Covid 19 coronavirus: International crews arriving at Auckland and Tauranga ports now face mandatory isolation

International crews arriving at the Ports of Auckland and Tauranga must now complete 14 days in managed isolation. Photo / File
International crews arriving at the Ports of Auckland and Tauranga must now complete 14 days in managed isolation. Photo / File

NZ Herald – By: Courtney Winter

Two of the country’s biggest ports are now requiring all international crews to do 14 days in managed isolation – and they want other ports to follow suit.

The ports of Auckland and Tauranga made the move despite Health Minister Chris Hipkins saying today that this would mean a number of ships wouldn’t come to New Zealand.

Hipkins told RNZ that every crewmember entering the country could soon be required to be tested for Covid 19 but he’s yet to decide whether to put all shipping crews through managed isolation.

The current situation is that crew who are flown into New Zealand are taken straight to the port to join their vessel if it is leaving port that day, after being collected by a vehicle with a driver in PPE gear.

Ports of Auckland’s general communications manager Matt Ball said the 14-day managed isolation requirement was introduced last week, after it became clear the likely source of the current port worker cluster was eight Philippine seamen who went through the port untested.

Ball said the port has had a positive response from its shipping companies regarding the requirement.

He said it gave crews and shipping companies reassurance there were no infected people on board.

A Port of Tauranga spokesperson said the company sent an advisory notice to shipping agents last night requiring international crew members joining a vessel in Tauranga to complete 14 days in managed isolation and test negative for Covid-19.

The port understood this created logistical challenges for its shipping line customers, the notice said.

“However, we cannot risk having to close the port due to operational staff being in quarantine.”

All international crews arriving in the Port of Tauranga now face a mandatory two-week quarantine. Photo / File
All international crews arriving in the Port of Tauranga now face a mandatory two-week quarantine. Photo / File

The Ministry of Health didn’t answer specific questions. However, in a statement it said it regularly reviewed the Covid-19 strategy to ensure that it remained fit for purpose for its elimination strategy – this included reviewing what the testing programme for port workers and crew members looked like.

Health officials were working closely with border agencies on how to limit the risk of Covid-19, it said.

Immigration New Zealand said between 10 August and 26 October, 466 individuals were approved a critical purpose visa for the purposes of travelling to New Zealand as ‘replacement cargo ship crew’. It said 324 of those individuals have arrived in New Zealand and 142 were yet to arrive.

Today marked six straight days of no Covid cases in the community, but health authorities are still questioning how the virus once again slipped through New Zealand’s borders.

It’s the longest run of no new cases in the community since the marine engineer tested positive for the virus on October 16.

Director general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield yesterday announced all close and casual contacts of the engineer had tested negative for the virus.

Overall there had been nearly 40,000 tests since the case was announced.

This was despite two of the man’s colleagues, who also boarded the foreign vessel the Sofrana Surville, testing positive and visiting a range of Auckland venues including Malt Bar in Greenhithe on the Friday evening, along with a gym, bank and several stores.

While the potential for an outbreak would remain until two full incubation cycles after October 16 – 28 days – so far it appears the city may have dodged a bullet that could have potentially plunged it back into lockdown.

Infectious diseases expert Professor David Murdoch said the main takeaway from the rapid containment of the cluster was that the system is working as intended.

“It has been picked up quickly, we’ve managed to find the source – unlike the previous outbreak, there’s been rigorous contact tracing and genome sequencing.”

The fact an infected person had been in a crowded bar on a Friday evening, what could have been a “super spreader” event, and there had so far been no repercussions was not necessarily just luck, Murdoch said.

“Not knowing the exact details, but it appears they’d only been exposed that morning, so that is fairly early on and might be the reason they were not infectious.”

Just two new cases of Covid-19 were announced today, both caught at the border.

COVID-19: Exporters facing huge delays as rail restricts container numbers

Kiwi businesses looking for relief from a COVID-19 downturn are facing frustrating export delays, with some waiting more than a month to ship their products overseas. a truck that has a sign on the side of a road: Rail has restricted container numbers causing huge exporting delays.© Newshub – Rail has restricted container numbers causing huge exporting delays.

