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Ports & Ships Maritime News

Aug 4, 2010
Author: Terry Hutson

Shipping, freight, trade and transport related news of interest for Africa

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First View – SAIPEM FDS


The French-owned, Dutch-managed crane and pipe-laying vessel SAIPEM FDS (20,988-gt, built 2000) which arrived in Cape Town this week to undergo repairs and a refit. Picture by Aad Noorlkand


News continues below...

Transnet calls on all ships agents to register with port authority

All ships agents are now required to register with Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) in order to qualify on a per port basis before acting as vessel agents in the South African ports.

Qualifying agents will have to be a member of the South African Association of Ship Operators and Agents (SAASOA) although if membership of the Association is refused or cancelled for any reason, the TNPA may on good cause grant an exemption from this condition.

TNPA will be issuing notices via the local media as from later this week and again next week in which existing ships agents are advised of the TNPA’s intention to register vessel agents.

The registration comes in terms of Port Rule 148, which is issued in terms of section 80(2) of the National Ports Act 2005 (Act 12 of 2005) to qualifying vessel agents.

Application forms can be obtained from the relevant ports or downloaded from the following website: http://www.transnetnationalportsauthority.net/Ports_Act_Vessel_Agents_Registration.html (when we tried to access this web address it was not available, so either it is not up yet or perhaps a phone call to the port concerned might be more helpful).

Applications are required to be made on a per port basis by 16h00 on Thursday, 23 September 2010 for the attention of each port’s Licensing Manager.

In terms of Port Rule 149, promulgated in Government Gazette No.31966 dated 6 March 2009, if registration is required, no person may carry out the activity of vessel agent in a port or at an off-shore cargo handling facility without being registered.

Port Licensing Officers at the respective ports are as follows:

Richards Bay, Mr Nicky Loynes, PortLicences.RichardsBay@transnet.net tel 035 905 3200
Durban, Mr Peter Balfour, PortLicences.Durban@transnet.net tel 031 361 8871
East London, Capt Naresh Sewnath, PortLicences.EastLondon@transnet.net tel 043 700 2652
Ngqura, Mr Eben du Plessis, PortLicences.Ngqura@transnet.net tel 041 507 1850
Port Elizabeth, Mr Eben du Plessis, PortLicences.PortElizabeth@transnet.net tel 041 507 1850
Mossel Bay, Capt Quenton Brink, PortLicences.MosselBay@transnet.net tel 044 604 6276
Cape Town, Mr Johan Claasen, PortLicences.CapeTown@transnet.net tel 021 449 2337
Saldanha Bay, Mr Quentin Kordom, PortLicences.SaldanhaBay@transnet.net tel 022 703 5449


News continues below…

Uganda plans to register all boats and fishermen on lakes

Following close behind the latest tragedy on one of the Great Lakes, in which more than 70 people died when their boat capsized on Lake Albert this week (see yesterday’s news bulletin), Ugandan authorities have announced they intend to start registering fishing boats and fishermen who operate on the lakes.

It appears the plan is aimed at controlling illegal fishing on the lake and not so much one of improving safety and control of passenger carrying lake vessels. Ugandan Fisheries Minister Fred Mukisa said at a workshop this week that overfishing and the use of illegal gear was depleting fish stocks. He said parliament was still discussing his proposals but was confident they would be introduced.

According to the proposals fishermen will be allowed to fish at different times a year on given parts of the lakes, thus allowing fish stock time to recover. Fishermen would be monitored using satellite technology, he said. Anyone caught with illegal or unlicensed fishing gear would have his license cancelled if applicable and his gear including the boat confiscated, while foreign fishermen caught would be fined and would have to pay in US dollars. Source New Vision

Perhaps the time has come for more stringent measures to be taken against overcrowding of ferries used on the lakes.


News continues below...

News from the shipping lines – Maersk and Safmarine open new Far East West Africa loop


Maersk Line and sister company Safmarine will commence a new service operating between the Far East and southern and West Africa, starting next week Thursday, 12 August 2010.

Dubbed FEW3, the port rotation will be Shanghai, Shenzhen-Yantian, Guangzhou-Nansha, Tanjung Pelepas, Durban, Pointe Noire, Lagos-Tin Can Island, Durban and Shanghai, using an as yet unannounced number of ships.

