ICS Reminds Shipowners To Comply With STCW In 2012

ICS is advising shipping companies to ensure they comply with the Manila amendments to STCW, particularly in relation to seafarers’ rest hours and the more stringent requirements for preventing drug and alcohol abuse that will apply worldwide from January 1st 2012.

The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) and the International Shipping Federation (ISF) led employer representation at the IMO Diplomatic Conference which adopted the Manila amendments to the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW 2010). The Manila amendments begin a phased entry into force from January 1, 2012.

ICS is reminding shipowners that the new STCW minimum rest hour requirements are likely to be vigorously enforced by Port State Control Officers who will have the authority to check that ships maintain accurate records for individual seafarers which demonstrate they have been provided with the required minimum rest. For example, seafarers must now always have at least 10 hours rest in any 24 hour period. To help further reduce the possibility of fatigue, much of the flexibility that previously applied under STCW has now been removed.

The new STCW rest hour requirements were developed to ensure that they were compatible with those stipulated in the ILO Maritime Labour Convention (MLC) which is expected to enter into force in 2013.

Peter Hinchliffe, ICS Secretary General, explained: “It is particularly important that companies comply with the new IMO rest hour requirements and record and monitor seafarers’ rest periods. Apart from the importance of preventing fatigue, Port State Control can be expected to begin checking the authenticity and accuracy of any records by comparing them with other vessel documentation. Seafarers must also confirm that their hours are accurately recorded.”

ICS advises that, because the STCW Convention already has widespread ratification, the 2010 amendments will be enforced on a global basis earlier than the ILO MLC standards. In practice, from January 2012 it is therefore expected that STCW 2010 will become the principal regime for rest hours that will be checked by Port State Control.

For the first time under STCW, mandatory limits for alcohol consumption are also being introduced (a limit of not greater than 0.05% blood alcohol level (BAC) or 0.25 mg/l alcohol in the breath), although individual flag states may choose to apply stricter limits.

Other new STCW requirements governing competence standards and certification will be phased in from January 2012. To avoid misunderstandings, ICS recommends that vessels keep on board copies of two circulars developed by the IMO Maritime Safety Committee in May 2011 which clarify the implementation dates of the STCW 2010 amendments for Flag States and Port States.

Useful advice and reference information is available in the updated ISF Guidelines to the IMO STCW Convention. In addition, the ISF Watchkeeper 3 software will assist compliance with the new STCW seafarers’ rest hour requirements, particularly with recording, monitoring, checking and planning.

Jubilee Sailing Trust Charts its First Voyage Around the World with a Little Help from Thomas Gunn

Thomas Gunn has donated a complete set of world routing charts to enable the Jubilee Sailing Trust (JST) to voyage around the globe for the first time, creating an unprecedented opportunity for physically disabled people to explore the world from the decks of a square-rigged sailing ship.

“We are delighted to support this unique endeavour,” says Thomas Gunn, founder and Managing Director of Thomas Gunn Navigation Services Ltd. “During our work with the Trust we have seen it changing lives, giving people of all physical abilities and sailing experience the chance to experience the thrill and adventure of being at sea, sailing side by side as equals.”

“No other country operates a tall ship that can accommodate disabled people, including wheelchair users, to the extent of the specifically designed and purpose-built JST vessels,” explains Andy Spark, Ship Operations Manager, Jubilee Sailing Trust.

“While the concept of sailing a tall ship around the world with novices on board is not new, this circumnavigation brings new meaning to the idea that ‘everybody’ can experience crossing the oceans on a square-rigged sailing ship. The ethos of the JST is to integrate people of all physical abilities, so at any one time, around 50% of the voyage crew will be able-bodied and the other 50% will be disabled. To accommodate a range of disabilities, the JST ship features lifts for wheelchair users, an audio compass for the visually impaired and a hearing loop for the hearing impaired. Representatives from the proposed ports of call for the voyage are already expressing an interest in chartering the ship during her visit to their country as an unprecedented opportunity for their disabled nationals.”

