The United States has asked the United Nations to ban 10 ships from entering the world's ports over alleged dealings with North Korea. Documents seen by Reuters said the 10 vessels had been conducting ship-to-ship transfers of refined petroleum products to North Korean vessels or transporting North Korean coal in violation of U.N. sanctions imposed over Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile programs. The move comes after the UN blacklisted four ships in October, including one that was caught smuggling 30,000 North Korean-made rocket-propelled grenades in 2016. UN Security Council resolutions passed this year stipulate "all Member States shall prohibit the entry into their ports of such designated vessels," save for some circumstances, including in emergencies or if they are granted humanitarian exceptions by the UN. The ships targeted for blacklisting are Xin Sheng Hai (flag unknown); the Hong-Kong-flagged Lighthouse Winmore; the Togo-flagged Yu Yuan; Panama-flagged Glory Hope 1 (also known as Orient Shenyu), Kai Xiang, and Billions No. 18; and the North Korean-flagged Ul Ji Bong 6, Rung Ra 2, Rye Song Gang 1, and Sam Jong 2.
The US Coast Guard has released the Final Action Memo regarding the loss of El Faro with 33 crewmembers on board. In the Admiral's comments to the investigation report, he attributes the main cause of El Faro's fate to the Master's decision to sail the ship in close proximity to a Category 3 hurricane instead of taking an alternate, safer route as the storm approached. Other key contributing factors noted included the failure of TOTE Services in fulfilling its obligations under the International Safety Management Code,and the failure of both the American Bureau of Shipping and the USCG in their role of oversight in the safety framework.
The International Transport Intermediaries Club (ITIC) has issued a warning to ship agents that may be used by people smugglers to cover the movement of illegal migrants. The basic pattern is for owners/managers to approach the agent asking the agent to attend the vessel's call including giving assistance with a crew change. The approach is a sham but the agent’s involvement could provide cover for the migrants’ arrival in the country. The migrants will promptly disappear. As agents are aware the financial consequences could be severe under Canada's Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations.
In a stock deal estimated at $490 million, Belgian tanker group Euronav is set to buy its US rival, Gener8 Maritime, to create the largest independent VLCC fleet in the world. The fleet will consist of 75 crude tankers - 44 VLCCs and 28 Suezmax tankers representing over 18 million dwt. The merger will result in Euronav shareholders owning approximately 72% of the issued share capital of the Combined Entity and Gener8 shareholders owning approximately 28% . The merger is subject to the approval of Gener8’s shareholders.
Intercargo has released a statement expressing concerns over the latest piracy incident off Nigeria. On December 14th a 57,000 dwt bulk carrier enroute from Lagos to Port Harcourt was attacked by pirates 35 miles south of Brass, Nigeria. Ten crewmembers were kidnapped and are still being held hostage. Intercargo reminds shipping companies that there should be no relaxation of anti-piracy measures and encourages that additional resources be applied on vessels trading in vulnerable regions, such as West Africa, Gulf of Aden, and South East Asia sea corridors.
The Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) ruled that revenues of the Canadian National Railway Company (CN) and the Canadian Pacific Railway Company (CP) have exceeded their Maximum grain revenue entitlements for crop year 2016-2017.
CN and CP now have 30 days to pay the amount by which they exceeded their 2016-2017 revenue entitlements, in addition to a five percent penalty of $288,687 for CN and $53,947 for CP. Regulations stipulate that such payments must be made to the Western Grains Research Foundation, a farmer-financed and directed organization set up to fund research that benefits Prairie farmers. CN and CP moved 6.9 percent more grain this crop year.
On December 21, 2017 seven new marine refuges off the coasts of Nunavut and Newfoundland and Labrador were established by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. These refuges will contribute an additional 145,598 km2 of protected ocean area to Canada’s coasts. This represents an additional 2.53% of protected ocean, bringing Canada’s current total to 7.75%. There are five science-based criteria that conservation measures must meet in order to contribute to Canada’s marine conservation targets:
In January 2018, the Province will begin a comprehensive review of the coastal ferry service in British Columbia to evaluate its performance in meeting the needs of ferry users and British Columbia’s coastal communities. This review will identify what improvements can be made to the existing model and the Coastal Ferry Services Contract to better serve the needs of ferry users and coastal communities. The review will not consider bringing BC Ferries back into government. The review is expected to cost approximately $250,000, inclusive of all fees for technical expertise, research and analysis under the terms of reference to support the review process.