Managing director of Morey Oil South Pacific, Shelley Free, said its oil exports bound for Brisbane typically took four days to cross the ditch, but wait times were now up to 37 days. 

“Which is probably applicable to the fact that the boats have just all been fully booked,” she said. 

“I know COVID-19 is to blame for a lot of this but, if we’ve got to get our economy up and running again, it means exporting.”

COVID-19 and strikes at Australian ports have caused congestion at our ports, delaying cargo ships arrival times. Some ships have been forced to anchor off the coast of Auckland for six days before they can dock. 

A big part of the problem is on land.

Auckland’s rail facility Metroport, that sends exports to the Port of Tauranga, is so stressed, it’s told customers it can’t accept all of their cargo.

“[Rail] can’t cope with massive volume like we have now, so delays to and from the Port of Tauranga up to seven to 10 days is also affecting the supply chain quite significantly,” Custom Brokers and Freight Forwarders Federation President Chris Edwards said. 

Metroport is at full capacity, so much so it had to shut its gates last week and stop accepting all exports. 

Newshub has obtained evidence of it telling some shipping lines on Thursday that it won’t accept their exports until next week. 

Port of Tauranga, which owns Metroport, told Newshub it has put caps on container numbers to ease the pressure, but they should lift early next week. 

“We are working closely with shipping lines and KiwiRail to ensure priority cargo is transferred as quickly as possible,” a POT spokeswoman said. 

KiwiRail chief executive Greg Miller said it was experiencing a significant increase in demand to move freight, to the point where it needed to be managed carefully. 

“We are urging road transport operators and customs agents to clear their cargoes from Metroport Auckland as soon as practicable.”

Customs had received no complaints, but New Zealand Trade and Enterprise said it was monitoring the situation. 

“At this stage, we are making our exporters aware of potential port congestion issues and suggesting they work closely with freight forwarders to ensure they can get their goods out of New Zealand.” 

Near-fatal accident spurs first-time maritime industry action

A Tauranga stevedore company has been subjected to the maritime industry’s first-ever enforceable undertaking because of a near-fatal accident nearly three years ago.Logs

An enforceable undertaking is an alternative to a court-imposed sanction, for a breach of health and safety rules. It means the issues that led to the breach must be addressed, harm caused to the victim remedied, and health and safety legislation promoted.

In December 2017, a stevedore trying to get down from logs stacked above a ship’s deck fell eight metres onto a concrete wharf at Port of Tauranga.

Maritime New Zealand, which filed charges against ISO Limited, has accepted the alternative action which will cost ISO $425,000 plus financial remedies to the worker.

The company that operated the ship where the incident occurred, China Navigation Company PTE Limited, was sentenced in July this year after a prosecution by Maritime NZ under the Maritime Transport Act.

The company was fined $24,000 and ordered to pay $30,000 in reparations.

Maritime New Zealand’s central region compliance manager Michael-Paul Abbott said the enforceable undertakings were legally enforceable agreements, and were not an easy option.

“Their aim is to improve health and safety at a workplace and across an industry, and to remedy harm caused to workers and their families.

“We took into account the significant commitment made by ISO to raising health and safety standards in the industry and the fact that the company had committed to provide ongoing support for the injured worker and his family.”

ISO consulted with the Amalgamated Stevedores Union, the injured man and his family, the Port Industry Association, Port of Tauranga, and ship charterers when it was drafting the EU.

Abbott said the outcome would help stevedores in ports around the country.

Among ISO’s pledges was a commitment to developing and delivering a national training program for management personnel on working at heights in stevedoring operations.

It would also continue to provide the injured worker with ongoing support.

Much lauded restart of Napier-Wairoa railway line only ran for a week

A Hawke’s Bay railway line that cost millions to resurrect ran for just one week before Covid-19 stopped it dead in its tracks.KiwiRail on Napier to Wairoa line.

