Wednesday, February 8, 2023

IMO

China extends Ballast Water Treaty to cover Hong Kong SAR

Ballast Water Treaty is an important international treaty which helps prevent the spread of potentially invasive aquatic species by ships.. This treaty got a major boost following China’s extension of the treaty to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.

Ships flagged to Hong Kong, China - the fourth largest flag Administration in the world by shipping tonnage - will now be required to apply the requirements of the Ballast Water Management Convention (BWM).. This mean that this treaty now covers more than 90% of shipping worldwide..

IMO, ITF and ILO driven intervention helps save seafarer’s life

The COVID-19 pandemic has put seafarers around the world in precarious situations. Travel restrictions mean some cannot leave their ships, be repatriated home, or even get urgent medical assistance. Other seafarers have seen their contracts unilaterally terminated or have been quarantined on board ships for more than 14 days, without getting paid.

A large number of seafarers, as well as their spouses and family members, have reached out to IMO to share their concerns about a variety of difficult situations caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

IMO has established an internal team to help resolve individual cases, often working alongside other organizations like the International Labour Organization (ILO), the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) and the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS).

Protocols for safe crew change and travel during COVID-19 released

We have read many articles, extolling the virtues of Seafarers who are considered the backbone of the shipping industry and how they are important to the industry etc etc.

However, due to the ongoing COVID-19 restrictions, these Seafarers are facing significant challenges with extended service on board, unable to go ashore for a bit of fresh air after many months at sea, unable to be relieved of their duties and go home to be with their loved ones etc.

This is despite international maritime compliance regulations which require Seafarers to be changed on a regular basis from ships they work in to ensure safety, crew health, welfare, and the prevention of fatigue.

There have been calls from many quarters for appropriate action to be taken to address these issues faced by Seafarers.

It seems that these calls may have been heard.

IMO Council – Action urged to keep shipping flowing

The thirty-first extraordinary session of the Council was held by correspondence, due to the extraordinary circumstances as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This was the first IMO meeting not held live in the history of the Organization. 

Customs and ports urged to maintain flow of critical goods during pandemic

Trade by sea must continue to flow to maintain the continued provision of essential goods, including vital medical supplies, during the unprecedented global situation arising from the COVID-19 pandemic.

This was the message of a joint statement from the heads of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the World Customs Organization (WCO), issued on Friday (17 April).

IMO and PSCs adopt a pragmatic approach to ship inspections

In a press release yesterday, IMO and PSC inspection authorities announced that they have set a pragmatic approach to support global supply chain.. The port State control (PSC) regimes which carry out inspections onboard ships to monitor and enforce compliance with international regulations have highlighted their commitment to ensuring shipping continues to trade safely, securely and efficiently during the coronavirus pandemic, while respecting the important role of seafarers as key workers and protecting the environment.

IMO calls for seafarers to be designated as “key workers” during COVID-19

Ships and ports need to remain fully operational in order to maintain complete functionality of supply chains..

Governments and their relevant national authorities should therefore engage with appropriate stakeholders within their national shipping and ports sectors to discuss arrangements for the continued facilitation of international maritime trade, including port hinterland connections..

This is one of the recommendations of the IMO alongwith recommendations that seafarers be designated as "key workers providing essential services" during the COVID-19 pandemic allowing them exemptions from national travel or movement restrictions in order to facilitate their joining or leaving ships..

Is your country already following or about to follow this especially when you are under lockdown with COVID-19..?? Let’s take a quick survey shall we..??

Tackling COVID-19 – a message from IMO

​IMO Secretary-General stresses the vital need to maintain commerce by sea and protect seafarers' welfare in face of coronavirus shut down.

Stating that in these difficult times, the ability for shipping services and seafarers to deliver vital goods, including medical supplies and foodstuffs, will be central to responding to, and eventually overcoming, this pandemic, IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim has issued a statement addressing the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on the shipping industry and the global supply chain.

MSC becomes the first casualty of IMO’s Carriage Ban

We previously reported that as part of MARPOL Annex VI regulation (IMO2020), the member states of the International Maritime Organisation adopted a complementary amendment which came into effect on the 1st of March 2020..

The "Carriage Ban" as it is called, prohibits the carriage of non-compliant HSFO (Heavy Sulphur Fuel Oil) for purposes of propulsion or operation on board a ship unless the ship has been fitted with an exhaust gas cleaning system – EGCS commonly known as scrubber..

As from this date it will be considered an offense for any ship to be carrying fuel that contains sulphur content higher than 0.5% for purposes of propulsion or operation, unless the ship has a scrubber..

In the previous article, we raised a question "Will the IMO, which remained steadfast in its implementation of the IMO2020 regulation from 1st Jan 2020 also remain steadfast with the implementation of the “Carriage Ban” come 1st March 2020..??"..

Well it seemingly has..

Cape Town Agreement comes into force

The Torremolinos Declaration  on fishing vessel safety and combating IUU fishing has now reached 51 signatories.

The entry into force of IMO's Cape Town Agreement on fishing vessel safety will be crucial for improved safety at sea for fishers and will support the fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.

During a European Union High-level Ministerial Maritime Conference in Opatija, Croatia (10-11 March), participants including IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim highlighted the urgent need to bring the Cape Town Agreement into force.

