Wednesday, 23 January 2013


CMA CGM Marco Polo is a container ship in the Explorer class owned by the CMA CGM group. On 6 November 2012, it became the largest containership in the world measured by capacity, as it can hold 16,020 TEU (twenty-foot equivalent unit containers).
The previous largest was Emma Mærsk and her seven sisters of the Mærsk E-class. The capacity is 10,000 TEU if all are fully loaded 14 ton containers, compared to 11,000 for Emma Mærsk.  The Maersk Triple E class, currently under construction, will be even larger than the CMA CGM Marco Polo, to give you an indication of the Maersk Tripple E- Class size, take a NFL stadium, NBA arena and Ice Hockey rink; put them end on end and you have the length of the Triple E. Thats the length the world biggest container ship coming this July

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Somali pirates free three Syrian hostages without ransom

Somali pirates have released three Syrian hostages held in captivity since 2010 without payment of any ransom, government officials said.
The three were part of the 19-strong crew of a Panama-flagged, United Arab Emirates-owned bulk cargo vessel captured in December 2010 some 400 miles northeast of the Seychelles. The ship was released in October 2012 after pirates said they received $400,000, but detained six of the crew to get more money
for them.
The pirates who had held the three were pardoned, Mohamed Aden Tiicey, president of the government of Adado region, said by phone.
“No ransom was paid. We had agreed with pirates to surrender, hand over weapons and release the hostages without ransom,” Tiicey said.
Hostage Muayad Walio said he and his companions in captivity were in good health. “I am very happy. We got our freedom after about two years and one month,” hostage Muayad Walio said.
Tiicey and a former pirate, Abdiqadir, accompanied the three released hostages to Mogadishu.
“We have taken these three Syrian hostages from the pirates-the other crew had been previously released,” Abdiqadir said.
Abdiqadir is the son of a former pirate kingpin known as Mohamed Abdi Hassan “Afweyne”. He and his father now both work with the Addado region.
A UN Monitoring Group report on Somalia in 2010 said that “Afweyne” commanded bandits in the Arabian Sea and off the Indian Ocean coast of East Africa for almost a decade, raking in millions of dollars in ransom payments.
Somalia, which is only now getting a functioning government after two decades of chaos and civil war, is next to the Gulf of Aden’s busy shipping lanes. Poverty and lawlessness have lured many young men into piracy.
Source: Reuters

Somali pair admit trying to hijack ship

In the first case prosecuted under Japan's 2009 antipiracy law, two Somali men pleaded guilty Tuesday in Tokyo District Court to charges of boarding and attempting to hijack a Bahamas-registered tanker operated by a Japanese shipping company.
The ship, sailing in the Indian Ocean off Oman, came under attack in March 2011.
While acknowledging the attempted piracy, defense lawyers questioned the legitimacy of prosecuting the case in Japan, rather than where the crime was committed. They also argued that neither the vessel's registry nor any crew on board were Japanese.
Mohamed Urgus Adeysey and Abdinur Hussain Ali, who gave their ages as about 23 and 38, respectively, admitted boarding the oil tanker Guanabara, operated by Mitsui O.S.K. Lines Ltd., on March 5, 2011, with the intention of seizing control and taking the 24 members of the crew hostage.
Held under the lay judge system, the case is being heard by six citizens and three professional judges.
The proceedings are being translated into Somali with the aid of English and Somali court translators.
A ruling is expected on Feb. 1.
According to the indictment, Adeysey and Ali, along with two other Somali men, approached the 57,462-ton Guanabara in a small boat and threatened the crew, all non-Japanese, with automatic weapons fire. The Guanabara was transporting heavy oil from Ukraine to Singapore through the Gulf of Aden and was in open waters when the four pirates boarded the tanker.
Following antipiracy procedures, the crew members evacuated to a control room, from which they could operate the ship. The hijack attempt ultimately failed, prosecutors said. No crew members were injured and the vessel received only minor damage.
"These Somali pirates are nothing like the pirates you see in children's books, cartoons or movies. The pirates in this case are armed with automatic rifles from a country called Somalia," prosecutors said.
They branded the acts of piracy in the Gulf of Aden an international threat to the estimated 18,000 vessels that travel past the coast of Somalia annually. Such acts have increased in recent years, reaching a total of 237 attacks in 2011. The Maritime Self-Defense Force has joined with the navies of many other countries in sending ships to protect these vessels from pirates, they said.
Adeysey and Ali were taken into custody by U.S. forces and handed over to the Japan Coast Guard in accordance with the antipiracy law, which stipulates that guilty parties may be imprisoned from five years to life.
Lawyers for the defendants, who have been in detention for more than a year and 10 months, argued that even if convicted, the two should be given suspended sentences to keep them from being imprisoned in Japan.
"We live in Japan, a peaceful and rich country and (the defendants are) from a completely different world. I would like for the court to take this into consideration when you judge them," one of the lawyers said.
According to the defense team, both Adeysey and Ali come from poor families and used to work as shepherds and fishermen, making only ¥3,000 to ¥10,000 per month. With Adeysey having two children and Ali having four, they decided to join a group of pirates which they heard made a lot of money.
Source: Japan Times

