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Thursday, 28 July 2011

Kids' stuff

It’s official. The run-down to Christmas has started. Posh shops in London’s West End have already stocked their shelves with festive fare. It is July. The year is immaterial.

The average price of the ten best-selling toys has been set at £62. Yes, £62. It sounds a lot, but when you think that it costs ten shillings to spend a penny these days in London, it is not so bad. (Here is another reason not to carry bottled water with you wherever you go, as the government would have us do.)

The top ten Christmas toys this year are predicted to be Cars 2 Fully Loaded McMissile, Transformers 3 Mech Tech Leader, FurReal Cookie, Kidizoom Twist, Rock on Elmo, Lego Ninjago Fire Temple, Nerf Vortex Niton, Moshi Monsters Talking Plush, IBall 3, and The Saturdays Fashionistas.

Does anybody know what any of these things are? Our top ten presents didn’t change much from one year to the next. They unfailingly comprised The Beano Annual, the Official Lett’s Football Diary, pyjamas (one pair), selection box, colouring book, pencils, compendium of games, orange (one), snake belt, and packet of Maltesers. We had minutes of fun with that little lot, which could be had on the open market for much less than the price today of a ticket to travel one stop on the London Underground.

Times change. In our day, we would not have had time for Moshi Monsters Talking Plush. We divided our time between playing cricket throughout the long hot summers when it never rained, and pretending not to smoke. It never did us any harm.


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Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Rotterdam’s double-dozen

The news that Sweden has become the 24th country to sign the Rotterdam Rules may have escaped the notice of anybody with a life. In signing, Sweden joins the likes of Armenia and Mali, as well as some others whose names end in a vowel, or possibly a vole.

How singular, though, to learn that the United States has also signed the Rotterdam Rules. The USA does not do what others do, especially in shipping, even though it does end in a vowel. But we must not confuse signing with ratification. Anybody can sign a piece of paper. Bringing legislation into force is another matter entirely.

So, what are the arguments in favour of the Rotterdam Rules? Firstly, they are better than the Hamburg Rules. This is using the word ‘argument’ in its very weakest sense. It is also using the word 'favour' in its very weakest sense. Not even the architects of the Hamburg Rules would argue for their ratification, which these days is championed only by Fifth World mannequins.

Secondly – there is no secondly. As a general rule, it is best to ignore rules which are named after places. This applies especially to Visby, which was home to King Eric of Pomerania and not much else. The Rotterdam Rules are no better than they should be. Carriers like them, and shippers don’t.

The full name of the Rotterdam Rules is the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Carriage of Goods Wholly or Partly by Sea, a title so pedantic that you fear for its future. One can sum up the Rotterdam Rules by saying that they favour Switzerland and lawyers, and especially Swiss lawyers. In many ways, they take us back to the Hague Rules of 1924.

From this we can deduce that there has never been any need to change the rules covering the international carriage of goods by sea under bills of lading, or – more likely – that the imperative for change always comes from the most severely disadvantaged party to the venture at the time of agitating for a shake-up.

Given the cyclical nature of shipping, this is simply another reason to leave well enough alone.

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Tuesday, 26 July 2011

RINA attacks nickel ore bulker losses

GENOA-based classification society RINA has established rigorous design standards for the modification or newbuilding of dry bulk cargo carriers to enable them to carry fine ores safely at any moisture content. A number of recent bulker losses have been attributed to the liquefaction of wet nickel ore cargoes. Using RINA’s standards ships would be safe even if the cargo liquefied and the vessels would no longer have to rely on unreliable moisture tests at the load port to determine if the cargo is safe to load or not.

Paolo Salza, Head of Technical Department, RINA, says, “The mandatory application of the International Maritime Solid Bulk Cargoes (IMSBC) Code enhances the safety of bulk carriers through the setting of constructional and operative requirements. But they don’t set out details of how to carry nickel ore and other unprocessed ores, which may liquefy during transportation, safely. Essentially, the rules say vessels may load these ores if the Transportable Moisture Limit is not exceeded. That is fine, but establishing that is difficult and the TML is easily affected by recent rain or other factors. It is much safer to design or convert the ship to withstand liquefaction of the cargo. That is what our new notation permits.”

