" said Dr. Howland, who is part of DFO's Arctic Research Division, based in Winnipeg. ""But with ongoing warming and declines in sea ice making these waters more navigable – and more hospitable – it's a real concern."" Kim Howland, a research scientist with Fisheries and Oceans Canada, is exploring how climate change could bring invasive species that would transform Arctic waters. The DNA study Dr. Howland and her colleagues is conducting is aimed at giving scientists and officials a fair warning about precisely what is coming to Canada's northern seas. Rather than look for individual specimens of an invading species which may or may not be present, the study scoops up free-floating DNA from the water, searching for genetic traces of animals that are not native to the region. Because the C3 ship is making one continuous trip through the Arctic from east to west, it can provide a snapshot of where things stand in each region and how those regions compare. For those who live along the Great Lakes, where zebra mussels have been a scourge since they arrived in the 1980s, the problem of invasive species is not new. Similarly, Atlantic Canada has been coping with its share of interlopers. They include the European green crab, a tenacious predator that out-competes native species and can have a destabilizing effect on intertidal ecosystems – all to the detriment to local fisheries. Another threat is the common periwinkle, a type of sea snail that also originated in Europe, and which the strains the marine food chain by eating all the algae in sight, as well as transmitting a parasite that affects fish. Historically, these and other creatures were not deemed a threat to Arctic waters, as it was presumed the harsh conditions there would prohibit their growth. But Dr. Howland has just co-authored a modelling study which suggests that this is no longer the case for some potential invaders, and it will become less so as time goes on. ""The motivation was to try to understand the threat of the arrival of new species in a region where we don't have too much information,"" said Jesica Goldsmit, a postdoctoral researcher with DFO and lead author of the study, which was accepted for publication last week in the journal Biological Invasions. In the study, the researchers looked at how eight invasive species might fare in the Arctic 50 years from now based on climate forecasts. The result: ""We're predicting that all the species we modelled would survive,"" Dr. Howland said. While the degrees to which the species are likely to migrate northward vary, all of them would find a suitable habitat somewhere in the Arctic by the end of the 50-year run, the model shows. And all of them pose a threat to the ecosystem and traditional ways of life. One of the locations at highest risk is the relatively warmer Hudson Bay, which is considered an Arctic ecosystem even though it dips well below the Arctic Circle. Another is the Beaufort Sea, above the coast of Alaska and Western Canada, which is open to shipping coming up through the Bering Strait. Less clear is what will happen among the maze of channels and islands that makes up the central portion of Canada's High Arctic – also known as the Kitikmeot region – where the marine biology is far less explored. This is part of what has motivated Dr. Howland and other researchers who are participating in the C3, as well as others who are conducting studies in the area. And it's clear there is little time left to gather the baseline data before region is further transformed by warming temperatures and increased shipping traffic. Sea and land alike are affected by climate change. Jeff Saarela, a botanist and director of the Canadian Museum of Nature's Centre for Arctic Knowledge and Exploration, was also on the C3 last week, armed with a permit to collect plants as part of the expedition. Taking advantage of the ship's frequent stops in places that few scientists have ever been able to access, he spent much of the voyage with his knees in the dirt, trowel in hand, extracting specimens. ""We know the Arctic is the fastest-warming part of the planet, and we know that species are responding,"" Dr. Saarela said. ""To document when something has moved, you have to know what was there before."" Along the voyage there were hints of the transformation to come. After leaving Cambridge Bay, expedition leaders nosed their ship west and south to the now uninhabited hamlet of Bathurst Inlet. In contrast to Cambridge Bay, this location was rich with plant life, including alder, a member of the birch family, that crowded the empty buildings nearly to adult human height. The rising shrubs stood in startling contrast to a surrounding landscape dominated by the lichens and low ground cover of the Arctic tundra. Photos of a nearby location taken by the Canadian Arctic Expedition more than a century ago show much less foliage, says David Gray, a biologist and part-time historian on the C3 team who has been carefully comparing past and present records. Less well known is what has been happening in the area over past 50 years, at a time when climate change was likely just beginning to have a noticeable effect. It's a period that falls within the range of living memory, yet, ironically, after centuries of habitation by the Copper Inuit (so named because of the implements they fashioned out of natural copper deposits in the region), there is no one living permanently around Bathurst Inlet today to attest to the transformation. Nowhere did this absence feel more poignant last week than at Umingmaktok, formerly called Bay Chimo, a sheltered cove nestled within a breathtaking landscape of craggy cliffs and verdant swaths of tundra sloping down toward the sea. Compared to the relatively flat and grey-hued surroundings of Cambridge Bay, it's easy to see why the semi-nomadic Inuit chose to live here, within easy reach of a bountiful ocean and a landscape populated by caribou and muskox. In 1915, when the Canadian Arctic Expedition pulled in at Umingmaktok, biologist Rudolph Anderson recorded that the settlement had ""a good many people."" Umingmaktok had ‘a good many people’ living there in 1915, according to one Arctic expedition. But epidemics, residential schools and the lure of jobs elsewhere have since left it uninhabited. Umingmaktok had ‘a good many people’ living there in 1915, according to one Arctic expedition. But epidemics, residential schools and the lure of jobs elsewhere have since left it uninhabited. Mr. Anderson's assessment would prove short-lived. Epidemics imported from the south took their toll over the next few decades and in 1955, when a Distant Early Warning Line site was built at Cambridge Bay, a former trading post 150 kilometres to the northeast, it drew the Inuit off the land in search of work. Surrounding communities dwindled. For Umingmaktok the final nail in the coffin came in the mid-1990s when a hostel associated with the residential school in Cambridge Bay was shut down. Parents whose children were at the school for most of the year were then faced with having to move in order to look after them. Later this month Ms. Gross, who is executive director of the Kitikmeot Heritage Society is leading a long-anticipated trip to bring a group of Inuit elders from Cambridge Bay back to Bathurst Inlet where they once lived. The idea is to use the landscape to trigger memories of a way of life that is fast disappearing but remains fundamental to both Inuit identity and hopes for an economically and culturally robust North in the future. Meanwhile, in her own way, Kim Howland is using memory – in this case the molecular memory recorded in DNA – to help chart a course forward for the responsible management of the Arctic. ""It's part of what drew me to the region and why I keep going back,"" Dr. Howland said. ""It's a place where we have the opportunity to communicate more directly with the people who use the resources and depend on the environment and where there is a strong desire to preserve these for future generations."""

