MCA Approves ECDIS Training From Videotel

Videotel Marine International is delighted to announce that the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) has given its formal approval to the Videotel CBT ECDIS blended learning package.

Nigel Cleave, CEO of Videotel, welcomed the news. “As ECDIS becomes part of the navigational landscape, the industry has responded with a wide range of training options targeted at the seafarer,” he said. “But how does the shipowner or shipmanager sift through the bewildering array of alternatives and select the best route through complex training and ISM compliance issues? The answer must be to select a course tried and trusted by the industry, from a quality training provider and with third party endorsement. “

“The Videotel CBT training package covers perhaps one of the most important subjects we have undertaken in recent years, which delivers a course that provides the very mind-set and understanding so essentially required on the principles of the ECDIS system and how it should be used to facilitate navigational safety,” he added. ”It is extremely encouraging to receive the approval of the MCA and to know that the training we are delivering has met its high-quality standards.”

The Videotel course is intended for all deck officers as part of their mandatory ECDIS training and they will leave with an understanding of the principles of ECDIS, the fundamentals of ECDIS capability and operation and will know how to use the system for route planning and monitoring. Importantly, they will also know the limitations of ECDIS and the dangers of over-reliance.

Once this part of the training has been completed successfully, candidates can progress to an ECDIS Training Consortium (ETC) centre for generic and type-specific simulator training. Alternatively, type-specific training can be conducted online at a later stage through Videotel’s collaboration with Safebridge.

The course is delivered in a modular form, using self-paced, interactive CBT (Computer Based Training). Comprehensive instructions are provided to the candidates to guide them through the course. The CBT contains English text and narration, short video sequences, graphics and interactives.

UN Climate Change Conference Doha: ICS Comments

UN Climate Change Conference Doha –
ICS Comments On Shipowner Contribution To UNFCC Green Climate Fund

The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) is representing global shipowners at the United Nations (UNFCCC) Climate Change Conference in Doha (COP 18).

At an event in Doha (27 November) hosted by the UN International Maritime Organization (IMO), ICS will report on the further progress being made by shipowners worldwide to reduce their CO2 emissions and improve fuel efficiency.

ICS comments on the recent UNFCCC secretariat report on means of long term ‘climate financing’, which suggests that the international shipping industry should make a substantial contribution to the $100 billion per year Green Climate Fund, established by the UNFCCC Conference in Durban last year to finance climate change adaptation projects in developing countries.

ICS explains that, with the full support of shipowners, governments at IMO have already adopted binding global regulations for technical and operational measures to reduce ships’ emissions, which will enter into force in January 2013 and will apply to at least 90% of the world’s tonnage.

“This will greatly assist the industry in meeting its commitments for a 20% efficiency improvement by 2020 and a 50% improvement by 2050. The immediate priority for the shipping industry is to ensure that the ground breaking IMO agreement on technical measures is fully and successfully implemented,” says ICS Director of External Relations, Simon Bennett. “Our focus on improving carbon efficiency per tonne-km is thus similar to the approach taken by economies such as China that link efficiency targets to increases in GDP.”

ICS makes it clear that additional Market Based Measures (MBMs) are controversial amongst shipowners. “Some governments appear to be more interested in how much money can be raised from shipping, rather than the emissions reductions that this might deliver. Just because we lack a strong political constituency, we should not be treated as a cash cow,” said Mr Bennett.  “The high cost of fuel which, with the introduction of low sulphur fuel, is now set to increase dramatically, means that shipowners already have every incentive to improve their efficiency. Governments must also avoid the possibility of modal shift. If excessive costs are added to shipping, there could be greater use of less carbon-efficient shore based transport modes which will generate additional CO2.”

However, ICS recognises that the need to prevent climate change is a political challenge as much as a technical one, and shipowners must play a constructive part in the discussion about MBMs.

“As shown by the 2011 agreement on technical measures, IMO is very capable of continuing the real progress it has already made on developing Market Based Measures. If governments so decided, this could possibly also involve a linkage to the UNFCCC Green Climate Fund, as suggested by the recent UNFCCC secretariat report on long term climate finance.” said Mr Bennett.

In the absence of any clear proposal on how this might be done or what the monies involved might be, ICS has not yet agreed a definite position on this possibility. However, the majority of ICS members see a mechanism linked to fuel consumption, which as an interim step might involve monitoring and verification of fuel consumption, as being far preferable to emissions trading schemes or any other MBM which risks serious market distortion or damage to the level playing field of uniform global regulation which shipping needs to operate efficiently.

