EFIP Looks for a New Director
The European Federation of Inland Ports (EFIP) has announced the beginning of submission of applications for a new director post. The organization said the new EFIP Director will work at the European Sea Ports Organisation (ESPO)-EFIP Secretariat, which is based in Brussels. EFIP brings together nearly 200 inland ports and port authorities in 17 countries of the European Union and Switzerland. Additionally, EFIP also has observer members in Hungary, Serbia, Slovakia and Ukraine. EFIP highlights and promotes the role of European inland ports to the European institutions.
Centrgaz to Construct South Stream in Serbia
Today in Belgrad (Serbia) South Stream d.o.o. entered into a contract with Centrgaz, which won the bidding for the South Stream gas pipeline construction in the Republic of Serbia. Centrgaz, part of Gazprom Group, will focus on design, procurement, construction and installation activities, personnel training and commissioning of South Stream in Serbia. The contract stipulates involving Serbian subcontractors in carrying out certain operations. Taking part in the bidding procedure which started in March 2014 were four bidders, comprised of Russian and Serbian companies.
Boats Pluck People from Roofs as Sloods Sweep Serbia and Bosnia
Boats sailed through the streets of a Serbian town on Friday on a mission to rescue people trapped by rising waters as the worst floods ever recorded swept Serbia and Bosnia. Some residents of Obrenovac, 30 km (20 miles) southwest of the capital Belgrade, were stranded on the roofs of their homes, calling for help. Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic said all 25,000 citizens would have to be evacuated. At least five people have died in the unfolding disaster this week. Thousands have been evacuated from homes in central and western areas of Serbia and in neighbouring Bosnia. Around 135,000 households were without power across Serbia and the government approved emergency electricity imports. Another 65,000 were without electricity in Bosnia. "This is a catastrophe.
Milosevic, Not Debris, Is Blocking Danube Shipping
NATO Secretary General Lord George Robertson said that Serbia could not expect help to clear the Danube waterway of Kosovo war debris as long as Slobodan Milosevic remains president of Yugoslavia. Western reconstruction aid is barred as long as Milosevic is in power. But the Danube blockage is becoming acute as winter nears, with the threat of an ice buildup and flooding upstream. NATO-member Hungary and other Danube shipping states want to ease the no-aid policy so the river can be cleared at Novi Sad, in northwestern Serbia, before winter sets in. As NATO figures privately admit Milosevic is still firmly implanted, the Serbian opposition is urging the West to drop the blunt instrument of sanctions and help some reconstruction. But Robertson gave no sign concessions were being mooted.
Hungary Sees Danube Cleared By Summer At Earliest
The debris blocking the Danube shipping route in Yugoslavia could be cleared away by the summer, but more likely not until November, a senior Hungarian foreign ministry official said. The Danube, one of the most heavily used waterways in Europe, has been blocked along a vital stretch in Serbia since NATO destroyed several bridges during its bombing campaign against Yugoslavia last year. This has caused serious losses to the mostly central and eastern European countries using the river. An obstacle hindering the process is that the cleanup of the debris involves the building of a bridge over the river. The U.S. supports the cleanup of the Danube but it does not want to see a bridge to be built in a Serbia ruled by President Slobodan Milosevic.
Croatia Now Protecting World Food Program Vessel
After three months of operating with the European Union Naval Force, a maritime protection team from Serbia handed over its World Food Program (WFP) vessel protection duties to Croatia. The handover ceremony took place on December 28, 2014, in Djibouti. The Serbian team has spent the past three months embarked in WFP vessel, MV MSM Douro, providing protection at sea from pirate attacks along the Somali coast. Members of the Croatian Forces will be embarked in MV MSM Douro for up to four months. Since the EU Naval Force began protecting WFP vessels in 2009, none have been attacked or pirated.
Shipping on Danube Slated For Spring 2002
Regular shipping on the river Danube will not resume before the spring of 2002, following the removal of NATO bombing debris from the river in Serbia, the head of the Danube Commission, Hellmuth Strasser, said. The economies of countries using the lower Danube - mainly Romania, Bulgaria and Yugoslavia - are losing more than $306 million a year due to the obstruction of the river, he said. The Danube has been blocked along a vital stretch in Serbia since 1999, when NATO bombing destroyed three bridges at the city of Novi Sad. In April a Danish-Hungarian consortium was awarded a 26 million euro contract to begin cleaning debris from the river. Such cleaning, however, has yet to begin, Strasser said. - (Reuters)
EU Ready To Clear Danube If Serbia Cooperates
Work on clearing bombed bridges from the Danube River in Yugoslavia could begin in March if Belgrade agrees next week to a proposal that the European Union would help fund, according to EU sources. Removing the wreckage of three bridges destroyed by NATO during last year's 11-week air war over Kosovo from the river at Novi Sad in Serbia is essential to reopen the key international waterway to commercial shipping. However, it will require a compromise on the sensitive issue of post-war reconstruction that could cause friction with the U.S. The $30 million project awaits approval by the Danube Commission, made up of states through which the river flows, including Yugoslavia. The decision requires unanimity.
