Maritime Threats and Incidents

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06 October, Gulf of Aden, Indian Navy thwarts pirate attack on bulk carrier

Background Info

The Indian Navy says it has foiled an attack by pirates operating in the Gulf of Aden.

A Navy spokesman said the 82,000 dead-weight tonne (dwt) bulk carrier MV JAG AMAR came under attack shortly after mid-day on October 6.

The Indian-flagged bulker sent a distress call and an Indian Navy vessel in the area responded by sending a helicopter and an armed boarding party in a rigid-inflatable.

Reports say 12 pirates surrendered to the Indian forces.

A Navy spokesperson said an AK 47, ammunition, grapnels, ropes, fuel drums and ladders were recovered during the operation.

No one was injured and the bulk carrier was able to continue to Jubail in Saudi Arabia.

Assessment and Analysis

There is an ongoing threat to shipping in the Gulf of Aden and the Bab-el-Mandeb Strait, in part from pirates operating out of Somalia.

It is not clear where the pirates who attacked the Indian bulk carrier were from.

The US-led Combined Maritime Forces (CMF), which aims to protect shipping from terrorism and piracy, issued a statement in June 2017 saying it was stepping up its activities in the region.

“Recent attacks against merchant shipping in the Gulf of Aden and Bab-el-Mandeb have highlighted that there are still risks associated with transits through these waters,” said the statement.

It cited two incidents, in October 2016 and May 2017, in which an LNG carrier and an oil tanker came under attack. Both attacks were thought to be linked to Yemen’s ongoing civil war.

Date updated : 10/10/2017 Date added : 06/10/2017

19 September, Gulf of Guinea, More abductions after vessel comes under attack

Background Info

A report says there has been an attack on a merchant vessel in Nigerian coastal waters. Five people are said to have been abducted.

The report comes from the Maritime Domain Awareness for Trade – Gulf of Guinea (MDAT-GoG), part of the NATO Shipping Centre Mission.

The attack took place on the evening of September 18 after darkness had fallen (21:07 Universal Time Coordinated).

The vessel was reported to have been off the east coast of Nigeria, close to the border with Cameroon.

Four speed boats attacked the vessel.

MDAT-GoG gave no other details.

 

Assessment and Analysis

Hijacks and crew abductions off the Nigerian coast remain a serious problem. Most of the attacks have been linked to Nigerian criminal groups operating in the Niger Delta.

Attackers are often well armed and violent. They operate along the coast and in rivers, anchorages, ports and surrounding waters.

A report from the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) said 31 seafarers were abducted in the first six months of 2017 in five incidents.

In July there was a report that pirates had boarded a 1,276 deadweight tonne (dwt) general cargo ship underway in the Gulf of Guinea, close to Bonny Island, Nigeria. Five crew members were said to have been abducted.

Generally, all waters in and off Nigeria remain risky.

Crews are advised to be vigilant and to take additional security measures.

Date updated : 19/09/2017 Date added : 19/09/2017

14 September, Yemen, Houthi rebels threaten Saudi tankers

Background Info

The leader of one of the factions in Yemen’s civil war has made what appears to be a fresh threat against commercial oil tankers.

Abdel-Malek al-Houthi, leader of the Iran-aligned Houthi rebels, was speaking in a televised speech on September 14, 2017.

He said his group could target Saudi oil tankers should Saudi Arabia attack the rebel-held Red Sea port of Hodeidah.

He claimed that any attempt to ‘invade’ Hodeidah would be met “with steps not taken before, such as targeting and attacking oil tankers at sea.”

Assessment and Analysis

Yemen’s civil war remains a cause of alarm for ships operating in the western waters of the Gulf of Aden and in the southern reaches of the Red Sea.

In June 2017 the US-led Combined Maritime Forces (CMF), which aims to protect shipping from terrorism and piracy, issued a statement saying it was stepping up its activities in the region.

It said the move was in response to attacks on shipping.

It mentioned two attacks in particular. The first, an assault against the LNG tanker GALICIA SPIRIT in October 2016 and the second the attack on the oil tanker MUSKIE in May 2017.

In over two years of fighting in the civil war neither the Iran-aligned Houthi-rebels nor the Saudi-backed government forces have been able to gain the upper hand.

The Houthi forces control most of Yemen’s Red Sea coastline, although a government offensive at the start of the 2017 dislodged them from the Bab-el-Mandeb strait.

There have been repeated warnings that coastal defense missiles, radar systems, mines and explosives boats deployed by the rebels pose a threat to shipping.

As well as threatening tankers in his televised address, Abdel-Malek al-Houthi also warned that Houthi forces might launch missile attacks on Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

It is unclear whether the Houthi group has the capability to carry out its threats.

Ships sailing through the parts of the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden that are designated a High Risk Area (HRA) should register with the Maritime Security Centre – Horn of Africa (MSC-HOA).

The US-led Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) also suggests that vessels should report to UK’s Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) when entering the Voluntary Reporting Area (VRA) and should  immediately report anything suspicious.

The situation in Yemen is fluid and the threat to shipping can change rapidly. Ship operators should carry out detailed risk assessments for each voyage into the area.

Date updated : 19/09/2017 Date added : 14/09/2017

07 September, Malaysia west coast, Product tanker hijacked for cargo theft

Background Info

The ReCAAP Information Sharing Centre has reported that a small Thai-flagged product tanker was hijacked at about 2100 hrs local time on Wednesday, 6th September 2017 and approximately half its cargo of diesel oil illegally lightered to a second vessel.

The tanker, named MGT 1 (IMO 9019975), had left from Rayong, Thailand and was underway in the Andaman Sea – approximately 54 nautical miles east of Kuala Dungun, Kuala Terengganu, West Malaysia – when it was boarded by 13 armed men from two small fast boats.

The crew were able to acctive the vessel’s Ship Security Alert System (SSAS) and the Malasia Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) dispatched two ships and a helicopter to the vessel’s location and intercepted it at approximately 0400 hrs local time on 7th September.

Initial investigations suggest that the perpetrators forced the crew of the MGT 1 to transfer approximately 885 metric tonnes (c. 1 million litres) of diesel oil cargo to another tanker.

Ten of the thirteen perpetrators were apprehended by MMEA officers and a search for the missing three is on-going.

The MGT 1 is being escorted to Kuala Terengganu for further investigations.

 

Assessment and Analysis

Hijack for cargo theft has been a problem in Southeast Asian waters in recent years. In 2015, 15 vessels were attacked, although there have been fewer incidents since then.

The attack on the MGT 1 follows a similar incident in late June, when a Thai tanker named CP41 was attacked close to the port of Kuantan, Malaysia and around 1.5 million litres of its diesel oil cargo was lighted from the vessel illegally. In that case, the CP41 was reportedly on a voyage from Singapore to Shell’s oil depot in Songkhla, Thailand.

Date updated : 08/09/2017 Date added : 07/09/2017

06 September, Gulf of Aden, Bab Al Mandeb, Southern Red Sea, New security corridor announced by CMF

Background Info

The Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) has issued a press release regarding the security of vessels transiting through the Western Indian Ocean and Red Sea regions.

The press release states that due to the “multiple types of risks and the broad expanse of ocean on which attacks [against merchant shipping] can occur dictate that Naval Forces must be used in the most efficient manner possible. To assist in this, CMF is establishing a Maritime Security Transit Corridor (MSTC).”

The Maritime Security Transit Corridor (MSTC) is made up of:
• The Internationally Recommended Transit Corridor (IRTC).
• The 2 way route between the IRTC and Bab El Mandeb.
• The Bab El Mandeb Traffic Separation Scheme.
• The Traffic Separation Scheme West of the Hanish Island in the Southern Red Sea

The full online press release, including maps showing the corridor, can be accessed here.

The CMF press release states that “The purpose of this corridor is to provide a recommended merchant traffic route around which Naval Forces can focus their presence and surveillance efforts. It is recommended that all vessels use the MSTC to benefit from military presence and surveillance.”

Assessment and Analysis

This latest response from the US-led Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) is primarily in response to the on-going conflict in Yemen, although piracy attacks during March, April and May 2017 are also mentioned as a cause for concern.

In the release dated 6 September 2017 the CMF states that “all vessels transiting the Gulf of Aden and Bab Al Mandeb should follow the guidance of BMP4 to the maximum extent possible and consider the use of embarked armed security”.

The situation in Yemen is fluid and the threat to shipping in this area can change rapidly. Ship operators should carry out detailed risk assessments for each voyage into the area.

Date updated : 07/09/2017 Date added : 06/09/2017

30 August, Libya, Tanker seized on suspicion of smuggling

Background Info

Another tanker has been arrested off the Libyan coast on suspicion of smuggling oil.

The Libyan navy detained the 19,996 deadweight tonne (dwt) LEVANTE and its all-Filipino crew on August 27.

A spokesman for the navy said the Liberian-flagged vessel was intercepted Abu Kammash, 170 kilometers west of Tripoli.

He said the vessel had been taken under tow and that the crew had been transferred to Tripoli for questioning.

It is not clear if the tanker was carrying crude oil or refined product. Nor is it clear where the vessel loaded.

Assessment and Analysis

The authorities in western Libya have been struggling to end the rampant smuggling of oil and oil products.

In April the coastguard seized two foreign flagged tankers west of Tripoli and detained their crews.

Libya, which holds Africa’s largest crude oil reserves, has been riven by fighting between rival military factions ever since fall of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

The country’s oil infrastructure has been caught up in the turmoil and there has been widespread oil smuggling.

The UN Security Council adopted a resolution in 2014 aimed at ending illicit crude oil exports from Libya. Those sanctions were extended in June 2017 to cover refined petroleum products.

Given the lack of resources and the failure of the UN-backed “unity” government, which is based in Tripoli, to establish its authority nationwide it is unlikely the smuggling will stop.

The smuggling is driven in part by the fact that Libya’s limited refining capacity means it imports refined oil products. These are released into the domestic market at a heavily subsidized price, allowing smugglers to re-export at a profit.

The situation in Libya is extremely volatile and owners and ship managers should liaise with local ship’s agents and P&I correspondents for the most up-to-date information before calling at Libyan ports.

Date updated : 30/08/2017 Date added : 30/08/2017

29 July, Gulf of Guinea, Pirates board cargo ship: Reports say crew abducted

Background Info

Pirates have boarded a 1,276 deadweight tonne (dwt) general cargo ship underway in the Gulf of Guinea.

Unconfirmed reports say five crew members have been kidnapped.

The attack happened after dark on July 29, 15 nautical miles southwest of Bonny Island, Nigeria.

The IMB Piracy Reporting Centre (IMB PRC) said the pirates were armed and that the Nigerian Navy was alerted.

It said the Navy located the ship, the OYA 1, and towed it to a safe port where reports that crew members had been abducted were being investigated.

The OYA 1 had sailed from Ghana on July 27 and was thought to have been heading to Cameroon.

Assessment and Analysis

Hijacks and crew abductions off the Nigerian coast remain a serious problem. Most of the attacks have been linked to Nigerian criminal groups operating in the Niger Delta.

A report from the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) said 31 seafarers were abducted in the first six months of 2017 in five incidents.

Many other attacks are believed to have gone unreported.

On July 13, two weeks before the attack on the OYA 1, the Nigerian Navy said it had been able to foil an attempted hijack of a general cargo ship off Port Harcourt.

It was at least the third report of the Nigerian Navy foiling an attack this year.

Generally, all waters in and off Nigeria remain risky.

Attackers are often well armed and violent. They operate along the coast and in rivers, anchorages, ports and surrounding waters.

Date updated : 03/08/2017 Date added : 29/07/2017

20 July, Port Harcourt, Nigeria, Hijack attempt foiled

Background Info

The Nigerian Navy (NN) says an attempt to hijack a general cargo ship off Port Harcourt has failed.

A navy spokesman said six suspects boarded the vessel, the UAL HOUSTON, at around 7.45 a.m. local time on July 13.

The ship’s crew retreated to the citadel and the suspected hijackers found themselves unable to access the ship’s living quarters, bridge or machinery room.

A distress call from the ship was picked up by the Nigerian Navy and a boat was dispatched to investigate.

“On sighting the naval patrol boat, the robbers abandoned their hijack plot and fled,” said the navy spokesman.

He said a preliminary investigation showed that all the ship’s crew were safe and that nothing had been stolen.

 

Assessment and Analysis

Hijacks and crew abductions off the Nigerian coast remain a serious problem. This is at least the third report of the Nigerian Navy foiling an attack this year.

A report from the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) said that 31 seafarers were abducted in the first six months of 2017 in five reported incidents.

Over 50 attacks were reported in Nigerian waters the previous year.

Many other incidents are believed to have gone unreported.

Most of the attacks have been linked to Nigerian criminal groups operating in the Niger Delta.

The attackers are often well armed and violent. They have hijacked and robbed vessels and kidnapped crews. They operate along the coast and in rivers, anchorages, ports and surrounding waters.

Generally, all waters in and off Nigeria remain risky.

Vessels are advised to be vigilant to take additional measures in high risk waters.

Date updated : 20/07/2017 Date added : 20/07/2017

28 June, Global, Maersk Line becomes victim of global cyber attack

Background Info

The shipping and logistics giant A.P. Moller-Maersk has been hit in a global cyber attack.

“We have contained the issue and are working on a technical recovery plan with key IT partners and global cyber security agencies,” it said in a stock exchange announcement on Wednesday (June 28).

“We have shut down a number of systems to help contain the issue.”

It added that all the vessels in Maersk Line, its container shipping arm, were manoeuverable, able to communicate and that crews were safe.

A.P. Moller-Maersk’s port operator unit, APM Terminals, confirmed that its operations had also been affected.

 

Assessment and Analysis

Denmark-Based A.P. Moller-Maersk was one of the high profile targets that fell victim to the global cyber-attack that unfolded on Tuesday (June 27).

Hours after the attack began the company acknowledged on Twitter that it was “affecting multiple businesses”.

The Chief Commercial Officer of Maersk Line, the company’s container shipping arm, told Reuters on Wednesday that its portal was down and that it was unable to take new orders until it was back up.

“We’re being very cautious to ensure that as we bring the applications back up, the attack is contained and rolled back. It limits the accessibility we have at the moment,” Vincent Clerc told the news agency.

Maersk Line, is the world’s biggest shipping company with a fleet of more than 600 container vessels.

APM Terminals, which operates 76 port and terminal facilities in 59 countries around the globe, saw disruption at two of its terminals in Rotterdam, in Mumbai in India and in Los Angeles on the west coast of the United States. On the US east coast, APM Terminals in New York and New Jersey were forced to close for much of Tuesday.

A spokesman for the terminal in Mumbai said on Wednesday that the port had been trying to clear containers manually and was operating at about a third of its capacity.

The cyber attack caused outages in computer systems Europe, the United States, parts of Asia and Australia. The ransomware operation was similar to the ‘WannaCry’ attacks in May that infected more than 300,000 computers worldwide.

The extortion scam works by encrypting computer hard drives and then demanding a ransom to have the trapped data released.

Analysts warn that there is no reason to think that ransomware attacks will cease. They say large companies with a vast IT infrastructure are among the most vulnerable.

The container shipping industry has lagged some other sectors in bringing its processes online although Maersk has been one of the sector’s leaders in its pursuit of efficiency.

Following the ‘WannaCry’ attack in May, governments, security firms and industrial groups advised businesses to update all their computers with Microsoft patches to defend against similar extortion attempts.

The US. Department of Homeland Security has been monitoring the latest attacks.  It has advised victims not to pay the extortion, saying that doing so did not guarantee access would be restored.

 

Date updated : 28/06/2017 Date added : 28/06/2017

26 June, Malaysia, Pirates hold tanker crew at gunpoint

Background Info

Pirates have attacked a Thai oil tanker off the Malaysian coast.

The tanker, the CP41, was boarded by at least six armed men. Reports differ as to wether the attack took place on the evening of Friday, June 23, or the evening of Saturday, June 24.

The pirates rounded up the captain and 16 crew at gunpoint, robbed them of their valuables and destroyed the ship’s security alert system.

They then spent several hours siphoning off almost half its cargo of diesel oil.

The pirates left leaving the crew unharmed. The tanker was able to continue its journey to the Thai port of Songkhla.

 

Assessment and Analysis

The CP41 was attacked close to Malaysian port of Kuantan. It had been sailing from from Singapore and was bound for Shell’s oil depot in Songkhla.

It was carrying 3.8 million litres of diesel oil. The pirates are estimated to have stolen around 1.5 million litres of product.

Thai authorities are trying to establish the nationality of the attackers. They have asked for help from the Malaysian navy in an attempt to track them down.

Date updated : 26/06/2017 Date added : 26/06/2017

Americas

Argentina

Argentina - Risk: Customs fines in Argentina relating to the misdeclaration of ship's stores

ARGENTINA - Risk: Customs fines in Argentina relating to the misdeclaration of ship's stores

Heavy fines have been imposed on vessels relating to the misdeclaration of items such as lube oils, bunkers, chemicals, spare parts, grabs and other items in the stores list. In some cases, items such as lube oils or chemicals have been duplicated in the stores list, such that when quantities are checked by customs, fines are imposed for the apparent shortage. These shortages do not exist in reality, but are difficult to prove in retrospect.

Additionally, local correspondents in the port of San Nicolas report that some ships are required to declare the lube oil in the sump of the main engine, and if they do not, an infringement is declared. When the lube oil has not been declared, the authorities might order the vessel to discharge it within 48 hours and placed it in storage in an authorised depot for the account of the vessel. If it is not discharged then the owners are required to submit a cash guarantee for twice the market value of the lube oil, which local customs consider to be at a price from $7 to $10 per litre when in reality the price would be approximately $1.50 to $2.

Assessment and Analysis

Masters should take care when declaring items and quantities, and should also consider declaring the quantity of oil in the ship’s sump, especially when calling at the port of San Nicolas.

Date updated : 07/02/2017 Date added : 01/10/2014

Argentina

Argentina - Risk: Customs fines for short landing fertilizer cargoes in Argentina

ARGENTINA - Risk: Customs fines for short landing fertilizer cargoes in Argentina

We have been advised by a local P&I correspondent that vessels calling into Argentinian ports have become increasingly vulnerable to potentially significant fertilizer cargo shortage claims that require a club Letter of Undertaking (LoU) to be submitted to avoid ship arrest.

Assessment and Analysis

Shipowners and ship managers may wish to consider taking the following steps to reduce the potential for such claims arising:

1. Conduct accurate joint draught surveys at the load port
2. If any appreciable difference noted at the load port, suitable protest to be submitted
3. Seal all the hatches at the load port
4. Ensure seals are still intact at the discharge port
5. Conduct accurate joint draught surveys at the discharge port
6. To ensure that no trucks are “lost” during the discharge operation, conduct a truck tally at the ship’s side and weigh bridge and obtain a copy of the calibration certificate

Shipowners and ship managers should contact local ships agent and/or P&I correspondents for further information such as shore scale calibration certificates.

Date updated : 07/02/2017 Date added : 01/05/2015

Argentina

Argentina - Risk: Customs fines for undeclared waste lube oils in Argentina

ARGENTINA - Risk: Customs fines for undeclared waste lube oils in Argentina

P&I correspondents have advised that customs fines are being imposed on vessels for not declaring quantities of used lube oils.

The Argentinian customs code typically requires information regarding fuel, spares, utensils, tools, food and all crew consumables.

Assessment and Analysis

While there is no specific requirement to declare used lube oils under Argentine law, a local law firm suggests that shipowners and ship managers should declare all used or waste oils in order to avoid any potential problems with the Argentine customs officials.

 

Date updated : 07/02/2017 Date added : 20/05/2015

Argentina

Argentina - Risk: Delays on the Parana River Argentina

ARGENTINA - Risk: Delays on the Parana River Argentina

The Argentine Customs House and the Argentine Coast Guard are preventing vessels from sailing up river if they are not in possession of a valid authorization form.  Such an authorization form is not issued unless both cargo and berth are available at the loading terminal. This policy has been adopted in order to improve the navigational safety on the river and limit the potential for vessels grounding.

Heavy seasonal rains and subsequent high levels of humidity in the grain producing areas of Argentina may delay the harvest.  This can result in a lack of cargo at terminals along the Parana River.

Industrial disputes involving stevedore unions are common in Argentinian ports and can often result in delays.

Assessment and Analysis

Owners/managers should contact their local port Agent or P&I Correspondent and ensure the following documentation is submitted one week before berthing:

Upon inward clearance, the Master should submit the following documents to:

The coastguard:
4 x crew list with passport numbers
2 x ship particulars
2 x list of port of calls
Last PSC report
Ballast water report

Immigration:
3 x crew list with passport numbers
Shore pass with colour photos
Passenger list as applicable

Port agency:
Vaccination list
Maritime health declaration

Customs officials (each page signed and stamped by the master):
2 x inventory of stores and ship’s property to include:
* Electronics: (refrigerators, TVs, hi-fi systems, dvd players, dvd’s, copy machines, printers, computers, etc.)
* Bunkers, lubricants (bulk + drums/cans), chemicals, paints, thinners, SOPEP, sludge grease
* Engine spares
* Deck inventory including lashing materials, grabs, etc.
* Cigarettes and alcoholic drinks

* Medicines, narcotics, safety equipment (fire extinguishers / firefighting equipment), pyrotechnics list, etc.
* Crew’s personal effects
* Electronics, cigarettes and alcoholic drinks

The load/discharge terminal will sign an authorization form with an estimated date for berthing. This form is then presented to the Argentinian Coast Guard Central Office and is officially stamped. River pilots will then be appointed and the vessel will be permitted to sail up-river.

Date updated : 08/02/2017 Date added : 26/05/2015

Argentina

Argentina - Risk: Grounding in the Parana River, Argentina

ARGENTINA - Risk: Grounding in the Parana River, Argentina

P&I correspondents report vessels can go aground in the area of Isla Del Diablo and Isla Del Medio, between km 286 and km 290, where ships are required to make two sharp alterations of course in the leg known as ‘Paso Abajo Los Ratones’. The prevailing current in this area is approximately 2.5kts downstream, but this may vary depending on the available depth of water.

It is suspected that vessels navigating within the channel were influenced by the speed and direction of current, resulting in their loss of control and subsequent grounding.

In an effort to reduce the risk of vessel groundings, on 26 September 2016, the Argentine Coastguard implemented a new regulation that requires a minimum of 0.60m Under Keel Clearance (UKC) for vessels with a draft over 10.36m.
There are additional safety requirements for some river sections detailed under Disposición SNAV, NA9 Nº 27/16, which can be found here: SNAV NA9, TRAMO I, TRAMA II.

Assessment and Analysis

Correspondents recommend that a suitable passage plan should be discussed with the pilot prior to commencement of the river passage. This will enable the Master to become familiar with the crucial stages of the river passage and ensure that the pilot is fully familiar with the ship’s manoeuvring characteristics.

The Master should also monitor the electronic charts used by river pilots and ensure the ship maintains the minimum required UKC at all times.

Date updated : 08/02/2017 Date added : 05/06/2015

Brazil

Brazil - Risk: Bauxite with a high moisture content loaded at Trombetas, Brazil may be prone to liquefaction

BRAZIL - Risk: Bauxite with a high moisture content loaded at Trombetas, Brazil may be prone to liquefaction

P&I correspondents have reported a number of cases where Bauxite loaded at Trombetas may be prone to liquefaction. Additionally there are no surveyors available locally.

Mineraçao Rio Norte (MRN), are the owners and shippers at the port of Trombetas, have only recently authorized independent surveyors to enter the port to perform surveys. Shippers MRN own the town and port and if the appointed surveyor does not have their prior authorization to enter, he will not even be allowed to leave the airport.

A survey typically requires two surveyors to attend as the automatic sampling tower on the ship-loader is some distance from the vessel and one surveyor must attend on the sampling tower to inspect the condition of the cargo at the stockyard, whereas the second surveyor attends on board to inspect the cargo being loaded and to assist the Master and issue daily reports.

It is usually not possible to enter the cargo holds in order to sample the cargo as the loading operation is rapid, it creates a great deal of dust, and the hold access ladders become very slippery.

Shippers MRN normally state that the maximum MC of the bauxite loaded is 10%, with FML of 12% and TML of 11%.

Masters have in the past complained about visibly wet cargo being loaded expressing concern about the potential risk of liquefaction during the loaded voyage.

Bauxite is listed as a Group C cargo in the IMSBC Code – i.e. one that neither liquefies (Group A) nor possesses chemical hazards (Group B). Bauxite is classified in the IMSBC Code as a cargo containing moisture content between 0% and 10% and should be 70% to 90% of lumps 2.5mm to 500mm and 10-30% in powder form. Hence, Bauxite cargoes falling outside this description may not be classified as Group C cargo.

Assessment and Analysis

Ship owners and ship managers should ensure that the shipper’s cargo declaration complies with the requirements and schedule set out in the IMSBC Code.

The loading operation should be monitored throughout and can tests should carried out in accordance with the IMSBC Code.

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has taken action to inform of the possible dangers of liquefaction associated with the carriage of bauxite and warns ship Masters not to accept bauxite for carriage unless:

  • the moisture limit for the specific cargo is certified as less than the indicative moisture limit of 10% and the particle size distribution as is detailed in the individual schedule for bauxite in the IMSBC Code; or
  • the cargo is declared as Group A (cargoes that may liquefy) and the shipper declares the transportable moisture limit (TML) and moisture content; or
  • the cargo has been assessed as not presenting Group A properties.

A copy of the IMO circular entitled Carriage of Bauxite that may liquefy (CCC.1Circ.2) can be found here.

Other sources on liquefaction include North’s: Loss Prevention Briefing on bulk cargo liquefaction, loss prevention “Hot-Spots” and “Cargo Wise” poster.

 

Date updated : 27/02/2017 Date added : 20/01/2015

Canada

Canada - Risk: Ice navigation in Canadian waters during the winter months

CANADA - Risk: Ice navigation in Canadian waters during the winter months

Canadian territorial waters and fishing zones are governed by several pieces of legislation, created to enhance safety and to protect life, health, property and the marine environment. It is the responsibility of ship owners and ship managers to ensure that they comply with all applicable acts and regulations; particularly in respect of navigation in Canada’s territorial waters during the winter months.

Assessment and Analysis

Ship owners and ship managers should closely discuss with the relevant bodies, and follow, all Class, Flag, and regional requirements in order to ensure compliance for the full voyage.

Transport Canada has issued mandatory winter navigation notice requirements. These guidelines contain a marine safety checklist and measures to be taken by ships operating in Canada’s territorial waters during the winter months.

Local P&I correspondents in Canada can provide ship owners and ship managers with a list of approved Ice Advisors. These advisors have specialist local knowledge and provide both navigational and operational assistance to ships operating in their area during the winter months.

If performing a voyage through the Gulf of St Lawrence and its tributaries (West of Les Escoumins), consideration should be given to the International Navigational Limits from 1 December to 30 April, as there may be insurance and charterparty implications.

To obtain up to date information on Ice Bulletins and Ice Warnings, ship owners and ship managers should refer to the Environment Canada website.

A 30 day Ice Outlook is available from Environment Canada (from December to May), these describe ice development and identify areas and time periods in which conditions are expected to be more or less favorable than normal. They are issued on the third business day following the 1st and 15th of each month.

The St Lawrence Seaway is closed during the winter season from the end of December and re-opens for navigation in March. Ship owners and ship managers should refer to the Seaway Handbook and the Great Lakes and St Lawrence Seaway website.

Date updated : 02/03/2017 Date added : 20/01/2015

Caribbean

Caribbean - Risk: commercial vessels being used to traffic and smuggle contraband in the Caribbean Basin, particularly to and from the Port of Spain, Trinidad, the Bahamas, Puerto Rico and Jamaica

CARIBBEAN - Risk: commercial vessels being used to traffic and smuggle contraband in the Caribbean Basin, particularly to and from the Port of Spain, Trinidad, the Bahamas, Puerto Rico and Jamaica

Commercial vessels operating in this region are consistently used as narcotics trafficking mechanisms. The main threat is to vessels departing, rather than arriving at port.

