Crew Mirror Digest 01-2023

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India can be among top 10 countries in global maritime trade ranking: Sonowal

01 Jan 2023
Union Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Friday said India can be among the top ten countries in the global ranking of maritime merchandise trade with giant strides taken by the government for modernisation and capacity building in the sector.

Sonowal, the minister for ports, shipping and waterways, said the Centre is carrying out development in a sustainable way to meet the 2070 net zero emission target.

He did not mention any timeline for achieving the milestone. Currently, India’s ranking in the maritime trade volume is 18, according to reports.

The minister stated that projects like ‘Sagarmala’ and ‘PM Gati Shakti’ are “delivering results and will bring sea change after rolling out of all the programmes in the next few years”.

In the inland waterways, the cargo handling has now grown to 109 million tonne from a mere 16 million tonne capacity in 2014, he said. The minister also stated that a river cruise covering a distance of 3,200 km from Varanasi will commence in January and end in Assam’s Dibrugarh.

Sonowal also said that an MoU was signed involving Paradip, Kandla, Tuticorin ports and Cochin shipyard to achieve sustainable goals.

The minister had recently announced India’s first National Centre of Excellence for Green Port & Shipping. The centre aims at developing a regulatory framework and a roadmap for alternative technology adoption for “green shipping” to foster carbon neutrality. Reference

India and Cyprus highlight potential of enhancing economic and shipping ties

31 Dec 2022
Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmyan Jainshankar referred in particular to the breadth of relations between the two countries, as 2022 marked 60 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries. He noted that the concept of large and small countries is outdated in modern times and that Cyprus, in relation to its size, is developing much greater investment activity in India.

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Cyprus provides many opportunities for investment in all areas of the business spectrum and can help strengthen India’s economic and social relations with the European Union, said Cypriot Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides on Friday.

The forum was also welcomed by the Deputy Minister for Shipping Vassilis Demetriades, who referred to the cooperation of the two countries in the field of shipping.

Demetriades noted that currently there are 7,000 Indian seafarers with a Cypriot seaman’s book representing around 15 percent of the total seafarers working on board Cyprus ships.

He also recalled that during the COVID-19 pandemic, Cyprus was among the first countries that treated seafarers as essential workers and making the repatriation and crew change for more than 65,000 seafarers possible, while Cyprus was the only country globally that proposed a global vaccination programme for all seafarers.

Furthermore, Demetriades assured that India “can count on Cyprus as being a good ambassador for India in Brussels” and he referred to the example of ship recycling, which is an important sector for India.

Demetriades agreed with Jaishankar that the whole effort “needs a different mindset” and that this initiative should not come only by demonstrating our high level of ambition just by committing in some goals for 2030 or 2050, but by bridging the gaps. Reference

Over 1,500 seafarers were abandoned in 2022

31 Dec 2022
New guidelines seeking to address the rapidly increasing number of abandonment cases are weak, unenforceable and “make a mockery of the intended deterrent effect of international labour standards for maritime workers”, says NGO Human Rights at Sea.

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Last year saw “an alarming spike” in cases of ships and crew being abandoned by owners in the wake of the Covid pandemic, but the trend has continued throughout 2022 which has ended up being the worst year on record. Total of 1,555 seafarers and 113 ships have been abandoned this year, the highest number of cases since records began. Following a spike in abandonment cases in the wake of the Covid pandemic in 2021 the number of ships and crew being left without support by owners has continued to rise this year.

According to Maritime Labour Convention a seafarer is deemed to have been abandoned when a shipowner fails to cover the cost of repatriation and has left the seafarer without the necessary support or has “otherwise unilaterally severed their ties with the seafarer, including failure to pay contractual wages for a period of at least two months”.

While such cases have been relatively infrequent in the past since 2017 the number of cases started to rise dramatically. 