KiwiRail on Napier to Wairoa line. Photo: RNZ screenshot

The return of the Napier-Wairoa line was promised as a saviour for Hawke’s Bay and the forestry industry.

Now KiwiRail is keeping quiet about when exactly it will restart again.

Following a $6.2 million investment from the provincial growth fund, the line was reopened by the then regional economic development minister Shane Jones in June last year.

But logging trains only began running on 26 January 2020.

A week later, and after just six return trips, the trains were brought to a halt.

KiwiRail said it shut because of Covid-19’s impact on the forestry industry.

Federated Farmers Wairoa branch chairman Allan Newton said some in rural communities were concerned at the taxpayer spending.

“When they work out that their hard-earned tax dollars have gone into such a project that has achieved so little at this stage, they are concerned,” he said.

“They spent a lot of millions of dollars getting this project off the ground and then not using it, it does appear to be a bit of a waste of time.”

But Ken Crispin of Napier – a passionate advocate for rail – disagreed.

He said people must look beyond the short term.

“You’ve got to look at it in long-term. I think if you talk about it in terms of one year or three years that’s not good enough. You’ve got to build a rail line and then promote it.”

Crispin said the Napier-Wairoa Road (State Highway 2) was dangerous and the big trucks were making it worse.

He was not against roads, but said there needed to have less freight trucks.

“There’s no way in the world that these trucks should be using that road. That road is not designed for heavy trucks. If a truck is a 60 tonne truck, it’s compacting that road and I think everybody knows it’s like a golf course now, there’s more holes in the road than there is a road.”

Stephen Bell is co-chief executive of Forest Management NZ in Napier. His company manages 26,000 hectares of forest over the country.

He said using rail was all about whether it was cost effective for his clients.

“We’ve always supported rail and we will continue to support rail. But the main driver for us is to make sure that it’s not costing our client.

“There’s a couple of reasons to support rail and one is it does remove trucks off the roads but it also allows quick turn around times from our logging sites in and around that Wairoa area to the actual rail hub, as opposed to carting it all the way to ports or the domestic mills.”

Kiwi Rail chief operations office Todd Moyle said in a statement the rail services are due to restart later this year. He did not give a date.

He said it would begin with two return trains each weekend, of 24 wagons – each trip taking 24 trucks off the road.

“Rail infrastructure investment has multiple, long-term benefits, some of which are not immediately obvious,” the statement read.

“For example, moving more logs by rail instead of trucks reduces road maintenance costs and congestion and improves road safety – particularly on regional roads like those between Napier and Wairoa which were not designed for heavy trucks.

“When the logging trains are fully up and running, close to 13,000 truck journeys a year will be avoided.”

Moyle said trains have 66 percent fewer emissions than trucks per tonne of freight, which helped reduce transport emissions.

He expected trains to run daily when the line was at full capacity.

Covid-19 rules for ship crew: ‘It’s worse than being in prison’

A ship’s captain is describing the way crew are being treated during Covid-19 as inhumane and like being in prison.Wayne Turner is the Master of Capitaine Tasman

Captain Wayne Turner on board Capitaine Tasman. Photo: Supplied

Crews on ships coming into New Zealand ports are not allowed ashore and must wear PPE gear every time they are on deck.

This also applies to New Zealand crew.

Wayne Turner is the master of Capitaine Tasman, a container ship that sails between Mount Maunganui, Auckland, Noumea, Suva and Lautoka – making a 17-day round trip.

New Zealand, Noumea and Fiji are all countries without community transmission of the virus.

Turner said effectively the crew were in constant isolation.

“You’ve got people that are basically in prison. They can’t depart the vessel, they can’t go for a walk, get fresh air, they can’t get off the vessel.

“It needs to be managed so that people can have those basic human rights, provided that [they] take appropriate action, they need to be able to get off the vessel, stretch their legs, [get] fresh air, change of scene.

“Just the normal stuff you need for psychological wellbeing, it is worse than being in prison,” he said.

Crew were also not allowed ashore in Fiji or Noumea, so they were trapped on board, Turner said.

“We don’t get any leave at all and no visits.