Due to its location halfway between South America and the United States, the Caribbean Basin is a prime transhipment location(particularly Port of Spain, Trinidad; Freeport Container Port, the Bahamas; Port of San Juan, Puerto Rico; Multimodal Caucedo Port and Port of Haina, Dominican Republic; Port-au-Prince, Haiti; Port of Kingston, Jamaica).Traffickers utilize a variety of vessels ranging from speedboats to merchant ships in order to move product northwards.

Assessment and Analysis

Drug traffickers often hide illicit drugs amongst legitimate cargoes without the knowledge of the shipowner, captain or crew.

In other cases, receptacles filled with illegal narcotics are clandestinely attached to the hull of a departing vessel or hidden in rudder trunks and collected by waiting traffickers at the ship’s destination port or at stops en route. Vessel’s found be to transporting narcotics are subject to stiff fines, vessel seizures and major delays.

Recommended preventative measures include:

-Using bright lighting in and around the vessel while at anchor or alongside
-Stationing roving patrols
-Strictly controlling access to the vessel
-Hoisting boarding ladders high above the water when not in use
-Maintaining a continuous gangway watch
-Monitoring padlocks and seals on unmanned areas
-Increasing surveillance during mooring, cargo loading procedures and prior to departure
-Strictly adhering to local security procedures.
Merchant vessels should be on heightened security alert during calls into ports preceding arrival in South Florida, particularly those in the Caribbean, Central and South America.

In the U.S., fines are set at a level to reflect the ‘street value’ of the illicit drug found aboard, which on a case-to-case basis may end up costing a significant amount for the shipowner and their underwriter. As an example, in two recent cases in which ships calling at U.S. ports were found to be unwittingly transporting illegal drugs, the fines were set at USD 10.7 million for about 270 kilos (600 pounds) of cocaine and USD 4.5 million for about 130
kilos (280 pounds) of cocaine. Notwithstanding customs regulations, fines in the U.S. can be mitigated if the incident occurred without wilful negligence; without the ships’ interests and intentions to violate the laws of the U.S.; or when otherwise warranted.

Date updated : 13/03/2017 Date added : 02/10/2014

Colombia

Colombia - Risk: Possible delays caused by the Colombian Navy carrying out routine anti-drug trafficking searches in Colombia's ports

COLOMBIA - Risk: Possible delays caused by the Colombian Navy carrying out routine anti-drug trafficking searches in Colombia's ports (Puerto Bolivar, Puerto Neuvo and Puerto Drummond)

Due to the risk of drug trafficking, the Colombian navy carries out routine searches and underwater inspections on vessels at no cost to shipowners. These anti-drug trafficking searches mainly take place at Puerto Bolivar and Puerto Drummond, whereas in Puerto Nuevo they are not as common. It is not compulsory for vessels to undertake such inspections, although some shipowners and ship managers choose to cooperate for peace of mind.

Assessment and Analysis

P&I correspondents advise that shipowners and ship managers may wish to consider taking extra preventive measures such as the following:

  • Prior to sailing, an underwater inspection could be carried out by an independent diving company in the presence of P&I correspondents, to confirm that nothing is attached to the vessel below her waterline.
  • Even when the navy carries out the underwater inspection, many shipowners chose to appoint an independent surveyor/observer to ensure that the correct procedure is employed.
  • Although the aforementioned ports comply with ISPS standards, it is advisable to provide extra private security on board. Crew/watchmen should be present in all areas where stevedores or repair technicians are working. During hours of darkness all areas should be well lit in order to monitor activities both on board and on the quay, and any suspicious movements should be immediately reported to the Master. Attention should focus on any small craft approaching the ship from seaward. The use of the ship’s searchlights during the hours of darkness should be considered.
  • The crew should perform regular shipboard inspections throughout the duration of the port call. In the event that broken/missing security seals are discovered an investigation should be conducted and if the area is found to be clear, the seals should be replaced by the crew. A record should be maintained in the ships logbook together with a note of the outcome of any investigation/search and the relevant seal numbers.

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) annual report provides a general overview on the developing situation in Colombia and further information and live updates by visiting the UNODC website here.

Date updated : 13/03/2017 Date added : 13/01/2015

Dominican Republic

Dominican Republic - Risk: Fines for unauthorised transit through marine reserve areas, Dominican Republic

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC - Risk: Fines for unauthorised transit through marine reserve areas

A local P&I correspondent has issued a reminder that commercial navigation through marine reserve areas, including the Navidad and Silver Banks, is prohibited by Dominican Republican (DR) law.

Vessels using the areas without authorisation may face significant fines.

To view a map issued by the Dominican Republic Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources (MARENA), please see the following link.

Assessment and Analysis

A local correspondent recommends that all vessels should give these areas a wide berth.

As the areas are within DR territorial waters, MARENA and the DR Navy must be notified well in advance and their express permission / instructions received regarding navigation before scheduling any transit.

The region in question is under the constant aerial and maritime surveillance by the US Coast Guard patrol vessels and aircraft. It is therefore recommended that masters also seek guidance from the USCG Seventh District Command in Miami, USA. Full details can be found here.

Date updated : 20/03/2017 Date added : 24/07/2015

Ecuador

Ecuador - Risk: Drug trafficking, theft and piracy at the Ecuadorian port of Guayaquil and Puerto Bolivar

ECUADOR - Risk: Drug trafficking, theft and piracy at the Ecuadorian port of Guayaquil and Puerto Bolivar

A local P&I correspondent has advised that criminality within the region has shifted from acts of theft/piracy to maritime drug trafficking. The Ecuadorian authorities have recognised this and have implemented certain preventative measures such as placing armed security guards aboard inbound vessels from the pilot station to the outbound drop-off position. The authorities also carryout mandatory pre-departure underwater drug inspections.

Reported incidents of armed robbery/piracy have declined, although the threat to security remains high throughout the region. Between January and end of April 2017, the IMB reported only one incident within the port of Guayaquil and Puerto Bolivar areas. When, in January 2017 an unknown number of assailants boarded an anchored bulk carrier at Guayaquil and stole ship’s stores before making their escape. No injuries were reported as a result any attacks/unlawful boarding in Ecuadorian ports or anchorages.

Armed robbery within the port of Guayaquil and Puerto Bolivar areas has historically occurred both at anchorage and while underway. Attacks are usually very brief and generally occur at night. Attackers generally wield small arms (pistols or knives).

Assessment and Analysis

Shipowners and ship managers may wish to consider taking the following steps to protect their vessel against maritime drug trafficking and criminality:

Gangway security should be maintained at all times, in strict accordance with the vessel’s ISPS Code procedures. The actions taken by local authorities, stevedores and other shore-based personnel should also be recorded at regular intervals. Crew members should have a permanent presence wherever stevedores or other officials are operating on board the ship.

Access to the vessel should be restricted and the surrounding area carefully monitored whilst in port.  All parties boarding the vessel should have their credentials scrutinized and individuals who have no legitimate reason for being on-board should be denied entry.  Accurate records of all activities observed both on board and ashore should be maintained throughout the vessel’s stay in port.

Access to reefer containers should be carefully monitored and if possible, accessible refer machinery compartments often found at the rear and sides of the reefer unit should be inspected once landed aboard.

All access into the ship’s accommodation, stores and machinery spaces should be restricted and where safe to do so, secured against unauthorised entry.

During the hours of darkness, the ship and quay should be permanently lit by the ship’s flood lights and any suspicious movements be immediately reported to the master. A careful watch of the offshore side of the vessel should be maintained and the presence of any boats approaching the ship should be immediately reported to the master.  The ship’s searchlights may assist in this respect.

Crew departing on shore leave should be aware of being approached by drug traffickers and the dangers to them, their fellow crew members and their families back at home should they become involved in trafficking.

Drugs use and trafficking warning notices should be displayed at prominent locations throughout the vessel, particularly at the gangway and in crew’s communal areas.

The crew should perform regular shipboard inspections and a record of these maintained in the ship’s logbook. Broken security seals should be investigated and findings recorded in the ship’s log book.

Once cargo operations are completed, the crew should perform a full search of the vessel for any illegal substances, suspect packages or stowaways.  This might also include an independently appointed dive survey of the area below the water line when and where appropriate.

Once the vessel has sailed and the outbound pilot/security team has disembarked, a thorough search of all compartments should be conducted and the results recorded in the logbook.

If drugs are discovered on board, the master should immediately activate the vessel’s Emergency Contingency Plan and/or the Ship’s Security Plan. The master should then notify the relevant local authorities and ensure:

  • The drugs should not be handled or moved.
  • The area where the drugs have been discovered should be photographed then sealed to prevent any further access.
  • Inform your P&I Club, the local P&I Correspondent, the ship’s owner and technical manager.
  • Record the actions taken in the ship’s log book.

Guidelines for the Prevention and Suppression of the Smuggling of Drugs, Psychotropic Substances and Precursor Chemicals on Ships Engaged in International Maritime Traffic can be read here.

Further information and live updates on the situation globally can be found by visiting the UNODC website.

A visit to our Current Maritime Incidents may provide you with information on any current alerts.

North Members should contact the Club should they require further information.

Date updated : 16/05/2017 Date added : 02/10/2014

Guatemala

Guatemala - Risk: Nickel ore can liquefy due to excessive moisture content

GUATEMALA - Risk: Nickel ore can liquefy due to excessive moisture content

Vessels carrying nickel ore cargoes originating from Guatemala (for example, San Tomas Castilla) can potentially liquefy in the vessels cargo holds during the voyage, when the moisture content of the cargo exceeds its Transportable Moisture Limit (TML). The cargo is loaded with truck buckets at a rate of 700-900 MT per hour.

Nickel ore cargoes (which are Group A) can sometimes liquefy, leading to vessel stability problems, and potential capsize.

Assessment and Analysis

It is advised that owners and charterers ensure that the shipper’s declaration complies with the requirements of the IMSBC Code. Loading should be monitored throughout. Can tests should be carried out in accordance with the IMSBC Code.

For further general information regarding the carriage of nickel ore please click here.

For a copy of North’s Loss Prevention on Bulk Cargo Liquefaction please click here.

Date updated : 20/03/2017 Date added : 01/10/2014

Mexico

Mexico - Risk: Delays, ship arrest and problems loading iron ore cargo in Mexican ports

MEXICO - Risk: Delays, ship arrest and problems loading iron ore cargo in Mexican ports

P&I correspondents have reported complications with iron ore exports from Mexico since late April 2014. Serious problems have been experienced by four vessels calling in Manzanillo, Mexico, all of them engaged in the export of shipments of iron ore.

Recently the shipments on board two vessels were confiscated by the Customs authorities after they had been loaded on board.

In both cases the authorities argued that the properties of the iron ore shipments did not correspond to those from the mine declared in the Customs export application. This action by the authorities prevented the vessels from sailing and the authorities required the cargo to be discharged before allowing the vessel to sail.

The authorities report that they attended on board both vessels and took samples of the cargoes already loaded. These samples were then sent to a lab for analysis, checking its characteristics and composition against that of the Customs Export Application Economy Secretariat form obtained by the exporters and the shippers. In both cases, this comparison confirmed that the cargo did not originate from the mine declared in the cargo documentation.

The Finance and Public Credit Secretariat then issued a temporary seizure order for the iron ore and the navy secured the vessel and crew. In line with customs law, the authority initiated an administrative trial (named PAMA) to confiscate the cargo, which subsequently cannot be exported until the trial is resolved. With no predictable date of commencement of the legal process, both vessels faced potentially lengthy delays.

Local news (BBC Latin America & Caribbean) reports that the authorities were tipped off by an anonymous phone call after one ship departed Lazaro Cardenas. In both cases, they reported that the detention of these ships is part of a large scale action by the administration against organized crime cartels involved in money laundering. Mexico has seized more than 200,000 tonnes of illegal iron ore in recent months, most of it on its way to China.

Assessment and Analysis

Owners and ship managers should ask for the following documents to be made available prior to the beginning of cargo operations and/or fixing the charter party agreement:

  • The relevant “Export Permit” issued by the Mexican Ministry of Economy, which must be in force.
  • Confirm that shipper/exporter are registered in the “Sectorial Exports Census”, if not, they are not permitted to export iron ore
  • Request the name of the mine from which the iron ore was extracted and confirm it is registered on the following website: www.siam.economia.gob.mx
  • Owners and ship managers can search for the name of the shipper and/or company in the mining sector directory established by the Mexican Government on the following website: www.desi.economia.gob.mx

Additionally, to protect owners/ship managers interests, you should ask local ship agents for the following documentation:

  • Ministry of Economy export permit
  • Sectorial Export Census register number
  • The name of the company that sold the iron ore to the shippers (in the event that shippers are not the original sellers) and cross check using the above links

Date updated : 20/03/2017 Date added : 13/01/2015

Mexico

Mexico - Risk: Drug cartel activity and acts of violence in and around Mexican port cities

MEXICO - Risk: Drug cartel activity and acts of violence in and around Mexican port cities

Though the vast majority of drugs pass overland, the ports, particularly in the north of the country, remain key to smuggling operations. Far more drugs can enter the US in one maritime shipment than in several hidden compartments in trucks overland.

Shipping is also the most efficient method of transporting drugs to Western Europe. A favoured tactic of “Los Zetas” cartel, which controls the entire East coast, is to approach workers heading north into the US and offer them money to “mule” drugs across the border. Those who refuse are killed, often brutally, as a message to others.

Violence in the port cities of Mexico is extremely high as various cartels fight for overall control. In the east, the Zetas retain control of the major ports, but are in constant combat against their rivals, the Gulf and Sinaloa cartels, who cannot afford to allow the feared and hated Zetas uncontested control of such crucial assets.

Assessment and Analysis

Owners and ship managers should instruct their vessels to maintain high security levels during their stay in ports in northern Mexico and should consider disallowing all shore leave and crew changes where it can be avoided.

Date updated : 20/03/2017 Date added : 13/01/2015

Mexico

Mexico - Risk: Shipper's surveyor forcing Masters to accept non-clausable mate's receipts at Veracruz, Mexico

MEXICO - Risk: Shipper's surveyor forcing Masters to accept pre-prepared non-clausable mate's receipts at Veracruz, Mexico

P&I correspondents have advised problems following pre-shipment surveys of steel products (wire rod in coils, rebar in coils and bundles, and protected steel coils), at the port of Veracruz.

It has been reported that the shipper’s appointed surveyors attempt to pressure the ship’s Master into accepting pre-prepared mate’s receipts. The mate’s receipts that are presented have already been claused by the shipper’s surveyor, although they do not accurately reflect the actual condition of the cargo and state “the Master is not permitted to enter any other remark”. A reluctance to comply with the surveyor’s request is met with threats that the vessel will be held responsible for any delay caused by the Master’s lack of co-operation.

Assessment and Analysis

Shipowners and ship managers should note that:

The Master is entitled to and should reject the shipper’s completed mate’s receipts if they do not accurately reflect the apparent order and condition of the cargo.

The Master should call for the assistance of a local P&I surveyor, if one is not already in attendance, and notify his port agent and P&I correspondent.

Shipowners should immediately advise the charterers if this situation arises and should notify them that hire continues to run on charterers’ account should a dispute over proper clausing of the mate’s receipts/bills of lading arise.

It is important that mate’s receipts accurately record the condition of the cargo loaded as they form the basis of the description of cargo appearing in the bills of lading when they are issued. If bills of lading are issued with the knowledge of the Master or a carrier which do not accurately reflect the apparent order and condition of the goods, ship owners are exposing themselves to considerable potential claims. This could lead to the loss of their Hague/Hague Visby/Hamburg Rules defences and may prejudice their P&I cover.

Date updated : 20/03/2017 Date added : 20/05/2015

Peru

Peru - Risk: Unexpected charges for sludge removal services at ports in Peru

PERU - Risk: Unexpected charges for sludge removal services at ports in Peru

An industry source has reported of a sludge removal company in Peru allegedly contacting ship’s Masters directly and offering their services free of charge.

In one instance the company allegedly proceeded with the removal of sludge and then issued a certificate stating the quantity of sludge removed and that the service had been rendered free of charge. We understand that the company subsequently approached the ship owners directly and made demands for payment accompanied by threats of legal action.

Assessment and Analysis

Masters of vessels calling at ports in Peru should exercise caution in agreeing to such services and contact local agents for advice.

Date updated : 13/03/2017 Date added : 05/06/2015

Peru

Peru - Risk: Robbers target ships in Callao's anchorages

PERU - Risk: Robbers target ships in Callao's anchorages

Peru recorded eleven robberies and attempted robberies from ships in 2016. All but one of the incidents was in Callao, the country’s main port. On at least one occasion the robbers were carrying firearms. In two other cases the robbers were believed to have been carrying knives.

Almost all the robberies and/or attempted robberies took place while vessels were within anchorages at Callao.

The targeted ships included bulk carriers, product tankers, general cargo ships and a vehicle carrier. One ship was boarded during bunker operations. In another incident, a man attempted to board a product tanker by climbing up the anchor chain.

The most serious incident was in August 2016 when three assailants armed wth firearms boarded the bulker AMSTEL FALCON while it was in a Callao anchorage. They briefly held a crew member hostage before fleeing empty-handed.

The spate of robberies and attempted robberies followed a year – 2015 – when there were no such incidents recorded.

Assessment and Analysis

Peru is one of the world’s largest exporters of cocaine. Callao spent much of 2016 under a government declared state of emergency as the port city grappled with a surge in violence linked to the illegal trade in narcotics.

The head of Peru’s new anti-narcotics agency said in late 2016 that some 90 dockworkers had been killed in the past two years in crimes believed to have been linked to drug smuggling.

The country’s interior minister, appointed after presidential elections in June 2016, said the port had become a magnet for drug trafficking. He pledged ‘concrete measures’ to reduce the flow of drugs being smuggled through the port in shipping containers.

The state of emergency, which ran from the end of 2015 to mid-October 2016, saw an increased police presence and the suspension of constitutional rights regarding police searches.

The campaign against drug smuggling is likely to be prolonged. The authorities, meanwhile, have said they will work with the dockworkers’ unions to ensure containers are scanned by trustworthy people before shipment.

It is possible that the spate of robberies targeting ships is linked to the crackdown on drug-related crime. The attempt by the authorities to disrupt drug crime may have forced some criminals to look for other sources of revenue.

In the long-term any improvement in port security should reduce the risk of robbers targeting ships at anchor. In the meantime ships’ crews should remain vigilant while their vessels are in the Callao anchorages, particularly at night – when some of the attempted robberies took place – and during bunkering operations.

All the robberies and attempted robberies were broken off once crew members raised an alarm.

Date updated : 13/03/2017 Date added : 17/01/2017

South America

South America - Risk: Drug Trafficking throughout South America

South America - Risk: Drug Trafficking throughout South America

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) annual report for 2016 indicates that South America is an important hub for maritime drug trafficking.

Assessment and Analysis

Shipowners and ship managersmay wish to consider taking the following precautions to protect their vessel against trafficking:

Crew departing on shore leave should be aware of approach by drug traffickers and the dangers to them, their fellow crew members and their families back at home should they become involved in trafficking.

Drugs use and trafficking warning notices should be displayed at prominent locations throughout the vessel, particularly at the gangway and in crew’s communal areas.

Gangway security should be maintained at all times, in strict accordance with the vessel’s ISPS Code procedures. The actions taken by local authorities, stevedores and other shore-based personnel should also be recorded at regular intervals. Crew members should have a permanent presence wherever stevedores or other officials are operating on board the ship.

Access to the vessel should be restricted and the surrounding area carefully monitored whilst in port. All parties boarding the vessel should have their credentials scrutinized and individuals who have no legitimate reason for being on-board should be denied entry. Accurate records of all activities observed both on board and ashore should be maintained throughout the vessel’s stay in port.

During the hours of darkness, the ship and quay should be permanently lit by the ship’s flood lights and any suspicious movements be immediately reported to the master. A careful watch of the offshore side of the vessel should be maintained and the presence of any boats approaching the ship should be immediately reported to the master. The ship’s searchlights may assist in this respect.

The crew should perform regular shipboard inspections and a record of these maintained in the ship’s logbook. Broken security seals should be investigated and findings recorded in the ship’s log book. Once cargo operations are completed, the crew should perform a full search of the vessel for any illegal substances, suspect packages or stowaways. This might also include a dive survey of the area below the water line.

Once the vessel has sailed and the outbound pilot has disembarked, a thorough search of all compartments should be conducted and the results recorded in the logbook.

If drugs are discovered on board, the master should immediately activate the vessel’s Emergency Contingency Plan and/or the Ship’s Security Plan. The master should then notify the relevant local authorities, noting the following actions:

* The drugs should not be handled or moved.
* The area where the drugs have been discovered should be photographed then sealed to prevent any further access.
* Inform your P&I Club, the local P&I Correspondent, the ship’s owner and technical manager.
* Record the actions taken in the ship’s log book.

Guidelines for the Prevention and Suppression of the Smuggling of Drugs, Psychotropic Substances and Precursor Chemicals on Ships Engaged in International Maritime Traffic can be read here.

Further information and live updates on the situation globally can be found by visiting the UNODC wesite here

Date updated : 27/02/2017 Date added : 13/01/2015

Uruguay

Uruguay - Risk: Fines and delays for non-compliance with Uruguayan Oil Spill Response Organisation (OSRO) contract requirements

URUGUAY - Risk: Fines and delays for non-compliance with Uruguayan Oil Spill Response Organisation (OSRO) contract requirements

In September 2014 the Uruguayan Coast Guard issued DISMAR notices 149 and 150 concerning the mandatory requirement for vessels to appoint an Oil Spill Removal Organization (OSRO) and obtain a certification from an approved/registered company.

On 4 May 2015, Disposición Marítima N° 157 (the “Regulation”) took effect in Uruguay with the aim of establishing a set of rules governing the requirement for owners to contract with an Oil Spill Response Company (OSRO) approved by the Uruguayan Coast Guard, amongst other requirements.

The OSRO requirement is for any of the following vessels to sign with either OSRO at least 24 hours before entering a Uruguayan port or an anchorage in Uruguayan waters.

The Regulation applies to the following types of vessels and floating structures:

a) Tankers, barges, small craft, fishing vessels or other marine equipment operating, transferring or transporting hydrocarbons or derivatives, hazardous or noxious substances or liquid minerals, or engaged in refloating operations for vessels or marine equipment.

b) Any of the above vessels requesting authorisation to anchor in waters under Uruguayan jurisdiction for a period greater than 24 hours whilst waiting for orders or to enter Uruguayan ports, terminals, berths, etc.

c) Vessels considered deficient by the Maritime Authority in accordance with Law 17.121 relating to assistance and salvage services provided to vessels posing a danger to navigation or the environment.

d) Vessels supplying offshore platforms, fixed or mobile installations for exploration and exploitation of living and non-living resources in the Territorial Sea, Contiguous Zone, Exclusive Economic Zone or Continental Shelf.

Assessment and Analysis

The International Group has issued a circular to all Members and this can be accessed here.
For further information, members should contact their appointed port agents and/or P&I correspondent.

Date updated : 13/03/2017 Date added : 20/05/2015

USA

USA - Risk: merchant vessels subject to fines and severe delays due to illegal contraband carriage, particularly from the port of Miami and Port Everglades

USA - Risk: merchant vessels subject to fines and severe delays due to illegal contraband carriage, particularly from the port of Miami and Port Everglades

The importation of illegal drugs into south Florida is a constant threat. The extensive shoreline of the Florida peninsula and the Florida Keys, combined with two major seaports and a close proximity to the Caribbean Basin make south Florida a prime target for maritime smuggling operations.

There exists an elevated risk to commercial vessels (particularly container ships) discharging at these ports of being fined for unknowingly transporting illicit narcotics and/or other contraband clandestinely smuggled aboard by traffickers.

Assessment and Analysis

Merchant vessels should be on heightened security alert during calls into ports preceding arrival in South Florida, particularly those in the Caribbean, Central and South America.

In the U.S., fines are set at a level to reflect the ‘street value’ of the illicit drug found aboard, which may end up proving very costly to the shipowner and their underwriter. As an example, in two recent cases in which ships calling at U.S. ports were found to be unwittingly transporting illegal drugs, the fines were set at USD 10.7 million for about 270 kilos (600 pounds) of cocaine and USD 4.5 million for about 130 kilos (280 pounds) of cocaine. Notwithstanding customs regulations, fines in the U.S. can be mitigated if the incident occurred without willful negligence, without the ships’ interests and intentions to violate the laws of the U.S., or when otherwise warranted.

Date updated : 24/09/2015 Date added : 02/10/2014

USA

USA - Risk: US Environmental Protection Agency fines for noncompliance with MARPOL Annex VI low sulphur content fuels

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA - Risk: US Environmental Protection Agency fines for noncompliance with MARPOL Annex VI low sulphur content fuels.

It has been reported that US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) officials, accompanied by the US Coast Guard (USCG), have boarded vessels on the west coast of the US to check compliance with MARPOL Annex VI.
Once on board, the EPA obtains fuel samples, to analyse at their own laboratory to ensure the fuel is compliant with the sulphur content requirements of the North American Emission Control Area (NA ECA). As of 1 January 2015, the permissible sulphur content is 0.1%.
The EPA and USCG are reported to be increasing efforts to ensure that vessels are compliant with MARPOL Annex VI rules and intend to continue its fly-over programme to areas that fall under the US ECA.

Assessment and Analysis

Shipowners and ship managers should ensure that fuel oil changeover procedures are in place, and that all crew are well trained and proficient in expediting it. It is advised that records, logs and fuel sampling are to be carried out as appropriate.
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and United States Coastguard (USCG) have issued an equivalent set of guidelines on the reporting requirements of non-compliant fuels:
It is therefore advisable to expedite best efforts to source compliant fuels before entering an ECA.
•In event that compliant fuel is not available, accurate records should be kept and detailed summary of all attempts to procure compliant FO should be maintained.
•If compliant FO is not available, the ship should file a Fuel Oil Non-Availability Report (FONAR) to the EPA 96 hours before entering the ECA.
•The ship should then procure compliant FO at the next available port of call within the ECA.
•Even if compliant fuel has been obtained, all ships records relating to its use and compliance with the ECA regulations must be accurately maintained. This will include but is not limited to, Copy of Flag Administration Notification, voyage/passage plan (including whether any attempts were made to locate other sources of compliant FO), FO Change Over Procedures (in English), Bunker Delivery Notes (displaying the sulphur content), bunker specification reports, Oil Record Book entries, fuel oil samples, invoices, the name and addresses of suppliers.
Correspondence with the bunker suppliers including all relevant documentation should be held in a dedicated low sulphur FO file.
Full details of the USCG/EPA guidelines can be viewed via the following link: here.
The EPA's Enforcement of MARPOL Annex VI - Memorandum of Understanding: (MOU) can be read here.

Date updated : 13/01/2015 Date added : 13/01/2015

USA

USA - Risk: Fines for non-compliance with MARPOL Annex VI within the US Emission Control Area

USA - Risk: Fines for non-compliance with MARPOL Annex VI within the US Emission Control Area

The US Coast Guard (USCG) has issued a Marine Safety Information Bulletin relating to the new Emission Control Area (ECA) sulphur cap which commenced 1 January 2015.
The bulletin is a reminder that in accordance with MARPOL Annex VI Regulation 14, the sulphur content of fuel oil used by all ships operating in ECAs, including the North American and United States Caribbean Sea ECAs, cannot exceed 0.10% (1,000 ppm).
The USCG has also issued a Marine Safety Alert 2/15 which reinforces the importance of establishing effective fuel oil change-over procedures that comply with MARPOL Annex VI emission regulations.  The USCG has reported incidents involving substantial machinery space fuel oil leakages while vessels were switching between fuels.  Such leakages have in some cases resulted in pollution, injury/death of crew and have been associated with loss of propulsion.

Assessment and Analysis

Shipowners and Ship Managers with ships operating within the North American ECA are reminded to use compliant fuel within 200 nautical miles of the North American coast and within approximately 50 nautical miles of the United States Caribbean Sea coast.
The full text of the USCG Bulletin entitled “New Emission Control Area (ECA) Sulfur Cap” can be read here.
Shipowners and ship managers are also reminded of the importance of implementing effective fuel change over procedures and for crews to be well versed in carrying them out.
The full text of the USCG Marine Safety Alert 2/15 entitled “Ultra Low Sulfur Fuel Oil & Compliance with MARPOL Requirements” Before entering and while operating within Emission Control Areas can be read here.
North’s Industry News thread on Marpol Annex VI is a useful source of information and provides a detailed summary of the background to MARPOL Annex VI implementation and it requirements.  North Industry News can be read here.