Bulgaria, Serbia River Traffic Resumes
River Danube traffic between Bulgaria and Serbia partially resumed at the end of June, immediately after NATO'S air war against Yugoslavia finished, according to officials from Bulgaria's state Danube navigation company. "Bulgarian ships are running to Serbian Danube ports, even up to Novi Sad," said the chief of the Bulgarian River Navigation Authority (BRNA) Dimitar Stanchev. Serbian ships are also running to Bulgarian Danube ports, as well as to Romanian and Ukrainian ports, he added. He said traffic was much less than before the airstrikes but said he could not give volumes at this stage. There have been press reports of a Bulgarian private shipping company planning to open a regular line from the Bulgarian port of Lom to Prahovo in Serbia, hoping to attract tourists and traders.
Rickmers-Linie Names Aseco as Agent for South-East Europe
Rickmers-Linie has appointed Aseco as its new agent in Austria, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Montenegro and Bosnia Hercegovina, effective 1 May 2007. Aseco is part of the USS United Shipping Services group, headquartered in Gothenburg, Sweden. USS recently took over Transocean Oy Ab, Rickmers-Linie’s Finnish agent.
Syrian Migrants Picked up from Italian Trawler
A group of migrants, including 11 Syrians, were rescued on Tuesday from an Italian fishing trawler in the Adriatic Sea and taken to Montenegro, police said. Montenegro's coastal security sent out a rescue team after Erica, a 15 metre-long (50 feet) vessel, put out a distress signal 17 nautical miles (31 km) off the coast, said Safet Kocan, director of maritime safety. The Italian ship with migrants on board was finally moored in the Montenegrin port of Zelenika, inside the Boka Kotorska bay. Police said there were 11 Syrian nationals on the vessel, two people from Morocco and two from Yemen, one person from Afghanistan and one from Pakistan. The group included four children. "The distress call was sent this morning ...
Clearing Danube of Bridge Debris A Priority
Clearing the Danube of bombed bridges and helping Serbia get through the winter are priorities for a Balkan stability pact, Bodo Hombach, the head of the European Union's reconstruction plan said, but insisted that Europe would not help Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic. "The stability pact is not against the Yugoslav people," Hombach said. The EU and the United States agreed in July to create a multi-national reconstruction program to stabilize the Balkans and encourage democratic change in Yugoslavia by denying all but humanitarian aid to Serbia. The Yugoslav republic of Montenegro was granted exceptions because of its western-leaning government and stance during NATO's air campaign against Milosevic.
Danube Shippers Catch A Break
Put in financial peril because of NATO bombing against Serbia which literally blocked its source of business, Danube shippers and port operators received good news when it was divulged that Romania's government decided to write off the debts owed to the state by Danube shippers and port operators. The debts included unpaid taxes and contributions to the state and social security budgets over April 1999-June 2000, as well as penalties, the cabinet said in a statement issued after a special meeting. Data put shippers' total debts at some 39 billion lei. Romanian shippers say they have lost some $150 million in trade since April 1999, when NATO destroyed bridges over the Danube in Serbia, on Romania's western border, blocking traffic on the river. The U.S.
This Day in U.S. Coast Guard History – November 22
1906-At the second International Radio Telegraphic Convention, which was held in Berlin, the attendees agreed to adopt the wireless signal "SOS" as the internationally recognized signal for distress at sea. Their thinking was that three dots, three dashes and three dots could not be misinterpreted. 1953-A great boon to ocean navigation for aircraft surface vessels was the completion of four new LORAN stations in the Far East. The stations were built at Mikayo Jima, Ryuku Islands; Bataan and Cantanduanes Islands, Philippines; and Anguar, Palau Island in the Carolinas chain. Now replaced by the more accurate LORAN-C network, these stations on sparsely-populated, remote and typhoon-battered islands.
Rickmers-Linie Appoints Interliner Agencies
Hamburg based Rickmers-Linie has appointed Interliner Agencies as its new agent in South Central Europe. The agency contract covers Slovenia, Austria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia, Croatia, Serbia, Albania, Bosnia and Hercegovina, Macedonia and Montenegro. On September 1, 2014, Interliner Agencies took over all sales and agency activities in the above mentioned countries for and on behalf of Rickmers-Linie. Gerhard Janssen, Director Marketing and Sales Europe at Rickmers-Linie commented on the appointment of Interliner Agencies…
Bunker Surcharge Increase Between Mediterranean and U.S. and Canada
Adjustment Factor (BAF) between Mediterranean ports and the United States and Canada. The change follows the higher oil prices. $ 453 (currently $ 399) per 20 ft. $ 906 (currently $ 798) per 40 ft. Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Italy, Cyprus, Albania, San Marino, Slovenia, Egypt, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Syria, Serbia & Montenegro, Croatia, Turkey, Lebanon, Macedonia, Greece, Malta, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, Spain, Portugal, Morocco, Andorra, Gibraltar, and France (via Mediterranean ports).
