President Park Geun-hye today urged local politicians to ratify a stimulus package worth KRW20trn (US$17bn), including KRW10trn in extra budget, as the nation fights to save its beleaguered shipbuilding and shipping industries which have been shedding thousands of jobs over the past 18 months with more to go.
"To support the suffering citizens, the government has decided to draw up a supplementary budget," the president said.
She also warned that Brexit could bring additional stress to the Korean economy in the second half of this year.
With close to 70% of all vessels being broken up in South Asia, the shipbreaking yards in Alang, India are one of the most important centers for ship recycling, therefore responsible practices at the site should be encouraged rather than dismissed, according to the European Community Shipowners' Association (ECSA).
At European level, the EU Ship Recycling Regulation could prove to be a game-changer as the EU list for recycling yards could be the‘carrot’that enables a fundamental change in the way recycling is carried out globally, ECSA said.
"Unfortunately, the signals sent from the European Commission are all but encouraging," said ECSA's Secretary General Patrick Verhoeven.
He added that the guidelines on which recycling yards have to base their application do not differentiate between hazardous and non-hazardous waste which de facto excludes all yards in India, even the most advanced ones.
"The EU now stands at a very important crossroad as regards responsible ship recycling. It can either be an enabler of development and reward pioneering Indian yards by giving them a fair chance to be on the EU list or it can confirm the view of many EU-skeptics and completely ignore important global developments," noted ECSA.
Following a study trip to Alang, India, ECSA said it witnessed the "investments made in a number of ship recycling yards to ensure compliance with the Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships."
Namely, the investments have been made to place concrete flooring, effective drainage systems, appropriate downstream management and more decent housing.
"Alang and other places in South Asia have for years been criticised for poor standards – and rightly so, but, a positive development has begun and this should be supported not undermined," ECSA President, Niels Smedegaard, said, adding that, while there are yards where improvements are necessary, others have already taken the lead in changing their recycling practices to reflect advanced modern standards.
The member national shipowners' associations of the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) have agreed to commence a co-ordinated campaign in an effort to persuade the European Union (EU) of the vital necessity of aligning its unilateral regulation on the monitoring of shipping's CO2 emissions with the mandatory worldwide CO2 reporting regime agreed by the UN International Maritime Organization (IMO).
The campaign is aimed at EU institutions, including Member States, Parliament and the European Commission, however, in addition to working closely with the European Community Shipowners' Associations (ECSA), ICS said it intends to enlist the support of non-EU governments including the United States, China and other Asian nations.
"Shipping is a global industry requiring global rules, in order to have a truly level playing field – otherwise we have chaos. ICS members greatly welcome the IMO CO2 reporting regime that was unanimously agreed by all IMO member states in April, as a precursor to further measures that will hopefully deliver a serious contribution from shipping towards reducing the world's CO2 emissions," said ICS Chairman Esben Poulsson.
The EU regulation on the Monitoring, Reporting and Verification (MRV) of ships' CO2 emissions was adopted in 2015 and would be fully implemented in three years' time. But all ships trading to Europe, including non-EU flag ships, will be legally required to comply with some of its provisions by as early as 2017, according to ICS.
However, the EU regulation contains a provision to the effect that the European Commission can propose adjustments to ensure alignment with any similar regime adopted by IMO.
"The key thing that really concerns the shipping industry is that if the EU refuses to realign its regime with IMO, as its own regulation permits it to do, this will be perceived by other governments as a sign of bad faith, which could then potentially inhibit the consideration of any additional CO2 reduction measures by IMO," added Poulsson.
The international shipping sector has cut its total CO2 emissions by around 10 percent since 2007, despite increased maritime trade, Poulsson said, adding that with oil prices having gone up some 80% since January, this reinforces how it is truly in every shipowner's interest to do everything possible to further reduce fuel consumption and thus cut CO2.
"It's worth reiterating, yet again, the industry's strongly held view that as a global industry we need a global framework. Only IMO is equipped to provide this," said he.
Seoul has moved to ease the burden on hard-hit subcontractors working at the country's struggling shipbuilders. The government is looking to give tax cuts and waive mandatory insurance fees to subcontractors to help ease the pain as they get hit hard from the restructuring at yards in South Korea.
South Korea's Financial Service Commission has also said it will provide loans to shipyards to ensure they can complete their orderbooks amid the greatest shipbuilding crisis to hit the local yards scene in a generation.
All of the nation's largest yards have entered restructuring while a number of smaller yards have shuttered in the past 18 months.
The situation is mirrored in other yards across the world. A recent report from Danish Ship Finance (DSF) suggested some 200 yards around the world would close this year, leaving some 530 yards building ocean going ships by the end of 2016.
