1. Safety at stake
2. International Maritime Prize
3. Infectious diseases
4. Gibson analysis
5. Supply chain risks
6. Customs warning
7. Sanctions support
8. Sail fast, then wait
9. Inspections urged
10. Minimum UK pay
11. Singapore leader
12. SOLAS 2024
13. Alternative fuel guidelines
14. Crew safety
15. Piracy strategy
16. MAIB advice
17. Autonomous navigation MOU
Notices & Miscellany
Readers’ responses to our articles are very welcome and, where suitable, will be reproduced. Write to: email@example.com
1. Safety at stake
It’s those darned “stakeholders” who are the trouble once again. It is one of those words which was unknown in an earlier era of free speech, when you could be quite clear about identifying those you were talking about, without having the lawyers or twitterati on your back. Now it has become common parlance. Those pesky stakeholders came to mind the other day, reading the INTERCARGO bulk carrier casualty report, which covers the latest ten year period to 2021.
In many respects, there would appear to be room for some optimism, as the sector has moved on substantially from the disastrous times of the 1980s and 90s, when large numbers of predominantly elderly bulkers were being lost, usually with their crews. Better maintenance, closer surveillance by people who know what they are looking for and more responsible behaviour by terminal operators, all combined to relegate this awful period to the history books. The sector also learned valuable lessons about quality and supervision from colleagues running tankers, with the emergence of quality drivers like Rightship preventing any backsliding. One might conclude that the organisation, which has worked hard to promote safety and quality, has some room for satisfaction.
However, there is included in the report a warning against any complacency, as it notes that the menace of liquefaction remains a problem, illustrated by the five big bulk carriers lost with the deaths of 70 of their crews after their cargoes of nickel ore and bauxite liquefied on passage. Altogether, during the ten-year period under review, 27 ships over 10,000 dwt were lost and 92 crew died in these casualties. According to INTERCARGO vice chairman Uttam Kumar Jaiswal, who focused particularly on the continuing risks of liquefaction , systems, codes and procedures for testing and sampling which are designed to protect the vessels were not being followed. And while emphasising that his remarks were not directed at ship operators, there was “a lack of consolidated effort by stakeholders” when it came to following codes that would keep ships safe.
It was those stakeholders again, whose attitudes, one might suggest, are relics of those found in the past, when casualties were regular occurrences. People like charterers, who would put all manner of pressure on masters to load cargo which they knew had excessive water content, in some rackety bulk terminal, with its stockpiles awash in rain-soaked slurry. People whose attitude to the bulk cargo codes was cavalier, to say the least, with inadequate testing procedures by so-called “surveyors” who were neither expert nor independent, but just a cog in the machine to get the ship loaded and away to sea.
You might suggest that the actual number of casualties, with four attributed to wet nickel ore and one to bauxite was small, over a ten-year period. Yet these were not rustbuckets, but modern ships and those 70 dead seafarers should not have met such a fate. And in the warning against complacency, there is more than a hint that in some soggy creek in South East Asia or West Africa, there will still be “stakeholders” prepared to take short cuts over proper water content testing and pressure still being applied on masters to open their hatches and get the cargo aboard, wet season or not. They don’t seem to realise, or perhaps they just don’t care, what is at stake.
Apart from the completely avoidable liquefaction casualties, the report to the IMO also suggests that grounding played a role in the totality of loss and you have to admit that this is also a cause of loss generally associated with some degree of incompetence. But you have to wonder whether, at least at the end of this period under review, there were more accidents in which the miserable lives being lived by ships’ crew might have been a contributor. Trapped aboard their steel boxes, unable to get ashore or home on leave at the end of their contracts, it would not be a perfect recipe for a focussed and committed workforce, as the long months ticked away. It will be interesting to see whether there is any related movement in the casualty statistics covering this miserable period of pandemic, when the next report comes around. A rather different set of stakeholders, perhaps, although their influence on casualties should not be altogether discounted.
By Michael Grey
Michael Grey is former editor of Lloyd’s List.
2. International Maritime Prize
IMLI Professor David Joseph Attard (Malta) is to receive the International Maritime Prize for his contributions to the objectives and work of IMO.
Outgoing Director of the IMO International Maritime Law Institute (IMLI) Professor Attard has been selected by the IMO Council to be the recipient of the International Maritime Prize for 2021. Professor Attard was nominated for the prestigious award by the Republic of Malta.
In the nomination, the impact that Professor Attard has had on the maritime world, particularly via his three decade-long role at IMLI was highlighted. The Maltese national was responsible for proposing, in 1987, together with the late Dr. Joseph Fenech, former Maltese Parliamentary Secretary and Minister, the establishment of IMLI to then IMO Secretary-General C.P. Srivastava. During his tenure with the institute, Professor Attard has overseen the training of more than 1,000 maritime professionals from more than 150 States – many of whom have gone on to represent their countries as delegates to the various IMO bodies.
