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Greece approves bill on piracy

Regarding armed guards onboard The bill to combat piracy in the sea-going ships, adopted at the cabinet meeting yesterday, under Greek Prime Minister Lucas Papademos.The bill sets out the main lines and procedures for a license to be given in order armed groups to embark on ships and also set outs the rights of seafarers, the use of weapons, bans on Greece and penalties.According to the bill, authorization for the use of armed guards onboard should be given after request of the ship owner. Guards should have the appropriate certification, to be above 21 years old, to have no convictions and not be crew members.In case there is no compliance with the necessary requirements, the decision may be revoked by the chief of the Coast Guard and is valid for six and twelve months, with the charges of a special fee and the right for an extension.The armed group is under the authority of the master, who will have access to arms onboard.The use of weapons and arms may be prohibited if there is an official decision, mandated by the Headquarters of the Coast Guard - Coast Guard Greek or Greek or any other military authority.Any crew member does not ...

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The first International Shipping Summit takes place in Athens

On 19-20, February 2012 On Sunday 19 and Monday 20, February 2012, representatives of the 60% of the international fleet assemble in Athens to participate in the World Shipping Congress, an event by the Financial Times Limited. The Congress is the first international Shipping Summit. It will take place at Divani Apollon Palace & Spa, co-organized with Boussias Communications.Presidents of Shipowners' Associations from 3 continents and 9 major Shipping Countries (Greece, Norway, Korea, Finland, Netherlands, Italy, U.S.A., U.K., Denmark), major Greek Shipowners (M. Bodouroglou, I. Dragnis, E. Pistiolis, H. Vafias, etc.), industry experts, researchers and consultants, 4 Greek Government representatives, the Chairman and the General Manager of Piraeus Port Authority S.A., the Secretary General of the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and 2 major Financial Times editors and correspondents analyse, discuss and forecast the major strategic issues regarding the Shipping Industry at an era of high economic uncertainty and financial fragility.Financial Times acknowledging the significance of Maritime Transportations have appointed to coordinate the Congress Michael Skapinker (Assistant Editor FT newspaper, Columnist, Editor FT Special Reports) and Robert Wright (Financial Times Shipping and Logistics Correspondent).Sunday's Summit session will take place in the afternoon (from 18.00 to 20.30), closed doors. ...

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Maritime ties help China, Greece weather shipping downturn

Maritime cooperation between China and Greece at a critical juncture The global shipping industry faces a grim outlook amidst the European debt crisis, an oversupply of vessels and low freight rates, compelling industry heavyweights China and Greece to strengthen seaborne cooperation.With world trade down, fewer ships are on the waters and rising fuel costs are eating into operators' profit margins. A glut of ships sits on the market because ship owners ordered huge numbers of vessels during the mid-2000s economic boom.Shipping carries 90 percent of global trade and is one of the first industries hit when economic conditions sour.The severity of the situation places maritime cooperation between China and Greece at a critical juncture.Greece is a major player in the international shipping industry, with nearly 4,000 ships - 8 percent of all vessels sailing - and 15 percent of the world's total moving capacity. Greek ship owners control 25 percent of the world tanker fleet. Shipping accounts for 6 percent of Greece's GDP and generates 75 percent of the Mediterranean country's estimated 400,000 jobs tied to maritime activities, according to George Gratsos, president of the Piraeus-based Hellenic Chamber of Shipping.China, meanwhile, leads the world in shipbuilding and in 2010 its ...

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Rena Owner Will Continue to Pay for Salvage

Costamare reaffirms pledge as salvage effort enters costlier phase Costamare, the Greek shipping company that owns the wrecked Rena, reassured New Zealanders that it will continue to fund the salvage operation as it moves into a more difficult, costly phase now that the container ship has broken up.The recovery and clean-up mission stepped up several notches in the recent days when the vessel, which has been grounded on a reef in the Bay of Plenty off the Port of Tauranga since Oct. 5, snapped in two in high swells over the weekend.The stern section sank on Tuesday, taking with it 400 containers which will now need to be salvaged by teams of specialist saturation divers at a daily cost of $150,000.Costamare issued a media release saying the company and its insurers will continue to fund the salvage operation, "including the recovery and processing of containers washed overboard." It said it is working with the salvors, insurers and Maritime New Zealand to formulate a plan dealing with both sections of the wreck."These plans are to be discussed with government authorities and other experts in the field, to ensure minimum damage to the environment and disruption to the lives of those living ...

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Lloyd’s Register’s Hellenic Advisory Committee opens debate on measures to curb emissions

International measures for shipping emissions are needed Christian Breinholt, Deputy Director General of the Danish Maritime Authority was a guest speaker at the meeting. He made the case for the Danish proposal for a greenhouse gas convention introducing Market Based Measures for shipping.Looking for support from Greek owners he presented the mechanics and philosophy of the International Green House Gas Fund - a market based measure to address IMO's 'equal treatment' requirements with the UNFCCC's 'common but differentiated responsibilities' approach. It will take years to develop an international convention he said so we need to start now. 'From our perspective, we need a single, dedicated, mechanism for the global industry'. Mr. Breinholt said that the Danish proposal is becoming widely supported within the industry.One of Mr. Breinholt's comments, using Lloyd's Register research, was that without some form of market based measures, in the context of anticipated growth in trade even with massive energy efficiency improvements, shipping will be unable to reduce its total greenhouse gas emissions. Mr. Breinholt was persuasive and his comments were listened to with great interest by the committee.Lloyd's Register provided updates on shipbuilding activity world-wide, insight into efficient ship designs, as well as technical and operational ...

