Tug Stoppage Announced for Port of Marseille Fos

Tugs will stop work from the start of the shift to 13:00 on Friday, 16 March 2018, in the Port of Marseille-Fos’ Western Harbour.

Western Harbour, Marseille Fos

In a letter dated 12 March 2018, Ship agents were advised that this is because the CGT Union at Boluda will be holding a general assembly.

The Western Harbour is a generalist port which
handles all kinds of goods: hydrocarbons and bulk liquids (oil, gas and chemical products), general cargo (containers and other packaging) and bulk solids (minerals and cereals).

It includes warehouses on two logistic zones near the Fos container terminals (Ikea, Maisons du Monde, Geodis/Mattel, etc.) as well as industries (refineries, steel industry, chemical industry).

Like all other global-scale ports, it ensures ship-repair activities with 9 dry docks including the largest in the Mediterranean dry dock: “dry dock 10”.

The Port of Marseille-Fos’ passenger vessels generally dock in the Eastern Port right in the heart of the town of Marseille.


Guinea: Protests Intensify


Following the failure of talks between government representatives and the teacher’s union, the teachers’ strike which started one month ago today, continues as tensions deepen throughout Guinea.

Schools have been closed ever since the strike started and now pupils and students have taken to the streets to demonstrate their anger.

In Conakry this morning, the main road to the President’s office (Boulevard du Commerce) was blocked by presidential guards to cut off access to angry demonstrators.  There are also power cuts in some areas.

The teachers’ battle for a pay rise is taking place in a context of electoral and political conflict which led to violent rioting and repression last month.

Government opposition has now announced an unlimited general strike from Wednesday, 14 March 2018, to protest against what they describe as “electoral malpractices” by the government.

Budd Guinea reports that travel in Conakry is extremely difficult and many shops and offices are closed.  The port, however, remains open.

In view of the volatility of the situation, crew members are advised to stay on board their vessels for the time being.

Budd Guinea – budd.guinee-conakry@budd-pni.com

Tel:  +224 664 20 93 11 / +224 657 25 37 37 / +224 628 25 58 34

Fake Invoice Alert from French Ship Agents

The Marseille-Fos Ship Agents’ Association (AACN) has issued a fake invoice alert to all its Members.

A non-existant company – C.A.M.S. Inc., 23 Place de la Joliette, BP 81965 Marseille, Cedex 2 13226, France – submitted an invoice for waste disposal in Marseille-Fos to the UK financial hub of Inchcape Shipping Services.  It was only thanks to the vigilence of both the ship agent and shipowner that no payment was made.

Disturbingly, the invoice concerns a vessel which had called in Marseille-Fos and looks as if it has been approved by the vessel because it has been stamped with a stamp that shows the correct name Master’s name.

According to Inchcape Shipping Services in Marseille-Fos, two or three such incidents have been uncovered in various French ports in recent months and clearly particular attention needs to be the verification of invoices before they are paid. In case of doubt, vessels should not hesitate to contact the agent in the port concerned.

East Timor-Australia Maritime Boundary Treaty – Indonesia Next?

Aust-Indo-Timor-boundaryAustralia and Indonesia’s neighbour, East Timor, have just signed a new maritime boundary agreement which sets the Timor Sea boundary on the median line between the two countries, giving East Timor sovereignty over a much larger share of the Greater Sunrise oil and gas field than Australia’s preferred option of a maritime seabed border on the edge of Australia’s continental shelf, a mere 50 nautical miles from East Timor’s coast.

However, following the 1997 Australia-Indonesia Maritime Delimitation Treaty, Australia considers that with Indonesia, unlike East Timor, it has two maritime borders:

  • a seabed border situated on the edge of Australia’s continental shelf which means that all the resources found on the seabed within this area belong to Australia, and
  • a median line maritime border which determines ownership of the resources in the sea itself.

Since Indonesia never ratified the 1997 treaty, and now that East Timor has succeeded in negotiating a single median line boundary, commentators wonder if Indonesia will not wish to re-open negotiations to obtain a single median line border and the oil and gas revenues that would go with it.

Indonesia: Regulation 82/2017 Restrictions Postponed

It has been reported that implementation of the Indonesian Ministry of Trade’s Regulation 82/2017 is to be postponed for one year.

Initially intended to take effect from 1 May 2018, this measure makes it mandatory to use only vessels “controlled by Indonesian shipping companies” and Indonesian insurers for:

  1. coal and/or crude palm oil exports;
  2. rice imports; and
  3. the import of goods intended for government procurement.

It is thought that the decision to delay implementation has been made to allow the Ministry of Trade to clarify the numerous questions raised by the regulation and prepare guidelines.

Indonesia: Uncertainty over New Import/Export Regulation 82/2017

As reported in the press, the Indonesian Ministry of Trade’s Regulation no. 82/2017 on the Utilisation of Indonesian Sea Carriage and Insurance for Export of Certain Goods will come into effect from 31 April 2018.

The regulation is aimed at promoting Indonesia’s domestic shipping and insurance industries by obliging importers and exporters to use only vessels which are “controlled by Indonesian shipping companies” and Indonesian insurers for:

  1.     coal and/or crude palm oil exports;
  2.     rice imports; and
  3.     the import of goods intended for government procurement.

Under Article 5 of MR no. 82/2017, exemption may be possible if no suitable vessel is available from an Indonesian shipping company or if no suitable insurance is available from an Indonesian insurer, but the precise definition of what “unavailable” will mean in this context has yet to be announced.

Importers and exporters will have to make an online declaration to the Director General of International Trade by the 15th day of the month following a port call, specifying the use of the ship, and its Owners and Insurers.

Failure to comply with any of these requirements will result in administrative sanctions in the form of suspension and/or revocation of permits.

Pending publication of the guidelines promised by the Director General of International Trade, this regulation raises numerous queries in the international and local shipping and trade communities.

Among them, what precisely is meant by a vessel which is “controlled by an Indonesian shipping company”.  Does it include not only vessels which belong to an Indonesian company but also chartered vessels?

If it does apply to chartered vessels, would all or only some types of charter party meet the criteria?

As for the insurance requirements, although it is generally thought that the regulation would apply only to cargo insurance, the regulation itself does not clearly state that it will not include H&M or P&I cover.

While Indonesian shipowners hope that the new regulation will open new markets for them, importers and exporters have expressed fears that the uncertainty surrounding the new regulation will put new contracts on hold.

The International Chamber of Shipping has pointed out that the Regulation no. 82/2017 may be contrary to accepted international practice as well as Indonesia’s obligations as a member of the World Trade Organisation.

Tensions in Conakry

In a tense post municipal election context, Budd’s Guinea office advises that the general teacher’s strike which started today (12 February 2018) could potentially lead to further violence and rioting in Conakry.

Pupils were sent home from school this morning and in some areas, road blocks of burning tyres have been set up.  Police have been dispersing demonstrators, some of whom are said to be young people protesting at school closures.

Budd Guinea recommends that crew members avoid leaving their vessels if at all possible for the time being.