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12 Aug 2017

BIMCO eLearning dramatically refreshed

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BIMCO - the world's largest shipping association - has launched the first of a range of updated eLearning courses tailored to meet shipping professionals' needs, using the very latest content authoring technology and platform. The first short documentary course is NYPE 2015, which is based on one of the most popular individual contracts available through BIMCO, and only takes an hour! The other two courses, one covers Time Chartering and the other Voyage Chartering, provide the latest details in depth. They are for anyone wanting to go to the next level in their specialist chartering knowledge by tapping into BIMCO's expert knowledge and advice. The courses will be available on BIMCO's new look and feel eLearning platform Docebo, which is an intuitive and easy to use platform that allows the users to choose tutor-led study and/or flexible untutored sessions whenever it suits them. The training is centred around specially designed interactive digital books which are written by industry experts and are unique in the industry. All the information is delivered in the latest HTML 5 format which is smart, user-friendly, highly responsive and easily accessible on computer, tablet, smart phone or via the app. A further five courses are in the pipeline. They all focus on the subjects that BIMCO 'knows best' using the organisation's unrivalled expertise to deliver specialist training content that goes above and beyond normal expectations. Angus Frew, Secretary General and CEO at BIMCO said: "Our new training packages will be delivered using the very latest digital technology, it's responsive and intuitive there is quite simply nothing else like it out there, added to which our unrivalled industry expertise delivers the very latest expert content in the most flexible way possible for our course participants. "NYPE 2015 is the most widely used dry cargo time charter party in the industry, and so it seemed logical to use this most topical and sought-after subject to demonstrate and showcase what our new eLearning resources can deliver. "This is just the first step for BIMCO in its ambition to be the first choice and unrivalled leader in any training relating to chartering and of course, using our many BIMCO documents".

14 Jul 2017

Shipping Ministry appointed committee suggests ways to upgrade port hospitals under PPP

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"The Ministry of Shipping had constituted a committee to study how the existing healthcare infrastructure at major ports can be upgraded under PPP mode to provide world class health services, along with affordable medical and paramedical education. Presenting its report to Shri Nitin Gadkari, Minister of Shipping and Road Transport and Highways in New Delhi today, the committee has indicated possible alternatives by which port hospitals can be upgraded under PPP mode so that their healthcare facilities are augmented. The report has also indicated the feasibility of starting of medical college and postgraduate specialty courses attached to port hospitals. According to the report, the hospitals at Mumbai Port which has more than 200 beds can be taken up for this, while hospitals at Cochin, Chennai, Vishakhapatnam and Kolkata ports can be considered for upgradation into tertiary care facilities, with a particular super specialty being assigned to a specific port hospital, which then becomes the super specialty center for all referral purposes by the other port hospitals. As such, Port Trust Hospital, Chennai could be availed for development of tertiary care facilities in the domain of cardiovascular thoracic surgery, Port Trust Hospital Cochin for nephrology, Port Trust Hospital Kolkata for neurology and neurosurgery and Port Trust Hospital Vishakhapatnam for gastroenterology and surgical gastroenterology respectively. The report has also indicated certain policy changes that need to be brought in with the objective of widening the ambits of PPP mode and teachers eligibility qualification under the relevant regulations. Speaking on the occasion Shri Gadkari said that if port hospitals can be upgraded under PPP mode and if medical colleges and PG courses can be started at these hospitals, it will not only enhance the quality of health care available to people in and around the port area, but will also create educational and employment opportunities for the local youth. He said that this move will also help fill the huge shortage of doctors and paramedical staff in the country, and will make ports the drivers of economic change, enabling equitable and inclusive growth of the local area. He said this will also usher in the era of Smart Ports, Smart Cities and Smart Hospitals. The committee was constituted on 6th May, 2016 under the chairmanship of Dr. Ved Prakash Mishra, Chancellor of Krishna Institute of Medical Sciences (Deemed University), Karad and Chairman of the Academic Committee of the Medical Council of India, New Delhi."

