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Updated COVID-19 measures in Chinese ports

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In response to the recent surge in COVID-19 cases in India, some ports in China have upgraded their epidemic prevention measures, the UK Club correspondents Huatai Marine advised.

Dalian and nearby ports

-Yingkou (Bayuquan):

Due to the recent epidemic locally, there is no additional requirement so far. However, a vessel ever berthed at an Indian port applied to call at Bayuquan recently, the application is still in the process of approval, but it is difficult to get approval.

-Dalian:

For vessels and crewmembers from abroad:

Nucleic acid testing including crewmembers and onboard environment is required.
The crewmembers must wear facial masks on deck.
-Dandong:

All the vessels from abroad are subject to nucleic acid testing to all crewmembers.
Cargo operation can only be started after the negative testing results are available.
-Huludao:

No additional requirements so far. However, a vessel ever berthed at an Indian port applied to call at Huludao last week. Due to the positive nucleic acid testing of several crewmembers, the application was not approved and the ship has sailed.

-Jinzhou:

For vessels from India, all crewmembers would be required to receive nucleic acid testing, and disinfection of the entire vessel would be required
Berthing operation can only be applied after the negative testing results are available.

Tianjin and nearby ports

-Caofeidian: In principle, no foreign vessels are permitted to board.

-Huanghua: No additional requirements so far. Need to consult with the agent case by case.

-Jingtang: In principle, no foreign vessels are permitted to board.

-Qinhuangdao: Since May, personnel other than stevedores are not allowed to board vessels which have recently changed Indian crew. The definition of “recently” should be confirmed with the agent on a case by case basis.

-Tianjin:

No boarding permission for vessels ever changed Indian crews within 14 days.
No boarding permission for vessels ever berthed/called at an Indian port within 14 days.
Boarding other foreign vessels that are defined as medium-risk vessels with secondary protection measures is permitted. Boarding stevedores are not permitted to enter the living area.
Change of Indian crews is prohibited.

Qingdao and nearby ports:

-Dongying: No additional requirements so far, but the agent is required to pay more attention to the crew change of Indian crews and the crew from Southeast Asian countries, and report in time. India and its neighboring countries mainly include: India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Maldives.

-Lanshan / Rizhao:

1. For vessels passing through/called at an Indian port, the requirements are as follows:

Advance notice to the authority is required. The vessel is allowed to berth after getting approval.
Crew changing is prohibited.
Any boarding person is required to have been vaccinated against Covid-19. Moreover, the boarding person has to be isolated after disembarkation until negative results of nucleic acid testing and serum test are available.
2. For vessels from UK, prevention measures refer to ships from India.

-Lianyungang: For vessels ever berthed or changed crew in India, Laos, Cambodia, Mongolia, Thailand, Pakistan,
Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar within 21 days, Nucleic acid testing including crewmembers and
onboard environment is required.

-Qingdao:

1. For vessels from India or ever changed crew in India, the requirements are as follows:

(1) Records of port of call within the last four weeks must be truthfully filled in.
(2) Records of crew change and crew’s physical condition in last 30 days must be truthfully filled in. The travel history is also required to be remarked.

2. Report the following information to the quarantine officer before berthing:

(1) Whether the vessel has called at India.
(2) Whether the vessel has changed any crew from India or its neighboring countries.

3. If vessels ever called at an Indian port within 14 days, or changed crew in India or have any crewmembers from Indian or its neighboring countries (Nepal, Pakistan, Bangladesh etc.) attended onboard within 14 days, the crewmembers would be required to receive nucleic acid testing.

-Weifang:

Except in extremely unusual circumstances, crew change is not permitted if the vessel ever passed through India, Nepal, Brazil, Malaysia and other countries particularly affected by the epidemic.

-Weihai:

1. For local epidemic prevention measures, please refer to Qingdao Port.
2. At Shidao port, if vessels ever called at an Indian port or changed Indian crew, berthing operation would not be permitted.

