Friday, 10 January 2014 13:35

Cape Apricot pilot admits partial liability

292 CapeApricot

The pilot at the con of the Capesize bulker Cape Apricot when it was involved in the accident at Westshore terminals in December 2012 has admitted partial liability for the incident. However, judgments over much of the complex legal argument surrounding this case are required before there can be certainty as to what the liabilities of the various parties will be. Additionally, the Transportation Safety Board’s report into the incident has yet to be released.

Cape Apricot was chartered to K-Line, controlled by Japan’s Tokei Kaiun and owned by its affiliated company Leo Ocean. Westshore is believed to be claiming $50 million for physical damage and business disruption but lawyers for Leo Ocean are counter arguing that liability should be limited to a $26m security agreement already signed. The limitation of liability of a pilot under the Canadian Pilotage Act is also a matter subject to a ruling in this case.

Friday, 10 January 2014 13:27

New California regs now in force

292 CARB1  292 CARB2

On January 1, California set a leading edge in being the first jurisdiction in the world to require that container ships begin using shore power while at berth. The new “Vessels at Berth Regulations” will be phased in over the next six years with 50% of every container carrier’s fleet calling in California now being required to hook up to shore power, increasing to 70% on January 1, 2017, and 80% on Jan. 1, 2020. However, in showing some much needed pragmatism for a change, on Dec. 23, 2013 CARB issued an advisory that the “commissioning” of vessels could continue through June 30, 2014. At the same time, the allowable sulphur limit for both gas and diesel oil being burned in California’s waters was reduced to 0.1%, one year in advance of ECA regulations requiring same.

Unrelated to the above, vessels calling at California ports will also soon face new rules to curb bio-fouling. Draft regulations from the California State Land Commission are being prepared for implementation on January 1, 2015. The new rules which stipulate that a hull must have less than 5% bio-fouling or in a niche area less than 10%, have the same aim as ballast water regulations in so much as they seek to curb the spread of invasive aquatic species by specifying the percentage of biofouling permitted on the underwater parts of the ship’s hull. Niche areas are the sea chest and gratings, bow and stern thruster and gratings, fin stabilizers and recesses, propeller shaft, propeller and rudders. As is the case with ballast water rules, the bio-fouling rules will require presentation of a specific bio-fouling management plan and record book, listing dockings and cleaning activity. Australia and New Zealand have both played a role in crafting the regulations since they too are intent on adopting something similar and are believed to be preparing a case for IMO consideration.

Friday, 10 January 2014 13:26

CSA calls for VGP reconsideration

292 CSA

After several months of unproductive lobbying, The Canadian Shipowners Association (CSA) has publicly voiced concern over the US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) new Vessel General Permit (VGP), which came into effect on December 19.  The new VGP regulates discharges from commercial vessels, including ballast water but a report released by CSA has concluded that the installation of ballast water management systems on Canadian domestic vessels beginning in 2014 will cost the Canadian economy $1.1 billion over the next five years.  However there is more to the story given that shipowners cannot comply with the regulations “since the technology to do so does not exist" underlines CSA President Robert Lewis-Manning. As a consequence of the deadlock, CSA announced this week that it has decided to formally petition the U.S. Court of Appeals of the Second Circuit for a review of the VGP, and more specifically, the Jan 1, 2014 compliance deadline.

Friday, 10 January 2014 13:22

RBT2 referred to environment review panel

292 T2

It was announced this week that the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency will refer the proposed Roberts Bank Terminal 2 project to an environmental assessment by an independent review panel. Timelines for the assessment will be as follows:

  • For the review panel to be established - 5 monthsfrom the date of referral
  • For the review panel to submit its report - 14 months from the date of establishment of the review panel.
  • For the Federal Minister's decision statement (post-panel phase) - 5 months from the date of submission of the review panel's report.
Friday, 20 December 2013 12:57

PMV South Shore Overpass Now Open

291 Southshore

An important Christmas gift arrived with the opening of the elevated roadway over Stewart Street on the south shore on Wednesday morning this week. The overpass spans 10 intensively used at-grade rail crossings which can now be entirely  bypassed to help alleviate long standing south shore traffic congestion. However, it’s not yet plain sailing as until the end of January, there will be a requirement to close the overpass to traffic in the evenings to allow for final touches. 

291 P3

The US Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) this week hosted a so called “global summit”  to discuss the proposed P3 Network comprising Maersk, MSC & CMA CGM. Regulators from the US, the European Commission and China were reported to have had “open and candid discussions” on their differing regulatory frameworks and the potential effects of carrier co-operation on international trade. It appears that no significant conclusions were reached. The proposed Alliance would initially entail the pooling of 252 ships representing 2.6m TEU of capacity to be deployed in the Asia-Europe, Transpacific and Transatlantic trade lanes. Meanwhile, the G6 Alliance agreement update was submitted to the FMC on December 2 and will become active on January 16, unless the FMC submits questions within the timeline.