Earlier this month a joint IMO/ILPO working group agreed a new set of guidelines to address the significant rise in cases of abandonment being reported.  Reference

What’s on the regulatory agenda for 2023

31 Dec 2022
2023 is going to be a year of focus on the environment. Following COP27, the message is clear; we need to act now against the climate change and for the maritime industry, IMO has already paved the way with the enforcement of strict environmental rules; nonetheless, maritime safety will always be a key concern for the industry.

Image Source: Safety4Sea

Following are expected within this new year from a regulatory perspective:

  • The requirements for EEXI and CII certification will become effective from 1 January 2023.
  • PSCOs to focus on Fire Safety from 1 September to 30 November, 2023.
  • Australia to raise awareness on crew certifications.
  • IMO Strategy for Reduction of GHG Emissions from Ships.
  • OCIMF’s SIRE 2.0 vessel inspection to start trials.
  • Amendments to the STCW Convention effective for all seafarers.
  • Amendments to Part A of the STCW Code effective for all ships carrying electro-technical officers.
  • Amendment to the AFS Convention effective for all ships>400gt engaged in international voyages.
  • Amendments to ESP Code effective for new and existing double hull oil tankers.
  • Revision of Guidelines on places of refuge for ships in need of assistance.
  • Ships routeing measures effective from June 2023. Reference

India supports UAE’s maritime initiatives

30 Dec 2022
The UAE and India have opened up a new vista for bilateral cooperation in the maritime industry.

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Dr. Sanjeev Ranjan, India’s Secretary for Ports, Shipping and Waterways, said India favours the adoption of a maritime single window system proposed by the UAE in digitising all ships certifications and commercial documents required under the Conventions of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO).

The IMO is currently preparing its Strategic Plan for the six-year period 2024 to 2029, which will be adopted at the 175-nation global organisation’s 33rd Assembly to be held in December next year. Exchanges between the UAE and India, including support for the UAE’s digitisation and single window initiatives are in the context of preparing the new Strategic Plan.

Both the UAE and India are maritime nations and seafaring plays a crucial role in both their economies. Therefore, India believes that “cooperation between all relevant stakeholders, from shipping, ports and logistics, will be vital to drive the digitalisation of shipping, enhance its efficiency and sustainability, and therefore facilitating trade and fostering economic prosperity.” Reference

22 highlights of 2022 at a glance

30 Dec 2022
The clock is ticking for the new year, for which we remain optimistic and have a positive mindset that despite the difficulties, maritime industry will keep strong and ready to adapt to new trends!

Following are twenty-two highlight events that shaped 2022:

  1. Global piracy incidents hit lowest levels
  2. UKHO decides to withdraw paper charts up to 2026
  3. Major Merger & Agreements announced
  4. Tradelens halts operations after 4 years
  5. COP 27 showcases slow progress for shipping decarbonization
  6. Shipping inclusion in EU ETS close to finalization
  7. SIRE 2.0 to take four stages before implementation
  8. Neptune Declaration Index: Transition to new normal confirmed
  9. Poseidon Principles for marine industry adopted
  10. Green shipping corridors are taking off
  11. Maritime humanitarian corridor established in Black Sea
  12. Bunker fuel contamination cases on the rise
  13. Crew abandonment remains a key concern
  14. P&O Ferries fires 800 seafarers
  15. Ever Forward ran aground
  16. EEXI,CII effective from 2023
  17. Lithion risks in the spotlight after related incidents
  18. IMO designates the Mediterranean Sea as a SECA
  19. Diversity Equity & Inclusion issues top the agenda
  20. Milestone Declaration to safeguard human rights at sea launched
  21. New era in crew welfare with new MLC amendments
  22. Fight against bullying and harassment in shipping progresses

Philippines: House bill seeks upgrade of it’s maritime industry with new school

30 Dec 2022
A lawmaker has filed a bill seeking to upgrade the Philippine maritime industry by replacing the Philippine Maritime Marine Academy (PMMA) with Philippine National Maritime Academy (PNMA) to meet strategic needs of the industry and country’s maritime defense, among others.