According to the IMSBC Code, Group A cargoes are those cargoes which may liquefy if shipped at moisture content in excess of their Transportable Moisture Limit (TML). RINA’s new notation IMSBC-A may be assigned to ships specially constructed or specially fitted for the carriage of Group A cargoes having actual moisture content in excess of their TML. RINA’s new notation applies to a number of cargoes which may liquefy and a full list is available.

Says Salza, “Fine ores cargoes such as nickel ore at any moisture content can be safely carried on ships specifically designed or modified to the RINA criteria. Cargo sampling and testing for the purpose of verifying moisture content is not necessary when cargo is loaded on ships complying with RINA criteria. To meet RINA’s new standards vessels may have to install additional longitudinal bulkheads in some holds. The estimated investment for converting a supramax bulk carrier is around US$3m, but the vessel retains full deadweight capability and flexibility for other trades.”

RINA is also developing a service for certifying the actual moisture content of cargoes prior to loading for those ships which are not able to meet the standards set out in the RINA notation.

RINA is one of the oldest classification societies and certification companies in the world. Established in Genoa in 1861 to serve the marine industry, today it spans the globe as a multinational and multi-faceted company, sharing its knowledge and experience through a wide range of services which help industries and the community to improve their businesses and quality of life. RINA’s services cover the environment, energy, transportation, logistics, safety, quality and social responsibility. www.rina.org

For more information:

Claudia Filippone
Head of Media Relations
+39 010 5385643

Giulia Faravelli
Media Relations
+39 010 5385505

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Bureau Veritas slashes CAP reporting time

Leading international classification society Bureau Veritas has slashed the reporting time for a Condition Assessment Programme report from three months to one month, and at the same time improved the accessibility and usability of the report. The dramatic shortening of time for the CAP programme reduces costs for tanker owners and makes the Bureau Veritas CAP a useful tool for risk assessment of vessels and offshore units for life extension or conversion.

Vincent Lefebvre, Head of CAP Section, Bureau Veritas, says, “CAP used to be something forced on tanker owners by charterers. Not anymore. Today it is a useful risk assessment tool for every form of offshore structure and vessel. We are seeing increased demand as owners realise they can get a really good picture of their asset in a very reasonable time. Only this month we have been contracted by an owner to perform CAP assessments on two VLCCs, which are candidates for conversion to FPSO. And we are also using CAP as a building block in life extension programmes for gas carriers, FSUs, a dredger and a containership.”

Bureau Veritas has cut the CAP reporting time spectacularly by completely renewing the reporting software used by the surveyor and by the UTM (Ultrasonic Thickness Measurement) service provider. At the same time it has revised the report to make it deliverable by web to the client and if required the clients of the client, such as charterers, or banks and other stakeholders.

Says Lefebvre, “The oil majors allow three months for the CAP report production, which is the norm in this area, so our new system has dramatically shortened the time between survey and being able to use the data. Even tanker owners who were reluctant to use CAP change their view when they get such a useful report so quickly.”

The new CAP Reporting Software was designed in liaison with clients and ship vetting entities. Using a web-based interface the tool is installed on surveyors’ lap tops. The database of the tanks and important machinery equipment is automatically down loaded from BV's class database Neptune if the unit is BV class or uploaded for next time use if the vessel is not BV class. Reporting time is vastly reduced by use of drop down menus and eliminating duplication of data.

Drop down menus ensure that CAP survey reports use common language and common phraseology throughout the BV network. Automatic calculation of scores and award of ratings takes away the possibility of calculation errors. There is an easy interface for uploading and compressing photographs and easy integration of structural strength and Fatigue Assessment report findings, hot spots and areas critical for fatigue into the report.

The CAP software works alongside the UTM software and reduces the time needed by the surveyor to assess the findings from days to hours. During the survey period the reporting tool allows for a provisional report on items requiring repair or upgrade to be provided to the client for their repair specification needs.

The final very easy to read report is downloadable in pdf format or can be read directly on line with magazine style page turning software. The client has the option of making it available on line to charters, banks, potential buyers and others.

Screen shots of the new Bureau Veritas CAP programme and photos of CAP surveyors in action are attached and can also be can be downloaded in high resolution from http://bit.ly/o4oUp8 or you can e mail john@merlinco.com.

