The Maritime Advocate–Issue 796


1. Ships to the rescue
2. Pilot transfers
3. Inefficient shipping regs
4. BridgeMate app
5. Closing the gap
6. Ammonia bunkering
7. Yo-yo effect
8. Seafarer school
9. Wellness at sea
10. This year’s market
11 OCIMF move
12. US cargo theft
13. FMC penalties
14. Cyprus online platform
15. Emissions trading warning

Notices & Miscellany

Readers’ responses to our articles are very welcome and, where suitable, will be reproduced:
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1. Ships to the rescue 

By Michael Grey

The volcanic eruption that has devastated Tonga was extraordinary in that it was possible to see it, in real time, from a fortuitously positioned satellite directly above the colossal explosion. The Pacific is a very big ocean, but this looked vast, like a scaled-up recording of the nuclear blasts which gave Bikini Atoll a small place in our atomic history. Indeed, such were the apparent dimensions of the explosion as it appeared from space, that it seemed to be a minor miracle that no ships on passage were overwhelmed.
And in all the reports which came in from the damaged island, there was not even a mention of merchant ships in the vicinity, which perhaps says something of their general invisibility. Only a pollution event caused by extreme waves from the eruption involving a tanker discharging alongside in faraway Peru seemed to register with world media. Oil spills are always worth emphasising!

Perhaps there were just no ships on the route that used to take vessels bound from Panama to New Zealand ports. Maybe they just go a different way these days, or perhaps they just got a bit lucky and were routed otherwise on that particular day. It is certainly an area of sea in which the chart and sailing directions retain a certain number of “known unknowns” in the shape of reported shoals, which, when properly investigated by the hydrographers, cannot be found, which suggests that there is quite a lot of undersea activity, with mysterious things happening in the depths.

Indeed, this writer can recall a cloudless Pacific morning on passage to New Zealand, south of Tonga, when we saw a sinister brown line across the azure sea right ahead of us, where the whole sea seemed to change colour. We changed course to stay in the blue waters and then, with the echo sounder running, cautiously approached the edge of the discolouration. We dropped the sea water temperature bucket into the water, which produced a sample of cloudy liquid, faintly smelling of sulphur. This, we were told some months later by the Met. Office, was evidence of underwater volcanic activity, which at least had broken the monotony of a Pacific crossing.

The Tonga emergency also might have emphasised that when there is some unforeseen natural disaster (which happens more frequently than some people might suppose), there is nothing quite like ships to provide the aid that is needed by these stricken populations. Aircraft have limited lifting capacity and require runways that are undamaged or clear of debris to offer any help whatsoever – something that was certainly the case in Tonga, where the runways were deep in volcanic ash.

And if we look at the sort of damage that can be caused by earthquakes, tsunami and extreme weather events around the world, the sort of plant that will make the most impact in relief efforts tends to be too heavy or large to be airlifted in sufficient quantities to make a difference. Heavy lifting equipment, airlift helicopters, diggers and bulldozers, desalination plants, field hospitals, communications and worthwhile quantities of food are best provided from ships, which have ideally been designed to work with damaged port facilities.

From time to time, there have been sensible suggestions for the provision of a sort of International Marine Rescue operation, which could provide assistance in a timely manner to places sometimes wrecked by natural disasters. Various ideas have been explored for specifically designed ships which could be pre-loaded in the same way that the US have military hardware available on pre-positioned ships in various strategic places like Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean.

There have been some interesting designs made public, sometimes offering an auxiliary role as training ships for seafarers struggling to gain sea time, or a limited commercial function. A very well thought out design, for disaster relief in Caribbean waters, emerged a couple of years ago in the UK. Invariably subsequent discussions on the costs of such ships, which organisations ought to be running them and how they ought to be operated, will smother the best of intentions. And sadly, while there might be an initial enthusiasm, these designs, from wherever they emerge, never seem to be translated into steel, the concept being temporarily revived, perhaps, when the next humanitarian disaster occurs.   

Michael Grey is former editor of Lloyd’s List.

2. Pilot transfers

A guide to maritime pilot transfer safety has been updated amid industry concerns about poorly rigged ladders causing severe injuries or fatalities.

The ‘Shipping Industry Guidance on Pilot Transfer Arrangements’, produced by the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) in partnership with the International Maritime Pilots’ Association (IMPA), features a new section with the International Maritime Organization’s guidance on combination embarkation platform arrangements.