-Yantai:

1. No additional requirements so far.
2. Advance notice is required.

IMO agrees on guidelines to support new carbon intensity cutting measures

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An International Maritime Organization (IMO) working group has agreed a set of draft guidelines to support mandatory measures to cut the carbon intensity of all ships.  

The proposed mandatory measures have already been approved by IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) and are expected to be adopted when the MEPC meets for its 76th session from 10-17 June, 2021.  

The proposed amendments to the MARPOL Convention would require ships to combine a technical and an operational approach to reduce their carbon intensity. This is in line with the ambition of the Initial IMO GHG Strategy, which aims to reduce carbon intensity of international shipping by 40% by 2030, compared to 2008. 

These are two new measures: the technical requirement to reduce carbon intensity, based on a new Energy Efficiency Existing Ship Index (EEXI); and the operational carbon intensity reduction requirements, based on a new operational carbon intensity indicator (CII).   

The dual approach aims to address both technical (how the ship is equipped and retrofitted ) and operational measures (how the ship operates).  

The Intersessional Working Group on Reduction of GHG Emissions from Ships (ISWG-GHG 8), which met remotely from 24-28 May, agreed, for consideration by the Committee, with a view to adoption on the following comprehensive set of guidelines accompanying the new requirements: 

  • draft 2021 Guidelines on the method of calculation of the attained energy efficiency existing ship index (EEXI); 
  • draft 2021 Guidelines on survey and certification of the energy efficiency existing ship index (EEXI); 
  • draft 2021 Guidelines on the shaft / engine power limitation system to comply with the EEXI requirements and use of a power reserve; 
  • draft 2021 Guidelines on operational carbon intensity indicators and the calculation methods (CII Guidelines, G1); 
  • draft 2021 Guidelines on the reference lines for use with operational Carbon Intensity Indicators (CII reference lines guidelines, G2); 
  • draft 2021 Guidelines on the operational carbon intensity reduction factors relative to reference lines (CII Reduction factor Guidelines, G3); 
  • draft 2021 Guidelines on the operational Carbon Intensity rating of ships (CII rating guidelines, G4). 

The amendments to MARPOL Annex VI and this accompanying detailed set of guidelines provide important tools for Administrations and industry to implement the new requirements, and building blocks for future energy efficiency measures.  

CII reduction factor 

Under the draft MARPOL amendments, ships of 5,000 gross tonnage and above (the approximately 30,000 ships currently already subject to the requirement for data collection system for fuel oil consumption of ships) have to determine their required annual operational carbon intensity indicator (CII). The ship’s CII determines the annual reduction factor needed to ensure continuous improvement of the ship’s operational carbon intensity within a specific rating level.  

The actual annual operational CII achieved (attained annual operational CII) would be required to be documented and verified against the required annual operational CII. This would enable the operational carbon intensity rating to be determined.   

A key element in the draft guidelines is the proposal for the CII reduction factor (the ‘Z-factor’), included in the draft guidelines on the operational carbon intensity reduction factors relative to reference lines (G3).  

The reduction rates are intended to achieve the levels of ambitions set out in the Initial Strategy, in particular, the 2030 level of ambition of reducing carbon intensity of international shipping by at least 40% by 2030, compared to 2008 

The group put forward to the Committee the concept of a phased approach, which would see an annuasuccessive carbon intensity reduction rate of 2% compared to the 2019 reference line from 2023 (when the MARPOL amendments would enter into force) through to 2026 – at which time a review required under the draft MARPOL amendments would be undertaken to further strengthen the annual reduction rate 

CII rating  

The draft 2021 Guidelines on the operational Carbon Intensity rating of ships (CII rating guidelines, G4) set the method to determine the rating boundaries. 

The rating would be given on a scale – operational carbon intensity rating A, B, C, D or E – indicating a major superior, minor superior, moderate, minor inferior, or inferior performance level. The performance level would be recorded in the ship’s Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plan (SEEMP).  