Nato Shipping Centre Weekly Piracy Update: Reporting period: 9 Jan - 16 Jan 2013

During the reporting period of 09 - 16 January 2013 there were no piracy related incidents in the High Risk Area (HRA).
The last of the hostages from the MV Orna have been released. The ship was pirated in Dec 2010 and freed in Oct 2012. However, a number of crew members had been kept in captivity until recently.
Also released from pirate control this past week was the MV Iceberg 1, this brings the number of vessels in captivity down to 4.
Merchant vessels are reminded to remain vigilant while transiting this area and ensure that Self Protection Measures are in place as PAGs may be operating in the area. Although sea states in some parts of the HRA have become more marginal with the onset of the Northeast monsoon, small boats are still be able to operate.
During the past few months there have been continued reports concerning suspicious activity in the HRA. Fishing activity is expected to continue in this area. Fishermen may carry small arms. Masters are reminded to remain vigilant in order to distinguish between fishing vessels and potential pirates.
Counter Piracy Guidance
Continued threat: The threat of piracy against merchant shipping continues throughout the entire HRA . Despite the deterioration in conditions associated with the Northeast monsoon, sea states remain conducive to piracy operations. Successful disruptions by naval forces over the past few months, in conjunction with masters’ adherence and implementation of BMP4, have significantly reduced the pirates’ ability to capture vessels. However, pirates are able to act far off the coast of Somalia and are likely in search of vessels of opportunity, such as those who are not employing BMP4 recommended Ship Protection Measures.
Need for continued vigilance and use of BMP: Merchant vessels are advised to remain vigilant throughout the HRA and ensure that Self Protection Measures are implemented as recommended in BMP4. Prudent and timely implementation of all recommended actions and ship hardening measures in BMP4 can make the critical difference of being approached, attacked, or pirated. NSC would like to remind masters that BMP4 highly recommends maintaining best possible vessel speed when transiting the HRA to deter pirate boardings.
Registration and reporting: As per Section 5 of BMP4, early registration with MSCHOA before entering the HRA and initial and regular reporting to UKMTO are highly recommended to ensure military authorities are aware of a vessel’s passage and vulnerabilities.
Reporting of incidents: It has been observed that some Masters are choosing to phone their Company Security Officer (CSO) first in the event of a piracy incident. However, one of the fundamental requirements of BMP4 is that UKMTO is the primary point of contact for merchant vessels during piracy incidents in the HRA. This aims to avoid unnecessary delay and prevent inaccurate or incomplete information from reaching military commanders. CSOs should ensure their ships’ security plans reinforce the BMP4 recommendation that UKMTO be immediately telephoned at +971 50 55 23215 in the event of any piracy activity. UKMTO will then make it a priority to contact the CSO with any information received whilst ensuring the relevant information reaches the military commanders without delay. Masters should provide as much accurate information as possible. This will ensure the incident can be fully assessed and information is quickly provided to other ships in the area for their awareness and vigilance. If Masters are safely able to take pictures and/or video of the suspicious activity, please provide these via email to UKMTO at, to the NSC (NATO Shipping Centre) at and to the Maritime Security Centre Horn of Africa (MSCHOA) at This information will be used by Counter Piracy forces to combat piracy activity.
Pirate Tactics: Recently, PAGs have made “soft-approaches” on merchant ships transiting the HRA. A skiff will often approach a vessel in order to probe the reactivity of an embarked security team (if present). If no response, the pirates may proceed with an attack, sometimes accompanied by a second skiff. This practice is likely more economical as they would avoid needless expenditure of resources, such as ammunition, and personal risk without a significant probability of success.
Other activity: There have been a number of incidents reported to Counter Piracy organisations in the HRA involving small craft approaches to merchant vessels. Although these incidents may appear to be piracy related, the majority actually are not and have been assessed as non-piracy related activity common to the pattern of life in the area. This can include fishing, small vessel trade, smuggling and other local traffic. Please note that, if we assess an approach or incident to be piracy, we will issue relevant warnings and alerts; keeping the merchant shipping community fully informed at all times.
Sailing vessels: Sailing yachts should avoid transiting the HRA. Past activity has shown that pirates will attack both large and small yachts passing their way. Despite the fact that attacks on merchant vessels appear to have decreased, the possibility of attacks and the successful pirating of sailing vessels remains likely due to their vulnerability and the reduction of revenue sources from pirated merchant vessels.
Source: Nato Shipping Centre

Saturday, 12 January 2013


To distinguish between goods which are considered to be dangerous and those which are not.
To be able to classify and indentify the different dangerous goods and their characteristics.
To identify the dangers which are presented by dangerous goods.

To understand the packing requirement for dangerous goods
To ensure that the correct measure are taken to enable these goods to be transported and handled safely without risk to persons or property (both within the port and on the ship).

To know how to deal with dangers if the dangerous goods become dangerous

To know and indentify who to contact for assistance in case the dangerous goods become dangerous

Friday, 11 January 2013

International Maritime Bureau

The ICC International Maritime Bureau (IMB) is a specialised division of the International Chamber Of Commerce (ICC).

The IMB is a non-profit making organisation, established in 1981 to act as a focal point in the fight against all types of maritime crime and malpractice.

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) in it’s resolution A 504 (XII) (5) and (9) adopted on 20 November 1981, has inter alia, urged governments, all interests and organisations to cooperate and exchange information with each other and the IMB with a view to maintaining and developing a co-ordinated action in combating maritime fraud.

The IMB has a MOU with the World Customs Organization (WCO) and has observer status with Interpol (ICPO).

IMB’s main task is to protect the integrity of international trade by seeking out fraud and malpractice. For over 25 years, it has used industry knowledge, experience and access to a large number of well-placed contacts around the world to do this: identifying and investigating frauds, spotting new criminal methods and trends, and highlighting other threats to trade.

The information gathered from sources and during investigations is provided to members in the form of timely advice via a number of different communication routes.

It lists the threats and explains how members can reduce their vulnerability to them.

Over the years, this approach has thwarted many attempted frauds and saved the shipping and trading industry many millions of dollars.