Provisions for a ‘trapdoor arrangement’ in combination ladders, the minimum size of the opening and rigging procedures are covered in the new section.

“The consensus among the maritime stakeholders we spoke to for this updated pilot transfer arrangements guide was that the ladders themselves are fine – the issue is how they are rigged and whether crew have undergone the right training to ensure the safest operating procedures are applied,” said Gregor Stevens, senior marine advisor at ICS.

The updated guide comes after Captain Simon Pelletier, chairman of the International Maritime Pilots’ Association, urged the IMO to prohibit a dangerous pilot transfer ladder arrangement linked to a fatality in New York on 30 December 2019.

In his letter to the IMO on 17 January 2020, Captain Pelletier highlighted the case of Captain Dennis Sherwood, aged 64, who fell to his death while boarding the Maersk Kensington containership as it arrived at the Port of New York and New Jersey. He was using a combination arrangement of a pilot ladder and an accommodation ladder, the typical set-up when the ship’s point of access is more than nine metres from the water.

For this arrangement, Captain Sherwood had to climb through a trapdoor in the platform of the accommodation ladder. This requires a pilot to pull themselves up through the trapdoor while twisting to get a secure footing on the platform.

Captain Pelletier added that this “controversial” trapdoor arrangement had long been considered unsafe by pilots. He also urged all flag states, port states and ship operators to do whatever it took to “get rid of this arrangement immediately”.

The ICS/IMPA pilot transfer arrangements guidance complies with the IMO convention on minimum safety standards in shipping (SOLAS), making it an essential reference tool for all vessel crews around the globe.

Within the guide, seafarers and companies are reminded why it is vitally important to adhere to the rules and established procedures for safe boarding arrangements for pilots.

Released in early 2022, the pilot transfer arrangements update is a perfect accompaniment to the ICS Bridge Procedures Guide, Sixth Edition, which provides officers working with cutting-edge technology in the ship’s nerve centre the latest best practice.

For more information on both guides click here.

3. Inefficient shipping regs

As we would all agree the shipping industry is never backwards in coming forwards when it comes to  new shipping regulations, although some might say that the industry then proceeds to forget about them and go on to something new.

As Wärtsilä explains in an insight piece, for an industry that’s about 5,000 years old and moves approximately 90% of the world’s goods, while navigating some of the most challenging environments on international waters, there are bound to be a bunch of rules. In fact, there are so many, it’s almost impossible to give an exact number.

Shipping was amongst the very first industries to adopt the widely implemented international safety standards. Because of its inherent global nature, the International Maritime Organization has developed a comprehensive global maritime safety regulations framework. But that’s obviously not all. There are SOLAS, MARPOL, COLREGS, LOADLINE AND ISPS, which just cover ship operations. Then there are  STWC and ILO 147 for the seafarers, and ISM dealing with the shipping companies. On top of this, there are numerous local and port regulations to follow, certifications to obtain, taxation frameworks, cybersecurity guidelines, along with many other maritime instruments concerning more specific issues that are also in force worldwide.

According to Wärtsilä, what  makes this landscape sometimes unnecessarily cumbersome are obsolete rules and requirements that have lost their relevance with time. “We’re using AI on ships while forcing them to have a bell on board. In between these two generations of technologies, there’s a huge gap that’s getting too big to manage,” says Hendrik Bußhoff, head of product autonomy solutions at Wärtsilä Voyage. “With every technological advancement, we keep adding new regulations to the books without retiring or at least reviewing the old ones.”

Certificates, log books, fog horns and the magnetic compass come under the spotlight. For the full story see

4. BridgeMate app

Safety is of paramount importance in shipping, especially when facing rough weather conditions or during challenging operations such as berthing. Wärtsilä’s BridgeMate app addresses the trend towards smart digital solutions while providing shipowners with decision-making support through integration with ECDIS, digitalised shipping charts and other tools that enhance situational awareness.

Ensuring safe operations is a major concern for shipowners. BridgeMate, a navigational app that is part of Wärtsilä’s Fleet Operations Solution (FOS), supports crews by working alongside their Electronic Chart Display and Information System (ECDIS) to provide several enhanced safety features such as storm avoidance, berthing assistance and navigational hazard identification. As a licensed plug-and-play application that works on a tablet, BridgeMate can be quickly delivered to FOS customers and installed remotely without any need for engineers on board.

