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Shipping Gazette

Latest maritime and legal news from Panama and around the world

Panama, March 2011

Volume 3, Number 01

In this issue:

  • Panama Maritime X –A world-class conference and exhibition held in February 2011
  • Panama Marine Circulars - Know what is required of you – This month MM Circulars numbers 215, 212 and 213
  • What’s new in Panama shipping scene
    • Multinational companies choose Panama as Headquarters
    • Ten thousand shipping related vacancies offered in Panama and Colon
    • Panama’s House of the Sailor – “Mi casa, su casa!”
  • Maritime Authority of Panama in a nutshell
    • Certification ISO Quality 9001:2008
    • APBA and Comport of Spain visited Panama
    • AMP signs memorandum with the Port of Bussan
    • AMP receives Japanese delegation
    • AMP receives anti-piracy training
  • Panama Canal Update
  • IMO Update

Welcome to our first issue of the year 2011!

Judging from the maritime activity we experienced in Panama during 2010, the year 2011 will not be any different. According to the figures published in December 2010, Panama is still the leader flag in the world, and the Panama Canal expansion project advances under budget and on schedule.

Perhaps one of the most important events in our local –and regional --shipping scene was the celebration of Panama Maritime X, the bi-annual international conference and exhibit, during 13-16 February 2011.

As the Administrator of the Maritime Authority of Panama said during the conference opening ceremony, “Panama is living through a very important moment, it is ahead in the regional and worldwide maritime development, with almost nine thousand registered ships, maintaining the first place among flag registries; in addition the movement of containers is around four millions of TEU`s, meaning that the ports of Manzanillo, Cristobal, CCT and Balboa are surpassing for the first time according to the CEPAL ranking to Santos's Port in Brazil ". Furthermore, “Our country’s 23.2 % of the Internal Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is represented by the transport, storage and communications, which includes the maritime industry; with an expected economic growth of between 4 to 4.5 %; all of the above, together to all the expectations that the Panama Canal expansion is generating.”

It has been evident to all who participated in the conference and to those who visit Panama for business or tourism purposes that the country continues to be an important hub for logistical movement of cargo and the ports continue to thrive in their transhipment business. Likewise, shipowners and ship operators continue to place their trust in Panama and feel their business assets are well guarded by us.

We look forward to receiving your suggestions for topics to cover in future editions.

Your feedback is always appreciated and you can contact our maritime legal team by email


Panama Maritime X –A world-class conference and exhibition held in February 2011

Panama Maritime X, International Conference and Exhibition took place during 13-16 February 2011 in Panama City. The event offered a world-class conference and exhibition, with world-renowned speakers, leading port and maritime industry experts and the most influential international regulatory agency and government authorities.

The event focused on the latest regulations, technologies and industry trends; highlighting labour, education and training. The event covered environmental initiatives, financial challenges and operational issues --and included a wide and unique range of visits to Panama’s rapidly expanding port facilities, to the Panama Canal and to some of the Canal expansion project sites where the amazingly huge excavation and earth movement work is taking place.

Panama Maritime X provided unrivalled networking opportunities by attracting many and different representatives of the local and regional maritime movers and shakers –introducing key players in the global shipping industry to Latin America’s exciting and expanding maritime sector.


Panama Marine Circulars - Know what is required of you – This month MM Circulars numbers 215, 216 and 217

Merchant Marine Circular (MMC)

  

MMC 215
Dec 2010

  
  

Amendment to the Panama Oil Record Book / Emissions

Coming into force on 1st January 2011

Oil Record Books and Emissions kept on Panama vessels should comply with and supply all of the information recommended on these Guidelines and Annex I & VI of MARPOL

Official Oil Record Books and Emissions Revised Edition 2010 are available from the Administration head quarter office and in all our Consulates.

Please check your books on board – Please ensure you buy a 2009 or 2010 edition

Vessels which have on board previous edition (Oil Record Book Revised Edition 2009) can carry out the corrections by pasting the new instructions with the corrections in the old version to bring it up to date according to new regulation under the mentioned IMO MEPC Resolution. For your reference, please visit the web page and download the correct instructions containing the new Oil Record Book and Emissions, Revised Edition 2010 (last edition of Panama Record Book) in this regard.

*A non-tanker that carries more than 200 cubic meters of oil, in bulk as cargo, must also maintain a Part II Oil Record Book.

