The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) has announced that the amendments to the Transportation Safety Board Regulations, published in the Canada Gazette, Part II, are now in force. The amended Regulations are intended to update the reporting and investigation of occurrences in Canada's transportation sector. There are two parts to the amendment, Part 2 came into effect on March 12, 2014 and Part 1 will take effect only on July 1, 2014.
For the marine industry the Part 2 addresses witness interviews and provides for a representative to accompay them during an interview. Part 1 updates and introduces new definitions under the TSB Regulations and adds requirements to the reporting of a marine occurrence.
Who is required to report a marine occurrence?
When the operator of the ship—whether they are the owner, the master, the ship's pilot, a crew member or the harbour master—has direct knowledge of an occurrence, they are required to report it to the TSB.
When do you report an occurrence?
In addition to the current requirements, you must now report an occurrence when:
After 20 years, Canada Border Services Agency will leave their 333 Dunsmuir Street address and move to a new location on April 7, 2014. The new location details are as follows:
Canada Border Services Agency
412-4th Floor, 1611 Main Street
Vancouver, BC V6A 2W5
Hours of operation (Monday to Friday) 08:00 - 16:00
Due to the relocation, longroom services will be unavailable at the downtown location from April 3 to April 6. If services are required the CBA office at United Terminals at 7867 Express Street, Burnaby and Air Cargo at 5000 Miller Road, Richmond will be available.
For any questions regarding bonded stores and crew issue contact (604) 666-9865 or (604) 666-5310. For after hours and statutory holiday services call VMOCC (604) 713-9840.
Following two weeks of highly damaging disruption to container drayage services, last evening (March 13) The Honourable Lisa Raitt, Minister of Transport, the Honourable Todd Stone, British Columbia Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure, and Robin Silvester, President & CEO of Port Metro Vancouver, announced a 14-point plan designed to end the dispute involving both the non-unionized United Truckers Association (UTA) and the unionized UNIFOR registered drivers.
See the News Release here on-line.
See the 14-Point Joint Action Plan here on-line.
See the Information for trucking companies and truckers on the Proposed new Truck Licensing System and other improvements here online.
HMCS Protecteur was towed into Pearl Harbour by a U.S. navy tug on Thursday last week following her serious engine room fire. It is still not clear what the next steps may be given the advanced age of the vessel and the fact that she was to be retired in 2015. By all accounts the incident could well have turned out to be much more serious than it was.
USS Ronald Reagan at Royal Roads
As mentioned in a member bulletin earlier this week, in a bid to alleviate continuing pressure on anchorages we have secured an agreement to open up Royal Roads anchorages off Esquimalt to commercial use without payment of local harbor dues. Details:
Anchorages B, E and F have a radius of 2 cables and could hold 3 x 200m vessels.
Anchorages A, C and D are 2.5 cables and could hold 3 x panama vessels or possibly 2 capesizes.
The depths at each of the anchorages are:
Sabine Pass LNG, Louisiana
Protectionism is alive and well as politicians in Congress, aided and abetted by the staff of Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration (MARAD) seek to require U.S. LNG exports be carried in U.S. built manned and flagged (read Jones Act) be exported in exports of liquefied natural gas to use U.S.-made and -crewed ships. U.S. shipyards last built an LNG carrier in 1980 and even assuming the transfer of construction technology, a new standard sized LNG carrier built in South Korea will set an owner back around $200 million with a similar U.S. built vessel estimated to cost 4-5 times as much.
Driving the proposal is the harsh reality that U.S. flag fleet has declined from around 1000 ships to an estimated 180 ships over the last 50 years. Many of these are well past their “sell by date” and only survive on the back of cargo preference policies. In terms of LNG pricing, Japan is paying around $17 per million British thermal units (BTU)of LNG compared to a sale price of around $5 on the U.S. Gulf Coast, according to most recent data with U.S. export capacity estimated to be around 62 million tons/year by 2020.