Vladimir Kolyada, solutions manager FOS at Wärtsilä Voyage, stresses that safety is the primary function of the BridgeMate app: “One of its main purposes is to help navigators identify hazards and other safety issues.”

A chief safety challenge for shipowners is ensuring that they can deal with emergency situations regardless of system status. “If the main ECDIS backups become inoperative, they still have something they can use – and BridgeMate offers much more than paper charts that need to be updated manually, giving users charts that are automatically updated from their ECDIS and helping them identify their current position, the latest executed route and any narrow areas or shallow waters,” says Kolyada. “The app also serves as a decision support tool, and because it’s used on a tablet the crew don’t have to go outside to the bridge to verify if everything is all right.”

Alongside the safety aspects, the app provides other important benefits. “BridgeMate helps to simplify the use of ECDIS by separating some of them out into a separate app that is easy to use,” highlights Kolyada. “It can also be used day-to-day as a bridge assistant, helping navigators work with current executed routes – showing the course, identifying useful information like the closest point of approach and the time to that point, and assisting with berthing by showing information such as bow and aft movement and the distance to the jetty or pier.” Another useful new feature of BridgeMate is the seakeeping module, otherwise known as storm avoidance. 

For more information see

5. Closing the gap

Closing the Gap is the title of a new report launched recently, which outlines policy measures that could close the competitiveness gap between fossil fuels and zero-emission alternatives in shipping as well as enable an equitable transition. The report has been prepared by commercial advisory service UMAS for the Getting to Zero Coalition – a partnership between the Global Maritime Forum, Friends of Ocean Action, and the World Economic Forum.

 For international shipping to decarbonise, zero-emission fuels need to become the dominant fuel source by the 2040s. However, there is an urgent need for the development of policies that can close the competitiveness gap and accelerate the maritime zero-emission trajectory.

“The cost of zero-emission fuels must be significantly reduced to close the competitiveness gap with fossil fuels. To bridge this gap, we need to realize the potential of public-private collaboration. As companies, we must develop and deploy solutions at scale while policy makers must put in place the necessary regulations to make zero-emission shipping commercially viable and the default choice by 2030,” says Christian Ingerslev, chief executive of Maersk Tankers.

According to the report, there are multiple potential policy options for closing the competitiveness gap. A preferred way forward to support the shipping sector through an equitable zero-emission transition is to adopt a policy package, which combines the strengths of the different policy options whilst mitigating their weaknesses.

A policy package could consist of a global market-based measure which collects revenue which is then used fairly to support the transition, and a direct command-and-control measure to send an unequivocal signal to the market that a fuel transition will take place. This could be usefully complimented by voluntary initiatives, information programs and national and regional policy measures to stimulate investments, encourage knowledge sharing and support capacity development.
The report emphasises the need to consider equitability of the transition when designing measures and combining policy options.

 It estimates the carbon price required under full decarbonisation by 2050 or 50% decarbonisation by 2050 and finds that there is no big difference in average price level between the two scenarios. An average carbon price of just under $200 is required for shipping’s full decarbonisation, whereas under the 50% reduction scenario it is around 10% lower.

“The report shows that the introduction of a relatively low carbon price in the 2020s that is gradually increased to around $200 will make it possible to fully decarbonise shipping and create an industry that is powered solely by net-zero energy sources by 2050. This level of carbon price is in line what is estimated by, for instance, the IEA to be needed across all industries to achieve the Paris Agreement goals, indicating that shipping is not a unique case,” says Kasper Søgaard, managing director of Global Maritime Forum.

While national and regional action are important and have a role in the transition, the work on a global package of policies to close the gap will be key. “This year will be critical for decisions on climate policy in the IMO. Our report shows that there is no single perfect policy and that a successful transition will likely hinge on developing and deploying a mix of policies which can address different aspects of the transition. The imposition of market-based measures on the shipping industry is relatively uncharted, so the sooner policy-makers can surmount this challenge together, the better for the transition, the industry, and the environment,” says   Alison Shaw, research associate at UCL and co-author of the report.

Read the full Closing the Gap report here.