09 May 2017

The FMC declines to address Japanese carriers’ Tripartite Agreement on jurisdictional grounds

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"The Federal Maritime Commission (“FMC” or “Commission”) declined to address Nippon Yusen KK (“NYK”), Mitsui O.S.K. Lines Ltd. (“MOL”), and Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha Ltd.’s (“K-Line”) (collectively the “parties”) Tripartite Agreement (the “Agreement”) on jurisdictional grounds. As the final event of a historic year of consolidation, the three Japanese carriers announced plans in Fall 2016 to merge container operations through the formation of a joint venture, with services beginning by April 1, 2018. While terminal operations worldwide (excluding Japan) will be included in the joint venture, other components of the companies such as bulk and ferry services will remain unintegrated. The Agreement - filed with the Commission on March 24, 2017 - sought FMC approval to share information in advance of the parties’ formation of this merged entity. The Shipping Act, as amended, vests the Commission with the power to approve and oversee cooperative agreements between common carriers, commonly referred to as alliances. However, the Shipping Act does not provide the FMC jurisdiction in any regard over pure horizontal mergers, a power primarily reserved for the United States Department of Justice, Antitrust Division (“DOJ” or the “Department”). It was on this jurisdictional ground that the Commission declined to approve the Agreement: “[t]he Shipping Act does not provide the [FMC] with authority to review and approve mergers. After careful consideration, the Commission determined that parties to the Tripartite Agreement were ultimately establishing a merged, new business entity and that action is among the type of agreements excluded from FMC review.” On May 5, 2017, Chairman Michael Khouri issued a statement doubling down on the FMC’s deferral of substantive antitrust review, and clarified that the Commission had made no judgment as to the efficacy of the parties’ proposed merger: “[t]he Commission made only one finding – that the Tripartite Agreement falls outside the jurisdiction of the Shipping Act of 1984. The Commission made no determination of any kind regarding the agreement parties’ commercial activities regarding their compliance with general antitrust laws that are administered by other federal agencies.” The denial comes at a pivotal time in the shipping industry, and among growing tension between the FMC and the DOJ. April 1st marked the long-awaited commencement of services under THE Alliance and the OCEAN Alliance, with the Maersk/MSC/HMM Strategic Cooperation Agreement coming into place on March 30th, separate and apart from the 2M Alliance; all three agreements received the FMC’s blessing, despite the DOJ’s sustained criticism. The Department has long taken the public position that the general antitrust exemption for carrier agreements is no longer justified, and that the shipping industry exhibits no characteristics that warrant departure from traditional competition policy. As such, the Department has undertaken an independent probe into price-fixing in the shipping industry, in conjunction with mass consolidation and normalizing freight rates. In furtherance of its investigation, the Department served subpoenas on top executives of twenty of the world’s largest carriers less than two weeks preceding the new alliances’ commencement. The FMC, mindful of its narrow Shipping Act mandate, is likely operating with increased vigilance in what has become a complicated and charged regulatory environment over this historic year of consolidation."

26 Apr 2017

DNV GL launches new PSC Planner application

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"Classification society DNV GL has launched a new application on its My DNV GL portal – the Port State Control (PSC) Planner. The PSC Planner has been designed to help ship owners, managers and operators increase their operational efficiency by giving them an overview of a vessel’s or fleet’s PSC performance and to benchmark that performance against the IACS classed world fleet. It also helps the crew on board by showing them particular areas to focus on when they are preparing for their next inspection. “The rise of risk based port inspection regimes means it is more important than ever for ships to keep a clean PSC record,” says Claudia Ohlmeier, Group Leader Port State Control, DNV GL – Maritime. “With the PSC Planner shore side and on board personnel can see both the big picture and ship specific details. Crews can easily access the inspection results of their vessel and trends at their next port of call, which lets them ensure they are focusing on critical areas, while onshore staff can easily see where their fleet ranks and can identify and prioritise items or underperforming vessels for targeted improvements. Ultimately this is all about working toward the goal of having a safe ship, with a good reputation, that is complying with the rules effectively and efficiently.” The PSC Planner provides information on a vessel’s last PSC inspection as well as a summary of the results of all PSC inspections over the last 36 months. It also gives an overview of the PSC performance of both fleets and individual vessels, as well as benchmarking against the IACS classed world fleet. For vessels that are in DNV GL class or use other DNV GL services, the PSC Planner offers extra tailored data. It shows customers the NIR (New Inspection Regime) risk factors for the Paris, Tokyo, and Black Sea MoUs and their PSC inspection priorities. For individual vessels, customers can check the Ship Risk Factor associated with calling at a selected port and the top PSC inspection priorities in any port. Customers can also check a list of the top deficiencies their ship has received in the main PSC code categories and a list of the top deficiencies that have been identified in a selected port, in general and for the same ship type. The PSC Planner can also create a bespoke checklist for customers with the top ten focus items based on the ship and port so they can prepare optimally for individual vessel inspections, saving valuable time and effort."