The IMB provides an authentication service for trade finance documentation. It also investigates and reports on a number of other topics, notably documentary credit fraud, charter party fraud, cargo theft, ship deviation and ship finance fraud.

As well as helping to prevent crime, the IMB also has a duty to educate both the shipping community and a wider audience that comprises just about every entity engaged in trade. To this end, the IMB runs a regular series of courses and training programmes that have a wide-ranging syllabus and many proven benefits. It also offers bespoke consultancy services in areas such as ship and port security.

One of the IMB’s principal areas of expertise is in the suppression of piracy. Concerned at the alarming growth in the phenomenon, this led to the creation of the IMB Piracy Reporting Centre in 1992.

The Centre is based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. It maintains a round-the-clock watch on the world’s shipping lanes, reporting pirate attacks to local law enforcement and issuing warnings about piracy hotspots to shipping.

With its multi-lingual and multi-disciplined staff, experience, unique structure, industry support and well-placed contacts, the IMB can rightly claim to be the world’s premier independent crime-fighting watchdog for international trade.

Somali pirate king-pin 'Afweyne' retires , Piracy and Security News, Shipping News, Hellenic Shipping News Worldwide, Online Daily Newspaper on Hellenic and International Shipping

Somali pirate king-pin 'Afweyne' retires , Piracy and Security News, Shipping News, Hellenic Shipping News Worldwide, Online Daily Newspaper on Hellenic and International Shipping

Wednesday, 9 January 2013


As one of the world’s top five classification societies, Germanischer Lloyd is dedicated to ensuring the safety of life and property at sea and the protection of the sea environment. Their rules development reflects this dedication, and our programme of plan approval, materials and components certification, newbuilding inspection, technical inspection of fleet-in-service vessels, as well as ship classification ensure the highest levels of quality and safety. It’s no wonder that the classification of 40% of the world’s container fleet has been entrusted to GL.
■Shipowners benefit from a seamless portfolio of advisory, engineering and software solutions as well as certification and training services, all tailored to the respective needs of specific industry segments.
■A worldwide network of qualified Germanischer Lloyd experts is available at over 200 locations in 80 countries. This ensures access to world-class GL expertise anytime and anywhere.

World's largest man-made port welcomes world's largest container ship

DP World's flagship Jebel Ali Port, the largest man-made port in the world, on Monday 07 January, celebrates the maiden visit of the world's largest containership, CMA CGM Marco Polo, owned by the CMA CGM Group.
This milestone reinforces Dubai's and the port's role as a regional gateway for the new generation of mega liner vessels.
The 16,020 TEU (twenty-foot equivalent container units) capacity vessel was welcomed by DP World officials and a commemorative plaque marking the occasion was presented by Mohammed Al Muallem, Senior Vice President and Managing Director, DP World, UAE Region, to Captain Igor Sikic, representing the French shipping line owner CMA CGM.
Mohammed Al Muallem, Senior Vice President and Managing Director, DP World, UAE Region, said, "We are delighted to welcome the Marco Polo to Jebel Ali. The vessel's arrival heralds a new era of mega container liners. We stand ready to serve these giants and the even larger vessels currently under construction. Already today Jebel Ali Port is handling an average per week of three ultra-large container ships (ULCS) with a capacity of 14,000 TEU and above, and we anticipate that number will increase steadily in coming years."
Nicolas Sartini, CMA CGM Group Senior Vice President Asia-Europe Lines, said, "It is a great pride for the CMA CGM Group to have launched this new vessel, which is the largest in the world. It shows the expertise of the Group's teams, who are able to handle not only the very technical piloting of the ship but also its commercial operations. The introduction of this new 16,000 TEU vessel on the Europe to Middle East route reinforces CMA CGM willingness to bring the best into this market. CMA CGM would like to thank Dubai and DP World who made it possible for the world's largest container vessel, the CMA CGM MARCO POLO to call in Jebel Ali."
Mohammed Ali Ahmed, Chief Operating Officer, DP World UAE Region, said, "Jebel Ali Port is today equipped with a total of 22 berths and 78 cranes to serve containerships of any size currently in existence and on the order book. And we are adding new capacity including the brand new $850m Container Terminal 3 set to open in 2014. The developments mean Jebel Ali Port will be able to handle ten of the next generation 18,000 TEU mega vessels at the same time."
Marco Polo, the first in a series of three to be named after great explorers, measures 396 metres in length and 54 metres in width, and boasts a draft of 16 metres.
Sailing under the UK flag, the ocean carrier is on its way back to China after setting sail for Europe from Ningbo on 07 November 2012.
In December 2012, DP World Southampton received the CMA CGM Marco Polo, in its European maiden call.
Source: DP World

Clearing agents contest return of inspection of charges

A row has erupted between clearing agents and Container Freight Stations (CFS) over the re-introduction of verification charges that were scrapped three years ago.

Kenya International Freight and Warehousing Association (Kifwa) has protested the charges which came into effect on December 1 last year.

Verification, inspection, scanning and stuffing of the containers at owner’s request is charged $80 (Sh6,400) and $120 (9,600) for 20- and 40-foot containers respectively. However, verification or scanning by customs officials during normal clearance procedure is free of charge.

“The CFS operators have continued to force clearing agents and importers to pay the charges before release of cargo,” Kifwa chairman Boaz Makomere says in a letter to then Transport permanent secretary Cyrus Njiru, who swapped places with Kibicho Karanja who was at Industrialisation ministry.

Mr Makomere threatened the agents would move to court to compel KPA to stop sending containers to the freight stations and to seek orders prohibiting the charges.

“We have lost faith in KPA’s management in resolving the issue. Soon we will move to court,” Mr Makomere said.

