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ICS urges New Zealand to retain anti-trust immunity for liner trades

The International Chamber of Shipping urges for changes to maritime competition regime The International Chamber of Shipping has urged the New Zealand government to consider practices in other parts of the world when it considers making changes to its maritime competition regime. The subject of carbon dioxide dominated the latest of Germanischer Lloyd traditional forums to recap the most recent session of the IMO's Marine Environment Protection Committee.

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New Zealand backs Pacific-wide maritime safety

42nd Pacific Islands Forum Prime Minister John Key has announced New Zealand will support country-specific initiatives to strengthen maritime safety in the Pacific as part an on-going, region-wide effort."Following a number of serious accidents in 2009, both New Zealand and Australia offered to work with regional and national organisations to improve maritime safety in the region, and this assistance was accepted by fellow Forum leaders," Mr Key says."The sea is effectively the main highway for most island groups - it's the principal way for transporting supplies, and ferry services provide livelihoods and a means of contact for people within the region. It's important we work with local authorities to ensure these trade and transport lines are as safe as possible for those who use them every day."New Zealand has established a dedicated Pacific maritime safety advisor role, and new initiatives will include:Training for personnel operating Tonga's new inter-island ferry service, and support for staff at Tonga's Ministry of Transport;Assisting the Cook Islands establish new safety regulations, and funding a subsidy for safety equipment and personnel training; andAssisting Kiribati with search and rescue capability, including a locally-based search and rescue advisor and small vessel safety equipment."Our support in this area illustrates ...

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ICS surges New Zealand to retain anti trust immunity for liner trades

New Zealand should be consistent with the APEC Guidelines The International Chamber of Shipping has urged the New Zealand Government to consider the benefit of current practices in other parts of the world when it considers making changes to its maritime competition regime.In a paper submitted to the New Zealand Productivity Commission, ICS comments:"We believe that New Zealand should take full account of the recognition given by other competition authorities to the benefits of current practices, such as liner conferences and consortia, in terms of efficiency of world trade, and the implications for national economies and the interests of consumers. We respectfully suggest that this is especially important for nations such as New Zealand that have such a very high dependency on the availability of reliable maritime services in order to maintain their position as major trading economies."ICS highlights current practices in Australia, the United States, China and other Far Eastern countries, pointing out that "whatever might be decided for reasons of national competition policy, ship operators trading to and from New Zealand are part of a global shipping market, and that the various maritime competition rules that apply in the Asia Pacific are currently broadly in alignment."We suggest that ...

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New Zealand probes foreign fishing crew abuse claims

Crews faced physical and sexual abuse aboard vessels New Zealand announced an inquiry Tuesday into allegations that foreign fishing crews operating in its waters faced physical and sexual abuse aboard vessels likened to "slave ships".The government said it had ordered a "comprehensive" probe into the claims surrounding foreign flagged vessels chartered by New Zealand companies to fish in the country's vast exclusive economic zone (EEZ)."We must ensure the use of all fishing vessels operating in EEZ waters supports government objectives," Fisheries Minister Phil Heatley said."This includes protecting New Zealand?s international reputation as a world-leading fisheries manager."An Auckland University report released earlier this month alleged widespread human rights abuses of crew members, predominantly Indonesian, on foreign chartered vessels.The Maritime Union of New Zealand, which has long accused the government of turning a blind eye to the treatment of foreign crews, said the investigation was long overdue."This inquiry will need to shine a light into dark places... but we know in advance that it will confirm what we already know, that disgraceful practices have become the norm and accepted by the industry," union secretary Joe Fleetwood said.The Auckland University report said about 30 foreign-owned vessels operated in New Zealand waters, crewed by ...

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New Zealand Navy could join fight against pirates

Piracy is a growing issue that is of concern to everyone New Zealand navy ships could be deployed to help fight the "growing issue" of piracy in the Indian Ocean.Prime Minister John Key concluded talks with his Indian counterpart, Manmohan Singh, in Delhi yesterday, saying that naval co-operation with India was "always possible" as part of a closer defence relationship with the nuclear-armed superpower."It's a growing issue that is of concern to everyone. If the waterways of the world aren't safe, then that leads to a lot of different issues," Key said."We have a lot of goods that we want to send around the world by ship. It increases the insurance costs for our companies and it's a serious issue for all of us, so it is a place where we can be more vigilant and we can work together."Singh said the time had come for the two countries "to intensify co-operation and consultations on issues relating to the Asia Pacific region".New Zealand and India had a stake in ensuring the safety of sea lanes, of communications, and in combating piracy. Both countries had agreed to "explore possibilities for greater co-operation in these areas", Singh said.A joint statement issued after ...

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