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Brazil – Amazon and Pará Rivers Ballast Water Regulations

Information provided by the West of Engalnd P&I Club The West of England P&I Club provides the following information at its website regarding Ballast Water Regulations in Brazil - Amazon and Pará Rivers:Since October 2005 it has been mandatory for all vessels planning to discharge ballast water in Brazilian ports and terminals to conduct a ballast water exchange whilst on passage. There is also an additional requirement for vessels proceeding to ports or terminals in the Amazon and Pará Rivers to conduct a second ballast water exchange at prescribed locations in order to reduce the salinity of the ballast water. Certain vessels are exempt, including warships, vessels with sealed ballast tanks not subject to discharge and ships whose design characteristics do not allow ballast exchange.However, the Club has been advised by Brazmar Marine Services Ltda than an increasing number of eligible vessels are failing to conduct the second ballast water exchange. Although such vessels may be treated leniently if proceeding to an area where the salinity of the water is already high, those calling at ports further up river where the water is less saline may be dealt with more rigorously.The Brazilian regulations require that a ballast water exchange takes ...

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Increase in the number of persons attempting to stowaway on vessels

Vessels calling at Turkish ports The West of England P&I Club has been advised by Kalimbassieris Maritime, Istanbul, of a significantincrease in the number of persons attempting to stowaway on vessels calling at Turkish ports.Turkey is the natural crossing point into Europe for refugees and economic migrants from Syria, Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan. However, due to the high level of security at Turkish border points, they often find that a land crossing into Europe is not possible. Therefore they may look for other ways to reach their intended destination.Due to thesignificant increase in the number of illegal immigrants attempting to cross into Europe, there has been a corresponding rise in stowaway attempts from Turkish ports, including Turkish Nationals. Given that security measures in some Turkish ports and terminals may not be as robust as at land border checkpoints, vessels should be particularly vigilant and ensure that all practicable steps are taken to prevent persons stowing away.Source: The West of England P&I Club

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Brazil – Withdrawal of the Restriction on the Transit of Filipino Seafarers through Brazilian Ports

Information provided by the West of England P&I Club Further to previous news articles regarding restrictions in Brazil on the movement of seafarers that do not possess a Seaman's Book issued by a country that has ratified either ILO Convention No.108 or 185, the requirements have now been partly relaxed.Santos correspondents Brazil P&I have advised that, according to reports, the General Co-ordination of the Immigration Affairs in Brasilia has revoked all restrictions on the movement of Filipino seafarers through Brazilian ports, even though the Philippines has ratified neither of the ILO Conventions.The result of this change is that Filipino seafarers may now join and sign off vessels, or proceed ashore using their Seaman's Book rather than a passport containing a Brazilian Visa. Although the concession is confined to Santos at the present time, other Brazilian ports are expected to follow in due course.It is important to note only Filipino seafarers benefit from this change. The restrictions on the movement of seafarers who possess Seaman's Books issued by countries that have not ratified the Conventions, and who do not possess a valid Brazilian Visa in their passport, remain in place for all other nationalities.Click here to see the countries that have ...

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Passage planning in confined waters and traffic separation schemes

Safety alert issued by West of England P&I Club The West of England P&I Club issues Safety Alert regarding Passage planning in confined waters and traffic separation schemes as follows:The Club has recently encountered a number of large claims where vessels have had to alter course during a close quarters situation, resulting in either a collision or a grounding.These incidents have taken place while navigating in high traffic areas where many vessels have been using very similar passage plans. When passage planning it is customary for the course to be laid off on paper charts or entered into the Electronic Chart Display and Information System (ECDIS), ensuring that the voyage will be the shortest and safest route possible between the port of departure and the port of destination.Any applicable mandatory naviga-tional requirements will also need to be incorporated.Navigators should be aware that in busy waters off headlands, shoal patches and within Traffic Separation Schemes, many vessels may be following similar tracks and altering course at waypoints plotted in very close proximity to one another.To view further information, click hereSource: The West of England P&I Club

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New Guidelines for the Carriage of Bulk Blends of Petroleum Oil and Bio-Fuels

By the West of England P&I Club The West of England P&I Club issues New Guidelines for the Carriage of Bulk Blends of Petroleum Oil and Bio-Fuels as follows:The IMO Marine Environment Protection Committee has recently approved the "2011 Guidelines for the Carriage of Blends of Petroleum Oil and Bio-Fuels". The new guidelines, contained in the Annex to MEPC.1/Circ.761, are effective from 1 September 2011, when they will replace the existing interim guidelines.The carriage provisions are based on the volumetric composition of the bio-fuel blend; products containing 75% or more petroleum oil are to be carried in accordance with the requirements of MARPOL Annex I, products containing more than 1% but less than 75% petroleum oil are to be carried in accordance with the requirements of MARPOL Annex II and the conditions detailed in the guidelines. Products containing 1% or less petroleum oil are to be carried under the requirements of MARPOL Annex II.Physical blending of petroleum oil and bio-fuel resulting in a single product must only be carried out whilst the vessel is within port limits. Prior to any such operation it is important that detailed instructions of exactly how such blending is to take place are obtained from ...