Here in BC, depending on who you talk to there are around a dozen project proposals to export LNG plus at least three other projects planned in two other provinces. The National Energy Board (NEB), has so far approved seven of BC’s LNG project export permits namely:
The following export applications are under NEB review:
A group of 33 passengers has decided to try and cash in on the unfortunate engine room fire suffered by the Carnival Triumph last year. The group is seeking $5,000 a month for the rest of their lives for medical bills and mental anguish. The vessel was without engine power, air conditioning and functioning bathrooms for five days causing many passengers to camp pout on deck until she was towed into port. Carnival generously issued passengers with a full refund, a free future cruise and an additional $500 per person. A Carnival spokesperson described the legal action as “an opportunistic lawsuit brought by plaintiff’s counsel and plaintiffs who seek to make a money grab.”
It was also announced this week that the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) plans to make unannounced inspections of cruise ships this year in a bid to increase oversight. Assuming no defects are identified, the inspections will be short but will be an addition to regularly scheduled “Certificate of Compliance” annual and periodic inspections.
The disappearance of a Malaysian airliner about an hour into a flight to Beijing is an “unprecedented mystery”, the country’s civil aviation chief said this week, as a massive air and sea search now in its seventh day has failed to find any trace of the plane or 239 people on board. Dozens of ships and aircraft from 10 countries have scoured the seas around Malaysia and south of Vietnam as questions mounted over possible security lapses and whether a bomb or hijacking attempt could have brought down the Boeing 777-200ER which took off from the Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur. With around half of the missing passengers of Chinese nationality, the COSCO owned Tai Shun Hai a 47,000 DWT geared bulk carrier was requested to help in the search this week by China's Ministry of Transport. Four Chinese Navy warships, Jing Gang Shan, Mian Yang, Kun Lun Shan and Jing Gang Shan were also assigned to the search area. A crew member on board the drilling rig Songa Mercur off the coast of Vietnam has reported that he may have seen the missing plane on fire at high altitude.
Japan is set to become the latest country to require information from importers of containerized cargo before loading, with a 24-hour advanced manifest rule coming into force on March 10. The system allows for exceptions for some short routes between neighboring nations and Japan, for which the information must be filed before departure, but not 24 hours before departure. Container cargo that will be discharged or transshipped in Japan is subject to the rule, but empty containers are excepted. Freight remaining on board (FROB) is initially exempt from filing requirements. Filers must submit the information electronically via Nippon Automated Cargo and Port Consolidated System (NACCS).
The government of Finland has announced a second round of financial aid for the country’s ship owners with a package of €12.6m ($17.5m)as they prepare to meet the 2015 ECA standards. The aid is to be spread over eight companies operating 45 vessels. Finland is exceptional amongst EU countries in the implementation of EU state aid guidelines that allow a certain amount of financial support for owners seeking compliance with environmental regulations and objectives. Individual countries are permitted to partly support the installation of emission abatement technology, gas fuel systems, and some fuel-saving ideas, to a defined percentage of total cost.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper was in Vancouver this week with the BC Chamber of Commerce to discuss the new free trade agreement concluded between Canada and the Republic of Korea. The free trade agreement will significantly boost trade and investment ties between the two countries, creating jobs and opportunities for Canadians. The Free Trade Agreement, Canada's first with an Asian market, will eliminate tariffs and reduce non–tariff measures that hinder market access for Canadian exporters and investors in Korea. Once the Agreement is fully implemented, Korea will remove duties on 98.2 per cent of its tariff lines, covering virtually all of Canada's imports. Korea is a key market for Canada – it is the world's 15th–largest economy (GDP of $1.1 trillion), and Canada's seventh–largest merchandise trading partner. Total merchandise trade between the two countries reached approximately $10.1 billion in 2012.
Canada's annual agricultural exports to Korea were worth an average of $708 million from 2010 to 2012, led by wheat, pork and pork offal, hides, skins and furs, refined and crude canola oil, malt and prepared foods. Canadian agricultural exports to Korea currently face high tariff rates, which averaged 52.7 per cent in 2012. The Agreement will result in the elimination of tariffs on 86.8 per cent of agricultural tariff lines. This duty–free access will give Canadian agricultural products, including beef, pork, canola and grains, preferential access to the Korean market and will put Canada on a level playing field with Korea's current FTA partners.