“It is pretty inhumane what seafarers are having to face and for no real reason. It’s a lack of understanding on the part of the powers-that-be as to the real risks that exist, which are negligible, if at all.”

Turner said while crew must wear PPE gear at all times while on the deck in port and can be fined if they do not, stevedores coming on board to load or discharge cargo, do not have to.

“If I go on deck while in port in New Zealand, if Customs see me [not wearing PPE gear] I can be liable for a fine of up to $2000.”

He said all of the 18 crew, including himself, have their temperatures taken twice a day and it is logged.

“We have no contact with the external world effectively.”

Turner said as a New Zealander he had been Covid tested and isolated for the past two months. He was not able to leave the ship nor visit his Mount Maunganui home, family or friends and they could not visit him.

“Home is basically 2-3 kilometres away.”

‘The government is just not interested’

Some other crew members have not been ashore since March.

“It’s pretty inhumane to have been on board from March without having been able to step off the vessel at any stage.”

He said the most crew could do was walk around the deck while at sea and weather allowing, which was frustrating for them.

Turner is concerned about the mental health of his crew and the many others at sea.

“The kind of people that are going to survive this kind of role are well used to that, but not to this degree and I suppose that is the part that is unfair and unreasonable that we are used to being away from our families for months, but you do have the social aspects of being onboard which is walks ashore and time ashore in various ports and all of that, but not having that, it is not good for you.”

When he finally comes to sign-off the ship Turner will need to go into mandatory 14-day isolation, minus the four days at sea sailing from Lautoka, after having effectively been isolated for four months.

Turner said the plight of seafarers during Covid-19 has been ignored by the government mainly because of the small number of people and for the most part foreigners.

“The government is just not interested.”

He is also a solo yachtie and is worried about hundreds of yachts that have been refused permission to sail to New Zealand to avoid the upcoming tropical cyclone season in the Pacific.

“They are as isolated from Covid as we are and they are in areas with no Covid and yet they to cannot come down to New Zealand unless you are on a luxury yacht and you can go alongside at Queens Wharf in Auckland, which is happening currently and so it is one rule for one and a completely different rule for others,” he said.

A spokesperson for Customs says while it enforces Covid-19 restrictions on seafarers, it has no control over changing the rules, which have been set by the Ministry of Health.

The Ministry of Health said due to the ongoing global Covid-19 pandemic New Zealand’s maritime border requires the testing, isolation and quarantining of all ship’s crew on arrival into the country.

These requirements for cargo and shipping vessels are similar to many other parts of the world and the master of any ship intending to arrive in New Zealand should, before the ship arrives in New Zealand, take reasonable steps to ensure that every person on board the ship is aware of the isolation or quarantine requirements.

Due to these current Maritime Border requirements which much of the world is operating under, the Ministry of Health encourages shipping companies to review their schedules – which are often on high rotation from port to port – to allow sufficient time for crew to have time on shore once they have achieved a negative result.

Under normal circumstances, a person who arrives in New Zealand on board a ship must remain in isolation or quarantine for at least 14 days on board the ship on which they arrived in New Zealand but this includes time at sea and many cargo ships arriving into New Zealand are long-haul and therefore crew would not be required to sit at port for 14 days.

It said all crew members do need to meet the low risk indicators, including a negative test, before disembarking.

In response to the Ministry of Health, Captain Turner said the guidelines assume vessels are at sea for 14-days or more to achieve isolation. Many ships are on rotations that do not have 14-days between international ports.

Capitaine Tasman calls at Noumea, Suva, Lautoka, Tauranga and Auckland. There are no community Covid cases in New Caledonia or Fiji.

He said no crew member on Capitaine Tasman has had shore leave since March and maximum time at sea is four days so they cannot meet isolation requirements.

Captain Turner said no Covid testing is available to crew members in port except for those at the end of their contract and going home. Crew members wanting to go ashore require 14-days isolation, a Covid test and written MoH approval.

”Maximum time in port is two days, so meeting the requirements is not possible.”

”The Vessel’s crew do not go ashore at any port, so difficult to see how infection can occur,” he said.