This has contributed to capacity building in many regions and supported IMO’s goals of promoting safe, secure, environmentally sound, efficient and sustainable shipping through cooperation.
Professor Attard is also President of the Chamber for Marine Environment Disputes and is a judge for the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea.
3. Infectious diseases
The revised BIMCO Infectious or Contagious Disease Clause for Time Charter Parties 2022 is now available. The revision was prompted by the Covid-19 pandemic. However, the clause is not intended to be a “Covid-19 clause” – it is designed with future epidemics and pandemics in mind, BIMCO says.
The BIMCO IOCD Clause 2022 is appropriate for outbreaks of diseases on a pandemic scale like Covid-19, and outbreaks at a regional level, such as the Ebola virus epidemic in West Africa in 2014-2016.
In undertaking this revision, BIMCO has focused on a balanced approach to risk allocation. In particular, the clause focuses on keeping the contract going, which will help avoid potentially costly disputes and supply-chain disruptions.
Natalya Adamantia Skjelmose of Norden and chairperson of the drafting committee explained the objectives of the revision. “Our main goal was to develop a clause that reflects commercial realities, is balanced with protecting owners’, operators’ and charterers’ interests and offers workable and practical solutions and keeps the trade continuing.”
Julius Posselt of Oldendorff was also a member of the committee, and added “One of the main commercial problems for the industry we have seen when it comes to pandemics are delays caused by quarantines”. He emphasised that the committee focused on precisely this and made sure that the revised clause has a well-balanced allocation of liability reflecting the nature of a time charter party.
Infectious or contagious diseases on a pandemic or epidemic scale are likely to continue to confront and challenge the maritime sector and BIMCO provides contractual tools to tackle such challenges.
What one learned from the Covid-19 pandemic is that although mortality rates from the virus were relatively low per head of population, the social impact on the movement of people was significant. What is unknown is whether future pandemics will be of a similar nature or will be more life threatening, like Ebola.
The clause is therefore drafted on the premise that not every disease will be life-threatening and that the risk of crew infection can, in many cases, be avoided by taking measures to protect the crew and avoid the spread of the disease. It is based on three key principles:
1. The owners’ measures to protect the crew;
2. The allocation of liability for delays; and
3. The owners’ right to refuse the charterers’ orders.
The clause assumes that the charterers have control over the ship and determine which ports to go to, with the owners under the obligation to follow those orders. This means that for a time charter party, the liabilities and responsibilities can be amended by the parties recognising that the owners will know the ports at which the ship will call.
The new clause thus focuses on preventative measures which are appropriate to both the contracting parties’ interests.
The London Shipping Law Centre will be holding an event in London on 26 July at 5.30pm BST at the IDRC, I Paternoster Lane, London EC4M 7BQ and via webinar to discuss the new clause.
4. Gibson analysis
Shipbroker Gibson has produced some analysis on how the market is being impacted by changing trade patterns following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
In response to Western sanctions, President Putin announced a move to strengthen economic and political ties within the BRICS group of economies, of which it is a member. BRICS comprises Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa. All countries have not followed the path of the Western nations by sanctioning Russia.
On offer is heavily discounted Russian oil and products, which is an attractive proposition at a time when oil prices are firmly above $100/bbl and inflation concerns increasingly drive policy. In return, Russia is seeking greater imports of manufactured goods to substitute western brands that have left Russia. This year’s events have been dominated by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the resulting international sanctions, and the far-reaching consequences for the global economy.
For tankers, once the European oil embargo on Russian oil comes into effect, global seaborne flows will be completely redefined. For now, however, Russia still exports the vast majority of its crude in the West to Europe. Yet, it is already becoming apparent that more crude is heading East, primarily to India and China. The picture is different for Russian clean products, which continue to flow to Europe, with no apparent shift in trade patterns seen to date, except for the halt in shipments to the US. We are also seeing Europe increasing its intake of both crude and products from alternative sources.
For more details see https://www.gibsons.co.uk/market-reports
5. Supply chain risks
Disruptive economic, societal and geopolitical influences are altering global supply chain risk profiles, the TT Club says. Erosion of traditional buffer mechanisms to ensure continual supply of goods demands a new assessment of potential risks.
The challenges inherent in today’s international trade and the supply chains that service it are painfully obvious – higher prices of energy and food, shortages of and delays in delivering manufactured goods, dynamic changes in markets and sourcing regions. The on-going effects of the pandemic, with its associated lockdowns and the war in Ukraine are proving catalysts to ignite underlying economic and environmental trends that will continue to fuel long-term changes in the pattern of global supply and demand.
