19 MAY 2022
On 27 April 2022, a few months after announcing a ban on the export of thermal coal, Indonesia announced a ban on the export of crude palm oil and palm oil products.
18 MAY 2022
China is still adhering to its Covid-19 dynamic clearance policy as the Omicron variant is spreading across the country. Following a recent politburo meeting, the central government has received clear instructions to continue its Covid-19 control policy. Since the strict measures to contain the virus are unlikely to relax in the short term and one key aspect of such measures is to prevent the import of cases from abroad, the Covid-19 restrictions in Chinese ports are likely to remain in place for some time.
Fuel leaks and oil soaked insulation in engine rooms, clogged nozzles of fixed fire extinguishing systems, malfunctioning fire water pumps, holes in ventilation ducts… The list of unacceptable fire safety systems and arrangements observed during port state control inspections is long - and more worrying, it does not change much from one year to another.
The seasonal fishing ban in China came into force on 1 May 2022. Similar to the increase in fishing traffic seen in the period before the start of the ban, the number of fishing boats is expected to increase significantly once the ban comes to an end. As some illegal fishing activities may still continue in some areas during the ban, ship operators and masters are advised to take additional precautions when planning a voyage to and from Chinese ports during this period.
Gard has recently been notified of new incidents where solid bulk cargoes classified as Group A, liable to liquefy, have been loaded with moisture content in excess of the transportable moisture limit (TML). Gard reminds Members to remain vigilant when loading such cargoes and to have a low threshold for contacting the Club if they have any concerns or questions.
20 APR 2022
An ‘outbreak’, in very simple terms is defined as prevalence of an infectious disease in a population. In the context of merchant ships, an outbreak is when multiple crew members are infected by the same infectious disease. In the confines of the onboard environment, infectious diseases can spread rapidly from one crew member to another.
Respiratory viruses can lead to significant illness and in some cases even death. One of the most effective infection control strategies is to wear a face mask.
05 APR 2022
Masters and crews operating along the US/Canadian East Coast must maintain a good lookout for right whales and follow the speed restrictions in force at any given time.
31 MAR 2022
Any one of us can fall sick with a viral infection. What do we do? We take prescribed medicines and try to stay away from our family and friends until we have recovered. This is us being ‘socially responsible’.
Gard Members and clients are reporting operational problems that may be caused by contaminated bunkers, mostly HSFO, stemmed in Singapore in the first quarter of 2022.
The ongoing war in Ukraine has a considerable impact on vessels calling ports in the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov. The situation remains fluid and may change by the hour.
The retroactive MARPOL Annex VI requirement to fit or designate sampling points for taking representative samples of the fuel oil in use onboard ships enters into force on 1 April 2022.
Although not visible to the naked eye, germs live among us. They are more likely to be present on surfaces which people touch quite frequently with their hands. These are known as as ‘high touch surfaces’.
As the conflict in Ukraine continues, many Members and clients are having difficulties repatriating Ukrainian crew. Some crew members may want to extend their contracts given the turbulence and uncertainty of the situation; others will want to terminate their contracts earlier than intended in order to go home to Ukraine.
This article is no longer updated and the latest updates on the situation in Ukraine can be found here: War in Ukraine – impact on maritime situation
Global piracy dropped in 2021 but the threat level in the Gulf of Guinea region remains high and sustained increases in the number of armed robberies against ships in the Singapore Strait and at anchorages in South America give cause for concern.
17 FEB 2022
On 16 November 2021, the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach introduced a new queuing process for Container Ships. On 10 January 2022, it was expanded to San Francisco Bay Area for the port of Oakland. The purpose was to increase safety and improve air quality by reducing the number of vessels at anchor or loitering in the area by allowing the vessels to slow steam across the Pacific and optimize voyage transit time after departing from the previous port and heading towards Los Angeles, Long Beach and the San Francisco Bay Area.
14 FEB 2022
The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) and the International Maritime Pilots Association (IMPA) recently published an updated version of their ‘Shipping Industry Guidance on Pilot Transfer Arrangements’ in an effort to make pilot transfer arrangements safer.
01 FEB 2022
Canada and the United States extend the time period where AGM certification is required for vessels calling at certain ports in Japan and Russia in an effort to decrease the risk of this destructive forest pest spreading via marine vessels into North America.
19 JAN 2022
Ships continue to experience instances of port state control interventions, and sometimes hefty fines, allegedly because the validity of their electronic statutory and class certificates cannot be verified during onboard inspections.