Bureau Veritas is a world leader in conformity assessment and certification services. Created in 1828, the Group has close to 50,000 employees in 930 offices and 330 laboratories located in 140 countries. Bureau Veritas helps its clients to improve their performances by offering services and innovative solutions in order to ensure that their assets, products, infrastructure and processes meet standards and regulations in terms of quality, health and safety, environmental protection and social responsibility.

www.bureauveritas.com for corporate information, www.veristar.com for marine information.

For more information:
Vincent Lefebvre
Bureau Veritas
+33 1 5524 7268

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Water, water, everywhere

Finally, somebody has had the courage to debunk the myth about bottled water. The British Medical Journal has confirmed that National Health Service advice to drink eight glasses of water a day is nonsense. It is also based on research by the manufacturers of bottled water. The earth exhales.

Billions of pounds have been spent every year for the past few years on the strength of the NHS advice. It has become impossible to walk around London these days and spot anybody under the age of 50 without a bottle of water clutched in his or her hand. They used to give out announcements on the Tube telling you why your train was late. Now they give out announcements telling you to carry a bottle of water with you on your journey. Please.

Bottled water has become a fashion accessory. In my day we used to drink straight out of the bathroom tap, and loaded up sufficiently to last us for as long as we were likely to be out. If we were lucky, we would have a bottle of cream soda to take with us on special outings, together with a cheese bun in a brown bag, which doubled as a cure for hiccups. It never did us any harm.

If you’ve ever wondered why people spend two pounds on a bottle of Evian water, try spelling ‘Evian’ backwards.


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OSD to design seismic support/chase vessel series for Bourbon

Offshore Ship Designers has been chosen to design a series of six new fuel-efficient seismic support/chase vessels ordered by French offshore major Bourbon to be built at Dubai’s Grandweld Shipyards. The 53 m vessels will have a fuel efficient hybrid propulsion system delivering a flexible economic solution for the varied conditions required to support seismic survey vessels including transit speed, slow speed escort and support work and a high degree of manoeuvrability.

Neil Patterson, managing director of OSD-IMT, the UK arm of Offshore Ship Designers says, “We worked closely with Grandweld during the tender period and following their selection as one of the short-listed bidders, we assisted them technically during the successful contract negotiation process, and are pleased to have been entrusted with the design of these new vessels.”

The vessels will be chartered by Bourbon to CGGVeritas with delivery of the first vessels set for the end of 2012. They will be used to support the fleet of CGGVeritas seismic survey vessels operating all over the world, providing them with services including crew change, fuel delivery, storage, assistance and support during at-sea maintenance operations.

Operational requirements of the design include:

• Cargo runs from port to the mother ship
• Transfer of fuel, potable water, dry and refrigerated stores and general cargo to the mother ship.
• Transfer of crew to and from the mother ship.
• Accompanying the mother ship when conducting seismic operations
• Towing of the mother ship when conducting seismic operations
• Retrieval of streamer cables

Key feature of the hybrid propulsion system are:

• Two main marine diesel propulsion engines, two controllable pitch propellers in nozzles, two main gearboxes each with a PTI electric propulsion motor and three diesel driven generating sets, and two electrically driven bow tunnel thrusters.
• Diesel-mechanical mode using main engines only used for the transit operation.
• Diesel-electrical mode with main engines declutched using PTI propulsion motors powered by the gensets for chase and slow speed operation.
• Boost mode with main engines and PTI propulsion motors (powered by the gensets) engaged used for towing operation.
• Automatic push button selection between the different propulsion modes.

Service speed in transit mode with only main engines in operation – 11.0 knots
Service speed in diesel-electric mode without main engines – up to 6.0 knots
Service speed in boost mode with main engines and PTI motors – 11.3 knots
Bollard pull in boost mode with main engines and PTI motors – 50 tonnes

Main particulars are length 53.8 m, beam 13.0 m, depth 5.8 m, load draft 4.8 m, cargo fuel capacity 850 cu m, marine gas oil fuel 260 cu m, potable water 100cu m, refrigerated and dry storage capability as well as space on deck for stowage of stores containers.