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)."

04 Sep 2017

How vulnerable shipping industry is to cyber attacks?

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"The one industry that is increasingly at risk from cyber attack is the shipping industry. A gap in upgrading their infrastructure is leaving them vulnerable. Here we have reports that suggest that ships in Norway will be sailing without a crew, just like how we have a driverless car. On the other side, we have news about the NotPetya ransomware attack that is crippling the shipping industry. As hackers become more capable of breaking into any system across the world, Cybersecurity experts have advised shipping companies about the vulnerabilities they face. Nearly every ship rely on electronic devices for their operation from communications to logistics. Software is required to run the engine from GPS to chart display information. Literally, everything happens on computers. The shipping industry involves high-value assets and that is an added incentive for hackers because they know ships move valuable cargo on a daily basis. Security experts have expressed deep dismay at hackers attacking shipping firms, and they are successful in doing so. While all this happens, we have seen how the shipping industry has remained relatively unprepared. Just a few days back, the security firm Cyberkeel checked the email activity of a shipping firm and was shocked at what it saw. “Someone has hacked into the systems of the company and planted a small virus,” explains co-founder Lars Jensen. “They would then monitor all emails to and from people in the finance department.” When a supplier sends an email asking for payment, the virus would change the content of the email and the account number, thus deceiving the company to transfer the money into the account owned by the cyber criminals. All this happens before the recipient of the email reads it “The shipping industry needs to protect itself better against hackers — the fraud case dealt with by CyberKeel was just another example,” Jensen said. “In June, we saw how NotPetya ransomware created havoc and one of the hardest hit was Maersk.” Now, as things get back to normal, Maersk has revealed that the total cost of dealing with the ransomware was US$300 million. The consequences of a NotPetya cyber attack on the Maersk resulted in a shutdown of their port terminals. Today, shipping companies realize that NotPetya’s attacks on Maersk have pushed these companies against the wall. The shipping industry has finally woken up to the harsh reality that their operation is vulnerable to digital disruption. Ships with more computers are potentially vulnerable, and it’s a great cause for alarm. Malware and ransomware are designed in a way that it spreads from one computer to another on a network. “We know a cargo container, for example, where the switchboard shuts down after ransomware found its way on the vessel,” says Patrick Rossi, who works within the ethical hacking group at independent advisory organization DNV GL. It’s obvious that the shipping industry, like many others, has a lot of work to do when it comes to cyber attack. The International Maritime Organization has introduced certain guidelines to educate ship owners about the vulnerability. The shipping industry carries 90 percent of the world’s trade, and we have seen how Maersk has experienced significant damage to its business operation, thanks to NotPetya. Now before the world asks what’s next, it’s high time the shipping industry made a comprehensive effort to safeguard its systems."

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