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IMO agreed to take measures for incorrectly declared containerized cargo

Set rule on mandatory container weighing The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) has agreed to examine how to solve the problem of mis-declared container weights.At a meeting last week, the UN shipping bodys Maritime Safety Committee agreed to a proposal from the Netherlands, Denmark and Australia to address the issue of incorrectly declared containerised cargo and to take other measures to improve the safety of container stowage and ship operations.The news was welcomed by the World Shipping Council (WSC), a carrier group that claims its members control 90% of international containerised trade, and the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS).The groups said they hoped the IMOs decision would help save lives, reduce cargo losses and improve operational efficiency.In a joint statement, the two groups said: The WSC and ICS, along with many IMO member states and representative bodies for seafarers, dockworkers and masters, support this initiative that demonstrates the compelling need to address the problem.Verification of actual container weight before vessel loading and the availability of the actual container weights for proper and safe stowage planning will mark a long overdue and important improvement in industry safety.They added that they looked forward to assisting the IMO to create a new set of ...

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IMB supports global campaign vs piracy

Action on the issue of maritime piracy The ICC International Maritime Bureau (IMB) has come out in support of a joint campaign launched by the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), Intertanko, Intercargo, BIMCO and the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) that urges governments to take firm action on the issue of maritime piracy off the coast of Somalia.The campaign, aimed at raising awareness of the human and economic costs of maritime piracy, urges governments around the world to prioritise six key actions:Reducing the effectiveness of easily identifiable motherships;Authorizing naval forces to hold pirates and deliver them for prosecution and punishment;Fully criminalizing all acts of piracy and intent to commit piracy under national laws, in accordance with their mandatory duty to co-operate to suppress piracy under international conventions;Increasing naval assets available in the affected areas;Providing greater protection and support for seafarers; andTracing and criminalizing the organisers and financiers behind the criminal networks.So far in 2011, 13 vessels have been hijacked by suspected Somali pirates, with a total of 243 crewmembers taken hostage.In addition, six crew were kidnapped from a vessel that was hijacked and then left adrift in the Indian Ocean. Of most concern, however, are the seven murders committed by ...

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Ransom pay to pirates rises 100%

More shipowners resort to weapons on board There has been a hundred per cent increase in the ransom paid to pirates followinghijackings in 2010, a senior industry official has said.Experts from the maritime and shipping industry who had gathered in Dubai for the Piracy Seminar on Tuesday were of the opinion that the combined naval forces had failed to control or restrain the pirates during the past 12 months.According to Stephen Askins from the International Law firm, Ince and Co, "the levels of piracy activity in December 2010 and January 2011 have far exceeded those for the corresponding periods in 2010."Although it is difficult to calculate the exact amount that has been paid as ransom, Askins said the number has increased "by almost 100 per cent."Lt Cdr Allan Eastham, Commanding officer at UK Maritime Trade Organization (UKMTO) in Dubai was of the opinion that the battle against pirates cannot be won by the navy alone."The navy cannot win this war. It needs a political solution," he said.According to him the forces currently have about six vessels patrolling the IRTC, while the remaining 25 vessels stationed in other areas. "The area in which the pirates operate has widened quite significantly. Earlier ...

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