Cagayan de Oro Representative Rufus Rodriguez, under House Bill 6503, said the PNMA will address the economic and defense requirements of the country, including naval, maritime law enforcement and other maritime trade and maritime education and training development in reference to UN- International Maritime Organization (IMO)-Seafarers’ Training, Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW) requirements. Reference

Ship Insurers to Cancel War Cover for Russia, Ukraine from January 1

29 Dec 2022
Ship insurers said they are cancelling war risk cover across Russia, Ukraine and Belarus, following an exit from the region by reinsurers in the face of steep losses.

Image Source: gCaptain

Reinsurers, who insure the insurers, typically renew their 12-month contracts with insurance clients on Jan. 1, giving them the first opportunity to scale back exposure since the war in Ukraine started, after being hit this year by losses related to the conflict and from Hurricane Ian in Florida.

P&I (protection and indemnity) clubs American, North, UK and West are no longer able to offer war risk cover for some liabilities in the region from Jan. 1, they said in recent notices on their websites. The clubs are among the biggest P&I insurers who cover around 90% of the world’s ocean-going ships.

UK P&I Club said on Dec. 23 that the issue had arisen because of a lack of availability of reinsurance for reinsurers, also known as retrocession.

American P&I said on Dec. 23 that it had received a “notice of cancellation” for the region from its war risk reinsurers and was cancelling its own insurance as a result.

Ships typically have P&I insurance, which covers third-party liability claims including environmental damage and injury. Separate hull and machinery policies cover vessels against physical damage. Reference

Maritime safety information approved over Iridium and Inmarsat GMDSS

29 Dec 2022
International law requires mariners to have a terminal capable of receiving MSI such as navigation and meteorological warnings, throughout their voyage including when vessels move outside the range of services known as Navtex, which sends safety updates automatically via radio.

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Satellite services recognised by IMO are used beyond the range of Navtex. Inmarsat has provided these services through its constellation of geostationary orbit satellites since the introduction of GMDSS and Iridium has recently introduced an IMO-approved GMDSS service for emergency communications and MSI distribution over its low Earth orbit satellites.

Following a successful trial period, MSI can be provided by either the existing Inmarsat SafetyNET or the new Iridium SafetyCast satellite services in NAVAREA I and METAREA I – the maritime geographic area co-ordinated by the UK.

The MCA, in partnership with the UK Hydrographic Office and the Met Office, tested Iridium after IMO recognised it as part of the GMDSS. It is now fully operational in the UK area, as of 19 December 2022.

As well as receiving weather warnings and safety information, both Inmarsat and Iridium send and receive distress alerts, and enable crucial direct communication in search and rescue situations.

Following approval of the Iridium service, surveys and safety inspections of vessels in the UK will continue as before. Reference

Hydrogen technology is key to decarbonizing the maritime industry

29 Dec 2022
In order to reach greenhouse gas reduction targets set by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), many experts agree that a multi-faceted approach is required, including renewable energies like wind and solar, leveraging hydrogen technology, as well as developing new technologies.

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Shipping is one of the most energy-efficient ways to transport goods compared to other transportation methods. For instance, Freight uses five times more energy. Still, due to the fact that the maritime sector relies almost solely on fossil fuels, this makes it excessively energy intensive.

According to the UK government’s Hydrogen Strategy, hydrogen could be fundamental in decarbonizing the global maritime industry. Similar to fossil fuels, hydrogen can be stored and transported in tanks. Moreover, existing vessels can be retrofitted with hydrogen technologies like fuel cells. 

However, wide-scale adoption of hydrogen technology for the maritime industry remains a challenge.
The biggest challenges regarding implementing hydrogen within the maritime industry is a lack of Infrastructure, Investment, Education and Government policy. Combined, these challenges are preventing hydrogen technology from achieving its full potential. As a result, the cost of H2 compared to other fuels is higher.