Date updated : 25/03/2015 Date added : 25/03/2015

USA And Canada

USA And Canada - Risk: Delays due to the discovery of Asian Gypsy Moth in Canada and the USA

NORTH AMERICA - Risk: Delays due to the discovery of Asian Gypsy Moth in Canada and the USA

The United States and Canada have issued a bulletin advising of reports of high population levels of Asian Gypsy Moth (AGM) in countries regulated for AGM. These countries include Russia Far East, Northern China, Korea and Japan.
AGM has recently been detected, in some instances in high numbers, on vessels arriving in North America. These detections have led to delayed entry into ports in the United States and Canada and could result in refusal of entry.

The purpose of the bulletin is to remind vessel operators of the precautions that can be taken to avoid any potential delays.  A copy of the bulletin can be read here.

Assessment and Analysis

Shipowners and ship managers are reminded that vessels must arrive at North American ports with the required pre-departure certification and free of AGM. In order to ensure that the vessel is confirmed free of AGM and that there is not sufficient time for the vessel to be re-infested, inspections should be conducted as close as possible to the time of departure from a regulated area.

In order to avoid potential delays it is also recommended that further inspections and disposal of any egg masses or other AGM life stages be conducted by the ship's crew prior to arrival at a North American port.
North’s Loss Prevention Briefing on Asian Gypsy Moth may be read here.

Date updated : 13/01/2015 Date added : 13/01/2015

Venezuela

Venezuela - Risk: Misdeclared metallic iron content of Direct Reduced Iron (DRI) cargoes at San Felix, Venezuela

VENEZUELA - Risk: Misdeclared metallic iron content of Direct Reduced Iron (DRI) cargoes at San Felix, Venezuela

P&I correspondents have advised that Ferrominera CVG have resumed manufacture of iron ore pellets, which are vital for the production of briquettes in the country. P&I correspondents in Venezuela recommend caution when considering shipment of such cargoes as previous experience has shown these cargoes may contain significant metallic iron. Metallic iron is the main reactive component of Direct Reduced Iron (DRI) cargoes.

Assessment and Analysis

In order to accurately determine the nature of the cargo being presented for loading it is critical that the ship is provided with a cargo declaration meeting the requirements of the IMSBC Code and detailed information on its chemical composition.
Click here for our Loss Prevention Briefing - Carriage of DRI

Date updated : 26/05/2015 Date added : 19/01/2015

Venezuela

Venezuela - Risk: Self heating petroleum coke at Amuay Terminal, Venezuela

VENEZUELA - Risk: Self heating petroleum coke at Amuay Terminal, Venezuela

There have been a number of instances where petroleum coke loaded at Amuay Terminal, Venezuela, has been seen to self-heat and combust during the loading operation. The coke stock piles are open to the elements at Amuay refinery and hot spots and smoke can often be seen emitting from the cargo.

Cargoes loaded onto bulk carriers have the potential to self-ignite and generate high temperatures, potentially causing damage to the ship’s coating and equipment such as cables and hydraulic lines in adjacent spaces.

Assessment and Analysis

Local P&I correspondents recommend the appointment of surveyors to assess the condition of the cargo at the stockpiles prior to the commencement of loading. It is also advisable to carefully monitor the temperature of the cargo throughout the loading operation. The cargo should be loaded into cargo spaces where there are no heat sources in adjacent compartments such as bunker tanks.

Upon completion of loading each cargo hold, the hatch covers should be immediately closed and sealed and the atmosphere tested at regular intervals.

Vessels must arrive with all cargo holds and hatch covers, clean, dry, ready to load, free of any previous cargo residue, loose rust and/or paint scale.

The cargo should be loaded, carried and discharged in accordance with the International Maritime Solid Bulk Cargoes Code (IMSBC Code) and applicable MSDS sheet.

General port information including advance notification requirements can be found here

Date updated : 25/09/2015 Date added : 24/03/2015

Venezuela

Venezuela - Risk: Delays due to hull cleaning in Lake Maracaibo, Venezuela

VENEZUELA - Risk: Delays due to hull cleaning in Lake Maracaibo, Venezuela

P&I correspondents have advised that minor operational leaks from offshore oil platforms and sub-sea pipelines have resulted in oil accumulating in the region’s ports and within Lake Maracaibo. This pollution may be deposited on visiting ship’s hulls, which then require cleaning by specialist teams. This issue is reportedly becoming increasingly frequent, stretching the resources of the local cleaning teams and resulting in lengthy delays.

In the past, the cost and logistics of such cleaning has been covered by the state owned Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PDVSA), but only where a vessel calls at one of their controlled ports. PDVSA does not accept liability for oil staining or hull cleaning at other commercial ports.

Hull cleaning is not permitted within Lake Maracaibo and should only be undertaken at Guaranao Port and Punto Fijo port anchorages.

Assessment and Analysis

Upon discovery of hull fouling, Masters of ships calling at commercial ports not controlled by PDVSA should promptly notify local port agents to make arrangements for cleaning.

Owners of ships calling at ports in the region should consider discussing this issue with charterers and establish alternative arrangements for possible hull cleaning services, well in advance of the vessel’s arrival.

Date updated : 08/03/2017 Date added : 23/11/2015

Venezuela

Venezuela - Risk: Economic crisis bringing delays and deteriorating port conditions

VENEZUELA - Risk: Economic crisis bringing delays and deteriorating port conditions. There are also reports of piracy, the targets being small fishing vessels.

Venezuela’s economic and political crisis intensified in the closing months of 2016. The country was grappling with declining currency reserves and inflation that was expected to be running at well over 1,000% in early 2017. There were widespread shortages of food, medicines and consumer goods.

Meanwhile, in the coastal state of Sucre, gangs of out-of-work fishermen were terrorising those fishermen who still went to sea, in some cases using lethal violence to steal nets, power generators and outboard motors.

Assessment and Analysis

“You hear piracy and you think of guys robbing container ships in Africa. But here it’s just poor fishermen robbing other poor fishermen,” a Sucre lawyer, Luis Morales, told journalists. “It’s the same kind of crime we’ve seen in the streets, but spreading to the sea.”

In other developments, the US based Journal of Commerce investigated conditions at Venezuelan ports. It found the situation was deteriorating with pilot boats unable to move due to fuel shortages and tug boats unavailable for days on end. One carrier complained that his ship needed two routine drug inspections  – both at the cost of the shipping company – after the first team of inspectors was found to be in possession of drugs.

There has also been a report of a cargo of food and medicine being seized by Venezuelan authorities on the grounds that the merchandise arrived without the correct permits.

Container trade to Venezuela, meanwhile, slumped in part because importers were unable to acquire US dollars to pre-pay for cargo.

Shipping sources told Gray Page that some shipowners were avoiding Venezuela. Aside from payment issues there were concerns about vessel and crew safety.

There have also been reports of long delays in returning empty containers. In the country’s main port city of Puerto Cabello, containers have been seen piled up in empty lots and along unpaved roads. “Puerto Cabello is turning into one big warehouse,” said an opposition legislator in 2016.

Date updated : 12/12/2016 Date added : 12/12/2016

Venezuela

Venezuela - Risk: Drug trafficking at Puerto Cabello, Lake Maracaibo and Orinoco River ports

Risk: Drug trafficking at Puerto Cabello, Lake Maracaibo and Orinoco River ports

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) annual report for 2016 indicates that South America is still an important hub for maritime drug trafficking.

Instances of drug trafficking at Puerto Cabello, Lake Maracaibo and the Orinoco River ports continues to be a cause of concern and the political instability throughout Venezuela adds a further dimension to criminality in the region.

Assessment and Analysis

A local P&I correspondent has produced general advice on the practical steps that can be taken to avoid vessels being targeted by drug traffickers.  Such precautionary measures might differ from port to port as local regulations and permissions are not consistently applied across all ports in Venezuela.

The suggested precautionary measures include:

  • Prior to the vessel’s arrival, discuss with local ship’s agent about employing additional private security services to control access to the terminal gate*
  • Establish ship/shore communications at the earliest opportunity
  • Additional private security services to control access to the vessel*
  • Security officers placed both on board and ashore providing a 24 hour custodian services*
  • Independently appointed underwater inspections carried out upon arrival and departure from all Venezuelan ports
  • Strictly monitor the movement of personnel, including the ship’s crew, and regular checks for people attending on board from ashore
  • Immediate notification of all suspect and actual events to the port authorities (Harbor Master and Anti-Drugs unit of the National Guard)

*The above applies only to Venezuela’s general public/commercial ports, this is the handled by Bolivariana de Puertos (BOLIPUERTOS), refineries operated by Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PDVSA) – an oil state owned company, Oficina Coordinadora de Apoyo Marítimo de la Armada (OCAMAR) – a navy facility and also the Vopak Tank Terminal do not allow private security companies to provide services in their facilities.

The Venezuelan Maritime Authority (INEA) has ruled that underwater inspections are now mandatory before departure of the vessels sailing to international waters, this rule entered into force recently for all ports and inspections are carried out by companies under direct appointment by the harbour master.

For more detailed information on steps Shipowners and ship managers may take to protect their vessel against maritime drug trafficking, please refer to Risk – Drug trafficking throughout South America.

North Members should contact the Club should they require further information.

Date updated : 24/05/2017 Date added : 24/05/2017

Europe

Bulgaria

Bulgaria - Risk: P&I claims arising from grain cargo contamination loaded at Varna, Bulgaria

BULGARIA - Risk: P&I claims arising from grain cargo contamination loaded at Varna, Bulgaria

P&I claims have arisen where grain cargoes loaded at the port of Varna have been found to be contaminated with debris (stones, plastic, building material etc), although this was only discovered at the discharge port.
Grain cargoes are primarily loaded in the Port of Varna East which is capable of receiving vessels up to 50,000 GT.
Typically the cargo is carried to Varna East in grain waggons and kept in warehouse No 6. The cargo is then delivered to the ship’s side within open trucks and loaded into the ship’s cargo holds with shore grabs.

Assessment and Analysis

Shipowners and ship managers should instruct their masters to be vigilant in their assessment and inspection of the quay prior to the commencement of loading. Taking photographs is a useful form of contemporaneous evidence. As far as is practicable the cargo should be monitored for the presence of foreign matter.
If the surface of the quay or the cargo is contaminated with foreign matter and/or remnants of previous cargos, the master should immediately issue letters of protest to all appropriate parties.

Date updated : 30/01/2017 Date added : 20/01/2015

Mediterranean

Mediterranean - Risk: Implications of the migrant crisis in the Mediterranean

LIBYA & SYRIA - Risk: Implications of the migrant crisis in the Mediterranean

Situated close to southern Europe, Libya and Syria are common departure points for migrants feeling war-torn regions in order to seek asylum in the EU. According to media reports, approximately 350,000 migrants have made the journey across the Mediterranean Sea in the last year, fleeing instability in Libya, Syria and Iraq.

It is generally agreed that there are two major migrant trafficking routes in the Mediterranean: 1) Libya to Southern Europe (Italian Islands, Sicily and Malta) and 2) Syria, via Turkey, to Greece and its various islands.

Organised criminal groups exploit the situation in order to make large sums of money in return for trafficking migrants across these stretches of water. Unconfirmed sources report that each migrant pays in the region of USD $3,000 – $5,000 for a place on inflatable dinghies, some of which carry as many as 100 people at a time (though they are designed for 50-80 max).

There have been numerous occasions where migrant dinghies have capsized at sea, causing thousands of fatalities and injuries to Syrian and Libyan migrants in the last two years. This has led to authorities in Italy and Greece to engage in large-scale search and rescue (SAR) operations to salvage stranded migrants at sea. On occasion, merchant ships have been instructed, by authorities, to help with rescue efforts.

Assessment and Analysis

Greek and Italian authorities have on occasion instructed merchant ships to deviate and aid stranded migrants in the Mediterranean. Merchant ships have also been used to help transport migrants back to their home countries following an incident (such as a capsize) at sea.

Charterers and owners should be aware that Masters are required by the 1989 IMO-imposed International Convention on Salvage (ICS) law to aid persons they find stranded at sea. To ignore this is a criminal offence under the ICS and punishable by fines and imprisonment. On occasions where Masters deviate due to a SAR operation, the apportionment of costs borne by the owner or charterer is governed by the charterparty. Shelltime 4 states that all loss of time and all expenses incurred in saving or attempting to save lives are to be borne equally by owners and charterers. NYPE 1946, however, does not address the issue directly, which means that the apportionment of costs during such an event is unclear.

While deviation for the purpose of saving persons at sea will not constitute a breach of the charterparty contract, owners are at risk of suffering financial consequences due to their Master’s compliance with the IMO’s ICS. It is advised that owners and charterers are aware of the contractual agreements governing SAR as stipulated by the charterparty.

More information: North’s Migrants at Sea loss prevention briefing and Assisting Persons in Distress – Obligations and Indemnities article.

Date updated : 31/01/2017 Date added : 02/10/2014

Netherlands and Belgium

Netherlands and Belgium - Risk: vessels being used to traffic and/or smuggle contraband through the major shipping hubs of Antwerp and Rotterdam

THE NETHERLANDS AND BELGIUM - Risk: vessels being used to traffic and/or smuggle contraband through the major shipping hubs of Antwerp and Rotterdam

As major shipping hubs, the ports of Antwerp and Rotterdam are utilized by drug traffickers as entry points into the European market. The sheer volume of cargo processed at the port renders it attractive to smugglers.

There exists an elevated risk to commercial vessels discharging at these ports of being fined and/or delayed for unknowingly transporting illicit narcotics and/or other contraband clandestinely smuggled aboard by traffickers.

Both the Port of Antwerp and Port of Rotterdam conduct extensive customs checks for imports. Vessels found be to transporting narcotics, whether knowingly or unknowingly, are subject to stiff fines, vessel seizures and major delays.

Preferred smuggling methods include hiding illicit drugs amongst legitimate cargoes arriving at port in containers or attaching contraband-filled receptacles to the hull of merchant vessels and collected upon arrival at port.

Assessment and Analysis

Merchant vessels –particularly container ships – should be on heightened security alert during calls into ports preceding arrival at either Antwerp or Rotterdam.

Date updated : 20/03/2017 Date added : 02/10/2014

Romania

Romania - Risk: P&I claims arising from grain cargo contamination loaded at Constantza, Romania

ROMANIA - Risk: P&I claims arising from grain cargo contamination loaded at Constantza, Romania

P&I correspondents have notified us of problems loading grain cargoes at the port of Constantza due to the poor condition of the berth. It has been reported that the concrete surface of the quay has deteriorated and become cracked, with loose particles and remnants of previous cargoes and other foreign matter. Typically, cargo is delivered to the ship’s side within open trucks where it is emptied directly onto the unprotected surface of the quay. The cargo is then taken by grabs and loaded into the ship’s cargo holds, partially contaminated with foreign matter.

Assessment and Analysis

Shipowners and ship managers should instruct their masters to be vigilant in their assessment and inspection of the quay prior to the commencement of loading. Taking photographs is a useful form of contemporaneous evidence. If the surface of the quay is contaminated with foreign matter and/or remnants of previous cargos, the master should immediately issue letters of protest to all appropriate parties.

Date updated : 30/01/2017 Date added : 20/01/2015

Spain

Spain - Risk: vessels being used to traffic and/or smuggle contraband from North and West Africa though Algeciras (Spain) into European black markets.

SPAIN - Risk: vessels being used to traffic and/or smuggle contraband from North and West Africa though Algeciras (Spain) into European black markets

As a major container and transhipment port in the Mediterranean Sea, the port of Algeciras is utilized by drug traffickers as an entry point into the European market. The sheer volume of containerized cargo processed at the port renders it attractive to smugglers.

There exists an elevated risk to commercial vessels discharging at these ports of being fined and/or delayed for unknowingly transporting illicit narcotics and/or other contraband clandestinely smuggled aboard by traffickers.

Vessels found be to transporting narcotics, whether knowingly or unknowingly, are subject to stiff fines, vessel seizures and major delays.

Preferred smuggling methods include hiding illicit drugs amongst legitimate cargoes arriving at port in maritime containers or attaching contraband-filled receptacles to the hull of merchant vessels and collected upon arrival at port.

Assessment and Analysis

Merchant vessels –particularly container ships – should be on heightened security alert during calls into ports preceding arrival at Algeciras.

Date updated : 30/01/2017 Date added : 02/10/2014

Ukraine

Ukraine - Risk: Delays as a result of changes to ballast water sampling requirements, Ukraine

UKRAINE - Risk: Delays as a result of changes to ballast water sampling requirements, Ukraine

Following the amendment of Ukraine’s Ecological Control Regulations in September 2014, which revoked the requirement for ballast water sampling and submission of an ecological declaration, a Local P&I correspondent has reported occasions where ships are still being subjected to demands for ballast water sampling by inspectors from the State Inspectorate for the Protection of the Black Sea (SIPBS).
The provision of sampling and the submission of ecological declarations are no longer mandatory for vessels carrying segregated ballast. It is reported that several vessels have refused to allow SIPBS inspectors to sample ballast water, which has led to disputes and subsequent delays.
SIPBS inspectors still have discretionary rights to inspect all vessels in order to make an assessment of their ballasting systems. All vessels must also comply with the requirements of Port State Control (PSC) officers, immigration officials, customs officials, port agents and other relevant port state authorities as required under Ukrainian law.
As implementation of the new regulations within Ukraine’s ports appears to be inconsistent, the Minister of Environment has issued a promise to resolve the situation so as to avoid any future delays and its negative impact on commercial port operations.

Assessment and Analysis

Ukrainian requirements for ballast water sampling and submission of an ecological declaration were revoked in 2014. Shipowners and ship managers should exercise caution when ballasting/de-ballasting in Ukrainian ports and seek the most up to date advice from local port agents and P&I correspondents.
North’s latest information on Ukraine’s ballast water requirements can be found here.

Date updated : 02/02/2017 Date added : 11/02/2015

Ukraine

Ukraine - Risk: Delays, detentions and fines resulting from the closure of Crimean ports

UKRAINE - Risk: Delays, detentions and fines resulting from the closure of Crimean ports

On 16 June 2014 Ukraine’s Ministry of Infrastructure issued a Directive No. 255 entitled “On Closure of Sea Ports”. The ports concerned are Evpatoria, Kerch, Feodosia, Yalta and Sevastopol and are located in the territory of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea. The Directive has now been published which means that it has come into force.

We have received reports that ships loading cargoes of grain have been shifted from the outer anchorage to outside of port limits in Crimea. However, this practice carries with it significant risk if vessels then subsequently calls at Ukrainian ports.

Shipowners and ship managers are advised that if a vessel calls at a port in Ukraine after a calling at a port in the Crimean region, then penalties could follow, including delays, detention and fines. Formal prosecution could also follow by the Ukrainian authorities.

Assessment and Analysis

It is recommended that shipowners and ship managers avoid ports in Crimea.

The Ukranian ports of Odessa, Yuzhny, Ilychevsk, Kherson, Izmail, Reni, Nikolayev, Dneprobugsky, Octyabrsk, Belgorod-Dnestrovsky, Mariupol and Berdyansk are regarded to be safe ports.  However, due to the additional port security arrangements put in place by the authorities, applications for an attending surveyor’s port pass should be made 2-3 days in advance of the vessels call.

North has published a Club Circular on COUNCIL REGULATION (EU) No 825/2014 of 30 July 2014 concerning restrictions on the import of goods originating in Crimea or Sevastopol can be read here.

Further detailed information on Ukrainian/Russian sanctions can be found in the Club’s sanctions area by clicking here.

Date updated : 02/02/2017 Date added : 26/05/2015

Ukraine

Ukraine - Risk: Ice-conditions at Ukrainian ports

Ice-conditions at Ukrainian ports

The beginning of the ice season differs from year to year and is largely dependent on the prevailing weather conditions.  However, individual port authority ice-campaigns generally commence between December and late February each year.
The ports closest to the rivers of Dnieper and Yuzhny Bub are generally the first to encounter ice.  The river-ice flows from estuaries into the sea to form ice-fields, which under extreme low temperatures, may become compacted and refreeze.
The most affected areas are reportedly Odessa, Chernomorsk, Yuzhny, Ochakov, Nikolayev and Kherson.
Non-ice-classed vessels are required to provide their port agent and Harbour Master (prior to the vessel’s arrival) with the following information:

•    Year built
•    Tonnage
•    Classification Society
•    Main engine power
•    Type of propeller – e.g. fixed or controllable pitched
•    Radio navigation equipment
•    Actual draft
•    Type and quantity of cargo on board
•    Bunkers and stores on board

The Harbour Master may also request a specific confirmation from the vessel’s classification society stating that the vessel can safely perform the passage under the prevailing ice-conditions.

A letter may also be required from the owners of the vessel accepting full liability for all damages associated with the passage of their vessel through ice.

Once permission has been granted by the Harbour Master, the vessel will be allowed to proceed through the channel in convoy behind an ice-classed tug.  The waiting time for convoys is approximately 10 to 20 days and applications for ice-breaking services should be submitted 48 hours in advance.

Assessment and Analysis

Shipowners with vessels operating within the ice-regions of the Black Sea and Sea of Azov should ensure they seek the most up to date information from their local port agent.  This may include any specific local regulations and/or requirements for port entry such as the quantity of fresh water and bunkers retained on board.

Shipowners with vessels that are directed to a port which may be ice-bound upon arrival or during its stay should consider inserting a suitable ICE clause within the charterparty and bills of lading.  BIMCO’s General Ice Clause for Voyage Charter Parties may be used for this purpose.

P&I correspondents Dias & Co have produced a useful interactive map, although owners should always contact their local agent for the most up to date information.

Date updated : 28/02/2017 Date added : 28/02/2017

Africa

Algeria

Algeria - Risk: Customs fines due to shortage claims for cargoes shipped to Algeria

ALGERIA -Risk: Customs fines due to shortage claims for grain cargoes shipped to Algeria

Shortage claims in Algerian ports are usually caused by extensive cargo spillage. Such spillages are due to stevedores overloading steel grabs, rough handling resulting in cargo spillage from the hoppers and also from the overloaded receivers’ trucks. The absence of protective tarpaulins between the ship’s side and the quay are also a major factor in shortage claims, where quantities of cargo spilled on the quay are not collected by the receivers/stevedores.

A P&I correspondent has advised that the state owned Office Algérien Interprofessionnel des Céréales (OAIC) is the only company allowed to import wheat cargoes. As this company tends to partly or totally discharge their cargoes to their silos, it is not possible to perform a tally of the trucks alongside the vessel and at the weighbridge since there are no trucks loading cargo directly from the vessel. OAIC generally apply a 0.5% trade allowance and will only present shortage claims if the shortage exceeds this figure.

All other types of bulk cargoes such as soya bean meal and maize continue to be imported by private companies especially at the ports of Skikda and Bejaia, which are well known for the high proportion of shortage claims.

It is also reported that other Algerian ports, such as Algiers, Bejaia, Djendjen, Annaba, Skikda, Mostaganem and Oran are equipped with allegedly inaccurate shore weighbridge scales. While these scales are regularly re-calibrated (in accordance with the statutory metrological regulations), they regularly show shortages, particularly the port of Algiers, where shortages can range between 300 and 1,000MT.

Draft surveys are reported to be ineffective in the defence of shortage claims as Algerian cargo receivers do not take part in them, because they solely rely on the results of the shore weighbridge or silo scales. However, a draft survey at the load port can provide the Algerian courts, port and customs authorities with evidence of the pre-shipment weight determination.

Under Algerian maritime law, stevedores are considered as the carrier’s servants performing their work under the carrier’s supervision and liability, as per the Maritime Code (article 780). Furthermore, in accordance with the Maritime Code (article 802), the stevedores fault or negligence in the conduct of the discharge operation or weighing of the cargo holds the carrier liable to cargo interests, without accepting the principle of trade allowance (article 803) or draft survey figures.

Assessment and Analysis

Ship owners and ship managers should consider appointing an independent surveyor and ensure that the following steps are taken to limit their exposure to shortage claims in Algeria:

• Performing a draft survey at the load port
• Sealing of the hatch covers at the load port
• Perform a joint draft survey at the discharge port with witnessed unsealing of the hatches
• Tally of the trucks loaded at the ship’s side
• Tally of trucks at the weigh bridge
• Taking photos of any spillages from grabs, trucks and hoppers
• Inviting the receiver to witness spillages and issue letters of protest where appropriate

Date updated : 09/12/2016 Date added : 19/08/2014

Algeria

Algeria - Risk: Customs fines in Algeria

ALGERIA - Risk: Customs fines in Algeria

P&I Correspondents have reported an increasing trend of customs fines as a result of undeclared cash being discovered on board vessels.

Masters of vessels calling at Algerian ports are under a legal obligation to submit a declaration of all ship’s cash, stores and consumables to the customs authorities.

The Master is also required to submit a manifest of all cash and valuable goods held by each crew member and any other documentation as required by the authorities within 24 hours of the vessel berthing.

Any undeclared cash or valuables are confiscated and the vessel subject to a fine of up to two times the value.

Crew members found to have made a false declaration to the Master may also face a custodial sentence and a fine of up to twice the value of the confiscated cash and/or goods.  However, if a crew member’s manifest was found to be inaccurate without the Master’s prior knowledge, only the crew member would be the subject of further investigation.

With the main reported cause of customs fines being inaccuracies with crew member manifests  Masters should carefully check that the manifests are accurate before submitting any documentation to the customs authorities.

Customs fines are paid through ship’s agents, they cannot be appealed and the Algerian authorities do not accept a Club Letter of Undertaking.

Assessment and Analysis

Shipowners and shipmanagers with vessels trading to Algerian ports should ensure that Masters are aware of their obligations and that crew manifests and ships customs declarations are accurately completed and submitted within the required time-frame.

Date updated : 07/03/2017 Date added : 07/03/2017

Angola

Angola - Risk: Damages and shortage claims for bagged rice cargoes to Luanda

ANGOLA - Risk: Damages and shortage claims for bagged rice cargoes to Luanda

P&I correspondents report that damages have been recorded due to rough handling by stevedores in Luanda.

Stevedores often load varying numbers of bag into cargo nets or slings, which can make tallying the cargo difficult. Shortage claims appear to be as a result of mishandling and poor tallying of cargo which has been transported from the ship to the receiver’s warehouse. Cargo is transferred from the ship to the receivers warehouse in nets suspended from forklift trucks, which can also result is torn bags, spillages and cargo shortages.

Assessment and Analysis

Owners and ship managers are advised that, whether discharging into trucks or into nets for transfer by forklift trucks, draft surveys, tallymen (on the ship and in the warehouse), crew vigilance and an accurate log of the whole discharge operation is essential.

Photographs should be taken of any damages and mishandling of cargo. Regularly maintain accurate records of the whole operation and submit Letters of Protest for any discrepancies to all appropriate parties in the shortest possible time scale.

For further advice on this topic owners and ship managers are advised to contact their local port Agent.

North’s Loss Prevention Briefing on bagged rice cargoes is available to read here.

North’s Loss Prevention guide on Draught Surveys is available to read here

Date updated : 09/12/2016 Date added : 13/01/2015

Angola

Angola - Risk: Fines, ship arrest and delays for carrying out non-approved Ship to Ship (STS) operations in Angolan waters

ANGOLA - Risk: Fines, ship arrest and delays for carrying out non-approved Ship to Ship (STS) operations in Angolan waters

Local sources have advised that all vessels that plan on engaging in Ship to Ship (STS) operations within the country’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) (200 nm off the Angolan coast) are required to first submit an application to the authorities prior to the commencement of any cargo operations.

The application should include the following pieces of information:

• Name and IMO number of the vessels engaged in the STS operation
• The place and estimated date of the STS operation
• Product name and quantity to be transferred during the operation

STS operations can only commence once the Angolan authorities have sent confirmation to the vessel operator. Upon completion of the operation, the vessel/Master must then submit a statement of facts before the vessel can be permitted to sail.  Failure to comply with the requirements may result in heavy fines, ship arrest and delays.