The CFS Association of Kenya chief executive officer Daniel Nzeki denied in a recent interview that the stations were levying fees outside the tariff. “Our members have stuck to the tariff and there are no charges that are unjustified,” he said.

Extra charges are borne by the importer who passes the expenses to the consumer, making commodities more expensive. Such a charge for cargo going through Mombasa port makes clearance of goods exorbitant, rendering the port uncompetitive.

In a notice dated December 18, Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) general manager for operations Khamis Twalib warned CFS operators against imposing charges outside the tariff.
“KPA will take appropriate punitive measure on any CFS operator found levying wrongful or illegal charges outside the tariff,” Mr Twalib said.

This is not the first time CFS operators are re-introducing verification charges. In January 2011 operators charged $75 (Sh6,000) and $110 (Sh8,800) for 20ft and 40ft containers respectively.

However, KPA offered operators a shore handling rebate to end a row linked to procedural charges. Operators were given $4 (Sh320) per 20-foot container and $6 (Sh480) per 40ft container before dropping the charge.

KPA dropped payments for scanning, verification, inspection and stuffing of containers in October 2009 to make Mombasa port competitive.

Mr Makomere said yesterday that Kifwa would demand that KPA allow agents to clear from the main port if matter was not resolved.

“We have seen an increased number of containers targeted for 100 per cent verification, an activity that is labour-intensive. The costs for such operations are expected to be paid from the revenue generated through storage and re-marshalling,” a CFS operator who did not want to be named said.

