Gibraltar police detained the Iranian supertanker Grace 1 and arrested two second mates last week on suspicion it was breaking European sanctions by taking oil to Syria. The 300,000 dwt vessel had 2.1 million barrels of light crude oil on board. Gibraltar and the UK will facilitate the release of the vessel if there are guarantees that the ship will not be going to Syria. Iran claims that the seizure of the tanker is not lawful as the country is not an EU member.
The Ralmax Group of Companies has purchased the 21-year-old Esquimalt Drydock Co., bringing together two Victoria yards dedicated to the ship repair and maintenance business. The company will be a division within Point Hope Maritime. Esquimalt Drydock will keep its name and operations at the federally owned Esquimalt Graving Dock. The Esquimalt Drydock workers will be moving to the International Union of Operating Engineers from the BC Government and Service Employees’ Union.
Clear Seas has released a research report aiming to provide an enhanced understanding of some of the risks and potential mitigation strategies associated with shipping activity in Canada’s Pacific region. The report, the Availability of Tugs of Opportunity in Canada’s Pacific Region, indicates that Canada’s West Coast faces gaps in the availability of commercial tugs to serve as emergency towing vessels for ships in distress. Existing emergency towing uses a small number of dedicated high-powered emergency towing vessels or supported by tugs of opportunity or commercial tugs that are not dedicated to rescue services. Those tugs are occasionally contracted to provide aid in the event of a ship emergency due to loss of engine power, steering or other cause. However, many tugs of opportunity are not adequate for protection for the size and type of ships now transiting our coast. Read the report here: https://clearseas.org/en/research_project/availability-of-tugs-of-opportunity-in-canadas-pacific-region/
Several Environmental and Indigenous groups have filed lawsuits against the federal government in the aftermath of its decision to approve the Trans Mountain pipeline. Legal challenges have been filled by the Tsleil-Waututh Nation, Squamish Nation, Ts’elxweyeqw tribes, Shxw’owhamel Nation, Coldwater Indian Band and Stk’emlupsemc te Secwepemc Nation. The legal filings from the First Nations argues there were constitutional violations, primarily around the failure to satisfy the duty to consult, accommodate and seek consent from First Nations. The lawsuits also allege regulatory legal errors were made by the National Energy Board. First Nations communities are divided on the project. There are two groups led by Indigenous communities that want to purchase and operate the existing pipeline from the federal government, with the intention to expand it. Other First Nations are arguing that the pipeline would destroy significant spiritual and historic sites as well as important aquifers. Ecojustice has also launched a legal challenge on behalf of Raincoast Conservation Foundation and Living Oceans Society who argue that the approval will negatively impact many species at risk.
The provincial government is taking the first step towards ensuring that more BC logs are processed in BC by applying a new, targeted fee-in-lieu of manufacturing for exported logs harvested from a coastal BC Timber Sales licence. The fee will be dependent on the economics of individual stands. Stands containing high-value species and that are easily accessible will have a higher fee than stands with low-value species that are remote and difficult to access. This will be in effect for five years, starting July 31, 2019. Further details including log export exemptions, including maps to exempted areas can be found at: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2019FLNR0179-001419
The Government of Canada has issued Ship Safety Bulletin No. 11/2019 to implement additional speed restrictions in specific zones in the Gulf of St Lawrence in response to recent deaths of the North Atlantic Right Whales.
Adding to the situation this week were three North Atlantic Right Whales found entangled in rope and fishing gear. All three were sighted in areas already closed to fishing. The three whales are being monitored and attempts at disentanglement will be attempted if it can be done safely.
The new Environmental Response Regulations were published on July 10th in the Canada Gazette Part II and are now in force. The principal objective of the Regulations is to improve the effectiveness of Canada’s Oil Spill Preparedness and Response Regime for prescribed vessels and Oil Handling Facilities (OHFs) while engaged in the loading and unloading of oil. Enhanced prevention and planning activities by the OHFs, in conjunction with increased compliance and enforcement by Transport Canada, provides an increased state of readiness. TP 14909E is the associated guidance document.
The Province has renewed its service contract with BC Ferries for the next four-year term April 1, 2020 to March 31, 2024. The renewed contract reflects increased annual funding from the Province to BC Ferries of $32.5 million to support fare affordability and another $5.8 million annually to support the increase of 2,700 round trips on 10 minor and northern routes announced earlier this year.