To meet future demand, a number of gaps in the hydrogen supply chain must be addressed, beyond simply needing more adopters of the technology.  Collaborative approach with the maritime sector teaming up with energy, heavy transport, and building heating industries is needed to develop supply chain networks, safety guidelines and regulations to make scaling and cost reduction of hydrogen-based fuels possible. Reference

Let’s talk about DEI in the maritime industry: Why it matters

28 Dec 2022
DEI stands for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion; these are three key values that every business sector is now focusing on as well as the maritime industry, as they are critical to providing a sustainable future.

Image Source: Safety4Sea

In line with UN Sustainable Development Goal 5, the maritime industry, which is currently making considerable efforts to raise its profile, has acknowledged the importance of welcoming diversity and fostering an open environment where everyone can reach their potential.

With a strong community of action, industry leaders actively work together on making their organizations – and the overall industry – more diverse, equitable, and inclusive. In that regard, visible leadership is vital to set the direction and ensure accountability of DEI within the organization. 

In that regard, digital tools can support DEI in many ways, for example, new ways of training, using gamification or VR, can support DEI awareness through showing individuals what the impact of their actions may be. There is excellent guidance available in D&I standards such as ISO 30415. 

The maritime sector is competing with other sectors for the same people, and it is therefore critical for the industry to stay relevant for prospective newcomers, positioning itself as providing an attractive place of employment. 

At sea, the workforce is also looking for better work-life balance, and employers must act to attract individuals with new skill sets from outside of the maritime sector in support of emerging technology and environmental requirements. We must strive to make sure everyone is welcomed, safe, and fully included in the maritime community, treated with care, dignity, and respect. Reference

Indian Register Of Shipping Completes Prototype Testing Of Indigenously Manufactured ISO Containers

28 Dec 2022
Indian Register of Shipping (IRS), the leading international ship classification society, has completed prototype testing of indigenously manufactured containers in accordance with IMO International Convention for Safe Containers (CSC).

Image Source: Marine Insight

Container Corporation of India Ltd (CONCOR), towards promoting Make-in-India and AtmaNirbhar Bharat initiatives, has provided a fillip to container manufacturing by placing orders for domestic production of containers. This aligns with India’s plan to transform the maritime sector over the next 10 years and help ensure a consistent supply of containers while reducing the cost of trade.

IRS had launched the service to provide certification of marine containers in 2021 on being authorised by Director General of Shipping, Government of India to undertake inspection and certification of containers as per the IMO International Convention for Safe Containers (CSC).

IRS is closely working with the indigenous manufacturers at various stages of manufacturing including prototype development through design appraisal, hand-holding and stage inspections and testing as per ISO standards specified in the IMO CSC convention. Reference

Hyundai Completes Verification for LNG/Hydrogen Hybrid Engine

27 Dec 2022
Hyundai Heavy Industries Group has developed and successfully tested Korea’s first LNG/hydrogen mixed-firing engine.

Image Source: The Maritime Executive

The shipbuilding group reported that it completed performance verification on December 22 for the new hybrid engine. It is a 1.5MW class LNG/hydrogen hybrid engine (HiMSEN) developed internally by the shipbuilding group with its own technology. Hyundai says that it is the first step toward hydrogen engines.

The LNG/Hydrogen hybrid engine significantly reduces emissions of various harmful exhaust gases such as sulfur oxides, nitrogen oxides, carbon dioxide, and fine dust by selectively using diesel fuel and LNG/hydrogen mixture fuel. The performance test showed that the engine meets the IMO’s Tier 3 standard, the highest grade among the nitrogen oxide regulations, and proved its excellent effect in reducing carbon dioxide and methane slip (methane emitted without complete combustion).

Hyundai believes that when an LNG-hydrogen hybrid engine is applied to a liquefied hydrogen carrier, the effect of ship operation will be further maximized. During operations they expect that the hydrogen lost during the voyage can be minimized by reusing the hydrogen boil-off gas (BOG) generated during the transportation process as fuel. 

