Polar Code Challenged over Sewage, HFO

By MarEx 2015-05-15 13:53:50

The environmental provisions for the Arctic Code were approved Friday following the week-long 68th Marine Environment Protection Committee session. Ships trading in the Polar Regions will have to comply with strict safety and environmental protocols specific to the harsh conditions in the Arctic and Antarctic in accordance with the provisions adopted today.

The Polar Code covers the full range of design, construction, equipment, operational, training, search and rescue and environmental protection matters relevant to ships operating in waters surrounding the two poles.

The newly adopted environmental provisions will:

• Prevent the discharge of oil or oily mixtures into the sea and mandate that oil fuel tanks be separated from outer shell.

• Prevent the discharge of and noxious liquid substances or mixtures containing noxious substances into the sea.

• Prevent the discharge of sewage or garbage unless in accordance with MARPOL and Polar Code regulations.

The adoption of the new environmental provisions comes at a critical time for the maritime industry as shipping through both Arctic and Antarctic waters is set to increase. Trends and forecasts indicate that due to melting ice, polar shipping will grow and diversify in coming years. According to the IMO, “these challenges need to be met without compromising either safety of life at sea or the sustainability of the polar environments.”

Campaigners Antarctic and Southern Ocean Coalition (ASOC) have said that Polar Code did not go far enough to protect the Antarctic environment from shipping, adding for instance that the regulations would continue to allow raw sewage to be discharged beyond 12 nautical miles from land.

“While some vessels will carry the necessary equipment, the Code does not explicitly spell out what should happen in the event of an oil or chemical spill,” Sian Prior of ASOC said.

“The inclusion of specific provisions in the Code could have tailored existing requirements to the special needs of polar waters.”

The adoption of the environmental provisions follows the December 2014 adoption of the safety-related requirements of the Polar Code and related amendments to make it mandatory under the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS). The complete Polar Code, encompassing the safety-related and environment-related requirements, is expected to enter into force on 1 January 2017.

The Polar Code will apply to new ships constructed on or after 1 January 2017. Ships constructed before that date will be required to meet the relevant requirements of the Polar Code by the first intermediate or renewal survey, whichever occurs first, after 1 January 2018.


Polar Code environmental provisions adopted

Ships trading in the Polar Regions will have to comply with strict safety and environmental provisions specific to the harsh conditions in the Arctic and Antarctic, following the adoption of the environmental part of the International Code for ships operating in polar waters (Polar Code) and associated MARPOL amendments to make the Code mandatory by…


Ship Carrying Over 600 Cows Catches Fire

By MarEx 2015-05-15 12:26:40

A livestock carrier transporting 634 head of cattle caught fire this morning after departing from an Indonesian port.

The fire occurred in the early morning hours about five miles away from the Port Tenau Kupang while en route to Samarinda city. Local news sources have reported that the 1050 dwt Asia Raya was overloaded and listing when crew members sent up rescue flares. The sparks from the flares caught fire on grass and feed being kept for livestock, which resulted in the vessel catching fire.

The Indonesian National Search and Rescue Agency (Barsanas) mounted a rescue operation to save the crew aboard. Around 40 crew members were rescued from the burning vessel with one missing crew member later discovered in the water surrounding the vessel. All the crew members survived, and efforts were later made to evacuate the cattle from the vessel. It is not known how many cattle died in the incident.

The burnt ship has been transported back to the coast for repairs.


‘No Reason’ Behind Iranian Vessel Attack

By MarEx 2015-05-15 10:48:51

The owner and manager of the Singapore-flagged Alpine Eternity expressed confusion today over Iran’s reasons for attacking the vessel, saying on Friday that attempts were already underway to resolve a legal dispute at the heart of the confrontation.

“Owners and managers can see no reason why the Iranian authorities should try to seize the vessel, given the advanced state of negotiations and ongoing dialogue with the Iranian counterparts,” The owner South Maritime Pte Ltd and manager Transpetrol said in a joint statement today.

The Alpine Eternity, an oil product tanker was en route to the UAE port of Fujairah when five Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corp Navy ships approached, firing warning shots at the ship. This is the second this month that a legal issue has prompted Iranian aggression.

Both owner and manger have acknowledged that the tanker collided with an uncharted object on March 21 in the Middle East Gulf, which was later identified as an Iranian jacket platform causing no pollution or injuries to crew. However, efforts have been made to resolve the issue.

“Since the March 21 incident, there has been a continuous dialogue between the owners/drilling contractor of the offshore structure, and representatives of the vessel and their liability insurers,” they said in the statement.

The statement said in ordinary circumstances insurers would be able to post security on behalf of the owner, but Western sanctions imposed on Iran including banking measures had made this difficult.

“This has been discussed in full with the Iranian counterparts,” the statement added. “The owners, managers and the liability insurers are committed to resolving these issues once all necessary clearances have been obtained from the appropriate authorities in the UK and USA.”

Last week Iran released Marshall Islands-flagged container ship Maersk Tigris and its crew which were seized in the Strait of Hormuz over a years-old debt. This prompted the United States to send vessels to temporarily accompany U.S.-flagged ships through the strait. Iranian patrol boats had shadowed a separate container ship earlier last month.


Eurotunnel-owned Channel Ferries Can Continue Operations

By Reuters 2015-05-15 09:25:21

Ferries owned by Groupe Eurotunnel and run under the MyFerryLink brand can continue to run between Britain and France after a British court upheld an appeal from a workers’ collective which runs run the ferries.

Britain’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has been examining Eurotunnel’s move into the ferry market since late 2012, and a tribunal earlier this year ruled that Eurotunnel should cease its MyFerryLink operations.

But by a two-to-one majority decision, the Court of Appeal on Friday upheld the appeal by the Societe Cooperative de Production de SeaFrance, the workers’ collective involved in running the ferries.

A spokesman for Eurotunnel said the company was studying whether the latest decision enabled it to continue to operate MyFerryLink beyond a July 9 deadline set by UK regulators.

The CMA will now consider whether to launch an appeal to the Supreme Court.

Eurotunnel had said in January it would sell the ferries, having owned three ferries which travel the Dover-Calais crossing since 2012, when it bought them from the now-defunct SeaFrance.

The deal added to its presence on the cross-Channel route, where it is operator of the Channel Tunnel, carrying Eurostar high-speed trains between Paris, Brussels and London, as well as shuttle trains containing passenger cars, coaches and freight trucks.

As well as MyFerryLink, Denmark’s DFDS and P&O Ferries also run boats on the Dover-Calais crossing.

DFDS said it was “highly surprised” by the ruling and would consider its options for appealing the decision.