Can green shipping scheme lick ‘herding cats’ dilemma?

in International Shipping News 12/10/2020

Momentum to decarbonize ocean shipping emissions is building. Consequences for future newbuilding orders and freight rates could be game-changing.

First came the landmark 2018 decision by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to halve greenhouse-gas emissions by 2050. Then came the Poseidon Principles from shipping banks in 2019, with lenders vowing to publicly disclose portfolio carbon emissions.

Now, some of the world’s largest bulk cargo shippers have launched Sea Cargo Charter (SCC), which will publish emissions data on chartered ships.

“A global mutual understanding that reporting emissions is a must — that’s a big first step,” affirmed Rasmus Bach Nielsen, global head of fuel decarbonization at trading giant Trafigura, during Wednesday’s SCC launch event.

A big first step, but still just the first step.

Ocean shipping faces a classic “herding cats” dilemma. When it comes to greenhouse gases, different stakeholders want to go in different directions. The challenge is to corral them behind a single common plan.

The industry wants a global regulatory regime under the IMO. But the EU is moving ahead with a regional regime. And not all IMO member countries may be on board with a global scheme. Some shipowners favor carbon taxes and speed limits. Others don’t. The banks will use one way to measure emissions, the charterers another. Container shipping is pursuing a different path than bulk shipping. The banks and charterers that are signatories to the Poseidon Principles and SCC are overwhelmingly Western. Yet ship finance and chartering are increasingly Eastern.

What do charterer, bank schemes change?

Neither the SCC nor the Poseidon Principles require signatories to do business with owners of more fuel-efficient ships — although they can opt to do so unilaterally. The agreements merely require participants to publicly disclose, on an annual basis, how the carbon intensity of their portfolios aligns with the IMO target trajectory. The SCC will report each June, the Poseidon Principles each December.

Annual self-reporting by charterers and banks should compel signatories to improve their public scores over time. What investors want to know is: How will this change vessel supply and rates?

Among the possible consequences: higher charter premiums earned by eco-design ships over non-eco-design ships; higher charter costs for SCC signatories, offset by better access to ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance)-centric investors and lenders; lower capital access for buyers of older secondhand ships leading to higher scrapping; increased ordering of newbuilds with alternate fuel such as liquefied natural gas, with these orders backed by long-term charters from SCC signatories and debt from Poseidon Principles signatories; and consequently, a higher mix of long-term charters versus spot employment in the future.

‘Rebirth of 21st century ship finance’

The grand plan is to ultimately replace the entire world fleet with lower-carbon-emitting or zero-emission ships.

According to Michael Parker, global head of shipping at Citigroup (NYSE: C) and Poseidon Principles chairman, “Modern shipping finance was born after the war. Aristotle Onassis needed to build new ships. He got Texaco to agree to a 10-year time charter. He took that document to Citi and Chase and said, ‘Will you finance the ships if I have them chartered to Texaco?’

“After that we went from crisis to crisis,” Parker recounted, pointing to “unnecessary capacity” ordered on spec without long-term-charter backing.

He predicted that the SCC and Poseidon Principles will precipitate “what I call the rebirth of 21st century shipping finance.”

“This is going to come through responsible charterers helping to finance responsible shipowners who will borrow from responsible lenders to build the new ships. The [new] ships that charterers will charter will be low-emission and ultimately zero-emission ships.

“This will produce the capacity we need for growth but will prevent the building of unnecessary vessels,” opined Parker. That, in turn, will lead to a future in which capital markets feel confident that “investing in shipping is investing in a clean part of the supply chain and not speculating and taking the unnecessary risks that society will no longer tolerate.”

Charterers, banks hunt for more allies

The 17 founding SCC signatories include dry bulk chartering majors such as ADM (NYSE: ADM), Anglo-American, Bunge (NYSE: BG), Cargill and COFCO; major trading houses Guvnor and Trafigura; and tanker shippers including Occidental (NYSE: OXY), Shell and Total.