“Whatever is eventually decided,” said Mr Bennett , “some of the suggestions that ICS has seen, from the IMF and others, for shipping to pay over 25 billion dollars a year are totally inequitable, and would almost certainly be viewed by developing countries as a tax on trade or as a kind of green protectionism.”

To explain the issues involved, and the progress being made to reduce ships’ CO2 emissions, ICS has produced a brochure for the Doha Conference – Shipping, World Trade and the Reduction of CO2 Emissions – see


Notes To Editors:

  • The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) is the principal international trade association for ship operators, with member national shipowners’ associations in 36 countries. It represents all sectors and trades and over 80% of world tonnage at the various intergovernmental bodies that impact on shipping, including IMO and UNFCCC.
  • The UNFCCC secretariat report on long term finance can be seen at Paragraphs 25 and 55 are especially relevant to international shipping.
  • Popular Market Briefings Brought to Singapore by Braemar (Incorporating The Salvage Association)

    This autumn, Braemar (Incorporating The Salvage Association), (Braemar SA), has taken its successful formula of Lloyds market briefings to Singapore, and launched a new series of market briefings held at both Asia Square – known as ‘mini’ Lloyds – and at a number of corporate headquarters including those of RSA, QBE and First Capital. This Monday saw the most recent of those briefings, providing an overview of current cases of interest as well as a technical presentation on issues of concern to underwriters. Guests were able to benefit from Braemar SA’s wide experience of marine casualties, and more importantly, to identify and explore the lessons learned by those incidents.

    “Rapid development has seen Singapore evolve into Asia’s marine insurance hub,” said Graeme Temple, Regional Director for Braemar SA in Asia, speaking after this week’s successful event. “Consequently we have seen a large influx of international insurers, brokers and lawyers joining their already very active local counterparts. For many years we have presented a monthly market briefing at Lloyds to marine underwriters, claims handlers and brokers in the London insurance market, and I am delighted to have been able to extend this to the Far East. The success of the event earlier this week has shown that there is a place for these briefings in the Singapore calendar and we look forward to running our next market briefing in the New Year.”

    During the briefings, attendees examine current cases, investigate statistical trends and undertake brief, relevant tutorials. To maintain confidentiality, estimated costs are often preliminary and subject to further inspections and or investigations; and to maintain reputations, vessels and their respective owners remain anonymous.

    Reflecting on the success of the new briefings, Mr Temple commented; “Knowledge sharing has always been a key part of our client engagement process providing sustainable improvement beyond our specific projects. We actively help clients develop their knowledge and skills so they can make well-informed business decisions. This is our way of communicating with the international marine insurance market, highlighting key trends and educating the market on current topics. We see hundreds of casualties every year and each case has a lesson to be learned in some way, which can only benefit the recipients educationally and in way of loss prevention. Due to the positive feedback we have received we are currently exploring the opportunities for the briefings to become part of the local insurance industry accreditation for CPD as they currently do in the UK.”

    The next briefing will take place in Asia Square early in the New Year. If you are interested in this event please contact our Singapore office:

    Industry Shows its Support for London International Shipping Week

    London International Shipping Week (LISW) 2013 is growing significantly as the shipping industry steams ahead to support September’s inaugural event.

    Within a week of this London milestone being announced, more than 17 international trade and maritime associations and shipping companies had already pledged their support with others planning supplementary events and offering sponsorship.

    Those on board include The Baltic Exchange, TheCityUK, Maritime London, Maritime UK, International Chamber of Shipping, CIRM, Gafta, IBIA, Intercargo, InterManager, ISSA, Seafarers Rights International, UK Chamber of Shipping, Lloyd’s Register and Wista UK who have all confirmed their support with a view to hosting their own events throughout the week.

    ‘London International Shipping Week – Propelling World Trade’ will take place between September 9-13, 2013 and will offer key networking opportunities as well as a day-long government and industry conference and gala dinner to be held on Thursday September 12. More details about the conference speaker line-up will be released in due course.

    The event is being organised by Shipping Innovation, a joint venture between Elaborate Communications and Petrospot.

    With the LISW diary filling up, organisations scheduling key meetings include the International Chamber of Shipping, the principal international trade association for ship owners, representing all sectors and trades and over 80% of world merchant tonnage. ICS will hold a number of its own events during the week, including its Maritime Law and its Shipping Policy Committee meetings on Monday September 9th followed by its Board Meeting the day after. The annual ICS International Shipping Conference will be one of the highlights of the week and will be held on Wednesday September 11.