  

http://segumar.com/HTML Merchant Marine Circulars/215.pdf

  

MMC 216
Dec 2010

  
  

Code of Safety for Caribbean Cargo Ships (CCSS Code)

Developed to provide a regional safety standard for vessels under 500 Gross Registered Tons, which travel in the Caribbean.

The purpose of this circular is to formally inform that the Republic of Panama, by Resolution 106-54 DGMM of October 29, 2010 adopted the Code of Safety for Caribbean Cargo Ships (CCSS Code).

All Panamanian flag vessels under 500 Gross Tonnage operating in the waters of countries that have adopted this code or that are part of the Caribbean Memorandum of Understanding, holding or not the Document of Compliance of CCSS Code substitute to the Caribbean Cargo Ship Safety Certificate issued by the Recognized Organizations on behalf of Panama Republic, have to comply with the provisions of the CCSS Code, during the next dry dock, after the entry into force of this resolution, in order to be in full compliance with the provisions of the code.

All Classification Societies and Recognized Organizations, who are authorized to issue the Declaration of Compliance with regard to CCSS Code, from the entry into force of this resolution, may issue Caribbean Cargo Ship Safety Certificate. The rest shall apply to the General Directorate of Merchant Marine for formal authorization.

While a vessel is holding the Caribbean Cargo Ship Safety Certificate.

  

http://segumar.com/HTML Merchant Marine Circulars/216.pdf

  

MMC 217
Dec 2010

  
  

Ship to Ship Transfer (STS) Operations Plan
Coming into force on 1st January 2011

Re - amends MARPOL 73/78 Annex I, adding a new chapter 8. The regulation 41 of this new chapter states that all oil tankers involved in STS operations shall carry on board a Plan prescribing how to conduct STS operations (STS operations Plan) not later than the date of the first annual, intermediate or renewal survey of the ship to be carried out on or after 1 January 2011.

Each oil tanker’s STS operations Plan shall be approved by the Administration.

  

http://segumar.com/HTML Merchant Marine Circulars/217.pdf


What’s new in Panama shipping scene?

Multinational companies choose Panama to establish their regional headquarters

Thanks to Panama’s special Law 41 of 2007, during 2010 no less than 11 multinational companies have opened up offices in Panama. Currently there is a total of 42 companies who have opted to take advantage of the benefits offered by Panama through Law 41.

The Foreign Trade office expects than with the new financial advantages and excellent logistical infrastructure, as well as the increasing connectivity of the country in the region and world, will increase the opportunities for foreign investment.

Recently, Panamanian authorities from the Ministry of Commerce and Industry met with companies from Germany, England and Singapore to explain the advantages of maritime and air connectivity, as well as the financial services offer by Panama.

The establishment of these new multinational companies in Panama represent at least 2,000 direct jobs, both at the executives and technical levels for Panamanians.

Some of the companies that have chosen Panamá include Alfa Laval, S.A. and Ericsson Branch Office Panama, both from Sweden; VF Sourcing Latin America, S.a.r.l. from Luxemburg; Sanofi Aventis Latin America, S.A., of France and Otis Elevator Company, Panama, S.A.

Source: http://www.laestrella.com.pa/mensual/2010/10/28/contenido/295032.asp

Ten thousand job vacancies offered in Panama and Colon

A business group recently established in Panama has requested the support of Government and private industry to fill 10 thousand job vacancies in the cities of Panama and Colon. Job opportunities are offered in areas such as construction, retail, call centre and cruise ships. For the call centre, the company needs 800 people, of which 200 must be fluent in English. In the case of cruise ships, bilingual staff is needed for different positions.

This is a great opportunity for young people who live in the cities of Panama and Colon.

Source: La Estrella de Panama

Panama’s Seafarer´s Centre (Casa del Marino) is a small and modest place offering a warm welcome to foreign sailors arriving to our country, thanks to the efforts of the seafarers unions, the Panama Canal and private donations.

The Seafarer´s Centre has 2 small buses to transport foreign sailors from the port, a pool table, internet connection and computers, a small kitchen area, a bar and also card tables. Even though there is currently a place for private prayer, they will soon be inaugurating a chapel.

The ITF has donated approximately 80 thousand dollars to the project.

Source: La Estrella de Panama


Maritime Authority of Panama in a nutshell
Source www.amp.gob.pa

  • Recently, the Directorate General of Merchant Marine achieved the ISO Quality 9001:2008 certification, after an external audit by LRQA. This new achievement supersedes the previous certification ISO version 9001:2000. Not many registries have such certification and there are plans to be certified on ISO 17000, which cover conformity assessment, vocabulary and general principles.

