Oman Drydock Closes 2015 with Busy Second Half
Oman Drydock Company (ODC) has reported one of its busiest half year periods to date for drydockings, conversions and repairs. Based in Duqm Oman’s new ports and logistics city, ODC is one of the world’s largest shipyards at 1.3 million square meters. ODC deputy CEO Dr. Ahmed Al Abri, said the period July to December 2015 saw the shipyard undertake a range of drydockings taking the total number undertaken since it opened to 375. The work was completed clients including Maran, Dynacom…
EU Support for Seafarers to Obtain Schengen Visas
The European and International Social Partners in the Maritime Sector; the European Community Shipowners’ Associations (ECSA), the European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF), the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) and the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) support the ongoing efforts to facilitate seafarers’ travel to and from the EU through amendments to the visa rules between Member States. “For the shipping industry to function efficiently and for the safeguarding of decent living and working conditions for seafarers…
Charleston Port Joins USDA Cold Treatment Program
Crowley Maritime Corp.’s Miami-based subsidiary specializing in Customs clearance of imported perishable apparel and refrigerated products, said it could begin clearing certain produce requiring cold-treatment from Peru, Uruguay and Argentina into the Port of Charleston, S.C. as early as this Spring. This development would indicate an expansion of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services (APHIS) cold treatment pilot program that has previously been rolled out in South Florida and in Savannah, Ga.
UK Chamber Welcomes Immigration Rule Change for International Seafarers
The UK Chamber has welcomed an announcement by the Home Office to reform immigration rules for international students, extending the time limit to three years for educational courses which are below degree level but subject to MCA regulations that the applicant must spend 12 months at sea. Until now, international students within the Tier 4 (general) visa route are subject to restrictions on the maximum period of time they can study at a specific level. The time limit for those studying at below UK bachelor’s degree level was reduced from three years to two in 2015.
New Horizons: Cruise Industry Challenges & Solutions for 2017
Approximately 130 million Chinese citizens travel internationally, making China the world’s largest outbound travel market in the world. With one-sixth of the world’s population, many recognize this country as a market with huge potential. Until a few years ago, travel by ship was a common mode of transport, but China’s rapid economic evolution has attracted more people to leisure travel opportunities and the luxury holiday experience cruise liners can offer. It is anticipated that the number of Chinese passengers will reach 4.5 million by 2020…
Smugglers Use Facebook to Advertise Boat Trips to Italy After EU-Turkey Deal
Smugglers based in Turkey are offering to take migrants to Italy instead of Greece where they are likely to be deported under a deal between the Ankara government and European Union, according to a newspaper report. The Guardian said on Thursday that smugglers had used Facebook to advertise a boat trip to Italy from the Turkish port of Mersin - at a cost of $4,000 per person, four times the price of a journey from Turkey to Greece. "The trip is on Saturday, from Mersin to Italy, on a merchant ship 110 metres long, equipped with food, water, life jackets and medicine," the Guardian quoted the post as saying. The advert, which was no longer visible on Facebook on Friday…
Migrants Returned from Greece arrive in Turkey
Three passenger boats return migrants from Lesbos, Chios; desperate migrants continue to cross despite deal. The first migrants deported from Greek islands under a disputed EU-Turkey deal were shipped back to Turkey on Monday in a drive to shut down the main route by which a million people fleeing war and poverty crossed the Aegean Sea in the last year. Under the pact criticised by refugee agencies and human rights campaigners, Ankara will take back all migrants and refugees who enter Greece illegally, including Syrians. In return, the European Union will take in thousands of Syrian refugees directly from Turkey and reward it with more money, early visa-free travel and progress in its EU membership negotiations.
Europort to Partner IRANIMEX
Europort has become the official and exclusive international partner of IRANIMEX, the leading maritime & offshore exhibition in Iran. The agreement brings together the brand behind the maritime and offshore industry’s most vibrant conference and exhibition, Europort, and the gateway event covering unprecedented industry opportunities in Iran. From 2016, the new partners will combine the blueprint established for previous IRANIMEX events and the international expertise that the Europort name conveys, under the brand ‘IRANIMEX powered by Europort’.
