2001 Maritime

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December 6, 2001

IMO to act on maritime security
Maritime security was a major concern at the recent 22nd Assembly of the International Maritime Organization (IMO).

The Assembly agreed to hold a Conference on Maritime Security in December 2002. That conference will adopt new regulations to enhance ship and port security and protect shipping from becoming a target of international terrorism.

This decision followed the adoption of a resolution put forward by Secretary-General William O'Neil on measures and procedures to prevent acts of terrorism which threaten the security of passengers and crews and the safety of ships. The Assembly also agreed to a significant boost to the organization's technical co-operation program of UK£1.5 million (about $2.1 million), to help developing countries address maritime security issues.

The resolution calls for a review of the existing international legal and technical measures to prevent and suppress terrorist acts against ships at sea and in port and improve security aboard and ashore. The aim is to reduce risks to passengers, crews and port personnel on board ships and in port areas and to the vessels and their cargoes. 

During the Assembly, the U.S. delegation identified a number of specific areas that it felt should be considered, including issues related to:

  • the installation of automatic identification systems (AIS) on ships;
  • the need for security plans on ships, port facilities and off-shore terminals;
  • the need for identification, verification and background security checks for seafarers; and
  • ensuring a secure "chain of custody" for containers from their port of origin to their destination.

The Conference on Maritime Security is scheduled to meet alongside the scheduled session of the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) in the Autumn of 2002, and is to consider any new or amended regulations proposed by the MSC. These would involve the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) chapter XI on Special Measures to Enhance Maritime Safety – the title of which might need to be amended to include maritime security. Other amendments might be proposed in relation to the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW).

An intersessional Working Group will meet prior to the conference from 11 to 15 February, well in advance of the next session of the MSC in May 2002, and will start work on the review called for in the resolution. The intersessional Working Group meeting, which will be funded by the United States, will submit a report to the MSC – which itself will convene a special Working Group at its May meeting to progress the work further.

Schubert confirmed as Maritime Administrator
Captain William G. Schubert has been unanimously confirmed by the Senate as Maritime Administrator.

A former maritime industry consultant and Maritime Administration official, Schubert brings 27 years of professional maritime experience to his new post.

Underscoring the important role the Maritime Administration and the U.S.-flag merchant marine will play in the war against terrorism, Schubert's first official statement declared that,"now more than ever, it is crucial to have a strong, viable and commercially competitive merchant fleet to support our troops as the nation's fourth-arm-of-defense."

"As Maritime Administrator," he said,"I will do all I can to assure the nation that our commercial fleet will continue to be the best in the world.  Our citizens deserve no less."

Schubert stressed the need to coordinate policy with the maritime industry, labor community, and government agencies in order to ensure the security of all U.S. ports and vessels entering U.S. ports.  Maintaining shipbuilding and repair facilities and efficient intermodal transportation systems will be vital in supporting the nation's war efforts.

"In view of our tremendous mission that lies ahead, it is important that the government, private industry and labor communicate on a regular basis and I thank President Bush for entrusting me with this crucial mission," said Captain Schubert.  "Everyone must do their part to ensure safe transportation as the U.S. moves forward with her allies."

Captain Schubert is a 1974 graduate of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy.  He is married to the former Gail Marlene Becker.  They have two children, and reside in Pinehurst, Texas.

After graduating from the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, New York, in 1974, Captain Schubert sailed as a licensed deck officer with Reynolds Metals Company for 10 years. Between 1984-1986, he worked as Master and Installation Manager at three offshore drilling platforms.

He began his 10-year career at the Maritime Administration in 1986 as a Special Assistant to former Maritime Administrator John Gaughan.  Between 1990-1995, he served as the agency's Regional Representative for the Southwestern United States.

Prior to his confirmation, Captain Schubert was president of the Houston, Texas-based International Trade and Transportation, Inc., a maritime consulting firm.

Former Renaissance ships reflagged
Six of the former Renaissance cruiseships now owned by Cruiseinvest LLC, a Marshall Islands-incorporated company, have been reflagged to the Marshall Islands, Cruiseinvest, and International Registries Inc, the managers of the Marshall Islands maritime and corporate registers, said in a joint announcement yesterday.

"We required a register and flag administration known for its integrity to match the quality of our superb new cruiseships and to give us business flexibility, and the Marshall Islands fulfilled these needs," said Dominique Prunier, said Dominique Prunier, chief executive of Cruiseinvest Management S.A., a Marshall Islands company that oversees management of the Cruiseinvest fleet from Paris.He said that Cruiseinvest had appointed American Marine Advisors, New York, as the ships' commercial manager and Martinoli SAM, Monte Carlo, as the fleet's technical manager.

"It is very encouraging that these state-of-the-art luxury cruiseships have been flagged in the Marshall Islands as we are investing and innovating to further enhance the quality and safety of the register", said Clay Maitland, managing partner of IRI.

He said the registration arrangements for five of the vessels - R One, R Two, R Five, R-Six and R Seven - were completed in London yesterday day. R Eight was registered in Paris on November 26, 2001.

Maitland said IRI conducts its own quarterly safety inspections aboard passenger ships using its global network of nautical inspectors, soon to be supplemented by a team of traveling inspectors from IRI offices.

EU governments fail to back subsidies
European Commission proposals for a "temporary defensive mechanism" of shipyard subsidies, yesterday failed to win sufficient backing from European Union governments to take effect.

The failure came after France had pushed unsuccessfully to extend the scope of the aid to include LNG ships.

The subsidies package was intended to protect EU shipyards while the EU took South Korea to the World Trade Organization over alleged subsidy cheating.

The Commission has now put its plans for the WTO case on hold. It will now ask European governments to approve the subsidy proposals in the first half of next year.

New board at Masa-Yards
Following the Røkke revolution at Kvaerner ASA, a new Board of Directors has been elected at Finland's Kvaerner Masa-Yards Inc..

The chairman is Hans Petter Finne (Executive Vice President, Kvaerner ASA) and the other members are Jorma Eloranta (President and CEO, Kvaerner Masa.Yards), Finn Berg Jacobsen (CFO, Kvaerner ASA) and Richard Petrie (Executive Vice President, Kvaerner Investments). Aarne Ukkola and Jorma Malinen continue as representatives of the personnel.