  • A delegation of the Port Authority of the Bay of Algeciras (APBA) and the Port Community (Comport), of Spain visited Panama and met the Administrator of the Maritime Authority of Panama (AMP) Roberto Linares, as well as other members of the executive staff. One of the most important objectives of their visit was to analyze the possibility of establishing managerial exchange programmes and even of the creation of mixed companies – government and private companies. The general manager of the Port of the Bay of Algeciras, J.L. Hormaechea, headed a delegation that included a score of institutional representatives, businessmen and Port Authority executives. The delegation was impressed by the port development experienced by Panama and wanted to share experiences and exchange lessons learned so that what has happened in Panama could be used as a role model to be implemented in Spain. Additionally, the visitors wanted to take advantage of the business opportunities that the country offers. A Memorandum of Agreement was also signed by the representatives of the Port Community and the president of the Maritime Chamber of Panama. This MOA has the objective of exchanging information as well as development of training and research programmes between personnel from organizations.
     
    During a recent visit of the President of Panama, Ricardo Martinelli, to South Korea and China , a Memorandum Of Understanding and cooperation was signed between the Maritime Authority of Panama and the Authority of the Port of Busán, Ki-Tae Roh. The agreement seeks to generate exchange of information between both authorities, mainly to bring to Panama the experience and technologies being successfully used on their ports. The Port Busán's is the fifth in importance in the world. Panama has a Consulate office in the City of Busán

  • A delegation of Japan visited the Maritime Authority of Panama (AMP) to explain and promote their candidate for the position of General Secretary to the International Maritime Organization, IMO, Mr. Koji Sekimizu, who is currently one of the IMO Directors.

    Between November and December, 2011, The Maritime International Organization has programmed the election for the new Secretary General to replace the current secretary, Efthimios Mitropoulos, whose period finishes on December 31, 2011. The period for the new Secretary General will start on January 1, 2012. The Republic of Panama is currently a member of the Council of the IMO on category A .
  • Recently, a group of employees of the Panama Maritime Authority received training in Anti-Piracy techniques which included a two-day practical course, to prepare them to deal with any emergencies they might have as a Flag State, particularly in the case of pirate or terrorist attacks.
  • During 2010, around 196 vessels have been attacked and hijacked by pirates, of which approximate 35 are Panamanian registered flag vessels.

    Apparently, in 2012 the IMO is planning to implement compulsory training on the subject.

 


Panama Canal Update

  • New Strategic agreement signed

The Panama Canal and the North Carolina State Ports Authority signed a strategic agreement to generate new business and promote the “all water route” through the expanded Panama Canal.

Last 14 December 2010, Administrator/CEO Alberto Alemán Zubieta and North Carolina State Ports Authority CEO Thomas J. Eagar signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) during an official ceremony in Panama City, Panama. The ACP and the North Carolina State Ports Authority will work together to generate new business through the promotion of the "All-Water Route," the route between Asia and the U.S. East Coast via the Panama Canal.

Joint collaboration between the organizations may include marketing activities such as joint press conferences or exhibits at maritime events; exchange of data on the forecasting of future trade trends; information sharing on modernization and improvements to increase customer service; and, joint training seminars.

Currently, 65 percent of the container volume at the Port of Wilmington and 60 percent of the breakbulk volume at the Port of Morehead City arrives via the Canal. "Access to global commerce is critical for North Carolina's business community. The expansion of the Panama Canal will dramatically alter the maritime transportation system as we know it today by providing liner shipping companies and cargo interests unrestricted access to the U.S. East Coast. This expansion is a game-changer," said Mr. Eagar.

  • New tugboats for the Canal

Also, last December 2010 the latest in the new fleet of tugboats began its way up to the Panama Canal. Specifically, on December 4, the third in a fleet of 13 new tugboats purchased by the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) began making its way from Hong Kong to Panama. The Sixaola arrived at the Panama Canal in mid-February.

The new fleet of tugboats, which will all be named after rivers in Panama, were built by Cheoy Lee Shipyards, Ltd. in China. They are equipped with General Electric 12V 228 main engines, TWIN DISC MCD 3000-8 HD clutches and SCHOTTEL SRP 1515 FP propulsion units. These new units, that will assist ships transiting the waterway, have an award-winning design, superior components, stronger engines, better clutches and advanced propulsion systems. These tugboats have an output capacity of 5,844 horsepower and a bollard pull of more than 65 metric tons. As part of the completed Expansion Program, the ACP plans to have a total fleet of 46 tugs by 2014. These new tugboats will both augment the existing fleet and replace those with more than 35 years of service.

