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Posting of armed guards needs fine tuning: Shipping secretary

India will ask the global shipping community to 'fine-tune' practices India will ask the global shipping community to 'fine-tune' practices adopted while deploying armed guards on merchant vessels in the backdrop of the Enrica Lexie case."Already there are good practices evolved by global shipping industry to ensure that armed guards on private vessels use force in a very restrained manner. This (killing of unarmed fishermen by the Italian marines) may be a stray case as there are no similar incidents reported from anywhere in the world. But we need to fine tune those practices and ensure that such incidents do not recur,'' shipping secretary K Mohandas told TOI here."There are reports that the mariners did not follow the prescribed practices. Of course, we can come to the final conclusions only after a full investigation. We don't want to make any hasty statements. Even though India is not a big player in the global shipping industry, the incident will serve as a reminder for ship security staff as to why they should proceed cautiously in such a situation,'' he said.Pointing out that this incident was the first of its kind in recent maritime history, commander in charge of the coast guard ...

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US Business Delegation meets Union Shipping Minister G.K. Vasan

India invites US to participate in the country's port development plan India has invited investors from the US to participate in the country's port development plans and earn rich rewards. This invitation was extended by the Union Shipping Minister Shri G.K. Vasan when a business delegation from USA led by Undersecretary to the Government of the United States of America, Mr. Sanchez met him in Chennai today. Foreign Direct Investments in ports are permitted in India under the automatic route. USA is the second largest source of FDI inflows into India.Recalling the maritime cooperation between India and the USA Sh. Vasan said, a Memorandum of Cooperation on Maritime Transport, Science and Technology between the two countries was signed during 2005. It covers a wide area of mutual interest including maritime safety and security, port management and technological developments related to the maritime sector. It also envisages cooperative arrangements between the US Merchant Marine Academy and the Indian Institute of Maritime Studies, which is now a constituent of the Indian Maritime University in the field of maritime training and education.Stating that India train and educate more than 3,000 marine engineers every year on an average the Minister said, there was adequate ...

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Italian naval guards remanded to 3 days police custody

Two Italian naval guards charged with the killing of two Indian fishermen Two Italian naval guards charged with the killing of two Indian fishermen offKeralacoast were today remanded to three-day police custody by a Judicial Magistrate atKarunagapallyin this district.First Class Judicial MagistrateKPJoy, at whose residence the marines were produced amid tight security, remanded the two accused to judicial custody till March 5, but handed them over to investigators accepting a police plea forfutherquestioning. The marines could not be produced in a court as it was a holiday due toMahashivratrifestival.LatoreMassimilianoandSalvatoreGirone, arrested byKeralaPolice yesterday and brought ashore from the ship which was intercepted and anchored at the port, were brought toKollamfor court proceedings fromKochi.The two Italian marines have been charged with murder under Section 302 of theIPC.The arrest of the two men, part of the six-member security detail of 'EnricaLexie' from Italian Navy, climaxed four days of hard negotiations between India and Italy over the incident, which has sparked a diplomatic row.The Italians claimed that the fishermen ValentineJalastineandAjeeshBinki, who had set out to sea along with nine other fishermen on February 15 were shot at on suspicion of being pirates.Source: DNA News

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India ships to lose insurance due to Iran sanctions, may look to China

Asian oil importers to rely on domestic firms for OPEC shipments Indian shipping firms will find it difficult to obtain replacement insurance coverage to continue importing Iranian crude oil after new European Union sanctions come into effect, industry sources said.State-run Shipping Corporation of India, the largest tanker owner in the country, will lose EU insurance coverage for its oil tankers operating in Iran from July 1, when European insurers will be prohibited from indemnifying ships carrying Iranian oil.Indian maritime firms are likely to be the most affected in Asia by the sanctions, as the other two big buyers of Iranian crude, China and Japan, do not rely on European insurers but are covered by domestic providers.India, China and Japan are Iran's three biggest crude oil buyers."We are covered by P&I clubs in the EU," Sunil Thapar, director at Shipping Corp of India told Reuters, referring to customer-owned maritime protection and indemnity insurance groups."These clubs will not be able to give us coverage for vessels to Iran from July. It will be difficult for Indian shipping lines to transport Iranian crude unless alternative arrangements are made," he said. SCI owns 39 oil tankers.FEWER OPTIONSA.P. Moller-Maersk, Singapore-based Samco Shipholding, and many other ...

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Shipping minister says Italian ship firing ‘unfortunate, unacceptable’

Following the killing of the two fishermen Terming as "unfortunate" the killing of two Indian fishermen by gun shots from an Italian ship, shipping minister G K Vasan said appropriate punishment should be given to the guilty."It is a very unfortunate incident. Italian arm guards fired (at) Indian fishermen. This is not acceptable," Vasan told reporters here, when asked to comment on the incident near Kerala.Observing that Director General, Shipping, has ordered an enquiry into the incident, he said it was internationally well-known that when there is a piracy attack, certain protocol should be followed."It was not followed here. Enquiry will reveal (what happened). Appropriate punishment should be given (to those guilty) as per the law of the land," he said.Vasan said there was a suspicion as to why the Italian ship did not report the incident on time. "I am sure proceedings will take place. There is no pressure from Italy. Our fishermen lives are very important".Two Indian fishermen, Ajesh Binki (25) and Jalastein (45), were killed on February 15 off the Kollam coast near Kerala when armed guards of Italian ship 'Enrica Lexie' fired at their boat.The preliminary assessment of the marine authorities is that the armed guards ...