Source: Business Daily

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

EAC Customs Offences

A customs offence is any breach or attempted breach of the statutory or regulatory provisions which are provided in the East African Community Customs Management Act (EACCMA).
Customs offences may be dealt with by the Customs authorities, in accordance with procedures laid down in the EACCMA. The penalties applied in respect of Customs offences vary according to the gravity of the offence.
Q: What constitutes an offence by an officer? (Sec 9)
An officer commits an offence if he or she-
· Directly or indirectly asks for, or takes, in connection with any of his or her duties any payment or reward which he or she is not lawfully entitled.
· Enters into any agreement to do, abstain from doing, permit, conceal, or connive at, any act whereby the customs revenue may be defrauded.
Q: What are the offences in respect to customs areas? (Sec 15)
· Unauthorized entry or exit of a person or vehicle into a customs area or airport.
· When an officer forbids a person from remaining in a customs area, and the person fails to abide.
· An importer/exporter refusing to allow him or herself and or his/her goods to be detained for the purpose of search or examination upon entry or exit into a customs area, within the Partner States
Q: What constitutes an offence on arrival? (Sec 21)
· Landing a vessel, aircraft or vehicle at a place other than an authorized port or are within the Partner States
· Departing from the authorized place of unloading without clearance from the proper officer
· The return of a vessel, aircraft or motor vehicle into the Partner State after departure to foreign without authority of the proper officer while on any voyage to a foreign port, bring the vessel or aircraft into within the Partner States except in accordance with the EAC CMA.
Q: Can any person board any vessel before the proper officer? (Sec 23)
No, a person who boards a vessel before the proper officer commits an offence and shall be liable to a fine not exceeding $250.
Q: Is it an offence to remove goods from a customs area without payment of duty? (Sec 39)
Yes and the goods shall be liable to forfeiture
Q: Where are people allowed to disembark from an aircraft or vessel? (Sec 44)
A place shall be appointed in accordance with section 11 of the CMA. Any person who disembarks at any other place commits an offence.
Can warehoused goods be delivered as stores? (Sec 55)
Yes, provided they shall not be used as stores for a vessel of less than 250 tons. Contravention of this provision is an offence.
Q: Is any person allowed access to a warehouse? (Sec 59)
Not without the proper authorization. Contravention of this law is an offence.
Q: What is the penalty for unlawfully taking warehoused goods? (Sec 61)
Unlawfully taking warehoused goods is an offence, with a penalty of an imprisonment term not exceeding two years or a fine equal to 25% of the dutiable value of the goods.
Q: What are the offences related to entry of cargo for exportation? (Sec 73)
Failure to enter the cargo in the prescribed manner and lack of documentary evidence of the goods referred to in the entry.
Q: Can export goods be discharged in a Partner State? (Sec 77)
No, and any goods in respect of which such offence has been committed shall be liable to forfeiture.
Q: What is deficiency or surplus in cargo or stores? (Sec 91)
· Deficiency in cargo is when the goods are reported on arrival as remaining on board and upon inspection, the goods are not on board. This is an offence.
· Surplus in cargo is when goods which are not contained in the manifest are found on such aircraft or vessel. Any goods in respect of which such offence has been committed shall be liable to forfeiture.
Q: Upon arrival, carrying goods coastwise or goods for transfer, how long does the master have to deliver the transpires to the proper officer? (Sec 101)
The trasire should be delivered to the proper officer immediately, but in the case of a vessel of 250 tons register, such transpire may be delivered within twenty four hours of arrival.
Q: Is there a special route that transit goods should follow? (Sec 104)
Yes, goods on transit should be conveyed on routes approved by the commissioner. A person who does not follow the specified route commits an offence.
Q: What is the liability of the owner for offences committed by his duly authorized agent? (Sec 148)
The owner of goods shall be prosecuted for any offence committed by his authorized agent as if the owner had himself committed the offence.
Q: Can a person use his premises for manufacture under bond without a license? (Sec 160)
No, because it is an offence and on conviction will be liable to a fine not exceeding $5000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years or both.
Q: Can a licensee alter the premises of a bonded factory? (Sec 161)
Yes, with prior permission from the commissioner.
Q: Is it an offence to remove goods from an export processing zone or Freeport for home consumption? (Sec 168)
Yes, if it is done without the authority of the commissioner. The offender shall be liable to a fine of $5000 or fifty percent of the value of the goods, whichever is higher.
Q: What is the liability on a person who accesses customs computerized system without authorization? (Sec 191)
· In the case of an individual, imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or a fine not exceeding five thousand dollars.
· In the case of a body corporate, a fine not exceeding twenty five thousand dollars.
Q: What are the customs related offences and how will such offences be dealt with? (Sec 193-194)
· Any person who conspires with others to act contrary to the CMA commits an offence punishable by 5 years imprisonment if convicted.
· A person who for no reason shoots at any aircraft, vessel or vehicle belonging to customs, wounds an officer on duty in the process or commits any form of violent acts commits an offence punishable by imprisonment for a period not exceeding 20 years.
· A person who commits an offence with any firearm or other weapons and is found with goods that should be detained commits an offence punishable by imprisonment for a period not exceeding 10years.
· A person who commits a crime in disguise and poses illegal goods while doing so commits an offence punishable by imprisonment for a period of not exceeding 3 years.
· A person who breaks, destroys or throws seized goods off an aircraft, vessel or vehicle, rescues any person arrested for any offence or obstructs any officer commits an offence.
· Any person other than the proper officer found interfering with any lock, seal, mark or other fastening placed by an officer on any building, room or place commits an offence whose penalty is imprisonment for a maximum period of 3 years or a fine of less than $2,500.
· If goods in a sealed building are a miss, the owner of the building or the occupant commits an offence whose penalty imprisonment for a maximum period of 5 years or a fine equal to 25% of the value of the goods
Q: What is the penalty for committing an offence with violence? (Sec 194)
· A person who commits an offence with violence shall be liable on conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding twenty years.
· A person who commits an offence while armed with any firearm or other offensive weapon shall be liable on conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years.
· A person who commits an offence under this Act while disguised in any way shall be liable on conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years.
Q: What is the penalty for removing or defacing customs seals? (Sec 195)
A person who willfully removes any customs seal from any ship, aircraft, vehicle, train or package without the proper authority commits an offence and shall be liable on conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years or to a fine not exceeding two thousand five hundred dollars or to both
Q: What is meant by inducing another to commit an offence? (Sec 196)
A person who by any means procures, or authorizes another person to procure or induce, any other person to commit or assist in the commission of any offence commits an offence.
Q: What is the penalty for inducing another to commit an offence? (Sec 196)
A person convicted of inducing another to commit an offence shall be liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year.
Q: Is it an offence to warn an offender? (Sec 197)
Yes, a person who warns, or does any act for the purpose of warning, any other person engaged in the commission of an offence commits an offence.
Q: What is the penalty for warning an offender? (Sec 197)
A person who warns an offender shall be liable on conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or to a fine not exceeding two thousand five hundred dollars or to both.
Q: Is it an offence to assume character of an officer? (Sec 198)
Yes, a person, not being an officer, who takes or assumes the name, designation, character or appearance of an officer, commits an offence
Q: What is the penalty for assuming character of an officer? (Sec 198)
A person assuming the character of an officer shall be liable on conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years.
Q: Does a master of vessel, used for smuggling, commit an offence? (Sec 199)
A master of any aircraft or vessel, and any person in charge of a vehicle which has any secret or disguised place adapted for concealing goods, commits an offence.
Q: What are the penalties for a master of a vessel, used for smuggling? (Sec 199)
In the case of the master of a vessel of less than two hundred and fifty tons register, he shall be liable to a fine not exceeding seven thousand dollars and in the case of the master of an aircraft or vessel of two hundred and fifty tons register or more, to a fine not exceeding ten thousand dollars.
Q: What is the penalty for a person in charge of a vehicle, used for smuggling? (Sec 199)
A person in charge of a vehicle, used for smuggling shall be liable to a fine not exceeding five thousand dollars.
Q: What are the offences related to prohibited, restricted, and un costumed goods? (Sec 200)
A person who-
· Imports or carries coastwise any prohibited or restricted goods contrary to any condition regulating the importation of such goods;
· Unloads after importation or carriage coastwise any prohibited goods; or any restricted goods which have been imported or carried coastwise contrary to any condition regulating such importation;
· Exports, carries coastwise, or puts on board any aircraft, vehicle or vessel, or brings to any Customs airport, Customs area, or place, to be put on board, for exportation or for use as stores or for carriage coastwise any prohibited or restricted goods contrary to any condition regulating that process.
· Acquires, has in his or her possession, keeps or conceals, or procures to be kept or concealed, any goods which he or she knows, or ought reasonably to have known, to be prohibited goods; or restricted goods which have been imported or carried coastwise contrary to any condition regulating such importation or carriage coastwise; or uncustomed goods.
Q: What is the penalty for offences related to prohibited, restricted, and uncustomed goods? (Sec 200)
On conviction, a person shall be liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years or to a fine equal to fifty percent of the dutiable value of the goods involved, or both.
Q: Does a person have to pay duty after paying a fine? (Sec 201)
Yes, on conviction for an offence, a person is liable to pay a fine, and unless the goods are prohibited goods or are ordered to be forfeited under this Act, payment of duty shall be made in addition to the fine.
Q: What is the penalty for importing or exporting concealed goods? (Sec 202)
A person who imports or exports any goods which are concealed in any way commits an offence and shall be liable on conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years or to a fine equal to fifty percent of the value of the goods involved.
Q: Is it an offence to make or use false documents? (Sec 203)
A person who, in any matter relating to the Customs, makes use of false documents commits an offence.
Q: What is the penalty for making or using false documents? (Sec 203)
On conviction, a person making or using false documents shall be liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years or to a fine not exceeding ten thousand dollars.
Q: Is it an offence to interfere with Customs gear? (Sec 205)
Yes, a person who interferes with any aircraft, vessel, vehicle, buoy, anchor, chain, rope, mark, or other thing used for the purposes of the Customs commits an offence.
Q: What is the penalty for interfering with customs gear? (Sec 205)
On conviction, a person interfering with customs gear shall be liable to a fine not exceeding two thousand five hundred dollars.
Q: Why should a person report finding uncustomed goods? (Sec 206)
A person who, on finding any uncustomed goods and fails to report such discovery to the nearest officer commits an offence and shall be liable to a fine not exceeding two thousand five hundred dollars.
Q: What does the general penalty provision state? (Sec 209)
A person who commits an offence under this Act for which no specific penalty is provided shall be liable to a fine not exceeding five thousand dollars. On conviction, the court may impose a fine not exceeding three times the value of any goods in respect of which the offence was committed or the specified amount, whichever is the greater.
Q: Why are the fines not prescribed in local currencies of the Partner States?
The fines are prescribed in United States Dollars, but by definition, a dollar includes the equivalent in the currency of the Partner States.