  • Retailers visit the Panama Canal

During early March 2011, the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) and the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) led a select number of executives from America's largest and most successful retailers on an exclusive 3-day trip to Panama. Retailers learned about the country's growing role as the logistics and transportation hub of the Americas. The trip included meetings with key government officials and business leaders. Retailers visited some of the Panama's latest innovations in logistics at the Manzanillo International Terminal Port, Panama Ports, International Business Park Panamá Pacífico and the Panama Canal expansion site.

"We welcomed retailers in Panama and provided them with information on the benefits associated with conducting business in Panama, including economies of scale in shipping, a dollarized economy, especially tailored tax incentives and ready access to more than 470 million consumers in North, South and Central America and the Caribbean," said ACP Administrator/CEO Alberto Alemán Zubieta.

"This trip was a valuable opportunity for retailers to see for themselves the advancements in the region and meet with key government officials and business leaders to discuss the challenges and opportunities of doing business in Panama," said Casey Chroust, Executive Vice President of Retail Operations for RILA. "On the trip, retailers visited the surrounding Canal infrastructure and viewed the innovative opportunities for sourcing, distribution, and value-added services."

This trip follows the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) Logistics Conference sponsored by the Panama Canal Authority in Orlando, Florida last February 20-23, 2011. The Conference brought together representatives of all major retail and consumer product segments, along with relevant solutions providers.

Panama is fast becoming the transportation and logistics hub of the Americas with its unmatched regional connectivity, strategic location, world-famous Canal that joins more than 144 trade routes across the globe, and strong economy. All of these things, combined with its dollarized economy, make Panama an attractive location for foreign companies to establish their Latin American headquarters. The country offers unparalleled special incentives for multinational companies doing business abroad, such as tax exemptions and flexible relocation procedures for executives in managerial positions and their families. Today's supply chain leaders rely on safe, reliable and efficient service to get their goods to market and recognize the added value when doing business in Panama. As a result, multinational corporations like Maersk Central America, V F Corporation, Procter & Gamble, LG Consulting, Roche, Caterpillar, Nestlé Central America, Phillips, Hyundai Heavy Industries, Cemex, Dell, 3M and Heineken, among many others, have all established their regional headquarters in Panama.

  • New self-propelled heavy duty cutter suction dredge arrives in Panama

On 11 January 2011, in yet another move to procure the best equipment for the expansion project, the D'Artagnan, the most powerful self-propelled heavy duty cutter suction dredger in the world, arrived at the Panama Canal. Upon its arrival, the latest addition to the Panama Canal Authority's (ACP) expansion dredging fleet then made its way to the Pacific entrance, which will ultimately link the new Pacific locks with the Canal's existing Gaillard Cut (the narrowest stretch of the Panama Canal). The D'Artagnan, which is able to dredge hard rock locations that previously required drilling and blasting, will complete the dredging of the waterway's Pacific entrance. The dredger will expand the existing Pacific entrance from 192 meters to 255 meters and deepen it to 15.5 meters below the mean water springs. The D'Artagnan, which measures 123.80 meters in length, is owned by Belgian company Dredging International (part of the DEME Group).


IMO Update

  • Results of the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) meeting of 24 November to 3 December 2010 on its 88th session.

MSC 88 had a very busy agenda and in addition to the amendments highlighted below, the agenda also included discussion on piracy and armed robbery against ships off the coast of Somalia and the approval of a revised resolution on principles of safe manning.

Amendments to the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) to make mandatory the International Code for the Application of Fire Test Procedures (2010 FTP Code) were adopted. The 2010 FTP Code, along with relevant SOLAS amendments to make it mandatory, was adopted, with an expected entry into force date of 1 July 2012. The 2010 FTP Code provides the international requirements for laboratory testing, type-approval and fire test procedures for products referenced under SOLAS chapter II-2. It comprehensively revises and updates the current Code, adopted by the MSC in 1996. The Code includes the following: test for non-combustibility; test for smoke and toxicity; test for “A”, “B” and “F” class divisions; test for fire door control systems; test for surface flammability (surface materials and primary deck coverings); test for vertically supported textiles and films; test for upholstered furniture; test for bedding components; test for fire-restricting materials for high-speed craft; and test for fire-resisting divisions of high-speed craft. It also includes annexes on Products which may be installed without testing and/or approval and on Fire protection materials and required approval test methods.