Offshore Ship Designers Group (OSD) is a global one-stop resource delivering naval architecture and marine engineering skills to the shipping and offshore energy industries. It draws on an experienced global workforce to provide high quality feasibility studies, conceptual and detailed designs for tugs and offshore support vessels of all types. OSD is based in IJmuiden, The Netherlands, and has offices in Montrose, York, Appledore, Shanghai and Singapore. www.offshoreshipdesigners.com

For a PDF graphic of the IMT 952 concept: brusselers@offshoreshipdesigners.com

Or click this link to find downloadable photos:


For more information:

Merijn Brusselers
Offshore Ship Designers
+31 (0)255 54 50 70

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Monday, 18 July 2011

Lost youth

Some of us were surprised to learn that school teachers in the UK will “for the first time” be allowed to use common sense when in charge of pupils on school trips. New guidance from the Health & Safety Executive says, “Common sense should be used in assessing and managing the risks of any activity”.

It is good to see the return of common sense to a world gone mad. But there is nothing new about it.

These days, schoolchildren get taken on trips to Berlin and Los Angeles, with hundreds of pounds of spending money. In our day we used to go youth-hostelling somewhere cold and wet in England, with ninepence in coin and a provident cheque for emergencies.

On one such trip, potholing in Derbyshire, a friend of mine met a girl called Lucy, who hailed from Birmingham. After a few days, her school party went one way, and ours another, and later in the day my friend asked our teacher if he could break away from the party and go and see his new girlfriend who, by this time, was about twenty miles away.

The teacher stroked his chin and, pointing to a ‘v’-shaped cut in the distant hills, said, “Okay, if you head for that gap, and take Hewer with you, and if you promise to be back by bedtime, you can go”. We were back by bedtime - the next day. Hopelessly lost, we had slept out all night with nothing but The Debyshire Telegraph for cover.

I have never been lost in Derbyshire since. How lovely to think, in an age when you can’t play conkers without wearing a crash-helmet, that we were allowed such freedom to lose our way. It never did us any harm.


Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Graig order launches new generation container super feeders

The Cardiff-based Graig Group has ordered a series of up to 26 fuel-efficient new generation MARLIN 2000 Blue design container feeders to be built at the major Jin Hai shipyard complex in China. The first two vessels are scheduled for delivery in August and September 2013 with subsequent vessels to be delivered in pairs every two and half months. Discussions on charters for the vessels are advanced with a number of global liner companies.

Hugh Williams, CEO, Graig, says, “This series responds to the industry’s needs. There is a gap in the containership market for quality, fuel efficient, competitively-priced and environmentally-friendly feeder ships to service the ultra large containerships now being brought into service by the major lines. This advanced MARLIN family of designs will fill that gap, and we expect this order to be the first of several series of larger capacity future-proof vessels, backed by the strength of the MARLIN consortia.”

The MARLIN series of designs has been developed by Wärtsilä, working closely with Graig and classification major DNV. The designs are the product of extensive research and tank testing and consultation with end users. With a number of design variants, the series delivers approximately 30 per cent improved fuel efficiency per TEU carried, improved capacity and slow steaming potential, better loading flexibility for different container types including a high reefer intake and lower emissions when compared to vessels currently in service.

“This is a step change for the feeder section of the container industry. It marks the beginning of a two-tier market for feeder ships. The top tier will be those which are like MARLIN, clean and fuel efficient and matching the economies of scale of the new mega liners. This is a much better ship for the job than you can find anywhere today and it is ready to go as a package,” explains Williams. “We have a high capacity shipyard contracted, finance in place and employment models worked through. Three basic versions are available, suitable for owners ready to invest and lines wanting to charter cleaner and more efficient feedering.”

There are three basic MARLIN designs. All feature an optimised hull shape, increased capacity and forward accommodation. MARLIN 2000 Blue is a Bangkok-max, direct diesel powered and provides 30 per cent fuel savings per day per TEU carried while carrying 20 per cent more boxes. Crucially, and unlike most other container designs of this size, it has a wide and flexible range of service speeds delivering fuel savings across the speed spectrum from as little as 10 knots to about 20 knots.