    The UK is the leading worldwide centre for the supply of a broad range of professional and business services to the international maritime community, accounting for 21% of premiums in international marine insurance, over $64bn in committed ship finance (or 15% of the world loan book) and it has the largest concentration of legal service firms specialising in the sector.
    London is also the predominant supplier of shipbroking services worldwide and is the major player when it comes to maritime dispute resolution.

    Sean Moloney, Managing Director of Elaborate Communications, said: “Interest in London International Shipping Week has already been significant and we welcome the involvement of those associations and organisations which have so far confirmed support. This list will continue to grow in the weeks ahead, I am certain of that.”

    For further information see the event website:

    Don’t Be Complacent About Competence, Says Videotel At Yesterday’s Manning & Training Conference

    Competency today is no guarantee of competency tomorrow was the message from Videotel’s Dr Chris Haughton, speaking at yesterday’s Manning and Training Conference in Manila.

    “Regrettably we too often conflate experience with expertise,” he said. “Competence isn’t static; it’s dynamic and ever-shifting. As the shelf life of our knowledge gets shorter and shorter this recognition becomes more important. People have to deal with the new, the difficult, the unknown and the unusual – it raises the intriguing question as to how we can devise training to deliver competence for something we don’t yet know about? The answer is of course that we can’t. What we can do is develop the person to be able to cope when new challenges occur.”

    New thought processes need to be very much part of the competency debate, he explained, citing the example that when things are going according to plan, when events are normal and when performance is prescribed by operational standards people normally perform well. But, he asked, is this really competence? Or is it simply compliance with pre-set rules?

    “Behaving habitually or by following a checklist is simply not enough to claim competence,” he added. “Seafarers’ lives are increasingly prescribed and controlled by audit and checklist, but habits and checklists lack the flexibility that true skill and competence require. We are increasing compliance at the expense of competence – which explains why we’re managing the mundane but not the unusual.”

    So what is the answer? Good training is essential, but that alone is no measure of competence. On-the-job experience is crucial and can be even more effective when enhanced by properly constituted mentoring schemes, believes Dr Haughton. “The beauty of mentoring schemes is that they operate in the workplace so that the so-called ‘learning transfer’ from classroom to ship is helped considerably,” he concluded.  “This is real progress towards assuring competence.”

    Elaborate And Petrospot Join Forces In Shipping Events Launch

    Maritime publishing and PR experts Elaborate Communications and maritime publishing and events organisation Petrospot have come together to form a joint venture events company to provide world-leading conferences and exhibitions for the shipping industry.

    Shipping Innovation Ltd combines Elaborate’s lengthy and wide-ranging experience of the marine industry with Petrospot’s expertise in organising industry events.

    The new venture is organising a series of high quality international conventions, conferences and seminars for 2013, beginning with a high profile shipmanagement conference at Maritime Week Americas in Miami (April 29 to May 3, 2013).

    Sean Moloney, Managing Director of Elaborate Communications, said: “Shipping Innovation has been set up to organise only quality conferences and events for the global shipping industry. Its breadth of experience and contacts in the shipowning and shipmanagement sectors means delegates can look forward to hearing pre-eminent speakers and thought leadership across a variety of sectors.”

    Llewellyn Bankes-Hughes, Managing Director of Oxfordshire-based Petrospot, said: “As the global shipping industry struggles to emerge from the worst economic recession in living memory, the need for information sharing and networking at the highest level has never been greater. Shipping Innovation will provide the calibre of events which the shipping industry is demanding.”

    Information about Shipping Innovation events can be found by clicking the SI website :


    Notes to Editors:

    Elaborate Communications is a multi-faceted public relations, marketing and advertising agency representing a wide range of international maritime industry clients.

    Petrospot Limited is a dynamic independent publishing, training and events organisation focused on the maritime, energy and transportation industries.

    ISF Disappointment At Slow Implementation of ILO 185

    The International Shipping Federation (ISF), which represents maritime employers globally, says that the low level of implementation of the International Labour Organization (ILO) Convention 185, concerning the facilitation of shore leave and crew transits, is a continuing source of disappointment.

    Speaking in Manila this week, at a seminar organised by the International Federation of Shipmasters’ Associations (IFSMA), ISF Director of Employment Affairs, Natalie Shaw, explained that the ILO Seafarers’ Identity Documents Convention (ILO 185) – which ISF helped to negotiate on behalf of employers in 2003 – was adopted as part of a package of measures following the terrorist attacks in 2001.

