Worldwide there are approximately 3,000 merchant ports and the work of the Harbour Master can vary widely from country to country and from port to port even within the same country.
New safety guidance for the stowage of classified dangerous goods on board containerships has been published by the Cargo Incident Notification System (CINS).
The new publication entitled: Safety Considerations for Ship Operators Related to Risk-Based Stowage of Dangerous Goods on Containerships can be downloaded from the CINS website here: www.cinsnet.com
This guidance has been prepared by CINS, the international container shipping line organisation, established with the remit of increasing safety in the supply chain, reducing the number of cargo incidents on-board ships and highlighting the risks caused both by certain cargoes and by packing failures.
These industry-developed safety considerations represent the first in a series of initiatives undertaken both by ship operators and by regulators specifically aimed at enhancing safety on board container ships.
The publication has been created in response to a number of serious fire incidents in recent years, often caused by deficiencies in cargo declaration and cargo packing. It both recognises and takes into account the significant complexities involved in achieving effective and compliant stowage of containers on board ships.
Prepared by a work group comprising CINS shipping line members, together with representatives of classification societies and insurance organisations, these safety considerations are intended to be used by ship operators, cargo carriers, and port personnel. They provide a risk-based dangerous goods stowage strategy, applying to all sizes of containerships.
New safety considerations within the publication complement, but do not replace, existing measures already developed and implemented by ship operators for the carriage of properly declared dangerous goods. Likewise, they do not replace the SOLAS and IMDG requirements for stowage and segregation, In fact, they will enhance requirements of these regulations.
Commenting on the significance of this new publication, CINS Chairman Uffe Ernst-Frederiksen notes: ‘Cargo-related incidents which result in fire and explosions are rooted in cargo problems. Subsequent investigations demonstrate a wide range of deficiencies relating to cargo presented for shipment. These deficiencies include erroneous classification and declaration; packing, segregation and securing not complying with IMDG or not following the CTU Code1; and packaging not complying with IMDG.
‘This new best-practice guidance for DG stowage is intended to help improve fire safety in our industry.’
The Cargo Incident Notification System (CINS) is a shipping line organisation launched in 2011. Its aim is to increase safety in the supply chain, reduce the number of cargo incidents on board ships and highlight the risks caused by certain cargoes and/or packing failures.
CINS’s board comprises five of the world’s largest container shipping lines: Maersk Line, Hapag Lloyd, MSC, CMA CGM and Evergreen Line together with three Advisory Board Members (the International Group of P&I Clubs, TT Club and Exis Technologies).
Membership of CINS comprises over 85% of the world’s container slot capacity.
1 See here:
UNECE, the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe https://www.unece.org/fileadmin/DAM/trans/doc/2014/wp24/CTU_Code_January_2014.pdf
Our picture shows a Carnival line up. Five Carnival ships are due in Durban in week commencing 24 May. (Photo: www.africaports.co.za )
No less than five Carnival Cruise ships are due to arrive in Durban between 26 and 28 May to take on bunkers and to restock depleted supplies.
These five ships are part of a group of 12 engaged in the humanitarian task of repatriating over 26,000 crew from the Carnival fleet and other companies, as well as personnel from entertainment centres ashore, who because of the coronavirus pandemic, have had their employment suddenly curtailed.
Hotel staff and entertainers
These are the entertainment staff, the onboard shop workers, beauty salon practitioners, waiters and bus boys, chefs and kitchen staff, cabin cleaners, pursers and front desk people all making up the staff working on board cruise ships.
With cruising curtailed these former employees are finally returning home to destinations like India, Myanmar, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines after having remained on board their ships for more than two months, unable to go ashore or receive visitors ever since cruising operations were suspended in mid -March. Ahead they face another three or four weeks at sea before being allowed to disembark. However, there’s something of a problem.
Call to governments
IFSMA* calls upon Governments to adopt the ‘Framework of protocols for ensuring safe ship crew changes and travel during the COVID-19 pandemic’ without delay to allow ship owners and management companies to change over their dangerously tired crews.
Governments must act now in order to avoid personal injury to, and mental breakdown of, seafarers and avoid the significant risk of accidents and consequential danger to life and the environment.
Concern at IFSMA
IFSMA is receiving an increasing number of reports from its ship masters’ associations around the world concerned for the welfare and safety of crews and the increased risk with which they are operating in an already high risk environment. Seafarers are feeling let down and abandoned by their Governments.
Following concerns from the maritime industry, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) issued a circular to all Member States, the UN and agencies and IGOs and NGOs in consultative status with IMO. This document concerned recommendations to Member States about measures to facilitate ship crew changes in seaports during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The IMO Secretary General has received a framework of protocols for ensuring safe ship crew changes and travel during the pandemic, proposed by a cross-section of global industry associations in consultative status with the IMO, for example: ICS, IAPH, BIMCO, IFSMA, and P&I Clubs as well as the International Air Transport Association (IATA).