The US Office of Management and Budget have received 72 submissions in response to its request on how the Federal government may prudently manage regulatory costs imposed on the maritime sector. Multiple Federal agencies regulate the US maritime sector consistent with their statutory authorities. OIRA seeks public comment on how existing agency requirements affecting the maritime sector can be modified or repealed to increase efficiency, reduce or eliminate unnecessary or unjustified regulatory burdens, or simplify regulatory compliance while continuing to meet statutory missions. This will inform US agencies' development of regulatory reform proposals. Canada maritime sector is drowning with the government's silos and administrative burdens - it's time for action. Submissions can be found at: https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=OMB-2018-0002-0001.
A Final Rule published by the Federal Maritime Commission offering deregulatory flexibilities for Non-Vessel-Operating Common Carrier (NVOCC) Negotiated Rate Arrangements (NRAs) and NVOCC Service Arrangements (NSAs) will go into force on August 22, 2018. The key changes to NRAs allow them to be amended at any time; allow the inclusion of non-rate economic terms; and, allow an NVOCC to provide for shipper’s acceptance of the NRA by booking a shipment. NSAs will become easier and more attractive to use by removing filing and essential terms requirements.
The US Coast Guard is investigating the 88-foot fishing vessel Mark I for knowingly discharging oil overboard in Canadian waters. On July 7th Transport Canada's National Aerial Surveillance crew detected the Mark I transiting through the Canadian exclusive economic zone 97-miles off of Cape St. James, BC with an approximate 26-mile oil sheen trailing behind. The USCG pollution response investigators and investigative service agents boarded the Mark I in Dutch Harbor, Friday. During the boarding they found evidence that bilge waste and oil had been discharged overboard. The operators of Mark I have been order to perform certain marine environmental actions and clean up. US vessels are prohibited from discharging oil or oily water within and outside US waters. The Mark I violated the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships and the discharge can result in up to 10 years confinement and a criminal fine up to $250,000.
Draft guidance to support planning for the implementation from 1 January 2020 of the lower limit of 0.50% for sulphur content in fuel oil used by ships has been developed by an International Maritime Organization (IMO) PPR intersessional meeting (9-13 July). The draft guidance is part of a set of guidelines being developed by IMO to help ensure the consistent implementation of the MARPOL regulation coming into effect from 1 January 2020. This will cut the limit for sulphur content in fuel oil to 0.50% mass by mass (m/m), from 3.50%. (The limit will remain at 0.10% in the four internationally designated Emission Control Areas (ECAs): the Baltic Sea area; the North Sea area; the North American area (covering designated coastal areas off the United States and Canada); and the United States Caribbean Sea area (around Puerto Rico and the United States Virgin Islands). The guidance includes sections on:
The draft guidance is expected to be approved at the next session of IMO's Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 73), 22-26 October 2018. A more comprehensive document containing guidelines of a more operational nature to help operators manage both distillate fuels and fuel oil blends containing residual fuel will be developed at PPR in February next year for approval by MEPC 74 in May, 2019.
The IMO's 2018 World Maritime Day will celebrate 70 years of helping international shipping become safer, more secure and develop a greener environmental footprint. A short animated film shows how IMO has developed mandatory international regulations covering almost every aspect of shipping. As a result, modern shipping conforms to the highest practicable standards and is the safest, cleanest and most efficient way to move goods around the world. The animation traces IMO's voyage from the 1948 United Nations conference in Geneva, which saw its founding convention adopted, through to the present day. It highlights key developments such as new rules for tanker safety following the infamous Torrey Canyon incident in 1967, the satellite-based Global Maritime Distress and Safety System and the designation of several vital environmentally sensitive areas around the world which today receive special protection from shipping.
The US Maritime Administration (MARAD) posted Maritime Advisory 2018-009 to update on areas of violence due to regional conflict and piracy. Conflict may affect vessels transiting the southern Red Sea, Bab al Mandeb Strait and Gulf of Aden, while concerns piracy remain in the southern Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, Arabian Sea, Indian Ocean, and Gulf of Oman. The newly released Best Management Practices to Deter Piracy and Enhance Maritime Security in the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, Indian Ocean and Arabian Sea (BMP5), and Maritime Global Security website at www.maritimeglobalsecurity.org (which contains BMP5) provide excellent security recommendations and should be consulted prior to operating in the above listed geographic areas.
Israel-based shipping giant Zim Integrated Shipping Services has joined into a partnership with the 2M Alliance, one of the world’s largest shipping groups, to open trade lines between the east coast of the United States and Asia. The 2M Alliance includes Maersk Line and Mediterranean Shipping Company. Starting in September, the companies will operate five loops between Asia and the US east coast. Zim will operate one loop and 2M will operate four loops, and the parties will swap slots on all loops.
China’s independent refiner Baota Petrochemical Group plans to bareboat charter 60 product tankers from a number of international tanker owners, including Maersk Tankers, Hafnia Tankers, and Scorpio Tankers. McQuilling Partners Inc. shipbrokers and Mare Maritime Singapore ship management service providers have a role to play. Baota is operates refineries based in Xinjiang, Ningxia, Inner Mongolia and Guandong with a total annual refining capacity of 15 million tons.
The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority announced that Tidewater Container Services Inc. and Harbour Link Container Services have been selected as the operator and drayage provider for the Tsawwassen Container Examination Facility. Tidewater is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Harbour Link. The new facility is being built on Tsawwassen First Nation Industrial Lands at a projected total cost of $33 million and is expected to be operational by the end of the year.
The presence of southern resident killer whales in Haro Strait was confirmed on July 12th. The return of these endangered whales signals the start of the voluntary vessel slowdown in Haro Strait.
Vessels are requested to please slow down to the speed indicated below througth the slowdown area.
The slowdown period will remain active until September 15 and, if the whales remain in the area, may be extended up to October 31. If you wish to receive newsletters about the slowdown, you may click here to subscribe to recieve future updates and notification from the ECHO Program.
On July 11, the Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, announced that amendments to the Marine Mammal Regulations (MMR) are now published in the Canada Gazette, Part II. The new rules for whale watching and approaching marine mammals, which are now in effect, will provide a minimum approach distance of 100 metres for most whales, dolphins and porpoises to legally protect these animals from human disturbances. The required distance requirement will be greater for certain marine mammals, including killer whales in B.C. and the St. Lawrence Estuary Beluga in Quebec, because of the threats they already face or because of local geography. These variations include:
The requirement to respect the approach distances does not apply to a vessel that is in transit. Amendments to the MMR also require operaters of a vehicle to report a collision or or other accidental contact with a marine mammal. Before the changes to the regulations, voluntary guidelines existed but they were not enforceable. These amendments now make it possible for anyone in contravention of the Regulations to be charged with an offence under the Fisheries Act.
The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has invited the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) to develop a standard for methyl/ethyl alcohol as a marine fuel and a standard for methyl/ethyl alcohol couplings. There are currently 8 vessels that operate on Methanol as fuel, the ropax Stena Germanica and seven tankers operated by Waterfornt Shipping, with an additional four ships to enter into service in 2019. This is the first time ISO has considered these fuel types.
The International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) governing body, the IMO Council, approved the Women’s International Shipping and Trading Association (WISTA) application for consultative status on 5 July 2018. “Consultative status gives us the opportunity to promote diversity, inclusion and women’s empowerment, which are our main aims,” said WISTA International President Despina Panayiotou Theodosiou. “We can now formally contribute to the discussion for increasing capacity in our industry, a critical component of which is promoting women in the industry, both shoreside and shipboard. WISTA’s efforts support the overarching principles in IMO’s Strategic Plan, especially the promotion of Gender Equality and the empowerment of women.” WISTA International has more than 3,000 members worldwide representating 44 National WISTA Associations.
LNG Canada is providing an update on summer activities that will be taking place at the site over the summer. While the exact date for a Final Investment Decision (FID) has not yet been determined, LNG Canada is advancing on seasonally sensitve work over the summer to minimize impacts on the enviroment. These activities include:
LNG Canada will be providing more details at an Open House scheduled for July 31st at Riverlodge Recreation Centre in Kitimat.
The federal government is trying to figure out what to do with the MV Sun Sea, and has issued a Request for Information (RFI). Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC) is requesting Industry feedback regarding potential options for the vessel, which has been in the custody of the Canada Border Services Agency since 2010. The government is interested in obtaining input on alternative disposal methods that are environmentally sound and lower costs to Canada Taxpayers. The MV Sun Sea was carrying 492 Sri Lankan Tamils when it was intercepted off the coast of British Columbia on August 12, 2010. It is currently moored at a facility on the Fraser River in Delta, BC.
The U.S. Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States had notified that it does not have any outstanding security issues following an agreement with the U.S. government to divest the Long Beach container terminal business to a third party. Cosco has said the U.S. regulator has cleared its planned takeover of the Hong Kong-based container shipping operator, after Cosco agreed to place a large container terminal in Long Beach, Calif., into a U.S.-run trust and put it up for sale. When everything is final COSCO will hold 90.1% of OOIL.
"Empowering Women in the Maritime Community" has been selected as the World Maritime Day theme for 2019. This will provide an opportunity to raise awareness of the importance of gender equality, in line with the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and to highlight the important contribution of women all over the world to the maritime sector. The Council of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), meeting for its 120th session at IMO Headquarters in London, endorsed the theme, following a proposal by IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim. IMO has been making a concerted effort to help the industry move forward and help women achieve a representation that is in keeping with twenty-first century expectations. This work has been focused through IMO's gender and capacity building programme, which is now in its thirtieth year.