  • Other amendments adopted by MSC
  •  amendments to SOLAS regulation V/18 to require annual testing of automatic identification systems (AIS);
  •  amendments to SOLAS regulation V/23 on pilot transfer arrangements, to update and to improve safety aspects for pilot transfer;
  •  amendments to safety certificates in the SOLAS appendix and SOLAS Protocol of 1988, relating to references to alternative design and arrangements;
  •  amendments to the International Convention for Safe Containers, 1972, to include addition of new paragraphs in Regulation 1 Safety Approval Plate, specifying the validity of and elements to be included in approved examination programmes; the addition of a new test for containers being approved for operation with one door removed; and the addition of a new annex III Control and Verification, which provides specific control measures to enable authorized officers to assess the integrity of structurally sensitive components of containers and to help them decide whether a container is safe to continue in transportation or whether it should be stopped until remedial action has been taken; and
  • a new chapter 9 of the International Code for Fire Safety Systems (FSS Code), related to fixed fire detection and fire alarm systems.
  • Lifeboats

The MSC agreed to postpone the adoption of an amendment to SOLAS regulation III/1, which would require lifeboat on-load release mechanisms not complying with new International Life-Saving Appliances (LSA) Code requirements, to be replaced no later than the next scheduled dry-docking of the ship, following entry into force of the SOLAS amendment. However, the Committee reached agreement, in principle, to set 1 July 2014 as the date for implementation of the system of assessment, evaluation and replacement of existing release mechanisms.

The whole package of measures addressing the safety of lifeboat release and retrieval systems, including the proposed SOLAS amendment, related amendments to the LSA Code and the draft Guidelines for evaluation and replacement of lifeboat release and retrieval systems, referenced in the draft amendment to SOLAS regulation III/1, were referred back to an intersessional working group, which will meet prior to the 55th session of the Sub-Committee on Ship Design and Equipment (DE) (21 to 25th March 2011) and will continue its work through the Sub-Committee.

The SOLAS amendment is intended to ensure new, stricter, safety standards for lifeboat release and retrieval systems, aimed at preventing accidents involving lifeboats, and will require the assessment and possible replacement of a large number of release hooks for lifeboats, thereby requiring action from all involved parties, including flag States, manufacturers, shipowners and surveyors.

  • Guidance for company security officers on piracy

The Committee approved an MSC Circular on Guidance for company security officers on preparation of a company and crew for the contingency of hijack by pirates in the Western Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden, which supplements existing guidelines. The Committee was also updated on measures taken by IMO to assist States in implementing the Code of Conduct concerning the repression of piracy and armed robbery against ships in the western Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden (the Djibouti Code of Conduct). During the meeting, Eritrea became the 18th State to sign the Djibouti Code of Conduct.

The Committee was also informed that, following the establishment of a distribution facility at IMO headquarters in London, for the provision of flag State Long Range Identification and Tracking of ships (LRIT) information to security forces operating in waters of the Gulf of Aden and the western Indian Ocean, the IMO Secretary-General has received requests from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the European Union Naval Force (EU NAVFOR) for the provision of access to the distribution facility. Both security forces had indicated that the flag State LRIT information they would receive through the distribution facility would be used to enhance the protection of all ships navigating in the waters of the Gulf of Aden and the western Indian Ocean, irrespective of their flag, and for the protection of ships delivering humanitarian aid to Somalia. The requests received a positive response and SOLAS Contracting Governments were invited (via IMO Circular Letter No.3134) to consider providing flag State LRIT information to NATO and EU NAVFOR.

  •  Safe manning draft resolution and SOLAS amendments

The MSC approved revised Principles of Safe Manning, with a view to adoption by the IMO Assembly in 2011 as an Assembly resolution. It also approved amendments to SOLAS regulation V/14 relating to mandatory requirements for determining safe manning, with a view to adoption by MSC 90, which will be held in 2012.

The aim is to ensure that a ship is sufficiently, effectively and efficiently manned to provide safety and security of the ship, safe navigation and operations at sea and in port, prevention of human injury or loss of life, the avoidance of damage to the marine environment and to property, and to ensure the welfare and health of seafarers through the avoidance of fatigue.

The proposed resolution includes a number of annexes giving detailed guidance on implementing safe manning, including: Guidelines for the application of the principles of safe manning; Guidelines for the determination of minimum safe manning; Responsibilities in the application of principles of minimum safe manning; Guidance on content and model form of minimum safe manning document; and Framework for determining minimum safe manning.

