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ICS Board prepares for important IMO meeting

ICS proposals on IMO issues The Board of Directors of the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), representing national shipowners' associations from 35 nations and over 80% of the world merchant fleet, met in London recently to discuss the progress on serious issues regarding IMO Ballast Water Management Convention, CO2 Monitoring and Reporting and Piracy.IMO Ballast Water Management ConventionICS Still has Serious Concerns about Type-Approval Standards for New Treatment EquipmentThe ICS Board agreed that ICS will continue to refrain from actively encouraging administrations that have not yet ratified the Ballast Water Management (BWM) Convention from making the additional ratifications required to bring about immediate entry into force.ICS believes that governments should wait until outstanding implementation problems have been resolved at the International Maritime Organization (IMO), hopefully at the next meeting of the IMO Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) in April, at which ICS (in co-operation with other industry organisations) has proposed a way forward.ICS Chairman, Masamichi Morooka, explained: "In principle ICS fully supports the eventual entry into force of the Convention and wants to make it work as soon as possible in order provide protection against invasive species. But the industry still has very serious concerns with respect to the lack ...

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ICS Identifies Lessons from Somali Piracy

During the period from 2007 to 2013 The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), the principal global trade association for shipowners, has issued a paper drawing upon the international shipping industry's experience of Somali-based piracy during the period 2007 to 2013."The intention is to identify lessons learned in order to shape future policy responses, wherever in the world they might be needed," explained ICS Secretary General, Peter Hinchliffe.The ICS paper has been submitted to the International Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia (which was established in response to a United Nations Security Council Resolution) and by all accounts the ICS paper has been well received by governments.ICS has produced its paper following a dramatic reduction in the number of successful attacks against ships by Somali pirates, currently at a five-year low thanks to the combined success of sustained compliance with industry Best Management Practices (BMP), the use of private maritime security companies, the activity of military assets and new capacity building initiatives ashore.Despite this, it remains the case that the pirates are active and retain the capacity to attack far into the Indian Ocean. ICS therefore continues to emphasise that it is premature to conclude that the crisis ...

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Lives lost at sea halved and piracy eradicated should be targets

Says IMO Secretary-General Koji Sekimizu Speaking at the opening of the IMO's first meeting of the year, the Sub-Committee on Fire Protection, IMO Secretary-General Koji Sekimizu told delegates that it was his vision that halving lives lost at sea and eradicating pirate attacks, as well as ensuring the release of all hostages can, and should, be legitimate targets, for the Organization and for shipping in the years to come.Mr Sekimizu said that the number of lives lost annually at sea has been over 1,000 for each of the past five years. Despite the difficulty in obtaining precise and reliable data for such losses, he said that approximate figures for 2012 included approximately 100 lives lost in the fishing sector, 400 in domestic operations, and around 500 in other categories, including international shipping*.An ambitious, but achievable target, he said, would be to aim for a 50 per cent reduction, to no more than 500 lives lost annually, by 2015. He said that the matter could be addressed at the IMO Symposium on Future Ship Safety in June, and went on to identify a number of mechanisms that could help the target to be reached, specifically:implementation of the Torremolinos Protocol through the ...

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BMP4 now available in Chinese

UKMTO have translated Best Management Practices 4 into Chinese The Taiwan Ministry of Foreign Affairs in close co operation with UKMTO have translated Best Management Practices 4 into Chinese.This essential guide, now in Chinese, designed to assist ships to avoid, deter or delay piracy attacks off the coast of Somalia, including the Gulf of Aden (GoA) and the Arabian Sea area.Experience, supported by data collected by Naval forces, shows that the application of the recommendations contained within this booklet can and will make a significant difference in preventing a ship becoming a victim of piracyClick here to view BMP4 in Chinese languageSource: The UK P&I Club

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ICS identifies three immediate objectives to combat piracy

