Transport Canada has provided an update on how how to meet STCW 2010 Manila Convention Requirements for Officers and Ratings of the Engine Department (RDIMS#12399853) in the form of a Ship Safety Bulletin #05/2017. Guidelines on the following are included:
The US Coast Guard issued a Marine Safety Information Bulletin (03-17) updating the Ballast Water Management (BWM) Extension Program. If a type-approved BWM system is not available for a vessel, and compliance with the other approved BWM methods is not possible, the vessel owner/operator may apply for an extension of the vessel's compliance date.
On March 9, 2017, Fisheries and Oceans Canada posted the final versions of the "Action Plan for Blue, Fin, Sei and North Pacific Right Whales (Balaenoptera musculus, B. physalus, B. borealis, and Eubalaena japonica) in Canadian Pacific Waters" and the "Action Plan for the Northern and Southern Resident Killer Whale (Orcinus orca) in Canada" on the Species at Risk Public Registry.
These documents can be found at:
Rolls-Royce has received a significant research grant from Tekes—the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation, to enable further research and development at their centre in Turku, Finland. Rolls-Royce is at the forefront of the development of remote controlled and autonomous ships, with a stated goal of seeing a remote controlled ship in commercial use by the end of the decade. Rolls-Royce said it also plans to carry out further development projects there focused on the future development of land-based control centers, and the use of artificial intelligence in future remote and autonomous shipping operations.
Crew members who are nationals from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen shall be denied entry to US ports unless they hold a valid visa, according to the new executive order issued by US President Trump. The new executive order “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States” was issued on 6 March 2017 and it revokes and replaces the previously suspended EO on the subject. The new EO directs that entry into the US for nationals from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen shall be suspended for 90 days from 16 March 2017, while a worldwide review is carried out by the US Secretary of Homeland Security. If any crew member’s visa expires after March 16, the crew member must apply for a new visa.
We have also recently received reports from members of an increased number of instances of PRC seafarers (messmen and stewards in particular) who have deserted or absconded during the ships’ stay at US ports. This has resulted in the detention of the ship and the compulsory arrangement by the local Customs and Border Protection (CBP) offices of armed guards at owners’ expense. We would like to remind members to be alert to this developing situation and recommend that a strict vetting system is developed for the recruitment and employment of PRC messmen/stewards.
The federal, provincial governments together with Tsawwassen First Nation have announced investments towards five major improvements along three key, interconnected gateway corridors that will benefit communities by reducing congestion and boost Asia-Pacific trade opportunities. Included are upgrades to Highway 91, Highway 91 Connector, Highway 17, and Deltaport Way/27B Avenue. Once completed, these upgrades will increase capacity, efficiency and safety as truck and passenger traffic is expected to grow along these important trade corridors and Deltaport—the Port of Vancouver’s largest container terminal located at Roberts Bank in Delta. The estimated total cost is $245,176,671. The Government of Canada is contributing $81,671,139, the Government of BC is contributing approximately $80,000,000, the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority is contributing approximately $80,000,000, and the Tsawwassen First Nation is contributing $3,505,533.
Construction is expected to start in 2017 and to be completed by 2021, generating $194 million in economic benefit and an estimated 745 direct construction jobs over the course of the project. The project will also create economic and employment opportunities for the Tsawwassen First Nation.
Congratulations to BC Ferries who was named yesterday as one of B.C.’s Top Employers, an award that recognizes workplaces offering forward-thinking programs for their employees. The annual competition evaluates employers on several criteria including physical workplace, employee communications, performance management, training and skills development and community involvement. As a top employer in the province, BC Ferries has a progressive workplace, focusing on career opportunities across the organization as well as extensive training and development initiatives. BC Ferries’ SailSafe program, a joint initiative between BC Ferry Services Inc. and the BC Ferry & Marine Workers’ Union builds on current safety practices and reflects the company’s and union’s commitment to safety as an essential part of business.
The March 4, 2017 edition of the Canada Gazette announced Global Affairs Canada's consultation on a potential free trade agreement with China. The consultations, that will run until June 2nd, will seek input on how to improve market access for Canadian businesses in China, and feedback on things like the temporary entry of business people from one country into the other, border and customs issues, investment barriers faced by Canadian investors in China and concerns surrounding human rights and environmental policy.
Seaspan has announced the following five new senior leadership appointments:
In our last newsletter we advised that Clipper's new catamaran (pictured above) will be operating under the V2V Vacations banner, but this is not correct. V2V is a luxury cruise provider that will be operating on the same route between Victoria and Vancouver city centres with fares expected to range between $120 to $240 each way. The V2V Empress is a 254 seat, 16-foot catamaran with leave Vancouver at 8 am from the float plane dock near the convention centre and from the Victoria Steamship Terminal Building at 2pm starting on May 1. Clipper's service with the Halunder Jet will only commence in 2018.