TT Club says a thorough understanding of the practical risks is vital in mitigating the dangers to safety and security that are a consequence of these dynamic factors.
“We are suffering from a disappearing ability to absorb short-term shocks to the supply chain because of fundamental societal and geopolitical changes to the global equilibrium,” commented Dorota Jilli, a senior underwriter at TT speaking at the Annual Conference of the European Sea Ports Organisation (ESPO) in Valencia recently. “Yes, Covid and the war are disruptive and are driving up prices but the longer-term trends of production cost increases in Asia and stricter demands of ESG (Environment, Social and Governance) mean that cheaper goods and transport services are features of a past global economy.”
In her presentation, she explained some of the prevalent risks that operators face in this changed environment. Abandoned cargo is more prevalent with delays through port congestion and lockdown closures meaning the incidence of consignee bankruptcy and unwanted goods resulting from a change in market environments is another concern. This is particularly true when dangerous good are left in storage for excessive periods as the tragic incidents in Beirut and in Chittagong more recently attest.
“Trends in cargo theft are also in flux with more essential goods such as food and beverages being targeted and luxury goods and electronics not so much as in the past,” commented Jilli. “Cargo at rest, either at ports or inland staging areas, some of which have been hurriedly pressed into service as overflow facilities, is increasingly subject to theft. As shippers look for ‘workarounds’ to reduce costs or avoid congestion, thieves have been quick to adapt their methodologies and the use of online means of deception and insider recruitment are now both more common.”
TT sees the correct use of data to analyse these trends as being of crucial importance and is utilising its own claims experience along with theft reporting agency information to maintain and expand the all-important industry awareness of the evolving dangers.
Jilli concluded “It is important to ensure that adequate risk assessments are undertaken across the full breadth of your operation in order to understand thoroughly the various risks and, where appropriate develop mitigating actions and controls, together with effective continuity plans to protect your business.”
6. Customs warning
Don’t forget to inform customs, warned the International Transport Intermediaries Club recently A claim handled by ITIC reinforces the need for attention to detail when making changes to an ocean freight booking.
In this instance, a Colombian-based ship agent was asked to amend a booking on behalf of the carrier. Originally, the booking was split over two bills of lading but the carrier wanted it consolidated into a single bill – this was requested well before the cargo arrived in Colombia. Although the agent made the changes on the carrier’s system, they omitted to make similar amendments on the local customs system.
When the cargo receiver presented the Import Declaration and paid the taxes on the cargo, it was not possible to link the payment with the consolidated single bill of lading included in the Import Declaration. The local customs system was still showing two separate bills.
To rectify the problem, the receiver was asked to provide a new Import Declaration (re-nationalisation of the cargo). The receiver was unsure whether to agree with the request and, during this delay, container detention and warehousing costs were escalating.
The receiver eventually agreed but the cargo had been delayed by almost a month. As a result, they made a claim against the carrier who then made a counter-claim against the ship’s agent for $32,000.
Unsurprisingly, the agent had no defence as the negligence on their part for not updating the customs system was undisputed. Local legal representation, arranged by ITIC, was successful in eliminating the possibility of a customs fine and ITIC settled the claim on behalf of the agent.
ITIC is keen to raise this case as a warning to intermediaries to check and re-check amendments to bookings and to ensure all relevant paperwork is raised and all relevant authorities are duly notified when changes are made
7. Sanctions support
MIS Marine, the marine assurance technology company, has launched its new product, Mainstay Core. In addition to providing consolidated vetting data that enables faster and more efficient decision-making, Mainstay Core provides a comprehensive snapshot view of sanctions data to support compliance for ship charterers, and minimise the risks for ports and terminals.
Previously only available as a premium subscription platform, MIS Marine has broadened accessibility to its Mainstay product suite with a comprehensive entry-level option at a time when the maritime industry is facing more than 2,000 sanctions due to the Ukraine crisis.
Through standardised but configurable risk policies, Mainstay Core provides full access to marine assurance data sources, enabling effective and simple screening processes and streamlined third party communication. With an intuitive review screen, one-click decision making and colour coded document status indicators, vetting operations are streamlined and time efficient – helping charterers, ports and terminals to make the right decision, faster.
Providing a complete data view, responsive compliance tracking and ultimately streamlining vetting operations, Mainstay Core underpins vetting processes for tankers, barges and offshore vessels and their related companies, providing berth-to-berth assurance of an entire journey, contract, or project.
Dominic McKnight Hardy, Managing Director at MIS Marine, said: “Today, marine assurance is more than vetting. It’s about understanding your complete risk profile. Those risks come in many forms, from compliance and regulatory failings to indirect business with a sanctioned entity. Through its sanctioned data tracking, Mainstay Core automatically alerts you to any sanctions and compliance threats, helping you stay informed of every detail that could affect a vessel’s suitability and jeopardise your reputation.”
