1. Indian ship owners, seafarers up in arms against new cabotage rules
13 July 2018 : Indian ship owners and seafarers working on totally different ships, are up in arms against Union Shipping Ministry’s new regulation to allow foreign ships to work in Indian waters without any pre-condition.
Earlier the foreign flagged vessels were permitted to carry cargo only if Indian flagged vessels were not available. That too if DG, shipping, received a no-objection certificate (NoC) from the Indian National Ship owners’ Association (INSA), a Mumbai-based trade association. However now this restriction has been relaxed and ships with foreign flags are required to only obtain a licence under Section 407 of the MSA to operate in Indian waters.
“This decision is likely to result in major gains for companies which own and operate private ports in India, which import coal and agricultural products. This is the latest move in a policy tussle going for many years and appears to tilt the balance in the shipping industry and the ports sector, hugely in favour of major multinational shipping lines and private port operators to the detriment of Indian shipping companies and government-run ports,” a spokesman for NUSI said and added that due to this move, Indian ships will lose business and eventually “thousands of seafarers, who include officers, petty officers and ratings, will be rendered jobless”.
“Indian companies borrow at 12-14% and the debt has a tenure of about seven years while foreign companies borrow from 0 to 2% for a period of 10-12 years. As such the per day repayment cost for Indian companies is much higher. Such a skewed borrowing cost makes services of foreign ships in coastal waters much more competitive than Indian-registered ships”, sources said and added that in terms of fuel too, there is a cost advantage for the foreign ships. Foreign ships get fuel at cheaper prices in overseas ports while Indian ships pay 17-20% higher cost for fuel in Indian waters”.
Most of the ports are also opposed to the change and JNPT has also expressed apprehension about the change. The main point of contention in the new rules relates to a stipulation that once cabotage relaxation is granted to an existing container handling port, it should be able to tranship at least 50% or more of the total containers handled during the first year. The new port would have to achieve this level in the second year after a gestation period of one year. Otherwise, the relaxation granted would be revoked and the port/s will not be considered again for such relaxation for the next three years.
But according to official sources in Union Shipping Ministry, the decision is part of India’s plan to promote coastal shipping on major scale. At present only 100 million MT of cargo is moved along the Indian coast in India and 80% of it comprises petroleum products, coal and iron ore. A study by the Shipping Ministry has shown that coastal shipping could carry about 230-280 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) of coal, cement, iron and steel, food grains, fertilisers, petroleum, oil and lubricants, which could save Rs21,000-27,000 crore by 2025. Besides, by easing cabotage regulations, India could attract more containerised cargo by reducing time and cost for mainline vessels that now trans-ship containers at neighbouring hub ports. It would eventually help India in building a successful trans-shipment hub.
There are over 1200 Indian merchant ships with about 10300 million MT total gross registered tonnage (GRT) and 14.500 million MT dead weight tonnage (DWT). India ranks 15th in the world in terms of total DWT. At present India supplies around 12.8% of officers and around 14.5% of ratings to the world seafaring community.
2. More accurate sulfur verification for compliance to IMO 2020 rule needed: BIMCO
12 July 2018 : The world’s largest shipping association, the Baltic and International Maritime Council, or BIMCO, has called upon the International Maritime Organization to adopt more correct sulfur verification procedures and an effective implementation plan for compliance to the International Maritime Organization 2020 rule.
This comes as an intersessional meeting of the IMO on sulfur implementation is being held over July 9-13. The IMO rule on the 0.5% limit on sulfur in marine fuels, compared with 3.5% now, can get January 1, 2020. It applies outside designated emission control areas where the limit is already 0.1%.
“The current IMO verification procedure contained in Appendix VI to MARPOL Annex VI is a mash-up of some elements from the ISO verification procedure, making the outcome random and difficult for ship operators and PSC authorities to understand,” BIMCO said in a statement made available to S&P Global Platts late Monday.
