February the shortest month of the year and is complemented by a fairly succinct newsletter, despite a rather busy programme of events completed in the last four weeks.
The Maritime Trade Information Sharing Centre in the Gulf of Guinea (MTISC – GoG) is now in Phase One of operations which will see the centre expand its capabilities (see below for more detail). March sees the first round of Committee meetings and so in preparation both January and February were punctuated with regular meetings of our sub-committees and working groups advancing a wide variety of subjects. The General Purposes Committee (GPC) will hold the first Committee meeting of the year on 17 March in London and our Nautical Advisor Ian Shields provides a report on the progress made in several GPC working groups.
Barge operations have risen in prominence over the last few months. Within OCIMF this has seen member companies call for the development of global, model barge standards and a bespoke Ship Inspection Report Programme (SIRE) inspection variant for barges operating on European Waterways. In the broader industry representatives of several sectors and countries have been meeting to plan development of the International Safety Guide for Inland Terminal Operations. In North America OCIMF’s longest established Barge Focus Group met to advance work on Barge inspectors training and accreditation in their region and to continue to develop bespoke inspection tools for some of the tank vessel types unique to North America. My thanks to this group for their continued diligence.
In addition, we have been representing members’ interests as the IMO commenced their 2015 programme with meetings of Human Element, Training and Watchkeeping (HTW) and Ship Design and Construction (SDC) taking place in February. Russell Pegg and I along with colleagues for a broad spectrum of industry associations met with the Commander of EUNAVFOR operation Atalanta, and some of his officers combating Somali based Piracy in the northern Indian Ocean, to look to the future and work together to define actions required as the current operational mandates expire in 2016. We also welcomed colleagues from the International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA) to our offices to discuss how our organisations can cooperate and collaborate on subjects of mutual interest. This was a very good practical meeting with positive actions resulting. We also assembled the three Chairman of GPC, Ports and Terminals Committee (PTC) and Offshore Marine Committee (OMC) for the first of the year’s coordination meetings on 19 February. With the Chairs residing in three countries and members supporting specific agenda item even further afield this was an ideal opportunity to create a virtual meeting using technology to support desktop sharing, video and audio conferencing technologies. This proved very successful and connected London, Paris, Texas and California well enough to allow a complex agenda to be worked (with only the occasional technical hitch!)
I hope you enjoy February’s offering.
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Maritime Trade Information Sharing Centre
February has once again been a very busy period for the Maritime Trade Information Sharing Centre within the Gulf of Guinea region (MTISC-GoG) in Ghana.
The MTISC-GoG watchkeeping team is now back to a full strength with the arrival of three new officers; Lt Collins Mezeh (Nigerian Navy), Lt Ruddy Chellein (Republic of Congo Navy) and Chief Petty Officer Octave Mban (Republic of Congo Navy).
During February MTISC-GoG hosted a prospective Merchant Navy Liaison Officer (MNLO) for a week’s acquaint visit. We are hopeful that a new MNLO will be joining MTISC-GoG in March; further details will follow.
Next month the MTISC-GoG will be taking an active part in Exercise Obangame Express 15. Exercise Obangame Express 15 is regional naval exercise that takes place annually in the Gulf of Guinea with the support and assistance of the United States Africa Command (USFRICOM).
March will also see the installation of a new Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA) system. The system is based on a US system which is used in RMAC centres in other West African countries including Nigeria and Sao Tome. The system has been customised to meet the bespoke requirements of the MTISC-GoG in particular the need to display vessels using the Voluntary Reporting Scheme.
Further details of MTISC-GoG activity can be found on the MTISC-GoG website
On the 10 February the TMSA3 Drafting Group met in order to progress the update from TMSA2 to TMSA3.
This is being done element by element and the work examines existing key performance indicators and the associated best practice guidance. In this respect areas are identified where duplication is removed, and where more clarity is required in order to make the process more uniformly acceptable. In addition only a light touch is being applied so that TMSA3 will look the same but will have the grey areas removed.
On the 11 February the Marine Terminals impacted by Ice and Sub-zero Temperatures (MIST) work group met and progressed work towards delivery of an Information Paper –
Guidelines for Marine Terminals Impacted by Ice or Severe Sub Zero Temperatures. The work encompasses the specific challenges associated with operation of Terminals in Ice or Severe low temperatures along with associated good practices and recommendations.
On the 12 February the ICE Forum met and a large part of the Forums discussions centred around the adoption of the Polar Code
(see October's newsletter) and the continuing work at IMO in developing guidelines for the Code. The output for the guidelines is anticipated at MSC96 in 2016.
On the 13 February the Northern Sea Route Work Group met and continued their work in developing an information paper Northern Sea Route Navigation – Best Practices and Challenges. The main task of the work group is to evaluate navigational and operational practices in the Northern Sea Route in order to identify best practices, operational procedures and challenges taking into account existing mandatory requirements and current Industry Guidance It is expected that the technical input into this paper will be completed by the end of 2015.
North American CAT 3 Focus Group
The seventh North America CAT 3 Focus Group meeting was held in San Antonio on 11-12 February.
This meeting was hosted by TESORO in their office. The meeting was attended by 11 members.
The meeting was very productive, resulted in the active discussions on agenda items which included:
Discussion on US Barge Inspection and Inspector Issues.
Review of ATB and Gas variants in the BIQ, testing schedule of the new editor which included these variants.
CAT 3 Auditor selection criteria.
Barge Inspection Reports Feedback.
Curriculum of CAT 3 Inspectors Training course which have been schedule on 7-9 April 2015 being held in Houston.
OCIMF 2015 meeting dates
General Purposes Committee (GPC 80)
European Regional Panel (ERP 3)
Offshore Marine Committee (OMC 10)
Middle Eastern and African Regional Panel (MEARP 4)
Ports and Terminals Committee (PTC 82)
Americas Regional Panel (ARP 3)
Executive Committee (Excom 75)
Asia Pacific Regional Panel (APRP 3)
General Purposes Committee (GPC 81)
Middle Eastern and African Regional Panel (MEARP 5)
Ports and Terminals Committee (PTC 83)
European Regional Panel (ERP 4)
Offshore Marine Committee (OMC 11)
Asia Pacific Regional Panel (APRP 4)
Executive Committee (Excom 76)
Americas Regional Panel (ARP 4)
If you are interested in attending any of the Regional Panel meetings, please either register your interest via
http://www.ocimf.org/organisation/regional-panels/ or email email@example.com.