Assessment and Analysis

Shipowners and ship managers should ensure that they are fully aware of the current regulations before committing to STS operations in West Africa.
If there is any uncertainty as to the limits of the territorial sea, contiguous zone and EEZ, guidance should be sought from port agents and/or local P&I correspondents.

Date updated : 09/12/2016 Date added : 17/04/2015

Benin

Benin - Risk: Exaggerated shortage claims resulting in customs fines

BENIN - Risk: Exaggerated shortage claims resulting in customs fines

Any cargo shortage or over landing will result in a Customs fine. The ship’s agent usually requires security in advance as they are considered by the Customs Authorities to be primarily responsible for such fines. If security is not forthcoming then the authorities will arrest the ship.

Assessment and Analysis

Owners and ship managers should take the following precautions at the load port:

– If appropriate a tally of all cargo should be carried out at the load port and reports countersigned by all appropriate parties

– A draft survey should be undertaken at the load port and countersigned by all appropriate parties

– The hatch covers should be sealed and a sealing certificate signed by all appropriate parties

– Upon arrival at the discharge port an unsealing survey should be carried out and countersigned by the shippers surveyor

– A court approved surveyor and tally clerks (where appropriate) should be appointed, but guided by the owners

North’s Loss Prevention Briefing on bagged rice cargoes is available to read on our website and contains more comprehensive information on this subject can be read here.

North’s Loss Prevention Briefing on West Africa is available to read on our website and contains more comprehensive information on this subject can be read here.

Date updated : 09/12/2016 Date added : 22/01/2015

Cameroon

Cameroon - Risk: Fines and delays as a result of exaggerated cargo claims at the port of Douala

CAMEROON - Risk: Fines and delays as a result of exaggerated cargo claims at the port of Douala

Typical claims at Douala are:

* Excessive cargo claims from receivers/cargo underwriters

* Customs fines due to shortage allegations

* Request for security: LOU (agreed by some cargo underwriters but not always by receivers), bank guarantee.

* Arrest of vessels if the cargo interest’s claims are not satisfied

Stowaways are also a risk at Douala, usually entering the vessel whilst moored alongside leading to significant delays.

Assessment and Analysis

Owners and ship managers should instruct their crews to be vigilant and maintain strict gangway watches throughout their vessel’s stay in Douala. If any person boarding the vessel (stevedores, agents, ship chandlers, cleaners, immigration, ship repairers and contractors) does not have a port permit then the person should be refused access to the vessel. If necessary, the person should be taken to the bottom of the gangway and port security notified.

Owners and ship managers should take the following steps to reduce the potential for claims arising:

* Conduct accurate draught surveys at the load port

* If any appreciable difference noted at the load port, a suitably worded letter of protest is to be submitted

* Seal all the hatches at the load port

* Ensure seals are still intact at the discharge port

* Conduct accurate draught surveys at the discharge port

* To ensure that no trucks are unaccounted for during the discharge operation, conduct a truck tally at the ship’s side

Owners and ship managers should contact the local ships agent for further details.

Date updated : 09/12/2016 Date added : 22/01/2015

Cameroon

Cameroon - Risk: Fines imposed for sewage treatment plant effluent non-compliance

Reports of vessels calling at the port of Douala, Cameroon being subjected to rigorous Port State Control (PSC) inspections of sewage treatment plant and effluent discharges.

Local correspondents have advised that the inspections are primarily to identify violations of MARPOL MEPC.2(VI) and local environmental protection laws.  These inspections can potentially result in vessel delays and the threat of large fines being imposed.  However, more often than not, the ship’s agent can mitigate this threat by issuing the authorities with an appropriately worded guarantee.

Two samples are taken from the sewage treatment plant; one is retained by the vessel whilst the other is dispatched ashore in the custody of the ship’s agent.  The shore sample is tested by an independent laboratory (typically BOCOM International) and the results compared with the Cameroon “Environmental Standards and Guidelines” limits, which are as follows:

·       Faecal Coliforms 250 mg/100Ltr (possible tolerance by Cameroon depending on some circumstances 400mg/100Ltr up to 2,000mg/100Ltr)
·       Suspended solids max 40mg/Ltr to 50 mg/Ltr
·       BOD5 max 50mg/Ltr (Biological Oxygen Demand test over five days)

These limits are consistent with international effluent standards adopted by the Marine Environmental Protection Committee as stated in resolution MEPC.2(VI).

Local P&I correspondents have advised that testing can take 10 days to complete and the costs which may be between  US$1,500 to US$3,000 are borne by the ship.

The Ministry of the Environment can also impose fines for other deficiencies such as for inefficiency of the sewage treatment plant, the absence of a sewage holding tank and the absence of a sewage water analysis test certificate (dated within the last 12 months).  Fines are levied in accordance with law No96/12 of 5 August 1996 in the region of a minimum of US$16,615 to a maximum of US$83,072 or imprisonment for a period of 6 months.

Assessment and Analysis

Ship owners and ship managers should therefore ensure that all sewage treatment plant on board their vessels is in full working order and consider appointing an independent laboratory to test the sewage plant effluent for compliance with MARPOL MEPC.2(VI) prior to calling at Douala.

Date updated : 09/12/2016 Date added : 09/12/2016

Cameroon

Cameroon - Risk: Vessels grounding in the approaches to Douala port, Cameroon

CAMEROON - Risk: Vessels grounding in the approaches to Douala port, Cameroon

There have been a number of instances where vessels have grounded in the approaches to the port of Douala.

Local P&I correspondents have advised that Douala port has been neither properly nor regularly dredged for several years now. Consequently, the recorded and actual river depths in the channel and the port are unreliable.

It is also reported that most of the buoys in the approaches to the port are either unlit, missing or out of position, hence their reliability for position fixing is questionable.

It has been reported that vessels have frequently been asked to proceed further upstream beyond the charted pilot boarding station and that undertaking such a river passage without a pilot on board may also be a contributory factor in vessels groundings.

Port congestion can also result in significant delays being encountered at Douala.

Assessment and Analysis

P&I correspondents recommend that vessels calling at Douala port should either berth on the spring tide (from 2.60m) or arrange lightering during periods of port congestion or delays in berthing.

Owners and ship managers should ensure that vessels calling at the port of Douala have in place a detailed berth to berth voyage plan.

For the latest information on the Port of Douala, Masters of vessels should contact their local port agent and/or P&I correspondent.

North Members should contact the Club should they require further information.

Date updated : 03/04/2017 Date added : 23/03/2015

Cote d'Ivoire

Cote d'Ivoire - Risk: Delays resulting from port officials' refusal to land stowaways at Abidjan and San Pedro, Cote d'Ivoire

COTE D'IVOIRE - Risk: Delays resulting from port officials' refusal to land stowaways at Abidjan and San Pedro, Cote d'Ivoire

Although the Cote d’Ivoire government and its Transport Minister issued circular 256 lifting the ban on landing stowaways, recent reports have indicated this is not being observed.
Local P&I correspondents have advised of two cases where stowaways were located on board whilst transiting the West African waters and the ship deviated to Cote d’Ivoire ports. In both cases the local port authority refused to accept the stowaways and they were diverted to Nigerian ports where they were accepted by the local port authority.

Assessment and Analysis

Owners and ship managers should ensure that all crew members remain vigilant throughout their stay in the region. Additionally, we recommend conducting a thorough stowaway search prior to the vessel’s departure from ports within this region.

North’s loss prevention briefing on the topic of stowaways can be read here.

Date updated : 04/01/2017 Date added : 20/01/2015

Cote d'Ivoire

Cote d'Ivoire - Risk: Fines imposed by customs officials due to inaccuracies in customs documentation at Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire

COTE D'IVOIRE - Risk: Fines imposed by customs officials due to inaccuracies in customs documentation at Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire

Local P&I correspondents have notified us that Abidjan customs officials impose heavy fines for minor inaccuracies in customs declarations and a failure to declare personal belongings kept within the ship’s bonded stores.

During the course of inspections, customs officials also measure the weight of paint cans, count consumables and issue fines for any differences in those declared.

Ships also receive customs fines for differences between the declared cargo manifest and the stevedores’ outturn figures.

A gangway watchman is compulsory at the port of Abidjan and are typically arranged by the port agent.

Assessment and Analysis

Ship owners and ship managers are therefore advised to:

1. Prepare customs declarations prior to berthing, having received, in advance, written confirmation of the latest requirements from the local port agent.

2. The Master should personally receive the customs officers on board for formalities concurrently with the agent.

3. Ensure that all stores and bunkers, including food, paint, stationery, crew personal effects etc. have been accurately declared.

4. Place all the customs papers in a separate file to be checked by the ship’s agent before their presentation to the customs boarding officer.

5. Check that any modification to the manifest is properly completed and declared, and do not sign any document submitted by the customs authorities without fully understanding its contents. If for any reason the documentation is not ready by the time the vessel berths, it might be prudent to delay access to the ship by keeping the gangway up after the agent’s boarding, until all declarations are completed and controlled by the agent, and ready to be handed to the customs officer. Before arrival, the Master should ask port agents to notify Abidjan customs officials of the vessel’s pending arrival.

The Customs General Administrations (S.C.E.S) Offices are closed on Saturdays and Sundays.

Port agents and P&I correspondents recommend that a quote is obtained for port security services prior to the vessel’s arrival and if discharging food stuff, the cargo must be discharged under observation by the port police.

If you have any further questions on this topic, please contact your local P&I correspondent and/or ships agent.

Date updated : 04/01/2017 Date added : 20/01/2015

Cote d'Ivoire

Cote d'Ivoire - Risk: Ship arrest as a result of paper shortage claims in Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire

COTE D'IVOIRE - Risk: Ship arrest as a result of paper shortage claims in Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire

Local P&I correspondents have reported problems with the discharge of bulk wheat cargo in Abidjan due to inaccuracies in stevedores weighbridge figures, which have created significant paper shortage claims.
Upon making a comparison between weighing a truck on the stevedore weighbridge and again on the shore warehouse weighbridge (managed by the Ivorian Chamber of Commerce), a shortfall of 0.75 mt was recorded.

Assessment and Analysis

Owners and ship managers P&I correspondents should be involved from the very outset and suggest requesting:
1. A joint draft survey prior to the commencement of discharge
2. An up to date weighbridge calibration certificate by a reputable organisation
3. A joint tally survey of the loaded trucks with countersigned documentation
4. A comparison of truck weights using the stevedore’s weighbridge and those managed by the Cote d’Ivoire Chamber of Commerce
5. Taking photos of any spillages from grabs, trucks and hoppers
6. Inviting the receiver to witness spillages and issue letters of protest where appropriate
7. A joint draft survey upon the completion of discharge

It is imperative that owners work closely with their time charterers and/or shippers to resolve any potential delays to the vessel, particularly towards the completion of cargo operations.

Date updated : 04/01/2017 Date added : 20/01/2015

Cote d'Ivoire

Cote d'Ivoire - Risk: Unrest causing disruption to port activities, Cote d'Ivoire

COTE D'IVOIRE - Risk: unrest by elements of the security forces leading to disruption to port operations.

In Cote d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast), the ports of Abidjan and San Pedro were operating with heightened security at the end of January 2017. It followed outbreaks of disorder by elements of the army and security forces. Operations at the Port of Abidjan, the country’s major port, had been disrupted over a 24-hour period in mid-January (January 17) when armed men – some of who were reported to be gendarmes – were seen firing in the air along the port boulevard and along some access roads. The gendarmes, who usually guard the port entrances, were also reported to have blocked some port gates.

There were also reports of gunfire in San Pedro, the country’s second biggest port.

Within a day of the eruption of unrest both ports had reopened and loadings of cocoa, the country’s biggest export, had been resumed.

Assessment and Analysis

In 2011 Cote d’Ivoire emerged from ten years of political crisis, including two civil wars, as one of the world’s fastest-growing economies. Deep divisions remain however and the fragility of the country was exposed when elements of the army mutinied in early January 2017.

The initial mutiny focused on demands for bonus payments. Following talks, the government agreed the bonuses should be paid, a move that appeared to trigger copycat demands.

The actions of the gendarmes in disrupting port activities appeared – at least on the surface – to be a case in point. The government quickly appealed for calm and said it had begun talks with those involved.

Cote d’Ivoire, the world’s largest exporter of cocoa, is vulnerable to instability. The army, which also mutinied in 2014, is an unpredictable alternative source of power in a country with weak institutions.

There are suspicions that the January mutineers were incited by politicians who want government posts.

Although the ports have been largely free from disruption the incidents in mid-January show they are vulnerable and that further unrest in the country is likely to have an impact on port operations.

Date updated : 24/01/2017 Date added : 23/01/2017

Egypt

Egypt - Risk: Fines for fender damage claims in Egyptian ports

EGYPT- Risk: Fines for fender damage claims in Egyptian ports

We have received reports of an increasing number of fender damage claims at various Egyptian ports, namely Port Said, Alexandria, Damietta and El-Dekheila.

Once damage has been alleged by the port authority, the vessel is not permitted to sail until one of the following is put in place:

· The vessel’s agent must sign a non-negotiable guarantee containing an admission of liability. However, such a guarantee is only accepted by port authority in certain circumstances.
· The claim is fully covered by a certified bank cheque in favour of the port authority.
· The claim is covered by an unconditional bank guarantee.

Assessment and Analysis

We recommend that the following actions are taken to avoid claims arising:

• The vessel’s agent should be asked to visually inspect fenders mounted on the quay where the vessel is due to berth, prior to vessel’s berthing and again upon departure, and report any damages to the port authority by a formal letter supported with photographs.
• The vessel’s master, before berthing, may also wish to consider taking photographs of any fender suspected to be damaged, missing or found to be in poor condition, notifying the agents of such damages so that it can be promptly reported to the port authority.
• Owners may wish to consider also appointing a surveyor to inspect fenders before arrival, during berthing and after departure, notifying the agent of any damages.

Date updated : 04/01/2017 Date added : 24/07/2015

Egypt

Egypt - Risk: Fines and delays for breaching Suez Canal rules, Egypt

EGYPT - Risk: Fines and delays for breaching Suez Canal rules, Egypt

The Suez Canal Authority has issued two new charts, a set of new navigation rules and rules for the carriage of weapons through the canal.

New Navigation Rules

On the occasion of the opening of the new Suez Canal for navigation, the Suez Canal Authority (SCA) has issued Circular No. 5/2015 which outlines the amended rules for navigation through the canal, effective from 6 August 2015. The English translation of the text of that Circular and cross-sectional diagrams of the new section of the canal can be found at these links.

New Navigation Charts

The Egyptian Navy Hydrographic Department and Suez Canal Authorities have issued 2 new charts to replace the existing UKHO coverage chart (ADMIRALTY Chart 233). The two new charts are:

• SC01 – Suez Canal – Edition 1, dated 15th July 2015

• SC02 – Suez Canal – Edition 1, dated 15th July 2015

The authorities have advised that, with effect from 6th August 2015, no vessel will be permitted to transit the Suez Canal without the above charts being on-board. As demand for the new charts is likely to be high, ship owners are advised to obtain these in good time. Both can be obtained from Eduardo Marine Services Limited pending international charts being drawn up and made more widely available from other chart agents.

http://www.edwardomarine.com/

New Rules for the Declaration of Weapons on Board

A P&I correspondent has also advised that the Suez Canal Authority has issued a new set of rules which requires all ships to submit a signed and stamped letter of commitment stating that the ship has no weapons on board. Northbound ships must declare all weapons on board (at least 72 hours in advance), landing them at Safaga naval base, where they will be held until the ship returns to the Red Sea. Southbound ships must declare all weapons on board (at least 72 hours in advance), landing them at Port Said where they considered as cargo in transit and escorted from Port Said to Suez and returned to the ship on completion transiting the canal. Private Maritime Security Company (PMSC) weapons held at Safga Naval Base may be collected by the agent of a southbound vessel carrying PMSC personnel from the same company.

Assessment and Analysis

Ship owners with vessels transiting the canal and who are unclear as to whether the above applies to them should contact their local agent and / or P&I correspondent.

Date updated : 04/01/2017 Date added : 21/08/2015

Gabon

Gabon - Risk: Fines imposed by customs officials due to inaccuracies in port clearance documentation at Port Gentil, Gabon

GABON - Risk: Fines imposed by customs officials due to inaccuracies in port clearance documentation at Port Gentil, Gabon

Local P&I correspondents have notified us that Gabonese Merchant Marine and Customs officials impose heavy fines for inaccuracies in clearance documentation. Port State Control inspectors do not accept copies of ship’s documents and certificates, only accepting originals. If original documents are not on board, fines are imposed resulting in potential delays to the ship.

Gabonese Authorities require the provision of a hard copy of the clearance document from the previous port of call, duly signed/stamped by the port authorities of the previous call. Electronic documentation is refused. Should vessels not comply with such regulations, customs fines are imposed in Libreville / Owendo or Port Gentil.

Assessment and Analysis

All ship’s certificates and other documentations must be presented to Port State Control in original hard-copy form. Electronic documentation is not accepted.

According to Gabonese Customs, the clearance documentation must contain the following information:

* The name of the vessel

* The name of the Master

* The name of the previous port (for Inward clearance) and name of the port of destination (for outward clearance)

* The name of the Gabonese port if the vessel is in transit and loading further cargo

* The date of issuance of clearance and the date of departure of the vessel * The quantity loaded or discharged

* The vessel’s Flag Administration

* The signature and stamp of the Custom services

* The clearance document must be free of any alterations

Before arrival, the Master should ask port agents to notify Gabonese Merchant Marine and customs officials of the vessel’s eta and pending arrival.

Date updated : 04/01/2017 Date added : 20/01/2015

Ghana

Ghana - Risk: Bauxite with a high moisture content loaded at Takoradi Port in Ghana may be prone to liquefaction

GHANA - Risk: Bauxite with a high moisture content loaded at Takoradi may be prone to liquefaction

P&I correspondents have reported a number of cases where Bauxite loaded at Takoradi have failed can-tests. Over the past year, specialists in this field have advised about shipments from the same location under very similar circumstances. Masters have complained about visibly wet cargo being loaded expressing concern about the potential risk of liquefaction during the loaded voyage.

Bauxite is listed as a Group C cargo in the IMSBC Code – i.e. one that neither liquefies nor possesses chemical hazards. As a Group C cargo, Bauxite is described in the IMSBC Code as a cargo containing moisture content between 0% and 10% and should be 70% to 90% if lumps of 2.5mm to 500mm and 10-30% if in powder form. Hence, Bauxite cargoes falling outside this description should not be classified as Group C cargo.

Assessment and Analysis

Ship owners and ship managers should ensure that the shipper’s cargo declaration complies with the requirements and schedule set out in the IMSBC Code.

The loading operation should be monitored throughout and can tests should carried out in accordance with the IMSBC Code.

North’s Loss Prevention Briefing on liquefaction can be read on the Club’s website here.

 

Date updated : 10/01/2017 Date added : 13/01/2015

Ghana

Ghana - Risk: Stowaways at Tema Port

GHANA - Risk: Stowaways at Tema Port

During 2015 P&I correspondents reported a surge in incidents of stowaways at Tema.

Ghanaian Immigration law states that any foreign person/stowaway discovered on board the vessel must be repatriated to their homeland and all the costs related to their disembarkation and transport is to be paid by the shipowners.

Assessment and Analysis

In order to minimise the potential risk of a stowaway boarding the vessel, P&I correspondents suggest that the owners and ship managers should consider employing the services of a private security company.

The ship’s crew should be vigilant throughout the vessel’s call in port.

After the completion of cargo operations, the crew should perform a thorough stowaway search. Enhanced security should be maintained until the vessel clears the outer roads.

Date updated : 10/01/2017 Date added : 13/01/2015

Ghana

Ghana - Risk: Fines imposed for the landing of stowaways in Takoradi, Ghana

GHANA - Risk: Fines imposed for the landing of stowaways in Takoradi, Ghana

The Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority impose a fine of US$1000.00 for each stowaway that is disembarked in the port of Takoradi.

Assessment and Analysis

In order to minimise the potential risk of a stowaway boarding the vessel, P&I correspondents suggest that owners and ship managers consider employing private security prior to calling at Ghana.

The ship’s crew should be vigilant throughout the vessel’s call in port and after the completion of cargo operations; the crew should perform a thorough stowaway search. Enhanced security should be maintained until the vessel clears the outer roads.

Date updated : 10/01/2017 Date added : 20/01/2015

Guinea

Guinea - Risk: Armed robbery at Conakry Anchorage, Guinea

Guinea - Risk: Armed robbers pose a threat to vessels at Conakry Anchorage

Armed robbers pose a threat to vessels at Conakry Anchorage in Guinea. Between July and September in 2016 three incidents were reported. Armed men boarded the vessels and stole cash and personal belongings.

Assessment and Analysis

The three incidents between July and September 2016 targeted three different types of vessel (container ship, heavy lift vessel and bulk carrier) in and around the Conakry Anchorage. The September incident took place on 21.09.2016. The container ship was at anchor when the robbers fired on and then boarded the vessel. The Ship’s Master activated the Ship Security Alert System (SSAS), raised the alarm and locked himself in the accommodation area. The robbers however, entered the ship by breaking the bridge wing windows. After taking the crew hostage, they ransacked and looted every crew cabin, stole crew personal belongings and ship’s cash, and escaped. The IMB Piracy Reporting Centre liaised with the Guinea Navy who responded and boarded the ship.

In all three cases the robbers appeared well armed. The vessels were generally boarded in the early hours of the morning.

Criminals tend to be opportunistic and if a vessel appears well defended with demonstrable crew alertness they may move onto the next ship. Vessels should maintain a high level of surveillance, particularly at night. If possible efforts should be made to improve physical defences, addressing low freeboard, vulnerable lines or anchor chains and hawse pipes.

Date updated : 29/11/2016 Date added : 23/11/2016

Libya

Libya - Risk: Security at Libyan ports

LIBYA - Risk: Security at Libyan Ports

The civil unrest and conflict in Libya continues to effect access to some ports.

Local P&I correspondents reported the following status of Libyan ports on 8 March 2017.

Open ports:
Mellitah
Zawia
Tripoli
Misurata
Marsa El Brega
Tobruk
Al Khoms
Marsa El Hariga
Farwah
Bouri
Zuwarah
Zuetina

Closed ports:
Benghazi
Derna
Es Sider
Ras Lanuf
Sirte

The above information is correct as of 8 March 2017.

More information may be available in North’s Insights Area.

Assessment and Analysis

Vessels should report their schedules (to local port agents) prior to arrival at any Libyan port, including a declaration of the vessel’s sailing route, whether they are loading or discharging cargo and the type of cargo on board, so that the agents can notify the appropriate authorities.

Vessels should avoid navigating in the coastal waters of Benghazi, Derna and Sirte, including the militarised area south of 34o00’N.

Navarea III warning 225/2017 recommends that all vessels navigating within close proximity to the militarised area south of 34o00’N should proceed with extreme caution and report their position to the nearest Coastal Station in order to receive a safe track-line.

Reports must also be made to Maritime Transport Authority 72 hours before arriving in the militarised zone. Contact details are included in Navarea III warning 225/2017 which can be found by clicking here.

As the situation in Libya is extremely volatile, vessel operators should liaise with local ship’s agents and P&I Correspondents for the most up-to-date information prior to calling at Libyan ports.

In addition to the above, the U.S. Government has concerns regarding whether the port facility security requirements of the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code are still being comprehensively executed and maintained.

On 17 March 2016 the US Coast Guard issued a Port Security Advisory (PSA 1-16) recommending that vessels calling into ports in Libya take the following actions:

1. Minimize ship-port interface activities such as crew changes, bunkering, and taking on stores
2. Take measures consistent with the ship’s security plan equivalent to Security Level
3. Ensure that each access point to the ship is guarded and that the guards have total visibility of the exterior (both landside and waterside) of the vessel
4. Attempt to clarify security responsibilities between the vessel and the port facility
5. Document/record specific actions taken in the ship’s security records required by Part A, Section 10 of the ISPS Code

6. Report the actions taken directly to the cognizant U.S. Coast Guard Captain of the Port prior to arrival in the USA

Furthermore, vessels are advised to proceed with extreme caution when approaching all Libyan oil terminals, particularly in eastern Libya, due to potential violent and criminal activity based upon recent attempts by armed, non-state actors to engage in illicit export of oil.

But we reiterate that this can change and our sources info may be out of date itself or only relating to certain areas and ports, not the whole country.

Contact your P&I club for further information.

Date updated : 28/03/2017 Date added : 13/01/2015

Libya

Libya - Risk: Sanctions and US Treasury Specially Designated Nationals List, Libya

LIBYA - Risk: Sanctions and US Treasury Specially Designated Nationals List, Libya

Nearly all the EU activity-based (i.e. what you can do) sanctions against Libya have been lifted other than those relating to the shipment of some arms and of equipment that might be used in internal repression. There are still some limited US sanctions in place though OFAC has issued various general licences in order to authorise some activities that would otherwise be prohibited.

There are still sanctions in place imposed by the EU and US that are directed at the assets of certain individuals and companies connected with the former regime. These are in the form of an asset freeze only, rather than any form of trade ban.

All oil terminals and ports are working including Zawia, although Brega oil terminal is currently on strike until further notice. Benghazi and Tobruk commercial ports are presently working normally, yet Tripoli port is intermittent due to a lack of stevedores due to sporadic fighting. The ports of Misurata, Alkhoms are working normally.

Assessment and Analysis

Owners and ship managers should exercise due diligence prior to fixing their vessel to ensure that there are no sanctions against the activity, which will usually be related to the relevant cargo, and to ensure that Libyan parties involved in the transaction are not listed as Designated Persons by the EU or Specially Designated Nationals by the US.

Owners might also consider including a clause in the charterparty whereby charterers provide owners with a warranty that no party designated by the EU or US is involved in any way.

The US Department of the Treasury Office of Foreign Assets Control Specially Designated Nationals List can be found here.

The HM Treasury Consolidate List of Targets can be found here.

The latest USCG Port Security Advisory (1-16) can be read here.

Check the general US position here.

Check on the general EU position here.

Further detailed information can be found in North’s dedicated Sanctions Area.

As the situation in Libya is extremely volatile, owners and ship managers should liaise with local ship’s agents and P&I correspondents for the most up-to-date information prior to calling at Libyan ports.

Members should contact their P&I Club should they require further information.

Date updated : 30/03/2017 Date added : 13/01/2015

Libya

Libya - Risk: Ship arrest for loading banned illicit crude oil from Libya

LIBYA - Risk: Ship arrest for loading banned illicit crude oil from Libya

On 19 March 2014, the UN Security Council adopted resolution 2146 banning illicit crude oil exports from Libya and called on the Libyan government to contact the concerned vessels flag state authority in the first instance, should they have reason to suspect illicit crude oil export.

This decision follows on from events in March 2014 in which the Korean-flagged vessel MORNING GLORY illicitly loaded crude oil from the rebel-held port of Sidra. The vessel, carrying an estimated 20 million USD in cargo, was later seized by the US Navy in international waters off the coast of Cyprus at the request of both Libya and Cyprus.

The UN resolution authorizes states to inspect any suspect vessels and to prohibit vessels from entering their ports, unless entry is for the purpose of an inspection, or to deal with an emergency.

UN resolution 2146 can be read here.

Assessment and Analysis

Owners and ship managers are advised to exercise due diligence prior to fixing their vessel to ensure that there are no sanctions against the activity, which will usually be related to the relevant cargo, and to ensure that Libyan parties involved in the transaction are not listed as Designated Persons by the EU or Specially Designated Nationals by the US.

Owners might also consider including a clause in the charterparty whereby charterers provide owners with a warranty that no party designated by the EU or US is involved in any way. BIMCO have developed a Designated Entries Clause for Charter Parties for this purpose.

The US Department of the Treasury Office of Foreign Assets Control Specially Designated Nationals List can be found here.

The HM Treasury Consolidate List of Targets can be found here.

The latest USCG Port Security Advisory (1-16) can be read here.

