ITF News Update: 9th to 16th July 2021

The lessons and the aftermath of the Ever Given incident | Lloyd’s List – 9th July

Suez Canal Authority speaks out on Ever Given grounding, and what the rest of 2021 holds for the shipping industry


Singapore strengthens crew change rules | Lloyd’s List – 9th July

Requirement for antigen rapid test makes ‘impossible situation even harder’, argues International Maritime Employers’ Council chief executive Francesco Gargiulowith. Some big employers are reportedly shunning crew changes in Singapore

Singapore’s Maritime and Port Authority has further tightened its crew change requirements while easing the home isolation requirement to 14 days from 21


Online survey on seafarers losing jobs despite being fully vaccinated | The Indian Express – 11th July

Based on the survey, the union intends to take up the issue with the Centre and other international bodies to ensure there are no further job losses in the sector.

The Forward Seamen’s Union of India (FSUI) is conducting an online survey for seafarers to find out if any of them was denied jobs on merchant vessels abroad despite receiving both doses of vaccines and how many have lost jobs because they are not vaccinated.


Empty shipping containers pile up despite global shortage and ‘ghost ship’ runs | Stuff NZ – 11th July

Shipping chaos is escalating with empty shipping containers piling up at depots and “ghost ships” being sent in to fetch them.


Five Indian sailors stranded in Iran, seek PM’s help to return home | ANI News – 12th July


Perils of Flags of Convenience in the maritime industry | Business AM – 12th July

A FLAG OF CONVENIENCE SHIP OR VESSEL (FOC) is the vessel that flies a flag of other countries other than the country of ownership or origin. Flags of convenience usually apply to merchant ships where the owner of the vessel tries to get an “easy way out” of certain strict practices of the home country of the owner of the ship. FOC as a practice is a war strategy where merchant vessels try to evade enemy warships that may attack them while idle or on the way to their destinations.


UAE acts on vessel abandonment with new resolution | Seatrade Maritime News – 12th July

Resolution no. 71, which will enter force within two months of the date of enactment, “will create the premises for speeding up the process of solving the issues of wrecks and abandoned ships”, according to a news update from Dubai-based law firm, Fichte & Co Legal.


Project initiated to collate data of Indian seafarers in jails abroad | Business Standard – 12th July

The Maritime Union of India (MUI), which represents merchant navy officers, has initiated a ‘Service to Stranded Seafarers’ project


Rescuing migrants at sea could lead to prison under new UK law | Lloyd’s List – 12th July

UK’s Nationality and Borders Bill could override Unclos and Solas, making it a crime to ‘facilitate the arrival or attempted arrival’ of people if there are grounds to think they will claim asylum

‘If you are in the situation where whatever you do is an offence, it is hard to see how it would be in the public interest to prosecute,’ says legal expert


Piracy and armed robbery at lowest level for 27 years | Lloyd’s List – 13th July

The low absolute number of incidents means percentage changes can look bigger than they really are. Piracy usually ticks up from around September when the Gulf of Guinea’s weather improves

Piracy incidents are at a 27-year low in the first half of 2021 but crews must stay vigilant, according to watchdog the International Maritime Bureau


Global trade and shipping chaos faces a new problem. Slow vaccines for seafarers | Economic Times – 14th July

All signs now point to a worsening crisis on the oceans, just as the industry seemed to be emerging from months of port restrictions that hurt the ability of shipping firms to swap out crews and left hundreds of thousands stuck at sea for months.


Exclusive | 5 Indian seafarers released in Iran after 400 days appeal to PM Modi for help | India Today – 14th July

Five Indian seafarers, who were arrested in Iran last year for allegedly smuggling narcotics, were released in March this year. Yet to return to India, these five have appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for their repatriation.


New Report Finds Connectivity Crucial to Seafarers’ Future Welfare Needs | G Captain – 14th July

(Inmarsat) – Inmarsat, the world leader in global, mobile satellite communications, has further showcased its commitment to crew welfare by sponsoring a new report exploring the future of seafaring to 2050. The report offers recommendations on how shipping, training institutions and welfare services can respond to the changing needs of tomorrow’s seafarers.


Ship carrying confirmed Covid-19 cases to dock at Christchurch port | Stuff NZ – 15th July

A fishing industry group is questioning why a foreign-flagged fishing vessel not connected to New Zealand is allowed to dock in the country. The ship, Spanish fishing vessel Playa Zahara, is carrying 18 people – 16 of whom have Covid-19 – and is heading south to Christchurch’s Lyttelton Port, where it is expected to dock on Friday morning.


Overdue Chinese crew are refused sign-off at Chinese port | Lloyd’s List – 15th July

Ship’s master tells Lloyd’s List that the six crew members on 2020-built dry bulker Sakizaya Treasure have worked on board for 14 months and are now ‘extremely anxious’ to see their families. He says the ship will not sail before the owner can provide a clear new plan for crew changeover

Kamsarmax dry bulker at anchor near the port of Zhenjiang in China not allowed to conduct a crew change. Local authorities are said to have tightened restrictions


Gov’t urged to increase inbound flights, quarantine facilities for returning seafarers | Manila Times – 16th July

The Association of Licensed Manning Agencies (ALMA) Maritime Group recently appealed to the government to take urgent action in addressing a global “crew change” dilemma caused by the limited inbound flights and the continuing lack of quarantine facilities in the country.