Canada Border Services Agency has issued Customs Notice 19-14 to advise that as of June 30, 2020, the CBSA will no longer accept B13As. Exporters, or their customs service providers, will be required to report their exports electronically. There will be two electronic reporting methods available to exporters to report goods: the Canadian Export Reporting System (CERS) and the G7 Export Reporting Electronic Data Interchange (G7-EDI). Exporters can register for CERS once it is in place, March 16, 2020. G7-EDI is currently in existence and can be used now. G7-EDI requires an investment from the exporting client.
Exporters currently using CAED and participants in the Summary Reporting Program will receive letters from the CBSA with information about how to activate their CERS account between February and June 2020. CAED will be decommissioned on June 30, 2020.
Authorities have indicated that the MSC Gayane may be “subject to possible forfeiture.” While the seizure of a vessel this large is unprecedented, the US has also deemed the circumstances as unprecedented, and they are within their legal rights to seize the ship. The MSC Gayane is owned by JP Morgan Chase and is worth approximately $84.24m. This bust marked the third MSC ship busted for carrying cocaine in US ports this year, the CBP has temporarily suspended MSC’s Customs Trade Partnership (C-TPAT) certification, meaning US authorities for the time being do not assess the carrier as ‘low-risk’ so more scrutiny of its shipments can be expected in the coming weeks.
The report also incorporates twenty-nine different sources of possible vessel growth in the region and explores how these might be combined in four different growth scenarios extrapolated out to 2030.
The Port of New York & New Jersey has rereleased its 30-year plan for growth and development that seeks to meet the demands of growing cargo volumes. The primary objectives of the master plan are to provide opportunities for growth through stakeholder engagement; improve the port’s commercial value by investigating opportunities to maximize lease revenue; to continue to serve as an economic engine for the region; and to promote safe, resilient and environmentally sustainable operations in partnership with its tenants. Release of the master plan comes at a time when the Port of New York and New Jersey is experiencing record cargo growth, which has pushed it into the position of No. 2 in the nation.
Japan has run their first tests of new bunker fuels that will comply with the International Maritime Organization’s 2020 sulphur cap regulations without any problems in operation. The trials took place in late June and with the ministry testing fuel with less than 0.5% of sulphur content on coastal vessels that had previously run on high-sulphur fuel oil. They are carrying out the tests to ensure a smooth transition to IMO-compliant fuels for owners and operators who chose not to install scrubbers.
The world’s largest containership has been delivered by South Korea’s Samsung Heavy Industries. At 400 m long and 61.5 m wide, the MSC Gülsün is the first boxship in the world to feature 24 rows across giving it up to 1,500 extra container capacity compared to the existing largest container vessels. The vessel is the first of 11 giants MSC is set to operate when they deliver from South Korea in the coming nine months. The MSC Gülsün embark from Xingang on July 8 to northern Europe.
Around 200 cattle in trucks on a roro vessel that grounded and listed last week are being rescued in Southern Chile. The first cattle were taken off the Coyhaique earlier this week after the navy stabilized the ship and moved it to a more sheltered location. A series of smaller vessels are coming alongside the ship and the cattle are slowly being moved to a nearby port. Around 40 of the 244 cattle have perished. Local authorities are looking into sanctioning the ship’s owner, Navimag, over the accident and the conditions under which the animals were being transported. The accident happened in a remote part Chile and there have been some reports of oil pollution and a boom has been put around the ship.
Heerema’s newest vessel, Sleipnir, the world’s largest and strongest crane vessel, will be departing Indonesia on its maiden voyage. The vessel is designed to work on large offshore projects such as installing and removing jackets, topsides, deep-water foundations, moorings and other offshore structures, such as windmills. With two 10,000-tonne revolving cranes, the vessel can lift loads of up to 20,000 tonnes in tandem. Speipnir is also the world’s first crane vessel with dual-fuel engines capable of running on traditional MGO and LNG.
The Board of the Western Marine Community Coalition is accepting applications for scholarships from individuals intending to pursue marine related courses at a post secondary education institution in the 2019/20 academic year. The Selection Committee assessments are based on a combination of factors including financial need, academic standing, participation in extracurricular activities, and involvement in community affairs. Please pass this information along to anyone that may be elligible and interested in applying.