The shipping industry is working to curb abuses of the Automatic Identification System (AIS) satellite positioning data and the practices of switching off these mandatory systems. The shipping association BIMCO is taking on the practice, specifically the abuses by charters, as a means of protecting shipowners and the industry.
Required under SOLAS regulations, AIS transmits information about a ship including its identity and position. It should not be switched off or disabled at any time other than for very specific safety and security reasons permitted by the regulations, such as avoiding detection by pirates in high-risk areas. Recent incidents in the Gulf of Guinea where ships have “gone missing” raising fears of hijackings or assaults highlighted the practice of turning off AIS and the dangers.
Switching off AIS is most often associated with clandestine activities. In 2020, when the United States issued an advisory on the deceptive practices used by rogue nations and shipping interests to avoid sanctions, they specifically highlighted switching off AIS as a practice that shipping companies should be monitoring for and one that could lead to the black listing of shipping assets.
The U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) recommended in May 2020 that the shipping industry should develop contractual provisions “in the form of an AIS ‘switch off’ clause.” The intention was that the clause would allow shipowners, charterers, and operators to terminate work with any party that demonstrates “a pattern of multiple instances of AIS manipulation that is inconsistent with SOLAS.”
The Panama Maritime Authority also in May 2020 issued a stern warning to all Panamanian flagged vessels that deliberately deactivate, tamper, or alters the operation of the AIS or Long Range Identification and Tracking System. Panama warned that it would impose sanctions up to $10,000 and/or de-registration or de-flagging of the vessel from the Panama registry fur these abuses.
BIMCO’s concern is that some charterers may, in their haste to be sanctions compliant, develop their own AIS “switch off” clauses that might expose owners to the risk of being terminated even when the AIS has been switched off for legitimate reasons. They also cite instances when the signal has failed to transmit or be received for reasons outside the owners’ control.
BIMCO is developing a new clause for charter parties that will address not only the use of the AIS during the charter party but also prior to the contract. Targeted for publication in May, BIMCO says the form is important because the OFAC guidelines are focused on identifying patterns in AIS manipulation by ships rather than isolated “one-off” incidents. Their clause will recognize that there may be legitimate reasons why the ship’s AIS signal has been interrupted but will help tackle potential abuse by sanctions busters providing additional protections for the ship owners and the overall industry.
Go to Source
A massive fire broke out at the Port of Beirut on Thursday, incinerating a warehouse full of tires and oil within the port’s free zone. The same area was heavily damaged in the ammonium nitrate explosion that leveled the central port area and the adjacent waterfront on August 4. According to Lebanon’s civil defense agency, […]
Over the course of the past five days, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority arranged a medical intervention for an injured aboard a freighter in the Indian Ocean. On Saturday evening, the Spliethoff tweendecker Dolfijngracht called for assistance while under way about 1,000 nauical miles off the coast of Western Australia. A crewmember had sustained serious […]
The naval forces of the US and Bahrain recently staged a joint force training exercise which showcased the interoperability between coalition warships operating I the Arabian Gulf. Coalition Task Force Sentinel executed combined exercise Sentinel Shield supporting Sentry and Sentinel patrols in the coalition’s area of operations. The guided-missile destroyer USS John Paul Jones and […]
With close to 100 daily cargo flights operated to a destination network spanning more than 65 cities across six continents, Emirates SkyCargo is delivering essential supplies and commodities to people around the world. The air cargo carrier is currently operating 11 Boeing 777 freighter aircraft, each with a capacity to transport about 100 tonnes of […]
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has released a Marine Accident Brief about an accident that occurred on April 15, 2019, involving the towing vessel DeJeanne Maria which struck the end of a submerged dredge pipeline while pushing two spud barges to the Gulf of Mexico. The incident occurred on the Mississippi River in Pass […]
Best known as a leading passenger airport serving Germany’s most populated federal state North Rhine-Westphalia, Düsseldorf has become transformed into a vital distribution point, during the COVID 19 pandemic, for medical equipment and other life-saving goods, mostly from China. Gerton Hulsman, managing director of cargo operations, reports that the handling teams are working hard to […]
DSV Belgium has solid experience in the transport of pharmaceutical products for different customers. With a pharma hub based at Brussels Airport a lot of experience and know-how has been built up over the years. Last weekend, the forwarder handled one hundred million mouth masks, an important milestone for its Belgian organisation that has put […]
The UK government’s new post-Brexit tariff regime will result in both winners and losers. The new regime is set to replace the European Union’s Common External Tariff from the end of the Brexit Transition Period on December 31, 2020. The UK’s commitment to the ongoing Brexit process and ending the UK’s transition from EU membership […]
Emirates SkyCargo has expanded its weekly scheduled cargo flight operations to cover 75 destinations across six continents. Through its wider reach, Emirates SkyCargo is able to transport essential commodities and other urgently needed cargo more rapidly across the world, allowing exporters and importers across markets to benefit from direct access to widebody cargo capacity. Some […]
Global commercial aviation charter company Albion Aviation Group is reporting that it is seeing a considerable uptake in its professional cargo broker training courses from the current global pandemic crisis and surge in charter demand. “We have completed a number webinar courses for a whole of host of companies, looking to manage their own cargo […]
Operators can continue to use pilots and other crew members who have unable to comply with certain training, recent experience, testing, and checking requirements due to the COVID-19 outbreak in support of essential operations. Additionally, this Special Federal Aviation Regulation (SFAR) provides regulatory relief to certain persons and pilot schools unable to meet duration and […]
Astral Aviation has increased its intra-African network with cargo freighters during the pandemic. While there has been a reduction in capacity to, from, and within Africa, which has been caused by a stoppage of passenger flights and limited frequencies on freighter aircraft, Astral Aviation continues to operate cargo freighters from its Nairobi hub to 13 destinations […]
The U-Freight Group (UFL), with its considerable involvement in eCommerce logistics, says that the latest statistics showing that global e-commerce sales hit $25.6 trillion in 2018 are a further vindication of its decision to enter this sector of the international freight market several years ago. The latest available estimates, up 8% from 2017, were recently […]
Callan Marine is serving as the prime contractor to the Texas Department of Transportation for a maintenance dredging project located at the Bolivar Ferry Terminal, in Galveston, Texas. Work began in May and is estimated to be complete in late July 2020. The project consists of the removal of 600,000 cubic yards of material and […]
Network Airline Management and TAAG Angola Airlines are pleased to announce the renewal of their long-term freighter aircraft contract by an additional 12 months, sealing an ongoing partnership for the foreseeable future. Operating a regular weekly scheduled service from Liege, Belgium, to the capital of Angola, Luanda, Network Airline Management provides a Boeing 747-400F aircraft […]
Qatar Airways Cargo transported 56 SkyCell containers with vaccines from one of the largest vaccine manufacturers worldwide on its scheduled freighter and belly-hold cargo flights for its customer, CEVA Logistics. The 54-tonne shipment consisting of pneumococcal and varicella vaccines were flown from Brussels to Mumbai via the carrier’s hub in Doha on two separate flights. […]