Wood and forestry products of key export interest to Canada, including spruce, pine and fir lumber, oriented strand board, Western hemlock lumber, wood beams and arches, and red cedar lumber, currently face tariffs ranging from 5 to 8 per cent. Upon the Agreement's entry into force, over 57 per cent of tariff lines for wood and forest products will be duty–free, while a further 13.1 per cent will become duty–free within three years. Duties on the remaining tariff lines will be eliminated within 10 years.
It has been revealed that the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has now issued subpoenas to four companies requesting additional information as part of its investigation to determine ECA compliance. It appears that the subpoenas on an analysis of vessels that have "consistently filed fuel oil non-availability reports” (FONAR). The US Coast Guard routinely forwards all incidents of non-compliance with Annex VI to EPA for adjudication since it is the EPA that holds the big stick of enforcement.
Congressional leaders this week heard from Mr. Rod Jones, President and CEO of the CSL Group, and Mr. Bill Terry, President of Eagle Rock Aggregates who both testified in person and via written statement to describe “the well-intentioned new shipping fuel requirement from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), set to take effect in 2015, whose flawed design may actually spur increased onshore air pollution and higher shipping costs, as well as increased shipping prices for companies reliant on the short sea shipping industry”. Both also suggested that the EPA failed to consider the short sea shipping industry, whose vessels travel almost entirely within the ECA, when crafting the policy. The new fuel’s price tag, they said, is so expensive that it is likely to displace cargo shipments onto substantially less environmentally-sound shipping modes, particularly trucks and trains. For the public, that means more onshore air emissions and crowded roadways. CSL estimates that they are likely instead to see a 35% increase in fuel costs which is many times higher than the numbers provided to Congress by EPA.
Northern Gateway has announced that that the Hon. Jim Prentice (picture above),a renowned advocate for economic partnerships with First Nationshas been appointed to lead new efforts to consult with and establish partnerships with First Nations and Aboriginal communities along the path of the proposed pipeline from the oil sands to the coast. The intention is to try and build on the agreements already in place with 26 existing Aboriginal equity partners. Mr. Prentice is a former federal Minister of Indian Affairs & Northern Development, and has spent 30 years working closely with First Nations. As a lawyer he also negotiated land claim settlements and later served as the Co-Chair of Canada’s Specific Claims Commission. As a Minister he negotiated the Residential Schools Settlement Agreement, oversaw the Maa-nulth and Tsawwassen First Nation Settlements in BC and the conclusion of the Gwaii Hanaas Marine Conservation Area Agreement with the Haida.
Pacific NorthWest LNG which is lead by Malaysia's Petronas Group has kick started its environmental review process by submitting its Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to both the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency and the British Columbia Environmental Assessment Office (BC EAO). The project involves building a liquefaction plant on Lelu Island with a total project cost of $35 billion. The project’s developers have committed to a 30 metres tree and vegetation buffer around most of the Lelu Island to provide a natural sound and light barrier. Partnering in the project with 10% is Japex which has agreed to buy a proportion of the facility's production for a minimum of 20 years for delivery to Japan.
The NOAA Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratoryis reporting that the Great Lakes are almost completely frozen over. In early March, ice coverage was estimated at around 90%, by far the greatest percentage seen in 30 years and potentially set to break records for all time. The previous record was set in 1979 when nearly 95% of the Great Lakes were frozen.The above map shows the situation where shades of blue indicate ice concentration, with the darkest shade of blue indicating areas where 0-10 percent of the water’s surface is frozen and white indicating areas where the water is entirely frozen over.Lakes Superior, Erie, Huron, and St. Clair were 90-100% ice covered, while Lakes Michigan and Ontario were 82% and 43% ice covered, respectively.