Under the draft MARPOL amendments, a ship rated D for three consecutive years, or E, would have to submit a corrective action plan, to show how the required index (C or above) would be achieved.  

Administrations, port authorities and other stakeholders as appropriate, are encouraged to provide incentives to ships rated as A or B.  

Correspondence group established 

The Working Group agreed to establish a Correspondence Group on Carbon Intensity Reduction, to: 

  • further consider and finalize the draft updated Guidelines for the development of a Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plan (SEEMP) 
  • further consider and update existing guidelines, procedures or guidance, including the 2017 guidelines related to the ship fuel oil data collection system; 
  • develop draft guidelines on correction factors for certain ship types, operational profiles and/or voyages for the CII calculations (G5) 
  • develop in new or existing guidelines specific guidance on the audit and verification processes of SEEMP as well apossible parameters and templates for reporting, verification and submission of data for trial CIIs of individual ships on voluntary basis  

Attained and required Energy Efficiency Existing Ship Index (EEXI)  

The attained Energy Efficiency Existing Ship Index (EEXI) is required to be calculated for every ship at its first survey following entry into force of the amendments. This indicates the energy efficiency of the ship compared to a baseline.   

Ships are required to meet a specific required Energy Efficiency Existing Ship Index (EEXI), which is based on a required reduction factor (expressed as a percentage relative to the EEDI baseline).   

Review mechanism 

The draft amendments would require the IMO to review the effectiveness of the implementation of the CII and EEXI requirements, by 1 January 2026 at the latest, and, if necessary, develop and adopt further amendments. IMO’s Initial GHG Strategy is to be revised by 2023.  

Nigeria launched the Deep Blue Project in order to tackle piracy and maritime crime

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Nigeria launched the Deep Blue Project, in order to tackle piracy and maritime crime in its waterways and the Gulf of Guinea.

To support the project a Special Mission Aircraft was received, indicating the the final phase of the delivery and installation of assets under the Deep Blue Project.

Under this light, Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Bashir Jamoh, revealed a drastic reduction in the rate of attacks in the country’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) with the deployment of the Deep Blue Project assets:

There has been a drastic decrease in the rate of security breaches in our waters in recent times. This is a clear indication that we are getting it right with the Deep Blue Project. The figures we are getting from the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) are encouraging. We ultimately aim to completely eradicate security hindrances to shipping and business generally in the Nigerian maritime domain

According to the latest IMB quarterly report of piracy and armed robbery against ships recorded only two incidents in Nigerian waters between January and March this year, compared to 11 attacks within the same period last year.

The Integrated National Security and Waterways Protection Infrastructure, popularly called the Deep Blue Project, is designed with three categories of platforms to tackle maritime security issues on land, sea, and air. The land assets comprise:

  • The Command, Control, Communication, Computer, and Intelligence Centre (C4i) for intelligence gathering and data collection;
  • 16 armoured vehicles for coastal patrol; and about 600 specially trained troops for interdiction, known as Maritime Security Unit;
  • On air, there are two Special Mission Aircraft for surveillance of the EEZ
  • Three Special Mission Helicopters for search and rescue;
  • Four Unmanned Aerial Vehicles;
  • The sea assets consist of two Special Mission Vessels and 17 Fast Interceptor Boats.

In the same wavelength, considering the attacks on merchant ships in the Gulf of Guinea by Nigerian pirates, 99 maritime companies, organisations and flag states, have signed the Gulf of Guinea Declaration on Suppression of Piracy, which was launched on May 17.