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Ivory Coast – Wheat shortage fines in Abidjan

Information provided by the West of England P&I Club The West of England P&I Club has been advised by Ivory P&I, Abidjan, of alleged shortages of wheat discharged in Abidjan leading to the imposition of fines by the Customs Authorities.Inmost cases the draught survey figures will show either a small surplus or a small shortage of cargo, as would be expected, however, shore figures derived from the shore scales at the two principal wheat importers in Abidjan; Les Grands Moulins d'Abidjan and Les Moulins Modernes de Côte d'Ivoire, consistently show shortages of between 40 and 160 m.t.Discrepancies have also been found between the quantities recorded by the truck weighbridge operated by the stevedores and those obtained from a weighbridge operated by an independent third party; the Ivorian Chamber of Commerce. Therefore doubts exist as to the accuracy of the shore scales used by the principal wheat importers, and the weighbridge used by the stevedore company. In the event of a shortage the Customs Authorities impose a fine of 50,000 CFA Francs (approximately 76 Euros) per short-landed m.t.In order to protect Members' interests it is recommended that their Masters request a copy of the latest calibration certification for the weighbridge that ...

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International Maritime Solid Bulk Cargoes Code – Group A cargoes may liquefy

If shipped at a moisture content in excess of their transportable moisture limit The West of England P&I Club issues the following regarding the International Maritime Solid Bulk Cargoes (IMSBC) Code:Those who are familiar with the problems that have been experienced with particular cargoes classified as "Group A" in the International Maritime Solid Bulk Cargoes (IMSBC) Code. "Group A" cargoes may liquefy if shipped at a moisture content in excess of their transportable moisture limit, and recent incidents involving nickel ore, Indian iron ore fines and Brazilian sinter feed have resulted in the International Group and the Club issuing various Notices and Alerts.Since many of the difficulties are derived from inaccurate test certificates provided by cargo interests, it is often necessary to instruct a surveyor to take samples and send them to a reliable laboratory for analysis and, in certain circumstances, to appoint an expert. However, experience has shown that shippers may hinder access to stockpiles, and charterers may try to prevent ship owners from using their surveyors, experts or laboratories of choice. The International Group has therefore drafted a clause which it recommends is used by ship owners as a standard template for inclusion in charter parties if "Group ...

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Dubai Maritime City Authority issues bulletin regarding Dubai Anchorage Regulations

By the West of England P&I Club Club correspondents Inchcape Shipping Services, Dubai, have advised of the introduction of new anchorage areas and regulations off the coast of the Emirate extending to the edge of the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).The Dubai Maritime City Authority (DMCA) has issued a Maritime Bulletin announcing the introduction of the new requirements. The bulletin also states that ships that anchor outside the approved anchorages without authorisation, or which engage in unauthorised Ship to Ship (STS) transfer or bunkering operations, will be subject to arrest and criminal prosecution.Five new approved anchorages have been specified:Port Jebel Ali Anchorage (short term)Port Rashid Anchorage (Anchorage A) (short term)Long Term Anchorage (Anchorage B)STS and Bunkering Waiting Area Anchorage (Anchorage C)STS and Bunkering Operation Anchorage (Anchorage D)Vessels planning to anchor at either of the two short term anchorages for less than five days must obtain authorisation from the Harbour Masters office. Any vessel wishing to anchor in either of the short term anchorages for more than five days, in anchorages B, C or D, or in areas outside the designated anchorages must obtain authorisation from the DMCA.Vessels anchoring within anchorages B, C or D are liable for anchorage fees calculated in ...

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The risk of scalding and serious injury when working on steam systems

Safety Alert issued by West of England P&I Club The West of England P&I Club issued a Safety Alert for the risk of scalding and serious injury when working on steam systems.There have been a number of recent incidents where crewmembers have been badly scalded while working on steam systems.Examples illustrate how personnel have been injured as a result of either not following the correct procedures or abiding by best practice, or where they were unaware of the work activities of other crewmembers, with disastrous consequences.For more details, click hereSource: West of England P&I Club

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