The planning process for the 18 month voyage is well under way with the help of Thomas Gunn. The vessel will leave the UK next winter and follow the route of the old trading square-riggers, arriving in Australia in time to represent the UK during the International Fleet Review of the Royal Australian Navy, in October 2013. The JST ship will then take part in a Tall Ships Race from Sydney to Auckland. The progress of the voyage can be followed at www.jst.org.uk.

ICS Puts Shipowners Case At UN Climate Change Conference

The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) – the principal international trade association for ship operators representing all sectors and trades and over 80% of the world merchant fleet – has called on delegates at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 17) in Durban, to give the International Maritime Organization (IMO) a clear mandate to continue its work on regulating shipping’s CO2 emissions, including the development of Market Based Measures.

ICS explained that shipping is committed to improving efficiency per tonne-km by 20% by 2020 with further significant improvements thereafter, and that the achievement of this goal would be greatly assisted by the recent IMO agreement on technical regulations to reduce shipping’s emissions.

Speaking alongside IMO officials on 29 November at a special UNFCCC event on international transport, ICS Director of External Relations, Simon Bennett, said that it was “no secret that Market Based Measures are controversial. However the shipping industry recognises that the need to prevent climate change is a political challenge as much as a technical one, and that shipping needs to play a constructive part in the discussion about MBMs.”

As demonstrated by the recent IMO agreement on technical measures, ICS believes that IMO is eminently capable of continuing its discussions on Market Based Measures which, if governments so decided, could also involve a linkage to any ‘Green Fund’ that is established by UNFCCC.

However, ICS suggested that the high cost of fuel means that shipowners already have every incentive to improve their efficiency. Governments must also avoid the possibility of modal shift since if excessive costs are added to shipping there could be greater use of less carbon efficient shore-based transport modes which would generate additional CO2.

ICS is also concerned that some governments appeared more interested in how much money could be raised from shipping rather than the emissions reductions that this might deliver. ICS argues that shipping should not be treated as a ‘cash cow’, and that any financial contribution that it might be required to make should be proportionate to its share of the world’s total emissions.

ICS also repeated that the clear preference of the majority of the shipping industry – if governments decided to implement a shipping MBM – is for an IMO compensation fund linked to fuel consumption, rather than a system based on emissions trading. Most shipping companies, perhaps 90%, are small to medium sized enterprises that have a sound dislike of unnecessary complication. An IMO compensation fund linked to fuel consumption is therefore the option with which most shipping companies could probably accept and support, if agreed by governments at IMO.
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Above all, ICS argues that it is vital for all governments to understand that in the absence of a global framework to address shipping’s CO2 there is a serious risk of regional unilateral measures for shipping. This would be far less effective in delivering meaningful efficiency improvements by the global shipping sector as a whole.

Notes To Editors:
• The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) is the principal international trade association for shipowners, with member national associations from 36 countries representing all sectors and trades and over 80% of the world merchant fleet.

Hogmanay High For Hutton’s Edinburgh Branch

Hutton’s central Scotland branch will see the New Year in sparkling new premises!

Hutton’s has moved to a larger distribution and office premises in Edinburgh with modern facilities and increased freezer capacity.

Branch Manager, Andy Robertson says: “The new facilities are perfectly located to service all east and west coast Scottish ports and will enable us to give an even better service to our customers.”

The Edinburgh branch with its team of four staff, serves central Scotland from Hunterston, Greenock & Glasgow in the west to Dundee, Leith & Grangemouth in the east. Customers range from vessels associated with the offshore oil and gas industry to bulk carriers. In addition the office is a Unitor stockist and distributor.

Customers are advised that the new address and telephone numbers are:
Unit 1, 23 Dunedin Street, Edinburgh, EH7 4JG.
Tel: 0131 557 5550 and Fax: 0131 557 5551
Email: edinburgh@huttons-chandlers.com