The proposed SOLAS amendment would require Administrations to take into account the guidance on minimum safe manning adopted by IMO (with a footnote referring to the Assembly resolution on Principles of Minimum Safe Manning).

  • IMO Maritime Security Manual

The Committee established a correspondence group to finalize the IMO Maritime Security Manual in time for MSC 89, to be held next May. The manual aims at consolidating the work undertaken so far to address security matters and will serve as a valuable reference tool for practitioners in Administrations, as well as for the industry and those operating in the field.

  • LRIT status

The MSC was updated on the status of the establishment of the global LRIT system, including the establishment of the International LRIT Data Exchange by the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA), in Lisbon, Portugal. The Committee approved Guidance notes for the first modification testing phase of the LRIT system and urged LRIT data centres to make the necessary provisions in order to complete the modification testing phase before 1 March 2011.

  • Other issues
  • adopted a number of new and amended ships’ routeing systems and mandatory ship reporting systems, which had been approved by the Sub-Committee on Safety of Navigation (NAV);
  • adopted Revised Guidelines on the prevention of access by stowaways and the allocation of responsibilities to seek the successful resolution of stowaway cases, which will also be submitted to the Facilitation Committee for adoption
  • reviewed a series of recommendations submitted by the Sub-Committee on Flag State Implementation (FSI) associated with the consideration of possible ways in which the Code for the implementation of mandatory IMO instruments (which is used as the audit standard for the Voluntary IMO Member State Audit Scheme) could be made mandatory – in particular, the issue of how to introduce the Code and auditing into the annexes to some or all of the 10 instruments covered by the Code;
  • in the context of the above-mentioned Audit Scheme, reviewed the analysis of the first three consolidated audit summary reports;
  • reviewed the progress made in the development of a new code for recognized organizations;
  • approved draft amendments to the LSA Code to require lifeboats to “be of international or vivid reddish orange, on all parts where this will assist detection at sea” and to delete the reference to allowing “a comparably highly visible colour” with a view to subsequent adoption;
  • approved draft amendments to SOLAS regulation II-2/20, regarding fixed gas and water-spraying fire-extinguishing systems for vehicle, ro-ro, container and general cargo spaces, with a view to subsequent adoption;
  • approved draft amendments to SOLAS regulation II-2/9, concerning fire integrity of bulkheads and decks separating adjacent spaces of ro‑ro spaces for passenger ships carrying not more than 36 passengers and cargo ships, with a view to subsequent adoption;
  • agreed to modifications to footnotes in the Performance Standard for protective coatings for dedicated seawater ballast tanks in all types of ships and double-side skin spaces of bulk carriers, adopted by resolution MSC.215(82), and in the Performance standard for protective coatings for cargo oil tanks of crude oil tankers, adopted by resolution MSC.288(87);
  • approved amendments to chapters 5 to 8 of the International Code for Fire Safety Systems (FSS Code); and approved supplementary advice on the IMO position on the World Radiocommunications Conference 2012 agenda items concerning matters relating to maritime services.
  • Results of MEPC Meeting

Resolution MEPC 187(59) approved in July 2009 brought Amendments to MARPOL Annex I, which entered into force on 1st January 2011.

Regulations 1, 12, 13, 17 and 38 were modified to involve changes to the Supplements to the IOPP Certificate and to the Oil Record Book.

It is important to pay attention to the changes brought to the "List of Items to be Recorded" in both the Oil Record Book Part I and the Oil Record Book Part II.

Even if up-dated Oil Record Books are not available, it is mandatory to use the new recording display as from 1 January 2011. The changes are reproduced below:

OIL RECORD BOOK, PART I

Sections (A) to (H) of the Oil Record Book Part I are replaced by the following:

(A) Ballasting or cleaning of oil fuel tanks

  1. Identity of tank(s) ballasted.
  2. Whether cleaned since they last contained oil and, if not, type of oil previously carried.
  3. Cleaning process:
  • position of ship and time at the start and completion of cleaning;
  • identify tank(s) in which one or another method has been employed (rinsing through, steaming, cleaning with chemicals; type and quantity of chemicals used, in m3);
  • identity of tank(s) into which cleaning water was transferred and the quantity in m3. 4 Ballasting:
  • position of ship and time at start and end of ballasting;
  • quantity of ballast if tanks are not cleaned, in m3.