6. Ammonia bunkering

Class society DNV has been selected to lead an ammonia bunkering safety study by the Global Centre for Maritime Decarbonisation (GCMD) in Singapore.
The pioneering study aims to define a robust set of safety guidelines and operational envelopes that will establish the basis of a regulatory sandbox for ammonia bunkering trials at two local sites.   DNV will team up with Singapore’s leading infrastructure developer Surbana Jurong and the Singapore Maritime Academy (SMA). DNV’s work  will comprise ammonia demand forecasting, bunkering site recommendations, the development of conceptual designs of bunkering modes like truck to ship or ship to ship, HAZID/HAZOP/QRA studies, as well as drafting of technical and operational guidelines.
While ammonia is one the most promising fuels to decarbonise shipping, DNV research shows that a number of safety gaps hold the potential to disrupt the speed and success of the transition. “The safe handling of ammonia is one such gap which urgently needs to be closed, given the threat it poses to seafarers and ships unless properly managed. We are therefore thrilled to partner with Surbana Jurong and the Singapore Maritime Academy on this pioneering initiative, which we hope will lay the foundations for robust ammonia bunkering safety guidelines with industry wide applicability”, said Knut Ørbeck-Nilssen, chief executive of DNV Maritime.

DNV’s “Fuel ready” notation was launched as an industry first in April 2021 by Höegh Autoliners in their new series of car carriers. The notation verifies that a vessel complies with the safety and operational requirements for future ammonia fuelled operations, and that the main engine can be converted or operate on the fuel.
For shipowners looking to move towards a full zero-carbon fuel option with their next newbuilding, DNV has also produced  gas fuelled ammonia rules.  The class society  has awarded several Approvals in Principle for ammonia fuelled ship designs, while also cooperating with engine maker MAN Energy Solutions on the safe development of a two-stroke ammonia engine intended to be market-ready in 2024.

 According to its recent Maritime Forecast to 2050, DNV expects there will be demonstration projects for onboard use of ammonia by 2025, paving the way for zero-carbon ships ready for commercial use by 2030. While the future fuel mix will be broad, DNV predicts that both ammonia and bio-based methanol are the most promising carbon-neutral fuels in the long run.

7. Yo-yo effect

The fourth quarter 2021 Seafarers Happiness Index report, published recently by The Mission to Seafarers, reveals the sustained impact of Covid-19 throughout the year, with the index’s measure of overall happiness decreasing from 6.59 to 6.41.
The survey, undertaken with the support of Wallem Group and the Standard Club, highlights that 2021 saw seafarer happiness rise and fall throughout the year, a trend that mirrors the waves of Covid infections. Where there has been an opening up of economies and international movement, seafarer sentiment has improved, while in times of rising infections and restrictions on movement, happiness levels among seafarers have fallen. This clear correlation highlights how national decisions impact international seafarers.
With unpredictable variants and different rates of outbreaks across the world, the ‘yo-yo’ nature of the pandemic is having a serious impact on mental health. Seafarers raised concerns about the draconian nature of repeated Covid testing, as well as the quality of quarantine provision. Relationships onboard are strained and there have been an increasing number of seafarers talking of bullying, harassment, and frictions on their ships. Growing numbers are reporting of plans for a career change, warning that a shortage of replacement crews and a drain of seafarers away from the industry will be imminent.
The report highlights that progress is being made on the issue of ship-shore connectivity, with seafarers reporting online access has increased. Seafarers also expressed their gratitude for campaigns to deliver free access to calls or internet access over the holiday period.
However, the survey highlighted a very clear divide between vessels that provided free or affordable access, compared to those that do not. There is a chasm in the responses, and more and more seafarers are stating that they always check what access they will have before accepting new contracts.
Seafarers responding to the survey highlighted the lack of recognition as key workers, despite so many initiatives in support of this status. In addition, concerns were expressed over limited freedom of movement, a shortage of vaccinations, and a perception that the profits of shipping companies are not being fed back into the workforce who keep seaborne trade going.
Some respondents also reported that standards were dropping. It is immensely concerning that practical training for emergencies appears to be falling away. However, it is perhaps a consequence of the reality of seafarers spending too long at sea. There is apathy creeping in, even about standards and safety. Careful, considered management is needed to make seafarers engage with safety once more.
Andrew Wright, Secretary-General of The Mission to Seafarers, said:
“This latest Seafarers Happiness Index report reveals the long-term impact of the pandemic on our global seafarers. With different variants emerging, new waves of infections and fluctuations between freedom and lockdown, seafarers are dealing with constant uncertainty. This confirms the importance of key worker status for our seafarers, which will help ensure crew changes regardless of how the pandemic develops and support the logistics of crew travel.
“Looking at the results of 2021 as a whole, we hope this report will encourage organisations to recognise the lessons for 2022, when it comes to investing in their seafarers, whether it is continuing to improve connectivity, adjusting working hours, or enhancing training. It is about understanding the challenges and making a difference to support the men and women serving at sea. Thank you to all those seafarers for sharing their experiences so the industry can continue to develop with seafarer well-being at its heart.”
John-Kaare Aune, chief executive of Wallem Group, commented: “In what has been the most challenging period in recent history for many of us, these brave women and men have sacrificed more than most, facing unthinkable circumstances to ensure the global supply chain remains intact, the wheels of trade keep turning and our supermarket shelves stay stocked. 
“The Q4 and annual review findings from the Seafarers Happiness Index are worrying to see, in particular the Yo-Yo of seafarer happiness. Despite seafarers undeniably qualifying as ‘key workers’ in our eyes, governments are not affording them the respect and recognition that their efforts so clearly merit. 
“The ongoing crew-change crisis, which has directly affected many of Wallem’s own seafarers, highlights the need for an international conversation on crew welfare. In the meantime, governments must collaborate to facilitate crew changes and ensure that ship personnel can access critical services and assistance – including medical care, emotional support, shore leave and repatriation – whenever required.”
Captain Yves Vandenborn, director of loss prevention at the Standard Club, added: “We all need seafarers to keep world trade alive, yet this report highlights a lack of regard for their welfare and dignity. Analysis and extrapolation of 2021 results indicate that there is much to be done. The ability to call home, take shore leave, undergo training and enjoy protected rest hours should be standard for all. Taking care of our people is in all of our interests.”