MPA Singapore issued a circular focusing on COVID-19 safety requirements for vessels arriving in the Port of Singapore

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In light of the outbreak situation, all vessel’s crew must comply with the following while in the Port of Singapore:

  •  Wear a mask at all times (unless the work activity requires that no mask be worn).
  • As far as is reasonably practicable, keep a distance of at least one metre apart from each other.
  • Take and record temperature twice daily.
  • Observe good personal hygiene by washing your hands regularly and refrain from touching your face.
  • Maintain good hygiene in the vessel’s accommodation areas by cleaning frequently touched surfaces (e.g. desk, chart tables, dining tables, bridge/engine room consoles, door handles, handholds, switches, telephones/VHF handsets, faucets).

Measures for vessels when shore-based personnel are going onboard

The owner, master, or agent of the vessel in the port, must establish and apply procedures and adequate controls, to comply with the following:

  • All crew members and shore-based personnel must wear a mask4 at all times (unless the work activity requires that no mask be worn) and, as far as is reasonably practicable, keep a distance of at least one metre apart from each other. In addition, the shore-based personnel must properly wear other appropriate personal protective equipment, where necessary, such as gloves and gown, without jeopardising operational and personal safety.
  • All crew members must take and record their temperature twice daily.
  • All crew members must maintain good hygiene in the vessel’s accommodation areas by cleaning frequently touched surfaces (e.g. desk, chart tables, dining tables, bridge/engine room consoles, door handles, handholds, switches, telephones/VHF handsets, faucets, etc.)
  • The vessel must have a safe management plan for management of shore-based personnel boarding the vessel. Crew members to be briefed on the plan and to comply with the precautionary measures.
  • Unwell crew members and/or passengers must be isolated onboard the vessel.
  • Shore-based personnel who are unwell must be denied access to the vessel.
  • Records of all embarkation/disembarkation of shore-based personnel must be maintained.
  • Briefing on the safe management measures must be carried out for the shore-based personnel boarding the vessel and/or harbour craft and logged down for record purposes.
  • A responsible officer onboard must be appointed to monitor/ensure the compliance of safe management measures by all crew and shore-based personnel onboard his vessel.
  • Minimise interaction of crew with shore-based personnel as far as reasonably practicable.
  • Designate a separate, clean and disinfected place that is a fully enclosed as a rest area, and dedicated toilets for only shore-based personnel to use.
  • No loitering in the crew living or common areas.
  • Ensure that shore-based personnel do not remain onboard for a longer period than necessary to discharge their duties, and not in any case, stay onboard overnight.
  • Ensure that shore-based personnel do not consume any food or drinks from the ships’ stores.
  • Ensure that the shore-based personnel consumes only his/her own food or beverage that the shore-based personnel brought along, using his/her own utensils.
  • Ensure that shore personnel consume his/her own food or beverage in an area separate, and at a safe distance, from the crew.
  • Upon shore-based personnel disembarking the vessel, disinfect the areas that have been used and especially the frequently touched surfaces. The National Environment Agency’s guidance for disinfecting common areas and rooms should be followed.

Measures for shore-based personnel boarding a vessel in the Port of Singapore

Shore-based personnel boarding a vessel must comply with the following:

  • Must have a valid COVID-19 Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test taken within the last 7 days as part of the rostered routine testing (RRT) programme before boarding the vessel.
  • If the shore-based personnel is not enrolled on a RRT programme, he/she must have a valid negative test result from a COVID-19 PCR test or Antigen Rapid Test (ART) within 48 hours prior to boarding a vessel. After disembarking, these shorebased personnel must take a PCR test between the 5th and 7th day, and a final PCR test on the 11th day.
  • Must check-in and check-out with the SmartEntry@Sea QR Code.
  • Must not board a vessel if he/she does not have (a) or (b), or did not check-in with the SmartEntry@Sea QR Code; in any case, shore-based personnel who are unwell must not board a vessel.
  • Must always wear a mask (unless the work activity requires that no mask be worn). In addition, shore-based personnel must properly wear other appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), such as gloves, and gown, without jeopardising operational and personal safety.
  • Must bring disinfectant and/or sanitiser to disinfect their equipment and/or tools before and after completion of work.
  • Must minimise interaction with the vessel’s crew, as far as reasonably practicable.
  • Must bring and consume his/her own food and beverages, using his/her own utensils; and consume his/her meals in an area separate, and at a safe distance, from the vessel’s crew.
  • Must not consume any food and beverages from the ships’ stores.
  • Must ensure a safe distance of at least 1 metre between himself or herself and any other individual on board.
  • Must not convene or take part in any gathering when on board except where necessary or in the course of the performance of his or her duties as shore-based personnel.
  • No loitering in the crew living or common areas.
  • Not remain onboard for a longer period than necessary to discharge his or her duties as a shore-based personnel, and not in any case, stay onboard overnight.
  • Staff employed/contracted by terminal operator to avoid using the toilets onboard when they board a vessel that is berthed alongside the terminal. Where possible, the terminal operator is to provide dedicated toilet facilities ashore for only shorebased personnel to use.