The signatories’ share of oceangoing cargo appears much higher on the dry than wet bulk side. Poten & Partners’ rankings of the top 10 dirty cargo charterers of the first half of 2020 include only two signatories (Shell in third, Total in ninth).

“The next step is clearly to get the group bigger. There are still a lot of people chewing on it,” said Cargill Ocean Transportation President Jan Dieleman, chairman of SCC.

The banking footprint of the Poseidon Principles is similar to the SCC’s in that it is material, but not yet big enough.

In June 2019, the 11 founding signatories of the Poseidon Principles — including ABN AMRO, Citi, Crédit Agricole, DNB, Société Générale and Nordea — provided just over 20% of the industry’s senior debt. Three banks have since joined, bringing signatories to 14. The all-important Chinese lenders and leasing houses have yet to come into the fold.

‘Like twins born 16 months apart’

“We did start together and the banks, charterers and others tried to come up with something together,” recalled Parker.

The charterers ultimately went their own way under a plan with the code name “The Charterer’s Charter” because they thought “the banks were going to be too prescriptive and impinge on [the charterers’] commercial freedom,” he said.

“We’re sort of like twins born 16 months apart,” said Parker of the Poseidon Principles and SCC. “Our mother, the Global Maritime Forum, can now feel more comfortable than it has for the last 16 months.”

But the twins have opted for different ways to measure emissions. The Poseidon Principles uses the Annual Efficiency Ratio (AER), even though it concedes that other measures such as the Energy Efficiency Operational Indicator (EEOI) provide a more accurate estimate of carbon intensity.

The SCC platform is using EEOI. It will be more time-consuming for shipowners to give the charterers what they need versus the banks. The AER information sought by the banks is already provided through the IMO Data Collection System. For SCC signatories to get the EEOI data, owners of chartered ships must agree to provide voyage-level fuel consumption data within seven days of the end of each voyage.

Operational versus technical efficiency

“The key element for me is that the Sea Sea Cargo Charter goes down to the granularities of individual vessels and individual voyages,” said Tristan Smith, a researcher and lecturer at the UCL Energy Institute.

“Because of that, you have a tool to diagnose what drove one voyage to have a particular cargo intensity relative to another.

“Was it operational decisions? The fact that they demanded utmost dispatch at 15 knots? Was it that they hired a ship with a technical efficiency that was inferior to other ships on the market? All of that is now in a common language with a common ability to monitor it and make decisions differently [for SCC signatories and owner counterparties].

“We’ve had IMO negotiations in the last couple of days where the level of ambition was not as high as it needs to be,” revealed Smith.

“I asked in that forum, ‘Why can’t we regulate the operational carbon intensity of shipping [i.e., the SCC model using EEOI]? Why do you believe the only tool is technical efficiency, which is about the design of the vessel and not the operation of the vessel?’

“And the answer I received, both from a leading government and from a leading shipowner NGO [nongovernmental organization], is that it would be unfair for us to regulate [shipowners] on something that is about luck. What those answers embody for me is the concern that they [owners] are out of control of the ships’ carbon intensity because it is driven by factors beyond what they can manage: It is driven by the charterers.”

In other words, shipowners don’t want to pay the regulatory price for the operational decisions of the charterers. And the SCC initiative, should it gain more traction, can help resolve that concern.

Bulk shipping versus container shipping

Yet another example of the “herding cats” dilemma involves the different segments of ocean shipping. Container shipping is a major contributor to industry carbon emissions but has a totally different business model than bulk shipping.

“The container sector currently has a scheme called the Clean Cargo Working Group,” said Smith. “The Sea Cargo Charter does not cover container vessels. And there’s a crucial difference. The level of transparency, the accountability to a target system and the granularity of Sea Cargo Charter — none of those features are represented in the Clean Cargo Working Group.”

According to Smith, “The container sector is now behind the bulk sector in having a private-sector initiative that is effective, and hopefully this [SCC] can inspire that group or spawn a new group that can push the container sector to the much higher standard that it needs to be at. They’re not there today.”

Global versus regional regulation

And then there’s the pivotal conflict between global and regional regulation.