The Province has appointed Blair Redlin, former deputy minister of transportation and former CEO of the BC Transportation Financing Authority, as a special adviser to oversee the review. Redlin will report to the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure, with a final report to be delivered to government by June 2018.
The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority has released its third Port Emissions Inventory Report that indicates a decrease in air pollutant emissions since 2010, despite an increase in trade through the port - a result of stronger regulation and investment in technology. The port authority’s inventory report estimates air emissions from marine, rail, on-road, non-road and administrative activities associated with the Port of Vancouver. It complements regional and national emission inventories that capture other sources, such as commuter vehicles, buildings, and commercial activity, to provide a complete picture of emissions in the Lower Mainland. In addition to capturing detailed estimates of emissions by type in 2015, the report provides an emissions backcast and forecast, which helps to track how emissions have changed and are expected to change in the future.
Congratulations to Seaspan Shipyards (Seaspan) for launching the first of three Offshore Fisheries Science Vessels (OFSV) designed and built under the Government of Canada’s National Shipbuilding Strategy (NSS) last Friday. The vessel, named Sir John Franklin, is 63 metre in length, with a beam of 6.16 metres and capable of speeds of up to 12.5 knots. After a period of sea trials and finishing touches, the ship will be used to gain a better understanding of fish stocks and their ocean environment.
Ship owners participating in the Green Marine environmental certification program have demonstrated leadership in reducing greenhouse gases (GHG). Green Marine’s first carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) emissions data gathering and analysis indicate an average annual reduction in GHG intensity of 1.4%. This initiative was undertaken to better gauge Green Marine’s impact since the environmental program’s launch 10 years ago. The ship owners that provided data for this voluntary initiative represent more than 250 vessels of various types, including: tug, passenger and cargo ferry, bulk, self-unloading, tank, container, and articulated tug barge.
The Québec Port Authority (QPA) announced its plan to invest $400 million on a new container terminal at the site of the Beauport 2020 project. This initiative, part of the Beauport 2020 expansion project, is the culmination of a lengthy process by the QPA to identify economic niches with the highest potential for the future Port’s development. The project includes a 610 metre extension of the wharf and development of 17 hectares. For the Québec City area and all along the St. Lawrence, this promising project could potentially create a new international economic hub geared toward logistics, distribution centers, and new businesses.
Regulations Amending the Commercial Vehicle Drivers Hours of Service Regulations (Electronic Logging Devices and Other Amendments) are published in the Canada Gazette Part I, December 16, 2017. The proposed amendments would align with the US requirements mandating drivers of commercial buses and trucks to use electronic logging devices (ELDs). The amendments would also incorporate by reference a technical standard to establish minimum performance and design specifications for ELDs.
Proposed Regulations Amending the Canada Grain Regulations are published in the Canada Gazette Part I, December 16, 2017 Vol.151, No. 50. The amendments seek to update fees for the Canadian Grain Commission (CGC) from April 1, 2018 and seeks to adjust fees with the annual adjustment factor provided for in the new Services Fee Act.
Bill C-23, an Act respecting the preclearance of persons and goods in Canada and the United States has received Royal Assent. This important milestone brings Canada and the United States closer to implementing the Agreement on Land, Rail, Marine and Air Transport Preclearance between the Government of Canada and the Government of the United States of America. Once enabling regulations are in place, Canada and the United States can ratify the Agreement and start expanding preclearance operations to other modes of transportation – land, rail and marine – in addition to new locations in the air mode. The Agreement also opens the door to explore possibilities for cargo preclearance. The regulations for the air mode are expected to be in place by the end of 2018.
The Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, Dominic LeBlanc has signed eight Critical Habitat Orders under the Species at Risk Act (SARA). The approved orders will allow for further protection of eight at-risk species, including two whales – the North Atlantic Right Whale and Beluga Whale of the St. Lawrence Estuary. A Critical Habitat Order (Order) triggers the prohibition in subsection 58(1) of SARA against the destruction of any part of the critical habitat. This may apply to any ongoing or future human activities that might result in their destruction. SARA provides for conservation agreements that can be entered into by the Minister with any government in Canada, organization or person to benefit a species at risk or enhance its survival in the wild, and allows for the making of regulations, codes of practice, and national standards or guidelines with respect to the protection of critical habitat.
Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, has announced that the following themes that will guide Canada’s 2018 G7 Presidency: