Archive for December, 2011
International Shipping Federation news release 23 December 2011
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 1st 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.
19 December 2011
A detailed action plan addressing domestic ferry safety in the East Asia sub-region was agreed by participants in a forum on the subject organized by IMO and held in Bali, Indonesia, on 6 and 7 December 2011.
Attended by delegates from several governments as well industry organization Interferry, the Regional Forum on Domestic Ferry Safety adopted an eight-point plan which, among other things, calls on Governments to assist ship‐owners and operators to provide fit-for-purpose vessels that are compliant with national rules and regulations and to support and monitor ships’ masters and operators to ensure that safety obligations are being properly fulfilled.
It also called for Governments to designate relevant focal points to participate in regular dialogue with, and to share relevant data among, all those with an interest in domestic ferry safety, to help identify critical issues that lead to accidents and casualties with a view to formulating effective solutions.
For the full text of the action plan, visit http://bit.ly/tG542a
The Forum, organized as part of IMO’s Integrated Technical Cooperation Programme, and in collaboration with Interferry and the Directorate General of Sea Transportation of Indonesia, discussed issues such as hazardous weather, vessel design and construction, overcrowding and the poor enforcement of rules, all of which may be considered to be significant contributory factors leading to accidents and fatalities.
Delegates included administrators and policy makers with responsibility for the implementation and enforcement of domestic ferry safety requirements in their countries, as well as ferry operators and other industry representatives from the private sector.
Altogether 74 participants from Australia, Bangladesh, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Singapore, Thailand, United States, Viet Nam and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community attended. The private sector was represented by Interferry and Interferry’s membership including participants from classification societies (the American Bureau of Shipping and Det Norske Veritas).
Click here for photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/imo-un/sets/72157628481037893/
IMO – the International Maritime Organization – is the United Nations specialized agency with responsibility for the safety and security of shipping and the prevention of marine pollution by ships.
Web site: www.imo.org
ILO News release
14 December 2011
Australia ratifies the Maritime Labour Convention 2006 (MLC 2006)
Australia becomes the 22nd member State to ratify the landmark Convention, which sets out seafarers’ rights to decent working and living conditions while creating fair competition for shipowners.
GENEVA (ILO News) – On 14 December 2011, the Government of Australia deposited with the International Labour Office the instrument of ratification of the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 (MLC, 2006). Australia becomes the 22nd member State to ratify the landmark Convention, which sets out seafarers’ rights to decent working and living conditions while creating fair competition for shipowners.
In receiving the instrument of ratification, Ms. Doumbia-Henry, Director of the International Labour Standards Department, stated: “Today, the Government of Australia delivers on its commitment to play a leading role in the ratification and implementation of the MLC, 2006 – a commitment reaffirmed at the Regional Dialogue on the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006, hosted by Australia in May 2011 with a view to strengthen the cooperation and consistent application of the Convention across the Asia-Pacific region. The effort of the Australian Government is all the more commendable as it required an amendment to the Commonwealth maritime legislation and extensive consultations with the different government jurisdictions. Australia’s ratification proves that the momentum in the Asia-Pacific region remains strong and I am optimistic that further ratifications are shortly to come from this region which is strategically important for achieving the goals of the MLC, 2006. In addition, the ratification by Australia will help to boost the Australian maritime industry and to strengthen its competiveness.”
In depositing the instrument of ratification, Mr Greg Vines, Minister (Labour) stated: “As the largest island continent, Australia’s economic future is inextricably linked to safe and productive shipping. It is in our environmental and economic interest to ensure that ships that travel through the Asia-Pacific region are safe, secure and crewed by seafarers that are decently treated, fairly paid and well trained. In ratifying the MLC, 2006, Australia is proud to be contributing to comprehensive rights and protection for the world’s more than 1.2 million seafarers who work in this fundamental global industry.
This historic achievement was made possible through the strong support, collaborative approach and practical advice from key maritime stakeholders such as the Australian Shipowners Associations and the Maritime Union of Australia and Australia’s ILO social partners. We strongly encourage other nations, particularly those in Asia-Pacific region, to work with their social partners and the ILO to ratify the MLC to help ensure that the Seafarer’s Bill of Rights can enter into force as soon as possible.”
With the ratification of the MLC, 2006 by Australia, 22 ILO member States, representing over 56 per cent of the world gross tonnage of ships, are now parties to the Convention. Of the twenty-two ratifications, twelve have been received in 2011 with the majority of these received in the last six months, which shows that national ratification efforts are now nearing completion in many countries in all regions. It is expected that the additional eight ratifications will be obtained in the following three to six moths making it possible for the MLC, 2006 to enter into force in early 2013.