Panama Canal aims at carbon-neutrality by 2030

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The Panama Canal launched its process of decarbonizing its operations, with aims of becoming carbon neutral by 2030.

“We at the Panama Canal are committed to sustainability, and therefore are laying the foundation, creating the tools, and identifying the changes needed to achieve efficiencies that will allow us as an organization to reach carbon neutrality. This is a fundamental strategy for the waterway’s long-term operation and sustainability,” said Panama Canal Administrator Ricaurte Vásquez Morales. “This process will build on our long-standing efforts to minimize our environmental impact, including encouraging customers to use clean fuels and reduce their carbon footprint.”

Operational Actions

While the Panama Canal contributed to a reduction of more than 13 million tons of CO2 equivalent emissions in 2020 by offering a shorter route for ships in comparison to the most likely alternative routes, the waterway recognizes the importance of making its own operation carbon neutral by the end of the decade.

To kick off the transition to a greener Canal, the waterway purchased four electric vehicles as part of a pilot program that will collect data to inform the migration of the Canal’s entire fleet away from fossil fuel dependence. Part of its strategic decarbonization plan also includes tugboats and launches that use alternative fuels, the substitution of electricity production processes in favor of photovoltaic plants, the use of hydraulic energy, and ensuring that all facilities and infrastructure projects are environmentally responsible and sustainable.

The Panama Canal first began tracking its carbon footprint in 2013 to align its operations with the global objectives of reducing emissions to mitigate and adapt to climate change. Its plans to become carbon neutral were bolstered in 2017 with the launch of its Emissions Calculator, a tool that not only allows shipping lines to measure their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions per route, but also strengthens the Canal’s analysis of the emissions produced by its own day-to-day operations.

To reduce its own impact, the Panama Canal has also taken steps to find ways to maximize its operational, and thus environmental efficiencies, whether by implementing water conservation measures or optimizing transits. Panama’s Maritime Single Window (VUMPA) has improved the efficiency and carbon footprint of transshipment procedures by streamlining logistics paperwork for international customers passing through the country, saving up to 3,260 hours and over 300,000 paper forms each year.

In addition, the Panama Canal also joined on April 22, on Earth Day, the Declaration of the “50 First Carbon-Neutral Organizations”, an initiative led by Panama’s Ministry of Environment to integrate national efforts to accelerate measurable climate actions.

As part of the new national initiative, the Canal will develop an annual greenhouse gas inventory, as well as an action plan with measurable targets to reduce emissions. The Canal’s efforts will be factored into Panama’s National Determined Contribution (NDC), established by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), following the Paris Agreement.

The Value of the Green Route

The Panama Canal’s efforts have since stretched beyond tracking to include initiatives aimed at helping and incentivizing shipping lines to minimize their environmental footprint. Through its Green Connection Environmental Recognition Program, the Canal recognizes customers who demonstrate excellent environmental stewardship, including the use of low-carbon fuels and environmentally conscious routes. As an enhancement to this program, the Panama Canal is currently analyzing taking into account in its dynamic pricing strategy the vessels’ technology and its carbon footprint, which makes it more efficient during transit.

