COS Weekly Newsletter - Friday, 18 March 2022

COS Weekly Newsletter - Friday, 18 March 2022

COS Weekly Newsletter - Friday, 18 March 2022

Local News

CP Rail Disruption Looming

With labour negotiations representing about 3,000 CP Rail locomotive engineers, conductors, train and yard workers across Canada at a deadlock, rail service could be disrupted as early as 00:01 eastern time on Sunday if the union and the company are unable to come to a negotiated settlement or agree to binding arbitration.  At the heart of the negotiations is the pension plan and the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference and Canada Pacific (CP) Railway have each shared their perspectives on this issue.  There is significant pressure for the federal government to intervene to avoid further disruptions to the supply chain with rising inflation.  Both parties have committed to continuing talks.

Safe resumption of cruising set for April in Canada

On March 7th the Minister of Transport, the Honourable Omar Alghabra, announced the public health framework the Government of Canada is putting in place to restart cruise ship activity in Canada, and this outlined vaccination and testing requirements as part of its comprehensive public health plan for cruise ships which still had some challenges.  However, this week the Government of Canada relaxed its COVID-19 testing requirements for travellers entering Canada, and now cruise passengers will be required to take a rapid antigen test no more than a day prior to boarding, but they will no longer have to take any subsequent testing in advance of arriving in Canada. The Cruise Lines International Association has confirmed that the first cruise ship since 2019 is scheduled to call in Victoria, British Columbia on April 6 before transiting to Vancouver.  Earlier this week the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lowered their travel health notice for cruises from level 3 to level 2 in response to current public health conditions and robust mitigation measures in place on cruise ships.

HMCS Halifax deploys to support NATO mission

HMCS Halifax departs from Halifax, Nova Scotia on Saturday in support of Operation REASSURANCE, Canada's commitment to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization's (NATO) deterrence and defence efforts in Europe. The HMCS Halifax will join HMCS Montreal which is currently deployed with the Standing NATO Maritime Group Two (SNMG2).
The Halifax-class frigate, also referred to as the City class, is a class of multi-role patrol frigates that have served the Royal Canadian Navy since 1992. The class is the outcome of the Canadian Patrol Frigate Project, which dates to the mid-1970s. In 2007, the Government of Canada launched a planned $3.1 billion, 10-year modernization project known as the Frigate Equipment Life Extension (FELEX), which included upgrades to control systems, communications, propulsion, armament, and sensors.

PSA Halifax adding two new cranes in 2023

PSA Halifax LP has announced that it will be acquiring two additional Super Post-Panamax ship-to-shore container gantry cranes in early 2023.  The new Super Post-Panamax ship-to-shore cranes will offer enhanced outreach (24-wide) capable of spanning the largest vessels being deployed along the North American east coast. The cranes will be added to PSA Halifax’s main berth alongside five existing Super Post-Panamax units. Weekly services into PSA Halifax include MSC, Maersk Line, Ocean Alliance (CMA CGM, Evergreen, Cosco Shipping, and OOCL), Zim Integrated Shipping, MSC, Tropical Shipping, Eimskip, Melfi Marine and a weekly domestic service to Newfoundland with Oceanex.

Lieutenant Governor awards Beaver Medals

Her Honour, the Honourable Janet Austin, Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia awarded the Beaver Medal to nine deserving recipients at a small ceremony this week. The Maritime Museum SS Beaver Medal for Maritime Excellence recognizes individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the marine sector in our Province. These attainments may include-but are not limited to science, technology, business, applications of maritime skills and academic contributions. The Nine recipients include: Inspector Kenneth Burton RCMP (Ret’ d), Ian Maxwell, Robert Turner, Allied Shipbuilding Limited, Gregory Marshall, Gordon Miller, Captain William Noon, Captain David (Duke) Snider, and Underwater Archaeological Society of BC (UASBC).


Canada revokes MFN status from Russia and Belarus

Canada Border Services Agency has issued revised Customs Notice 22-02 to withdraw the entitlement to the Most-Favoured-Nation Tariff for goods that originate in Russia or Belarus effective March 2, 2022.  This order does not apply to goods that were in transit to Canada on or before . For the purpose of this Customs Notice, "in transit to Canada" refers to goods bound to Canada which were under the control of a carrier on or before . Importers should have in their possession proof that such goods were in transit to Canada on or before . Such proof may include, but is not limited to, the following documentation: shipping documents, report of entry documents, and cargo control documents and it may be requested at any time by a Canada Border Services Agency officer.

Canada removing pre-entry test requirements for vaccinated travellers

The Government of Canada announced that effective April 1, 2022 at 12:01 AM EDT, fully vaccinated travellers will no longer need to provide a pre-entry COVID-19 test result to enter Canada by air, land or water. Fully vaccinated travellers seeking to arrive in Canada before April 1, 2022, must still have a valid pre-entry test. For partially or unvaccinated travelers who are currently allowed to travel to Canada, pre-entry testing requirements are not changing.  Note that guidelines respecting the mobility of asymptomatic, presumed non-COVID-19-carrying seafarers in the marine sector covered under Ship Safety Bulletin 06/022 are unaffected by this announcement.