Published in the Canada Gazette Part II on December 19th are minor amendments made to the following regulations under the Canada Shipping Act, 2001:

  • Life Saving Equipment Regulations (C.R.C., c. 1436, as amended by SOR/2001-179 and SOR/2006-256);
  • Response Organizations and Oil Handling Facilities Regulations (SOR/95-405);
  • Vessels Registry Fees Tariff (SOR/2002-172, as amended by SOR/2007-100);
  • Load Line Regulations (SOR/2007-99);
  • Vessel Clearance Regulations (SOR/2007-125);
  • Environmental Response Arrangements Regulations (SOR/2008-275);
  • Fire and Boat Drills Regulations (SOR/2010-83);
  • Long-Range Identification and Tracking of Vessels Regulations (SOR/2010-227);
  • Marine Liability Regulations (SOR/2002-307).

and amend the following Regulations made under the Marine Liability Act:

The amendments are the result of a Standing Joint Committee for the Scrutiny of Regulations (SJCSR) reviews matters of legality and the procedural aspects of federal regulations. The SJCSR reviewed the regulations listed below and noted some inconsistencies between the English and French versions.

As well, three minor amendments have been made to the Small Vessel Regulations. These errors were identified after the publication of the Small Vessel Regulations (SOR/2010-91) in Part II of the Canada Gazette on May 12, 2010. Three minor errors in the French version of the Vessel Pollution and Dangerous Chemicals Regulations are also being addressed. These errors were identified after the publication of theRegulations Amending the Vessel Pollution and Dangerous Chemicals Regulations (SOR/2013-68) in Part II of the Canada Gazette on May 8, 2013.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Barack Obama, President of the United States, welcomed the release of the second annual Beyond the Border Action Plan Implementation Report. This report outlines the progress made by Canada and the United States to implement the Beyond the Border Action Plan - an agreement that was put in place to enhance our mutual security, prosperity and economic competitiveness.

Friday, 20 December 2013 12:29

Coal protests at PMV offices

291 Coal1

An aggressive but short lived protest against the Fraser Surrey Docks coal handling proposal occurred on Monday morning this week. Six members of so called “Rising Tide Vancouver” dressed as Father Christmas gained access to Port Metro Vancouver offices before being summarily ejected by staff. City police were called in but no charges were laid. The Chamber of Shipping unreservedly deplores this form of action and urges all parties with a point of view to share do so through well established channels, free of intimidation or trespass.

Friday, 20 December 2013 12:27

NEB approves four more LNG licenses

291 LNGProjects

In addition to the three LNG export licenses previously granted, the National Energy Board has now approved four more 25 year export licenses applicable to the following projects:

  • Prince Rupert LNG (BG Group);
  • Pacific NorthWest LNG Ltd. (PETRONAS);
  • West Coast Canada (WCC) LNG Ltd. (ExxonMobil Corporation/Imperial Oil Ltd – location to be finalized)
  • Woodfibre LNG Export Pte. Ltd.

291 Transmountain

    proposed new berth configuration at Westridge

Trans Mountain Pipeline ULC operated by Kinder Morgan Canada and owned by Kinder Morgan Energy Partners, L.P. filed a formal Facilities Application on Monday this week with the National Energy Board (NEB), for authorization to build and operate the facilities for the company’s proposed $5.4 billion Trans Mountain expansion project. The application addresses those issues previously identified by the NEB, including environmental, socio-economic, Aboriginal engagement, landowner and public consultation, marine risk assessments and engineering components of the proposed expansion project. With this filing, the project will undergo a comprehensive public regulatory review.  The next step will be for the NEB to establish a hearing schedule that corresponds to the federal government’s legislated 15-month review and decision timeframe. If approvals are received, the expansion is expected to be operational in late 2017. If approved, the project will increase capacity on TransMountain from approximately 300,000 bpd to 890,000 bpd.

The Facilities Application consists of more than 15,000 pages, approximately 2 metres  in height, contained in 37 binders and 2.48 GB (compressed). The full Application is available online:

Friday, 20 December 2013 12:21

PMV approves YVR fuel delivery project

291 VAFF

    proposed terminal layout on Fraser River

Port Metro Vancouver announced on Monday this week that it has concluded its federal environmental assessment review for the Vancouver Airport Fuel Delivery Project and has determined that the project is not likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects after the implementation of mitigation measures and environmental conditions. In other words, the project is approved to move to next steps provided that the 64 conditions detailed last week by the BC Provincial Government and outlined in the Vancouver Airport Fuel Delivery Table of Conditions are applied.

Port Metro Vancouver’s final signed Decision Statement can be found here.

Other documents on the PMV website include:
Environmental Assessment Report
Certified Project Description
Table of Conditions

Project documents generated through the harmonized Environmental Assessment review process can also be found on Vancouver Airport Fuel Delivery Project.

The next steps require VAFFC to submit a Project Permit application to PMV who will then complete a separate project review for any work which falls within the port’s jurisdiction which in this case includes the proposed fuel storage facility and a portion of the marine terminal.  In addition to the Port’s Project Permit application, VAFFC must also undergo reviews and permitting processes by the Vancouver Airport Authority, Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, the BC Oil and Gas Commission, and the City of Richmond.

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