The National Transportation Safety Board released more than 50 recommendations after its two year, 30,500 hour investigation into the SS El Faro's sinking on October 1, 2015 during Hurrican Joaquin. The recommendations include review and implement training of Coast Guard inspectors and accredited classification society surveyors to ensure that they are properly qualified and supported to perform effective, accurate, and transparent vessel inspections, and perform a “proof-of-concept” project to establish whether AIS, or another suitable alternative, can practically deliver, in a single message (1) meteorological and oceanographic data obtained directly from automated instrumentation and manual observation on board vessels at sea, (2) vessel position and time of observation, and (3) other important metadata, by satellite and land-based receivers, to global meteorological authorities via the Global Telecommunication System with acceptable time delay.
BIMCO has released a new leaner version of the BARECON form for bareboat chartering which introduces a formula for calculating a fair share of costs for any compulsory structural changes or new equipment that may be implemented during the charter period. Following the “Ocean Victory” judgment earlier this year, BIMCO has also clarified the wording of the insurance clauses in relation to an insurer’s right to claim against third parties. BARECON 2017 keeps pace with modern bareboat chartering practice and will be useful for all those involved in specialized long term bareboat chartering agreements.
BIMCO and the international association for the marine electronics industry, CIRM (Comité International Radio-Maritime), is hoping to establish an industry-wide standard for software maintenance. BIMCO has seen incidents, where ships for example, suffer complete blackouts, and malfunctions in radar and other related systems, as a result of unforeseen difficulties with a software update. The goal of the Standard on Software Maintenance of Shipboard Equipment is to make sure software updates happen in a secure and systematic way as these update are also necessary to minimize hacking and malware problems. BIMCO and CIRM would like to see the standard become an ISO-standard, to make it more robust. ISO has provisionally accepted the proposal. BIMCO expects a working group to complete the standard in 2021.
The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) has injected another S$12 million (US$8.9 million) to boost LNG bunkering in the Port of Singapore. Half of this S$12 million has been set aside to co-fund the building of new LNG bunker vessels to facilitate the development of ship-to-ship LNG bunkering in the Port of Singapore. The remaining half will be used to top up MPA’s existing co-funding programme to support the building of LNG-fuelled vessels. Launched in 2015, the initial funding for this programme has been fully utilized to support Keppel SMIT Towage Pte Ltd, Maju Maritime Pte Ltd, Harley Marine Asia Pte Ltd, Sinanju Tankers Pte Ltd, and most recently, PSA Marine (Pte) Ltd.
At its largest-ever gathering, the IMO Assembly met for its 30th session in London, UK last week and adopted its strategic plan for 2018-2023 that includes a revised mission statement, a vision statement and seven newly-identified strategic directions. The strategic directions are to improve implemenation; integrate new and advancing technologies in the regulatory framework; respond to climate change; engage in ocean governance; enhance global facilitation and security of international trade; ensure regulatory effectiveness, and ensure organizational effectiveness.
The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority has posted the Tsawwassen Container Examination Facility (TCEF) Operator Request for Proposal (RFP) on BC Bid. The RFP will close on January 9, 2018 at 2:00pm with the aim of having an operator selected by the end of February 2018.
Effective January 1, 2018 the amount the port authority charges container trucking companies that are authorized to operate within the port will be changed to benefit smaller companies. Trucking companies were formally advised of the changes to the access charges and provided with amended access agreements on November 1, 2017, providing 60-days written notice before the new structure goes into effect on January 1, 2018. About one third of those companies authorized to access the port, representing the smaller companies, will pay $25,000 per year instead of the previous $35,000. The port authority’s Truck Licensing System is operated on a cost-recovery basis, so the savings realized by the smaller companies will be equally distributed across the largest.
On November 30th the BC Maritime Employers (BCMEA) served notice to bargain to the International and Longshore and Warehouse Union – Canada (ILWU – Canada) and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union Ship and Dock Foreman Local 514. The current collective agreements, the Longshore Collective Agreement and the Foreman Collective Agreement, both expire on March 31, 2018. Bargaining is anticipated to begin in January 2018. The BCMEA represents the interests of its member companies and is responsible for negotiating two coast-wide collective agreements covering over 6,000 men and women working in the Ports of the lower mainland of Vancouver to Prince Rupert and Vancouver Island.