8. Sail fast, then wait
NAPA, a leading digital technology provider for the maritime industry, has become one of the members of the Blue Visby Consortium, which aims to help the shipping industry eliminate the wasteful practice of “Sail Fast, then Wait” (SFTW) through a collaborative platform.
Combining a contractual framework and digital technology, the Blue Visby Solution optimizes arrivals, enabling vessels to reduce their speed – and emissions – without impacting their commercial performance.
By tackling SFTW, which sees ships sailing at speed across oceans only to wait at anchorage outside ports, the Blue Visby Solution will help reduce emissions for maritime journeys by 15% on average. If applied globally, the solution has the potential to reduce the carbon footprint of the global shipping fleet by more than 60 million tonnes of CO2 per year the consortium believes..
NAPA joins the Blue Visby Consortium as a technology provider, contributing its digital and voyage expertise to help optimize and stagger arrival times for groups of vessels traveling to the same port. Taking into consideration parameters such as the performance and characteristics of each vessel, port congestion at destination, and weather conditions, the Blue Visby algorithm provides an optimal target arrival time for each vessel, while keeping their order of arrival as if they had sailed independently without the solution. This enables vessels to slow down, cutting their fuel consumption and emissions, but still “keep their place in the queue” and arrive one after the other, which reduces unnecessary waiting times outside ports.
The Blue Visby Solution seeks to address the problem of so-called “split incentives”. It introduces a sharing mechanism that enables stakeholders on each voyage (shipowners, charterers and cargo interests) to share the costs and benefits of the implementation of the Blue Visby Solution, including fuel savings, the costs of a lengthier journey, and the financial value of emissions reductions where applicable. This contractual architecture is designed to be compatible with the standard terms of maritime contracts and does not require any new legislation or regulations.
Based on extensive analysis of 2019 shipping data from 150,000 voyages by 13,000 cargo ships in the 150 most visited ports, NAPA estimates that the Blue Visby Solution will enable vessels to reduce their speed by about 1 knot on average, which is well within the operational parameters of the existing commercial fleet. Speed could be reduced on 87% of the voyages, leading to shorter idle times and an average emissions savings potential of 16%.
The Blue Visby Consortium is coordinated jointly by NAPA and maritime law experts from law firm Stephenson Harwood. Haris Zografakis, partner at Stephenson Harwood, said: “It has been fantastic to work with NAPA on this project. Not only are their systems and software best-in-class, but also their people combine deep maritime knowledge, a vision for the future of the industry, and the dedication to build that future. And in a time-honoured Finnish fashion, they do so calmly, quietly, methodically and with supreme professionalism”.
The Blue Visby Consortium presently includes 11 other maritime leaders from the shipping industry, government, classification societies, consultancies, financing, and environmental organizations: Anglo-American, Carbon Trust, ClassNK, CMB, Drewry, Ocean Conservancy, Lloyd’s, the UK Hydrographic Office, the University of Manchester, Tankers International, and Vertis.
9. Inspections urged
Past reporting of inspections carried out has been sparse. In welcoming the IMO’s revised guidelines for inspections, the international freight transport insurer TT Club exhorts governments to report findings to IMO on 2021 inspections, as well as to increase the volume of inspections carried out. This would helpfully inform the international maritime regulator and support industry players who are striving to ensure safety and reduce dangerous incidents.
Revised Guidelines for the Implementation of the Inspection of Cargo Transport Units (CTUs)* issued last month by the IMO are aimed at helping governments to implement a uniform and safe inspection programme. The IMO Circular (MSC.1/Circ.1649) seeks to broaden the inspections undertaken and align fully with safety guidance developed during the last decade (previous guidelines date from 2012).
Specifically, governments are now requested to select from all cargo types, rather than simply declared dangerous goods, for inspection. Further the guidance takes account of the issuance of the CTU Code¹, revisions of container safety regulations and the need to minimise the movement of invasive pests. The Circular additionally notes the continuing low rate submission of inspection reports and encourages an increase in such inspections.
Peregrine Storrs-Fox, TT’s risk management director said: “With the string of container ship fire casualties and fatal incidents at storage facilities, most recently at Chittagong (Chattogram), in our minds, our current concerns are manifest. They constantly remind us of the importance of adequate safety procedures in packing, handling and transporting the array of cargoes that have the potential to cause catastrophic incidents,” he states.
“With only five of the 179 governments affiliated with IMO submitting reports on inspections at the last Carriage of Cargoes and Containers (CCC) sub-committee meeting in September 2021, the industry urgently seeks more collaborative support from governments in combatting the potential circumstances and cargo packing practices that cause dangerous incidents. It would be much appreciated if more national reports undertaken during 2021 can still be reported for consideration at the next CCC this September. However, TT calls for a viable sample of inspections in future based on the new guidelines. In this regard, TT would urge strongly that governments enter dialogue with industry to understand how the latter can work with enforcement agencies to improve safety.”