Effective compliance with BMP and military intervention are also needed Recent press reports might give the impression that the level of piracy off Somalia is decreasing, but the capability of the pirates is actually higher than it has ever been.However, ICS believes that effective compliance with Best Management Practices by shipping, and sustained military intervention with a more aggressive stance, has reduced the pirates' rate of success. However, the current situation remains totally unacceptable, with about 200 seafarers still being held hostage in the most appalling conditions, and thousands more still having to transit the danger area in constant fear of their lives.ICS is working to ensure that the problem of piracy retains sufficient political and public attention so that the crisis might be properly and decisively addressed during the year ahead. The ICS Board has identified three immediate objectives. First is the need to persuade governments to task the military to take the attack direct to the pirates, while at the same time continuing to defend merchant ships in the best way possible.Second, every apprehended pirate should be arrested, taken to a court of law and, if found guilty, imprisoned. Third, governments must break the financial chain through legal ...

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New BIMCO guidelines on Ship and Voyage Risk Assessment

SVSRA Guidelines BIMCO has authored a set of guidelines which aim to assist shipowners with the Ship and Voyage Specific Risk Assessment (SVSRA) which is recommended in Section 3 of the Best Management Practices (BMP4). BMP4 briefly mentions that such a ship and voyage specific risk assessment entails combining statutory requirements with additional anti-piracy measures, but does little to explain what this means.The guidelines explain how the SVSRA should take into consideration the threat (who are the pirates, what do they want to achieve, how do they attack, how do they board, which weapons do they use etc.), the background factors shaping the situation (visibility, sea-state, traffic patterns e.g. other commercial ships, fishermen and human traffickers etc.), possibilities for co-operation with e.g. military (convoys, group transits, registering with authorities etc.), the ship's characteristics/inherent capabilities to withstand the threat (freeboard, speed, general arrangement etc.) and the ship's procedures (drills, watch rosters, chain of command, decision making processes etc.) as well as statutory requirements and requirements driven by e.g. company and/or insusrance policies.The guidelines are just that - guidelines - and they are particularly targeted at shipowners' staff working ashore or at sea with a special interest in anti-piracy, e.g. Company Security ...

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Panama Maritime Authority issues circular regarding High Risk Areas

MMC - 230 The Panama Maritime Authority issues circular regarding High Risk Areas as follows:The purpose of this Merchant Marine Circular is to inform about the High Risk Areas that have been identified because of the constant report of Piracy Incidents, Stowaways, and/or Criminal Activity.Internationally Recommended Transit Corridor (IRTC): All Panamanian flagged vessels are hereby requested to use the IRTC which includes the creation of separate eastbound and westbound transit lanes. Each lane will be 5 NM wide and will be separated by a 2 NM buffer zone.As the IRTC is subject to change, by military authorities, according to prevailing circumstances, Panamanian flagged vessels are urged to obtain up-to-date information from the Maritime Security Centre-Horn of Africa "MSCHOA" website: http://www.mschoa.org or NAV-warnings promulgatedfor that area.Best Management Practices (BMP): All Panamanian flagged vessels are requested prior to transit, or leaving a port within the region, to follow BMP and to contact the local information centres for up to date instructions or transit and reporting.It is anticipated that these BMP will be periodically updated based upon operational experience and lessons learned. Panama flagged vessels are urged to keep to the latest Best Management Practices and verify these with the designated information centres ...

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NATO Chief Warns of Increasing Pirate Activity

Now that the monsoon is weakening, the pirates are once again ready to attack In the last few days the number of pirate attacks off the coast of Somalia has increased highlighting the fact that now the monsoon is weakening, the pirates are once again ready to attack merchant ships transiting through the Indian Ocean.MC Northwood's Chief of Staff, Rear Admiral Hank Ort (NLD N) states, "in the last few years, it has been the case that come October when the South West monsoon weakens, the pirates have been able to put to sea and we have seen the number of attacks on merchant vessels increase. We are warning vessels that reports show that there are pirate groups operating already in the Indian Ocean, Arabian Sea and Gulf of Aden.Merchant vessels should ensure that Best Management Practices are followed and that vessels continue to make it as difficult as possible for pirates to board and take control of their ships. Our Naval forces are not complacent and remain vigilant. Despite the lull in pirate attacks over the summer due to the monsoon they have continued to patrol throughout the region."During the last week of September, there were three attacks and ...

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