The Panama Canal also promotes the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) efforts to minimize the environmental impact of the shipping industry, from the implementation of its IMO 2020 regulation to its nearby transit separation schemes and vessel speed reduction programs. By supporting the latter, for example, the Canal helps shipping lines reduce their risk of colliding with whales migrating near the waterway, while also lowering their GHG and pollutant gas emissions by an average of 75%, depending on the type, size, and fuel of each vessel.

Sustainability of the Watershed

Through environmental programs in its watershed, the Panama Canal has contributed to Panama’s ranking as one of only three carbon negative countries in the world, meaning Panama’s forests absorb more carbon from the atmosphere than the country emits.

For over a decade, the waterway has partnered with communities in the watershed to ensure their sustainable use of the area’s natural resources, while bolstering their quality of life.

One of the Canal’s core programs is the Environmental Economic Incentives Program, or PIEA in Spanish, which provides local farmers with resources, from land titles to agroforestry training, that enable them to sustainably develop, reforest, and protect land in the local watershed. As a result, the Panama Canal and watershed communities have together reforested more than 12,000 hectares.

Source: Panama Canal Authority

Global Maritime Forum announces launch of Neptune Declaration Crew Change Indicator

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The Global Maritime Forum announced the launch of the Neptune Declaration Crew Change Indicator which aims to provide up-to-date information on the impact of the crew change crisis and monitor developments over time.

Despite the concerted efforts by international organizations and companies, seafarers are still unable to disembark from vessels while new strains of Covid-19 create a risk of making the situation worse. Currently, data that gives access to the number of seafarers who are impacted by the crew change crisis is limited. As such, the new Neptune Declaration Crew Change Indicator has been developed with a view to provide updates of the situation.

To better understand and address the crew change crisis, there is a need to have access to accurate data that will allow stakeholders to monitor and respond to the situation. This is why we created the Neptune Declaration Crew Change Indicator
…said Graham Westgarth, Chairman of V. Group.

This development is part of the Neptune Declaration initiative, launched in early 2021, which has formed a taskforce of major stakeholders from across the maritime value chain to address crew change challenges.

The first Neptune Declaration Crew Change Indicator shows that by mid-April 2021, 5.8% of seafarers were onboard vessels beyond the expiry of their contracts of employment. 0.4% of seafarers had been onboard vessels for over 11 months. The Maritime Labour Convention states that the maximum continuous period a seafarer should serve on board a vessel without leave is 11 months.

As explained, the Indicator will be published monthly with data provided by ship managers reflecting the situation on the 15th day of each month, reported to GMF by the 22nd day of the month who will then publish the indicator on the first working day of the next month.

The contributing ship managers have, as part of the reporting, also highlighted the following key developments that have impacted crew-changes in the past month:

• A number of countries, including crew change hubs and seafaring nations, have in the past month increased travel restrictions, as a result of an increase in cases of Covid-19 due to new variants. This has also impacted air connectivity.

• A growing number of seafarers test positive for Covid-19 at the time of pre-joining. It is noted that seafarers in general do not have access to vaccinations, which increases their risk of contracting Covid-19.

• Some seafarers from countries with a rapidly growing number of Covid-19 cases have indicated a reluctance to join vessels out of fear of family members getting infected and needing their help.

While the percentages of the first indicator appear low, this should not be interpreted as an indication that the crew change crisis is over. On the contrary, we see worrying signs with the rapid spread of new strains of Covid, in India and other countries, which should be a big cause for concern for our industry
…said Rajesh Unni, CEO of Synergy Group.

The Neptune Declaration Crew Change Indicator builds on aggregated data from 10 leading ship managers , which collectively have about 90,000 seafarers currently onboard. Watson Farley & Williams LLP provided legal advice on the project.