Hyundai plans to continue R&D on LNG/hydrogen hybrid engines in the future. Their goals is to complete the development of a hybrid engine with a higher proportion of hydrogen by 2023, and develop a complete hydrogen engine in 2025. Reference

Chile Launches the First Icebreaker Built in South America

27 Dec 2022
Chile launched its new icebreaker the Almirante Viel built for scientific research on December 22. The ship is being hailed as the largest ship ever built in Chile, and possibly South America, as well as the first of its kind in South America. Built by the state-run shipyard ASMAR (Astilleros y Maestranzas de la Armada), navy and shipyard officials called it the “most ambitious project” in the 62-year history of ASMAR.

Image Source: The Maritime Executive

The contract for the design of the icebreaker was awarded in January 2016 to Vard Marine. The mandate was to develop a vessel capable of missions including logistic support, search and rescue, scientific research, and resupplying bases in the Chilean Antarctic Territory. The vessel is designed to carry a wide range of containerized and vehicle cargo, helicopters and rescue boats for logistics and SAR missions, as well as the ability to undertake a broad range of scientific data-gathering activities.  

The new icebreaker measures approximately 364 feet in length and displaces 10,500 tons. Construction of the vessel reportedly began in May 2017. She will be able to sail through one-year ice measuring up to one meter in thickness at speeds up to 2 knots. The design is for a Polar Class 5 icebreaker.

The launching ceremony took place on the evening of December 22 at the shipyard in Talcahuano in central Chile.

The new ship will have accommodations for 35 scientists and 86 crew. It will also have the capacity to transport 19 20-foot containers, 400 cubic meters of fuel, pallet loading, and equipped with a self-propelled boat and cranes with a lifting capacity of 25 tons. Reference

India: MSEDCL Distribution Franchisee inaugurated at JNPA

26 Dec 2022
Jawaharlal Nehru Port Authority (JNPA), India’s best-performing Port, has operationalised the first phase of the MSEDCL distribution franchisee on December 21, 2022, and commissioned Smart Street Lighting System at JNPA township. The distribution franchisee was inaugurated  Chairman, JNPA, Sanjay Sethi,  and  Dy. Chairman, JNPA Unmesh Sharad Wagh, in the presence of all the JNPA HODs, and representatives from all the terminal operators at JNPA.

Highlighting the importance of the MSEDCL distribution franchisee at the JNPA, Shri Sanjay Sethi, in his address, stated that, JNPA is the first Major Port to become a Distribution Franchisee (DF) through MOU route with state Discom MSEDCL. This is one of the major achievements as it will enable the power consumers in the JNPA DF area to avail power supply from green energy sources.

JNPA carried out electrical network modification work as per MSEDCL requirements and installed the smart metering at connection points. It includes BOT Operators and other HT consumers in the JNPA DF area are now direct consumers of MSEDCL. Reference

Danish gov’t lauds PBBM’s assurance on Filipino seafarers EU certification issue

26 Dec 2022
The Danish government on Thursday hailed President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.’s assurance that the Philippines will comply with the standards set by the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) for Filipino seafarers.

Danish Ambassador Franz-Michael “Dan-Dan” Mellbin reaffirmed his country’s support for the Philippine government’s efforts to comply with the standards set by the EMSA for Filipino seafarers.

In a Facebook post citing a recent interview, Ambassador Mellbin said Denmark is happy with Filipino maritime professionals as he expressed concern on the issue of compliance with European maritime standards.

He said that failure to comply would be a great loss to the maritime industry and the Philippines.

With Danish shipping companies being one of the major employers of Filipino mariners, President Marcos’ assurance on the Philippine government’s intention to resolve the certification issue during his recent trip to Belgium is a very welcome development, according to Ambassador Mellbin.

The Danish Maritime Authority paid courtesy visits to Philippine maritime authorities last month to explore further strengthening maritime cooperation including the protection of seafarers’ rights.

In his recent official visit to Brussels, Belgium, President Marcos reiterated that his administration will do everything to address these deficiencies to prevent job losses among Filipino seafarers deployed to work for European Union (EU) vessels. Reference

Note: All above news items compiled in this digest should be considered as news in brief. For detailed news, please refer to reference link, mentioned with each item.

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