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.:Maritime News :.
.: 15-Oct-2019 :.
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No GST on Maritime Courses conducted by the Maritime Training Institutes of India approved by DG Shipping: CBIC
The Central Board of Indirect Taxes ( CBIC ) said that, Goods and Services Tax ( GST ) exempted for maritime courses conducted by the Maritime Training Institutes of India approved by Directorate General of Shipping.
Under GST Law, vide Sl. No. 66 of the notification No. 12/2017- Central Tax (Rate) dated 28.06.2017, services provided by educational institutions to its students, faculty and staff are exempt from levy of GST. In the above notification, "educational institution" has been defined to mean an institution providing services by way of education as a part of a curriculum for obtaining a qualification recognised by any law for the time being in force.
GST exemption on services supplied by an educational institution would be available if it fulfils the criteria that the education is provided as part of a curriculum for obtaining a qualification/ degree recognized by law.
In order to streamline and monitor the maritime education and training by maritime institutes and to administer the assessment agencies, the Merchant Shipping (standards of training, certification and watch-keeping for Seafarers) Rules, 2014 has been notified. Under Rule 9 of the said Rules, the Director-General of Shipping is empowered to designate assessment centres. Further, the provisions of sub-rules (6), (7) and (8) of Rule 4 of the said Rules, empowers the Director-General of Shipping, to approve (i) the training course, (ii) training, examination and assessment programme, and (iii) approved training institute etc.
In a Circular issued by the CBIC clarified that, the Maritime Training Institutes and their training courses are approved by the Director-General of Shipping which are duly recognised under the provisions of the Merchant Shipping Act, 1958 read with the Merchant Shipping (standards of training, certification and watch-keeping for Seafarers) Rules, 2014 are educational institutions under GST Law and the courses conducted by them are exempt from levy of GST. The exemption is subject to meeting the conditions specified at Sl. No. 66 of the notification No. 12/ 2017- Central Tax (Rate) dated 28.06.2017.
The CBIC also clarified that, “This clarification applies, mutatis mutandis, to corresponding entries of respective IGST, UTGST, SGST exemption notifications".
ITF Urges Authorities to Continue Search for Bourbon Rhode Crew
The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) is joining Ukrainian and Croatian maritime unions in demanding that the search for seven missing seafarers continue in the mid-Atlantic following the sinking of the Bourbon Rhode vessel.
On October 14, ITF maritime coordinator Jacqueline Smith directly called on the French government to continue search and rescue operations and redeploy all resources.
Smith also called on the US and other nations to provide assistance in the search while there is a prospect that the seven missing seafarers can be found alive.
"As Croatia s Minister of Foreign and European Affairs said earlier this week, not all options have been exhausted. Together with our affiliates, the Seafarers Union of Croatia and the Marine Transport Workers Trade Union of Ukraine, we demand that the search continues while there is still a glimmer of hope that the missing seafarers are alive," Smith said.
The Luxembourg-flagged anchor handling tug (AHT) - crewed by 14 Ukrainian, Russian, South African, Filipino and Croatian seafarers - sank at the end of September after it was hit by the category 4 hurricane "Lorenzo".
At the time of the incident, the vessel was in transit around 1,200 nautical miles off the French Martinique island and 60 nautical miles from the eye of the hurricane.
Search and rescue operations coordinated by the Regional Operational Centre of Surveillance and Rescue (CROSS) since September 26 have resulted in the recovery of a lifeboat with three Ukrainian survivors, as well as recovering the bodies of four seafarers. Since October 1, no more survivors or bodies have been found.
However, the three rescued Ukrainian seafarers have confirmed that some of the missing seven crew members succeeded in entering a life raft and there is a possibility that they are still alive.
Additionally, on October 8, two seafarers onboard the Alp Striker reported that they had seen what could have been a distress flare, and the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) informed authorities of an unknown object spotted via satellite could be a life raft.
Despite these reports, French authorities announced that search operations would be scaled down.
Consequently, families and friends of the missing Bourbon Rhode seafarers have launched a petition urging authorities to continue the search for the missing Croatian master and six Ukrainian crew members. The petition has been so far signed by more than 44 thousand people.
Drewry: LNG Shipping Rates Rise as Sanctions Hit Vessel Availability
LNG shipping rates have surged to USD 130,000 pd currently from around USD 80,000 pd at the end of September due to tight vessel supply and seasonal firmness in demand, according to shipping consultancy Drewry.
Furthermore, the upward momentum in rates is expected to be maintained in the fourth quarter of 2019 due to a reduction in the availability of vessels in the spot market, driven by several factors including U.S. sanctions on COSCO-linked LNG vessels, a rise in LNG demand, vessels being used for floating storage and typhoons causing delays in China and Japan.
"The LNG shipping market, which had been reeling under a long spell of low charter rates in the first three quarters of 2019, finally came to life when a combination of factors worked in tandem to squeeze the vessel supply," Drewry explained.
First, the U.S. sanctions on COSCO-linked LNG vessels forced charterers to find replacement vessels from the spot market, reducing the prompt availability of vessels.
Moreover, the ongoing contango in LNG prices has resulted in a sudden jump in floating storage levels in Asia, further reducing the vessel supply in the market. In addition, typhoons in China and Japan have affected vessel offloading in the region. Adding fuel to the fire, high LNG inventories in Europe have caused LNG vessels to either slow steam or delay deliveries, "absorbing more vessels from an already tight fleet."
On September 25, 2019, the U.S. imposed sanctions on Chinese shipping companies, COSCO Shipping Tanker (Dalian) Co. and COSCO Shipping Tanker (Dalian) Seaman and Ship Management Co., for allegedly transporting Iranian oil on their tankers despite the sanctions on Iran. In the same line, 12 COSCO-linked LNG carriers were also blocked from trading. The resultant reduction in vessels has triggered LNG charter rates over the last two weeks.
Among the 12 vessels, six Arc-7 class LNG carriers (with a combined LNG-carrying capacity of 1 million cbm) under the 50-50 Yamal LNG JV between Teekay LNG and China LNG Shipping (50% owned by COSCO) were blocked. This lead to a setback to the Russian LNG exports which are dependent on the ice-breaking capability of these vessels during winter.
The remaining six LNG carriers linked to COSCO were on charter with China National Offshore Oil and Gas Company (CNOOC), which is now seeking to replace the carriers on an immediate basis, that will further deplete the prompt vessel availability, causing a surge in rates.
As a measure to weather the storm, Novatek s Yamal LNG project is seeking to use Norway or Murmansk as transhipment hubs to fulfill its contractual obligations. Furthermore, ongoing weather delays caused by typhoon Hagibis in China and Japan have resulted in a Chinese-receiving terminal being shut down and causing offloading delays in Japan and limiting vessel availability.
"The market is facing scarcity of prompt vessels at a time when LNG trading has started to rise ahead of peak winter heating demand. We expect many Asian countries to increase their LNG imports in the fourth quarter of 2019, with expectations for a colder winter this year," Drewry noted.
Increased demand expectations have also spurred forward LNG prices, leading to a rise in the use of LNG carriers as floating storage. Higher LNG forward prices have also given an incentive for LNG carriers to take longer voyages and diversions to avoid quick deliveries, further contracting vessel supply.
LNG shipping rates have gradually increased on the BLNG1 Index (the Gladstone-Tokyo route) to stand at USD 132,900 pd on October 11 from USD 61,100 pd on September 24 (before the sanctions), up by 117%.
"In the near term, vessel availability is unlikely to increase. Therefore, we project TFDE rates for a 170,000 cbm vessel to breach the USD 200,000 pd mark in the short term, while steam turbine rates will cross the USD 100,000 pd mark."
High demand and tight vessel availability is expected to keep shipping rates high in the range of USD 150,000 pd – USD 200,000 pd in the fourth quarter of 2019, Drewry concluded.
MOL, Tohoku EPCO to Advance Study on Wind Challenger Installation
Japanese shipping company Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) and compatriot electric utility Tohoku Electric Power have revealed their intention to move ahead with a full-scale joint study related to the installation of the world’s first hard sail system - Wind Challenger - on a coal carrier.
The decision comes after it was recently confirmed that a vessel equipped with the Wind Challenger is acceptable in port facilities of the coal thermal power plants owned by Tohoku Electric.
Both companies plan to verify the system s impact on discharging operation and calling in/out at coal unloading port facilities, its effect on reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions while the vessel is underway, and other factors.
The duo eyes launching the world’s first vessel equipped with the Wind Challenger after 2022.
