Help – One Of Our Ships Is Missing!

That’s NOT a phrase you will hear from shipping companies operating the worldwide vessel monitoring software ShipTrak!! Wherever your vessel is, with ShipTrak’s unique software, you’ll be in the know.

Developed in-house at Cory Brothers, by their own programmers, ShipTrak was designed to help monitor the company’s own vessel operations across the world. Now Cory Brothers has made the software available to its customers to ensure the vital information and updates they need are at their fingertips too, 24/7.

ShipTrak is a web-based application that holds every detail of vessel operation. Ship operators can log on wherever in the world they are – from the office, from a hotel lobby, from the home pc, anywhere they find themselves right across the world – and find all the information they need.

Using ShipTrak also means less paperwork, fewer emails and huge time-savings all round. So rather than receiving a torrent of updates in various formats and from different sources, you simply log on to the ShipTrak website. Not only can you access information in real time, but you can easily create reports and view essential financial data – everything from cost estimates to purchase invoices and disbursement accounts, scanned documents can be e-mailed direct to the system for viewing, printing or forwarding.

ShipTrak has been specifically designed and tailor-made with its users in mind, to provide a very detailed log of events. At any stage, for any number of vessel operations, you can compare projections with invoices, schedules and survey costs. Being based on Java software, ShipTrak interfaces and can exchange data with other shipping-based systems and common office software programs.

Kevin Gorman, Cory Brothers Shipping Agency Managing Director, says: “We, and our shipping partners, use ShipTrak every single minute of the day and we find it an essential tool. It is “platform independent” so you can use ShipTrak on your PC, Mac, mobile phone – anywhere you have an internet connection and a web browser! It can analyse any type of data, whether it be operational or financial, and thereby create all types of reports for our clients which is extremely beneficial financially and commercially. In addition, our in-house designers are working continuously to create useful new features and refinements too and provide support and advice to users.”

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Jamaica Gets Tough On Pollution

The Maritime Authority of Jamaica is set to get tough on pollution as new measures come into force this month to combat pollution in the Caribbean Sea.

On May 1, 2011 the Caribbean Sea became a Special Area for the prevention of pollution by garbage generated from ships in accordance with the provisions of the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, 1978 as amended , commonly known as the MARPOL Convention. MAJ Director of Legal Affairs, Bertrand Smith, welcomed the move saying: “The designation marks a significant milestone for the protection of the marine environment of Jamaica and the Wider Caribbean Region.”

From now on ships trading in the Caribbean, including pleasure crafts, are prohibited from discharging any ship-generated garbage – including plastics, paper products, rags, glass, metals, crockery, dunnage and packing materials – into the sea. Jamaica, along with the other Caribbean countries, is able to enforce stricter standards on ships calling at its ports and marinas or when they are transiting Jamaican territorial waters.

Mr Smith explained: “Although shipping contributes less than ten percent of the pollution of the marine environment, the ability to enforce the stricter standards for the discharge of garbage is an important measure to protect the fragile marine resources on which most of the Caribbean countries depend for tourism and fishing.”

Countries washed by the Caribbean Sea now must have in place adequate reception facilities to receive the garbage which the ships have retained on board. In Jamaica guidelines have now been developed by an inter-agency committee consisting of the Quarantine Division of the Ministry of Health, the National Environment and Planning Agency, the Maritime Authority of Jamaica, the Port Authority of Jamaica and the National Solid Waste Management Authority to ensure that Jamaica meets its MARPOL Convention obligations while managing the risks associated with ship generated wastes. This week Mr. Smith gave a presentation to Jamaican Shipping Agents advising them of how to be vigilant and ensure the new guidelines are adhered to.

Well over 3,000 commercial ships visit Jamaica each year, particularly container vessels. Before the new regulations were brought in, the Caribbean area suffered problems from the unregulated collection and discharge of ship-generated garbage and sludge, illegal discharge of oil and garbage in coastal waters and illegal discharges of oily waste in mangroves, canefields etc.

Notes to Editors:
• Under MARPOL Annex V Reg.1, “Garbage” means: all kinds of victual, domestic and operational waste, excluding fresh fish and parts thereof, generated during the normal operation of the vessel and liable to be disposed of continuously or periodically
• The Wider Caribbean was declared a Special Area for the regulation of Annex V – Garbage in 1993
• The Special Area came into operation on May 1, 2011
• The new Guidelines will serve as an interim measure pending the implementation of an adequate regulatory framework
• Legislation will include severe penalties for failure to report discharges, falsification of reports, etc
• Liability will be joint & several (owner, master, agent, waste contractor, end user).
• Underlying principles:
• Waste will only be permitted to be discharged provided:
• It meets MARPOL requirements
• It is delivered to licensed contractors and end users
• End users confirm they will accept all waste being discharged
• The following MARPOL Annex V wastes will not be permitted to be discharged:
o Food Waste
o Medical Waste
o Rust
o Paint
• Wooden pallets will only be permitted after written approval is obtained from the Plant and Quarantine Division of the Ministry of Health
• Ash will only be permitted where it is the residue of the incineration of garbage generated from the operation of the ship

For Further Information Please Contact:
Debra Munford, Elaborate Communications
Email: Tel: +44 (0) 1296 682356

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IMO Audit Scheme Not To Be Feared, Maritime Administrators Told

[download id=”291″]The IMO’s Voluntary International Maritime Organization Member State Audit Scheme (VIMSAS) is to be welcomed rather than feared, delegates to a landmark Caribbean workshop have been told.