To read the latest Seafarers Happiness Index report, click here.

8. Seafarer school

Hundreds of Filipino pupils will no longer have to be taught in shacks and tents, thanks to a new storm-proof school built by maritime welfare charity Sailors’ Society.  The six-classroom school was built for the seafaring community of Lipayran island in the Philippines, which was devastated by Typhoon Haiyan in 2013. The original buildings were not big enough to cater for everyone and some classrooms were little more than shacks, unable to withstand tropical storms. 

The new school was put to the test almost immediately when Typhoon Rai (Odette) hit the Philippines in December. The building not only withstood the storm but provided emergency shelter for some 200 people.  Once pandemic restrictions lift, more than 800 children will benefit from the new facilities and Water and Sanitation Hygiene (WASH) training will be offered to local families.
Gavin Lim, Sailors’ Society’s regional development manager, Asia, said: “This has been a tremendous joint effort between us and our partners and it’s wonderful to see the hard work over the past couple of years come to fruition. We are so pleased to hand over the building to the school authorities and cannot wait for the day that they can open the doors to the children. 

“We’re extremely grateful to The TK Foundation and the generosity of our other supporters for enabling this project. It will make a huge difference to the children, giving them a safe and comfortable space to learn, as well improving the long-term economic prospects for the community.”  The building was funded with a grant from The TK Foundation, as well as funds raised through Sailors’ Society events and by Sailors’ Society’s Manila Ambassadors Group. 

If you or your company would like to find out more or contribute to Sailors’ Society’s global work, please contact

9. Wellness at sea

“Health and safety are always crucial for any mariner and shipowner. The crew is a company’s biggest asset and improving their mental and physical wellbeing is essential for a safe and efficient operation.” said Andrea Lodolo, chief executive of the Swedish-owned Seably platform as he announced the new joint venture between global digital marketplace Seably, and health and technology company, WellAtSea.

The partnership will see Seably and WellAtSea blend their technology, resources and marketing to deliver health and wellness courses and content together. Described as the start of an exciting relationship, the venture plans to have more initiatives, programmes and courses released in the near future.

Seably is an online marketplace offering exclusive content for the maritime industry. With more than 250 courses developed by marine industry specialists covering a wide range of topics and skills, the free and affordable dedicated wellness programmes by WellAtSea will enhance the range already available on the Seably marketplace.