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Maran Tankers hosts environmental benchmarking workshop in Athens

INTERTANKO Environmental Benchmarking scheme Maran Tankers Management this week hosted a workshop aimed at agreeing aspects on which to base an INTERTANKO Environmental Benchmarking scheme.Bringing together expertise from within the INTERTANKO Membership, primarily from ISTEC and the Environmental Committee, nine representatives from Member companies gathered in Athens to agree on a set of calculations and formulas that can be used by Member companies to collect data on agreed environmental aspects. The data will then be uploaded into an INTERTANKO database allowing Member companies to benchmark the environmental aspects against INTERTANKO fleet averages.Brainstorming all the possible environmental aspects from tanker shipping, the workshop participants narrowed down the list into quantitative and qualitative aspects which they felt were important indicators of environmental performance. These ranged from more common indicators such as the EEOI and NOx emissions to more management-driven aspects such as environmental compliance and management.Additional subjects such as ballast water management, ship recycling and anti-fouling systems have also been considered with proposed indicators.The report and proposals from the workshop will now be forwarded to ISTEC and the Environmental Committee for their consideration and approval when they meet in March 2012.Source : INTERTANKO

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INTERTANKO Ballast Water Guide launched in Athens

Selection and Installation of Ballast Water Management Systems for Tankers INTERTANKO's Ballast Water Treatment Technology Guide launched earlier this week in Athens. Twenty member companies were represented at the launch which involved a seminar and Q&A session on ballast water treatment technology and compliance, moderated by INTERTANKO Senior Manager - Environment, Tim Wilkins.INTERTANKO's Guide to the Selection and Installation of Ballast Water Management Systems for Tankers has been developed to assist tanker owners during the selection, assessment and installation of Ballast Water Management (BWM) systems for existing and newbuilding tankers. It has been developed using experience and guidance from INTERTANKO Members on the Environmental Committee and INTERTANKO's Safety, Technical and Environmental Committee (ISTEC). It is therefore the product of research by several separate tanker operating companies and their technical teams who have been through the process of considering which BWM systems are appropriate for the tankers within their fleet.One of the key elements in tackling the problem of proper selection and installation of BWM systems on board tankers is the gathering of information. INTERTANKO Members identified early on that neither the information from the BWM manufacturers, nor that from the classification societies as technical bodies, was sufficient to base a ...

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Maritime safety- Commission sends reasoned opinion to four Member States

To communicate what measures they were takingre accidents at sea The European Commission today sent reasoned opinions to Austria, Greece, Poland and the United Kingdom for their failure to communicate what measures they were taking to transpose Directive2009/18/EC on the investigation of accidents at sea.This is the normal procedure in the event of a persistent failure to communicate such measures despite having received formal notice. Sending a reasoned opinion is the last step in the procedure before possibly taking a matter to the Court of Justice.The EU rulesDirective2009/18/EC lays down the basic principles governing investigations into accidents in the maritime transport sector. It requires Member States to bring into force the necessary legislative, regulatory and administrative implementing provisions before 17June2011.The practical consequences of non-transpositionDirective2009/18/EC aims to improve maritime safety and better prevent pollution from ships by requiring Member States to organise safety investigations after serious accidents at sea. The purpose of these investigations, which are separate from any criminal investigations and are carried out by independent bodies, is to establish what has caused the accidents and draw lessons to improve maritime safety in the future. If they fail to take the necessary measures, Member States prevent such arrangements from being ...

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Greece To Allow Armed Guards On Cargo Ships Against Piracy

The legislation will enable the hiring of a minimum of six guards per ship Greece will let its large commercial fleet employ armed guards to ward against a surge in pirate attacks, the ministry in charge of security said on Friday, satisfying a long-standing shipowner demand."To improve safe sailing and crew safety aboard Greek ships crossing seas with increased piracy cases, an initiative has been taken to draft legislation for the embarkation of armed individuals on commercial ships," the ministry said.The legislation will enable the hiring of a minimum of six guards per ship on six-month contracts that can be renewed, a ministry source said.The new arrangement will mainly apply to Greek-flagged ships but could be extended to vessels sailing through Greek waters, the source told AFP.This modification will enable Greek-owned ships flying flags of convenience - around 500 vessels according to the union of Greek captains - to also be eligible.Greek authorities had initially resisted shipowner calls to beef up security, a move opposed by crews fearing the presence of armed guards will ultimately only result in pirates switching to heavier weaponry to secure their prize."This measure threatens to set off an arms race with the pirates," said George ...

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