vPorts:  Areas or interfaces which connect two modes of transport and facilitate the change of transport of goods and services between the two modes.
vSeaports: Interfaces connecting land and sea transport.
v Airports can connect land and air transport, or sea and air transport.
v  Dry ports are inland clearing deports, and are extensions of seaports further inland, connected by roads, rail or inland waterways.
   -Are purposely built to decongest seaport transit storage areas.

Yong An eyes Shanghai shipping insurance

Amid the international shipping and finance hub development of Shanghai, another insurance company, Yong An Insurance, plans to run a trial set up a shipping insurance operation center in Shanghai.
The operation center is scheduled to complete the pre-establishment works by the end of June this year.
Source: Sino Ship News

Dad’s navy: Retired sea dogs to protect shipping from Somali pirates

The UK's first private navy in almost 200 years has been set up by a group of pioneering businessmen, former marines and retired captains and soldiers to defend shipping off the coast of east Africa from the threat of pirates.
They are frustrated at the inability of the Royal Navy, NATO, the European Union Naval Task Force and other navies to guarantee security for shipping in an area of ocean the size of North America.
“They can’t do the job because they haven’t got the budget and deploying a billion-pound warship against six guys [pirates] with $500 of kit is not a very good use of the asset,” Anthony Sharp, chief executive of Typhon, the company behind the venture, told the Times.
Typhon is chaired by Simon Murray a millionaire business man with a colorful past including a spell in the French Foreign Legion as a teenager and walking unsupported to the South Pole aged 63.
Other Typhon directors include Admiral Henry Ulrich, former commander of US Naval Force’s Europe, General Sir Jack Deverell, former commander in chief Allied Forces Northern Europe and Lord Dannatt Britain’s former chief of the general staff.
The navy will include a 10,000 ton mother ship and high speed armored patrol boats and will be led by a former Royal Navy commodore and 240 former marines and other sailors. The marines will be armed with close quarter weapons such as the M4 carbine and sniper rifles with a range of 2 km.
It will escort its first convoy of oil tankers, bulk carriers and the occasional yacht along the east coast of Africa in late March or early April. They will aim to deter pirates rather than engage in firefights.
They will sail under a British flag, which would give them the legal right to carry their weapons into harbor rather than keep them on platforms in international waters.
The navy will be funded by shipping firms in much the same way as the cargo ships sailing under Russian, Chinese and Indian flags hire private convoys.
The Russian navy as well the navies of China, India and other countries also patrol the coast off east Africa.
They are part a multinational coalition task force, called Combined Task Force 150, which took on the role of fighting piracy off of the coast of Somalia by establishing a Maritime Security Patrol Area (MSPA) within the Gulf of Aden.
But despite such a large international presence in the area, piracy still remains a problem although the pirates are now on the back foot.
According to the International Maritime Bureau, pirate attacks had by October 2012 dropped to a six-year low, with only 1 ship attacked in the third quarter compared to 36 during the same period in 2011. As of 31st December 2012, the pirates were holding four large ships and an estimated 114 hostages.
Source: RT

Vizhinjam's biggest transhipment container terminal project moves to next stage

The Vizhinjam port project is set to become the biggest transhipment container terminal in the country, expanding its berthing capacity for vessels up to 18,020 TEU (twenty foot equivalent container units). This would mean the port, once it becomes operational, will be able to handle berth requirements of some of the world's largest vessels, giving it an edge over ports like Colombo and Dubai.
These are some of the highlights of the 125-page master plan for Vizhinjam port that got the approval of the director board of Vizhinjam International Seaport Limited last week.
The other proposals include an exclusive 250 meter-long oil bunking facility, where long haul vessels travelling along the east-west sea route can refuel, and an 850-meter modern fishing harbour twice the size of the existing one.
A copy of the master plan has been given to International Finance Corporation, which is doing the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) study. "Once the Detailed Project Report (DPR) is completed, the EIA report along with master plan and DPR will be submitted to the state pollution control board for public hearing. The final report will be then submitted to the union ministry of environment and forest for clearance,'' an official said.
Vizhinjam is touted as the first green port in the country introducing several parameters to reduce carbon footprints. It will have a quay length of 2,000 meters to be constructed in three phases. The terminal superstructure will be built by a private operator who will also operate and maintain it for 30 years.
The Rs 4,010 crore port will have dedicated rail and road connectivity to transport goods and the master plan, designed by Aecom constulant in consultation with port authorities, has included a modern fishing harbour with amenities like berthing facilities for fishing boats and hygienic auction hall.
Source: TNN