Check the US position at: US Sanctions

Check on the EU position at: EU Sanctions

As the situation in Libya is extremely volatile, owners and ship managers should liaise with local ship’s agents and P&I correspondents for the most up-to-date information prior to calling at Libyan ports.

Date updated : 03/04/2017 Date added : 26/03/2015

Libya

Libya - Risk: United States Coast Guard imposes further conditions of entry for vessels arriving from Libyan ports

LIBYA - Risk: United States Coast Guard imposes further conditions of entry for vessels arriving from Libyan ports

Libya has been added to the United States Coast Guard (USCG) list of countries considered not to maintain sufficient anti-terrorism measures.

The USCG Port Security Advisory (PSA) mandates that additional security measures would be required for those vessels that have called at Libyan ports in their last five port calls.
To satisfy these conditions, each affected vessel must:

1 Implement security level 2 measures from its ship security plan while in an affected Libyan port.
2 Ensure that each access point is guarded and that guards have total visibility of the exterior of the vessel while in an affected port.
3 Attempt to execute a Declaration of Security while in an affected port.
4 Log all security actions in the vessels security records.
5 Report actions taken to the USCG Captain of the Port (COTP) prior to arrival in the US.

Depending on the findings of a USCG boarding examination, whilst in US ports the vessel may be required to ensure that each access point to the vessel is guarded by armed private security guards.

The USCG Port Security Advisory (PSA) also states that:
Vessels are also advised to proceed with extreme caution when approaching all Libyan oil terminals, particularly in eastern Libya, due to potential violent and criminal activity based upon recent attempts by armed, non-state actors to engage in illicit export of oil. UN Security Council Resolution 2146 authorizes the UN Sanctions Committee to impose certain measures on vessels attempting to illicitly export crude oil from Libya. This resolution imposes several restrictions regarding loading, transporting, or discharging crude oil from Libya which may include the possible denial of port entry. Further information regarding the UN Security Council Resolution can be found at:
http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs//2014/sc11325.doc.htm

Assessment and Analysis

Owners and ship managers should ensure they have read and fully understand the new conditions of entry for vessels visiting Libyan ports and make every effort to comply with such requirements.

It is vital that a detailed record is maintained of all security measures that are in place during the vessels visit to Libyan ports and that such a record is promptly submitted to the COTP prior to the vessel’s arrival into US waters.

Owners and ship managers may wish to consider appointing armed, private security guards and/or providing additional crew members for additional security duties during calls to Libyan ports, thus ensuring that hours or work/rest limits are not exceeded.

As the situation in Libya is extremely volatile, owners and ship managers should liaise with local ship’s agents and P&I correspondents for the most up-to-date information prior to calling at Libyan ports.

Date updated : 03/04/2017 Date added : 14/04/2015

Libya

Libya - Risk: Fines issued for delays in discharging at Misurata, Libya

LIBYA - Risk: fines issued for delays in discharging at Misurata, Libya

It is reported that fines are being levied for delays incurred during discharge operations whilst alongside at Misurata, Libya.

Assessment and Analysis

Fines may be levied by the port authorities after a stoppage of 5 hours and apply even where the delay is due to shore side being unable to receive cargo. Irrespective of who caused the delays, the shipowner will be expected to pay the fines. Failure to make payment could see vessels being detained by port authorities.

Date updated : 20/07/2017 Date added : 20/07/2017

Nigeria

Nigeria - Risk: Nigerian navy may arrest vessels employing the services of armed security guards

NIGERIA – Risk: Nigerian navy arrest vessels employing the services of armed security guards

A local P&I correspondent has reported a possible dispute between the Nigerian Navy and one or more of the following: the Nigerian Marine Police, the Nigerian Police and/or the “Joint Task Force.” Owners/ship managers of vessels operating within the Nigerian Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and territorial waters should be aware that they may be at risk of potentially significant liabilities and delays if they employ armed guards on board their vessels who are sourced from the Nigerian Marine Police, the Nigerian Police or the “Joint Task Force”. This appears to apply regardless of whether the armed guard policemen are sourced by an agent or a PMSC (Private Maritime Security Company).

Assessment and Analysis

Owners/ship managers are advised that the only legitimate method of acquiring armed security protection in territorial waters and the Nigerian EEZ is by utilising the services of the Nigerian Navy.

Date updated : 30/01/2017 Date added : 13/01/2015

Nigeria

Nigeria - Threat: Armed robbery and kidnap of seafarers in waters off Nigeria

Threat: Vessel attack and kidnap of seafarers

Waters off Nigeria, particularly off the Niger Delta, remain a high risk area for shipping.

The threats include the boarding of vessels for robbery or for the kidnapping of crew for ransom.

Between the end of 2010 and 2015 the hijacking of tankers for the theft of their refined fuel cargoes was a serious threat but 2016  saw a significant decline and there were no reported instances of hijack for cargo theft of petroleum product between January and July 2017 .

Armed thieves still attack and board vessels, however, often targeting fishing vessels and offshore support vessels. They steal bunkers, fish catches and crew’s valuables. Many of the attacks go unreported.

The kidnapping of crew for ransom, meanwhile, has shown no signs of diminishing.

In the first six months of the 2017 there were 31 crew abductions in five reported incidents. Vessels that came under attack included a general cargo ship, a tanker and a bulk carrier.

Three of the incidents involved attacks against vessels that were underway between 30 and 60 nautical miles from Nigeria’s Bayelsa coast. There have also been reports of vessels coming under fire up to 110 nautical miles from land.

Reported vessel attacks and crew kidnappings January – June 2017 (source: IMB)

DateTypeLocationOutcome
05 February 2017General Cargo Ship31nm SW Bayelsa coastEight crew kidnapped
07 February 2017LPG Tanker60nm South of Bonny IslandThree crew kidnapped
30 March 2017Bulk Carrier32nm SW of BonnySix crew kidnapped
19 April 2017Offshore Tug10.8nm South of BrassEight crew kidnapped
29 April 2017LNG Tanker50nm SSW of Bonny IslandTanker chased and fired upon
29 April 2017Reefer38nm SW of Bonny IslandAttempted boarding and gunfire
17 May 2017General Cargo ship30nm SW of Bonny IslandSix crew kidnapped

Assessment and Analysis

Nigeria-based pirates and militants are responsible for the overwhelming majority of attacks.  In some cases they are linked to Nigerian insurgents or criminal groups operating in the Niger Delta.

Theft of crude oil from vessels in the Niger Delta has decreased significantly in 2016/2017. This is due to increased patrols by the Nigerian Navy, the increased use of armed guards (Nigerian Navy personnel) and armed escort vessels, as well as the lower price of crude oil.

Pirates have switched their focus to kidnap for ransom as a simpler method of raising illegal funds. Although kidnap in this region is not new and has been the chosen tactic of militants active off the Niger Delta since the late 1990s.

Attacks off the Nigeria Delta vary, but tend to involve one or two skiffs and approximately eight pirates. The pirates regularly open fire on the vessels – increasingly using semi-automatic weapons. Ladders are then normally used to board the vessel. Crew, especially foreign senior crew members, are then removed from the vessel and held for ransom ashore. Ship operators face the cost of ransom payments for kidnapped crew members.

Piracy in Nigeria is unlikely to decline while significant lawlessness prevails in the Niger Delta. Over 200 reported kidnappings, and many more unreported kidnappings, took place in Nigeria in 2016. The kidnap for ransom activity in the maritime environment can be seen as an extension of the security situation onshore.

The difficulties with effective law enforcement in the Delta allows the kidnapping of seafarers for ransom to remain another income stream for individuals engaged in militancy, oil theft, and gang conflict.

All waters around Nigeria are high risk areas.

Crews are advised to be vigilant and to take additional security measures in high risk waters.

Date updated : 10/08/2017 Date added : 03/08/2017

Senegal

Senegal - Risk: Senegalese authorities forbid the landing of stowaways at the port of Dakar, Senegal

SENEGAL - Risk: Senegalese authorities forbid the landing of stowaways at the port of Dakar

The Ministry of Fisheries and Maritime Affairs issued a circular dated 2nd July 2014 which covers the authority’s decision to forbid the landing of stowaways at the port of Dakar unless it is proven that the stowaways boarded the vessel at a Senegalese port. The Senegalese Ministry of Fisheries and Maritime Affairs also reserve the right to sanction any vessel that fails to adhere to this circular and the change of rules that are currently in force.

Assessment and Analysis

Owners and ship managers should ensure that all crew members maintain a high level of security throughout their stay in the region. Additionally, we recommend conducting a thorough stowaway search prior to the vessel’s departure from ports within this region.

Date updated : 01/02/2017 Date added : 13/01/2015

Senegal

Senegal - Risk: Senegalese authorities robustly impose customs fines on vessels calling at Dakar, Senegal

SENEGAL - Risk: Senegalese authorities robustly impose customs fines on vessels calling at Dakar

Local P&I correspondents have reported that the Senegalese customs authorities are applying the existing customs code more vigorously. This has resulted in an increase in customs fines for discrepancies with ship declarations and manifests for stores and bunkers.

Assessment and Analysis

Owners and ship managers are therefore advised to:
1. Prepare custom’s declarations prior to berthing, having already requested in advance the written confirmation of the latest requirements from the local agent.
2. The Master should personally receive the Customs officers on board for formalities concurrently with the agent.
3. Ensure that all stores and bunkers, including food, paint, stationery, crew personal effects etc. have been accurately declared.
4. Place all the customs papers in a separate file to be checked by the ship’s agent before their presentation to the Customs boarding officer.

5. Check that any modification to the manifest is properly completed and declared, and do not sign any document submitted by the customs authorities without fully understanding its contents. If for any reason the documentation is not ready by the time the vessel berths, it might be prudent to delay access to the ship by keeping the gangway up after the agent’s boarding, until all declarations are completed and controlled by the agent, and ready to be handed to the customs officer. A list of the required documentation is as follows:
1. Clearance
2. Paint inventory
3. Crew list
4. Cargo manifest with goods in transit
5. Crew effects declaration
6. Ports of call list
7. Bonded store declaration
8. Chemicals
9. Bunker declaration, for e.g.
10. Fuel-oil
11. Diesel-oil
12. Lube-oil
13. Oil in tanks (including in sump tanks)
14. Oil in drums
15. Oil in cans
16. Used oil (sludge)
If you have any further questions on this topic, please contact your local P&I correspondent and/or ships agent.

Date updated : 01/02/2017 Date added : 13/01/2015

Senegal

Senegal - Risk: Restricted availability of bunkers at Dakar roads, Senegal

SENEGAL - Risk: Restricted availability of bunkers at Dakar roads, Senegal

Local P&I correspondents have advised that bunkers are no longer available at Dakar roads. Therefore the only possibility for vessels stemming bunkers at Dakar is at a berth, where a number of companies have the appropriate equipment.

Assessment and Analysis

If owners and ship managers choose to berth alongside for bunkering operations, great care must be taken to satisfy all customs authority requirements, particularly in respect of customs declarations. Please see the “Customs Fines at Dakar” enduring risk for additional guidance on this.

Date updated : 01/02/2017 Date added : 13/01/2015

Senegal

Senegal - Risk: Fines for inaccurate bunker customs declarations in the port of Dakar, Senegal

SENEGAL - Risk: Fines for inaccurate bunker customs declarations in the port of Dakar, Senegal

A P&I correspondent has advised that customs officials in the port of Dakar are imposing large fines against ships where the amount of bunkers on board does not tally with the amount stated on customs declarations.

 

We understand that in some instances customs officials have demanded that a letter backed by the ship owner’s P&I club should be issued promising payment of the fine within 15 days. Customs authorities have also stated that ships will be detained pending issuance of these letters. Even if it is possible for a Club to issue such a letter (which may not always be the case), the need to investigate the circumstances surrounding the alleged liability and the formalities required before doing so are likely to lead to delays to the vessel.

Assessment and Analysis

Ship owners should ensure that all paperwork is accurate before arrival into port.

Date updated : 01/02/2017 Date added : 26/08/2015

Senegal

Senegal - Risk: Hull staining at Dakar, Senegal

SENEGAL - Risk: Hull staining at Dakar, Senegal

Reports from a local P&I correspondent has indicated that oil and other debris floating in the harbour has resulted in significant staining to vessels in Dakar. It is understood that the majority of the oil originates from the port’s bunkering pier and also from the fishing port.

Assessment and Analysis

From a loss prevention perspective the following actions should be considered:
1.    Negotiate the terms of the Charterparty to provide Shipowners with an express indemnity against all costs associated with hull cleaning as a consequence of calling at Dakar
2.    If the vessel is under Time Charter, Shipowners may consider asking Charterers for an LOI to cover cleaning costs and any other incidental costs and losses as a consequence of calling at Dakar
3.    Taking photographs of the hull prior to and after calling at Dakar
4.    Taking photographs of any floating oil encountered whilst in port
5.    Consider taking samples of the oil floating on the surface of the water whilst in port.

Professional hull cleaning services are available at Dakar should they be required.

North has published an Industry News article on this topic which can be accessed by clicking here.

Date updated : 08/02/2017 Date added : 08/02/2017

Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone - Risk: Issues associated with loading iron ore cargo from Pepel port and Freetown anchorage

SIERRA LEONE - Risk: Issues associated with loading iron ore cargo from Pepel port and Freetown anchorage

There are occasional problems related to shipping Iron Ore cargoes from Sierra Leone with a moisture content in excess of the Transportable Moisture Limit (TML).

Assessment and Analysis

The rainy season in Sierra Leone is between May and November. July and August are the months of heaviest rainfall.

To combat the effects of the wet season in Sierra Leone, some companies have implemented a seasonal shipping strategy. This involves the shipping of Group A cargoes (Fines and AI32) during the drier months of the year, where moisture levels of the cargo can more easily be controlled. As the wet season approaches, Group C cargoes (Lump and Lump Blend) are shipped. It is understood that companies are making efforts to improve the stockpiling and transportation of iron ore shore side in order to alleviate this occasional problem.

North’s Loss Prevention Briefing on Liquefaction and the carriage of Iron Ore Cargoes can be read here.

 

Date updated : 01/02/2017 Date added : 13/01/2015

Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone - Risk: Problems associated with the loading of bauxite on the Sherbro River, Sierra Leone

SIERRA LEONE - Risk: Problems associated with the loading of bauxite on the Sherbro River, Sierra Leone

Local P&I correspondents have advised that Bauxite is normally loaded on the Sherbro River in the South West of Sierra Leone.

The Sherbro River area is a very remote location and crew vigilance should be exercised to prevent stowaways from boarding the vessel.

Due to its remote location, we have been advised that cargo surveys may be difficult, since it requires surveyors to hire four wheel drive vehicles and travel an extended distance from Freetown.

Hotel/accommodation and miscellaneous expenses for officials that provide assistance along the way should be expected. There are also significant delays with all forms of communication from this location.

Bauxite is typically mined as fine sand which is then washed and dried before being loaded onto covered barges at Nitti. Grabs are then used to lift the cargo from the river barges to awaiting bulk carriers. However, due to draft restrictions in the river, ships cannot be fully loaded and have to relocate to the mouth of the Sherbro River for topping off.

North has encountered a number of claims as a result of collisions and crew illness/injury. If any crew Member requires medical attention for anything complex, P&I correspondents recommend air evacuation as the medical facilities Nitti are very basic.

There are occasional problems with cargo being presented for loading with moisture content over the TML.

Rainy season in Sierra Leone is between May and November with July and August being the months of heaviest rainfall.

Assessment and Analysis

Shipowners and ship managers should ensure that the cargo is correctly declared and if the master is in doubt of any of its properties, an independent surveyor should be appointed and samples of the cargo retested.

North’s Loss Prevention Briefing on Liquefaction can be read by clicking here.

Date updated : 01/02/2017 Date added : 13/01/2015

Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone - Risk: Associated with discharging bulk rice at ports in Sierra Leone

SIERRA LEONE - Risk: associated with discharging bulk rice at ports in Sierra Leone

The main issues with discharging bulk rice are short landing claims perhaps due to pilferage and/or shore scales not being correctly calibrated. Discharging directly into silos relieves part of this problem, but significant losses can still be encountered as a result of spurious trucks arriving at the vessel and a large quantity of cargo disappearing.

Assessment and Analysis

Owners and ship managers are advised that, whether discharging into trucks or silos, draft surveys, tallymen (at the shore scales), crew vigilance and an accurate log of the whole discharge operations is essential.

Regularly maintain accurate records of the whole operation and submit Letters of Protest for any discrepancies to all appropriate parties in the shortest possible time scale.

For further advice on this topic owners and ship managers are advised to contact their local port Agent.

North’s Loss Prevention Briefing on bagged rice cargoes is available to read here.

North’s Loss Prevention guide on Draught Surveys is available to read here.

Date updated : 01/02/2017 Date added : 13/01/2015

Somalia

Somalia - Risk: Somalia-based pirates targeting vessels operating in littoral waters of Somalia, the Indian Ocean and Gulf of Oman

SOMALIA - Risk: Somali-based pirates targeting vessels operating in the littoral waters of Somalia, the Indian ocean and Gulf of Oman

In March 2017, Somali pirates hijacked the product tanker ARIS 13, while it was in transit close to the Somali coast.

It was the first occasion that a merchant ship had been hijacked by Somalis for nearly 5 years.

Although the ARIS 13 was released within a few days of being taken, attacks on the merchant vessels OS35, ALHEERA and COSTINA – as well as the hijack of an Indian dhow named AL KASHER – followed in April.

In May, Somali pirates also seized an Iranian fishing dhow.

In June 2017 the US-led Combined Maritime Forces (CMF), which aims to protect shipping from terrorism and piracy, said it was stepping up its activities in a wide region covering the northwest Indian Ocean, the Gulf of Aden, including areas where Somali pirates have traditionally been active.

Assessment and Analysis

Somalia-based pirates hijacked merchant ships frequently between 2005 and 2012. However, the seizing of the ARIS 13 was the first successful pirate attack in the region for almost five years.

The incident and the attacks that followed are a reminder that the drivers of Somali piracy – the geo-economic conditions in Somalia and the grievances its coastal communities have over illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (IUU) activity in Somali waters – have not changed substantially.

Together with NATO withdrawing naval assets from the Indian Ocean following conclusion of Operation Ocean Shield at the end of 2016 and indications to suggest that shipping has been gradually lowering its guard against the threat, it is not unreasonable to estimate that the piracy risk is higher now than it has been in the last few years.

The attacks in March, April and May this year have been categorised by some organisations as “opportunistic”, but it would be incorrect to infer from this that the pirates were acting casually. On the contrary, officials in Puntland have been quoted in news reports saying that pirate gangs have been reforming with the intent and capability to hijack merchant ships.

There has been little activity off Somalia since May, which may indicate that the attacks that took place in the months before were anomalous to the wider picture rather than a new direction of travel. However, only with time and with the benefit of hindsight, will it be possible to place them into context with more certainty.

For the foreseeable future, shipowners, operators and mariners are urged to remain vigilant of the threat, continue to take protective measures against potential attacks and stay up to date with the advisories published by EUNAVFOR, MSC-HOA and UKMTO amongst others.

Date updated : 05/07/2017 Date added : 02/10/2014

South Africa

South Africa - Risk: Costs and consequences for repatriating stowaways at the port of Durban

SOUTH AFRICA - Risk: Costs and consequences for repatriating stowaways at the port of Durban

Local P&I correspondents have reported incidents where stowaways have been discovered on board vessels in Durban. The vessels were either carrying out cargo operations or conducting searches just prior to their departure when the stowaways were discovered.
Due to recent regulatory changes, immigration officials classifying any persons found as stowaways rather than as trespassers (as had previously been done). With this change in policy, the costs associated with repatriation now lie with the ship owners and ship managers of vessels.
Immigration officials advise that the obligation rests on the vessel to ensure that only authorised people are allowed on board.

Assessment and Analysis

Ship owners and ship managers should instruct their crews to be vigilant and maintain strict gangway watches throughout their vessel’s stay in Durban. If any person boarding the vessel (stevedores, agents, ship chandlers, cleaners, immigration, ship repairers and contractors) does not have a Transnet Port Permit then the person should be refused access to the vessel. If necessary, the person should be taken to the bottom of the gangway and port security notified. A full and thorough stowaway search should be carried out prior to the vessel’s departure from port.
North’s Industry News Article can be read here.
North’s Loss Prevention Briefing on the topic of stowaways can be read here.
North’s Signals article that covers the repatriation of stowaways in South Africa can be read here.

Date updated : 01/02/2017 Date added : 13/01/2015

South Africa

South Africa - Risk: Ships anchoring in South African coastal waters are obliged to first obtain permission from the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA)

SOUTH AFRICA - Risk: Ships anchoring in South African coastal waters are obliged to first obtain permission from the South African Maritime Safety Authority

Ships anchoring in South African coastal waters are obliged to first obtain permission from the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA).

Assessment and Analysis

Owners, ship managers or masters should immediately contact the local authorities and obtain permission to anchor the vessel. Any problems with the vessel should also be reported. SAMSA will then study the application before granting permission to anchor.

If you require any further information, please contact your local ship agent or P&I correspondent

Date updated : 01/02/2017 Date added : 13/01/2015

South Africa

South Africa - Risk: Delays caused by ship detentions due to the discovery of armaments on board merchant vessels in South Africa

SOUTH AFRICA - Risk: Delays caused by ship detentions due to the discovery of armaments on board merchant vessels in South Africa

Local P&I Correspondents have advised that merchant vessels calling into South African ports have been detained by the authorities as a result of armaments being discovered (not as cargo) without submission of the appropriate permits.

Assessment and Analysis

In view of the potential risk of a vessel’s detention, and the Master being arrested and prosecuted under the Fire Arms Control Act, P&I Correspondents recommend that Owners/Ship Managers should take the following action:

1. No weapons to be loaded on board vessels in South Africa ports unless the company delivering he weapons can produce a permit to the Master before the weapons are taken on board the vessel.

2. If there are guns and ammunition currently on board the vessel then the Master should, immediately upon getting instructions to proceed to South Africa, make an application to the police at least 96 hours prior to arrival. This application will be made seeking the permission of the South African Police for the vessel to berth at a South African port with guns and ammunition on board the vessel.

3. Within the application, the Captain of the vessel should set out his personal details as well as details of the ownership of his vessel and details of the managers of the vessel.

4. He should advise on his last port of call and provide details of his next port of call.

5. He should provide the necessary documentation relating to the weapons on board the vessel setting out when they were put on board the vessel and who authorised this.

6. He should also provide full details of the weapons and ammunition on board, including serial numbers.

7. He should confirm where the weapons and ammunition are being stored and how they are being stored.

 

The above points are only a guide and all Owners/Ship Managers should make the necessary requests and obtain the permits prior to their vessel’s arrival.

Date updated : 01/02/2017 Date added : 13/01/2015

South Africa

South Africa - Risk: Costs and consequences for repatriating stowaways at the port of Cape Town

SOUTH AFRICA - Risk: Costs and consequences for repatriating stowaways at the port of Cape Town

Local P&I correspondents have reported incidents where stowaways have been discovered on board vessels in Cape Town. The vessels were either carrying out cargo operations or conducting searches just prior to their departure when the stowaways were discovered.
Due to recent regulatory changes that mirror those at the port of Durban in March 2014, immigration officials in Cape Town are classifying any persons found as “stowaways” rather than as “trespassers” (as had previously been done). With this change in policy, the costs associated with repatriation now lie with the shipowners and ship managers of vessels.
Immigration officials advise that the obligation rests on the vessel to ensure that only authorised people are allowed on board.

Assessment and Analysis

Shipowners and ship managers should instruct their crews to be vigilant and maintain strict gangway watches throughout their vessel’s stay in Cape Town. If any person boarding the vessel (stevedores, agents, ship chandlers, cleaners, immigration, ship repairers and contractors) does not have a Transnet Port Permit then the person should be refused access to the vessel. If necessary, the person should be taken to the bottom of the gangway and port security notified. A full and thorough stowaway search should be carried out prior to the vessel’s departure from port.
North’s Industry News Article can be read here.
North’s Loss Prevention Briefing on the topic of stowaways can be read here.

North’s Signals article that covers the repatriation of stowaways in South Africa can be read here.

Date updated : 01/02/2017 Date added : 13/02/2015

Sudan

Sudan - Risk: Regular shortage claims following the discharge of bulk wheat at Port Sudan

SUDAN - Risk: Regular shortage claims following the discharge of bulk wheat at Port Sudan

Local P&I correspondents have reported an increase in shortage claims following the discharge of bulk wheat direct from ship to silo at Port Sudan.

It is thought that the primary reason for these shortage claims is the unreliability of the silo scales and/or the bagging machine scales if the cargo is bagged at the discharge port.

If a shortage is recorded, Sudanese consignees will habitually arrest the vessel concerned.

Assessment and Analysis

To mitigate or avoid such shortage claims, shipowners and ship managers are advised to carry out draught surveys at both the load and discharge ports. Additionally, the sealing of the hatch covers upon completion of loading may also help.

Date updated : 30/01/2017 Date added : 13/01/2015

Sudan

Sudan - Risk: Fraudulent steel transactions to Port Sudan

SUDAN - Risk: Fraudulent steel transactions to Port Sudan

ICC International Maritime Bureau (IMB) has identified a number of suspicious transactions in the steel trade to Port Sudan.
The Bureau identified several documents for shipments of steel products that appeared to be suspicious, while conducting due diligence on behalf of its members.
The purported shipments covered consignments of steel billets from North African and Middle Eastern ports to Port Sudan.
The IMB’s enquiries identified a number of irregularities in the documents that cast doubt on the authenticity of the documents and the existence of the shipments which they purportedly represented.

Assessment and Analysis

The IMB recommends stringent due diligence checks on all parties involved in any major transaction, even on parties with established trading records. Furthermore, the Bureau advises that all details of the shipment are scrutinised by a third party.

Date updated : 30/01/2017 Date added : 03/02/2015

Sudan

Sudan - Risk: Damage and shortage claims for bagged cargo in Port Sudan

SUDAN - Risk: Damage and shortage claims for bagged cargo in Port Sudan

P&I correspondents report that damages have been recorded due to rough handling by stevedores in Port Sudan.

Stevedores often load varying numbers of bag into cargo nets or slings, which can result in damage to the bags and makes tallying the cargo difficult.

Shortage claims appear to be as a result of mishandling and poor tallying of cargo which has been transported from the ship to the receiver’s warehouse.

If shortages are recorded, the Sudanese receivers will habitually arrest the vessel for the value of the short landed cargo.

Assessment and Analysis

In order to prevent or mitigate the effect of claims of this nature we would recommend:

  • Hatch covers, vents and other cargo hold openings to be properly maintained and made fully weather tight prior arrival in port.  Residues of previous cargoes to be removed and cargo holds swept, washed and cleaned ready for loading.  Ensure hatch coaming drain channels and drains are unblocked and drain valves working correctly.
  • Correct size, clean dunnage and craft paper to be used in lining all tank tops and bulkheads ensuring adequate ventilation channels throughout.  Bamboo poles and matting should be avoided if at all possible.
  • Draft surveys carried out by an independent surveyor, prior to the commencement of and at the end of cargo operations at load and discharge ports.
  • Tally clerks appointed to tally the cargo at load and discharge ports and all discrepancies immediately reported to your local correspondent.
  • Stowage of cargo providing adequate ventilation channels within the stow, allowing effective ventilation throughout the voyage (in accordance with charterers carriage instructions).  Be prepared to issue letters of protest in the shortest possible time scale, if necessary on a daily basis and ensure that the protest is issued to not only the stevedores, but also the receivers and charterers.
  • Prevent stevedores from using hooks or overloading cargo slings and immediately report any rough handling to the local correspondent and to your P&I Club.
  • Employ appropriate weather services and the officer on watch to monitor weather via the ship’s radar.  Any signs of rain, sufficient crew to be readily available to close all open hatch covers promptly.
  • Prior to sailing the hatch covers and access hatches should be appropriately fitted with numbered security seals, witnessed and recorded by all appropriate parties.  Unsealing at the discharge port should also be similarly witnessed and recorded.
  • Ensure that the charterer is financially secure and entered with an IG club before fixing your vessel.
  • In an effort to avoid pilferage both on board and on the quay, responsible crew members should be deputised to monitor the operation.  Effective gangway security should be maintained throughout.
  • An adequate supply of empty bags should be on board for re-bagging purposes.