(B) Discharge of dirty ballast or cleaning water from oil fuel tanks referred to under Section (A)

  1. Identity of tank(s).
  2. Position of ship at start of discharge.
  3. Position of ship on completion of discharge.
  4. Ship's speed(s) during discharge.
  5. Method of discharge:
  • through 15 ppm equipment;
  • to reception facilities.
  1. Quantity discharged, in m3.

(C) Collection, transfer and disposal of oil residues (sludge)

  1. Collection of oil residues (sludge). Quantities of oil residues (sludge) retained on board. The quantity should be recorded weekly1: (this means that the quantity must be recorded once a week even if the voyage lasts more than one week):
  • identity of tank(s)
  • capacity of tank(s)  in m3
  • total quantity of retention in m3
  • quantity of residue collected by manual operation in m3

(Operator initiated manual collections where oil residue (sludge) is transferred into the oil residue (sludge) holding tank(s).)

  1. Methods of transfer or disposal of oil residues (sludge). State quantity of oil residues transferred or disposed of, the tank(s) emptied and the quantity of contents retained in m3:
  • to reception facilities (identify port)2;
  • to another (other) tank(s) (indicate tank(s) and the total content of tank(s));
  • incinerated (indicate total time of operation);
  • other method (state which).

(D) Non-automatic starting of discharge overboard, transfer or disposal otherwise of bilge water which has accumulated in machinery spaces.

  1. Quantity discharged, transferred or disposed of, in m3.3
  2. Time of discharge, transfer or disposal (start and stop).
  3. Method of discharge, transfer, or disposal:
  • through 15 ppm equipment (state position at start and end);
  • to reception facilities (identify port)2;
  • to slop tank or holding tank or other tank(s) (indicate tank(s); state quantity retained in tank(s), in m3).

(E) Automatic starting of discharge overboard, transfer or disposal otherwise of bilge water which has accumulated in machinery spaces

  1. Time and position of ship at which the system has been put into automatic mode of operation for discharge overboard, through 15 ppm equipment.
  2. Time when the system has been put into automatic mode of operation for transfer of bilge water to holding tank (identify tank).
  3. Time when the system has been put into manual operation.

(F) Condition of the oil filtering equipment

  1. Time of system failure.
  2. Time when system has been made operational.
  3. Reasons for failure.

(G) Accidental or other exceptional discharges of oil

  1. Time of occurrence.
  2. Place or position of ship at time of occurrence.
  3. Approximate quantity and type of oil.
  4. Circumstances of discharge or escape, the reasons therefore and general remarks.

(H) Bunkering of fuel or bulk lubricating oil

  1. Bunkering:
  • Place of bunkering.
  • Time of bunkering.
  • Type and quantity of fuel oil and identity of tank(s) (state quantity added, in tonnes and total content of tank(s)).
  • Type and quantity of lubricating oil and identity of tank(s) (state quantity added, in tonnes and total content of tank(s)).

OIL RECORD BOOK, PART II

Section (J) of the Oil Record Book Part II is replaced by the following:

(J) Collection, transfer and disposal of residues and oily mixtures not otherwise dealt with 55 Identity of tanks.

  1. Quantity transferred or disposed of from each tank. (State the quantity retained, in m3.)
  2. Method of transfer or disposal:
  • disposal to reception facilities (identify port and quantity involved);
  • mixed with cargo (state quantity);
  • transferred to or from (an)other tank(s) including transfer from machinery space oil residue (sludge) and oily bilge water tanks (identify tank(s); state quantity transferred and total quantity in tank(s), in m3); and
  • other method (state which); state quantity disposed of in m3.
  • Letter to Seafareres

According to a press release from IMO, Secretary-General Efthimios E. Mitropoulos has written an open letter to seafarers from around the world. This letter has been distributed worldwide via shipping and seafarer organizations.

The letter reviews the achievements made under last year’s World Maritime Day theme “2010: Year of the Seafarer”, pointing to increased public awareness of seafarers and their work; the adoption of major amendments to the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW Convention) and its associated Code; and the creation of an annual “Day of the Seafarer.” It also re-assures seafarers that IMO’s 2011 theme “Piracy: orchestrating the response”, and its associated action plan, aim to encourage a decisive and effective global response to piracy; and urges seafarers to play their role in implementing best management practices when sailing through piracy-infested areas.