UN Deal Sends More Migrants to Turkey from Greece
Two ferries carrying more than 120 migrants returned to Turkey from the Greek island of Lesbos on Friday, in the second round of arrivals under an EU deal with Ankara to stem mass migration to Europe across the Aegean Sea. The accord, which came into force on Monday, aims to help end a chaotic influx into the European Union of migrants and refugees, most fleeing war and poverty in the Middle East and beyond, after more than 1 million arrived last year. Around 325 people have now been sent back from the Greek islands under the accord, which the U.N. refugee agency (UNHCR) has condemned and rights advocates say may violate international law. They are to be sent to a camp near Turkey's border with Bulgaria, to which the UNHCR said it had yet to gain access.
Mark Fuhrmann's Paddle for 'Piece'
Mark Fuhrmann is Partner in Blue-C, an Oslo-based strategic marketing and communications firm that is a ubiquitous presence in the world of maritime. Fuhrmann recently embarked on a 5,400 km solo kayak paddle from Oslo to Athens to raise money and awareness for “The Piece Prize” a charity he created, which, for lack of a better description, is aiming on making the world a better place. Tell us a bit about yourself. Well, that’s a long story. I was born and raised Canadian and I studied communication and journalism in LA. I met a girl there, got married in Norway and had three lovely children.
EU Ship Owners Set Brexit Wish List
European ship owners have published their priorities when it comes to Brexit negotiations outcome. The shipping community embodies a fundamental acquis of the EU: free movement of goods and persons. European Community Shipowners’ Associations (ECSA) believes that the current operating climate should be preserved as much as possible even after the Brexit. “European ship owners strongly believe that to the extent possible, EU and UK should aim for conformity in legislation relating to maritime affairs,” said ECSA Secretary General Patrick Verhoeven.
Merkel Visit aims to Soothe EU Migrant Tensions
German Chancellor Angela Merkel will use a visit to Turkey this weekend to try to soothe tensions over a deal meant to stem the flow of migrants to Europe as questions about its effectiveness and long-term viability mount. The pact, which came into force almost three weeks ago, aims to help end the chaotic arrival of migrants and refugees on the Greek islands, many fleeing war and poverty in the Middle East and Africa. More than one million reached Europe last year. The deal initially slowed the numbers of new arrivals to Greece sharply, but boats have been coming again with about 150 people a day, indicating the "hermetic sealing" of the route appears to be over, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said.
Earth, Wind & … Fire Protection
Three years ago coatings giant Jotun was buying up real estate for U.S. market access and location savings. The effort to get closer to its shipping and offshore customer base is still underway with research aimed at protecting client assets in frontier areas like the arctic. An R&D expansion at Flixborough in the U.K. and in the Arctic archipelago of Spitsbergen aims to make active the fire response of passive surface treatments. There’s a need to address fires in enclosed steel workplaces plus high-temperature hydrocarbon fires.
India to Boost Cruise Tourism
Indian Minister of Shipping Nitin Gadkari has said that Cruise Tourism is one of the fastest growing components of the leisure industry worldwide, and can be a major growth driver for the Indian economy by generating huge employment opportunities. Gadkari was speaking at the National Workshop on “Action Plan for Development of Cruise Tourism in India”, in New Delhi today. The workshop was also attended by Minister of State for Culture and Tourism Dr Mahesh Sharma, and representatives…
Biofuels: Time Running Out for Tanker Owners
New regulations on the carriage of biofuels could limit the trading flexibility of product tankers from next January, according to Rivertrace Engineering, Managing Director, Mike Coomber. This is because oil discharge monitoring equipment on board most existing vessels is not geared up to handle biofuels. From next January, Coomber warns that vessels without up-to-date type-approved equipment will not even make it on to charterers’ shortlists because they will no longer be eligible to carry biofuel cargoes. The regulations are embodied in IMO Resolution MEPC.108(49) as amended by MEPC.240(65).