Anglo-Eastern
Bernhard Schulte
Columbia Shipmanagement
Fleet Management (FLEET)
OSM
Synergy Marine
Thome
V.Group
Wallem and
Wilhelmsen Ship Management

The Neptune Declaration Crew Change Indicator will be published once a month and builds on aggregated data provided by the ship managers to the Global Maritime Forum. The data is used to calculate a weighted average of the percentage of seafarers who have been onboard vessels beyond the expiry of their contract of employment as well as a weighted average of the percentage of seafarers who have been onboard vessels for over 11 months. As top ship managers are making significant efforts – and are often better placed – in facilitating crew changes, the Neptune Declaration Crew Change Indicator cannot be used directly to calculate the full numbers of seafarers impacted by the crew change crisis.

Read more: https://www.globalmaritimeforum.org/content/2021/05/The-Neptune-Declaration-Crew-Change-Indicator-May-2021.pdf

What happens when there is an oil spill at sea?

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Clean-up crews worked to contain an oil spill in the Yellow Sea near the Chinese port city of Qingdao, a day after a tanker carrying around a million barrels of bitumen mix collided with a bulk vessel.

While a preliminary study by Chinese maritime officials estimated about 500 tonnes (3,420 barrels) of oil had been spilled, it was still unclear as to the how much had been emptied into the sea.

Here are some facts about oil spills and their impact on the environment.

TYPES OF OIL SPILLS

Spills typically involve two forms of oils, non-persistent and persistent.

Non-persistent oils, which include gasoline, light diesel oil and kerosene, will dissipate rapidly through evaporation although in high concentrations there is potential for acute toxicity to marine organisms, according to a report by ITOPF, a non-profit organisation focused on providing response to oil spills by ships.

Persistent oil, which includes crude oils, fuel oils, lubricating oils and heavier grades of marine diesel oil, break up and dissipate more slowly in the marine environment and usually require a clean-up operation, ITOPF said.

“Heavier oils and crude generally don’t evaporate much and instead of dispersing they form emulsions with the sea water, are much more persistent, spread further and will sink and become mixed with sediments or on coastlines will smother the beaches, rocks,” said Sian Prior, lead advisor with the Clean Arctic Alliance coalition, which has sought to ban the use of heavy fuel oil by ships in the sensitive Arctic region.

“Bacteria will work to degrade these oils too but it takes longer. These types of oil spills lead to much greater volumes of oiled material being retrieved as they coat anything.”

In terms of toxicity, specialists say bitumen heavy oils usually contain higher loads of many toxic components of oil than other grades.

WILDLIFE IMPACT

Zhou Wei, a Beijing-based oceans campaigner with Greenpeace, said Tuesday’s collision took place close to the Qingdao and Chaolian islands and the coastal area of Qingdao city.

“That area is an important area for feeding and spawning for a variety of sea life, including fish and shrimp. In recent years, whales and dolphins have also been observed in that area.”

A 2020 study found there were dense underwater kelp forests near Chaolian Island.

The extent of an oil spill’s impact at sea will also depend on how far it spreads and the effects of wind, temperature and current.

David Santillo, a U.K.-based scientist with Greenpeace, said much of the impact would depend on the grade of bitumen the tanker was carrying, but part of it was expected to sink to the sea floor.

“At the surface, this type of oil can be easier to contain and recover than some lighter oils, depending on conditions and if responses are immediate. But once subject to spreading and wave action, and when it washes up on shores, it can become as difficult as any oil spill,” he said.

“And once it is beneath the surface, whether at depth in the water or spread over the seabed, it makes recovery even more difficult, if not impossible.”