“BIMCO and its partners firmly believe the current verification procedure fails to be statistically sound,” it added. BIMCO said it wanted IMO member states to encourage the ships flying their flags to develop written implementation plans, to help member states adopt a practical and pragmatic approach when verifying compliance with the requirements of sulfur regulation.
The implementation plan could voluntarily be submitted to authorities, and ships carrying an implementation plan along with a detailed description of how it is being followed should be met with a practical and pragmatic approach during inspections, it said, adding that “this pragmatic implementation approach would be for a period of three months after January 1, 2020 for those ships which are in possession of an implementation plan.”
3. Indian Register of Shipping (IRClass) implements electronic certificates for all its classed vessels
11 July 2018 : Classification society Indian Register of Shipping (IRClass) has started issuing electronic certificates to all of its classed vessels. As informed, the e-certificates are available on the IRClass website through a secure platform – giving ship owners, regulators and charterers a real-time access to the latest class and statutory certificates.
Commenting on this initiative, Vijay Arora,Joint Managing Director of IRClass, said: “The implementation of IRClass e-certificates are expected to reduce administrative burden and document handling costs for ship owners, coupled with increasing operational efficiency.”
The e-certificates have a digital signature and a tracking number for online verification motive. this allows the user to determine the validity of the certificates – to confirm that they need not been falsified or tampered with. The authenticity, originality and traceability of the e-certificates will be verified through the IRClass Verification Portal, per the classification society.
“We have started issuing e-certificates to all newbuilding vessels on delivery as well as existing vessels on completion of their upcoming renewal survey,”Arora explained.
4. World Maritime Day 2019 to Focus on Women
10 July 2018 : “Empowering Women in the Maritime Community” has been selected as the World Maritime Day theme for 2019, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) informed.
“IMO has a strong commitment to helping achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and continues to support the participation of women in both shore-based and seagoing posts, in line with the goals outlined under SDG 5: ‘Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls’,” Kitack Lim, IMO Secretary-General, said.
“This theme will give IMO the opportunity to work with various maritime stakeholders towards achieving the SDGs, particularly SDG 5, to foster an environment in which women are identified and selected for career development opportunities in maritime administrations, ports and maritime training institutes and to encourage more conversation for gender equality in the maritime space,” Lim continued.
He added that, “Today, IMO’s newly renamed, Women in Maritime programme is going strong. Empowering women fuels thriving economies across the world, spurs growth and development, and benefits all of us working in the global maritime community as we strive towards safe, secure, clean and sustainable shipping,”. The selection of the theme, “Empowering Women in the Maritime Community” will ensure a renewed focus on the IMO women in the maritime programme, and on achieving the goals of SDG 5.
5. Russia Is Launching Its Fastest Cargo Ship to the Space Station
10 July 2018 : Roscosmos successfully launched the Progress 70 cargo vessel on the fastest trip yet to the International space station. less than 4 hours after launch the spacecraft docked at the orbiting lab, a first.
Russia’s space agency Roscosmos launch a fresh cargo ship on a swift flight to the International Space Station on 9th July. The mission is to set a new speed record for space station trips, It’s ssupposed to take less than 4 hours, NASA says.
NASA said, “The less than four hour trip will demonstrate an expedited capability that may be used on future Russian cargo and crew launches”.
Russia’s Progress vehicles aren’t the sole robotic cargo ships to keep the space station stocked with supplies. Private cargo ships like SpaceX’s Dragon vehicles and therefore the Cygnus spacecraft built by Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems ferry supplies to the station for NASA. The Japan aerospace Exploration Agency sends its own H-2 Transfer Vehicles on delivery missions. The european space Agency launched five of its large automated Transfer Vehicles to the station between 2008 and 2014.
6. 39 ships engulfed in fire storm at Bali harbor.
9 July 2018 : On 9th July, in the early morning 39 fishing vessels were engulfed in fire at Benoa harbor, southernmost Bali island, Indonesia. Cause of fire is yet unknown according to officers, but local mention explosion heard, prior to fire strom.
Categories: News Digest