Danish-owned WellAtSea was established to improve the overall wellbeing of the seafarer through continuous and sustainable organisational change. Its proven, evidence-based programmes are designed and created by health experts and safeguard the mental and physical wellbeing of all seafarers, on and offshore. Through WellAtSea, seafarers have access to specialised health, wellness and fitness content, including but not limited to exercise plans, workout videos and meditation tapes. These programmes can be carried out anywhere and at any time.

It is well documented that seafarers with poor mental health are more likely to leave a company within six months from the onset of mental health problems.   When the pandemic struck, many countries closed borders and imposed travel restrictions, trapping thousands of seafarers at sea. While the situation may have improved, there are still many affected by the crisis. Unsurprisingly there have been reports of increased mental stress. In light of this, crew retention is critical. WellAtSea estimate that the costs facing companies for illness, medical repatriation and death of a seafarer can range anywhere from between 25,000 – 105,000 Euros.

Seably provides affordable and free access to the latest maritime training and development for real-life learning. Created by seafarers for seafarers, it delivers effective immersive learning for the maritime sector in a unique, digitalised, and online format, available virtually anywhere in the world. Uniquely, it has a shared revenue algorithm for the international community of course providers. The Seably platform can be accessed online and offline, at any time on land or at sea using apps, PCs and mobile devices.

10. This year’s market

After a volatile 2021, leading shipbroker Simpson Spence Young looks at the next 12 months and highlights areas of particular interest in their 2022 Outlook Report. This comprehensive analysis looks at various drivers of shipping markets, including how developing emissions regulations may affect the state of play.

Contributions come from a range of senior research and broking experts and cover dry bulk, tanker and gas freight markets; shipping investments, CO2 emissions, FFAs, metals and energy derivatives.

Read the full report here

11. OCIMF move

The Oil Companies International Marine Forum (OCIMF) has published the full set of questions that may be asked during a SIRE 2.0 tanker inspection, when its new Ship Inspection Report Programme (SIRE) inspection regime is implemented during the second quarter of this year. The organisation’s long-established SIRE inspection regime is being overhauled with the introduction of tablet-based inspections, a more comprehensive inspection process and enhanced policies and procedures bringing significant changes to how tankers of all sizes are assessed by inspectors.

Instead of a static questionnaire with yes/no answers, SIRE 2.0 inspections will be conducted in digital format, in real-time, with inspectors completing a Compiled Vessel Inspection Questionnaire (CVIQ) using a tablet device. The move to a digital solution means that every tanker inspection will be bespoke, with questions drawn from a large ‘SIRE 2.0 Question Library’ using an algorithm to select questions based on the type of vessel, its outfitting and operational history to create a one-time CVIQ for the SIRE Inspector to complete.

As vessel owners, operators, managers and crew, inspectors or recipients of the SIRE 2.0 inspection reports will not be able to predict the inspection questions in advance, they should be prepared to respond to all questions within the SIRE 2.0 Question Library applicable to a particular vessel. Further, every question will require the Inspector to give a response in relation to Hardware, Processes and Human Factors, and observations can be supported with photographs, where allowed, and documentary evidence. This more robust regime, OCIMF determines, requires absolute adherence to best practice and should, by extension, tangibly improve vessel safety and environmental performance.

Sam Megwa, programmes director at OCIMF, commented: “All users of the programme are strongly encouraged to take the time to review the SIRE Question Library documentation in full and follow the necessary Management of Change (MOC) actions. SIRE 2.0 is a significant departure from the existing inspection regime and all parties are advised to do their utmost to prepare for the change.

“OCIMF recognises that this adjustment will take time, but we are confident that industry will embrace the improved ability to assess the safe and environmentally responsible operations of vessels and their crews on an ongoing basis and will benefit from the enhanced marine assurance capabilities the new programme will bring.”

The SIRE 2.0 Question Library and supporting documentation and guidance has been published on OCIMF’s website and is available to download from here.

The roll-out of further documentation, including specific guidance for Vessel Operators, Submitting Companies and Inspectors, is detailed in full in the SIRE 2.0 Programme Inspection Process Rollout Documentation – Timetable of Release. 

