The US Customs and Border Protection has published comments received to its notice of proposed modification and revocation of ruling letters relating to CBP’s application of the Jones Acton its trade website. The deadline for comments was April 18, 2017. As reported previously the key item of debate is the definition of vessel equipment that CBP has used in its coastwide trade rulings since the 1930s. Lobbyists for the maritime industry point to early statements by Trump cabinet officials, including Treasury Secretary Elaine Chao, in support of strengthening the Jones Act, but it remains unclear if the administration is willing to push forward a change opposed by American Petroleum Institute and others in the oil and gas sector.
Cruise ships, together with their passengers and crew, make a significant annual contribution to the Canadian economy – and cruise industry spending is increasing at a healthy rate in all three of Canada’s major coastal cruise regions – BC, Quebec and Atlantic Canada. The study, entitled The Economic Contribution of the International Cruise Industry in Canada 2016, prepared by Business Research & Economic Advisors (BREA) finds that the industry's total economic impact of $3.2 billion – including direct and indirect spending – increased 34% since 2012, attributed to gains in cruise line, passenger and crew spending, along with increases in business taxes such as those on food, fuel and retail items, and a favourable Canadian exchange rate. The 9% increase in passenger visits between 2012 and 2016 is about to be eclipsed by a 14% single-year growth forecast for 2017, ensuring further gains in cruise industry spending in the coming year.
Twelve shipping lines and two cruise lines are the recipients of the eighth annual Blue Circle Awards presented by the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority. The Blue Circle Awards recognize marine carriers that excel in environmental stewardship and attain the highest participation rates in the port authority’s EcoAction program. The program recognizes vessels that exceed the environmental standards for marine air emissions and underwater noise. This year's recipients are:
In celebration of Earth Day on April 21st, Global Container Terminals announced that preserving the planet is its priority in everything they do, from operating procedures to equipment deployed. A new Global Commitment seal serves as a visible pledge for a sustainable future. Eight new, electric cantilevered rail mounted gantry cranes and two ship-to-shore Megamax cranes at GCT Deltaport are among the first to bear the seal but moving forward, it will be placed on all new heavy iron GCT equipment that meets its environmentally friendly standards.
This week a video was shared of a crew member on board the Cheikh El Mokrani LNG tanker jumped from the deck of the ship to help a fellow seafarer in a lifeboat rescue a large whale entangled in a fishing net. It was happy ending thanks to the determined efforts of the crew. (Thanks to Lucky H. for sharing this story.)
The US Coast Guard's 2016 Annual Report on Port State Control (PSC) for the United States provides key statistics related to the enforcement of regulations under the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL), and the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code (ISPS). The 2016 report shows that despite seeing an increase in PSC activity in the US by 125 safety exams over 2015 figures, total detentions decreased significantly from 202 to 103 ships - the lowest in five years.
The Coast Guard Marine Safety Center received its fifth application for Ballast Water Management System type approval for the Ecochlor Ballast Water Treatment System manufactured by Echochlor, Inc. MSC will review the application for compliance with US Coast Guard regulations in 46 CFR 162.060. Still only three systems have been approved - Optimarin (Norway), Alfa Laval (Sweden), and OceanSaver AS (Norway). A decision on Sunrui's (China) application submitted on January 20, 2017 is still pending.
Ships calling Shanghai's Yangshan deepwater port are encountering significant delays as a result of several factors, including the alliance re-shuffle, bad weather and terminal capacity mismanagement. The average delay per ship is now up to 53 hours. A logistics operator has indicated that mainly the Asia-Europe, trans-Pacific, and Asia-Australia trade lanes have been affected resulting at one point this week over 100 vessels waiting outside Shanghai port. Changes to the vessel sharing agreements is expected to see two percent more vessel capacity and significant increases in ships size. Adding to congestion on the docks, many shippers are trying to load containers before an anticipated May 1st general rate increase.