MOL Peak-Season Surcharge, Europe to Asia
Mitsui O.S.K. Lines said it will apply a peak-season bill of lading surcharge for all shipments from Europe and the Mediterranean to Asia for all equipment types. The surcharge, which will become effective from 1 Nov., 2009 and will extend until 31 Dec., 2009, will be $100 per TEU. The affected countries of loading will be: Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Russia, Denmark, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Belarus, Poland, Czech rep, Slovenia, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, UK, Ireland, France, Austria, Switzerland, Hungary, Slovenia, Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia, Macedonia, Italy, Greece, Moldavia, Romania, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Spain (including the Canary Islands), Portugal, Morocco, Algeria, Egypt, Tunisia, Israel, Turkey, Cyprus and Malta.
Port Security Advisory – Nations with Inadequate Port Security Measures
The U.S. Coast Guard issued a Port Security Advisory listing nations it has determined to have inadequate port security measures. Ships that have called in any of those nations within the five previous port calls may be subject to increased port state control examination upon arrival in a U.S. port. The enhanced examination may be lessen if the ship establishes a higher security level during the port call, executes a Declaration of Security, logs all security actions in the ship’s log, and reports the actions taken to the USCG Captain of the Port (COTP) prior to arrival in the U.S. port. The nations found to have inadequate port security measures are: Albania…
U.S Navy Vessel To Visit China
The U.S. Navy guided-missile cruiser Chancellorsville will visit Qingdao, China, in August as part of a series of such visits between the two countries, the Defense Department said. The announcement of the Aug. 2-5 visit followed a statement by Washington and Beijing that Chinese warships will soon visit Hawaii and Seattle. Defense Secretary William Cohen visited China this month as the two countries renewed military-to-military ties following a freeze after the 1999 bombing of the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade by U.S. warplanes during NATO's air campaign against Serbia. The Pentagon said the visit by the Chancellorsville, based in Yokosuka, Japan, to Qingdao will coincide with a July 31-Aug. 5 visit to Beijing and Qingdao by Adm. Thomas Fargo, commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet.
China, Kazakhstan to Ink $10 bln in Deals
China is expected to sign 30 cooperative agreements worth $10 billion with Kazakhstan as Premier Li Keqiang begins his first official visit to the country, the official Xinhua news agency said on Sunday. Xinhua did not give details, but quoted Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Cheng Guoping as highlighting a joint-venture logistics base and urging interconnectivity with highways, railways, ports, air routes, oil and gas pipelines. "The Sino-Kazakh cooperation is developing rapidly.
EU Adriatic and Ionian Strategy Targets Blue Growth
Better cooperation between countries in the Adriatic and Ionian regions is needed to address shared challenges and better exploit joint opportunities, the EU Fisheries department said today in a statement. The strategy was officially launched in June 2014 to help facilitate this coordination while also helping the regions' 70 million citizens to benefit from a boost in the maritime economy, the preservation of the marine environment, stronger transport and energy links and increased tourism. The Strategy will also provide a valuable opportunity for non EU-countries to work alongside EU members, in particular contributing to the integration of the Western Balkans into the European Union.
Turkey Sets Import Tax on Thermal Coal
Turkey imposed a tax this week on imports of thermal coal from Colombia, Russia and other major exporters, for use in power generation, to support domestic coal production. The Turkish cabinet decided to impose the tax of $15/tonne on imports from the United States, Colombia, Russia and South Africa on July 18 and announced it in the Official Gazette this week. The tax hits the biggest exporters of thermal coal but does not apply to imports from the European Union, Israel, Macedonia, Bosnia, Morocco, West Bank, Tunisia, Egypt, Georgia, Albania, Jordan, Chile, Serbia, Kosovo, South Korea, Mauritius and Malaysia, the government said. The levy is equal to around a quarter of the current month's physical South African coal price of around $63.65 a tonne.
Turkey Approves EIA Report for South Stream’s Offshore Section
The Ministry of Environment and Urban Planning of Turkey approved the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Report and issued a positive opinion of the EIA results for South Stream's offshore section in Turkey. The Report contains the assessment of potential environmental impacts caused by the gas pipeline construction, including the impact on the seabed geology, water quality and marine ecology. The document concludes that the project will have no considerable effect on the Black Sea environment or the regional fishing industry.