The European Commission’s mid-term review of the EU Maritime Transport Strategy 2009-2018 was well-received during European Shipping Week 2017. Industry endorsed the emphasis on better regulation and a fundamental overhaul of the EU Reporting Formalities’ Directive. Similar to what we have been seeking for almost a decade here in Canada, the revised strategy is expected to lead to a true European single window environment for maritime carriers that fully ensures the “reporting once” principle and that shares all necessary cargo and conveyance data between governments and all relevant authorities. This would reduce the administrative burden for ship crews, shipping companies and ship agents, according to the parties. The revised strategy also speaks to simplifying procedures and requirements that would put shipping on par with land-based transport modes, which already benefit from a single market. Europe’s commerce and economy need shipping to have a genuine maritime space without barriers that will deliver real environmental and logistics benefits, the parties said in the statement.
The US Department of Justice has decided to approve the establishment of the new G2 Ocean joint venture of Gearbulk and Grieg Star. This follows approvals by Poland, Germany and Brazil. According to the two firms, the project is on schedule to have G2 Ocean and its fleet of 130 open hatch, semi-open hatch and conventional bulk vessels fully operational by the end of the first half of 2017.
The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority has released it 2016 year-end statistics for trade through the Port of Vancouver. Overall volume decreased slightly to 136 million tonnes of cargo, down 1.8 per cent from 2015. Sectors experiencing declines were offset by others that hit new records, including the bulk grain sector largely driven by an increase in canola and specialty crop exports. The container sector saw a decline of 4.1 per cent in the number of TEUs, but containerized exports incresed by 3.3 per cent due to growth in woodpulp, grain and foood and agri-product shipments. Cruise terminals saw a 2.7 per cent increase in the number of passengers over 2015.
The Port of Long Beach is poised to receive a $9.7 million grant to fund one of the nation’s largest demonstration projects for zero-emissions cargo-handling equipment. The California Energy Commission has announced a Notice of Proposed Award for a $9.7 million grant to the Port that would involve the design and creation of 25 new or converted electric cargo handling vehicles to be demonstrated for 12 months in the Port of Long Beach at terminals operated by SSA Marine, International Transportation Service (ITS), Long Beach Container Terminal (LBCT), and logistics company Total Transportation Services Inc. (TTSI).
The Tokyo Memorandum of Understanding issued a press release summarizing preliminary results of the concentrated inspection campaign (CIC) on cargo securing arrangements conducted on 1 September through 30 November 2016. Of the 4263 total inspections on ships that were carrying, or required to carry, a cargo securing manual, only 19 vessels were detained as a result of deficiencies found during this CIC. This represents a very low detention rate of 0.45% indicating substantial overall compliance with Cargo Securing Arrangements. 499 inspections resulted in deficiencies being issued for Cargo Securing Arrangements representing 11.7% of the inspections with recorded deficiencies. 94.4% of these inspections recorded that the Master or person in charge of cargo operations was familiar with the cargo securing manual. The majority of lashings/fittings and securing points were found to be fit for the service intended, with only 3.5 to 4 percent of these that were found not fit for the service intended. In addition, the inspection results revealed that most ships had a sufficient quantity of cargo securing devices onboard with only 3.2% of ships being without sufficient quantities.
President Trump has issued an Executive Order that directs a review of the 2015 Clean Water Rule: Definition of 'Waters of the United States," for consistency with his policy for restoring the rule of law, federalism, and economic growth. All waters with a "significant nexus" to "navigable waters" are covered under the Clean Water Act, however, the words "significant nexus" remains open to judicial interpretation and considerable controversy. The Executive Order will likely preserves a federal role in protecting water, and restore the states’ role in the regulation of relatively permanent, standing or flowing bodies of waters.
A study by Monitor Deloitte commissioned by the European Community Shipowners' Association looks at the EU's shipping competitiveness as it compares to leading international shipping centres in Singapore, Hong Kong, Dubai, Shanghai and Vancouver. The framework conditions related to the fiscal treatment of shipping companies, labour-related costs, investment, training, flag state administration, access to skills and services, etc, directly affect operating costs, income and returns on investment. Vancouver, through the marketing efforts of the Vancouver International Maritime Centre, is considered attractive due to a mix of high quality of life, low risks of legislative changes to both general rules and shipping-specific legislation paired with relatively low costs of living compared to Hong Kong and Singapore.