There is a plethora of industry generated guidance on best practice relating to packing and handling of cargoes, including the Quick Guide to the CTU Code, along with a Checklist of actions required of those packing cargo in freight containers, published by the Cargo Integrity Group and available in several languages².
¹ IMO/ILO/UNECE Code of practice for packing cargo transport units (CTU Code) https://unece.org/fileadmin/DAM/trans/doc/2014/itc/id_07_CTU_Code_January_2014.pdf
² https:/ /www.ttclub.com/news-and-resources/publications/ctu-code-a-quick-guide
The TT Club has also underlined the importance of maintaining good practice when shipping dangerous goods. This week sees the passing of the tenth anniversary of the fateful Atlantic crossing of the MSC Flaminia that cost the lives of three seafarers and resulted in extensive damage to cargo and the ship.
The forensic investigations and litigation that followed the MSC Flaminia incident adequately demonstrate the complexity of shipping dangerous goods through the maritime supply chain in terms of regulation, practices and expectations. The 2018 judgment in the liability phase of the litigation provides an excellent analysis of logistics workflow and is recommended reading for that alone.
The court determined that the shipper had failed to take account of the nature of the cargo and the specific circumstances of this shipment. Equally, it found that the NVOC had failed to act on the extensive information available from the shipper and specifically did not disclose key information about the cargo to the carrier. Following this reasoning, both the shipper and NVOC were found strictly liable under US Carriage of Goods by Sea Act (COGSA). The matter remains subject to appeal, unresolved ten years on, displaying one of the long-tail consequences of such incidents.
Aside from the litigation, there were lessons learned from this tragic incident that were subsequently incorporated into the relevant regulations, the International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code (IMDG code). In two iterations of IMDG, new UN Numbers were created for this type of product, within subdivision Class 4.1 for polymerizing substances, followed by additional requirements for cargoes classified in this way to be transported under temperature control. However, the process of amending the IMDG Code (and related United Nations Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods, commonly known as the UN Model Regulations, or ‘Orange Book’) is a lengthy one and these changes took several years to become mandatory. Worryingly, TT Club was alerted at the end of 2021 that the subject commodity was still being declared incorrectly under the previous Class 9 UN Number.
Errors, misunderstandings, mis-declarations and inadequate packing and securing lie at the heart of many significant incidents, both at sea and in storage facilities. As ultra-large container ships have continued to increase in size – the largest currently more than three times the capacity of MSC Flaminia – the potential for economic, human and environmental impacts rise in proportion.
Book it right, pack it tight
Recognising the importance of getting it right, TT Club has again teamed up with UK P&I Club in order to support all participants in the maritime supply chain in publishing a detailed guidance document on the IMDG requirements – ‘Book it Right, Pack it Tight’. This version of the guidance reflects the updates in Amendment 40-20 of IMDG, which has been available to be applied voluntarily since 1 January 2021, but became mandatory from 1 June 2022.
The ‘Book it Right, Pack it Tight’ publication provides key insights for all participants in the freight supply chain responsible for preparing unitised consignments of dangerous goods for carriage by sea. The guide is intended to support shippers, forwarders, shipping line booking personnel and those who pack dangerous goods into cargo transport units (CTUs) in the technical aspects of the IMDG Code. The aspiration is to influence behaviours and levels of compliance by assisting all involved to understand their own duties and the duties of their contractual partners through the global supply chain.
10. Minimum UK pay
Our thanks to Miller’s Maritime Newsletter for the information on the UK government’s introduction of new legislation aimed at ensuring that all seafarers regularly entering UK waters get paid at least equivalent to the UK National Minimum Wage. The Seafarers’ Wages Bill, introduced in the House of Lords, enables port authorities to deny access to services calling regularly at UK ports who do not pay their workers equivalent rate to the UK National Minimum Wage for time spent in UK waters.
11. Singapore leader
Singapore has secured the top spot once again in the Xinhua-Baltic International Shipping Centre Development Index Report. It is the ninth consecutive year that the report – published jointly by Chinese state news agency, Xinhua, and global maritime data provider, the Baltic Exchange – has ranked Singapore as the global leading maritime centre. (See https://www.balticexchange.com/en/news-and-events).
The city state scored 94.88 out of a possible 100 points, whilst second on the list was maritime professional services stronghold, London, with 83.04 points. Meanwhile, Shanghai, home to the world’s largest port, takes third place with 82.79 points.
Singapore has earned its longstanding spot at the top of this index due to its wide and established ecosystem of professional global maritime services, good governance, ease of doing business and large and strategically situated port.