Iranian oil tankers face no more obstacles when traveling to any port in world, says Ali-Akbar Safaei, managing director of the National Iranian Tanker Company (NITC).
According to Safaei, quoted by IRNA news agency, NITC has secured all the required certificates from international insurance agencies for its tankers, thus removing the insurance-related hurdles and enabling its ships to dock at any port worldwide.
Unimpeded entrance to Iran's ports by foreign tankers is also to be ensured, now that there are no pending insurance problems, he added.
As informed, talks are also nearing conclusion between Iranian shipping lines with international insurance companies on obtaining the most competitive insurance policies.
Due to the latest turn of events, NITC said that it expects to return to European ports in June this year after over four years of suspension.
The German Shipowners' Association (VDR) endorses the resolution adopted by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to make it mandatory in future for all vessels to record their CO2 emissions.
"In Paris, the community of states reached a consensus in December on climate protection targets within national borders – now the IMO member states have adopted the same policy for vessels sailing the global seas," said Ralf Nagel, Chief Executive Officer of the VDR. "The fact that all states on the IMO Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) have adopted the mandatory CO2 data collection policy despite the controversial discussion involved once again underscores the ability of the IMO to act as a global legislator for maritime shipping."
The resolution provides for shipping companies to transmit data on fuel consumption, distances travelled and the number of operating hours of their vessels via the respective flag state of the ships to the IMO in London for evaluation purposes.
"It's important first of all to have the CO2 data of all ships collected and analysed by the IMO. Only if we have sound, solid data does the discussion really make sense regarding suitable objectives and measures to reduce the already low CO2 footprint of maritime shipping even further," said Nagel.
The official acceptance of the addendum to the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL) by the MEPC in October is considered to be a mere formality.
Mandatory climate protection regulations already apply to maritime vessels. According to the relevant rules, newbuilds will need to meet ever increasing efficiency standards step by step and will be using 30% less fuel per ton-kilometre from the year 2025. Additional factors are parameters laid down for energy-efficient ship operation.
Maritime vessels are the most efficient means of transport available. With ships reflecting an average age of nine years (world fleet: 14 years), German shipping companies are reported to have one of the world's most modern maritime fleets.
South Korean government is launching a corporate restructuring plan targeting its financially-troubled industries, including its shipping and shipbuilding sectors.
The move comes amid the need to push harder the restructuring of vulnerable industries hit by a global slowdown to reduce overcapacity and boost long competitiveness, especially since business conditions have continuously deteriorated.
In a three-track plan revealed by the country's financial regulator, the Financial Services Commission explained the steps to be taken to help the distressed companies.
Under the plan, a consultative body of government officials would set a direction for groups proceeding with restructuring, companies would be sorted out through credit evaluations and industries with overcapacity restructuring and reshuffling would be encouraged to carry out voluntary and preemptive reshuffling.
Specifically, with respect to the country's big 3 shipbuilders, the regulator said that Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine (DSME) will be required to submit layoffs and cost savings. The shipbuilder's counterparts Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) and Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) would have to pursue self-rescue plans with their creditor banks.
With respect to shipping, Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM) is to be provided with support for business normalization from creditors, strike a deal with ship owners to lower charter rates and reach an agreement with bondholders to restructure the debt.
On the other hand, Hanjin Shipping applied for a debt restructuring agreement with creditors on April 25. The creditor group will review the proposal and make a decision on whether it will initiate the procedure or not.
As disclosed, the procedure will proceed in accordance with the same principle applied to HMM.
The Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) has approved mandatory requirements for ships to record and report their fuel consumption, in a move that sends a clear and positive signal about the Organization's continuing commitment to climate change mitigation.
The mandatory data collection system is intended to be the first in a three-step process in which analysis of the data collected would provide the basis for an objective, transparent and inclusive policy debate in the MEPC. This would allow a decision to be made on whether any further measures are needed to enhance energy efficiency and address greenhouse gas emissions from international shipping. If so, proposed policy options would then be considered.
Under the system, ships of 5,000 gross tonnage and above will be required to collect consumption data for each type of fuel they use, as well as other, additional, specified data including proxies for transport work. The aggregated data will be reported to the flag State after the end of each calendar year and the flag State, having determined that the data has been reported in accordance with the requirements, will issue a Statement of Compliance to the ship. Flag States will be required to subsequently transfer this data to the IMO Ship Fuel Consumption Database.
IMO would be required to produce an annual report to the MEPC, summarizing the data collected. Data would be anonymized so individual ship data would not be recognized.
The draft mandatory data collection requirements will be put forward for adoption at the 70th MEPC session this October and could take effect in 2018.
The data collection system is enshrined in draft amendments to the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL), which were approved by the 69th session of the MEPC, meeting at IMO Headquarters in London last week.