Source: Reuters (Reporting by Jonathan Saul in London, Shivani Singh and Muyu Xu in Beijing, writing by Jonathan Saul; Editing by Aurora Ellis)

World Day for Safety and Health at Work – 28 April 2021

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Today, on 28 April, we celebrate World Day for Safety and Health at Work. This has always been an important day for the maritime sector and for the International Maritime Organization (IMO), which is responsible for the safety and security of shipping. This day is particularly significant in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

While everyone around the world has been impacted by the pandemic to some extent, this crisis has taken a particularly hard toll on seafarers, who have continued to operate as key workers in the global supply chain. On any given day, one million seafarers are working on some 60,000 large cargo vessels worldwide to ensure the flow of international trade. Much of IMO’s important work centers on keeping these seafarers, and the ships they operate, safe and secure.

Despite a lack of access to repatriation, shore leave, and crew change, seafarers have ensured that people continue to receive deliveries of food, PPE, equipment needed to work from home, and, of course, medications including vaccines.

Seafarers are integral to helping the world and various economies recover from COVID-19 and they can only do so if they are assured of a safe working environment. Seafarers need unhindered access to medical care when required. They need to be granted access to travel and transit for crew changes so that crew can be relieved when their contracts end, to prevent their physical and mental health from suffering. IMO has issued regularly updated protocols to allow crew changes to take place as safely as possible. Allowing unhindered crew changes means that rested, physically able seafarers will be crewing these complex vessels, ensuring a safe work environment and safe voyages.

More than 80% of the world’s goods by volume are carried by sea, making it imperative to take every step we can to keep maritime workers healthy, and ensuring the safety of navigation.

I commend the 58 IMO Member States that have already granted shipping workers this key worker status. I urge the IMO Member States to designate seafarers as key workers and grant them priority access to vaccines and travel and transit.

As we work towards a safer tomorrow for every one of us, we must make sure that we all honor the seafarers and other key workers that are helping us along the way, by keeping them safe.

Visit the IMO website: https://www.imo.org/en/MediaCentre/SecretaryGeneral/Pages/2021-World-Day-for-Safety-and-Health-at-Work.aspx

IMO promotes National Maritime Transport Policy

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IMO is continuing to introduce countries to the concept of National Maritime Transport Policies (NMTPs). Officials from 10 countries, including Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and Small Islands Developing States (SIDS) took part in the 4th Advanced Maritime Leaders’ Programme (20 April).

IMO and World Maritime University experts covered the development, formulation and content of an NMTP. The objective is to achieve the maritime vision of a country and ensure the sector is governed in an efficient, sustainable, safe and environmentally-sound manner.

The session included an example of a sample policy decision made at an IMO body, allowing participants to better understand the context and issues to consider before transposing such a decision into their own NMTP. It also gave the opportunity for attendees to intervene with specific questions related to NMTP.

The event was organized by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore Academy (MPAA).

INTLREG supports a bright future for youth in Sri Lanka

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International Register of Shipping, an independent international Classification Society, has recently become one of the Sri Lankan Youth Business Trust sponsors and supporters.

The program highlights the benefits of SMEs versus employees and develops a youth that creates an additional job market in the country.

The know-how on how to start, develop and grow SMEs and further employment will be instilled together with financial investment, business development, and training provided by the government in cooperation with various organizations, including the International Register of Shipping. These to be delivered by Youth SME Business Trust Guarantee Limited and will work in tandem with the Small Enterprises Development Division.

The MOU aims to Inform, Inspire, Influence, and raise 4,000 youth business owners by 2025. The target segment’s age is between15-24 years old. The initiative will be a country-wide program carried out in three languages Sinhala, Tamil, and English.

Mr. Rehan Jayatilaka, Founder, Youth SME Business Trust Guarantee Limited, stated: “We appreciate the support of International Register of Shipping in supporting this event. Our further goals and objectives of cooperation and involvements into local programs will be discussed in the near future”.

INTLREG is a provider of Classification, Certification, Verification, Training & Advisory Services. Since 1993, the International Register of Shipping (INTLREG) has been an independent classification society working with the objective of safeguarding life, property & the environment.

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