25 Apr 2017

Emirates Maritime Arbitration Centre sponsors Sea Asia conference in Singapore

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"Emirates Maritime Arbitration Centre (EMAC) is sponsoring the 6th edition of Sea Asia in Singapore. Taking place between 25 and 27 April 2017, the three-day conference and exhibition is co-organised by Seatrade and the Singapore Maritime Foundation and is considered one of the foremost events on the maritime industry calendar. It features over 400 regional and international exhibitors and is attended by more than 16,000 participants from 85 countries, including key decision makers and leaders from across the shipping and maritime industry. 2017 marks the first year that EMAC will be attending the Sea Asia conference. Officially launched in late 2016 to provide a trusted standard of maritime arbitration in the Middle East and support the UAE’s ambitions to become a global maritime hub, EMAC addresses the sectors’ ongoing need for specialised maritime arbitration and mediation services. During Sea Asia, EMAC representatives Mr. Majid Bin Bashir, EMAC Vice Chairman and Secretary General, Mr. Edward Newitt and Mr. Richard Briggs, Executive Committee Members at EMAC and Ms. Maali Khader, Case Manager will be introducing the Centre’s vision and services, as well as outlining the many benefits that EMAC has to offer, both the regional and international maritime communities. Delegates will be introduced to the purpose of EMAC and its impact on the regional and international shipping community, as well as the importance of arbitration and alternative dispute resolution for the maritime sector. By bridging the gap between East and West and collaborating with established international maritime centres, EMAC can offer a timely and efficient services, tailored to the needs of regional and multinational clients. “As one of the most prestigious dates on the maritime calendar, EMAC is honoured to join Sea Asia this year as a sponsor,” says Mr. Majid Bin Bashir, EMAC Vice Chairman and Secretary General. “It is through platforms such as Sea Asia that we can introduce EMAC’s services to an international network of industry professionals. This enables us to work together to transform the industry, tackle the challenges ahead and discover exciting new opportunities.” He adds, “We look forward to connecting EMAC with the global maritime community and developing a cohesive relationship between our centre and other regions across the world.” During EMAC’s visit to Singapore, Mr. Majid Bin Bashir will meet with His Excellency Dr. Mohammed Omar Abdullah Belfaqeeh the UAE Ambassador to Singapore, to discuss the demands of the changing regional and international trading environments and initiate an ongoing dialogue between the region’s respective maritime sectors. Mr. Bin Bashir and EMAC representatives will also be meeting with key figures in the business, including arbitration and maritime communities in Singapore such as the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC), the Singapore Chamber of Maritime Arbitration and Maxwell Chambers."