MARLIN 2000 Blue, intentionally targeted at the current needs of the high growth intra-Asia trades, has been ordered and there is demand for a series of these vessels. There are two further MARLIN concept designs which will become more attractive to charterers as air emission standards tighten and bunker costs rise. MARLIN 2500 Jade is slightly larger and diesel powered but is delivered with either scrubber or SCR emission reduction technology, while offering similar fuel and efficiency gains. MARLIN 2500 Green is aimed at the market for feeder vessels in ECAS (Emission Control Areas) and provides the option for dual fuel and LNG powering.

Key features of the Marlin package are:

• Advanced suite of optimised, efficient and green designs
• Competitively priced
• Attractive finance package, subject to status
• Experienced partners
• Strong supervision team in place during construction
• Contract and high level shipyard support during construction
• Series production at selected Chinese shipyards giving high standards and timely deliveries
• Experienced technical managers for post delivery

Key features of the Marlin design series are:

• 30 per cent more fuel efficient in tonnes per day per TEU carried
• Slow steaming capability
• 20 per cent greater capacity
• Operational flexibility – efficient over wide range of speeds and loading conditions, an unusual benefit for vessels of this type.
• Lower emissions – scrubber, SCR or gas power
• ECA ready
• Forward accommodation giving safer navigation and increased capacity
• Greater cargo flexibility in container mix
• Improved manoeuvrability saving port costs

The initial order is for three MARLIN 2000 Blue geared vessels and three options followed by an understanding for the series to be extended up to twenty further vessels including other MARLIN designs. The first vessels have been ordered by Graig and a number of partners. Finance support is being led by a major European bank and China’s EXIM Bank.

The Jin Hai shipyard, close to Shanghai, was chosen for the series because of its track record of delivering high quality ships to demanding owners, and because it has the capacity to build four MARLIN vessels at the same time, so speeding delivery of the series. “Graig has extensive knowledge of Chinese yards, and we short-listed a number of yards before identifying Jin Hai as the best fit with our business model,” explains Williams. “Jin Hai is part of the Hainan Airlines Group, a major Chinese conglomerate which also owns a leading logistics player in Grand China Logistics and there is the possibility of the yard’s parent group owning or chartering MARLIN vessels. Jin Hai builds good ships and has a lot of production capacity for simultaneous building. We can provide a value added service, bringing our expertise into the yard with the long series of orders. With our teams in the yard and our experience with building container-friendly vessels we can help the yard to develop and we and our partners acquire good ships quickly at the right price. It is a win-win situation. We also believe the yard and its management have the capacity, working with Graig, Wärtsilä and DNV, to gear up to build the technically more demanding MARLIN Jade and MARLIN Green series of vessels, which we plan to order as soon as the market needs these increasingly environmentally friendly vessels.”

A presentation of the MARLIN concept and graphics of the designs are available to the media by e mailing john@merlinco.com

Graphics can be downloaded from http://bit.ly/m6hMSO

The Graig Group is a broad-based international ship owning and shipping services group delivering technical and commercial ship management, newbuilding supervision, lay-up services, ship design, ship owning, ship finance and marine consultancy to global clients who appreciate personal service.

Graig has been building, managing and owning ships since 1919. Today it provides technical management and crewing for a mixed fleet of vessels on behalf of a number of owners. It has supervised over 100 newbuildings for itself and major shipowners and provides technical consultancy and management support services to two major banks with a financed fleet of over 100 vessels. Graig develops advanced designs such as the successful Diamond series of bulk carriers. It can source yards and finance and provide newbuilding supervision and follow up with in service management. Based in the UK, Graig has offices in Cardiff, London, Shanghai, Singapore and Manila. www.graig.com

Wärtsilä Ship Design has an impressive order book of more than 300 vessels under design or construction. Wärtsilä Ship Design has operations in 10 countries and employs around 350 persons globally. As a part of Wärtsilä with 18,000 employees and operations in 70 countries Wärtsilä Ship Design is the leading global ship design player. www.wartsila.com

For further information contact:
Chris Williams
+44 2920 440 200

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Monday, 11 July 2011

Moore Stephens welcomes FSA guidance on financial crime

Leading accountant and insurance industry adviser Moore Stephens has welcomed the publication by the Financial Services Authority of a guide to financial crime. It says the FSA guide draws together all the different strands of contingencies which represent a threat to the financial integrity and operational efficiency of firms in the insurance sector. And it adds that firms should regard the guide as a wake-up call ahead of the likely implementation of corresponding legislation in due course.