GAC Russia Expands Eastwards
GAC Russia said it is expanding eastwards with the opening of new branches at Nakhodka and Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk to meet demand for shipping services as opportunities open up in Far East. According to GAC Russia, this means it is the only ship agent with a presence throughout the interconnected Arctic region and Far East: at Murmansk, Kandalaksha, Sabetta, and now Nakhodka and the capital of the Sakhalin region, Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk. Arkady Podkopaev, GAC Russia’s General Manager, said, “GAC has been active in Russia since 2001 and has built a strong network of offices in the European part of the country. As the Russian Federation focuses on developing political and economic relations with the Asia-Pacific region, the country’s Far East has moved to the top of the agenda.
ISS Bags Tanzania's Paragon project
Inchcape Shipping Services (ISS) has been appointed by Paragon Offshore, Houston, as marine and logistic services provider for a new drilling campaign off the Songo Songo Islands, Tanzania – the first new commercial drilling project in Tanzania in a number of years. ISS is providing a range of services for Paragon Offshore including full husbandry, crew logistics, visa assistance and arranging marine and air charters. A leading provider of standard specification offshore drilling services…
Oman Drydock Company Expands Rapidly
Oman Drydock Company (ODC) is growing fast. In January, the yard hit an important milestone - its 300th drydocking. Harnessing the power of its new $1.8 billion, 1.3 million sq. m. shipyard it aims to become a leading shipyard in the Gulf over the next five years. A key selling point for ODC is its geographical position. ODC is in poll-position for the Asia – Europe shipping routes and critically, saving ship owners time, and potential disruption, as ships can come straight to us without deviating through the Strait of Hormuz.
India Exempts Biometric Enrolment for Cruise Tourists with e-Visa
With a view to promote cruise tourism in India, Cruise tourists to India with e-visas will be exempted from biometric enrolment till December 31, 2020, the government said. This will make immigration clearance of such passengers faster, leaving them with more time to spend on shore. This is also an important factor that helps cruise lines decide whether or not to include a destination in their itinerary. The Ministry of Shipping has been working towards simplifying the immigration…
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 ...
India Exempts Biometric Enrolment to Promote Cruise Tourism
In order to promote cruise tourism in the country the Government of India has exempted cruise tourists arriving with e-visa from the requirement of biometric enrolment for the major ports, said Union Minister of State for Shipping Pon. Radhakrishnan. The exemption will be in effect in the ports of Mumbai, Cochin, Chennai, Mormugao and New Mangalore for a period of three years till 31st December, 2020. The Government has also taken steps for customer-friendly and hassle-free immigration regime for cruise passengers such as implementation of e-visa and e-Landing cards at the five ports.
EU Tells Turkey to Avoid Damaging Actions after Cyprus Ship Incident
The European Union on Monday called on Turkey to avoid threats and "refrain from any actions that might damage good neighbourly" ties after Cyprus, a member of the bloc, accused the Turkish military of obstructing a ship exploring for gas. Cyprus is one of several states, also including Israel and Lebanon, racing to tap gas deposits in the eastern Mediterranean. Greek Cypriots run Cyprus's internationally recognised government, while Turkish Cypriots have a breakaway state in the north - recognised only by Ankara - and say resources around the island belong to them too. Cyprus said on Sunday the Turkish military had obstructed a vessel contracted by Italian oil company Eni which was approaching an area to explore for natural gas.
ISS, CGG Ink Brazil Agency Deal
Inchcape Shipping Services (ISS), the world's leading maritime and logistics service provider, has signed a contract with CGG to provide offshore agency support services for a new oil and gas exploration project in the Barreirinhas Basin in the equatorial margin of northern Brazil. As a specialist geoscience company, CGG is conducting the multi-client seismic project, which will be the oil and gas industry’s first regional broadband survey of the Barreirinhas basin. ISS will provide a range of services for the Barreirinhas project including port agency…