The International Longshoremen's Association (ILA) and United States Maritime Alliance (USMX) announced on Wednesday, June 6 that the parties had struck a tentative deal for a new, six-year master contract. More than 200 members of the ILA met with the East Coast port employer representatives to discuss a contract renewal before the current pact expires on September 30, 2018. The local ILA and individual port authorities have been directed to reach individual deals to supplment the master contract by July 10, 2018. If this deal is approved by ILA members, there would be labour peace on both coasts of the US until at least 2024, and parallels a labour deal for US West coast ports lasting until 2022.
On June 4 2018, the Honourable Scott Brison, President of the Treasury Board of Canada, and Peter Wallace, Secretary of the Treasury Board, joined with the Honorable Mick Mulvaney, Director of the US Office of Management and Budget, and the Honorable Neomi Rao, US Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs Administrator, to reaffirm this commitment by signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the Regulatory Cooperation Council (RCC). This MOU also establishes a foundation for the ongoing work and growth of the RCC, which is a practical and proven bilateral forum for resolving regulatory barriers and improving business investment between Canada and the United States. Businesses will continue to benefit from the removal of unnecessary costs and duplicate requirements, as well as better market access. Consumers can benefit from timely access to products with consistent quality and safety standards.
Last week the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority awarded twelve shipping lines, two cruise lines, three coastal marine operators and two terminal operators with a Blue Circle Award for their voluntary efforts to conserve energy and reduce air emissions in the Port of Vancouver. The awards recognize industry partners that excel in environmental stewardship and attain the highest level of participation in the port authority’s EcoAction Program and Energy Action Initiative. For the first time this year, the port authority recognized two Blue Circle Award winners under the Energy Action Initiative for achieving specific energy conservation targets. The Energy Action Initiative is a joint program with BC Hydro that helps terminal operators and other port tenants enhance their energy-conservation practices and save costs. The goal of this program is to protect the energy security of our growing port by reducing energy waste.
2017 Blue Circle Award recipients in EcoAction Program category:
2017 Blue Circle Award recipients in Energy Action Initiative category:
Canadian Pacific Railway workers went on strike on Tuesday night, but by Wednesday it was announced that a four-year tentative agreement was reached with the conductors and locomotive engineers at CP, and a five-year agreement with conductors and locomotive engineers at the Kootenay Valley Railway. Full operations resumed on Thursday morning. Ratification votes will take place over the coming months and although details are being withheld until then, the union president has called the deal a fair contract.
Seaspan Shipyards (Seaspan) and the Government of Canada have announced that work will begin soon on the Joint Support Ships (JSS) for the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN). These purpose-built vessels will play a vital role in meeting Canada’s domestic and international obligations and will fully meet the operational needs of the RCN. The $66.6 million contract will allow the shipyard to start construction early and avoid any gaps in production for the workers the site. This move demonstrates the value of the long-term, strategic partnership established between the Government of Canada and Seaspan under the National Shipbuilding Strategy.
Last week we announced that Waterfront Shipping won the Best Fuel Solution Award this year from Lloyds’ List North America, and at the time of writing we were not privy to the impressive list of winners, which includes a number of other Canadian recipients. Congratuations to the following list of award winners:
Best Fuel Solution Award - Waterfront Shipping
Best Technology for Cleaner Emissions - General Electric
Company of the Year - Groupe Desgagnés
Cyber Security Innovation Award - Naval Dome
Deal of the Year - Port Corpus Christi
Environment Award (Dual Winners)- Vancouver Fraser Port Authority & CMA CGM
i-law Maritime Law Award - Norton Rose Fulbright
Port Infrastructure Development of the Year - APM Terminals
Port Operator of the Year - Port Houston
Safety Training Initiative - Shell Trading US Company, Shipping & Maritime, Americas
Ship Operator of the Year - International Seaways
Lloyd’s List Intelligence Data Innovation Award - Maersk Line
Cruise Safety Innovation Award - Holland America Group
Lifetime Achievement Award - Foremost Group founder Dr James Chao
The City of Vancouver has filed a federal court claim against the owner of the M/V Marathassa for the oil spill in English Bay in 2015, as part of the city’s efforts to get compensation for the $550,000 expended in its response efforts. The claim which was filed only two years after the incident is still under review by federal government’s Ship-source Oil Pollution Fund. Despite media reports no formal offer of compensation has yet been made to the city.
Green Marine, the premier environmental certification program for North America’s maritime industry, released its 2017 Performance Report showing continued improvement in the sustainability of its existing participants. From 2016 to 2017, performance criteria were added and/or strengthened, making it more difficult to achieve the same levels as in previous years. For example, ship owners had to meet more demanding criteria to achieve Level 5 for the greenhouse gas performance indicator. Ports and terminals were given revised criteria for spill prevention, as well as for the community impacts performance indicator. The greatest improvement was made for one of the newest performance indicators, specifically the criteria for ports and terminals to address waste management. The relevant participants increased their performance by a total of 16 levels for an overall average of 2.5 in 2017 on the program’s 1-to-5 scale from their 2.3 average in 2016. Alll the participants' results are published in the annual performance report and these are listed on the Green Marine website at www.green-marine.org.
