International Maritime University Pacts with Latin America
The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has announced that International Maritime University of Panama (UMIP) has been selected to host the regional Maritime Technology Cooperation Centre (MTCC) for the Latin America region, under an ambitious project, funded by the European Union (EU) and implemented by IMO, to help mitigate the harmful effects of climate change. Under the Global MTTC Network (GMN) project, UMIP will host MTCC-Latin America. The selection of UMIP followed a competitive international tendering process. UMIP joins MTCCs in Africa, Asia and the Caribbean.
IRClass Expands Presence in Southeast Asia
Indian Register of Shipping (IRClass) is boosting its presence in Southeast Asia with the opening of a new office in Malaysia. The move is part of its efforts to become a global classification society – a step taken after receiving recognition from the European Union. IRClass, which is a member of the International Association of Classification Societies (IACS), has just gained authorization as a Recognized Organization (RO) from Thailand. It has also strengthened its presence further with the opening of an office in Malaysia after establishing its Hong Kong office last year.
Eight Dead as Migrant Boat Sinks off Greece's Lesbos
At least eight people, including a child, drowned when an inflatable boat carrying refugees and migrants sank off Greece's Lesbos island, the Greek coastguard said on Monday. The United Nation refugee agency UNHCR said the number of dead was at least 12. Citing survivors, it said 25 people were on board. Two survivors, one of whom is pregnant, were taken to the island's main hospital, the coastguard said. Lesbos was the main gateway into the European Union in 2015 for nearly a million Syrians, Iraqis and Afghans who crossed from Turkey. A deal between the EU and Ankara in March last year has all but closed down that route. Just over 4,800 refugees and migrants have crossed to Greece from Turkey this year, according to UNHCR data, and about 20 arrive on Greek islands each day.
Armed Pirates Thwarted off Somalia
A European Union counter-piracy patrol helped thwart a piracy attack close to Somalia’s east coast on April 22. Late on Saturday evening, EU NAVFOR’s Spanish flagship, ESPS Galicia, received a SOS distress call from the master of Sierra Leone flagged merchant tanker vessel MT Costina to say that his vessel was being attacked by a number of armed pirates in a fast-moving skiff. ESPS Galicia, which was 14 nautical miles away, then launched a SH-3D Sea King helicopter and sailed full speed toward MT Costina.
EU: Pollution Damage from Ships
European shipowners welcome the European Parliament’s adoption of the Recommendations on the 2010 Protocol to the International Convention on Liability and Compensation for Damage in Connection with the Carriage of Hazardous and Noxious Substances by Sea 1996 in its Plenary-session this week. This provides the necessary consent required for the adoption of the Council Decisions authorising Member States to ratify or accede to this international agreement as appropriate. “We welcome…
News: EU Single-Hull Phase-Out Elicits IMO Scorn
Taking a page from OPA 90, the European Union has officially adopted its unilateral plan for accelerated phase-out of single-hull tankers. The regulation was published in the October 1 edition of the Official Journal of the European Union and came into effect on October 21, 2003. It provides for, among other things, the immediate ban on transport of heavy grades of oil in single-hull oil tankers of 5,000 dwt or above to or from EU ports and the accelerated phase-out of single-hull oil tankers on a schedule tied to the ship's MARPOL category. The move drew immediate negative reaction from the International Maritime Organization (IMO), an organization which generally frowns upon such national or regional action. In a statement released October 23, Secretary-General of IMO, William A.