Further down the top ten, there was little movement as Hong Kong, Dubai, Rotterdam and Hamburg take fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh place respectively.
This year, however, New York/ New Jersey overtook Athens/ Piraeus to take the eighth place on the list, due to its port’s exceptionally strong TEU uptick in 2021, as logistics companies moved goods through the US east coast port to avoid congestion on the US west coast.
Like last year, the Chinese port of Ningbo-Zhoushan comes in tenth. Its place in this list is almost entirely due to it being the third busiest port in the world in terms of cargo handling, following Singapore and Shanghai.
Baltic Exchange Chief Executive Mark Jackson said: “This report serves as a valuable reminder of how intrinsic shipping is to global trade and prosperity. It also illustrates that shipping does not exist in silos. The success of the maritime hubs included in the top ten list has for the most part been borne out of collaboration and synergies across different sectors of the shipping industry. The Xinhua-Baltic International Shipping Centre Development Index shows that a successful shipping centre provides everything that the international shipowner might need, and a successful shipping centre is ultimately also a successful global city.”
Xu Yuchang of China Economic Information Service, a subsidiary of Xinhua, said:
“The China Economic Information Service is delighted to present the 2022 Xinhua-Baltic International Shipping Centre Development Index Report. This is the ninth report that we have produced alongside the Baltic Exchange, which offers a window into the shipping industry, its drivers and its challenges and plans going forward. The 2022 report highlights that innovation and digitalisation will be essential for maritime success over the next decade. It also shows how flexible and resilient global supply chains can be when confronted with challenges. Importantly, it underscores how central shipping is to the global economy.”
12. SOLAS 2024
Classification Society DNV has provided its take on the new changes to SOLAS set to enter into force next year (For details see https://www.dnv.com/news/what-s-new-with-solas-2024).
The SOLAS Convention is regarded as the most important of all international treaties concerning the safety of merchant ships. Amendments to the technical provisions generally follow a four-year cycle of entry into force. Amendments in the coming year relate to:
- Safe mooring operations
- Modernization of the GMDSS
- Watertight integrity
- Watertight doors on cargo ships
- Fault-isolation of fire detection systems
- Life-saving appliances
- Safety of ships using LNG as fuel
For an overview of the new requirements, visit the DNV Compliance Planner. The Compliance Planner provides a tailored list of upcoming statutory requirements relevant for DNV-registered fleets, including DNV recommended actions to achieve compliance.
Direct link to Fleet Status – for DVN customers only
Info page on the Compliance Planner – open link
13. Alternative fuel guidelines
ClassNK has released the “Guidelines for Ships Using Alternative Fuels (Edition 2.0),” which sets forth safety requirements for ships fuelled by methanol, ethanol, LPG, and ammonia. In particular, specific requirements for ammonia-fuelled ships have been added to provide guidance for the design of alternative-fuelled ships.
These guidelines comprehensively describe safety requirements for methanol, ethanol, and ammonia-fuelled ships. Taking into account the risks posed by the use of alternative fuels against ships, crews, and the environment, they specify requirements for installation, controls, and safety devices to minimize those risks.
The recently published Edition 2.0 reflects the ClassNK’s expertise for ammonia, which is toxic to humans and corrosive to materials, gained through R&D in partnership with the industry and its design review experiences based on the guidelines.
Specific requirements, including isolation distances from areas where there is a risk of ammonia release to areas that should be protected, and safety design concepts to design engines and boilers using ammonia fuel have been added to ensure the safety of ammonia-fuelled ships. (See https://www.classnk.com).
14. Crew safety
Industry partners could still do more to ensure the safety of crews, says INTERCARGO, as it submitted its latest Bulk Carrier Casualty Report to the Sub-Committee on IMO Instruments (III 8). Despite high levels of awareness from shipowners themselves of the dangers of improperly loaded cargo, the report identified that liquefaction continues to be the greatest contributor to loss of life in the bulk sector. (See also item 1 above).
In the last ten years the lives of 70 seafarers were lost as a result of five bulk carrier casualties, four carrying nickel ore and one carrying bauxite. During this period the report identifies a total of 27 bulk carriers over 10,000 dwt as total losses, and 92 crew members lost their lives. Liquefaction accounted for 18.5% of the total vessel casualties in the past ten years yet was the cause of 76.1% of the total loss of life. The Report highlighted that not only were IMSBC Code requirements not being followed, especially in relation to testing and certification of cargo condition, but that there was also lack of adequate assessment and monitoring of the condition of cargoes being loaded in the cargo holds by representatives of all interests.