Monday, 7 January 2013

Millionaire’s Private Navy to Battle Somali Pirates

A private navy founded by companies led by Glencore International Plc (GLEN) will protect its first convoy of oil tankers and bulk carriers from Somali pirates in the Indian Ocean in late March or April, the Sunday Times reported, citing an interview with Glencore Chairman Simon Murray.
Typhon, a venture formed by a group of U.K. businessmen led by Murray, will recruit 240 former marines and sailors for its navy, the London-based newspaper reported.
The force was set up because the U.K.’s Royal Navy, NATO and the European Union Naval Force don’t have enough vessels to patrol the area, the Sunday Times said.
Source: Bloomberg


In the end of the year Maersk Line will be receiving the first in a series of 20 giant container ships of the Triple-E class. The new ships are contracted with a South Korean shipyard. But Seaintel estimates that the new ship won’t be a definite advantage for Maersk.

"Maersk faces a dilemma in 2013. The new ships are fine enough, because they have lower unit costs, but the challenge is to fill them up.In a way they have cornered themselves, because they also have decided to introduce the concept Daily Maersk, with almost daily departures. This means that you can not just uninhibitedly close routes to fill the big ships, without compromising the Daily Maersk concept. It is a sound concept, but only if there is enough volume", says owner of the shipping analysis company Seaintel Lars Jensen to the newspaper Jyllands-Posten.

"CMA CGM also get a few big ships more with 16,000 containers, which are the largest today, and several other ships with 14,000", says Lars Jensen told the newspaper.
Source: Aktiefokus


Port state control (PSC) is the inspection of foreign ships in other national ports by port state control officers (inspectors) for the purpose of verifying that the competency of the master and officers on board, and the condition of the ship and its equipment comply with the requirements of international conventions (e.g. SOLAS, MARPOL, STCW, etc.) and that the vessel is manned and operated in compliance with applicable international law.

It’s simply a system of police whereby Port State control officers boards any vessel arriving at a port within their jurisdiction to confirm that the vessel conforms with requirements of international conventions, safety standards, certifications and competency for the master and the crews
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Port Columbus International Airport has finished the first leg of its three-year, $80 million terminal renovation.

The Columbus Regional Airport Authority said that it has finished work at gates A5 and A6 and has moved on to finish the rest of the work in Concourse A, scheduled for completion by mid-year. The airport’s largest carrier, Southwest Airlines Co., holds a monopoly on Concourse A after its merger partner AirTran moved there in the fall.

Work in Concourse A is part of a total overhaul of the 835,000-square-foot terminal that the authority announced in October. The airport’s passenger capacity is expected to increase to between 8 million and 10 million people a year after making the upgrades, which includes an expansion of security checkpoints on Concourse A and infrastructure updates. About 6.4 million passengers traveled through Port Columbus in 2011.

Concourse A is scheduled to be finished this year along with Concourse C. Work in Concourse B will run from 2013 to 2014, while ticket lobby upgrades will begin this year and finish in 2015. Baggage claim changes will occur in 2015.
The airport will dip into its capital reserve and use passenger fees that airlines collect on tickets to pay for the project.
Source: Business Journals


Nigeria has emerged as a new center for piracy, with the number of attacks steadily increasing despite the government's naval assets, authorities say.

In December 2012 alone, gunmen attacked three commercial vessels within six days, ransacking the ships and taking a total of nine crew members hostage, The Wall Street Journal reported.

In 2012, there were 27 attacks off Nigeria's coast, said the International maritime Bureau. In 2011, there were 10 incidents of piracy and in 2010, 19.

Comparison can be made to Somalia, on the other side of the continent. But piracy dropped by two-thirds in Somalia last year, and Nigeria has, for Africa, impressive naval resources: warships, a frigate, a number of surveillance drones and 200 naval troops trained by the U.S. navy, as well as a 378-foot Coast Guard cutter.
However, the country has been stymied in the use of those resources. The naval troops are pulling duty land-side, helping to fight terrorists in the desert north. Much of the rest of the equipment has been idled in various states of disrepair or a lack of funding sucked away by corruption.
Shipping lines that hire Nigerian sailors complain they are not adequately trained. And there is the immensity of the task - Nigeria sits along the 2,100-mile-long coast of the Gulf of Guinea, and pirates have attacked as far as four countries and 400 miles away.
Source: UPI


Talk about back to the future: Could ships like the clipper ships of earlier centuries replace today’s giant cargo ships that rely on fossil fuels to transport aluminum and steel containers?
Ships powered by the wind of course hark back to ancient times. In the past decade or so, a number of small companies have been seeking to revive the use of sailing ships to transport freight as an alternative to cargo ships whose giant engines spew out 3-5 percent of global carbon dioxide emissions. If the global shipping fleet were a country, it would be the sixth-largest emitter in the world, says Diane Gilpin of B9 shipping. Her company is seeking to develop a coastal cargo ship that would use both massive sails made of carbon fibers and an engine running on bio-gas from food waste.
French company Transoceanic Wind Transport (TOWT) owns the Tres Hombres, a twin-masted, 32-meter brigantine that can hold 35 tons, five crew members and ten passengers. Tres Hombres first set sail from Amsterdam in 2009 and has shipped cargo ever since as one of a small fleet of sailing ships.
“It’s not some sort of adventurous poetic revival of 19th century technology, on the contrary it’s something that is definitely addressing energy transition at sea,” Guillaune Le Grand, TOWT’s founder — who holds a degree in Sustainable Development, Energy and Environment — emphasizes to the BBC.
We don’t think about it much, but large cargo ships provide us with many commodities, from cars to computers, that are mainstays of our day-to-day life. Studies have shown that large cargo ships emit twice as much soot as had been thought and efforts are underway to develop alternative fuels such as liquified natural gas (LNG). Cargo operators have also reduced the speed at which their freighters travel to below 15 knots (instead of 20 knots on average some ten years ago), to cut down on emissions. This practice is known as “slow steaming”; it is something shipping executives are not fond of, as it causes damage to the giant ships’ engines which were made to plow through the oceans at far faster speeds.
Others around the globe are searching for sustainable alternatives. In Vermont, a farmer, Erik Andrus has started the Vermont Sail Freight Project out of the belief that it is “not enough” to produce food sustainably. Instead of relying on “our overblown, corporation-dominated food distribution systems,”
Andrus is working with boat builders to create a carbon-neutral alternative to bring “8 tons of grains, roots, wine, cider, and maple syrup” from Vermont to New York City.
SkySails, a German company, has a system that uses a giant kite (picture that!) for towing commercial shipping boats while the University of Tokyo’s Wind Challenger project is working on using sailing ships to transport cargo.
As Le Grand says in the BBC, “We are using solutions of the 18th century to speak to people of the 21st century.” To find innovative and sustainable solutions for today’s problems, we need to look not only ahead but back in time.
Source: Care2