Photographs should be taken of any damages and mishandling of cargo.  Regularly maintain accurate records of the whole operation and submit Letters of Protest for any discrepancies to all appropriate parties in the shortest possible time scale.

North’s Loss Prevention Briefing on bagged rice cargoes is available to access by clicking here.

Date updated : 30/01/2017 Date added : 30/01/2017

Tunisa

Tunisa - Risk: P&I claims and customs fines arising from short landing of cargo in Tunisian ports

TUNISA - Risk: P&I claims and customs fines arising from short landing of cargo in Tunisian ports.

Fines are routinely imposed after cargo shortage claims are pursued in Tunisian courts for both grains and oils. The courts in Tunisia accept court surveyors’ figures for outturn in favour of independent surveyors’ figures calculated during a draft survey at the load port. Due to the nature of the cargoes being shipped into Tunisia (e.g. grains and oils), differences in load, Bill of Lading and outturn figures are not uncommon. This is compounded by the inappropriate use of equipment or rough handling by stevedores, resulting in cargo damages and shortage claims.

Labour union strikes in ports can result in delays to commercial operations and such strikes increased since the civil disturbances of January 2011.

Assessment and Analysis

Owners and ship managers should take the following precautions at the load port:,

1. A tally of all cargo should be carried out at the load port and reports countersigned by all appropriate parties
2. A draft survey should be undertaken at the load port and countersigned by all appropriate parties

3. The hatch covers should be sealed and a sealing certificate signed by all appropriate parties

Upon arrival at the discharge port an unsealing survey should be carried out and signed by the shipper’s
surveyor. A court surveyor and tally clerks where appropriate, should be appointed but guided by the owner’s representative.

Date updated : 01/02/2017 Date added : 13/01/2015

West Africa

West Africa - Risk: Drug trafficking in West African ports

WEST AFRICA - Risk: Drug trafficking in West African ports

Drug Trafficking in Sub Saharan Africa has for a long time been recognised as a problem in the region.  Between 2004 and 2007, at least two trans-shipment hubs emerged in West Africa; one centred on Guinea-Bissau and Guinea, and one centred in the Bight of Benin which spans from Ghana to Nigeria. Colombian traffickers transported cocaine by ‘mother ship’ to the West African coast before offloading to smaller vessels.

Assessment and Analysis

Owners, ship managers masters and their crew should take the following precautions when in port:

All crew members should remain on board throughout the vessel’s stay in port.

Drug use and Trafficking warning notices should be displayed at prominent locations throughout the vessel, particularly at the gangway and in crew’s communal areas.

Gangway security should be maintained at all times and in strict accordance with the vessel’s ISPS Code procedures. The actions taken by local authorities, stevedores and other shore-based personnel should also be recorded at regular intervals.  Crew members should have a permanent presence wherever stevedores or other officials are operating on board the ship.

Access to the vessel should be restricted and the surrounding area carefully monitored whilst in port.  All parties boarding the vessel should have their credentials scrutinized and individuals who have no legitimate reason for being onboard should be denied entry. Accurate records of all activities observed both on board and ashore should be maintained throughout the vessel’s stay in port.

During the hours of darkness, the ship and quay should be permanently lit by the ship’s flood lights and any suspicious movements be immediately reported to the Master.  A careful watch of the offshore side of the vessel should be maintained and the presence of any boats approaching the ship should be immediately reported to the Master.  The ship’s searchlights would be helpful in this respect.

The crew should perform regular shipboard inspections and a record of these maintained in the ship’s logbook.  Broken security seals should be investigated and findings recorded in the ship’s log book. Once cargo operations are completed, the crew should perform a full search of the vessel for any illegal substances, suspect packages or stowaways.  This might also include a dive survey of the area below the water line.

Once the vessel has sailed and the outbound pilot has disembarked, a thorough search of all compartments should be conducted and the results recorded in the logbook.

If drugs are discovered on board, the Master should immediately activate the vessel’s Emergency Contingency Plan and/or the Ship’s Security Plan.  The Master should then notify the relevant local authorities, noting the following actions:

•    The drugs should not be handled or moved.
•    The area where the drugs have been discovered should be photographed then sealed to prevent any further access.
•    Inform your P&I Club, the local P&I Correspondent, the ship’s Owner and Technical Manager.
•    Record the actions taken in the ship’s log book.

The IMO’s Guidelines for the Prevention and Suppression of the Smuggling of Drugs, Psychotropic Substances and Precursor Chemicals on Ships Engaged in International Maritime Traffic can be read here.

For the latest information on this topic, please go to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime website can be read here.

Date updated : 08/02/2017 Date added : 08/02/2017

West Africa

West Africa - Risk: Bagged rice shortage claims in West African ports

WEST AFRICA - Risk: Bagged rice shortage claims in West African ports

Bagged rice claims are commonplace in many West African ports.
Potential Problems with Bagged Rice.

The main problems that may be encountered with the carriage of bagged rice cargoes are:

* Temperature at the load port and climatic sea conditions throughout the voyage.

* Humidity / moisture content at the load port.

* Ventilation throughout the voyage / damage caused by sweat.

* Self heating / spontaneous combustion due to high moisture content >15% (0.5% – 1.0% oil content).

* Odour caused by wet damaged rice penetrating the unaffected stow.

* Contamination by dust, dirt, oils, fats and other contaminants.

* Mechanical influences such as damage to bags caused by the use of hooks or overloaded cargo slings.

* Gases caused by bio activity and natural metabolic processes.

* Toxicity / hazards to health caused by the evolution of CO2 within the cargo hold.

* Shrinkage / shortage primarily caused by pilferage or damaged bags.

* Insect infestation / disease.

If any of these problems arise during the voyage, even if very minor in nature, it may cause a big problem at a West African discharge port.

Assessment and Analysis

Before fixing a vessel to carry a cargo of bagged rice, it is important to specify that stevedores are employed at the risk and expense of the shippers, charterer and / or receivers. Owners should also give careful consideration to the allocation of risk under the relevant charter party and jurisdiction that may apply to claims under the bills of lading.

Ventilation

Ventilation should only be carried out during daylight hours and immediately stopped during periods of rain or when shipping seas. The following should be considered when determining when to ventilate:

1. Do not ventilate if the dew point of the ambient air is higher than the dew point of the air inside the cargo space.

2. Ventilate only if the dew point of the ambient air is lower than or equal to the dew point of air inside the cargo space.

Please refer to North’s Loss Prevention guide on Ventilation here.

Claims Mitigation

In order to prevent or mitigate the effect of claims of this nature we would recommend:

* Hatch covers, vents and other cargo hold openings to be properly maintained and made fully weather tight prior arrival in port. Residues of previous cargoes to be removed and cargo holds swept, washed and cleaned ready for loading. Ensure hatch coaming drain channels and drains are unblocked and drain valves working correctly.

* Correct size, clean dunnage and craft paper to be used in lining all tank tops and bulkheads ensuring adequate ventilation channels throughout. Bamboo poles and matting should be avoided if at all possible.

* Draft surveys carried out by an independent surveyor, prior to the commencement of and at the end of cargo operations at load and discharge ports.

* Tally clerks appointed to tally the cargo at load and discharge ports. discrepancies immediately reported to your local correspondent.

* Stowage of cargo providing adequate ventilation channels within the stow, allowing effective ventilation throughout the voyage. Be prepared to issue letters of protest in the shortest possible time scale, if necessary on a daily basis and ensure that the protest is issued to not only the stevedores, but also the receivers and charterers.

* Prevent stevedores from using hooks or overloading cargo slings and immediately report any rough handling to the local correspondent and North.

* Employ appropriate weather services and the officer on watch to monitor weather via the ship’s radar. Any signs of rain, sufficient crew to be readily available to close all open hatch covers promptly.

* Prior to sailing the hatch covers and access hatches should be appropriately fitted with numbered security seals, witnessed and recorded by all appropriate parties. Unsealing at the discharge port should also be similarly witnessed and recorded.

* Ensure that the charterer is financially secure and entered with an IG club before fixing your vessel.

* In an effort to avoid pilferage both on board and on the quay, responsible crew members should be deputised to monitor the operation. Effective gangway security should be maintained throughout.

North’s Loss Prevention Briefing on bagged rice cargoes is available to read here
North’s Loss Prevention guide on Hatch Cover Maintenance and Testing is available to read here.

North’s Loss Prevention ‘Hot-Spots’ provides a ready reference on Hatch Cover Maintenance can be read here.

North’s Loss Prevention guide on Draught Surveys is available to read here.

Date updated : 02/08/2017 Date added : 15/08/2014

Asia

Australia

Australia - Risk: PSC detentions after AMSA scrutinise navigation practices

AUSTRALIA - Risk: Possible ship detention by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority as a consequence of using non-approved navigation charts in Australian waters

From 1 January 2017 to 30 April 2017 the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) reported 142 ships failing to comply with safe navigation practices on voyages. Consequently, 15 of the ships inspected were detained. Deficiencies included the use of unofficial copies of nautical charts, missing charts for voyages, failure to use charts during voyages, failure to plan or monitor voyages appropriately and electronic navigation systems that were unapproved, missing the correct charts for voyages or that crew were not trained to use.

Concentrated inspection campaigns (CIC) are currently underway with other signatory nations including: Indian Ocean Memorandum of Understanding and Asia Pacific Memorandum of Understanding focusing on the use of unofficial nautical charts.

Assessment and Analysis

In an effort to avoid possible delays and port state detentions, masters, owners and ship managers should ensure that their vessels possess all corrected navigation charts for the intended voyage. If a vessel does not possess all the appropriate charts before entering Australian waters, ship agents should make arrangements to provide a vessel with the up to date charts so that the passage plan and port entry can be adequately prepared in advance of the pilot boarding. If an electronic navigation system is used onboard, the vessel must have the correct charts for each voyage and all bridge watchkeeping officers should be trained and confident in the equipments use.

Date updated : 03/10/2017 Date added : 13/01/2015

Australia

Australia - Risk: Detentions and delays arising from Port State Control (PSC) inspections and non-compliance with Maritime Labour Convention (MLC) 2006 regulations

AUSTRALIA - Risk: Detentions and delays arising from Port State Control (PSC) inspections and non-compliance with MLC 2006 regulations

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) has issued a media release highlighting the steps they are taking to deal with vessels that are found to be non-compliant with the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 (MLC).

During recent routine Port State Control (PSC) inspections, deficiencies included: not having enough food and potable water for the next voyage; defective and insufficient refrigerated storage to safely store fresh food; defective laundry, sanitary and cooking facilities; as well as expired Seafarer Employment Agreements (SEA).

AMSA has indicated that they will detain vessels that are found not to conform to MLC if "the conditions on board are clearly hazardous to the safety, health and security of seafarers or the non-conformity constitutes a serious breach of the requirements of MLC (including seafarers' rights)".

A copy of the Media Release can be read by clicking here.

Assessment and Analysis

Ship owners are well aware that Australia has highly developed occupational health and safety regulations, so robust pre-arrival checks to ensure MLC compliance are advisable.

For further information, shipowners and ship managers should contact their local P&I correspondents and/or port agents.

Date updated : 11/03/2015 Date added : 11/03/2015

Australia

Australia - Risk: Navigation through the Great Barrier Reef and Torres Strait, Australia

AUSTRALIA - Risk: Navigation through the Great Barrier Reef and Torres Strait, Australia

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) has prepared a quick reference guide to highlight the key obligations of ship’s Masters, shipowners, ship operators and crews whilst transiting through the Great Barrier Reef and the Torres Strait.

AMSA states that “the safety of shipping depends on all parties having detailed knowledge of, and complying with regulatory and other obligations and duties imposed on them in the circumstances”

AMSA has a dedicated webpage with links to detailed information, current marine notices and media releases on the following:

• Particularly sensitive sea areas
• Coastal pilotage
• Queensland coastal passage plan (QCPP)
• REEFVTS (The Great Barrier Reef and Torres Strait Vessel Traffic Service)
• Great Barrier Reef Marine Park designated shipping area
• Defect and incident reporting
• Disposal of garbage
• Charts and publications
• Fitness for duty
• Port State Control

Assessment and Analysis

Ship owners and shipmanagers should familiarise themselves with AMSA’s guidance prior to navigating through the Great Barrier Reef and Torres Strait.

The webpage and quick guide does not contain all regulatory and other obligations and duties of owners, operators, Masters and crew, but is a useful staring point.

Ship owners and shipmanagers can gain direct access to AMSA’s guide at: www.amsa.gov.au/navigation/quick-guide-gbr-torres/

Date updated : 20/05/2015 Date added : 20/05/2015

Bangladesh

Bangladesh - Threat: armed robbery and pilferage - vessels anchored or berthed at Chittagong and Cox’s Bazar Ports, Bangladesh

BANGLADESH - Threat: armed robbery and pilferage on vessels anchored or berthed at Chittagong and Cox’s Bazar Ports, Bangladesh

Ship robbery is common within the anchorage of Chittagong and has continued into 2015. Robbers typically board vessels in order to steal ships stores, money and crew possessions, leaving in skiffs before alarms can be raised. Attacks are usually very brief and generally occur at night.

There have been occasions in which armed criminals have tied up and tortured crew members before stealing possessions and valuables. The prevalence of such crime stems from a poor local community in Chittagong with high levels of crime.

Assessment and Analysis

Generally, target vessels are approached by a small skiff or boarded via anchor chains (both day and night). In order to prevent such attacks from occurring it is advised that Captain and crew take steps to reduce the risk of being targeted.

Recommended preventative measures include:

  • Improving physical security, including the usage of bright lighting in and around the vessel while at anchor.
  • Controlling access to the vessel by lifting ladders above the water and securing access via the anchor chain/hawse pipe when not in use.
  • Maintaining a continuous watch whilst waiting at anchorage.

Date updated : 25/09/2015 Date added : 02/10/2014

China

China - Risk: Cargo claims and potential liquefaction of fluorspar cargoes in China

CHINA - Risk: Cargo claims and potential liquefaction of fluorspar cargoes in China

There are occasional problems related to shipping fluorspar cargoes from China with a Moisture Content (MC) in excess of the Transportable Moisture Limit (TML).

Assessment and Analysis

Shipowners loading fluorspar from Hong Kong or other Chinese ports should exercise extreme caution and fully familiarise themselves with the relevant sections of the IMSBC Code before agreeing to load and carry this commodity.

Shipowners and ship managers should ensure that the shipper’s cargo declaration complies with the requirements and schedule set out in the IMSBC Code.

The loading operation should be monitored throughout and can tests should carried out in accordance with the IMSBC Code.

North’s Loss Prevention Briefing on liquefaction can be read on the Club’s website here.

North’s Loss Prevention “Hot-Spots” on liquefaction can be read on the Club’s website here.

Date updated : 03/04/2017 Date added : 20/01/2015

China

China - Risk: Danger to navigation due to sea ice in the Baohai Sea and Yellow Sea, China

CHINA - Risk: Danger to navigation due to sea ice in the Baohai Sea, China

Past reports have indicated that ice cover in some parts of the Bohai Sea and the Yellow Sea in northern China can extend up to 90 nautical miles from the coast. China’s State Oceanic Administration has previously reported ice up to 40cm thick resulting in disruptions to shipping and an increase in port congestion. The Bohai Sea includes the ports of Dalian, Tianjin and Qinhuangdao. The Yellow Sea covers an area from Shanghai north to northern China and the west coast of the Korean peninsula including Incheon near the capital Seoul. Widespread ice cover can disrupt shipping activities although major South Korean ports including Pusan are usually unaffected.

BIMCO reports that January/February are usually the worst months for sea ice in the Yellow Sea, normally easing March/April.

Assessment and Analysis

Shipowners and ship managers trading to this area are advised to obtain the most up to date information from local port agents.
China’s National Marine Forecasting Centre (NMEFC) issues ice warnings and these can be accessed on their website by clicking here.

Date updated : 03/04/2017 Date added : 20/01/2015

China

China - Risk: Fertilizer loaded in Chinese ports susceptible to caking and contamination

CHINA - Risk: Fertilizer loaded in Chinese ports susceptible to caking and contamination

The fertilizer cargo is delivered to the vessel in 50kg plastic or jumbo bags. The hatch covers are then cracked open around 1.0mtr and a steel grate with a mesh size of around 25mm placed over the opening. The bagged cargo is then lowered onto the grate and split open to release the cargo into the cargo hold.
There have been instances where the cargo is delivered to the vessel partially caked and the stevedores manually break up the lumps until it passes through the grate into the cargo hold, giving it a superficially free flowing state. Whilst on passage to the discharge port, the cargo again becomes caked and substantial claims have been experienced when receivers reject the cargo.
A further problem is that cargoes have become contaminated with particles of plastic from the bags used to transport the cargo to the vessel, together with scraps, string and fibres, again resulting in rejected cargoes.

Assessment and Analysis

Ship owners and ship managers, if at all possible, should:

* Seek to avoid loading fertilizer cargo using this method.

* Accurately clause bills of lading.

* Carefully document the loading process (photographs are a good form of contemporaneous evidence).

* Carefully monitor the condition of the cargo being loaded.

* Immediately issue letters of protest to all appropriate parties as soon as problems become evident.

Date updated : 03/04/2017 Date added : 20/01/2015

China

China - Risk: Fines, Port State Control detentions and delays for breaching regulations for passing through the Qiongzhou Straits, China

CHINA - Risk: Fines, Port State Control detentions and delays for breaching regulations for passing through the Qiongzhou Straits, China

When any merchant vessel intends to make a passage through the Qiongzhou Straits, it must apply to the Qiongzhou Straits Authority for permission 48 hours before the vessel enters the Strait, or before the vessel departs port (on the outbound passage) with detailed information.

After receiving formal permission from the Qiongzhou Strait Authority, the vessel must then notify the Authority (24 hours before entering the Strait) of the exact eta/time of entry into the strait.

The Qiongzhou Strait Authority may at any time deem to close the strait and withdraw all permissions. Failure to comply with the Regulations Governing Non-military Foreign Vessels Passing through the Qiongzhou Straits can result in severe penalties that may result in fines, PSC problems and subsequent delays.

Assessment and Analysis

Ship owners and ship managers are therefore advised to fully familiarise themselves with the reporting requirements of the Regulations Governing Non-military Foreign Vessels Passing Through the Qiongzhou Straits and report the required information to Qiongzhou Strait Authority within the required time scale.

Date updated : 03/04/2017 Date added : 20/01/2015

China

China - Risk: Navigation danger due to expansion of aquaculture at Lanshan, China

CHINA - Risk: Navigation danger due to expansion of aquaculture at Lanshan, China

In 2012, local P&I correspondents reported a significant increase in P&I claims for damage to aquaculture located to the east of No 2 anchorage at Lanshan port. It was reported that the fish farms had expanded, and in places had encroached into the main shipping lane in the approaches to Lanshan port.
In December 2013 local P&I correspondents advised that the Rizhao MSA established a new fairway to and from Lanshan and also introduced a new navigation route to the North-West of the fish farms.

Assessment and Analysis

As the situation is likely to change, shipowners and ship managers are advised to consider the following:
When the vessel is scheduled to call at Lanshan port, it is suggested that the Master make contact with the local port agent to ascertain the current situation. If the local port agent is not able to provide up to date information, the Master should seek assistance from the local MSA, and VTS.
Once accurate information about the channel is fixed on the chart, the vessel must strictly adhere to a course within the channel. Any deviation from the channel may lead the vessel into fish farm limits.
A proper navigational watch should be kept, a safe navigation speed should be maintained and the engine room should be manned throughout the vessel’s transit of this area. It would be advisable to place a crewmember forward as a watchman should visibility deteriorate.
Masters are advised to report their dynamic information to VTS before sailing to the new channel entrance so that VTS can provide assistance to safe navigation.
If the vessel makes contact with or navigates through a fish farm, Masters should immediately contact their P&I Club for assistance.

Date updated : 03/04/2017 Date added : 20/01/2015

China

China - Risk: The collection of tax from non-resident taxpayers engaged in international transportation business with China

CHINA - Risk: The collection of tax from non-resident taxpayers engaged in international transportation business with China

On 1 August 2014 a notice issued by the State Administration of Taxation of China for the Provisional Measures on the Collection of Tax on Non-resident Taxpayers Engaged in International Transportation Business (“the Provisional Measures”) came into effect. Despite being entitled ‘Provisional Measures’ the notice will have the force of law in China and will continue to apply until such time as they are replaced by another regulation.
The Provisional Measures contain a wide definition of what amounts to “international transportation business”, including any transportation into or out of Chinese ports whether via owned or chartered ships, and subjects such business to Enterprise Income Tax (“EIT”). It also provides that voyage charters and time charters are subject to the applicable tax rate for transportation services. This removes any doubt as to whether charter hire under time charters are considered as income from transportation services or property leasing (the latter being subject to different tax rates). Interestingly, demise charters fall outside the scope of the Provisional Measures.
A further aspect which foreign shipowners – defined as Non-Resident Taxpayers (“NRTs”) – need to take note is the prescribed mechanism for collection of tax under the Provisional Measures. Apart from self-registration in China for NRTs, the Provisional Measures reinforce the existing obligation for Chinese companies to act as withholding agents for EIT and other applicable taxes (e.g. Value Added Tax) when making payments to NRTs.
NRTs from countries that have tax treaties with China may apply for exemption from taxes relating to international transportation business.
The Provisional Measures reflect an overall tightening of the taxation regime in China, and are likely to have a far-reaching impact on shipowners who deal with Chinese counterparts, or whose vessels call into China.

Assessment and Analysis

Shipowners and ship managers should consider checking if there are any existing tax treaties between their countries of residence and China. Legal assistance should also be sought from Chinese lawyers when considering the inclusion of charterparty clauses that may include reference to this tax, as any clauses may have the potential to be construed under Chinese law as an attempt to evade taxes.

Date updated : 03/04/2017 Date added : 03/02/2015

China

China - Risk: Fines following illegal discharges into the Bohai Sea and China's inland waterways

CHINA - Risk: Fines following illegal discharges into the Bohai Sea and China's inland waterways

Under national legislation the Bohai Sea is classified as an inland waterway and as such the discharge of any substance from ships is strictly prohibited according to the Blue Sea Activity Plan of Bohai.

The Bohai Sea has been granted Protection of Particularly Sensitive Sea Area (PSSA) status through the IMO and a base-line drawn between Penglai in the south to the tip of the Liaodong Peninsula to the north. Within this baseline, discharges from ships are not permitted and failure to comply with this regulation may result in substantial fines being imposed by China’s Maritime Safety Administration (MSA).

A baseline also exists that defines the inland waterway adjacent to the mainland. The baseline is composed of straight lines linking up coordinates set by the Chinese government, as listed in the Declaration of the Government of the People’s Republic of China on the Baselines of the Territorial Sea of the People’s Republic of China. Within this baseline, the discharge is not permitted and failure to comply with this regulation may also result in substantial fines being imposed by China MSA.

Discharges from ships into China’s territorial waters and contiguous zones must comply with the requirements of MARPOL 73/78 Annex V, MEPC.201(62).

China MSA has issued a bulletin entitled Implementation of amendment to MARPOL 73/78 Annex V (MEPC.201(62)) which can be read here. The circular outlines the national requirements for compliance with MARPOL regulations as set out in MEPC.201(62).

IMO Resolution MEPC.201(62) Amendments to the annex of the protocol of 1978 relating to the international convention for the prevention of pollution from ships, 1973 (adopted on 15 July 2011) can be read here.

Assessment and Analysis

Shipowners and ship managers should ensure crews are fully aware of local, national and international regulations with regards to discharges from ships.

If there is any doubt as to the exact position of any baseline, advice should be sought from ship’s agents and China MSA. Such baselines should then be drawn on the ship’s charts and form part of the vessel’s passage planning process.

Upon receiving orders to proceed to a Chinese port, it is advisable to determine in advance what reception facilities are available and take steps to dispose of ship’s waste as appropriate.

The management and disposal of all ship’s waste should be clearly and accurately documented in the garbage record book and oil record book. Careful record keeping will help avoid any unwanted attention by China MSA and potentially significant fines being imposed.

Local regulations may be more stringent than those set out in MARPOL, and for this reason, it is recommended that local ship’s agents and P&I correspondents confirm the current requirements for any port (via China MSA) well in advance of entering China’s waters. If there is any doubt, the more stringent restrictions should be exercised.

Date updated : 03/04/2017 Date added : 11/03/2015

China

China - Risk: Theft from ships in Tianjin anchorage

CHINA - Risk: Theft from ships in Tianjin anchorage

There have been reports of thefts from vessels berthed at the anchorage outside Tianjin Port in northeastern China.

The anchorage is around 20 nautical miles from Tianjin port in an area where mobile phones may lack reception. The thieves generally strike at night. They approach in small boats that can be mistaken for fishing vessels.

Once on-board the thieves target ship stores, spare parts and bunker fuel. There have been no reports of the thieves being armed.

Assessment and Analysis

Most of the incidents happen in winter, possibly because high waves make it easier for the thieves to approach undetected. They may also be exploiting the likelihood that there will be fewer crew members on deck.
The Chinese Coast Guard has made arrests and the authorities say the overall security level of Tianjin Port has not been compromised.
Ships are advised to:
-Close anchor chain covers after dropping anchor.
-Turn on deck lights.
-Secure stores that are kept on deck.
-Keep watertight doors to accommodation areas locked from the inside.
-Have fire hoses on stand-by to be connected to the deck fire hydrants.
-Keep a proper look out and have regular patrols of decks and accommodation areas.
-Keep mooring lines securely in store until the day of coming alongside.
-If thieves do strike don’t touch anything that the thieves have touched in order for the police to gather finger prints.
-If possible, take photos of the thieves and their boat.
Call VHF CH 16 to contact VTS Xingang or China Coast Guard; call up the General Police Station of Tianjin by telephone No. +86-22-110 (English language available 24hrs/7days).

Date updated : 03/04/2017 Date added : 30/11/2016

Hong Kong

Hong Kong - Risk: Fines for emitting dark smoke in the port of Hong Kong

HONG KONG - Risk: Fines for emitting dark smoke in the port of Hong Kong

On 18 July 2014, new legislation was imposed in Hong Kong to control dark smoke emissions from ships.

It is an offence for any ship in Hong Kong waters to emit smoke defined as darker than shade 2 on the Ringelmann Chart for three or more minutes.

The Shipowner, port agent and ship’s Master will each be liable for a fine of HK$25,000 on first conviction, and HK$ 50,000 for any subsequent conviction.

Click here to read a copy of Marine Department Notice No. 92 of 2014, which includes a basic Ringelmann Smoke Chart.

Assessment and Analysis

Shipowners and ship managers should ensure that their crew are fully aware of this new legislation and provide them with a copy of the Ringelmann Chart.

Date updated : 03/04/2017 Date added : 13/01/2015

Hong Kong

Hong Kong - Risk: Fines for non-compliance with Hong Kong - Air Pollution Control (Ocean Going Vessels) (Fuel at Berth) Regulations

HONG KONG - Risk: Fines for non-compliance with Hong Kong - Air Pollution Control (Ocean Going Vessels) (Fuel at Berth) Regulations

The Hong Kong government has announced that vessels will be required to switch-over to low-sulphur fuel by 1 July 2015 or face fines of up to US$200,000.
The government has released a statement advising that the Air Pollution Control (Ocean Going Vessels) (Fuel at Berth) Regulation was discussed at the Legislative Council on March 18 2015 and the Environment Bureau is aiming for the regulation to come into force from 1st July 2015.
The Regulation will effectively apply to vessels of 500 gross tons and above certificated under the SOLAS Convention. However, there are limited exclusions, such as for warships, vessels operating exclusively within river trade limits or entering Hong Kong waters solely for certain emergency situations.
The regulation mandates that, (except for the first hour after berthing and the last hour before departure), all ocean-going vessels are required to use marine fuel with a sulphur content not exceeding 0.5% while along-side in Hong Kong.
If an ocean-going vessel uses technology that can achieve the same or less sulphur dioxide emission when compared with using low-sulphur marine fuel, the vessel may be exempted from fuel switching upon application to the Hong Kong authorities.
Masters of vessels that fail to switch-over to compliant fuel or do not possess an approved appropriate exemption certificate may face a six month jail sentence and a fine of up to US$200,000. Ship masters and ship owners who fail to record or keep the required particulars will also be liable to a maximum fine of US$50,000 and imprisonment for up to three months.
The new regulation is expected to reduce the total emissions of sulphur oxide by 12% to 6%, improving Hong Kong’s air quality and reducing the health risks associated with pollution.