The FSA guidance, CP11/12: Financial Crime – A Guide for Firms, provides advice on steps that firms can take to reduce their exposure to the risk of financial crime, and seeks to improve transparency and accessibility to information within firms in the financial services sector, in the process underlining the FSA’s commitment to tackling financial crime. It focuses on areas in which the FSA has conducted thematic work, which has recently highlighted a number of frequently recurring problems in insurance firms, including poor risk control culture, poor reporting and ineffective governance.

Moore Stephens Compliance Consultant, Jonathan Steward, says, ““Firms in the insurance sector are in the business of assessing, managing and underwriting the risks faced by their clients, but may not always be aware of some of the potential emerging compliance risks which they themselves face, particularly where these arise from the implementation of new laws. The threat to insurance businesses from financial crime is in fact very real, and is growing. Moreover, it has the potential to undermine the financial security of firms, and also to damage their commercial effectiveness.

“The publication of the FSA guide is very timely, particularly given the entry into force of the Bribery Act 2101 on July 1 this year. The good thing about the guide is that it draws together every aspect of the risk posed by financial crime, and provides guidance on how firms can assess and improve their existing approach to meeting their legal and regulatory obligations. For firms in the insurance sector, this is a good opportunity to test systems and controls, and to analyse whether their financial and risk management procedures – including third-party payment arrangements - are likely to be FSA-compliant.

“The guide does not contain rules, and imposes no new requirements. But firms would be well-advised to use it as a template for reviewing their systems and controls, ahead of the probable implementation of regulation.”

Moore Stephens LLP is noted for a number of industry specialisations and is widely acknowledged as a leading shipping and insurance adviser. Moore Stephens LLP is a member firm of Moore Stephens International Limited, one of the world's leading accounting and consulting associations, with 638 offices of independent member firms in 97 countries, employing 20,588 people and generating revenues in 2010 of $2.15 billion.

For more information:
Jonathan Steward, Moore Stephens LLP
Tel: +44 (0)20 7334 9191

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Thursday, 7 July 2011

Gross explanation

Everybody knows that Gross Tonnage is a measurement used to signify a ship’s overall internal volume. But international accountant and leading shipping industry adviser Moore Stephens has come up with a much more interesting definition in the latest issue of its Bottom Line newsletter.

It explains that Gross Tonnage (GT) is different from Gross Register Tonnage (GRT) which was good enough for everybody until it was replaced by GT in 1982 in an attempt to put an end to Europe.

There are rules to follow when dealing with gross tonnage. Always remember that GT is arrived at by applying a mathematical formula. Any formula will do, as long as it produces the answer GT= K x V. The value of the multiplier K varies in accordance with the base 10 logarithm and the periodic table.

Never ask an ex-seafarer to explain gross tonnage. The legs will fall off your iron pots before he has finished. George Moorsom of the British Board of Trade had the first stab at measuring ships. This gave us Gross Tonnage in 1849, the same year in which Abraham Lincoln patented a buoying device, and Mrs Elizabeth Blackwell became the first woman. (Part of this sentence may be missing). Lincoln, however, was unable to persuade the Americans to pronounce ‘buoy’ correctly.

Tons can be spelt in a variety of different ways, including, tonnes, tuns, and megagrams. There are also long tons and short tons, and some as big as your head. Whichever one you choose will be wrong.

Measure twice, cut once.


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Bureau Veritas certifies first Philippines Manning Agency

Leading international classification society Bureau Veritas has certified Philippines-based manning agency Maryville Manila Inc for compliance to the Maritime Labour Convention MLC2006 on a voluntary basis. This is the first manning agency to be certified by Bureau Veritas in the Philippines.

Claude Maillot, VP Ships in Service Management, Bureau Veritas, says, “The readiness of Maryville Manila Inc. to move towards voluntary compliance and certification under MLC2006 in advance of the convention coming into force demonstrates both the quality of the organisation and the forward thinking of its management. We have so far certified one seafarer manning office in the UK and its branch office in India, two in Greece and we have published a Guidance Note (NI 563) to facilitate the certification process. We expect other manning offices be looking for certification before the convention enters into force, probably next year.”