Following a wide-ranging discussion on future work to further address greenhouse gas emissions from ships, the Committee agreed to hold a working group at MEPC 70 for an in-depth debate.
The MEPC welcomed the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and recognized it as a major achievement by the international community. It also unanimously recognized IMO's own role in mitigating the impact of GHG emissions from international shipping and acknowledged the current efforts and the measures already introduced by IMO to enhance the energy efficiency of ships.
IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim hailed the approval of the data collection amendments as a significant contribution to the ongoing work by the international community to mitigate climate change, and welcomed the positive spirit in which Member states had approached the discussion.
"It has been very encouraging to see States which had previously found it difficult to reach binding agreement on climate change measures bring the spirit of the Paris Agreement to IMO this week. The unanimous agreement to take forward a mandatory data collection system for ships' fuel consumption is a significant step. It will provide a solid basis on which to consider, armed with information, whether further measures may be required in future to mitigate GHG emissions from shipping," said Mr Lim.
He added, "I would like to commend the Member States of IMO for once again showing their willingness to work collaboratively for the greater good. On World Earth Day, and the day the Paris Agreement is being signed by world leaders in New York, we are pleased to announce another of IMO's continuing efforts to protect the world's oceans and climate."
To date, IMO is the only Organization to have adopted energy-efficiency measures that are legally binding across an entire global industry. Mandatory energy efficiency standards for new ships, and mandatory operational measures to reduce emissions from existing ships, entered into force in 2013, as amendments to MARPOL Annex VI. Thanks to those new measures, by 2025 all new ships built will be 30% more energy efficient than those built in 2013.
The European Community Shipowners' Association (ECSA) is calling upon the EU Member States to give their support to global CO2 agenda for shipping.
From April 14 to 15, EU Transport and Environment Ministers are meeting in Amsterdam for an informal joint Council meeting under the Dutch Presidency. The discussion revolves around on how Member States could make a positive and constructive contribution to achieve an international framework of CO2 reduction commitments.
Niels Smedegaard, ECSA President points out that European shipowners fully support the initiative of the Dutch Presidency. "The shipping industry endorses the Paris agreement on climate change and we are committed to ambitious CO2 emission reductions across the world merchant fleet. With the shipping industry's support, Member States of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) will be able to develop meaningful CO2 reduction commitments for the international shipping sector as a whole that are both ambitious and realistic," says Smedegaard.
In addition, the EU Parliament is also requesting from EU governments to match Paris ambition on ships.
In a letter sent to Europe's ministers of transport and environment, the heads of seven political groups of the Parliament's environment committee also demanded greater climate ambition at both ICAO and IMO, the UN bodies charged with regulating emissions from aircraft and ships respectively, and at EU level.
The calls come ahead of the 69th session of the International Maritime Organization's (IMO) Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) session, which takes place next week in London.
The shipping industry wants IMO to establish a mandatory global system of data collection from individual ships by the end of 2016, according to ECSA. The system is to be the central topic during the MEPC's session.
"We believe that this system should have mandatory application," says ECSA Secretary General Patrick Verhoeven, adding that a decision in IMO should come forward in 2016 so that vessels can provide the required data as soon as possible.
ECSA also supports the proposal of its international partner the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) for IMO Member States to adopt an intended IMO Determined Contribution, which focuses on CO2 emission reduction by the entire international shipping sector.
This would make IMO Member States and the shipping industry answerable to the international community, in the same way that governments committed to Intended National Determined Contributions (INDCs), ECSA explains. The adoption of an Intended IMO Determined Contribution would also make it clear that the reduction of the sector's CO2 emissions is being addressed robustly by IMO Member States, according to ECSA.
According to Transport & Environment, the CO2 from shipping account for some 3% of the global total.
"Having escaped explicit mention in the Paris deal, emissions from aviation and shipping still remain the two elephants in the climate room. Without ambitious action to reduce ship and aviation emissions both at EU and global levels, the world does not stand a chance of limiting global warming to 1.5°C," says Sotiris Raptis, Shipping policy officer at Transport & Environment.
Transport & Environment believes that emissions from ships and planes have been growing twice as fast as the rest of the global economy. Based on a scientific study published recently by the European Parliament, shipping and aviation could account for almost 4o% of the world's CO2 emissions in 2050.
India and the Republic of Korea have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for cooperation and mutual assistance in the development of ports.
The signing of the MoU is expected to help both countries encourage and facilitate the development of ports, port-related industry and maritime relationship, according to India's Ministry of Shipping.
The Ministry believes that the signing of the agreement will also enable both countries to share technology and experience in the above-mentioned fields, as well as to exchange information on construction, building, engineering and related aspects in port development.