The importance of declaring correct cargo details and consequences of cargo misdeclaration

Incorrect cargo details, misdeclaration of cargo and its details has been the bane of many shipping lines over the years..

The consequences of cargo and weight misdeclaration were so severe that the IMO had to implement SOLAS VGM regulations..

However there are still several incidents of such cargo misdeclaration including hazardous goods which have caused several maritime disasters..

In this article, Peregrine Storrs-Fox, Risk Management Director of TT Club writes about the importance of declaring correct cargo details and consequences of cargo misdeclaration..

IMO Carriage Ban comes into effect and 5 beneficial changes of IMO2020

The much reported MARPOL Annex VI regulation (a.k.a IMO2020) which was implemented to lower the current global limit for sulphur content of marine fuels from 3.50% to 0.50% came into effect on 1st January 2020.. As of 1st March 2020, the complementary International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution form ships (MARPOL) amendment (Carriage Ban) came into effect..

IMO establishes new department to tackle key global issues

A new department has been established within the IMO Secretariat to focus on supporting Member States to tackle key global issues in the context of international shipping - and help promote sustainable development..

IMO2020 – Best practices, Guidelines for Port State Controls and more

Maritime shipping has one of the lowest carbon emissions compared to other modes of transport..

Despite this, the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the regulatory authority for international shipping, has been working to reduce the harmful impacts of shipping on the environment since the 1960s..

In April 2018, the IMO adopted an initial strategy on the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from ships by at least 50% by 2050 compared to 2008 levels..

As part of this strategy, on January 1st 2020 IMO’s MARPOL Annex VI (colloquially known as IMO2020) regulated to lower the current global limit for sulphur content of marine fuels from 3.50% to 0.50% was implemented..

We caught up with Roel Hoenders, Acting Head of Air Pollution and Energy Efficiency, Sub-Division for Protective Measures, Marine Environment Division, with the IMO for his views on the implementation of the #IMO2020, and also to discuss the best practices and guidelines for Port State Controls (PSC)..

One month old VLSFO already facing issues – #IMO2020

January 1st 2020 saw the implementation of IMO's MARPOL Annex VI (colloquially known as IMO2020) regulated to lower the current global limit for sulphur content of marine fuels from 3.50% to 0.50%.. VLSFO (Very Low Sulphur Fuel Oil) is one of the options suggested by IMO to achieve this reduction..

Shipping lines and fuel companies have been trying and several blended fuels that would help achieve these levels..

But the one month old VLSFO is already facing issues relating to emissions..

Impact of IMO 2020 on the maritime landscape of South Africa

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has been working to reduce harmful impacts of shipping on the environment since the 1960s..

The regulations for the Prevention of Air Pollution from Ships (Annex VI) seek to control airborne emissions from ships (sulphur oxides (SOx), nitrogen oxides (NOx), ozone depleting substances (ODS), volatile organic compounds (VOC) and shipboard incineration) and their contribution to local and global air pollution, human health issues and environmental problems..

In April 2018, more than 100 Member States met at the United Nations IMO in London and adopted an initial strategy on the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from ships by at least 50% by 2050 compared to 2008 levels..

Below is a perspective from Durand Richard of Linsen Nambi Bunker Services on the impact of IMO 2020 on the South African maritime landscape..

Cost impact of IMO 2020

IMO2020 is getting serious commercially..

As everyone may have read, as of January 2020, all ships are required to use fuel with a sulphur content of 0.5% or less on all of the world’s oceans..

The ship owners have a few options to ensure compliance and meet lower sulphur emission standards, each with some pros and cons..

Let's look at the cost impact of IMO2020..

Shipping lines get tough on dangerous goods misdeclaration

Gatvol (ˈxʌtˌfɒl) is a commonly used South African term meaning "fed up" or "I have had it up to here".. This is seems to be the mood in the Hapag Lloyd camp as they recently announced hefty fines for misdeclaration of dangerous goods..

Do you speak Maritime English..??

A seafarer is never at the front or the back of a ship; they are at the bow or the stern. They are never on the left or right side, but rather port or starboard. They are never in their bedroom or the kitchen, but they might be in their cabin or in the galley. A ship’s speed is not measured in miles or kilometres per hour, but rather in knots. A ship, of course, is referred often as “she” and not always as “it”.

These are the things we might think of when we hear a phrase like “Maritime English”.

Maersk pilots carbon-netural shipping

With #IMO2020 fast approaching - 194 days away as of this article - shipping lines, customers and ship owners are working hard on finding ways to be compliant (whether they like it or not)..

This is especially important in the wake of recent comments from IMO’s Frederick Kenney about the possibility of a postponement of the IMO2020 deadline “The chance is really zero. Procedurally, there is no mechanism that would allow the 0.50% regulation, as it stands right now, to change from 1 January 2020.”

There are still some questions over the use of open loop scrubbers which have been identified by the IMO as one of the several methods through which ships can meet lower sulphur emission standards.. Some of the main bunkering ports like Singapore and Fujairah have banned open loop scrubbers in their waters whereas some countries like South Africa have said yes to all types of approved scrubbers..

Then there are also the usage of bio fuels to power ships and shipments..

In what is termed as a first of its kind in the industry, a new carbon neutral product is being piloted by Maersk Line - the world's largest container shipping line..

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