Thursday, 24 April 2014 10:04

Athens Convention enters into force

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The Athens Convention relating to the Carriage of Passengers and their Luggage by Sea, 2002, which substantially raises the limits of liability for the death of, or personal injury to, a passenger on a ship, enters into force on 23 April 2014.
The 2002 Protocol substantially raises the limit of liability 46,666 Special Drawing Rights (SDR) per carriage in the 1974 convention to 250,000 SDR per passenger for a shipping incident, unless the carrier proves that the incident resulted from an act of war, hostilities, civil war, insurrection or a natural phenomenon of an exceptional, inevitable and irresistible character; or was wholly caused by an act or omission done with the intent to cause the incident by a third party. 
If the loss exceeds the limit or in the case of a non-shipping incident, the carrier is further liable up to a combined limit of 400,000 SDR.
The higher limits of liability will apply to ships registered in the following States which have ratified the 2002 treaty: Albania, Belgium, Belize, Bulgaria, Croatia, Denmark, Greece, Latvia, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Palau, Panama, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Serbia, Syrian Arab Republic and the United Kingdom.  Additionally, the Convention is mandatory for European Union Member States.

Wednesday, 23 April 2014 16:53

Nanaimo Port Authority Announces Promotions

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Bernie A. Dumas, President and CEO of the Nanaimo Port Authority, has announced the following appointments:

  • Captain Edward Dahlgren has been promoted to the position of “Director of Operations & Harbour Master”. Edward started with the NPA in 2010 as Manager of Operations and brings to his position, an extensive background in marine operations, security and regulatory management.
  • Mike Davidson has been promoted to the position of “Director of Property and Environment”. Mike has been with the NPA for 30 years and has held a variety of positions during this time. The Port’s future strategic focus will be on land development and on addressing the increasing environmental challenges associated with Port activities. Mike’s diverse experience and dedication will compliment this critical function of the Port’s long term future.

Congratulations to Captain Edward Dahlgren and Mike Davidson on their new positions.

Canada Border Services Agency has issued the following D-Memoranda to provide guidance on tariff valuation under recently negotiated Free-Trade agreements:

D11-3-2 Memorandum - Marking Determination/Re-determination of Goods Imported from a NAFTA Country - outlines and explains legislation and regulations governing the marking determination and re-determination of goods imported from a NAFTA country, and advises importers/owners, exporters and producers on how to use appropriate sections of the legislation.

D11-4-13 Memorandum - Rules of Origin for Casual Goods under Free Trade Agreements - Rules of origin for casual goods regulations to determine entitlement to preferential tariff treatument under various free trade agreements.

D11-5-7 Memorandum - Canada-European Free Trade Association Free Trade Agreement (CEFTA) Rules of Origin - used to determine the entitlement of goods to preferential tariff treatment under CEFTA.

D11-5-8 Memorandum - Canada-Peru Free Trade Agreement (CPFTA) Rules of Origin - used to determine the entitlement of goods to preferential tariff treatment under CPFTA.

D11-5-9 Memorandum - Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement (CCOFTA) Rules of Origin - used to determine the entitlement of goods to preferential tariff treatment under CCOFTA.



Thursday, 17 April 2014 09:17

Kitimat votes "NO" to Northern Gateway

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The people of Kitimat last week voted against the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline. The ballot count from Saturday's unofficial referendum was 1,793 opposed versus 1,278 who supported the project — a margin of 58.4% to 41.6%. As the point of shipment for bitumen, Kitimat is the community most directly impacted by the proposed$6.5-billion project.

Meanwhile, an MOU announced this week between Northern Gateway Pipelines and trade unions representing pipeline construction workers guarantees a minimum target of approximately 2,100 person years of employment of union labour on the project, targets that will be established in detailed Project Labour Agreements. The MOU also ensures that the Project Labour Agreements include guarantees consistent with Northern Gateway’s publically stated commitments to local business opportunities and complements existing agreements with several First Nations groups guaranteeing employment and training opportunities. 

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The Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) are to begin contract negotiations on May 12. The existing contract expiration date is July 1 and the “no-strike” clause ends with it. For its part, the ILWU has publicly stated its objectives as stronger safety provisions, wages, more secure benefits, greater respect for ILWU jurisdiction and a reasonable approach to new technology. Not mentioned but known to be a priority are tax liabilities under the Affordable Health Care Act (Obamacare) set to take effect in 2018 and the proposed length of the new contract. Employers currently pay 100% of the premiums in the ILWU health care plan, and union members contribute just a $1 co-pay per prescription for medication. The PMA estimates that the new tax will cost industry $150 million a year and the ILWU seems intent on making the employers pay.