Wind Challenger is a telescoping hard sail to convert wind energy to propulsive force and is studied in the Wind Challenger Project in which MOL takes part as a leading member.
As explained, the installation of the system on merchant ships has the potential to significantly reduce fuel consumption, which in turn reduces the environmental impact of vessel operation while improving economic efficiency.
Earlier this year, MOL and Oshima Shipbuilding obtained approval in principle (AIP) from classification society ClassNK for the design of the hard sail system. Obtaining the AIP marked the completion of the initial design related to the sail structure and controls.
The project started back in 2009 with the Wind Challenger Plan, an industry-academia joint research project led by The University of Tokyo, and from 2013, the team has been chosen to receive Subsidy for Next-generation marine environment-related technology research by the country s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism. In January 2018, MOL and Oshima took charge of the plan.
DSME Wins Order for Five Boxships
South Korean shipbuilder Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) has received a contract for the construction of five large containerships.
Signed on October 14, the contract is worth KRW 903.9 billion (about USD 763 million), DSME said in a stock exchange filing.
However, the shipbuilder has not disclosed any details on the owner of the newbuilds.
The ships, described by DSME as "ultra large container vessels" are expected to be delivered by the end of August 2021.
The newest order comes only a few days after DSME secured a contract to build two LNG carriers for unnamed American customers.
In the first half of this year, the shipbuilder recorded sales of KRW 4.2 trillion and an operating profit of KRW 394.4 billion.
VPLP Unveils Sail-Enhanced RoRo Design
French naval architecture firm VPLP has developed a new roll-on/roll-off (RoRo) vessel design equipped with four "Oceanwings" that would assist the ship s main propulsion system.
The 121-meter-long RoRo vessel was developed for transporting components of the Ariane 6 rocket from Europe to French Guiana.
ArianeGroup, the primary contractor for the Ariane launch vehicle, put out a call for tenders concerning the transportation of the various parts of the new Ariane 6 launcher from Europe to the launch pad in Kourou, French Guiana.
MUA: Australia Revokes Legislation Related to ANL
Australia has removed laws that protect the country s shipping industry with the repeal of ANL Act, according to the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA).
Namely, MUA said that the repeal of legislation related to the former publicly-owned shipping company Australian National Line, which was sold to a French owner, "highlights the ongoing failure of the Morrison Government s to support a strong domestic shipping industry."
BWM Convention Amendments Enter into Force
On October 13, 2019, amendments to an international treaty aimed at preventing the spread of potentially invasive species in ships ballast water came into force, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) said.
The International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships Ballast Water and Sediments (the BWM Convention) entered into force back in September 2017.
From Greenfield Terminal To Trade Hub
A major global port operator has evolved its operations in a South American country from a greenfield terminal to a fully integrated maritime and logistics hub.
DP World’s business in Peru, which began with container handling at the greenfield Port of Callao in 2011, now caters to the needs of customers across the entire supply chain. Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, group chairman and CEO of DP World, visited DP World Callao to assess the progress of the project.
Portugal announces launch of int l tender for new Sines terminal
The Portuguese government announced on Saturday the launch of an international public tender for the construction of a new container terminal of the Port of Sines - the Vasco da Gama Terminal.
Minister of the Sea Ana Paula Vitorino told reporters that the international public tender will be formally launched on Tuesday for a concession period of 50 years with an investment of 642 million euros, adding that the specifications include the construction and operation project, with a deadline of nine months for the submission of proposals.
Rotterdam container placed on Noah s Train
On Friday 11 October, the Rotterdam container was placed on Noah s train under the great interest of all participating European rail operators. This took place at the APMT terminal on Rotterdam Maasvlakte. The colourful train with 19 painted wagons arrived yesterday at the container terminal following a tour of Katowice, Vienna, Berlin, Paris, Brussels, Rome, Leipzig, Munich, Luxembourg, Riga and Madrid.
Port of Tokyo records decline in cargo volumes and box ship calls
Freight volumes in and out of Japan s busiest port, the Port of Tokyo, have declined in the first six months of 2019 compared to the first six months of 2018, new comprehensive data shows.
Activity at the Port of Tokyo
The Port of Tokyo is Japan s busiest container port with just under 4.6 million twenty foot equivalent units of throughput. Both import and export freight volumes at the Port of Tokyo have decreased in the first six months of 2019 compared to the first six months of 2018, according to recently released data from the Tokyo metropolitan government.