EU Regulation on Single-Hull Oil Tankers Sparks Concern
The Secretary-General of IMO, William A. O'Neil, expressed serious concern about the European Union Regulation on single-hull oil tankers, which reportedly entered into force on 21 October 2003. While being aware of the considerations which led to the regional measures being adopted by the European Union, Mr. O'Neil was particularly disturbed at their unilateral character and the negative repercussions the measures would have on the shipping industry, which, due to its international nature…
Intertanko Co-Sponsors Maritime Transport Symposium
Intertanko will co-sponsor a symposium in the European Union capital Brussels on January 24, 2002 on the subject of: The First European Parliament Symposium on Maritime Safety in Europe Maritime safety: Over the horizon? The symposium will draw up an inventory of European policies on maritime safety, and aims to heighten the awareness of the players involved and give an opportunity to compare ideas. The speakers will include Loyola de Palacio, vice-president of the European Commission and commissioner in charge of Transport and Energy, Göke Daniel Frerichs, president of the European Union's Economic and Social Committee, Isabelle Durant and F. Alvarez-Cascos of the European Union Transport Council. Source: Intertanko
1,200+ Migrants Rescued off Libya
Italy's coast guard said on Tuesday it had coordinated the rescue of 1,271 migrants from rubber and wooden boats in several operations off the coast of Libya. Italy was long at the frontier of seaborne migration from North Africa, but most of the hundreds of thousands of people arriving in Europe on rickety boats last year took a less risky route to Greece. Vessels from the Italian navy and coast guard and a Slovenian military ship working as part of the European Union naval operation Eunavfor Med conducted the rescues. Italy used to run its own search and rescue mission for the boat migrants, but the Mare Nostrum or "Our Sea" project was stopped and replaced with the European Union's Frontex scheme, which had to be expanded as Europe faced its worst migration crisis since World War Two.
Nearly 9,000 Med Migrants Rescued over Weekend
Nearly 9,000 mainly African migrants were rescued in the Mediterranean this past long weekend after being put by smugglers in Libya onto unseaworthy boats heading toward Italy, U.N. aid agencies said on Tuesday. The migrants, many from Nigeria and Senegal with some from Bangladesh, are among an estimated 20,000 held by criminal gangs in irregular detention centres in Libya, the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) said. On release, they pay to board the overcrowded boats, often just inflated rubber vessels that could not cross the Mediterranean, in the hope of starting a new life in Europe. "It is obvious that better spring weather has encouraged smugglers to take people from their detention centres," IOM spokesman Leonard Doyle told a news briefing in Geneva.
EU Council Release Provisional Version
The Council of the European Union released the Provisional Version
Stolt-Nielsen Granted Conditional Amnesty for Investigations
industry. industry. for violation of U.S. U.S. respect to parcel tanker operations. inland barge operations. the appropriate authorities. amnesty programs, including continued cooperation.
LNG for the Maritime Sector Closer to Reality
The European Union will support with over €1.2 million from the TEN-T Program a study aimed at identifying and addressing the potential barriers to the construction and operation of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) fueled vessels. The project, which was selected for funding under the 2011 TEN-T Annual Call, will examine the technical requirements, regulations and environmental operation permits that need to be met in order to shift from traditionally fuelled engines to LNG. LNG is rapidly emerging as a cheaper and more environmentally friendly fuel for the maritime sector and its uptake is encouraged by the European Union. Specific aspects related to the manufacturing, conversion, certification and operation phases of a LNG fuelled vessel will be analysed.
EU Double Hull Legislation Signed
The President of the European Parliament, Hans-Gert Pöttering, officially signed a European Parliament and Council Regulation that represents an important response to offshore tanker accidents and will lead to better protection of the seas and the environment. Under the new regulation, oil tankers transporting heavy oils will only be allowed to fly the flag of a European Union member state if they are double hulled. In addition, regardless of what flag they are flying, only double hulled tankers will be able to enter member states’ harbors or anchor in their territorial waters. The regulation is directly applicable in all the Member States and, now that it has been signed, will enter into force on the twentieth day after its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union.
EU Adopts New Arctic Policy
The High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and the European Commission have adopted a policy proposal that will guide the actions of the European Union in the Arctic region. The European Union will step up its existing action and engagement in the region with 39 actions focusing on climate change, environmental protection, sustainable development and international cooperation. The particular importance of research, science and innovation is reflected across these priority areas. The Joint Communication takes into account existing EU legislation, including the commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, as well as ongoing and forthcoming EU activities and projects. It also builds on and complements the Arctic policies of the EU Member States.
Gdansk Faces Closure
Gdansk shipyard will have to be scaled back or face possible closure as Brussels turns the screw on illegal state aid to the Polish shipbuilding sector. Neelie Kroes, the European Union competition commissioner, has given the Polish authorities one month to reduce capacity at the yard or face having to repay the state aid. Ms Kroes on Friday accepted capacity cuts at Poland's Gdynia and Szczecin yards in return for past state aid but said no satisfactory solution had been proposed for Gdansk. The three shipyards have together received 1.8bn in subsidies since Poland joined the European Union in 2004. In Ms Kroes's eyes, that gives the yards an unfair advantage over European competitors. The Commission is pushing for Gdansk to reduce its capacity and to cut its three slipways to one.
