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China plans combat drills in South China Sea

The Chinese Military informed on March 23, that the Chinese Navy will conduct combat drills in the waters of the South China Sea soon. The Chinese Navy also said that these drills don’t aim a specific target or country. This is a routine arrangement within the PLA Navy’s annual plan and it aims to test and improve the troops’ training level, said the PLA Navy’s Staff Department, adding that it is not aimed at any specific country or target.

UK shipping to face many changes in the future

According to the report “Future of the sea”, the shipping industry is a vital part of the UK economy, as 95% of imports and exports are carried by sea. The UK maritime sector is the largest in Europe, worth an estimated £14.5 billion. Growing population and development will increase the demand for the transport of goods and the drive to mitigate against climate change will put pressure on the shipping industry to lower CO2 emissions.

Changes to Marine Casualty Reporting Property Damage Thresholds

The US Coast Guard announced a change to the monetary property damage threshold amounts for reporting a marine casualty and for reporting a type of marine casualty called a “serious marine incident”. This final rule changes the reportable marine casualty property damage threshold amount from $25,000 to $75,000. 

Indonesia’s new shipping rules worry the industry

Indonesia issued new shipping rules on October 2017, calling for coal and palm oil to be imported and exported by Indonesian maritime transport companies. However, specific guidelines and possible exemptions of there rules have not been announced yet, and it is not sure when they will be announced.

MedCruise: Bigger ships an important factor in cruise calls decline

In 2017, MedCruise membership accommodated 25,9m cruise passenger movements. This is 18% higher comparing to a decade earlier, as the cruise passenger movements recorded in 2008 did not exceed 21,9 million. In 2018, the total number of passenger movements is expected to be above 27m.

Panama Canal sings soybean and corn deal

Panama Canal will try to promote the use of the Panamax locks for soy and corn grain transits originating in northern Brazil and traveling to markets in Asia. These shipments typically transit on Panamax vessels given the similarity between the drafts in the Amazon River ports and the Panamax locks.

ICS released the new Flag State Performance Table

The ICS Table  presents the performance of individual flag states worldwide, and analyses the administrations’ performance based on a number of criteria such as port state control records, ratification of international maritime Conventions and attendance at IMO meetings. This year, a new criteria on participation in the ‘IMO Member State Audit Scheme’ has been included.

ECSA is concerned about US’s new tariffs on steel and aluminum

European shipowners released a statement in which they make clear that they disagree with the US President Trump’s decision to impose additional duties on imports of certain steel and aluminium products into the US. Shipping is vital for global trade, enabling the import and export of goods on a scale that is not possible for any other transport mode.

UKHO releases new publication for efficient passage planning

UKHO introduced route diagrams alongside tabulated waypoint and route data to help mariners find key information quickly. It has also identified the world’s busiest trade routes for inclusion in the new edition, as well as those that are emerging. New route additions include voyages for ships calling at important commodity hubs in the Black Sea and Persian Gulf.

Denmark, Mexico ink maritime MoU

Danish Minister for Industry, Business and Financial Affairs, Brian Mikkelsen, and Mexico’s Secretary of Communications and Transportation, Gerado Ruiz Esparza, have signed a maritime MoU to increase the two countries’ cooperation on maritime topics, such as digitalization and green shipping.


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