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April 19, 2023

The European Parliament has voted to include shipping in its emissions trading system (ETS), meaning that shipowners will have to pay for allowances covering 40% of emissions from next year, 70% in 2025, and 100% from 2026. The parliament agreed to allocate 20 million ETS allowances, valued at approximately $2 billion as of today.

The parliament also voted to include methane and nitrous oxide, in addition to carbon dioxide, in the emissions package. Under the new rules, all emissions emitted by vessels calling at an EU port for voyages within the EU, 50% of emissions from voyages that start or end outside the EU, and all emissions at berth in EU ports will be included in the ETS.

A joint investigation by public broadcasters in Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland alleges that Russia has a program to sabotage wind farms and communication cables in the North Sea, using a fleet of vessels disguised as fishing trawlers and research vessels to carry out underwater surveillance of key sites for possible sabotage.

The report raises concerns about hostile activity against marine infrastructure and communication cables, though there is limited evidence of actual sabotage so far. It is believed that Western countries are likely conducting similar activity against Russia for reconnaissance of sensitive sites. The allegations come amid rising tensions between Russia and Western countries following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the Nordstream pipeline explosion.

French container carrier CMA CGM has entered into exclusive negotiations with conglomerate Bolloré to take over its transport and logistics businesses for €5bn ($5.5bn). The exclusivity period for the negotiations will run until May 8, and no acquisition is guaranteed. With record earnings in the last two years, CMA CGM has been on a buying spree, acquiring ships, ports, and logistics companies. Bolloré Logistics operates in nearly 150 countries and employs around 15,000 people.

The Panama Canal Authority has announced that it will impose lower draft restrictions on the largest ships passing through the canal due to falling water levels at nearby lakes.

Neo-Panamax container ships seeking to cross the canal connecting the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans must comply with a maximum depth of 47.5ft, down from 50ft. The restrictions, which take effect immediately, are due to recent drought conditions and represent the fifth adjustment of its kind since the start of the year. The ACP hopes to lift the restriction as soon as possible once the Central American rainy season starts. Climate change is causing erratic rainfall levels in Panama, which is adversely affecting the water supply from Lake Gatún, the freshwater lake used as a reference for maximum allowable draft.

Prices of secondhand crude tankers have surged to their highest level in 25 years, propelled by a restructured global oil trade after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, according to shipowning body BIMCO. The value of five-year-old aframax, suezmax, and VLCC has risen to $231m, up 67% since December 2020 and 34% over the past year.

The EU’s ban on Russian oil imports has transformed both Russia’s exports and the EU’s imports, contributing 83% more tonne miles to the dirty tanker trade for Russia and adding 13% more tonne miles for EU imports. BIMCO projects a positive outlook for the crude tanker segment as EU sanctions against Russia are expected to continue and global oil consumption is predicted to exceed 2019 levels next year.

Turkey’s East Shipping Line (e-Shipping) has debuted its Korea Vladivostok Express service, using three feeders on the route that links South Korea, China, and eastern Russia. Newcomers calling at Russia include Safetrans, Torgmoll/New New, Reel Shipping, and OVP Shipping. Swiss-headquartered Mediterranean Shipping Co (MSC) has made a fortune from elevated rates in and out of Russia, while most global liners announced they were pulling out of the Russian market following the start of the Ukraine conflict.

BW Offshore has sold its FPSO BW Athena to an undisclosed third party as part of its shift in focus to other floating energy infrastructure investments. The unit is debt-free and the sale will have a limited positive effect on the company’s second-quarter results. Built in 1994 and converted in 2012, the vessel has been in cold layup since it completed its operations in the UK North Sea. BW Offshore is also looking to sell Nigerian FPSOs Abo and Sendje Berge and Espoir Ivoirien, which operates off the Ivory Coast, in the first half of 2023.

Thirteen Filipino seafarers have returned home after being stranded for over five months aboard the abandoned livestock carrier, Yangtze Harmony. The vessel’s owner abandoned the ship along with its crew in Singapore after the vessel was arrested over an unpaid fuel bill.

The International Transport Workers’ Federation found that the Hong Kong-based owner had a history of abandoning crew and violating safety and crew welfare rules, and had simultaneously abandoned another vessel, the Yangtze Fortune, along with its crew in Australia. After lobbying efforts, the ITF secured the release of all 43 seafarers from both vessels, and recovered $1 million in backpay and flights home. The ITF raised concern over the contrasting responses of authorities in Singapore and Australia, highlighting how a port state’s approach can significantly impact affected crew members’ welfare and mental health.

You can read yesterday’s issue of ‘Currents’ here.

Disclaimer: ‘Currents’ is an online shipping news service by Earl’s Rock Trading (Pvt) Ltd that reports on the latest developments and trends in the maritime industry. We do not take any responsibility for the accuracy or completeness of the information provided in our news stories or for any opinions expressed by the people quoted in them. Our aim is to provide our readers with up-to-date news and insights from reliable sources. However, we do not endorse or take any responsibility for any actions taken by our readers based on the information provided in our news articles. We also want to make it clear that we do not own any of the images used in our news stories, unless stated otherwise. All images belong to their respective owners, and we use them solely for illustrative purposes. If you are the owner of any image used in our news stories and want it to be removed or credited, please contact us, and we will take the necessary action.