EU Sanctions on Iran Oil tanker Group Annulled
European Union sanctions on Iran's main oil tanker firm NITC have been annulled after the EU did not appeal against a court ruling that the measures should be lifted, the shipping group's lawyer said on Tuesday. In July the Luxembourg-based General Court, the second-highest court in the EU, ruled there were no grounds to blacklist NITC in the bloc after the company contested the designation. Rulings are typically suspended for two months pending appeals. "We are glad to see the (European) Council accept the judgment of the EU court that the sanctions were unlawful, although it is regrettable that they did not see fit to lift the sanctions sooner," said Rovine Chandrasekera of law firm Stephenson Harwood, which represented NITC.
New Fuels for the Maritime Sector in Spain?
The European Union will support with over €1 million from the TEN-T Program a series of studies to assess the use of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) as a shipping fuel in the Port of Gijón in Spain. The project, which was selected for funding under the 2011 TEN-T Annual Call, involves conducting studies to evaluate the feasibility and plan the necessary infrastructure adaptations for the use of LNG as a shipping fuel in the Port of Gijón. LNG is rapidly emerging as a more environmentally friendly fuel for the maritime sector and its uptake is encouraged by the European Union.
One Migrant Found Dead as 1,350 Rescued in Mediterranean
Italy's Coast Guard and humanitarian ships rescued 1,350 migrants in 12 separate operations in the Mediterranean on Thursday and one person was found dead. The migrants were all found in an area some 25 km (16 miles) north of the Libyan coast, They travelling on a larger boat, five dinghies and 6 smaller vessels, a Coast Guard spokesperson told Reuters. The body of a dead person was found on one of the dinghies, a statement said. Search and rescue operations were carried out by the Coast Guard and two boats operated by NGOs Sea Watch and Proactiva Open Arms, it added. The Coast Guard spokesman said operations were still being carried out and there were still no details regarding where the migrants would be sent.
UN: EU Should Do More in Med Migrant Crisis
UN refugee agency calls for intra-European solidarity. The U.N. refugee agency on Tuesday urged European leaders to do more to help Greece and Italy cope with the migrant crisis in the Mediterranean and to put protection of people at the centre of debate. After up to 900 died in the worst known shipwreck yet, European Union ministers on Monday set out a 10-point action plan and called an extraordinary summit of EU leaders for Thursday. The U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) welcomed the plan as a good beginning while noting its emphasis on law enforcement. "Obviously the devil is in the detail. We need to make sure that the asylum component and the protection of people component is one that is prioritised within these measures," Volker Turk, assistant U.N.
Atlas Elektronik Delivers Coastal Surveillance System
Atlas Elektronik completed the delivery of the coastal surveillance sys-tem, which has been ordered by the Bulgarian Ministry of Finance regarding the completion of the Bulgarian obligations towards the Schengen agreement of the European Union. The Sys-tem, operated by the Border Police (Ministry of Interior), covers the entire Bulgarian coastline of more than 350 km. The contract includes the delivery of the complete coastal surveillance system, whereby already existing radar sites were integrated.
EU Adopts Accelerated Phase-Out of Single-Hull Tankers
Taking a page from OPA 90, the European Union has officially adopted its unilateral plan for accelerated phase-out of single-hull tankers. The regulation was published in the October 1 edition of the Official Journal of the European Union and comes into effect on October 21, 2003. It provides for, among other things, the immediate ban on transport of heavy grades of oil in single-hull oil tankers of 5,000 dwt or above to or from EU ports and the accelerated phase-out of single-hull oil tankers on a schedule tied to the ship’s MARPOL category. The impact of this unilateral action on the upcoming IMO meeting to review the MARPOL phase-out schedule is unclear at this time.
$475M Ferry Deal Eagerly Awaited
British Prime Minister Tony Blair said his government will take the needs of domestic shipbuilders into account when it awards a $475.1 million contract for naval ferries. "It is important we take this decision not just on best commercial grounds, but... the best grounds and interests of the shipbuilding industry in this country," he told parliament. But Blair, facing pressure from shipbuilders and oil industry workers fighting to stop the contract going abroad, also said his government was bound by strict European Union rules in awarding the contract. "We're bound in these procurement contracts, since they are not defense contracts as such, we are bound by these procurement contract rules of the European Union, the same way that every other country is," Blair said.