“FEW3 will allow us to offer additional space, during the traditionally high volume peak months, to South African exporters and importers trading with the Far East and intra-Africa. Not only will FEW3 improve transit times to Pointe Noire and Matadi, through a direct call to Pointe Noire, but it will also make a direct call at Tin Can Island in Nigeria,” said Safmarine Africa trade director Dirk Geens.

The Durban call will enable Southern African customers additional space in both directions.

As a result of the new service the existing FEW1 service operated by Maersk and Safmarine will no longer call at Tin Can Island, thus creating more cargo space for cargo going to Lome, Togo and Cotonou.

Mitsui OSK Line (MOL South Africa) advises that as from 1 January 2011 all goods brought into the Customs territory of the European Union, regardless of their final destination, must be covered by an Entry Summary Declaration (ENS), which needs to be lodged at the Customs office of first entry, i.e. the first intended port of call within the Customs territory of the European Union.

This means that all cargo, whether or not consigned to the EU must be declared, including cargo remaining on board. Intra-EU shipments will not be subject to an ENS unless these shipments are transhipped at a non-EU port.

MOL SA says that the Customs port of first entry will perform a risk assessment on all cargo onboard the vessel, and can issue a “do not load” message. “Do not load” messages are only applicable for ENS’s which are submitted 24 hours before loading. This means that in case of short- sea and bulk (and break bulk) no “do not load” messages will be sent but Customs of first port of entry can decide that goods need to be unloaded at the first port of entry, in case any risk is found.

At this stage no house BL information is required, master (Carrier) data being sufficient. According to the legislation customers / freight forwarders can file directly instead of the carrier but this needs to be done with the consent of the ocean carrier.

MOL says it is developing an electronic solution to enable compliance with the legislation. Further details will be provided closer to the implementation date.


News continues below…

Odfjell tanker evades pirate attack with help from navy


Early yesterday morning, Tuesday 3 August, the Odfjell tanker BOW SAGA sent a distress call that she was under attack from pirates in the middle of the Gulf of Aden. An EU NAVFOR unit close by sent her helicopter to assist and was successful in stopping the attack.

The Norwegian chemical tanker was proceeding through the transit corridor in the middle of the Gulf of Aden when it came under attack. A pirate skiff with 7 people on board shot at the bridge, damaging the windows. Bow Saga adopted Best Management Practice and conducted counter measures with evasive manoeuvring and the deployment of water hoses to prevent attempts by pirates to climb up onto the ship.

EU NAVFOR heard her distress call and ordered the closest warship, the Spanish frigate SPS VICTORIA to react to the incident. Victoria already had her helicopter in the air and was able to intervene only ten minutes after the call. The pirates stopped the attack and tried to flee but after warning shots, first from the helicopter and then from the warship Victoria, the pirates eventually stopped. The skiff was searched by a boarding team from Victoria and weapons were subsequently found.

It was a busy day for the Spanish warship. Just after lunch time yesterday, EU NAVFOR received an emergency call from a merchant vessel in the western part of Gulf of Aden. There was a seaman on board the Liberian-flagged MV CANTABRIAN with suspected appendicitis. EU NAVFOR warship SPS Victoria, the closest unit to Cantabrian, was tasked to make a medical evacuation (MEDEVAC) with its helicopter.

Victoria’s helicopter picked up the ill seaman and after a short landing for refuelling, flew the ill seaman to a hospital in Djibouti. The seaman, whose condition is serious but stable, is from Myanmar.

News continues below…

French destroyer de Grasse to take over as Task Force flagship

The French Navy anti-submarine destroyer FNS de Grasse left Toulon in southern France late 31 July, having embarked the future Atalanta force commander and his multinational staff.

Rear-Admiral Philippe Coindreau, deputy commander of the French Naval High Readiness Force, will take over command of Task Force 465 and thus FNS de Grasse will replace the current Swedish Force HQ on board HSwMS Carlskrona.

Before assuming command, transit from Toulon to the area of operation will be an opportunity to ‘warm-up the engines’ and begin to optimize the battle rhythm. Once in Djibouti and after a few days of exchange with the Swedish staff, Rear-Admiral Coindreau and his staff will assume the command of TF 465, from 14 August 2010.

