25 May is the beginning of this year’s Asian Gypsy Moth (AGM) risk periods, the time of the year when vessels calling at certain ports in Asia Pacific will need to be inspected and certified free of AGM prior to their departure. There are indications that next year, the risk periods may begin even earlier.
Gard’s correspondent, Proinde, reported in March that despite a slow start, the Brazilian soybean production this season is set for another record at 135.5 mmt accounting for more than 37% of the world production. The main destination for Brazilian soya beans is China accounting for over 65% of the shipments.
In the past there have been serious incidents where the car carriers have capsized as a result of inadequate stability. More concerning was the fact that the crew were also caught unaware. It has more to do with the way the shore side does the cargo planning and execution than the role of the crew, who play little or no part in this.
Fumigation is done to target infestations in bulk cargoes like grain and timber. The most widely used fumigant is aluminium phosphide which produces phosphine gas that is poisonous to humans. There have been numerous fatalities onboard ships as a result of the crew having been exposed to the gas.
New U.S. Coast Guard regulations banning the use of laser pointers or devices by vessel crews when the laser beam is used to strike a vessel operating in US navigable waters, have no exception for distress situations.
Preventing a fire in the first place is always better than fighting it. However, in the unfortunate event of a fire, the aim is to extinguish it while it is in its “local” state, i.e. it should not have spread to other compartments or machinery/equipment. At the same time it is a very important consideration that the fire fighters must not be exposed to an unacceptable degree of risk. Response time is therefore critical.
Bunker quality disputes are not uncommon. The parties often agree to jointly test a sample to determine if the fuel supplied was on-specification or not, and the result is binding on the parties. Even in the absence of an agreement, bunker samples will be relevant evidence that may help to resolve a dispute one way or another. The question then arises: which samples will be used for testing – the one taken on the bunker barge or the one from the receiving ship’s manifold?
Updated 26 August 2021
Over the years, several vessels entered with Gard have been detained and fined by the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency for anchoring in East Johor waters without the requisite permissions from the authorities. The trend has been on the increase this year.
The seasonal fishing ban in China comes into force on 1 May 2021. As the number of fishing vessels in Chinese waters is expected to increase in the period leading up to this date, ship operators and masters are advised to take additional precautions when planning a voyage to and from Chinese ports during this period.
California’s new regulation designed to further reduce pollution from vessels berthed at its ports is now in force. While compliance by visiting vessels is not required until 2023, the practices, procedures and equipment needed for compliance could be quite extensive and costly, and the preparatory work to ensure timely compliance should not be postponed.
A new Chinese environmental law that bans the carriage of a range of highly toxic and dangerous chemicals in the Yangtze River Basin took effect on 1 March 2021. Violation of the law may lead to substantial fines and ship operators trading in this area should carry out appropriate due diligence to check whether any cargoes carried are on the lists of banned chemicals.
02 MAR 2021
Recurring enclosed space incidents serve as a stark reminder that entry into such spaces without following proper procedures can result in seafarers being killed or seriously injured, warns a major flag state.
A set of quick reference 'Bridge Cards’ can be a useful safety aide memoire for masters and crews on vessel transiting a high-risk area - particularly during times of tension caused by piracy attacks or other security threats.
Adding to the COVID19 hardships already faced by seafarers, 2020 saw a year-on-year increase in global piracy, with a record 130 crew kidnapped in the Gulf of Guinea, a continuing rising trend of armed robberies against vessels in the Singapore Strait, and no improvements for robbery incidents in South America.
Industry organizations remind ship operators and seafarers operating in the Persian Gulf, Gulf of Oman, Gulf of Aden and Red Sea to remain vigilant and listen for military warnings at all times.
Our local correspondent Representacoes Proinde Ltda. has published a comprehensive guide on the soya bean trade in Brazil and we recommend it as a useful source of reference and practical information.
A valid Seafarer Identity Document issued in accordance with ILO Convention 185 is the only “maritime identity document” that will be accepted as proof of the bearer’s eligibility for visa waiver by the Brazilian immigration authorities.