The Canadian Marine Pilots' Association has released a report titled, "Marine Pilotage in Canada: A Cost Benefit Analysis." In 2014, Canada’s four not-for-profit regional pilotage authorities collected approximately $208 million in pilotage fees, a figure which effectively represents the total annual cost for the provision of pilotage services. For the first time since the Pilotage Act was enacted in 1972, this study provides a cost-benefit analysis of pilotage services in Canada. The combined safety and efficiency benefits result in an overall cost benefit ratio for Canadian pilotage of 21.9 to 1. This means that the $208 million spent on Canadian pilotage buys at least $4.56 billion in economic benefit to Canada. As such, it makes a net contribution of $4.3 billion every year to the economic well-being of Canada’s citizens –an average of $120 per person every year for each of Canada’s 32.6 million people.
Clear Seas has released a study of governance systems and practices for oil spill response in leading ports of other countries to identify possible options for improvement of the regimes in Canadian ports. Led by Dr. Trevor Heaver, Professor Emeritus at the University of British Columbia Centre for Transportation Studies, this research examines spill response policies and practices in seven ports in five countries including Seattle, Los Angeles and Houston in the U.S., and Southampton, Antwerp, Rotterdam and Hamburg in Europe.
Our very good friend and colleague Captain Zak Farid passed away on April 18th at Royal Jubilee Hospital Victoria following two weeks in the Intensive Care Unit. Family and a number of close friends were at his bedside at the time of his passing. Zak was the Director, Operational Safety & Standards for BC Ferries for a number of years and was a long-standing Chair of the Navigation Aids and Navigation Safety Sub-committee of the Pacific Coast Marine Review Panel. After BC Ferries he was appointed the lead auditor conducting International Safety Management (ISM) Audits for BC Ferries and was one of the safety inspectors for Vanuatu Flag vessels arriving in Canada. Zak also holds the honour of being master of Canada's first hovercraft running on a commercial basis and was the recipient of Transport Canada's 2007 Marine Safety Award that recognized his outstanding contributions to Canadian marine safety.
Seaspan Corporation has announced that its Board of Directors has appointed Larry Simkins, President, Chief Executive Officer and Director of the Washington Companies ("WashCo"), to its Board to replace Graham Porter, who has resigned as a Director of the company to focus on other personal and professional commitments. Porter is a co-founder of Seaspan Corporation and has been Managing Director and Deputy Chairman of Seaspan Management Services Limited since July 2005. Porter will likely be dedicating more time to Tiger Group Investments, a private investment firm exclusively on the maritime sector, for which he serves as Chairman.
Commissioner Mario Cordero will depart the Federal Maritime Commission next month in order to accept the job of Executive Director of the Port of Long Beach, California. The Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners voted Friday afternoon to hire Mr. Cordero to run the port. Mr. Cordero intends to continue his service to the Federal Maritime Commission through Friday, May 12th. He will assume his duties at the Port of Long Beach on Monday, May 15th.
The European Commission (EC) posted its Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) to assist MRV (monitoring, reporting and verification) companies, verifiers and other stakeholders to implement the European Union MRV shipping legislation. It requires ships over 5000 GT carrying out maritime transport activities to or from EEA ports to monitor and report information including verified data on their CO2 emissions from 1st of January 2018.
Andrew Mayer, formerly the Vice-President, Commercial and Regulatory Affairs and General Counsel since 2008 has been appointed to the bench of the Supreme Court of British Columbia. Justice Mayer fills a vacancy located in Prince Rupert, where he will continue to reside with his wife Helen and four children. Prior to going in-house with the Port Authority in 2008, Justice Mayer practiced primarily in the areas of marine and environmental law, and civil litigation with Campney and Murphy (2000-2002) and Bernard LLP (2002-2008), both in Vancouver. He has appeared before all levels of court in British Columbia and the Federal Court of Canada.
The proposed guideline is expected to be finally adopted by the IALA Council in December 2017. For more information, visit: www.efficiensea2.org.
The International Sailors Society is now accepting applications for its Maritime Bursary created in honour of its long-serving director and corporate secretary, Sue Hanby. The bursary is open to students who are enrolling in marine related studies with a recognized educational institution, however, please note that preference will be given to students who are preparing for a sea-going career. For more information, visit: www.sailorssociety.ca.