The Prince Rupert Port Authority took the opportunity at the GreenTech conference to present its Green Wave Awards to company representatives of vessels that have qualified for one of three tier levels above the base rate based on environmental performance. These tiers are based on the level of commitment towards aspects such as reducing air emissions and pollutants, using more energy efficient technology, and participating in the marine sustainability organizations and initiatives that are being rapidly adopted worldwide. Pictured above from the left are William Song of COSCO Shpping Lines (Canada), Lee Kindberg of Maersk, Marc Gagnon of Fednav, and Jason Scherr of the Prince Rupert Port Authority.
The Government of Canada announced, ahead of Kinder Morgan's May 31st deadline, that it is purchasing the Trans Mountain Expansion Project and related pipeline and terminal assets for $4.5 billion in an effort to secure the timely completion of the project. Federal loan guarantees will ensure that construction continues through the 2018 season, eliminating the uncertainty for families whose financial security relies on this project going ahead this year. As this is not intended to be a long-term investment, the Government of Canada will work with investors to transfer the project and related assets to a new owner or owners. The Government has also extended federal indemnity to protect any prospective new owner from costs associated with politically motivated delays. The backgrounder provides further details of the investment.
In response to the United States’ decision to impose tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum shipments, Canada has announced its intention to impose tariffs on imports of steel, aluminum and other products from the United States—representing the total value ($16.6 billion) of 2017 Canadian exports affected by the US measures. These countermeasures will take effect on July 1, 2018 and will remain in place until the US eliminates its trade-restrictive measures against Canada. Consultation on the proposed countermeasures is open until June 15 and details can be found at: https://www.fin.gc.ca/activty/consult/cacsap-cmpcaa-eng.asp.
As part of its Regulatory Modernization Initiative, the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) is launching consultations on rail-related regulations and guidance materials. These consultations will support the implementation of the Transportation Modernization Act (Bill C-49), which amends the Canada Transportation Act to introduce new measures related to freight rail. The CTA invites affected stakeholders to share their views to ensure that the CTA's rail-related regulations and guidance materials are relevant, clear and up to date. The rail consultations which end on September 30, 2018 and a discussion paper is available to explains many of the regulations and guidance materials under review.
The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) released its investigation report (M16P0378) into the causes and contributing factors that led to the October 2016 grounding and sinking of the US-registered tug Nathan E. Stewart near the entrance to Seaforth Channel. The report underlines the need to effectively and reliably manage the risk of fatigue in the marine industry. The investigation determined that the second mate who, contrary to Canadian regulations, was keeping watch alone on the bridge at the time of the accident, had fallen asleep and missed a planned course change. For more than two days, he had been working a 6-on, 6-off shift schedule, alternating six hours of duty and six hours of rest. This schedule presents a number of challenges which have been well documented by various studies and experts internationally, notably the difficulty in obtaining sufficient restorative rest during the off-duty periods. The Board has made two recommendations following this investigation. Firstly, it is recommending that Transport Canada require that watchkeepers receive mandatory education and awareness training to help identify and prevent the risks of fatigue. Secondly, it is recommending that vessel owners implement comprehensive fatigue-management plans, tailored specifically for their individual operations.
The US Coast Guard issued a safety alert regarding bollard failures at marine facilities and is encouraging facility owners and operators to develop inspection programs to detect deficient bollards prior to failure. The US Army Corps of Engineers, NAVAL Facilities Engineering Command and Air Force Civil Engineering Support Agency have developed a helpful document on this topic titled Unified Facilities Criteria “Inspection of Mooring Hardware” UFC 4-150-08 for the planning, inspection, assessment, and reporting of mooring hardware conditions.
Inchcape Shipping Services Holdings Limited and its affiliates have agreed to pay $20M to resolve allegations that they violated the US False Claims Act by knowingly overbilling the US Navy under contracts for ship husbanding services. The lawsuit alleged that from 2005 to 2014, Inchcape knowingly overbilled the Navy for these services by submitting invoices that overstated the quantity of goods and services provided, billing at rates in excess of applicable contract rates, and double-billing for some goods and services. The lawsuit was brought under the qui tam, or whistleblower, provisions of the False Claims Act by three former employees of Inchcape, Noah Rudolph, Andrea Ford and Lawrence Cosgriff. Under the act, a private citizen may bring suit on behalf of the United States for false claims and share in any recovery. The government may intervene in the case, as it did here. The False Claims Act allows the government to recover treble damages and penalties from those who violate it and it was resolved by the Department of Justice that the whistleblowers will receive approximately $4.4 million.
On June 1, 2018 the China Customs will start enforcing its Advance Manifest (CCAM) rule as outlined in Order No. 56 (2017). The Order requires advanced submission of manifests 24 hours prior to loading of all cargo, including transshipments, to or from Chinese ports. The manifest submission must reflect accurately all goods under the bills of lading. Incomplete or inaccurate submissions will lead to delays.
The European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) has posted its Sulphur Inspection Guidance to provide guidance for a harmonized approach to the inspection of ships, ascertaining their compliance, identifying non-compliances and applying control procedures for the enforcement of Directive (EU) 2016/802 (codification of Council Directive 1999/32/EC), as regards the sulphur content of marine fuels. The provisions of the Directive apply to all ships of all flags, including domestic shipping and those whose journey began outside the EU.