Emmanuel Danion, Bureau Veritas Country Chief Executive, Philippines, says, “Maryville Manila Inc is a leader in good manning practice in the Philippines and we are pleased that they chose Bureau Veritas to audit their systems to the new requirements of MLC2006. The Filipino manning industry is very important both here in the Philippines and as the biggest resource of skilled manpower for global shipping. It is most important that manning agencies are forward looking and ready to comply with global standards, as Maryville is.”

Glenda P.Biliran, President and QMR of Maryville Manila Inc, says, “Maryville Manila Inc is the exclusive manning agency of Maryville Maritime Inc. It employs approximately 1800 seafarers and has adopted a policy of strict selection, evaluation and training of all crews.”

Bureau Veritas is a leading international service provider, dedicated to quality assurance, environmental, health, and safety, (QEHS) management services across a wide range of economic activities, including marine, industry and facilities, government services, and consumer products. By far the largest classification and certification society in the world, Bureau Veritas has over 48,000 employees and 900 offices in over 140 countries throughout the world.

www.bureauveritas.com for corporate information, www.veristar.com for marine information.

For more information:
Roberto Nahon
Bureau Veritas
+33 1 55 24 72 66
+33 6 80 65 81 66

RINA granted US Coast Guard US flag approval

GENOA-based classification society RINA has been authorised by the U.S. Coast Guard to conduct plan review and approval and initial and subsequent surveys for U.S.-flagged cargo and passenger vessels. Under the agreement signed yesterday, RINA has received delegation for Load Line, SOLAS, MARPOL, ISM, and Tonnage survey and certification services.

The MOA delegating authority and establishing guidelines for co-operation between the USCG and RINA was signed at Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington yesterday, by Rear Admiral Paul F. Zukunft (Assistant Commandant for Marine Safety, Security and Stewardship) USCG and Ugo Salerno, CEO, RINA.

Ugo Salerno, CEO, RINA, says, “We appreciate the trust the USCG is putting in RINA, and we salute the good relations and mutual respect we have developed over twenty years. We have focused relentlessly on quality and that has paid off as we have topped the quality table for classification societies as measured by Port State Control performance.”

Rear Admiral Paul F. Zukunft, USCG, says, “The signing of this agreement is indicative of the trust and value the U.S. Coast Guard places in our partnerships that promote the safe and secure movement of shipping, people, and cargo across the vast maritime domain.”

RINA was the first international classification society to sign a co-operation agreement with the USCG for foreign-flag passenger ships using US ports, and since then has worked hard with the Coast Guard to ensure that US passengers sail on safe ships. Today this new agreement recognises the success of that agreement and makes RINA’s services available to the wider US shipping industry.

Massimo Volta, General Manager, America, RINA, says, “Operators of US tonnage will now be able to benefit from the high levels of service on which RINA prides itself. We bring the full range of international classification services to the US market, we also bring a lot of expertise and experience, especially with specialised vessels. And we bring something extra, we bring a special attention to personal service.”

A photo of the signing is available from john@merlinco.com

RINA is one of the oldest classification societies and certification companies in the world. Established in Genoa in 1861 to serve the marine industry, today it spans the globe as a multinational and multi-faceted company, sharing its knowledge and experience through a wide range of services which help industries and the community to improve their businesses and quality of life. RINA’s services cover the environment, energy, transportation, logistics, safety, quality and social responsibility. www.rina.org

For more information:

Massimo Volta
+1 954 838 0408 ext 212

Claudia Filippone
Head of Media Relations RINA
+39 010 5385643

Giulia Faravelli
Media Relations
+39 010 5385505

Moore Stephens warns that UK shipping competitiveness is under threat

Leading accountant and shipping adviser, Moore Stephens, has welcomed the UK government’s decision to issue consultation papers on statutory residence and the taxation of non-domicilaries. But it warns that the UK shipping industry faces a growing threat from other jurisdictions.

Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs’ consultation papers propose a statutory residence test and certain changes to the taxation of non-domiciliaries with effect from April 2012. “These could have important implications for shipping,” says Moore Stephens shipping partner, Richard Greiner, “and are generally to be welcomed”.