18 Apr 2017

Plant Investment Readies Evoqua For First Wave Of Ballast Water Treatment Orders

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"Evoqua Water Technologies is upgrading its SeaCURE® system production facility in Caldicot, Wales, to meet market demand for ballast water treatment systems, as shipowners look to comply with the entry into force of the Ballast Water Management Convention this coming September. The upgrade will enable Evoqua to expand production of fully assembled SeaCURE BWTS skids. In addition to the expanded capabilities in Caldicot, additional production capacity will be provided by partners who will be licensed to build the SeaCURE system. “Over the next five years, ballast water system suppliers could struggle to meet demand if they fail to invest in their production and supply lines,” said Chris Thomas, Director of Operations, Evoqua (UK). “The investments will mean that shipowners and shipyards will not have to worry about long lead times, which could delay installation and commissioning schedules, resulting in vessel off-hire.” The investment in Evoqua’s production plant includes a new compressed air system, dedicated welding bays and upgraded testing facilities, while component and assembly lines and warehouse capacity have been optimised utilising LEAN processes to streamline production and delivery. Matt Granitto, Business Manager, Ballast Water, Evoqua (USA), said: “Roughly 4000 vessels have been fitted with a treatment system to date, leaving about 30,000 vessels needing to retrofit an effective solution within the next five years. With concerns having already been raised about a potential supply and installation bottleneck, shipowners and yards do need to plan ahead and make sure that suppliers can deliver on time. The investments we have made will allow us meet the market requirement.” The US-headquartered water treatment specialist is also nearing the market introduction of its next generation electrochlorination cell technology – the core component of its dual-function SeaCURE ballast water management system. “We have over fifty years’ of knowledge and expertise in electrochlorination-based water treatment and have been able to perfect the technology, so while other suppliers are still proving their systems we are now optimising the system and looking at standardising production,” added Granitto. To ready itself for that first wave of BWMS orders, Evoqua has honed its technology to reduce the system footprint to meet customer requirements. “We've drastically improved the size of the system which is now one of the smallest electrochlorination-based ballast water units on the market. We have adapted it as a modular system, reducing components and installation time and complexity,” said Granitto, adding that operation and service simplicity has been the key driver behind the optimisation."

13 Apr 2017

Trump administration moving ahead with ending Jones Act exemptions

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"The Trump administration appears to be moving ahead with an Obama administration proposal aimed at reversing long-standing Jones Act exemptions and is not considering weakening its criteria for waivers from the maritime law, a US Customs and Border Protection spokeswoman said. Those waivers “may only be granted if necessary in the interest of national defense,” as they traditionally have been, Katrina Skinner, the CBP spokeswoman, said in a statement to S&P Global Platts. The issue centers on a change CBP proposed on January 18, just two days before the Obama administration ended, that would revoke decades of rulings allowing foreign-built vessels to transport certain equipment, such as repair pipe, between US ports and oil and gas operations in US waters. The change, which is backed by the US maritime industry and a bipartisan swath of Congress, would represent a significant strengthening of the federal government’s enforcement of the Jones Act. The 100-year-old Jones Act requires vessels transporting goods between US ports to be US-flagged, US-built and majority US-owned. The proposed change is opposed by drilling and marine contractors and the American Petroleum Institute, which last week released a study claiming the change could reduce oil and natural gas production in the US Gulf of Mexico by about 500,000 b/d over the next 13 years. In her statement, CBP’s Skinner said the agency was accepting comments on the proposed change through April 18 and is expected to issue a decision on the potential change by mid-May. While Skinner declined to comment further, sources said the Trump administration has indicated that it plans to go forward with the proposed change and will likely oppose any efforts seen as weakening the Jones Act. Proponents of the change pointed to initial statements made by members of Trump’s cabinet in favor of the maritime law. “The Jones Act is the law of the land and it will be obeyed unless the Congress changes its mind on that,” Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao said during her January 11 confirmation hearing. “I intend to consult closely with Congress on any Jones Act-related issues and ensure that our position in trade negotiations does not undermine our ability to enforce the statute,” US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said during his March 17 confirmation hearing. During a press call last week, Jack Gerard, API’s president and CEO, said his trade association was not pushing for a repeal of the Jones Act, but said the exceptions needed to stay in place since there were not enough US-flagged vessels needed to meet demand from US Gulf operations. But Aaron Smith, president and CEO of the Offshore Marine Service Association, said this issue will be solved by ending the long-standing exemptions that have allowed companies to “skirt” the Jones Act. “The only relevant economic impact is the adverse impact that CBP’s erroneous rulings have had for decades on US shipowners, mariners and shipyards,” Smith said. “CBP’s course correction ensures that more ships will be built in US shipyards employing US citizens.” In a March 30 letter to Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, 30 House members, including seven Democrats, wrote that the exceptions, which they called “flawed letter rulings,” have hurt US maritime and shipyard industries. “The CBP action restores the integrity and intent of the Jones Act in the offshore maritime industry, and will create American jobs and opportunities to the benefit of our national and economic security,” the House members wrote. The Obama administration initially proposed ending Jones Act exemptions in 2009, but faced opposition, including within the administration, and apparently delayed the effort until January 18."

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