Thursday, 17 April 2014 09:14

Ferry disaster off coast of South Korea

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Following a tragic accident at sea on Wednesday this week, 287 people are still missing, mostly teenage high school students, after the South Korean owned ro-ro passenger ferry Sewol capsized and sank near Jeju Island with 475 passengers on board. The South Korean authorities have advised that 179 people were rescued in a rapidly organized and ongoing rescue/recovery  operation which is being hampered by poor weather and strong ocean currents in the area. Nine people are so far confirmed dead. Many emotional text messages were sent to their families by students who clearly recognized they were unlikely to survive this terrible event. Our deepest condolences go to the families who have lost loved ones.

Thursday, 17 April 2014 09:12

MH370 - The search goes on

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The search teams seeking evidence of the missing Malaysia Airlines plane MH370 have now deployed a robotic submarine known as Bluefin-21. This is a highly technical piece of equipment, five meters in length, designed to generate a sonar map of the sea floor. No new signals have been heard since 8 April and there are real concerns that the black box detector batteries are extinguished. Up to 12 planes and 15 ships have been involved in the search for the plane.

Australian technicians believe the signals picked up by ADV Ocean Shield are consistent with flight recorders and this has enabled to scope of the search area to be narrowed. Even so, detection of the missing plane remains an extremely difficult task. Each Bluefin-21 mission will last 24 hours at a maximum depth of 4,500 meters (15,000 feet) with 16 hours spent on the ocean floor, four hours' diving and resurfacing time, and four hours to download data. ADV Ocean Shield also spotted an oil slick in the same area where the signals had been heard and a sample is under testing.

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The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) and PSA Corp. are to inject $24 million into a Port Technology Research and Development Program to develop next-generation technologies for future container terminal operations. MPA will also provide a further $12 million over five years from its Maritime Innovation and Technology Fund. The initiative will be asked to focus on key areas of port automation, intelligent planning and control systems, and green port solutions. Singapore averaged 73 berth moves per hour in 2013, placing it near the top among major transshipment hubs but at the same time acknowledges that ever bigger container ships are generating new challenges for ports, including a need to improve crane moves per hour and activity peaks at truck gate moves. Singapore handled 32.6 million TEU in 2013, a 2.9 percent increase over 2012. 

Thursday, 17 April 2014 09:10

Airbus to build weather satellites

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The Airbus consortium has been awarded a contract to build Europe's next generation of polar orbiting weather satellites. The contract requires studies of many types of meteorological observations which are combined into so called “Metop Data” to improve the accuracy of global forecasting. The first generation of “Metop Data” which evolved from a network of satellites will be de-orbited by nudging them down from their roughly 800km high operational altitude until they are caught by the atmosphere and burned to destruction. The first pair of Metop-Second Generation  satellites will launch in 2021/22 and a third and final pair will likely go up in the 2030s, ensuring continuity of data into the 2040s. 

Thursday, 17 April 2014 09:09

Not everyone wants MLS in the Port of Miami

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In a discussion reminiscent of when the Whitecaps were seeking a waterfront stadium in Vancouver, it seems that David Beckham’s proposal to build a waterfront stadium within the port of Miami is not universally popular. Royal Caribbean Cruise Line and its Miami Seaport Alliance partners (including a wealthy car dealer and two locals of the ILA) has taken a full page add in the Miami Herald and its sister Spanish-language paper, El Nuevo Herald to speak out against the plan. The plan’s opponents argue that the well paying waterfront jobs are more important to the city’s economy than part time jobs related to stadium operations.

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A joint venture between Port Metro Vancouver and Metro Vancouver will add several new air quality and meteorological monitoring sites in the East Vancouver area of Burrard Inlet.  These additions will build on the monitoring initiatives conducted around Burrard Inlet between 2008 and 2010 and will help track progress towards improving air quality.

306 Friberg  306 Lamp

Mr. Lorne Friberg, President & CEO of Pacific Coast Terminals (above left), and Dr. Ulrich Lamp, President & CEO of K+S Potash Canada (above right), signed an exclusive, and long-term contract for the handling and storage of potash products from K+S Potash Canada's Legacy mine site in Saskatchewan before a number of dignataries in Port Moody earlier today.  This agreement gives PCT the final nod on the construction of their new potash handling facility which is planned for completion in the fall of 2016.  The entire project represents an investment value of approximately $180 million and will create approximately 300 FTE construction jobs and 20 FTE permanent jobs upon completion.  Included in the project are a new railcar unlaoding station, new covered comveyor systems, systems to control dust emissions and a new storage warehouse.  

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