“The audit is not to be feared. The aim is to assist us in seeing the things we are doing right and fixing the things that need fixing,” Rear Admiral Peter Brady told delegates attending this week’s five-day workshop, being hosted by the Maritime Authority of Jamaica in Kingston (May 2nd to 6th). “It is best that we do it now while the scheme is voluntary, as in a number of years, not too long from now, it will become mandatory in a different form. Those of us who opt to take up the challenge now will be ahead of the game,” he advised.

Formally opening the workshop, Admiral Brady, Director General of the Maritime Authority of Jamaica, said: “Shipping, while it has its own unique features, is like any other business – efficiency, transparency and high standards are the trademarks of success and the VIMSAS scheme will undoubtedly help us in the region to achieve those goals. ”

The MAJ believes that this important course will give Flag State administrators the tools to oversee their country’s preparation to be audited. Jamaica will be audited in September 2011.

The workshop will be delivered under the IMO/Singapore Third Country Training Programme. Its aim is to take administrators through VIMSAS requirements, emphasizing the critical information for the audit. The mandatory IMO instruments will be reviewed to note the areas of particular interest under flag, port and coastal State obligations, including reception facilities and pollution prevention provisions, and how a State would incorporate these into their national legislation.

Mr. Lam Yi Young, Chief Executive of the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore is attending the conference along with representatives from the International Maritime Organization and the Caribbean Memorandum of Understanding on Port State Control. In his opening remarks Mr Young said: “Our experience with VIMSAS has further reinforced our view that the scheme is crucial in raising the overall quality of shipping. In developing this workshop, Singapore worked with the IMO on a programme that aims to help participants understand the objectives of the VIMSAS and its various aspects such as the preparation for the audit, the audit process and follow-up actions. We are glad that we now have the opportunity to share our experience at this regional workshop for the Caribbean countries.”

Rear Admiral Peter Brady said: “Jamaica has been a member of the IMO since 1976 and has strongly supported the efforts of the Organization to establish internationally accepted regulations to more effectively promote the ideals of maritime safety, security, improved working conditions for seafarers and pollution prevention measures. Jamaica firmly believes that the efficiency of regional and international shipping and the maritime industry in general rest on these tenets.

“This workshop represents a further consolidation of Jamaica as an important supporter of IMO policy and work. As a responsible maritime State we are pleased to be able to provide this support for our region,” Admiral Brady said.

Notes to Editors:
• Photograph attached- Left to right: read Admiral Peter Brady, Ms Tatjana Krilic, IMO Member State Audit Officer and Mr Lam Yi Young, Chief Executive Maritime and Port Authority (MPA), Singapore.

Background to the Audit Scheme
• The Voluntary International Maritime Organization Member State Audit Scheme (VIMSAS) was introduced by the IMO in 2005 to ensure Member States are giving full and complete effect to the international maritime conventions that they are party to. The aim of the audit scheme is to address the existence of sub-standard shipping, as although various schemes are in place to ensure safe, secure and environmentally friendly shipping, the international maritime community still has to contend with those who seek to operate below the minimum standards. Maritime Administrations are therefore responsible for promulgating laws, regulations and policies and taking necessary steps to meet their obligations under the instruments to which they are a party so as to ensure that a ship is fit for the service for which it is intended and is manned with competent personnel in order to ensure safety of life and protection of property and the marine environment. The audit aims to be comprehensive and objective in its assessment of how effectively Member States implement, administer and enforce these obligations.
• The scheme is revolutionary, as the IMO, the United Nationals specialized agency for maritime activities, has come ashore to enquire into the activities of administrations.
• Further, while the maritime administration is the focal point of the audit, there are other primary agencies whose roles put them in direct or indirect association with the flag, port and coastal obligations of these mandatory conventions. As such, other agencies will be audited in-as-much as their activities relate to these instruments. The primary ones are Jamaica Defence Force Coast Guard, the Port Authority of Jamaica (Harbours Department), Caribbean Maritime Institute, Hydrographic Office, Customs, National Environment and Planning Agency, Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management, Solid Waste Management, Marine Police and Spectrum.

The mandatory IMO instruments are:
• International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, 1974, as amended (SOLAS 1974);
• International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, 1973, as modified by the Protocol of 1978 (MARPOL 73/78);
• International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers, 1978, as amended (STCW 1978);
• International Convention on Load Lines, 1966 (LL 1966) and Protocol 1988 (LL Prot 1988);
• International Convention on Tonnage Measurement of Ships 1969 (Tonnage 1969; and
• Convention on the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea 1972, as amended (COLREGS 1972).

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