“It is urgent to have an IMO-led comprehensive shipping decarbonization program,” said Nielsen of Trafigura. “We embrace global measures, but not regional measures. If regional measures are implemented, it becomes a lot harder for the IMO to implement a global system.”

One major regional measure is already in motion. In September, the European Parliament voted to include ocean shipping under the EU Emission Trading System (ETS). The next step — which is far from guaranteed — is to secure approval of EU member states.

A decade ago, the EU tried to force international airlines to buy carbon permits for portions of their flights outside of EU territory. It didn’t work. The ETS only covers intra-European flights.

The World Bank working paper, “Regional Carbon Pricing for International Transport,” published in January 2018, addressed the challenges of an EU-only carbon-pricing system for shipping.

That paper noted that a regional levy would have to be implemented port states and would seek to charge for emissions beyond the port state’s territorial waters. “The scope of port-state jurisdiction with regard to activities that take place beyond the state’s territorial waters is a debated issue,” said the paper.

Assuming the EU could win the legal jurisdictional argument, the next challenge would be to prevent shipping interests from gaming the system. If the carbon pricing applied to the time at sea between the arrival of the cargo and its departure from the previous port, shippers could use transshipment at a nearby hub to minimize the time covered by EU carbon pricing.

Shipping carbon tax

A global solution via the IMO could take the form of a global carbon tax.

Global Maritime Forum members have voiced support for a tax for several years. Last December, leading shipping industry associations submitted an IMO proposal for a $2-per-ton-of-fuel tax to support research and development. The proposal seemed designed to lay the groundwork for a future collection system for a much higher tax. This September, Trafigura proposed a carbon tax of $250-$300 per ton of CO2 equivalent.

The challenge will be corralling the support of countries whose economies depend on imports and exports. They could view a global shipping carbon tax as a levy on their economies.

“Don’t expect the IMO to ever set numbers at levels that are as high as they need to be,” warned Smith. “That is a multilateral process. A lot of governments have concerns that their economic development will be negatively impacted.”
Source: Freight Waves by Greg Miller,

Top global traders push to cut shipping emissions

in International Shipping News 08/10/2020

Some of the world’s biggest commodities and energy players on Wednesday launched an initiative to cut and track emissions from the ships they charter as efforts intensify to reduce the maritime industry’s carbon footprint.

About 90% of world trade is transported by sea, and the UN shipping agency – the International Maritime Organization (IMO) – aims to reduce overall greenhouse gas emissions by 50% from 2008 levels by 2050.

Carbon emissions from shipping rose in the six-year period to 2018 and accounted for 2.89% of the world’s CO2, the latest IMO-commissioned study showed, mounting pressure on the industry to bring levels down.

Under the Sea Cargo Charter, 17 companies, including agrigroups Cargill, ADM and Bunge, oil majors Royal Dutch Shell and Total and mining group Anglo American will publicly disclose annually whether their overall ship chartering activities are aligned with IMO 2050 goals.

“People buying voyage freight will start asking the question what emissions were actually tagged to this voyage and that is a question that was really not asked before,” Jan Dieleman, president of Cargill’s ocean transportation division, told Reuters.

“By creating the transparency, it becomes a topic in chartering decisions.”

Peter Lye, global head of shipping with Anglo American, said charterers signed up will be able to analyse the emissions associated with ocean freight in a methodical way.

Grahaeme Henderson, global head of Shell Shipping & Maritime, added: “Collaboration such as this, from across the sector, is vital to scale-up customer demand for low- or zero-emissions shipping.”

The initiative follows a parallel project, known as the Poseidon Principles, launched in 2019, where 18 of the world’s biggest industry lenders agreed to link the provision of shipping finance to cuts in CO2.

The other companies involved in the latest initiative, launched by the non-profit Global Maritime Forum, are COFCO International, Dow, Equinor, Gunvor Group, Klaveness Combination Carriers, Louis Dreyfus Company, Norden, Occidental, Torvald Klaveness, Trafigura and Ørsted.
Source: Reuters (Editing by Bernadette Baum)