The stated objectives of the non-dom taxation reforms are to ensure that non-doms make a fair tax contribution and to encourage non-doms to invest in the UK. To achieve the latter objective, the government intends to allow non-doms to remit overseas funds to the UK tax-free for commercial investment in a qualifying business. Greiner says, “Although these measures are at present the subject only of a consultation paper, and could change as a result of responses received by the government before the cut-off date of 9 September 2011, they represent a positive development.

“Similarly, the draft proposals for a statutory residence test should result in rules which are clear and fair, providing some long-overdue clarity in what has previously been a very grey area. This is especially appropriate for a country which seeks to attract, and retain, international business.

“The government’s commitment to consult on these issues is particularly positive, but is in stark contrast to its recent unilateral decision to reinterpret the rules on UK tonnage tax. The importance of tonnage tax should not be underestimated. A recent report by UK Maritime notes that, had the UK-owned fleet continued to decline at the rate seen in the years immediately before the introduction of tonnage tax, the UK shipping industry would have contributed £3.9 billion less to UK GDP in 2009 than it actually did, and there would have been 81,000 fewer jobs in total.

“UK shipping faces a serious and growing threat from other, more user-and-tax-friendly regimes. We have already seen movement to other jurisdictions. If this is not to become an exodus, it is essential to maintain the competitiveness of the UK shipping industry.”

Moore Stephens LLP is noted for a number of industry specialisations and is widely acknowledged as a leading shipping and insurance adviser. Moore Stephens LLP is a member firm of Moore Stephens International Limited, one of the world's leading accounting and consulting associations, with 638 offices of independent member firms in 97 countries, employing 20,588 people and generating revenues in 2010 of $2.151 billion.

For more information:
Richard Greiner,
Moore Stephens LLP
Tel: +44 (0)20 7334 9191

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London Club posts record free reserves to consolidate financial strength

THE London P&I Club consolidated its financial strength by recording an overall surplus of $3.6m for the 2010/2011 year of account. This lifted free reserves to $145.1m, the highest level in the club’s 145-year history.

The club’s continued policy of achieving controlled growth in its membership resulted in a five per cent increase, of almost 2m gt, in owned entered tonnage over the course of the year. The volume of charterers’ business also continued to grow, and these developments produced a total entry of 42.5m gt at year-end, with more ships scheduled to attach during the course of 2011.

Chairman, John M Lyras, writing in the club’s Annual Report for 2011, says, “Advances of this sort, together with further steps to strengthen rating and deductible levels, augment the club’s financial strength for 2011/2012.”

Pointing out that the 2010/2011 policy year saw an unusually high number of claims in excess of $1m, Mr Lyras added, “Our claims exposure – whether to incidents involving our members or other clubs’ members through the International Group Pool – plays the greatest part in the club’s performance.” He emphasised that loss prevention awareness occupies an increasingly important role in the club’s activities, with further attention being given to the dissemination of relevant information through its loss prevention publication and alerts programme, as well as workshops and seminars provided in response to member feedback and requests.

Elsewhere in his comments in the Annual Report, Mr Lyras lamented the “inadequacy” of governmental response to the problem of piracy, and the troubling signs of increased risk to the wellbeing and safety of hostage crew members. The important Best Management Practices produced by the shipping industry and international naval organisations played a significant part in reducing the danger of piracy, but the way in which the risk has developed meant that the ‘industry debate over the potential role to be played by properly trained guards’ was ‘unsurprising’.

On another subject, Mr Lyras also expressed the hope that the provision by the clubs of a very substantial amount of information to those conducting the European Commission review of some of the International Group’s arrangements would help inform the EC case team’s understanding of the unique features of mutual P&I and the important benefits it delivers.


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Friday, 1 July 2011

Making contact

It comes as no surprise to hear that the Admiralty Court in London recently apportioned liability on a 60/40 basis in a claim for damages arising from a collision between a VLCC and a containership. Nobody is ever 100 per cent to blame for anything in the Admiralty Court – it is just a question of how the pie is sliced.

Despite – or perhaps because of - advances in technology, the number of collisions seems to be increasing. There are all sorts of reasons why this may be so, ranging from over-reliance on technology, to the crew watching televised football matches on board ship.

As somebody once said, football is not a contact sport, it’s a collision sport. Dancing is a contact sport.

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