12.  US cargo theft

Freight insurance specialists, TT Club and the supply chain services and solutions team at BSI, the business improvement and standards company, have highlighted the increased risk of theft from storage facilities seen over the past few months in the US. The changes in theft patterns from the same quarter last year highlight a trend away from ‘on the move’ targets to those locations where cargo is temporarily stored and delivered.  These locations include traditional warehouses and depots where containers and trailers are being held awaiting collection, many of which are temporary facilities in port areas without adequate security regimes.

The largest rise in the methods and locations for cargo theft was from facilities:  the percentage of the total increasing to 25% in the third quarter this year in contrast with just 7% in 2020.  At the other extreme theft of vehicles fell from a dominant 47% in 2020 to a surprisingly low 15%; in addition, hijackings halved from 20% to 10%.

Mike Yarwood, TT Club’s managing director of  loss prevention commented that there was little doubt  the problems of supply chain disruption that are currently bedevilling the US freight transport system – in particular as far as  container congestion at ports and inland hubs are concerned – are creating increased opportunities for thieves. “The static nature of cargo in these circumstances, often stored in temporary and less secure facilities, leads to criminal ingenuity adapting the modus operandi of theft in a typically resourceful way.”

TT is keen to use the data provided by BSI to identify shifts in cargo theft trends and bring them to the attention of operators in as timely as a fashion as possible. Yarwood explains: “Whatever the location and means of cargo theft, such incidents can often be averted through straightforward due diligence, management processes and employee vetting and training.” To this end, TT has a webpage dedicated to advice on improving supply chain security which can be accessed via this link:

13. FMC penalties

Our thanks to Miller’s Maritime Newsletter for news that the US Federal Maritime Commission   has increased the maximum penalties assessed for statutory violations with effect from January 15, 2022, as required by the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 2015. The increases are tied to the rate of inflation. The Commission will also increase the fees for nine other penalties.

The complete list of penalties is published in the Federal Register and on the Commission’s website:

14. Cyprus online platform

Following the launch of SEA Change 2030, a long-term strategic vision for Cyprus shipping, the Shipping Deputy Ministry   has launched a new online platform: C.O.M.E.
C.O.M.E, which stands for Cyprus Open Maritime Exchange, is one of the latest initiatives from the Cyprus Shipping Deputy Ministry to enable continuous consultation on current maritime affairs and emerging issues in line with its new strategy. The online communication platform encourages all stakeholders involved in the maritime transport supply chain as well as the civil society to share thoughts and ideas with Cyprus. The collected information will be regularly reviewed and incorporated into actions and policies.
The new platform has five focus areas for feedback including green transformation, digitalisation, safety and security, coastal navigation, seafarer welfare, training and education. There is also an additional section that allows the shipping community and the civil society to explore other issues not encapsulated in these five core areas. 
For more information and to be involved in ongoing discussions, please visit the online platform here:

15. Emissions trading warning

The European Parliament’s lead MEP on the EU emissions trading scheme (ETS)  is proposing amendments to the ETS for maritime that put the impact and efficiency of the EU Green Deal at risk, says the World Shipping Council.

The EU ETS intends to impose a technologically neutral greenhouse gas (GHG) price across all elements of industries like shipping, to incentivize the most cost-effective GHG emissions reductions and innovative solutions. Carbon pricing is a key part of driving adoption of zero-GHG fuels, and the EU ETS can be an important step toward global market-based-measures that would apply to all ships, not only to a fraction of international fleets.
WSC has two primary concerns: The proposed amendments are intended to shield shipowners from ETS costs and then provide them with front-of-line access to ETS revenues such as the Ocean Fund. This would corrupt the whole idea of the ETS, changing it from a “polluter-pays” policy to a system where the “polluter-gets-paid”, and vastly reduce its effectiveness.  A market incentive for technological change that cannot be applied to shipowners who control the pace of shipboard technology innovation will fail to achieve EU Green Deal goals, slowing down the pace of transition.

Other amendments direct the European Commission to abandon its principle of multilateralism and engage in bilateral deals with nations to extend carbon pricing only for routes serving Europe. This would be a costly distraction, undermining progress towards global GHG policy at the IMO and slowing progress toward decarbonising shipping. It would also undermine the GHG and economic goals of the EU Green Deal, amplifying the risks identified in EU impact assessments – GHG leakage, loss of EU port competitiveness, and distortion of trade, the Council says.