Uttam Kumar Jaiswal, Vice-Chairman of INTERCARGO said: “Unusually, this report is not targeted at ship operators. They are well aware of the risks to their crews and their vessels caused by carrying cargoes prone to liquefaction and make every effort they can to mitigate those risks. “It is the lack of consolidated effort and commitment from many stakeholders to resolve the problem that is evident. These can include shippers, receivers and port state authorities at loading and discharging ports. We need action from those our industry relies upon for its safety – the IMO, legislators, and suppliers to ensure that that the minimum obligations under the IMSBC Code are properly fulfilled. The industry is simply talking to itself, if we cannot force action from our other stakeholder groups.
“INTERCARGO urges all shipowners, operators, and seafarers to exercise extreme caution when accepting, for carriage, nickel ore, bauxite, iron ore fines, ball clay and other cargoes that have the potential to liquefy. They need to be especially cautious when loading during a wet season as is currently being experienced in certain parts of South-East Asia and West Africa. We would like to stress the importance of adhering to the provisions in the International Maritime Solid Bulk Cargoes Code (IMSBC Code) to ensure the safety of lives at sea and the safe transportation of dry bulk cargoes.”
15. Piracy strategy
The Government of Nigeria and a coalition of global shipping stakeholders have launched a new strategy to end piracy, armed robbery, and kidnapping in the Gulf of Guinea (GoG). The strategy establishes a mechanism to periodically assess the effectiveness of country-piracy initiatives and commitments in the GoG. Targeted at all stakeholders operating in the region, it will identify areas of improvement and reinforcement in order to eliminate piracy.
The plan is split into two mutually supportive sections, (1) actions which can be overseen by the Nigerian Industry Working Group (NIWG), and (2) actions which require engagement with other regional and international partners. The strategic ambition of the coalition is to eliminate piracy in the GoG, to secure trade routes, reassure traversing crews, and support local communities. In May, the UN Security Council condemned the GoG as the world’s piracy hotspot. Despite the International Maritime Bureau’s Piracy Reporting Center tracking an overall drop in global piracy during 2021, threat levels in the region remain high.
Piracy activity in the GoG has posed a severe threat to seafarers and local communities for over a decade. In 2020, 40 percent of piracy attacks, and 95 percent of crew kidnappings occurred in the region. However, attacks decreased by nearly 60 percent in 2021, following the establishment of Deep Blue, the Nigerian Navy and Nigerian Maritime Safety Agency (NIMASA) anti-piracy project, and increased international counter-piracy operations in the GoG.
The newly launched strategy was developed by the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), BIMCO, Intertanko, Intercargo, Oil Companies International Marine Forum (OCIMF), and representatives of the Nigerian Navy and NIMASA, together making up the NIWG. Bashir Jamoh, Director General of NIMASA, said: “Working collaboratively with state and non-state actors, the maritime industry’s various critical players and stakeholders have highlighted key areas where they can make collective improvements. This strategy is an important step in codifying joint efforts to sustain maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea. It will be an important tool to monitor our progress.” Guy Platten, Secretary General of ICS, commented: “The agreement of this strategy demonstrates the strong relationship between the shipping industry and Nigeria, and their shared commitment to eradicating piracy in the Gulf of Guinea. The strategy is already identifying successes and areas in which further improvement will continue to reduce the capability of pirates to attack innocent seafarers in the region.”
David Loosley, Secretary General and CEO of BIMCO, said: “The joint counter-piracy strategy is a welcome result of productive dialogue between Nigerian authorities and industry partners. The long-term success of the joint strategy relies on the establishment of structures and incentives which will stimulate a sustainable change in the Niger Delta pirates’ behaviour.” Katharina Stanzel, Managing Director Intertanko, said: “The agreement on the Gulf of Guinea Strategy marks a significant point in the fight against piracy and insecurity in this region. Seafarers have borne this burden for too long and this agreed strategy, with its associated KPIs will assist in making their time on ships in the area safer and more secure.”
Kostas Gkonis, Secretary General Intercargo, elaborated: “With this new strategy the shipping industry is beginning a new journey alongside Nigeria, an organised approach to tackle security in the waters in the Gulf of Guinea. It is only the first step, and the partners must continue to work together to ensure continuous improvement and ensure that the shipping community and the local economy see real change as a result of the strategy”.
Karen Davis, OCIMF Managing Director, said: “The need to identify and prioritise those issues which can help prevent harm to our seafarers is of paramount importance. This joint strategy provides clarity to the activities that, when tackled collaboratively, will make a difference. A positive effect has already been demonstrated.” A spokesperson of the Nigerian Navy concluded: “The Nigerian Navy plays a vital role in ensuring maritime security. Collaborating with national as well as international stakeholders is most important, and this joint strategy demonstrates the good that can be achieved by working together.”
16. MAIB advice
The Marine Accident Investigation Branch has produced a number of blogs on safety issues to coincide with Maritime Safety Week. Topics include pilot ladders, mooring deck safety and CO2 blockages safety.