US announces data sharing initiative for supply chain resilience

The US National Economic Council and Department of Transportation met with port directors and business leaders this week to launch its new initiative, Freight Logistics Optimization Works (FLOW), an information sharing initiative to pilot key freight information exchange between parts of the supply chain in an effort to ease congestion and ultimately reduce costs for consumers.  The initial pilot includes 18 initial participants that represent diverse perspectives across the supply chain, including private businesses, trucking, warehousing, and logistics companies, ports, and more. This commitment to moving the transportation logistics system to 21st century digitization follows the commitment to move toward 24/7 operations many made last fall.

MARAD updates advisory on GPS interference and AIS spoofing

The US Department of Maritime Administration issued 2022-005 Various GPS Interference and AIS Spoofing as interference has been reported worldwide in the maritime domain. This interference can result in lost or inaccurate GPS signals affecting bridge navigation, GPS-based timing, and communications equipment (including satellite communications equipment). Over the last six months multiple instances have been reported in the eastern and central Mediterranean Sea, specifically in the vicinity of the Suez Canal, Cyprus, Malta, and Istanbul, in the Persian Gulf near Dammam, KSA, and off the coast of Brazil. The U.S. Coast Guard Navigation Center (NAVCEN) web page,, contains a chronological list of recently reported GPS problems. Additionally, Automatic Identification Systems (AIS) are open, unencrypted, and unprotected radio systems intended to operate on non-secure VHF-FM channels. As such, AIS signals can be spoofed, resulting in incorrect or missing AIS data.  AIS devices do not inherently have virus or malware protection, so cyber security best practices against hacking should be adhered to.

USCG lithium battery marine safety alert

The US Coast Guard Office of Investigations and Analysis has released Marine Safety Alert 01-22, to increase awareness of the hazards of transporting lithium batteries. On August 19, 2021, a container illegally loaded with discarded lithium batteries caught fire while en route to the Port of Virginia. The container was being transported on a chassis from Raleigh, NC, intended for a maritime voyage to a port in China via a foreign-flagged container ship. Upon initial investigation, the responding fire department determined that the heat produced from the fire burned hot enough to create a hole through the metal container’s structure. In addition, the bill of lading listed “computer parts,” not lithium batteries.

FMC providing more rights to refunds for cruise disruptions

The Federal Maritime Commission is amending its regulations governing non-performance by Passenger Vessel Operators (PVO/cruise lines) and establishing new requirements for when cruise passengers should be provided refunds for cancelled or delayed voyages. The changes define non-performance as cancelling a voyage or delaying a voyage by three or more calendar days if a passenger elects not to embark on delayed or substituted voyage offered by a PVO and allow passengers to make direct claims against financial responsibility instruments maintained by PVOs. On that note passengers that were booked with Crystal Cruises, LLC, that has filed a petition for Assignment for the Benefit of Creditors in Florida, have until June 11th to file a claim.


Shenzhen strict lockdown eases

After placing 17.5 million residents of Shenzhen in lockdown on Monday in an effort to quash the spread of the highly transmittable omicron variant, President Xi Jinping eased restrictions by allowing factories and public transport in several parts of the city to resume operations today. President Xi Jinping committed to softening the economic impact of his COVID-19 measures under his zero-tolerance strategy with policy changes. China has approved Pfizer Inc.’s antiviral pill, allowed the use of rapid-antigen tests to confirm infections, and permitted mild and asymptomatic COVID-patients to quarantine in isolation facilities to avoid overwhelming hospitals. Shenzhen will strive to bring COVID under control with minimal cost and provide customized solutions to ensure business activities and production.

PSC MOUs issue guidance for seafarers affected by regional conflict

Following the developments in Ukraine, both the Paris MoU Advisory Board (MAB) and members of the Tokyo MOU issued guidance on the repatriation of Ukrainian seafarers or extension of service contracts for seafarers due as needed.


M‍ar 23 - COS Operations Committee Meeting @ 1300

Mar 25 - COS Liner Committee Meeting @ 0900

Mar 30 - WMCC PACMAR/NANS Meeting @ 1000

Apr 25 - May 5 - National Canadian Marine Advisory Council Meetings

May 11-13 - Nautical Institute BC Branch 2022 Conference - Victoria, BC
May 12 – The Plimsoll Club Golf Tournament
May 12-14 - 24th BC Tugboat Conference - Whistler, BC
May 16-18 – IAPH World Ports Conference 2022 – Vancouver, BC
Jun 17 – Vancouver Grain Exchange Golf Tournament
Jun 23 – ISSC Peak Challenge – Grouse Mountain


Ship of the Week

Mar 18 - Sleipnir and Thialf

Heerema Marine Contractors' largest crane vessels, Sleipnir and Thialf, have officially switched from using their engines to using shore power.

The successful commissioning of the shore power project is the result of a partnership between Eneco, the Port of Rotterdam Authority, and Heerema with the support of the Gemeente Rotterdam. Shore power will supply Sleipnir and Thialf with sustainable energy that will originate from wind turbines located on the headland nearby or from another renewable source should it be required.

The Shore Power connection has a 20 MW capacity, which is the energy equivalent of around 15,000 homes. As the vessels turn off their engines when connected to shore power, virtually all emissions and particulate matter is prevented because no more marine gas oil or LNG in Sleipnir’s case will be used.

This also contributes to emissions reduction as turning off the engines on these vessels when moored in the Port of Rotterdam for repair and maintenance saves 15,000 metric tons of CO2, 20 metric tons of particulate matter, 5 metric tons of sulfur, and a significant amount of nitrogen. This is comparable to the annual emissions of 5,000 diesel cars, according to Heerema.

Click here to view online