Assessment and Analysis

Shipowners and ship managers should ensure they have implemented a suitable fuel changeover procedure and that all crew are trained and experienced in the process.
North recommends that fuel changeover drills are performed in advance of calling into port so as to limit the potential risks of losing primary machinery during changeover.
Detailed log entries, bunker delivery records, independent fuel oil analysis and changeover periods should be maintained in order to avoid any potential problems. Such log entries and bunker delivery notes must be retained on board the vessel for a period of three years.
The Air Pollution Control (Ocean Going Vessels) (Fuel at Berth) Regulations (L.N 51 of 2015) should be read and understood prior to vessels calling at Hong Kong and this can be accessed here.

Date updated : 03/04/2017 Date added : 25/03/2015

India

India - Risk: Cargo claims and potential liquefaction of iron ore cargoes in Goa, India

INDIA - Risk: Cargo claims and potential liquefaction of iron ore cargoes in Goa, India

On 21 April 2014, India’s Supreme Court lifted its ban on iron ore mining in the western state of Goa, but limited extraction to 20m tonnes a year. A number of vessels have experienced problems when loading wet iron ore fines cargoes in Goa.

Assessment and Analysis

Owners and ship managers should take the usual precautions in relation to loading iron ore fines cargoes. Additionally, any local or national regulations for carriage of iron ore fines from ports in Goa should be complied with. Information and general guidance on this topic can be found in the Loss Prevention section of the Club’s website.
Loss Prevention Briefing – Iron Ore Fines
Loss Prevention Briefing – Liquefaction
Loss Prevention Hot Spots – Liquefaction
Loss Prevention Poster – Ore Cargo Types
Club Circular – Safe Shipment of Iron Ore Fines from Indian Ports

Date updated : 03/04/2017 Date added : 13/01/2015

India

India - Risk: Fines and delays for seafarers not submitting a Yellow Fever vaccination certificate in Mumbai, India

INDIA - Risk: Fines and delays for seafarers failing to submit a Yellow Fever vaccination certificate in Mumbai, India

Mumbai Port Health Authority has announced that ships that have called at ports in countries where Yellow Fever is endemic within the previous 30 days will be subject to Indian port health rules and mandatory health checks.

Seafarers arriving from an affected country within six days of their date of departure will be required to produce a valid Yellow Fever vaccination certificate. Those unable to produce a certificate will be quarantined until the end of the six day period.

The countries affected by Yellow Fever in Africa are: Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Ivory Coast, Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Sudan, South Sudan, Togo and Uganda.

In South America: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Trinidad & Tobago and Venezuela.

Assessment and Analysis

Ship owners with vessels calling at designated yellow fever countries within 30 days of their arrival at Mumbai should ensure that vaccination certificates are in order to avoid difficulties with the Port Health Authorities.

Date updated : 23/03/2017 Date added : 21/08/2015

Indonesia

Indonesia - Threat: armed robbery on ships berthed at the Indonesian anchorages of Tanjung Priok, Dumai, Belawan and Taboneo

INDONESIA - Threat: armed robbery on ships berthed at the Indonesian anchorages of Tanjung Priok, Dumai, Belawan and Taboneo

Poor security measures allow criminals access to ports and harbours in Indonesian ports. Armed robbers use skiffs to approach ships at anchorage, typically using either the anchor chain or ropes to gain access to the vessel.

Criminals seek ship stores and crew valuables and will target vessels day and night in order to catch crew members off guard, thus gaining access to the vessel.

The likelihood of this type of crime is particularly high at night in the Belawan and Taberno anchorages in Indonesia.

Assessment and Analysis

Criminals typically gain access to the vessel for cash or crew possessions. However, there have been occasions over the past five years when crew and captain have been tied up and abused before goods have been stolen.

Vessels and crews operating within these areas are encouraged to improve physical security and vigilance, particularly when calling at Ports in Indonesia.

The risk can be minimised by implementing the following steps:

  • The use of bright lighting in and around the vessel while at anchor or alongside can deter criminals attempting to access the ship.
  • Controlling access to the vessel when not in use, including securing the anchor chain and hawse pipe.
  • Captains are advised to Maintain a continuous watch whilst at anchorage and adhere to local security measures. This may include finding out local security procedures before calling at some ports in the region.

Date updated : 18/01/2016 Date added : 02/10/2014

Indonesia

Indonesia - Risk: Potential mis-declaration of Indonesian nickel ore cargoes in Indonesia

INDONESIA - Risk: Potential mis-declaration of Indonesian nickel ore cargoes in Indonesia

It is reported that Chinese nickel pig iron producers are aiming to get around an Indonesian ban on nickel ore exports by buying a shipment of slightly lower grade material and labeling it as "iron ore".

Assessment and Analysis

Shipowners and ship managers are reminded of the precautions that should be taken to ensure that cargoes are correctly declared, loaded and carried in accordance with the IMSBC Code.

North's Loss Prevention Briefing on the carriage of nickel ore can be read here.

Date updated : 13/01/2015 Date added : 13/01/2015

Indonesia

Indonesia - Risk: Fraudulent Port State Control (PSC) inspection charges in Indonesia

INDONESIA - Risk: Fraudulent Port State Control (PSC) inspection charges in Indonesia

Shipowners have in the past been notified by Indonesian ship's agents that Indonesian regulations require their vessels be inspected by Port State Control (PSC).

The ship's agent then advises the Master that the PSC inspectors must travel some distance and expect reimbursement of their costs, in the amount of US$3000. However, the ship's agent adds that the requirement for a PSC inspection can be waived upon payment of a US$500 "administrative charge".

This matter is being further investigated by the relevant authorities.

Assessment and Analysis

Tokyo MOU have confirmed that this practice is not official and that any payments required by PSC inspectors should only be made to the Harbour Office. Shipowners and ship managers should immediately report to their P&I Club any requests for such payments.

Date updated : 13/01/2015 Date added : 13/01/2015

Indonesia and the Philippines

Indonesia and the Philippines - Risk: nickel ore liquefaction due to excessive moisture content during voyages from the Philippines and Indonesia

INDONESIA AND PHILIPPINES - Risk: nickel ore liquefaction due to excessive moisture content during voyages from the Philippines and Indonesia

Vessels carrying nickel ore cargoes originating in Indonesia and the Philippines have in the past suffered liquefaction in vessel cargo holds during the voyage.

Nickel ore cargoes being shipped from Indonesia in particular have liquefied, leading to the cargo spoiling and the vessel listing. The risk of this occurring is much greater during the monsoon season due to increased periods of sustained rainfall.

Assessment and Analysis

Vessel owners and cargo interests are advised to check that the cargo originates from a licensed producer (i.e. holding a valid export permit) before entering into charter and shipment contracts. Shipments from unlicensed operations - without export permits - may be in breach of Indonesian/Filipino law and potentially come with a higher cargo risk factor.

It is advised that charterers ensure that cargo holds are well secured and that necessary checks are in place to minimize high moisture contents.

Date updated : 24/09/2015 Date added : 02/10/2014

Malaysia

Malaysia - Risk: Bauxite with a high moisture content loaded at Kuantan, Malaysia, may be prone to liquefaction

MALAYSIA - Risk: Bauxite with a high moisture content loaded at Kuantan, Malaysia, may be prone to liquefaction

There have been a number of recent incidents where bauxite cargoes with high moisture content have liquefied whilst on board. Typically these cargoes have contained a large proportion of very fine material. Bauxite is listed as a Group C cargo in the IMSBC Code – i.e. one that neither liquefies (Group A) nor possesses chemical hazards (Group B). Bauxite is classified in the IMSBC Code as a cargo containing moisture content between 0% and 10% and should be 70% to 90% of lumps 2.5mm to 500mm and 10-30% in powder form. Hence, bauxite cargoes falling outside this description may not be classified as a Group C cargo.

Assessment and Analysis

Shipowners and ship managers should ensure that the shipper’s cargo declaration complies with the requirements and schedule set out in the IMSBC code. The loading operation should be monitored throughout and can tests should be carried out in accordance with the IMSBC code.

North’s Loss Prevention Briefing on liquefaction can be read on the Club’s website here.

North’s Loss Prevention “Hot-Spots” on liquefaction can be read on the Club’s website here.

Date updated : 20/03/2017 Date added : 13/01/2015

Pakistan

Pakistan - Risk: Bulk liquid cargo shortage claims in Karachi, Pakistan

PAKISTAN - Risk: Bulk liquid cargo shortage claims in Karachi, Pakistan

Instances of liquid cargo shortage claims have been reported at the port of Karachi, where ship and shore tank figures can differ.

The Federal Government’s (Revenue Division) State Revenue Office (SRO) states that, for all bulk cargoes the figures arrived at during the initial and final ullage survey are to be taken into account for any shortages or excess, although this practice does not seem to be followed by the cargo receivers.

The trade allowance of 0.25% for edible products and 0.5% for petroleum products is generally applied in the Pakistani Local Courts.

Assessment and Analysis

Shipowners and ship managers should be involved from the very outset to minimise the potential of shortage claims that are routinely submitted for bulk liquid cargoes. Receivers should be encouraged to attend joint ullage surveys and these figures should be cross checked against the shore tank figures.

* The depths at some of the berths are not adequate and the declarations made by local authorities are largely inaccurate. Prior to your vessel’s arrival, shipowners and ship managers should ensure that the vessel can safely berth and stay at the berth on the lowest expected tide.

* As is usual for most countries in this part of the world, the ships and crew declarations (currency, personal effects, stores, bond, etc) should be documented as accurately as possible to avoid the possibility of “fines” being imposed.

Shipowners and ship managers are therefore advised to:

1. Prepare customs declarations prior to berthing, having already requested in advance the written confirmation of the latest requirements from the local agent.

2. The Master should personally receive the customs officers on board for formalities concurrently with the agent.

3. Ensure that all stores and bunkers, including food, paint, stationery, crew personal effects etc. have been accurately declared.

4. Place all the customs papers in a separate file to be checked by the ship’s agent before their presentation to the customs boarding officer.

5. Check that any modification to the manifest is properly completed and declared, and do not sign any document submitted by the customs authorities without fully understanding its contents..

If for any reason the documentation is not ready by the time the vessel berths, it might be prudent to delay access to the ship by keeping the gangway up after the agent’s boarding, until all declarations are completed to the agent’s satisfaction and are ready to be handed to the customs officer.

A list of the required documentation is as follows:

1. Clearance
2. Paint inventory
3. Crew list
4. Cargo manifest with goods in transit
5. Crew effects declaration
6. Ports of call list
7. Bonded store declaration
8. Chemicals
9. Bunker declaration, for e.g.
10. Fuel-oil
11. Diesel-oil
12. Lube-oil
13. Oil in tanks (including in sump tanks)
14. Oil in drums
15. Oil in cans
16. Used oil (sludge)

Before arrival, the Master should ask the port agent to notify Karachi customs officials if the vessel’s flag and crew are Indian. The local port agent should be consulted for up to date advice, but Indian crews will typically be denied shore leave and the vessel may wish to reconsider flying the Indian ensign when in port.

Date updated : 28/03/2017 Date added : 20/01/2015

Pakistan

Pakistan - Risk: Ship arrest and customs fines as a result of fabricated coal cargo shortage claims in Karachi, Pakistan

PAKISTAN - Risk: Ship arrest and customs fines as a result of fabricated coal cargo shortage claims in Karachi, Pakistan

Instances of fabricated shortage claims have been reported at the port of Karachi, where ship and weighbridge figures differ.

The Federal Government’s (Revenue Division) State Revenue Office (SRO) states that, for all bulk cargoes the figures arrived at during the final draft survey is to be taken into account for any shortages or excess, although this practice does not seem to be followed by the receivers.

It has been reported that cargo surveyors raise disputes in the draught survey results following the second or third survey where varying results are obtained. The surveyors use this difference as a pretext for rejecting draught survey figures and raise their claims on the basis of shore figures. The shore figures are recorded without any involvement of the vessel or its representitives and where shortages can be easily manipulated.

The cargo is discharged from the ship directly onto the quayside and subsequently loaded into trucks by shore equipment.

Trucks are initially weighed in empty condition at the weighbridge on entering the port facility and again when loaded upon departure. The difference in weights is jotted down on truck’s notes, which certifies the amount of cargo taken out of the port. It has been reported that trucks entering the port are discharging ballast (rocks/stones) after passing over the weighbridge on entry. This has resulted in significant shortage claims.

Assessment and Analysis

Shipowners and ship managers P&I correspondents should be involved from the very outset to tally/check trucks both at the ship and the shore weighbridge. Receivers should also be encouraged to attend joint draft surveys.

It is imperative that owners work closely with their time charterers and/or shippers to resolve any potential delays to the vessel, particularly towards the completion of cargo operations.

Date updated : 28/03/2017 Date added : 20/01/2015

PHILIPPINES AND BORNEO

PHILIPPINES AND BORNEO - Threat: Attacks on vessels and kidnap of crew

PHILIPPINES AND BORNEO - Threat: Attacks on vessels and kidnap of crew

The threat posed to merchant shipping by the Abu Sayyaf militant group has sharpened. The Philippines-based terrorist group, which claims allegiance to so-called Islamic State, has a history of kidnapping for ransom and in 2016 it stepped up its activities at sea attacking vessels and abducting crew.

An unsuccessful attack on a container ship the MV OCEAN KINGDOM, in the opening days of 2017, had many of the hallmarks of an Abu Sayyaf operation.

The attack took place 25 nautical miles (nm) east of Sibago Island in Basilan Province in the southern Philippines. The gunmen approached the vessel in speedboats before opening fire on the vessel’s bridge. The attack was broken off after combined units of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) and Navy arrived on the scene.

Although the identity of the attackers was not immediately clear a spokesman for the Philippine Coast Guard said the gunmen could have been from the same group of Abu Sayyaf militants who hijacked the Vietnamese cargo vessel, the MV ROYAL 16, taking six of its crew hostage. That attack took place in November 2016.

The attack was the ninth incident of crew abduction in the seas off the southern Philippines in eight months.

Assessment and Analysis

Abu Sayyaf is thought to be responsible for kidnapping dozens of seafarers 2016, most of them of Indonesian and Malaysian origin. It is believed to have received millions of dollars in ransoms.

It is also believed to be responsible for the killing of fisherman and for the murder of a woman who was sailing through the area on a yacht. Her partner was believed to have been taken hostage.

The intensity of suspected Abu Sayyaf operations can be seen from the fact  that in November 2016 alone there were five attacks on shipping, although only one, the attack on the MV ROYAL 16, was successful.

In the four other cases the vessels were able to escape having taken evasive action.

Until the attacks in November Abu Sayyaf had mainly targeted small vessels such as tugs.

Philippine President Rodrigo Détente has reiterated a commitment to ‘destroy’ Abu Sayyaf, but the militants have defied more than a decade of similar offensives.

The International Maritime Bureau (IMB), in its annual piracy report published at the beginning of 2017, identified the Sulu Sea, which lies between the southern Philippines and the territories of East Malaysia on the island of Borneo as an area of “particular concern”. The Sulu archipelago is a stronghold of the Abu Sayyaf. The IMB urged ships to stay “vigilant” and consider avoiding the Sulu Sea by routing vessels West of Kalimantan. The Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia (ReCAAP) has recommended that ships avoid the waters around the Sulu Sea.

There are signs off greater regional cooperation to counter the threat posed to shipping by Abu Sayyaf. In November 2016, the Philippines agreed to allow Malaysia and Indonesia to carry out “hot pursuit” into its territorial waters as the three nations looked to tackle kidnappings and piracy.

Although Abu Sayyaf’s links to Islamic State suggest its violence has a political and terrorist objective it can also be seen as a bandit group operating for criminal motives, exploiting weak law enforcement to generate massive funds from piracy, kidnap and extortion.

Date updated : 11/01/2017 Date added : 10/05/2016

Singapore Straits and South China Sea

Singapore Straits and South China Sea - Threat: vessel hijack and petroleum product cargo theft in the Malacca Straits / Singapore Straits and South China Sea

MALACCA STRAITS & SINGAPORE - Threat: vessel hijack and petroleum product cargo theft in the Malacca Straits / Singapore Straits and South China Sea

The Malacca strait was once a prominent sea lane for pirates in Indonesia and Malaysia. In the 1980s and 1990s pirate/criminal organisations were known to attack and hijack vessels for re-sale, often changing the identity of vessels and creating fraudulent documents in an attempt to disguise the ships from maritime authorities.

In the last two years (2014-2015) small product tankers and tugs have been targeted by criminals in the region. Tugs are typically hijacked and re-sold while small tankers are been targeted for their petroleum product cargoes, which are re-sold on the black market. Those at highest risk are product tankers between 1,000-8,000-DWT, laden with refined petroleum product (distillates in particular - MDO and MGO). Many of the most recent hijack incidents  (2014-2015) have taken place in the waters off Singapore's Eastern OPL, and in in the lower South China Sea (off the southern coast of Malaysia). This continues to be a target rich area, particularly for product tankers leaving Singapore Port bearing on an easterly course (passing Malaysia and the islands of Pulau Jemaja and Pulau Tioman).  National maritime authorities in the region agree that pirates originate from both Indonesia and Malaysia.

Assessment and Analysis

Small tankers and barges are most commonly targeted for their petroleum cargoes, which maritime criminals/pirates siphon off onto one or more secondary 'lightering' tankers.

Over the last two years the area most at risk has been in the outer reaches of Singapore Outer Port Limit (OPL), extending to coastal Malaysia. Criminal organisations operating here have targeted tankers carrying Marine Gas Oil (MGO) to siphon off part of or all of the product via one or a number of different transfers. This has occurred on ten notable occasions in the last year. 

Ships transiting these areas should take caution and employ procedures that will deter pirates from approaching the vessel. 

Date updated : 25/09/2015 Date added : 02/10/2014

South China Sea

South China Sea - Risk: Fines imposed for unapproved direct sailing between China and Taiwan

CHINA/TAIWAN - Risk: Fines imposed for unapproved direct sailing between China and Taiwan

China’s Ministry of Transport decrees that the carriage of cargo loaded in mainland China for discharge in Taiwan or vice versa is deemed as direct sailing. All vessels engaged in direct sailing require a permit from the competent authorities on mainland China and Taiwan.

Only shipping companies registered in either mainland China or in Taiwan and without any portion of their registered capital in areas other than mainland China or Taiwan can operate the direct sailing service. Direct sailing is only permitted by companies based in mainland China or Taiwan and/or registered in either country.

Companies registered in mainland China or Taiwan (that qualify to perform direct sailing and who are in possession of the appropriate permits) are allowed to charter-in vessels registered in other countries for the purposes of offering a direct service between mainland China and Taiwan.

Foreign registered vessels (in loaded condition and transporting cargo) are not allowed to sail directly between mainland China and Taiwan, even if they have transited a third region (e.g. Hong Kong). However, foreign registered vessels that are in ballast condition and not transporting cargo are permitted to sail directly between China and Taiwan if they have obtained a direct sailing permit from both authorities or proceed via neutral port (e.g. Ishigaki, Japan) for the purpose of port clearance.

Assessment and Analysis

If in doubt all shipowners and ship managers should contact their local port agent in order to determine whether such a permit is required.

Date updated : 13/01/2015 Date added : 13/01/2015

Taiwan

Taiwan - Risk: Damage to nets and equipment, safe transit of the coastal fishing zones of Taiwan

TAIWAN - Risk: Damage to nets and equipment, safe transit of the coastal fishing zones of Taiwan

Local P&I correspondents have highlighted the risks associated with commercial vessels transiting coastal areas of Taiwan where Exclusive Fishing Rights are in place within 3NM of the East and West coasts of Taiwan.

Commercial vessels straying into these fishing zones are at risk of damaging nets and equipment, and colliding with fishing vessels or workboats.

According to the Fisheries Agency, Council of Agriculture of Taiwan, the exclusive fishing rights areas on the East/West coast of Taiwan are those of Taoyuan, Maio Li, Taichung, Changhwa, Kaohsiung, Pengdon, Taidon and Hualian.

Assessment and Analysis

In order to faciliate safe transit in Taiwanese waters, shipowners/ship managers should advise their vessels to keep at least 5 nm from the coast and contact local port agents and/or correspondents for the most up to date information regarding the Exclusive Fishing Rights area.

 

Date updated : 23/03/2017 Date added : 13/01/2015

Thailand

Thailand - Risk: Fines and delays as a result of loading/discharging dangerous goods without permission from Thailand's Marine Safety and Environment Bureau/Harbour Department

THAILAND - Risk: Fines and delays as a result of loading/discharging dangerous goods without permission from Thailand's Marine Safety and Environment Bureau/Harbour Department

Thailand has strict local regulations relating to the load/discharge of dangerous goods to and from vessels calling at its ports. Shipowners and ship managers should liaise closely with their local port agent to ensure full compliance.

A list of the dangerous goods can be found in the Harbour Department announcement (No. 353/2529) dated 15th December 1986 and the additional amendments including 4 types of persistent oil, i.e. crude oil, fuel oil, lubrication oil and low speed diesel oil.

Anyone who wishes to apply for permission to load or unload dangerous goods is required to submit an application to the Marine Safety and Environment Bureau or to the branch of Harbour Department.

Assessment and Analysis

Shipowners and ship managers should note the following requirements:

For Thai flagged vessels:

  • Valid ship certificate
  • Copy of the permit for loading and unloading dangerous cargo from Harbour Department of the domestic terminal or port in the country where the cargo was loaded

For Foreign flagged vessels:

  • Dangerous cargo manifest
  • International Oil Pollution Prevention Certificate (IOPP) for vessels carrying oil or similar substances or
  • Certificate of Fitness for the Carriage of Chemicals in Bulk for vessels carriage of liquid chemicals

For safety, and to prevent any pollution to environment, take into account the following:

  • Types of dangerous goods
  • Type of packing and loading in bulk or in containers
  • Suitability of port or place to load and unload
  • Safety at the discharge port

When the Harbour Master is satisfied that the evidence and all documentation are correct, the Harbour Master will issue the permit to load and unload dangerous goods.

The permit is valid for the loading and unloading of dangerous goods for one voyage, provided that the operation does not exceed 5 days.

If loading or discharging dangerous goods at more than one port, the applicant should submit an application for a permit at both ports.

If the loading and unloading period exceeds 5 days, the applicant should submit the application with reasons for the extension of permit.

Please also refer to the Director General of the Harbour Department Announcement No.3/2555 for details of the Classification of Dangerous goods.

Alternatively you can find more information in the Mekong River Commission Dangerous Goods Management Manual at here.

Date updated : 13/03/2017 Date added : 13/01/2015

Thailand

Thailand - Risk: Problems associated with loading bulk and bagged sugar in Thailand

THAILAND - Risk: Problems associated with loading bulk and bagged sugar in Thailand

Thailand is one of the largest raw sugar exporters in the Asia Pacific region. Sugar production over recent years has increased with bulk sugar mainly being loaded at Laem Chabang and Koh Si Chang and bagged sugar at Bangkok. Local P&I correspondents advise that the following issues may be encountered when loading bagged and bulk sugar in Thailand:

* Shortages due to poor calibration of shore based weighing equipment

* Spillages from trucks loading into hoppers resulting in shortages

* Spillages from conveyor belts and grabs resulting in shortages

* Caking or agglomeration due to loading cargo above 25oC

* Shortages caused by split, torn and damaged bags

Assessment and Analysis

Shipowners and ship managers that have carried sugar will be aware that discarded cigarette ends may cause sugar fires. Sugar fires are particularly difficult to extinguish as they are extinguished with CO2 or chemical extinguishing agents. Stevedores and crew Members should therefore be prevented from smoking during cargo operations and all external heat sources removed.
Raw sugar is highly sensitive to foreign odours and should not be stored together with odour-emitting products.

Raw sugar is sensitive to dust, dirt, fats and oils. When exposed to moisture, raw sugar has a tendency to grow mould and form syrup. It may also suffer depreciation as the result of infestation by rats, mice, ants, flies and silverfish.

Note – Raw sugar with a loading temperature above 48oC should not be accepted.
To mitigate or avoid shortage claims, Shipowners and ship managers are advised to carry out draught/tally surveys at both the load and discharge ports. Additionally, the sealing of the hatch covers upon completion of loading may also help.

Detailed records of the entire operation should be maintained, particularly in respect of any spillages or damages to bags. All torn or dirty bags should be replaced with sound cargo. Photographs are a good form of contemporaneous evidence should a disoute arise.

Date updated : 13/03/2017 Date added : 13/01/2015

Thailand

Thailand - Risk: Old, damaged bagged rice from Thailand

THAILAND - Risk: Old, damaged bagged rice from Thailand

Rice stored for long periods may have inherent problems unless it has been stored under ideal conditions. Local P&I correspondents have reported that damaged, mouldy bags are loaded on board under the cover of darkness in order to conceal the defective cargo.

Assessment and Analysis

Shipowners engaged in the bagged rice trade between Southeast Asia, West Africa and points in between are strongly advised to take the necessary precautionary and preventive measures to protect themselves from unnecessary poor cargo quality, cargo shortage and cargo damage claims that arise from the trading of bagged rice cargoes.

North’s Loss Prevention Briefings can be read here.

North’s Loss Prevention guides, including on Hatch Cover Maintenance and Testing amd Draught Surveys are available here.

North’s Loss Prevention ‘Hot-Spots’ provides a ready reference on Hatch Cover Maintenance to read here.

Date updated : 13/03/2017 Date added : 13/01/2015

Thailand

Thailand - Risk: Potential damage to bagged rice due to dunnaging in Thailand

THAILAND - Risk: Potential damage to bagged rice due to dunnaging in Thailand

Claims arise from time to time due to dunnaging methods used by Thai stevedores. Stevedores will usually employ 1 of 3 dunnaging methods in Thailand. These are described below.

1. Styrofoam slabs, plastic sheets and paper are used to line the cargo holds and ship’s sides. The cargo is stowed up against this dunnage to eliminate an air space and thus avoid condensation. This method is quite effective but not available at all ports.

2. Locally manufactured reed mats are used, lined on one side with thin sponge-plastic sheets to line out the cargo hold. Since the reed mats are flexible they can be folded around the side frames; they are lined with plastic sheet and one layer of Kraft paper on the outside. This method is quite effective, but should be complemented by a row of gunny bags of saw-dust laid along the tops of the side hoppers under the plastic/paper sheet.

3. Bamboo poles in two or three layers (not more than 6 inches apart) and overlaid with bamboo or reed mats. Bamboo poles are placed across the side frames and a void left. However, with this method, the moisture content within the dunnage can migrate into the bagged cargo and care should be taken to ensure that the bamboo is dry and clean.

Local P&I correspondents have advised that in recent years method 1 (above) has replaced methods 2 and 3 (above), although Shipowners should still be aware of the risks associated with these practices.

Assessment and Analysis

Shipowners and ship managers should ensure that whatever methods of dunnaging are used that a plentiful supply of clean, dry dunnage is provided.
North’s Loss Prevention Briefing on bagged rice cargoes is available to read here

Date updated : 13/03/2017 Date added : 13/01/2015

Vietnam

Vietnam - Risk: Bulk cargo shortage claims in Vietnam

VIETNAM - Risk: Bulk cargo shortage claims in Vietnam

P&I correspondents have reported that bulk cargo shortage allegations are prevalent in Vietnamese ports where cargo discharge weight is widely determined by draft survey.

Draft survey figures are generally binding in Vietnamese ports unless prior agreement is obtained between the ship and shore to use shore figures.

While all ports in Vietnam appear to target vessels for arrest, receivers in the ports of Phu My (Cai Mep) in the South and Cai Lan in the North (typically the 2nd discharge port) are particularly problematic.

