Following the latest piracy figures from International Maritime Bureau (IMB), European shipowners expressed concerns about the escalating rate of piracy incidents in the Gulf of Guinea and issued a position paper urging the EU authorities to step up their measures to improve security in the area.
ReCAAP ISC issued its piracy report for the third quarter of 2019, revealing a total of 54 incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships in Asia during January-September 2019, compared to 64 incidents during January-September 2018. This accounts for a 16% decrease.
A supertanker by COSCO Shipping Tankers has received a temporary waiver from US sanctions. The ship is now able to discharge crude oil cargoes. In fact, the VLCC Coswisdom Lake, which discharged some crude in Singapore last week, offloaded the rest of its oil at Brunei on October 16, Reuters said citing shipping data on Refinitiv Eikon.
The Japanese Government donated 17 patrol boats to Kenya’s Maritime Police, boosting the country’s efforts in the promotion of maritime security and the fight against terrorism. The Japanese Ambassador to Kenya further noted that Japan could not afford to ignore Kenya’s problem, due to the warm cordial relations between the two nations of more than 50 years.
The White House alerts Chinese shipping companies of not turning off their AIS, hiding Iranian oil shipments in violation of US sanctions, Reuters reports, while vessels navigating with their AIS shut down could be a danger to the overall navigation, posing a great threat to the other vessels sailing around them.
IMO’s rules and regulations for suppressing unlawful acts against the safety of navigation can be seen in the wider context of the global fight against terrorism. The United Nations Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate carries out assessment visits to countries to assess their compliance with various international security instruments and UN Security Council resolutions.
The Observer research Foundation (ORF) launched a report focusing on today’s maritime piracy, analysing where the shipping industry stands, the possibility of piracy in Asia increasing and also measures to improve maritime readiness against piracy incidents.
ICC’s International Maritime Bureau (IMB) reports 119 incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships for 2019, in comparison to the 156 incidents that were reported in the same period in 2018, with the Gulf of Guinea remaining a high risk area for piracy and armed robbery.
The recent developments see OFAC, the US Office of Foreign Assets Control, imposing sanctions on COSCO tankers and certain entities and individuals for transferring Iranian oil, which is against the US rules. Thus, OFAC has further explained who these sanctions impact and how the shipping industry is affected.
Reuters reports that almost a third of the tankers owned by COSCO Shipping Tanker have shut off their AIS systems after the U.S. imposed sanctions on the company for reportedly shipping Iranian crude. In the first week of October, a total of 14 COSCO Dalian ships, including nine VLCCs, have shut off their ship-tracking transponders and have stopped sending location data from their automatic identification system.
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