Monday, 07 January 2013 | 11:00

To the overstretched team from the Royal Navy, the task of defending shipping in the Indian Ocean from Somali pirates felt like providing police cover for western Europe with six patrol cars.
The two dozen British sailors and marines, based in Bahrain, were until just before Christmas responsible for co-ordinating half a dozen warships across 2.5m square miles of ocean.
The pirates sail in dhows, often indistinguishable from peaceful fishing craft but are capable of crippling an oil tanker with a rocket-propelled grenade or kidnapping western sailors such as Paul and Rachel Chandler, the married couple from Kent held hostage for more than a year.
General Sir David Richards, chief of the defence staff, recently summed up the problems of the Royal Navy in fighting the war on pirates. "You get to this ridiculous situation where in Operation Atalanta off the Somali coast, we have pounds 1bn ($A1.5b) destroyers trying to sort out pirates in a little dhow with RPGs [rocket-propelled grenades] costing $50 with an outboard motor [costing] $100," he said. "That can't be good."
Now, shortly after the Royal Navy team in Bahrain handed over the leadership of the combined taskforce to its Australian counterpart, a private British rival has been set up to deter the pirates.
Typhon, in some respects, is a throwback to the days when a private navy patrolled the seas on behalf of the East India Company. The British businessman Simon Murray, 72, chairman of Typhon, has seen at close quarters the economic damage wreaked by pirates, as chairman of Glencore, the world's largest commodity trader.
The total cost of Somali piracy in 2011 was an estimated $A6.13b - with the cost of ransom ($A150m) dwarfed by the cost of extra fuel ($A2.6bn) as well as military costs, security guards and the cost of insurance.
In Britain, we are all paying at the petrol pumps and in the price of imported goods that cross an area bounded to the south by Madagascar, to the east by the Indian coast and to the north by the Arabian Sea.
Official figures show that piracy has dropped from its peak. The European Union naval force says the number of attacks by Somali pirates in 2012 was 35, down from 176 in 2011, but the ocean remains a "war risk area", with high insurance premiums.
As the pirates have become bolder, shipping has been forced to swing round to the east, adding 700 nautical miles to a voyage south from the Horn of Africa to the Cape.
Now Murray is to take on the pirates in this game of high seas chicken. Typhon is in talks to buy a 9,000-ton, 426ft close protection vessel that will be used to direct a convoy taking the shortest, and highest-risk, route along the coast and through the Mozambique channel. Typhon plans to operate two further "mother ships" in other dangerous waters.
Commodore Jonathan Handley, a Briton who commanded HMS Portland in the Gulf and became deputy director of the now-disbanded US Second Fleet, will lead operations, with Commander Jason Scott. The first convoy is expected to sail in late March or April.
Each mother ship will have a crew of 60, with 20 remaining on the vessel and the rest pursuing the pirates on three armoured fast patrol boats, capable of 40 knots. Anthony Sharp, the chief executive of Typhon, said: "Some are ex-Royal Marines and have done six tours of Afghanistan."
The crews will serve on board for a period of 6-8 weeks and a similar period off, implying total a crew of 120 for each mother ship and its associated patrol boats. Sharp plans to launch the second convoy service against piracy in the Gulf of Guinea, west Africa, by the autumn. With a third service in prospect, he will require a total crew of about 360.
Sharp says investors in Typhon include big shipping lines and family investment offices. Some clients, who are likely to include the oil giants, could halve their insurance premiums. Sharp has suggested to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Ministry of Defence that they could sub-contract the job of protecting British shipping to his firm. "I'd ultimately prefer to have the UK government as a client as opposed to lots of different shipowners," he said.
Despite Murray's youthful stint in the French Foreign Legion, the ethos of Typhon will be to use force only as a last resort. It will seek to detect pirates through sea-based radar, satellite and a land-based operations centre to receive real-time data on all shipping movements.
Only if pirates mount a determined attack on a member of the convoy will Typhon retaliate: its weapons will have a range four times greater than those used by ships' "ride-on guards". Crucially, the Typhon crews will fire from armoured patrol boats, rather than risk drawing hostile fire to the oil tankers they are protecting.
The MoD said: "The Royal Navy remains at the forefront of international counter-piracy operations.
A Royal Navy frigate currently supports the coalition counter-piracy operation off Somalia; it supports NATO counter-piracy operations with focused surges of units; and it commands the European Union counter-piracy mission as well as providing support to World Food Program vessels as they transit to and from Somalia."
Source: The Australian