  • Piracy

At the launch of the IMO’s action plan to promote the 2011 IMO World Maritime Day theme: “Piracy: orchestrating the response”, on 3 February 2011, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said that the escalating problem of piracy off the coast of Somalia is “completely unacceptable” and requires an urgent and coordinated response. IMO has been combating maritime piracy for some time and a series of measures, developed with the co-operation of the littoral States and the support of the industry, helped significantly reduce piracy in the hot spots of the late 1990s and the early 2000s: the South China Sea and the Straits of Malacca and Singapore. However, the problem has lately manifested itself in other parts of the world, most notably – but not exclusively – off the coast of Somalia, in the Gulf of Aden and the wider Indian Ocean.

  • Message to Member States from IMO on Piracy

Following the launch of the IMO action plan on piracy, a letter to all Member States was sent with a very robust message stating that failure to implement fully the IMO guidance, including the industry-developed best management practices, significantly increases the risk of successful pirate attacks. In a circular letter (No.3164, 14 February 2011), all IMO Members, the United Nations and specialized agencies, intergovernmental organizations and non-governmental organizations in consultative status are informed that naval forces operating in the region off the coast of Somalia have reported that an unacceptably high proportion of the ships transiting the Gulf of Aden and western Indian Ocean are not registered with the Maritime Security Centre Horn of Africa. In drawing attention to the increased risk of successful pirate attack due to failure to implement fully the best management practice guidance, IMO strongly urges “all those concerned, particularly Administrations, industry representative bodies, seafarer associations, shipowners and companies to take action to ensure that ships’ masters receive updated information unfailingly and that all the recommended preventive, evasive and defensive measures are fully and effectively implemented”. “Regrettably, there is disturbing evidence to show that, in too many cases, this advice has either not reached shipping companies or their ships or has not been acted upon,” the circular letter says.

The letter also encourages Member Governments (together with their endeavours at other fora and associations) to make greater efforts to provide the additional naval and aerial surveillance and other resources needed through every means possible. The letter also invites Administrations to provide long range identification and tracking of ships (LRIT) information to security forces operating in the Gulf of Aden and the western Indian Ocean. An information distribution facility (IDF) has been established to assist security forces operating in the Gulf of Aden and the Western Indian Ocean to build a more accurate picture of where the merchant ships are, in order to provide more timely warnings of pirate activity and to facilitate more effective repression of piracy and armed robbery against ships through the more effective deployment of the limited available naval and military resources.

  • Meetings on Piracy

Within the context of IMO’s World Maritime Day theme “Piracy: orchestrating the response”, a meeting took place on 28 February 2011, at the Organization’s headquarters. Representatives of countries that participate in the anti-piracy campaign off the coast of Somalia by making available naval assets and military aircraft were invited. It was also attended by representatives of the shipping industry. The meeting focused on the third objective of the IMO Action Plan launched in early February, namely “to promote greater levels of support from, and co-ordination, with navies”.

The meeting discussed matters pertaining to better co-ordination among, and optimal deployment of, naval vessels operating in the Gulf of Aden and in the Western Indian Ocean area as well as the legal basis of their operation for maximum efficiency.The general view was that the resources currently made available are insufficient to provide the levels of protection for merchant shipping required to cover the vast Indian Ocean region and that increased political awareness and engagement are required for a proportionate response to the challenges faced if seafarers, the transportation of vital humanitarian aid to Somalia and the Gulf of Aden as a vital shipping lane are to be adequately protected. The meeting considered necessary that:

  1. Regulators and industry should continue their work to create the necessary framework for effective action to stem the scourge of piracy off the coast of Somalia;
  2. Governments should show that their political will is translated into resources being made available to match the level of their political ambition;
  3. Ships transiting piracy-infested areas should comply with the recommended best management practice guidance and measures; and 4. navies should continue their efforts to support, deter, intervene, arrest and forward pirates to be tried.
  • Ship Recycling

IMO Secretary-General Efthimios E. Mitropoulos met the Honourable Sheik Hasina, Prime Minister of Bangladesh, in London on Friday 28 January 2011, as a follow-up to his visit to Bangladesh earlier this month. The Secretary-General sought to enlist support and action for the early ratification of the Hong Kong International Convention on the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships, 2009 and the implementation and enforcement of the technical standards contained therein; and offered technical co-operation assistance for capacity building in Bangladesh. Bangladesh, along with India, China, Pakistan and Turkey, is among the world’s leading ship recycling countries, but there are long-standing concerns over the safety and environmental aspects of the industry – concerns which the Hong Kong Convention seeks to address.

Source: www.imo.org

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