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Ships with armed guards: Governmenyt may fix responsibility on flag-state

The Italian ship Enrica Lexie anchored off the Kochi coast for investigations India's maritime administration may make 'flag-state endorsement' mandatory for foreign merchant ships entering Indian waters with armed security guards on board. The idea is to make the Government of the country in which the ship is registered (flag-state) also responsible for any action on the part of the armed guards deployed on the vessel.The move apparently follows the killing of two fishermen off the Kerala coast last week when security guards on an Italian ship, opened fire, reportedly mistaking them for pirates.Currently, flag-states give a general approval for shipping companies to engage private security guards. The contract is between the ship owners and the security agency which provides the armed men. With rising incidents of attacks on cargo ships by Somali pirates, many countries, including India and Italy, have allowed their merchant ships to have armed guards on board. Ships have to follow the policy (on deployment of guards) of the country in which they are registered. The policy is based on the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) guidelines.Problems can arise when the ship is owned, managed and operated by people of different nationalities. Typically, a ship may be ...

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India questions Italian ship crew over fishermen’s deaths

The shooting incident has heightened diplomatic tensions between the two countries Indian police and coastguards are questioning the captain and crew of an Italian cargo ship that fired at an Indian trawler, killing two fishermen.Reports say the Italians mistook the Indian fishing boat for a pirate vessel on Wednesday evening.Indian Defence Minister AK Antony has described the killings as "very serious" and an "unfortunate incident".The Italian ambassador in Delhi was summoned by the foreign ministry on Thursday over the shooting.Indian officials say they are surprised at the mistake and that the fishermen did nothing to threaten the Italian ship.Following the shootout, the Indian coast guard sent two boats and an aircraft to intercept the ship.The Kerala state government has authorised a payment of 500,000 rupees ($10,125; 6,450) each to the dead fishermen's families.'No weapons'The Italian ship, identified as the MV Enrica Lexie, fired at the fishermen in waters off India's southern state of Kerala, the Indian navy said in a statement.Officials said the vessel was bound from Singapore to Egypt, with a crew of 19 Indians.The Italians say the crew members fired in self-defence - after initially firing warning shots - because they feared their vessel was about to be ...

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India protests over two fishermen shot dead by Italian ship’s guards

Enrica Lexie is now berthed off the Kochi coast for further investigation India on Thursday summoned the Italian envoy to voice concern over the killing of two fishermen by security officials of an Italian cargo vessel in the waters off Kerala. It asked Italy to ensure the ship's captain cooperates with Indian police.Italy, however, maintained that the Italian navy personnel on board Enrica Lexie fired warning shots after they were allegedly attacked in international waters by people on an Indian fishing vessel.The incident that killed two fishermen, one from Tamil Nadu and the other from Kerala, who were mistaken for pirates, took place Wednesday evening about 14 nautical miles off Alappuzha in Kerala.M. Ganapathi, secretary (west) in the external affairs ministry, met Italian ambassador Giacomo Sanfelice di Montefort and asked him to ensure that the captain cooperates with Indian officials probing the incident. The Italian envoy said the captain will cooperate with Kochi police.Enrica Lexie is now berthed off the Kochi coast and its officials have been summoned by police for further investigations.The Italian embassy, however, insisted that the ship was attacked and the firing was done only in self-defence."The Italian ship was attacked yesterday in international waters about 30 ...

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India: land of opportunity

APMT CEO sees potential for the private sector With a population of 1.2 billion and the world's third-largest economy, India remains significantly under-represented as a player in global trade - something APM Terminals CEO Kim Fejfer says he is eager to help change. "The opportunities for development throughout one of the world's largest and fastest-growing economies are exciting and energising, and APM Terminals is committed to being a part of that growth," Fejfer told local business leaders and customers during his keynote address at the India Ports Conference in Mumbai.Although the Indian economy expanded by an estimated 7.8% in 2011 to US$1.8 trillion, India ranked 13th in imports and 21st in exports, globally, last year.South Asia, which includes Pakistan and Bangladesh, represented only 3% of global container throughout in 2011, according to estimates by Alphaliner, with combined container volumes of 18 million teu, four million less than China's port of Shenzhen on its own.Throughput at India's ports accounted for 9.7 million teu in 2011 - one-twelfth of what global container traffic averages based on economic output would suggest as necessary to meet the economy's needs.Fejfer estimated that $20 billion would need to be spent on the infrastructure necessary to make ...

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