For more details see: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/marine-accident-investigation-branch. There is also a report on the Teal Bay incident which was released this week and which involved a fatality resulting from a mooring deck accident.
17. Autonomous navigation MOU
Korean Register (KR) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with KLCSM and Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) to jointly research and approve the application of autonomous navigation systems for mid- to large-sized vessels.
The agreement, which was signed at the Korea Ocean Expo in Incheon, Korea, will accelerate the commercialization and international competitiveness of domestic autonomous ship equipment and technology by establishing an actual ship-based autonomous operating system that is jointly developed between domestic shipping companies, shipyards and KR.
The announcement comes as an increasing number of shipowners integrate artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things, Big Data and sensor systems into their vessels in order to assist vessel crews.
According to the MOU, SHI’s autonomous navigation system, known as the Samsung Autonomous Ship (SAS), will be applied to KLCSM’s fleet of operating ships to perform risk assessments, develop and certify cyber-security systems, and review the conformity of various agreements and standards for future domestic approval.
In addition, SHI will conduct a comprehensive collaboration for the commercialization of autonomous navigation systems through the certification of ship equipment and Marine Equipment Directive (MED) for Electronic Chart Display and Information System (ECDIS) modules.
“KR will provide technical support for this project in order to further the development and operation of autonomous navigation systems,” said Yeon Kyujin, head of the Plan Approval Center at KR.
“With this latest joint cooperation, more autonomous navigation systems will be successfully applied to ships, which will further increase the efficiency of ship management,” said KWON Ohgil, Managing Director of KLCSM.
“We also expect to improve vessel safety and improve the environment of ship operations amid a current shortage of sailors.”
Kim Hyunjo, Director of the Marine Shipbuilding Research Center of SHI, said:“SHI is focusing its capabilities on the research and development for the commercialization of autonomous navigation technologies for ocean and coastal navigation, including conducting practical ship operations based on the maritime demonstration of our own SAS autonomous navigation system.”
Notices & Miscellany
Following a competitive selection process, Norman Martínez Gutiérrez has been appointed to succeed David Attard as the new Director of the IMO International Maritime Law Institute (IMLI), based in Malta. Professor Attard has served as IMLI Director for the past 30 years (see item 2 above). The announcement by IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim was made during IMLI’s Graduation ceremony held on 1 July 2022. It is expected that Professor Martínez will take the reins of the Institute on 1 August 2022.
Norton Rose Fulbright
Shelley Chapelski has been appointed as Canada Head of Transport at law firm Norton Rose Fulbright.
Leading research and forecasting consultancy Maritime Strategies International has appointed Jianjun ‘JJ’ Wang as Regional Director, Asia, to continue building the consultancy’s brand for the region’s shipowners, offshore players and shipyards.
A well-known figure in Asia-Pacific maritime and financial circles, JJ will be responsible for managing MSI’s activities in the Asia Pacific region from its Singapore base. This includes regular contact with MSI clients, guiding regional strategy, building brand awareness and marketing MSI’s services in the region.
Simpson Spence Young (SSY) announced a number of significant new hires who will be joining the global tanker team and SSY finance in the US, further supporting the continued expansion of teams across the SSY network.
The individuals, who all have substantial track records in shipbroking and ship finance, will be joining existing teams in New York and Houston before the end of the year. Christos Alexandrou, who joins from Charles R. Weber, where he was co-Managing Director, has a 30-year career in ship broking and has been based in the US since 1996. Christos Papanicolaou, is also joining from CR Weber where he was co-Managing Director. Daniel Pletsch is a senior broker with over 15 years’ experience with CR Weber and previously MJLF. David Herman will also be joining from CR Weber.
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(With thanks to Paul Dixon)
Ever heard the story of the giant ship engine that failed? The ship’s owners tried one expert after another, but none of them could figure but how to fix the engine.
Then they brought in an old man who had been fixing ships since he was a youngster.
He carried a large bag of tools with him, and when he arrived, he immediately went to work.
He inspected the engine very carefully, top to bottom.
Two of the ship’s owners were there, watching this man, hoping he would know what to do.
After looking things over, the old man reached into his bag and pulled out a small hammer.
He gently tapped something. Instantly, the engine lurched into life. He carefully put his hammer away. The engine was fixed!
A week later, the owners received a bill from the old man for ten thousand dollars.
“What?!” the owners exclaimed. “He hardly did anything!”
So they wrote the old man a note saying, “Please send us an itemized bill.”
The man sent a bill that read:
Tapping with a hammer ……………………. $ 2.00
Knowing where to tap ……………………… $ 9998.00
Effort is important, but knowing where to make an effort in your life makes all the difference.
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