Effective from January 1, 2018 the California State Lands Commission requires vessels to have a biofouling management plan that includes a record book, plans for the management of wetted surfaces, niche areas, and extended residency periods. To view the letter to shipping agents and interested parties, visit: http://www.slc.ca.gov/Programs/MISP/2018-AgentLetter.pdf.
The International Maritime Organization has issued a news release advising of amendments to the Convention on Facilitation of International Maritime Traffic (FAL Convention) that take effect starting January 1, 2018. The amendment adds a new provision that prevents any discrimination for shore leave on grounds of nationality, race, colour, sex, religion, political opinion, or social origin. Shore leave should be granted, irrespective of the flag State of the ship. If any request is turned down, the relevant public authorities must provide an explanation to the crew member and the master, which the seafarer or master can request to be provided in writing.
The other significant amendment is the requirement for national governments to introduce electronic information exchange, including electronic data interchange (EDI), to transmit information related to maritime transport. This should be in place by April 8. 2019, with provision for a transitional period during which paper and electronic documents would be allowed. Use of a "single window" for data is encouraged, to enable all the information required by public authorities in connection with the arrival, stay and departure of ships, persons and cargo, to be submitted via a single portal, without duplication.
Seaspan Corporation has accepted delivery of the MSC Yashi B, an 11,000 TEU containership that will commence a bareboat charter with MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company S.A. (“MSC”) for a period of seventeen years. Upon completion of the bareboat charter period, MSC is obligated to purchase the vessel for a pre-determined amount. The MSC Yashi B, which was constructed at HHIC-Phil, is Seaspan’s fifth SAVER design containership in a series of five ships under bareboat charter to MSC. This is Seaspan’s first vessel delivery in 2018, expanding Seaspan’s operating fleet to 90 vessels. Pictured above is sistership, MSC Shreya B, the second SAVER containership delivered to MSC in September 2017. Seaspan's SAVER design includes a hull form that facilitates very low fuel consumption in the operational speed range, while having an acceptable top speed together with a highly efficient propellor.
In its annual tradition, the Mission to Seafarers and volunteers from Tymac Launch, set sail earlier today to deliver some good cheer and donated gifts to the many seafarers spending the holidays in the Port of Vancouver. Leading the elves this year is the Mission's Reverend Peter Smyth. Great job and thank you all for caring for our visiting seafarers!
AGT Food and Ingredients, a Regina-based pulse and specialty crop exporter, has signed a 20-year deal for access and certain exclusive rights to a new agriculture export terminal to be built at the Fibreco facility in the Port of Vancouver. The new facility will include approximately 43,000 metric tonnes of dry bulk storage, rail capacity to receive full unit trains, and a new shiploader and expanded ship berth capable of loading Panamax vessels. A project permit has been granted by the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority. Approval of a development permit from the District of North Vancouver has also been requested and is the last major condition for the service agreement with AGT.
CN has selected Calgary-headquartered Toyo Engineering Canada Ltd. to design and build a pilot project to produce CanaPux pellets - a key step toward demonstrating the commercial viability of moving bitumen by rail in solid form. CanaPux are solid, dry pellets that will meet the rigorous strength requirements for bulk transport, float in water and do not leak or dissolve, so there is minimal risk of environmental contamination to oceans, lakes and rivers. Toyo will participate in a closed-loop pilot project to create equipment that can solidify and re-liquefy up to 1,000 barrels of bitumen per day. With the pilot, CN will produce CanaPux pellets for further large-scale supply chain testing, including movement of pux in rail gondola cars, unloading at port locations, storage in ground piles and loading of ships.
Through the Oceans Protections Plan and its efforts to improve Canada's capacity to prevent and respond to marine pollution incidents, the Canadian Coast Guard is soliciting bids for new environmental response equipment to contain and remove oil and other contaminants from the water in the case of a spill. This will be the first equipment acquired under the Environmental Response Equipment Modernization initiative. The requests for proposals have been issued for equipment, including curtain booms, high-speed sweep systems, and small, portable multi-cassette skimmers.
The Government of Canada has announced that more than $80 million will go to new science funding for new partnerships, improved knowledge and new technologies that will help mitigate and prevent marine incidents such as oil spills. $45.5 million will support a new research program and leverage worldwide collaboration and best practices. A further $16.8 million will support oil spill research focussed on how oil behaves and degrades in different conditions, including cold water and the final $17.7 million will go towards enhancing ocean models of winds, waves and currents, so that emergency responders can accurately track spills and predict their path. Enhanced ocean modelling will also support safe marine navigation and help prevent spills from happening.
These investments in ocean modelling, oil spill behavior, biological effects, containment and cleaning techniques will ensure that Canada has both the capability and capacity to provide the best scientific advice and tools to prevent, and respond to, oil spills.
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.