The Malahat Nation and Steelhead LNG are no longer exploring the possibility of a liquefied natural gas project in the Saanich Inlet. Plans had called for construction of a floating liquefaction production and export facility at a 525-hectare site on Bamberton industrial land owned by the Malahat Nation. Despite the partnership with the Malahat Nation, the project faced some significant hurdles and opposition. Meanwhile, the Huu-ay-aht First Nations and Steelhead LNG just announced that the co-managed LNG project in Sarita southwest of Port Alberni has a new name. Following recommendations from the LNG Advisory Committee, Ḥaw̓iiḥ Council has approved the name Kwispaa (Kwis-pa-a) LNG project.
After nearly a year and a half lost at sea, the robotic sailboat that vanished in a storm on its way from Newfoundland to Ireland has been recovered near Florida by a US research vessel. The sailbot, named Ada, was built by students at the University of British Columbia and largely sponsored by local industry including the Chamber of Shipping. UBC students initially launched Ada on Aug. 16, 2016 and lost contact approximately two weeks after launch when it abruptly turned south and disappeared some 800 kilometres from the nearest coast. Ada will be transported home when the research vessels returns to port on December 15th.
Greystoke Marine Management has announced that Tim Protheroe has joined the company to promote business development in North America. Based in Houston TX, Tim is a Master Mariner who came ashore with Lloyds Register in 1992 and worked in several senior positions before being appointed President, Lloyds Register America’s Inc. in 2014.
The Government of Canada is committed to addressing areas of regulatory misalignment where possible, while respecting Canadian national sovereignty and protecting public health, safety, security and the environment. Addressing alignment issues through regulatory cooperation can help to reduce the unnecessary burden on business, facilitate exports, and foster economic growth. The Regulatory Cooperative Council is seeking proposals by January 8, 2018 to align existing regulatory systems and streamline redundant or duplicative procedures between the two countries. Stakeholder input is instrumental in providing practical recommendations for future alignment opportunities, clarifying priorities, and assisting in possible pilot projects.
Transport Canada has released Ship Safety Bulletin 09/2017, Update on How to Meet STCW 2010 Manila Convention Requirements provides additional guidelines for seafarers who maust comply with the new requirements for the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification, and Watchkeeping for Seafarers, as amended by the 2010 Manila Conference (STCW 2010 Manila) as of January 1, 2017. Updates include:
Transport Canada is now accepting applications under a second call for proposals under the Abandoned Boats Program for assessment and removal (A&R) projects for 2018-19. The application deadline is March 15, 2018 - note the application period for education, awareness and research (EA&R) projects is now closed. The Abandoned Boats Program (ABP) provides grant and contribution funding to assist in the removal of abandoned and/or wrecked small boats posing a hazard in Canadian waters.
From December 18, more than three million truck drivers will be required to replace paper logbooks to record hours of service with electronic logging devices (ELDs). The intention is to improve highway safety by reducing driver fatigue through stricter enforcement of the rules limiting truckers to 11 hours of driving time and 14 total on-duty hours per day. Overall trucking capacity and rates are expected to take a hit as tens of thousands of small trucking firms are not in ready nor in favour of the ELDs. The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) indicated that a period of informed compliance will take place until April 1, 2018.
The US Coast Guard's Towing Vessel National Center of Expertise has released a new towing vessel decision aid called Tug Safe designed to assist with the preparation, completion and documentation of inspections and/or surveys of commercial towing vessels required to comply with 46 CFR Subchapter M. The job aid will generate a custom requirement list for a specific commercial towing vessel using a computer, laptop, tablet or smart phone.
The US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has released its report on the grounding of the Nathan E. Stewart off the waters of Bella Bella in Canada. The second mate of the articulated tug fell asleep in the wheelhouse before the tug and its ATB barge DBL 55 ran aground in the Seaforth Channel of British Columbia. While the barge was empty, the tug released nearly 110,000 litres of fuel and 2,000 litres of lube oil. According to NTSB’s investigation, the second mate was not using the ECS’s cross-track error alarm function, and this was normal practice by this navigation team. If the ECS alarm was used it would have alerted the second mate that a course change had been missed. It would have entered into an alarm mode giving “ample time for the second mate to take corrective action to return Nathan E Stewart to the intended track,” NTSB said in the report. Kirby Corp has since fitted its tugboats with electronic chart systems and wheelhouse alert systems and is enforcing a simulator-based training regime for its captains.