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Thursday, May 28, 2020

International Maritime Organization News

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China's VLSFO Exports Rose By a Third in April

China's low-sulphur marine fuel exports rose by a third in April compared with March to the highest level yet after it waived export taxes for domestic refiners to meet shipping demand, Chinese customs data showed.Chinese refiners began exporting in January very low sulphur fuel oi (VLSFO) with a maximum sulphur content of 0.5% to comply with emission rules for ships from the International Maritime Organization.Data from China's General Administration of Customs showed April exports of the ship fuel reached nearly 1.43 million tonnes…

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Shipping Plan Would Reel International Emissions into EU Carbon Market

The European Union's carbon market could capture a large chunk of emissions from outside Europe if the bloc succeeds in including shipping in the scheme, according to the European Commission's first report on maritime CO2 emissions.Pollution from ships plying international waters typically escapes countries' domestic emissions-cutting targets, but the EU's executive has said the sector must contribute to its trillion-euro push to achieve a "climate neutral" economy by 2050.It wants to curb shipping's carbon footprint by adding it to the Europe-wide emissions trading system (ETS)…

Figure 1. The near­coastal areas of the world’s oceans have been classed into 66 large, transnational marine ecosystems, known as the large marine ecosystems (LMEs). Taken from World Ocean Review Living with the Oceans. 5 Coasts – 2017. Image: The Author

Tech Talk: Managing Ship Biofouling During Layups due to COVID-19

Biofouling control measures for ships are usually selected to match their operational profiles, and so what happens when constant service ships become idle for prolonged periods or operate at slower service speeds? Will they become vulnerable to fouling, and what measures can be taken to reduce the risk? These questions can best be answered by understanding the biology of the waters in which the vessels are located, the ecology of the different immersed parts of the ship, the biofouling control methods that have been applied or in use…

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FMC to Investigate Alleged Discriminatory Canadian BWMS Regulations

The U.S. Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) said it will initiate an investigation into whether ballast water regulations proposed by the Government of Canada discriminate against U.S. flag vessel operators in the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River.The FMC commissioners voted unanimously to accept a petition filed by trade group the Lake Carriers’ Association (LCA) asking the commision to perform the investigation and examine the detriment and harm to the U.S. flag fleet resulting…

Source: BIMCO

BIMCO: 2020 and the Collapse of Bunker Fuel Markets

The sulfur regulation from the International Maritime Organization (IMO) that came into force on 1 January 2020 took the center stage in the shipping industry at outset of the new decade. Four months on, the spotlights have turned to the coronavirus and the OPEC+ oil price war.The outlook for global economic growth remains bleak as the world is faced with the largest recession since the Great Depression in the 1930s.Commodity prices have declined across the board and most recently…

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IMO Endorses Shipping Industry's 12-step Plan for Crew Changes

The need for ships to change crews and for the world's 1.2 million seafarers to be able to fly home at the end of their periods of service have emerged as two of the biggest challenges facing the shipping industry as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.To help governments put in place coordinated procedures to facilitate the safe movement of seafarers, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) issued a 12-step plan to 174 member states, providing them with a roadmap to free…

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Cyprus Adopts Formal Crew Change Process

The Cyprus Shipping Deputy Ministry (SDM) formally announced it has adopted a new process to facilitate crew changes during the COVID-19 pandemic. Crew changes for vessels are possible in Cyprus provided certain conditions are met. The relevant decrees issued by the Ministry of Health also permit the long-term stay in anchorage of vessels, including cruise ships (warm lay-up).Cyprus is actively supporting and implementing such measures, in support of recommendations from the International Maritime Organization (IMO)…

Pia Meling, president of WISTA Norway (Photo: WISTA)

National WISTA Associations Offer Free Membership for Seafarers

The Women’s International Shipping and Trading Association announced a new initiative aimed at helping seafarers.WISTA Norway, WISTA UK, WISTA Singapore, WISTA Brazil, and WISTA Argentina have come together to offer free WISTA membership for seafarers through August 31, 2020. Membership allows seafarers to access the largest network of female managers in the shipping industry, as well as online seminars, webinars and workshops. The idea for the project came from WISTA Norway.Pia Meling…

(Photo: IMO)

IMO Postpones More Meetings Due to COVID-19

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) said its meetings scheduled to be held in July, including the next regular session of the IMO Council, have been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as the UN shipping agency moves to revise its meeting program for the remainder of 2020.The IMO said it  has drawn up a priority list of meetings to be considered by the Council at its 32nd extraordinary session that will be held by correspondence from May to July. This follows the 31st session of the Council that took place…

Rear Adm. Melissa Bert (Photo: USCG)

Rear Adm. Bert Makes History with New USCG Role

The U.S. Coast Guard announced Friday Rear Adm. Melissa Bert has been invested as judge advocate general and chief counsel of the Coast Guard. Bert is the service’s first woman to hold that office.Bert was most recently the director of Governmental and Public Affairs for the Coast Guard, where she was responsible for external engagement with Congress, the media and other inter-governmental entities.As judge advocate general and chief counsel, Bert will lead a group of legal professionals who are responsible for the delivery of all legal services in support of the Coast Guard's missions…

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China to Issue VLSFO Quotas in Move to Grow Bunker Market Share

China is set to release its first-ever quotas to export very low sulphur fuel oil (VLSFO) with total volumes of 10 million tonnes for this year, six industry officials with knowledge of the matter said on Tuesday.The quotas, which came in the wake of Beijing’s policy in January to offer tax sweeteners to boost local production of the fuel, paves the way for Chinese refiners to almost fully cover the demand from its coastal bonded marine fuel market of 12-14 million tonnes annually.The quotas will be issued to four state-run firms - Sinopec Group, CNPC, China National Offshore Oil Company (CNOO

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Willis Towers Watson Launches New Cyber Insurance, CyNav for Ship Owners

Willis Towers Watson unveiled a new type of cyber insurance product for shipowners that redesigns standard cyber policies to better navigate the risks for ship operators in the digital era.The solution, CyNav, addresses cyber threats in the broadest sense, including losses that occur from cyber-related business interruptions, even when the cyber events originate with third party IT service providers.CyNav’s primary focus is to support the continuity of maritime businesses and…

MPA Awards Two Bunker Licenses

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) has awarded two new bunker supplier licences to Minerva Bunkering and TFG Marine, following its call for applications for new licences in December 2019.Bunkering services in the Port of Singapore and oil trading remain resilient despite the global COVID-19 pandemic. Bunker sales in Singapore grew 5.4%, from 12.07 million tonnes in the first quarter of 2019 to 12.72 million tonnes in the first quarter of 2020.MPA and Enterprise Singapore (ESG) welcome the entry of Minerva Bunkering and TFG Marine…

Photo courtesy of North P&I

New Dashboard Tracks COVID-19 Response Measures

A new COVID-19 Tracking Tool developed by global marine insurer North has been made available as a shared resource to the International Group of P&I Clubs.The online tool, first released by North in February, was formally launched via the IG website this week. It details the extent of COVID-19 and the numerous response measures that have been introduced in a single digital dashboard, including country and port specific advice for shipowners, charterers, operators and others.The interactive tool draws on information provided by IG club correspondents worldwide…

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LR Supporting Critical Supply Chains During Pandemic

Lloyd’s Register (LR) says it is driving proactive collaboration with key shipping stakeholders to support the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) Coronavirus (COVID-19) recommendations for facilitating maritime trade – including the movement on food and medical supplies – during the pandemic.Following the publication of the circular on March 27, to all IMO member states, as well as governmental and intergovernmental agencies, where IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim stressed it was “crucially important that the flow of commerce by sea should not be unnecessarily disrupted”…

(Photo: ISWAN)

New Campaign Aims to Raise Emergency Funds for Seafarers

A new crowdfunding campaign aims to raise funds for developing world seafarers and their families that have been severely impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.The world's seafarers, especially those from poorer countries, are facing a number of challlenges amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Many are in lockdown with casual contracts and unable to work; others are facing difficulties due to lockdowns when they leave ships and are unable to return to their families with costs and little income coming in…

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WMU Calls On Communities To Protect Seafarers’ Rights

As the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) apex institution for maritime and ocean education, the World Maritime University (WMU) adds its voice to widespread concerns over the serious effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the health, wellbeing, and safety of seafarers.As countries around the world retreat to fight the pandemic, travel restrictions and financial losses are hitting shipping and other ocean-related industries hard. At sea, maritime workers are bearing the…

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Hanseaticsoft Urges Companies to Help Seafarers Reduce Stress

This year as Stress Awareness month (April) coincides with a global pandemic Hanseaticsoft, a provider of maritime software is urging shipping companies to tackle stress and depression amongst seafarers by ensuring connectivity at sea.During the coronavirus crisis this is even more imperative. Global travel restrictions and changes to crew change over frequencies could start to have a negative impact on seafarer’s health and well being if they have to stay on their ship longer…

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IMO Postpones Meetings Due to COVID-19

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has postponed a number of meetings following the global coronavirus outbreak.London-headquartered IMO said the move takes into account the decision of the UK on March 5 to move toward the "delay" phase of its coronavirus action plan: a guide to what you can expect across the UK, similar actions adopted by other UN agencies, and the increased difficulties for delegates from IMO Member States traveling from abroad to attend IMO meetings.Specifically…

IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim (File photo: IMO)

Video: IMO Secretary General Kitack Lim Weighs in on COVID-19

International Maritime Organization (IMO) Secretary-General stressed vital need to maintain commerce by sea and protect seafarers' welfare in face of coronavirus shutdown.IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim issued the following statement addressing the effect of the coronavirus pandemic on the shipping industry and the global supply chain:The spread of the coronavirus has placed the entire world in an unprecedented situation. To slow the spread of the disease and mitigate its impacts, travel is being curtailed and borders are being closed. Transport hubs are being affected.

Tor Svanes, the founder and CEO of NAVTOR.

E-Navigation is the Future of Shipping

Trading worldwide without electronic tools is no longer an option, young navigators and crew are switched on to digital technology and they want to have this new technology at their fingertips rather than the messy, slow and labour and paper-intensive methods of the past.Tor Svanes, the founder and CEO of NAVTOR, believes that electronic chart and display information systems (ECDIS) is now a must have navigational tool in the modern era.ECDIS has become the modus operandi on all ships…

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IMO Urges Governments to Allow Crew Changes

United Nations shipping agency the International Maritime Organization (IMO) has echoed industry calls for governments to grant special travel exemptions to seafarers in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.In a Circular Letter (link) issued on Monday, the IMO distributed a series of recommendations for governments and relevant national authorities, proposed by a broad cross-section of global industry associations representing the maritime transportation sector.The Circular Letter specifically calls on governments to designate professional seafarers and marine personnel…

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Outlook for India's Ship-breaking Turns Negative

The outlook for India's ship-breaking industry has turned negative amid volatile scrap prices and a falling rupee, says ICRA.The country's ship-breaking activity, while tepid during CY2019 due to subdued demand and depressed scrap prices, gathered momentum at the start of CY2020 following the implementation of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) sulphur cap regulations from January 2020. But weakness in the international shipping markets further aggravated by the coronavirus has since dampened sentiments.

(Photo: IMO)

IMO Shuts Headquarters due to Coronavirus

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has closed its headquarters in London as a precautionary measure due to the coronavirus outbreak, the United Nations' shipping agency said on Thursday.The IMO said the move follows an assessment on Wednesday by the World Health Organization, which said the virus can be characterized as a pandemic.IMO headquarters will be closed to staff and visitors on Thursday and Friday, and staff are working from home where possible, the agency…

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Ports' Coronavirus Roadblocks Put Seafarers at Risk

The COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic taking hold around the world may leave seafarers without vital medicines and provisions as well as important spare parts, according to the International Shipsuppliers & Services Association (ISSA).Some ports have been refusing certain vessels entry because of previous port calls at coronavirus-affected areas, causing some to sail off without taking on the vital supplies they need to operate.ISSA, which looks after the interests of the world’s ship chandlers…

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Improving Oily Water Separators

Oily water separators (OWS) have been a common fixture of a ship’s machinery space for many decades. With the amount of experience, research and legislation that has gone into them, it would be easy to think that their use would almost be hassle free. However, going by the amount of OWS violations still being recorded by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) it is evident that many seafarers are still encountering problems while operating them. As concerns about environmental pollution grow, it is likely that the rules governing OWS use will only become stricter.