    “The wide ratification of the Convention would have materially assisted the welfare of seafarers as well as addressing the security concerns of port states.” said Mrs Shaw. She explained that under the terms of the Convention, and as a part of a quid pro quo for requiring seafarers to carry new ILO identity documents, port states were meant to find ways of making access to shore leave easier.

    For example, while ILO 185 discourages port states from requiring seafarers to have to obtain visas, reflecting the special nature of their employment, the Convention does not explicitly prohibit them from doing so, provided that the port state concerned takes equivalent measures.  This might include allowing seafarers to obtain visas on arrival, rather than requiring them to obtain visas from overseas consulates.

    However, according to ISF, insistence by port states that seafarers must obtain visas in advance of arrival in port is still a major problem in the United States, Europe and elsewhere.

    “If governments insist on requiring seafarers to obtain visas, which is contrary to the spirit of relevant ILO Conventions and the IMO FAL Convention, it should be made possible for seafarers to obtain visas on arrival.” suggested Mrs Shaw.

    One of the problems connected to the low level of implementation by governments of ILO Convention 185 is that the technical specifications for the required seafarers’ identity documents are different to those used in passports or by the aviation industry.

    “The equipment needs to be interoperable, and understandably countries are reluctant to pay the costs required to purchase equipment solely for the use of seafarers.” said Ms Shaw.  “It would be much more viable to align the standards with those that exist elsewhere.  24 countries have now ratified Convention 185 but few are able to issue the new ILO ID cards and there are few machines available internationally that can read them.”

    However, ISF remains committed to encouraging the widespread ratification of ILO 185, and finding a way forward at ILO so that the technical specifications for the ID cards might be modified.

    The ILO Seafarers’ Identity Documents Convention (Revised) (ILO 185) exists separately to the ILO Maritime Labour Convention, 2006, which consolidates most other ILO maritime standards in a single instrument and which will enter into force worldwide in August 2013.

    InterManager Supports Seafarers’ Survey In A Bid To Tackle Red Tape

    InterManager, the international trade association for the shipmanagement and crewmanagement industry, is supporting a survey which aims to identify how much of a burden red tape places on seafarers.

    The Association is urging its members to encourage their staff to take part in the online survey, being organised by the Danish Maritime Authority. The worldwide study aims to identify seafarers’ perception of administrative burdens and how these influence their daily working lives.

    Secretary General, Captain Kuba Szymanski, said: “This important project will give a better understanding of seafarers’ view on administrative work on board and, hence, provide a basis for initiatives aiming to improve seafarers’ job satisfaction by reducing the burden of red tape they face.”

    The survey, which is open to seafarers of all nationalities, is completely anonymous and no personal information will be disclosed. Seafarers can take part in the online survey at the webpage:

    There is also a link to the survey on the InterManager home page:

    Elaborate In The Pink For Charity Fundraiser

    Staff at a maritime publishing and media relations firm in Wing were tickled pink when they boosted funds for Breakthrough Breast Cancer with a fun day.

    The team at Elaborate Communications donned various shades of pink, held a raffle and cake sale, and even tucked into tasty bacon rolls served up by managing director Sean Moloney.

    The pink day, which also involved neighbouring businesses at the Acorn Farm Business Centre in Cublington Road, raised £135 for the charity in what is Breast Cancer Awareness month.

    “As a small team, we are delighted to have raised this fantastic amount for such a worthy cause,” said organiser and advertising sales executive Sam Turgis.

    “The day created a fabulous sense of team spirit and I think we all looked rather striking!”

    Elaborate staff in the pink

    Elaborate staff in the pink

    Elaborate In The Pink For Charity Fundraiser

    Staff at a maritime publishing and media relations firm in Wing were tickled pink when they boosted funds for Breakthrough Breast Cancer with a fun day.

    The team at Elaborate Communications donned various shades of pink, held a raffle and cake sale, and even tucked into tasty bacon rolls served up by managing director Sean Moloney.

    The pink day, which also involved neighbouring businesses at the Acorn Farm Business Centre in Cublington Road, raised £135 for the charity in what is Breast Cancer Awareness month.

    “As a small team, we are delighted to have raised this fantastic amount for such a worthy cause,” said organiser and advertising sales executive Sam Turgis.

    “The day created a fabulous sense of team spirit and I think we all looked rather striking!”

    Elaborate staff in the pink

    Elaborate staff in the pink