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Port State Control bodies on Covid-19 pandemic

2020-03-27

All three of the leading Port State Control bodies - The Paris MoU, Tokyo MoU and USCG have issued statements about dealing with the Impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. Here they are:

 


Tokyo MoU

Recognizing that, due to the outbreak of the COVID-19, the industry is facing challenges in meeting statutory requirements stipulated in Maritime Labour Convention 2006 (MLC 2006) and relevant IMO conventions, member Authorities of the Tokyo MOU have agreed to adopt guidance for dealing with the circumstances (such as extending periods of service onboard of seafarers, delaying periods for surveys, inspections and audits, etc.) in a pragmatic and harmonized approach.

The guidance is prepared based on the general principle that requests/issues would be considered on a case-by-case basis by the relevant port State Authority. In accordance with the guidance, the port State Authority should request the operator concerned to confirm that flag State and/or RO, relevant seafarers organizations (if appropriate) have been involved in the process. For consideration of the request by the port State Authority, operators/companies concerned should provide a plan or process containing equivalent solutions to address the COVID-19 situation and letters of dispensation or exemption by the flag State or RO, under which the period of grace for delaying surveys, inspections or audits should be no more than three months, in accordance with the relevant regulations of conventions.

The guidance will be reviewed upon any future initiatives IMO/ILO or developments of the situation.

 

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Tug and barge launches Thunder Bay shipping season


2020-03-27

 

 

For the first time on record, a tug and barge has opened the Port of Thunder Bay shipping season. The 2020 navigation season officially began with the arrival of the Tug Sharon M1 and Barge Huron Spirit on Thursday evening. The vessel combination came abeam of the Mission Pier entrance at 21:30 March 26, 2020.

Owned and operated by Burlington, Ontario-based McKeil Marine, the tug-barge discharged overnight approximately 5,000 metric tonnes of Calcium Chloride brine solution at Pollard Highway Products (Trillium Distribution) on the Kaministiquia River. The product is used in the Thunder Bay region as a road stabilizer and dust suppressant.

The McKeil fleet, which has recently expanded and grown its presence in the port, has garnered the Top Hat Honour for the first time with the earliest ship to arrive in Thunder Bay after the spring opening of the Soo Locks. It also marks the first Top Hat cargo discharge to take place at the Trillium Distribution facility.

Thunder Bay's Top Hat honour is usually captured by a bulk vessel taking on its first grain shipment of the season; this was nearly the case again: the bulker Algoma Sault arrived in port for grain just hours after the Sharon M1/Huron Spirit. Another bulker that wintered in Thunder Bay, CSL Welland, has also departed the port with a grain cargo.

Captain Ray Davis and Chief Engineer Vladimir Lats receive this year's Top Hat honours, although there is no ceremony due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo TBPA)


 
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Synergy Group CEO calls for collective crew changes

Le PDG de Synergy Group milite pour des changements d'équipage collectifs

2020-03-27

 

 

Captain Rajesh Unni founder and CEO of Singapore-based Synergy Groupis is calling for collective managed crew changes to tackle the "time bomb" of the crisis of relieving seafarers at the end of their contracts. "I believe that collective, carefully managed crew changes at designated ports could help us tackle this crisis," said Capt Unni in a written statement."Seafarers returning home would have to undergo a 14-day quarantine period, of course. And those joining ships would need to pass a mandatory medical, including a Covid-19 test."Even if Covid-19 infections subside, which we all hope they will do, putting a plan in place now will be good preparation for the future.


"The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) has estimated there are around 100,000 crew changes a month but most are being deferred at the present time as ports across the globe ban such movements as they try to stop the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"In many ports crew changes are simply prohibited," said Cap Unni. "Elsewhere, vessels from some origins are now forced to remain at anchorage in quarantine for up to 14 days before they can dock."To make matters worse, it is also becoming increasingly difficult for crew to stock up on fresh fruit and vegetables such are the restrictions placed on port agents and captains.He stated: "This is a time bomb. Even under normal circumstance, seafaring is stressful and involves spending long periods of time away from friends and family."

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