It is reported that poor port infrastructure at Cai Lan in the North compounds the issue of cargo shortages as a lack of storage facilities requires cargo to be trucked or barged to the final destination. This can result in further cargo losses and/or damages.

Surveyors experienced in draft surveys are based in Ho Chi Minh City and Haiphong, which is a 3.5 hour drive from the port of Cai Lan.  Time constraints can therefore play a large part in the appointment of suitable surveyors to mitigate any alleged cargo shortages. If the vessel is discharging at anchorage in Halong Bay then it takes even longer for the surveyors to arrive on board.

Cargo receiver’s surveyors are known to manipulate draft survey figures so as to inflate cargo shortages.  They also insist the Master signs documentation without comment and if the Master refuses such demands, it is met with threats of delay for discharging the vessel.

The local courts easily accept an application from cargo receivers for the arrest of the vessel even on a mere allegation of shortage. Trade allowance is not recognised as a matter of law.

Experience shows that some cargo receivers will demand cash settlement instead of security to allow the vessel to sail.

Assessment and Analysis

To mitigate or avoid such shortage claims, Shipowners and ship managers are advised to carry out accurate draught surveys at the load port and each subsequent discharge port. At the discharge port members should consider the prior appointment of a local surveyor to assist the Master with the draught survey and supervising the cargo receivers’ surveyors. The Master should not sign any documentation submitted by cargo receivers before seeking the guidance of the local surveyor and P&I correspondent.

If the cargo is to be discharged directly into trucks, consideration should be given to appointing a firm of tally clerks to record the number of trucks loaded. While this would not necessarily avoid a claim being presented it would put members in a stronger position to defend or negotiate a shortage claim.

The sealing of the hatch covers upon completion of loading and each subsequent discharge port, while a prudent measure for other trades, local correspondent’s experience is that in Vietnam it is not likely to deter cargo receivers from making a claim or assist owners in defending or negotiating a shortage claim.

It is also recommended that Shipowners notify their charterers of the cargo receiver’s allegations of shortage and if discharging is halted, urge Charterers to resume discharging and assist owners to avoid further delays to the vessel, particularly towards the completion of cargo operations.

Date updated : 02/03/2017 Date added : 02/03/2017

Middle East

Iran

Iran - Risk: Iranian sanctions

IRAN - Risk: Iranian Sanctions

Sanctions imposed by the United States and European Union have had a significant impact on trade with Iran.

For the latest information and advice from North’s sanctions team please click here.

Date updated : 27/09/2017 Date added : 27/09/2017

Jordan

Jordan - Risk: Bulk cargo shortage claims in the port of Aqaba

JORDAN - Risk: Bulk cargo shortage claims in the port of Aqaba

At Aqaba, the majority of dry bulk cargo consignments is grains such as wheat, barley corn and soya bean meal. The first two commodities are imported by the Ministry of Industry and Trade as they are strategic commodities and the last two are for the private industrial sector.

The major issue that faces these particular bulk cargoes is short-landing claims that may only be presented after completion of discharge. Such claims will usually be followed by a security demand for the full shortage amount before the Port Authority allows the vessel to sail.

The cargo quantity discharged at Aqaba is determined either by silo readings or by local weigh bridge scales, if cargo is being discharged into trucks. The Port Authority in charge of the discharge operation at Aqaba issue an official report confirming the final figures discharged. Either this outturn report, the supplementary outturn report, or the receivers report describe the condition and quantity of cargo as discharged and received by receivers and is binding in local courts. Draft survey figures are not accepted by either the court or the Port Authority unless evidence is submitted that the contents of the official documentation are either erroneous or forged.

A Trade Allowance of 0.5% of the manifested quantity (for natural loss) is accepted by the courts but is not automatically deducted from the total claim amount as this has to be negotiated.

If a security demand or bank guarantee is required during out of office hours there are procedures in place (Club LOU or P&I correspondents LOU) to prevent delays that permit vessels to sail.

Assessment and Analysis

Owners/ship managers P&I correspondents should be involved from the very outset to check lorries and/or monitor silo figures. It is also advisable that vessels calling at Aqaba should include in their Charter Party a safeguard against cargo shortage claims.

Owners and ship managers should work closely with their Time Charterers and/or shippers to resolve any potential delays, particularly towards the completion of cargo operations.

Date updated : 01/02/2017 Date added : 13/01/2015

Kuwait

Kuwait - Risk: Claims arising from grain cargo shortages in Shuwaikh port, Kuwait

KUWAIT - Risk: Claims arising from grain cargo shortages in Shuwaikh port, Kuwait

Local ship owners and ship managers have advised that cargo is discharged ashore through a shore unloader (conveyor belt) and that cargo quantity is measured by the receiver’s (Kuwait Flour Mills, which is a government-owned entity) shore scales. Local P&I correspondents have advised that the shore scales are highly accurate as they are calibrated by a maker’s technician annually. If there is a discrepancy between ship and shore figures, the receivers rely on shore figures and request either security or an LOU from ship owners or ship managers to secure release of the vessel. Local underwriters, whilst settling the receiver’s claims, may allow a 0.2% trade allowance provided there is such provision in the shipper’s invoices. Any damaged quantity left on board will be treated as shortage. Kuwait Ports Authority also advises from June to November that NO work is permitted between 1100 hrs to 1600 hrs in the Port.

Assessment and Analysis

It is recommended that for all dry bulk cargoes prone to shortage claims, cargo and access hatches should be sealed on completion of loading in the presence of shippers/charterers and that the seals should be confirmed as intact on arrival by receivers. This is typically carried out by the use of third party surveyors for both parties conducting a joint survey.

Date updated : 26/01/2017 Date added : 20/01/2015

Middle East

Middle East - Risk: Infection from Middle East Respiratory Syndrome - Corona Virus (MERS-CoV)

SAUDI ARABIA & UAE Risk: Infection from Middle East Respiratory Syndrome - Corona Virus (MERS-CoV)

The World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Health have reported a sharp increase in the number of diagnosed cases of the Corona Virus MERS-CoV.

A number of migrant workers in Saudi Arabia have been infected leading to their quarantine upon returning home. Most cases have been reported in the cities of Riyadh and Jeddah, but also Abu Dhabi in the UAE. However, Germany, Italy, Tunisia, the United Kingdom, the USA and now Korea have also reported cases of MERS-CoV infections.

Typical symptoms of MERS-CoV are fever, cough, shortness of breath and/or breathing difficulties, congestion in the nose and throat, diarrhoea and other symptoms suggesting an infection. In advanced cases, serious complications can lead to pneumonia, kidney failure and can be potentially fatal.

Assessment and Analysis

Whilst health officials do not know exactly how the virus spreads they stress that hygiene, such as thorough / regular hand-washing, can be a limiting factor.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) currently advises:

• Hand hygiene and respiratory hygiene (covering mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing)
• Adhering to good food-safety practices, such as avoiding undercooked meat or food prepared under unsanitary conditions, and properly washing fruits and vegetables before eating them
• Maintaining good personal hygiene

The WHO has published a set of frequently asked questions concerning MERS-CoV and this can be read at MERS-CoV FAQ.

WHO presently does not advise any special screening at points of entry or the application of any travel or trade restrictions.

For the latest information on the outbreak, please go to the World Health Organisation website and the centres for disease control and prevention (CDC) website, particularly the FAQ section: http://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/mers/

Date updated : 26/01/2017 Date added : 04/06/2015

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia - Risk: Grain cargo shortage claims at Saudi Arabian ports

SAUDI ARABIA - Risk: Grain cargo shortage claims at Saudi Arabian ports

We have been advised by a local P&I correspondent that vessels calling into Saudi Arabian ports have become increasingly vulnerable to potentially significant grain cargo shortage claims that require a Club LOU to be submitted to avoid arrest.

All grain is now imported into Saudi Arabia by the state run “Saudi Grains & Fodder Holding Inc. This company distributes commodities to all local traders and receivers and shortages are determined by shore side weigh bridge figures. It is thought that the calibration of the shore side weigh bridge is not accurate.

The new Saudi Arabian Carriage of Goods by Sea Rules have reinforced trade allowance and if a shortage is less than 0.5% the vessel can sail, however if a shortage exceeds 0.5% then Masters and Owners will require a Club LOU, but with no mention of any 0.5% trading allowance being inserted into the LOU.

P&I correspondents advise that the position appears to have improved, in that they are seeing final figures indicating shortages of less than the 0.5% (trade allowance), and in some cases cargo has been discharge in excess of the manifested quantity.

Assessment and Analysis

Shipowners and ship managers should take the following steps to reduce the potential for such claims arising:

* Conduct accurate draught surveys at the load port
* If any appreciable difference noted at the load port, suitable protest to be submitted
* Seal all the hatches at the load port
* Ensure seals are still intact at the discharge port
* Conduct accurate draught surveys at the discharge port
* To ensure that no trucks are lost during the discharge operation, conduct a truck tally at the ship’s side and weigh bridge, although this can be quite costly at around US$ 300/day
Shipowners and Ship managers should contact local ships agent for further details.

Date updated : 27/02/2017 Date added : 13/01/2015

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia - Risk: Potential shortage claims when loading bulk sulphur at Jubail, Saudi Arabia

SAUDI ARABIA - Risk: Potential shortage claims when loading bulk sulphur at Jubail, Saudi Arabia

Formed Sulphur is a by-product of the oil refinery industry in Jubail, or from sour gas processing when it converts molten Sulphur into specific solid shapes (granules in Jubail). It is bright yellow in colour, odourless and is considered non-combustible or with low fire risk. Formed sulphur is categorized by the IMSBC Code as a Group C (Bulk materials which are neither liable to liquefy nor possess chemical hazards) cargo.
The main shipper in Saudi Arabia is Aramco, whose surveyor will typically check that the vessel’s cargo holds are suitable for loading the cargo.
The cargo is loaded via a conveyor & chute system at berth No. 21, Jubail Industrial port which has a variable counter error on the conveyor belt. The cargo must therefore be loaded using draught survey figures carried out by the shipper’s surveyor. In order to determine this variable error factor, the Aramco surveyor would usually perform a second draught survey after loading approximately 70% of cargo. A further trimming survey is carried out towards the completion of cargo operations or with around 1,000MT of cargo to be loaded. Finally a joint draft survey calculation figure would be used for preparation of bill of lading.
The shipper’s surveyor also checks the moisture content of the cargo. The sulphur is brought to the terminal in a molten form and hot steam is passed through it which converts the molten sulphur into granules of about 99% purity. However, despite passing hot steam through the cargo, some moisture remains within the cargo which drains out to the bilges during the course of the passage. Consequently, this process results in a loss of weight at discharge port. Aramco report average moisture content is anything up to 3.5% and is incorporated on the face of the B/L.
Other shippers also procure cargo from Aramco and load at Jubail commercial port by skips.

Assessment and Analysis

Shipowners and ship managers should ensure that accurate draught surveys are carried out throughout the loading operation and all documentation is signed by the shippers/court surveyor. Detailed bilge water records should be kept during the voyage.

Prior to tendering Notice of Readiness, the cargo holds must be clean, swept of all lose debris/cargo remnants and lime washed.

As shippers surveyors often carry out their own hatch cover weather tightness testing, it may be prudent to test all hatch covers prior to their attendance.

Date updated : 27/02/2017 Date added : 03/02/2015

Syria

Syria - Risk: Syrian sanctions

Risk: Syrian sanctions

Both the United States and European Union has imposed extensive trade restrictions and sanctions against Syria in light of the ongoing unrest. These sanctions have had a significant impact on the ability to trade to or from Syria and the ability to trade with Syrian persons and companies.

For the latest information and advice from North’s sanctions team please click here.

Date updated : 28/09/2017 Date added : 28/09/2017

Turkey

Turkey - Risk: Fines for short landing of cargo at Turkish ports

TURKEY - Risk: Fines for short landing of cargo at Turkish ports

Local P&I correspondents report that vessels calling into Turkish ports have become increasingly vulnerable to significant cargo shortage fines (€150,000 - €200,000). Such fines are imposed by customs authorities due to the the alleged difference between the B/L figures and shore figures. Such fines are imposed by the authorities on the basis of lost revenue in the form of customs taxes from the short outturn of cargo.

Shore figures are always considered to be the official cargo quantity, whereas the vessel’s figures (draft survey, tally, ullage reports etc) are not taken into account.

According to the regulations, the maximum tolerated differences (shortage or over shipment) between B/L figures and shore figures are as follows:

* Bulk cargo: 3%
* Liquid cargo: 0.4% - 1% (products and chemicals %0.5, fuel oil and lubricants %0.4)

* Countable cargo: 0%

Customs authorities calculate fines using the CIF value, VAT and any other special tax applicable for each specific type of commodity.

Assessment and Analysis

Local P&I correspondents have provided the following advice in mitigation of customs authority fines:

Customs authority proceedings can be revoked by shipowners, masters, port agents or carriers if they provide a certificate from the load port for the quantity of short landed cargo. This certificate is to state that the cargo was loaded mistakenly or not loaded in the amount as mentioned in cargo manifest. The certificate is then submitted and approved by the Chamber of Commerce and Turkish Embassy or Consulate within three months.

If shipowners, masters, port agents or carriers do not obtain either a corrected manifest or an explanation letter, a fine will be levied as a matter of routine. Afterwards, if amount of fine is paid within a period of 30 days, a reduction of %25 will be granted.

Once the fine is levied, a negotiation meeting between the port agents (as representatives of the shipowners) and customs authorities may be arranged in an effort to reduce the fine amount although there is no certainty that this would be successful.

Date updated : 13/01/2015 Date added : 13/01/2015

Turkey

Turkey - Risk: Issues associated with loading steel products in Turkish ports

TURKEY - Risk: Issues associated with loading steel products in Turkish ports

The main problem with loading steel products in Turkish ports is that most shippers do not share information regarding the production or storage of the cargo. They also do not allow surveyors to inspect the condition of the cargo in their warehouse or storage area prior to loading. Therefore, pre-loading inspections can only be carried out alongside the vessel during loading operations and shippers may request clean Bills of Lading regardless of the condition of the cargo. The main steel production facilities and the ports that are used for loading, belong to the same group of companies. Both shippers and their agents generally try to pressurise the Master and/or surveyor to not include any remarks within the cargo documentation.

We have also received reports of negligence of stevedores, port staff or lashing companies on stowing and securing steel coils.

In the ports of Diliskelesi, Hereke (Izmit) and Nemrut Bay (Izmir), newly produced and extremely hot cargo has been presented for loading, which has raised safety concerns for the vessel and ship/shore personnel.

Stowaways are an enduring risk in Haydarpasa Port

Assessment and Analysis

Owners and ship managers are advised to load only clean cargo in order to issue cargo documentation without any remarks. In cases where defective cargo is loaded and shippers refuse to replace it with sound cargo, problems and delays may occur at the time of issuing the cargo documents prior to sailing. Owners should contact their P&I club for advice in these circumstances.

It is also very important that appropriate stowage, dunnaging and securing arrangements of the coils should be confirmed by the vessel’s commands and/or attending surveyors.

All vessels are advised to maintain strict security levels throughout the vessel’s stay in port and exercise stowaway pre-departure procedures.

Date updated : 24/09/2015 Date added : 13/01/2015

UAE

UAE - Risk: Possible delays caused by disembarking crew due to injury or sickness at Fujairah, UAE

UAE - Risk Possible delays caused by disembarking crew due to injury or sickness at Fujairah, UAE

The port of Fujairah has advised that when a crew member is disembarked from their vessel for medical reasons, the vessel shall not be permitted to sail until the crew member recovers and is fit to re-join on board or owners/managers arrange proper repatriation.

Similarly, crew disembarked due to injury must inform local police authorities and the vessel will only be permitted to sail after clearance is obtained and the crew member is duly repatriated.

Assessment and Analysis

If ill or injured crew disembark in Fujairah, close liaison between vessel representatives and the port authorities is required in order to avoid or reduce potential delays.

Date updated : 26/01/2017 Date added : 26/01/2017

Yemen

Yemen - Risk: Fabricated stevedore personal Injury claims in Yemeni ports

YEMEN - Risk: Fabricated stevedore personal Injury claims in Yemeni ports

We have received reports that stevedores are fabricating claims for personal injury at ports throughout Yemen.

Assessment and Analysis

Ship masters and crew should be vigilant and monitor stevedores’ activities whilst on board.  Stevedore companies should be immediately notified of all incidents where stevedores have been injured.

Contemporaneous evidence such as statements and photographs should be obtained at the earliest opportunity.

In light of the volatility of the situation throughout Yemen, owners and ship managers are advised to contact their local port agent for the most up to date information on its ports.

Industry news articles on Yemen can be found here.

Date updated : 17/11/2016 Date added : 13/01/2015

Yemen

Yemen - Risk: Fines, delays and detention as a result of differences in oil record books and shipboard retention of oils Yemen

YEMEN - Risk: Fines, delays and detention as a result of differences in oil record books and shipboard retention of oils, Yemen

The Maritime Affairs Authority (MAA) in Yemen makes checks of shipboard documentation to assess the pollution risk.  The inspectors randomly inspect the vessels calling at Yemen ports and oil terminals.  The inspectors routinely check Oil Record Log Books and the Oil Residue Receipts issued at the last port of call.  This documentation is compared with the contents of slop tank to ensure that the ship has not discharged any waste oil into Yemen’s territorial waters or Exclusive Economic Zone.

 

Assessment and Analysis

Owners and ship managers should ensure that all shipboard documentation and records are accurately filled in.  The Master should have these documents at hand for inspection by the MAA at any time, not just upon the vessel’s arrival in port.
Yemen also has regulations for the discharging of sewage.  Sewage should be discharged only in the area nominated by the port authorities, details of which should be confirmed through local port agent prior to calling at any port in Yemen.
In light of the volatility of the situation throughout Yemen, owners and ship managers are advised to contact their local port agent for the most up to date information on its ports.

Find industry news on Yemen here.

Date updated : 17/11/2016 Date added : 13/01/2015

Yemen

Yemen - Risk: Fines, ship arrest and possible delays as a result of late reporting of Fixed and Floating Object (FFO) claims in Yemen

YEMEN - Risk: Fines, ship arrest and possible delays as a result of late reporting of Fixed and Floating Object (FFO) claims in Yemen

A local P&I correspondent has reported incidents where the Pilot launches and tug boats have come into contact with the vessel they are assisting and damages have subsequently been alleged.  However, the notification of such incidents has only come several days after they have allegedly occurred.

Pilotage is a requirement at all Yemeni ports and the ship’s Master will be guided by the pilots whilst both berthing and un-berthing. 

The carrier is held responsible for any damage to fixed or floating objects (including launches and tugs) irrespective of whose navigational error it was.

Assessment and Analysis

All owners and ship managers should ensure:

1. Masters may find it advantageous to routinely take photographs of any damages to the quay or fenders whilst on approaches, as this may evidence any pre-existing damage
2. Masters should give prompt notification of any alleged FFO claim at the time they occur
3. Masters should promptly issue appropriately worded Letters of Protest to all relevant parties
4. They should appoint independent surveyors to investigate and document any alleged damages
5. Master’s may wish to save Voyage Data Recorder (VDR) recordings of pilotage during visits to Yemeni reports before it is overwritten

Industry news on Yemen can be found here

Date updated : 17/11/2016 Date added : 13/01/2015

Yemen

Yemen - Risk: Ship security as a result of the civil war in Yemen

YEMEN - Risk: Ship security as a result of the civil war in Yemen

Yemen’s civil war continues to pose a threat to shipping.

The US-led Combined Maritime Forces (CMF), which aims to protect shipping from terrorism and piracy, issued a statement on June 11 saying it was stepping up its activities in the region.

“Recent attacks against merchant shipping in the Gulf of Aden and Bab-el-Mandeb have highlighted that there are still risks associated with transits through these waters,” said the statement.

It mentioned two attacks in particular, both thought to be linked to the Yemen conflict.

The first was the assault against the LNG tanker GALICIA SPIRIT in October 2016 and the second the attack on the oil tanker MUSKIE in May 2017.

CMF said the attacks had seen the use of high speed boats, small arms, rocket propelled grenades “and significant amounts of explosives”.

It went on: “While these small boat attacks were both unsuccessful, and the identity of the attackers remains unknown, they demonstrate a new threat to the maritime community.”

Assessment and Analysis

Yemen’s civil war carries with it the potential to spill over into the shipping lanes of the southern Red Sea and Gulf of Aden.

In over two years of fighting neither the Iran-aligned Houthi rebels nor the Saudi-backed government forces have been able to gain the upper hand and the war shows no sign of coming to an end.

The pro-government coalition fighting the Houthi forces have accused the rebels of threatening the security of shipping passing through the Bab-el-Mandeb strait.

The rebels control most of Yemen’s Red Sea coastline, although a government offensive launched at the start of the 2017 has pushed them away from the strait itself.

In January, the rebels attacked a Saudi frigate off the Yemeni coast killing two sailors in what the coalition said at the time was a suicide attack. Later assessments suggested the attack was carried out by an unmanned ‘drone vessel’.

In September and October 2016, two US warships and a UAE vessel under contract to the Saudi-led coalition were targeted by missile fire from rebel-held territory.
There have been repeated warnings that coastal defence missiles, radar systems, mines and explosives boats deployed by the rebels pose a threat to shipping.

All ships sailing through the High Risk Area (HRA) that includes parts of the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden, should register their intentions with the Maritime Security Centre – Horn of Africa (MSC-HOA).

The US-led Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) also suggests that vessels should report to UK’s Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) when entering the Voluntary Reporting Area (VRA) and should report immediately any suspicious event.

Date updated : 12/07/2017 Date added : 13/01/2015

Yemen

Yemen - Risk: Ship arrest as a result of exaggerated cargo shortage claims in Yemen

YEMEN - Risk: Ship arrest as a result of exaggerated cargo shortage claims in Yemen

Vessels are exposed to exaggerated shortage claims in Yemeni ports, particularly Hodeida, Aden and Saleef, that can result in possible ship arrest.

Where disputes arise a claims committee is appointed, which involves the Local Authority (Governor) and the Harbour Master with their appointed surveyor who can be called upon any time to conduct a joint survey with the P&I surveyors to assess the credibility of any claim.

Receivers usually try to pressure owners into quick cash settlements rather than accepting bank guarantees in the port of Hodeida.

Assessment and Analysis

Owners and ship managers P&I correspondents should be involved from the very outset to check lorries and /or monitor silo figures. Receivers should also be encouraged to attend joint draft surveys.

It is imperative that owners work closely with their time charterers and/or shippers to resolve any potential delays to the vessel, particularly towards the completion of cargo operations.

In light of the volatility of the situation throughout Yemen, owners and ship managers are advised to contact their local port agent for the most up to date information.

Industry news articles on Yemen can be found here.

Date updated : 06/02/2017 Date added : 13/01/2015

Yemen

Yemen - Risk: Unexpected expenses and fines arising from the shifting of vessels, arrival draught restrictions and exceeding time allotted for discharge in Hodeida

YEMEN - Risk: Unexpected expenses and fines arising from the shifting of vessels, arrival draught restrictions and exceeding time allotted for discharge in Hodeida

Unexpected expenses and fines can arise relating to shifting and arrival draft, in addition to exceeding the allowed time for discharging at Hodeidah.  Owners may also be charged for shifting to accommodate an arriving vessel at very short notice.
A local P&I correspondent has advised that "... being an old and existing regulation of Hodeidah port that in order to berth/accommodate a vessel at the quay, when shifting of other vessels on the berth is required, the shifting expenses of other vessels will always be for the account of the benefiting vessel."
For vessels arriving at Hodeidah the "permissible" arrival draft is 32 feet (salt water).  In cases where the vessels' arrival draft exceeds 32 feet, a fine of USD 3,000.00 will be levied for every inch over 32 feet.
Vessels can be fined when exceeding the time "allowed" for discharging which is set by the port authorities according to the type of commodity and cargo gear/shore cranes.  The fines are levied on the vessel at a rate per LOA per hour, which is presently about US$0.25.  Furthermore, should a vessel exceed the time allowed, the authorities are empowered to have her moved from the berth.
Vessel arrests arising from cargo claims are common place at Hodeidah.

Assessment and Analysis

Owners and ship managers are recommended to appoint their own surveyors to be in attendance throughout the whole discharge operation.  An independent surveyor may be able to safeguard the vessel against any inflated claims from cargo interests.
In light of the volatility of the situation throughout Yemen, owners and ship managers are advised to contact their local port agent for the most up to date information on its ports.

Industry news on Yemen can be found here.

Date updated : 17/11/2016 Date added : 13/01/2015

Yemen

Yemen - Risk: Sanctions and the US Department of the Treasury Specially Designated Nationals List for Yemen

YEMEN - Risk: Sanctions and the US Department of the Treasury Specially Designated Nationals List for Yemen

Yemen is currently on the Financial Action Task Force (FAFT) list as being a country with strategic anti-money laundering and counterterrorist financing deficiencies.

In February 2014 the UN Security Council agreed to create a committee capable of issuing financial sanctions and travel bans against groups and individuals seen to be harming Yemen’s political transition.

Assessment and Analysis

There are currently only US sanctions relating to Yemen.

On 9 November 2012, OFAC issued the new Yemen sanctions regulations to implement the Executive Order 13611 of 16 May 2012 “Blocking Property of Persons Threatening the Peace, Security, or Stability of Yemen”. As such, owners and ship managers should exercise due diligence prior to fixing their vessel to ensure that any Yemeni parties (including port authorities) involved are not listed as Specially Designated Persons. Furthermore, owners may include a clause in the charterparty whereby charterers provide owners with a warranty that no party designated by the US is involved in any way.

The US Department of the Treasury Office of Foreign Assets Control Specially Designated Nationals List can be found here.

The US Department of Treasury Yemen related sanctions should be referred to here.

The HM Treasury Financial Sanctions Notice for Yemen should be referred to here.

Yemen is a listed area under the Joint War Committee (JWC) Hull War, Piracy, Terrorism and Related Perils. The current Listed Areas can be found here.

In light of the volatile situation in the country, owners and ship managers are advised to contact their local P&I correspondents and/or port agents for the latest information.

Date updated : 17/11/2016 Date added : 22/01/2015

These are the Joint War Committee Listed Areas as detailed in JWLA/022. These were reviewed by the JWC in December 2015 and the following changes were incorporated:

Amended:
Indian Ocean / Arabian Sea / Gulf of Aden / Gulf of Oman / Southern Red Sea

Deleted:
Bahrain, NE Borneo, Sulu Archipelago 

Definitions:
Named Countries shall include their coastal waters up to 12 nautical miles offshore, unless specifically varied above.
Named Ports shall include all facilities/terminals within areas controlled by the relevant port authority/ies (or as may be more precisely defined by Insurers) including offshore terminals/facilities, and all waters within 12 nautical

This list will be published on the LMA and IUA websites and will be accessible to all on www.lmalloyds.com and www.iua.co.uk.

Please be advised that this section refers to current JWC War Risk areas only. Each War Risk policy may list different areas and may change at different times. Always check the War Risk areas relevant to your policy with your War Risks insurance provider.

Benin

Eritrea: but only South of 15º N

Iran

Iraq, including all Iraqi offshore oil terminals: Iraq, including all Iraqi offshore oil terminals

Israel

Lebanon

Libya: Libya

Nigeria

Pakistan

Saudi Arabia: JWC listed area in Saudi Arabia excludes transit

Somalia

Syria

The port of Jakarata: Indonesia.

Togo

Venezuela: JWC Listed area includes all offshore installations in the Venezuelan EEZ

Yemen

Gulf of Guinea: JWC listed areas include the waters of the Togolese, Beninese, and Nigerian Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ) north of Latitude 3° N

Indian Ocean / Arabian Sea / Gulf of Aden / Gulf of Oman / Southern Red Sea: The waters enclosed by the following boundaries:a) On the north-west, by the Red Sea, south of Latitude 15° Nb) on the west of the Gulf of Oman by Longitude 58° Ec) on the east, Longitude 65° Ed) and on the south, Latitude 12° Sexcepting coastal waters of adjoining territories up to 12 nautical miles offshore unless otherwise provided.

Horizon

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