 “Ship greenhouse gas emissions result from the combination of design technology, fuel consumed, and operational practices. It’s obvious, frankly, that one cannot decarbonise shipping without addressing the ship itself. A regional EU ETS carbon price must apply to all parties who have a role in GHG reductions– shipowners and operators,” says John Butler, chief executive of WSC.

Amendments directing the Commission to pursue bilateral agreements to extend GHG pricing further beyond the European Economic Area (EEA) can only slow progress toward global market-based-measures. Any resulting agreements would also be ineffective as the bilateral extension of regional EU ETS could at best extend it to address about 20% of global emissions. Gaining nothing globally, these amendments would also amplify regional EU risks of GHG leakage, voyage evasion and diversion of seaborne trade, and competitive losses across EU ports and supply chains, the Council says.

“WSC members are owners, operators, and charterers of ships and are committed to decarbonising shipping. We understand the shared responsibility for GHG reductions in the maritime sector, and we don’t underestimate the challenge. Decarbonising shipping is an “all hands” and global effort, and regional policy must lead rather than impede,” concludes John Butler.

Watson Farley & Williams has produced an article discussing the recent European initiatives on the issue of emissions trading. For details see:

Notices & Miscellany

Watson Farley & Williams has announced that partner George Macheras has been named as the firm’s new joint global maritime sector head, replacing Lindsey Keeble as she takes up the role of WFW Managing Partner as of 1 February 2022. George Paleokrassas, who takes on the role of WFW Senior Partner on the same date, will remain in his role as global maritime sector co-head.

Macheras, who made partner in 2018, advises on all aspects of ship financing as well as on commercial matters relating to the sale, purchase, employment and operation of all maritime asset classes. His clients span the shipping and offshore industries, including financial institutions as well as shipping owners, managers and charterers.

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And finally,

(With thanks to Lawrence Black)

1. The fattest knight at King Arthur’s round table was Sir Cumference. He acquired his size from too much pi.
2. I thought I saw an eye-doctor on an Alaskan island, but it turned out to be an optical Aleutian.
3. She was only a whisky-maker, but he loved her still.
4. A rubber-band pistol was confiscated from an algebra class, because it was a weapon of math disruption.
5. No matter how much you push the envelope, it’ll still be stationery.
6. A dog gave birth to puppies near the road and was cited for littering.
7. A grenade thrown into a kitchen in France would result in Linoleum Blownapart.
8. Two silk worms had a race. They ended up in a tie.
9. A hole has been found in the nudist-camp wall. The police are looking into it.
10. Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.
11. Atheism is a non-prophet organisation.
12. Two hats were hanging on a hat rack in the hallway. One hat said to the other: ‘You stay here; I’ll go on a head.’
13. I wondered why the baseball kept getting bigger. Then it hit me.
14. A sign on the lawn at a drug rehab centre said: ‘Keep off the Grass.’
15. The midget fortune-teller who escaped from prison was a small medium at large.
16. The soldier who survived mustard gas and pepper spray is now a seasoned veteran.
17. A backward poet writes inverse.
18. In a democracy it’s your vote that counts. In feudalism it’s your count that votes.
19. When cannibals ate a missionary, they got a taste of religion.
20. If you jumped off the bridge in Paris, you’d be in Seine .
21. A vulture carrying two dead racoons boards an airplane. The stewardess looks at him and says, ‘I’m sorry, sir, only one carrion allowed per passenger.’
22. Two fish swim into a concrete wall. One turns to the other and says, ‘Dam!’
23. Two paddlers sitting in a kayak were chilly, so they lit a fire in the craft. Unsurprisingly it sank, proving once again that you can’t have your kayak and heat it too.
24. Two hydrogen atoms meet. One says, ‘I’ve lost my electron.’ The other says, ‘Are you sure?’ The first replies, ‘Yes, I’m positive.’
25. Did you hear about the Buddhist who refused Novocain during a root-canal? His goal: transcend dental medication.
26. There was the person who sent ten puns to friends, with the hope that at least one of the puns would make them laugh. No pun in ten did.

Thanks for Reading the Maritime Advocate online

Maritime Advocate Online is a fortnightly digest of news and views on the maritime industries, with particular reference to legal issues and dispute resolution. It is published to over 20,000 individual subscribers each week and republished within firms and organisations all over the maritime world. It is the largest publication of its kind. We estimate it goes to around 60,000 readers in over 120 countries.