The staff comprises 29 sailors from 8 different nationalities. Including the flag ship’s crew members, a total of approximately 330 sailors on board destroyer FNS de Grasse will be operating in the Gulf of Aden and Somali Basin as of mid-August.


News continues below…

Constitutional Court finds that Anti-Dumping duties are punitive

Anti-dumping duties are contentious. However, following a recent Constitutional Court finding there can no longer be any doubt as to the five year period of validity of anti-dumping duties or when and how any such duties can be extended, say Quintus van der Merwe and Mardus Mynhardt of Shepstone & Wylie Attorneys.

“Anti-dumping duties are a contentious issue creating tension between those who need their protection and those who see import opportunity. The Constitutional Court in a recent ruling has created certainty however importers need to remain alert.

“In the March 2010 case of the International Trade Administration Commission (ITAC) v SCAW South Africa, the Constitutional Court found that the legislative framework that provides for a five year timeframe in which anti-dumping duties can be applied must be enforced strictly.

“The five year period may be extended by ITAC for a maximum of eighteen months to allow for a review of existing anti-dumping duties and to make appropriate recommendations to the Minister. Such a review must, however, commence within the five year period and a finding must be arrived at within the eighteen month period.

“The Court found that the five year period, and potential eighteen month period “is best understood as imposing a guillotine." The periods must be strictly administered since anti-dumping duties are punitive and provide for an exceptional form of relief. The Court ruled that failing a review within the prescribed period, anti-dumping duties would lapse automatically at the end of the five years. Any interested party can approach a competent court to challenge the continued imposition of duty if it has lapsed.

“This decision supports the decision of the Supreme Court of Appeal in the Progress Office Machines v SARS case.

“It is very important for importers to be aware of when anti-dumping duties are imposed and when they will lapse.

“ITAC recently published notice 369 of 2010 in Government Gazette No. 33151 dated 7 May 2010 in terms of which notice is given of certain anti -dumping duties on chicken meat portions, carbon black, paperboard and drawn and float glass expiring in 2011.

“It is questionable whether the anti-dumping duties on some of these products were in fact lawfully extended within the prescribed time periods by way of a sunset review, and ITAC may well be challenged on the validity of certain anti-dumping duties.

“It is important for importers who are subjected to the anti-dumping duties, as well as those parties who may have an interest in extending anti-dumping duties to ensure that ITAC operates within the time frames that have now been ruled on by both the Supreme Court of Appeal and the Constitutional Court.

“There can no longer be any doubt as to the five year period of validity of anti-dumping duties or when and how any such duties can be extended.”


Pics of the Day – SIR DAVID HUNTER and JOHN DOCK


Scenes of YESTERYEAR – two harbour tugs of the old SAR&H (now Transnet) in service on Durban Bay. Above is one of the more famous of Durban tugs, the powerful-for-her-day and large twin funneled SIR DAVID HUNTER of 622 gross tons. Completed in 1915 this tug continued in service until around 1960, before being scrapped in 1962. She was named for the former general manager of the Natal Government Railways and according to researcher and author David Reynolds was the inspiration for the Royal Navy Resolve class of tugs. Altogether a rather handsome vessel she nevertheless suffered the embarrassment of being sunk after colliding with a dredger hopper in Durban Bay. Fortunately she was salvageable and was duly raised with the help of a coffer dam about her funnels. Picture submitted by Ken Malcolm


Of a later vintage to Sir David Hunter, the harbour tug JOHN DOCK (551-gt) entered service at the ports of East London and Port Elizabeth, along with the WH FULLER. That was in 1934 and John Dock remained in service until 1977 when she was sold to a Durban merchant for recycling. This tug was involved in a dramatic rescue at sea of 115 people off the rapidly sinking ASTRIDA and on another occasion she hauled the coaster MARGIN (subject of a recent YESTERYEAR in Ports & Ships) off the rocks at Neptune Beach, after another tug had failed. John Dock spent her last days in Durban where this picture was taken. Picture by Trevor Jones


Don’t forget to send us your news and press releases for inclusion in the News Bulletins. Shipping related pictures submitted by readers are always welcome – please email to info@ports.co.za


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