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Cyprus Shipping Chamber receives award for its contribution to Shipping

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For the seventh consecutive year, the In Business Awards – which took place at the Hilton Park Hotel in Nicosia on January 22, 2015 – has honoured the crème de la crème of the business world in Cyprus. The year 2014 In Business Awards’ Editor’s Choice Award was bestowed upon the Cyprus Shipping Chamber in honour of its unfailing commitment to the island’s shipping industry.

Director General of the Chamber, Thomas Kazakos, took to the stage to accept the award, highlighting the fecundity of the industry, its contribution to Cyprus, and the Chamber’s dedication to serving the shipping industry’s community. Media Manager of IMH, Elena Leontiou, presented the award.

This public recognition of the Chamber is a direct reflection of the high quality and standards of professional services that all Member-companies have been offering worldwide for all these years. This Award also strengthens even more, the solid commitment of the Chamber and in particular, the Secretariat, to continue working for the enhancement of Cyprus Shipping and furtherance of Member-companies interests.

CSC, a short intro:
A trade association, the Chamber was founded in 1989, and has succeeded in spearheading considerable growth and unity within the shipping sphere in Cyprus.

With originally 17 founding members, the Chamber today comprises all the major shipowning, shipmanagement, chartering and shipping related companies based in Cyprus.

Today, the Chamber’s Member-companies located in Cyprus and the wider Shipping Sector in Cyprus, collectively employ around 4500 persons ashore and more than 55,000 seafarers of various nationalities onboard their vessels.

The main purpose of the Chamber is:

“…promoting the interests of Cyprus Shipping and furthering the reputation of the Cyprus flag, whilst promoting and protecting the interests of its Members both nationally and internationally…”

At such, the Chamber acts as a lobbying group for the promotion and safeguarding of the legitimate interests of its professional Member-companies, at a national level through its close relations with the Cyprus Government and Parliament, as well as at an international level though its membership at the various regional and international shipowners associations.

Since its formation, the Chamber has become a very influential body and no policy decisions concerning shipping matters are taken by the Government without consulting the Chamber. This has been achieved through the participation of the Chamber at numerous joint working groups and committees with various Government bodies/agencies, and in particular the Ministry of Communications and Works and its Department of Merchant Shipping, with both of which, the Chamber maintains excellent relations. Furthermore, the Chamber is regularly called to appear before Parliamentary Committees as the representative body of the Shipping Industry in Cyprus, when matters affecting Cyprus Shipping are considered at the House of Representatives. The Chamber also cooperates with and actively participates therein as Member of numerous local professional trade and employers organisations, in an effort to improve and constantly enhance the shipping infrastructure of Cyprus.

In all its dealings with the various Ministries and Departments, the Chamber’s primary objective is to assist the Government at all levels to adapt new and existing laws, policies and procedures to the needs of the Cyprus fleet and the resident Shipping Industry in a world which is highly competitive and at the same time more conscious of the need to raise quality, improve safety and protect the environment. An example of the Chamber’s co-operation with the Government is the active participation in the continuous harmonisation of Cyprus with the EU Acquis Communautaire.

The Chamber has also established a close co-operation with other private sector and semi-governmental organisations, such as the Cyprus Shipping Association, the Cyprus Ports Authority, the Cyprus Tourism Organisation, the Cyprus International Businesses Association, the Cyprus Association of Certified Public Accountants, the Cyprus Bar Association, the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers, the Cyprus Marine Environment Protection Association, the Seafarers Unions, and many others. In addition, the Chamber participates the Boards of the Cyprus Industrialists and Employers Federation, the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Cyprus Investment Promotion Agency.

The Chamber operates as a roving ambassador of Cyprus Shipping abroad, through its membership and active participation in the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), the International Shipping Federation (ISF), the European Community Shipowners’ Associations (ECSA), the Baltic and International Maritime Council (BIMCO) and the International Association of Independent Tanker Owners (INTERTANKO). Members of the Chamber also regularly participate in many international meetings, including the International Labour Organisation (ILO), International Maritime Organisation (IMO) and the European Union (EU) meetings in Geneva, London and Brussels and in a number of their Committees, where the Chamber functions as consultant to the Government representatives as part of the Cyprus Shipping delegation or as the representative of the Cyprus Shipping Industry.

Maritime Cyprus

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WAIVER CESSATION: Igbokwe urges NIMASA to evolve stronger collaboration with Ships owners

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…Stresses the need for timely disbursement of N44.6billion CVFF***

Highly revered Nigerian Maritime Lawyer, and Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Mike Igbokwe has urged the Nigeria Maritime Administration and safety Agency (NIMASA) to partner with ship owners and relevant association in the industry to evolving a more vibrant merchant shipping and cabotage trade regime.

Igbokwe gave the counsel during his paper presentation at the just concluded two-day stakeholders’ meeting on Cabotage waiver restrictions, organized by NIMASA.

“NIMASA and shipowners should develop merchant shipping including cabotage trade. A good start is to partner with the relevant associations in this field, such as the Nigeria Indigenous Shipowners Association (NISA), Shipowners Association of Nigeria (SOAN), Oil Trade Group & Maritime Trade Group of the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA).

“A cursory look at their vision, mission and objectives, show that they are willing to improve the maritime sector, not just for their members but for stakeholders in the maritime economy and the country”.

Adding that it is of utmost importance for NIMASA to have a through briefing and regular consultation with ships owners, in other to have insight on the challenges facing the ship owners.

“It is of utmost importance for NIMASA to have a thorough briefing and regular consultations with shipowners, to receive insight on the challenges they face, and how the Agency can assist in solving them and encouraging them to invest and participate in the maritime sector, for its development. 

“NIMASA should see them as partners in progress because, if they do not invest in buying ships and registering them in Nigeria, there would be no Nigerian-owned ships in its Register and NIMASA would be unable to discharge its main objective.

The Maritime lawyer also urged NIMASA  to disburse the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (CVFF)that currently stands at about N44.6 billion.

“Lest it be forgotten, what is on the lips of almost every shipowner, is the need to disburse the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (the CVFF’), which was established by the Coastal and Inland Shipping Act, 2003. It was established to promote the development of indigenous ship acquisition capacity, by providing financial assistance to Nigerian citizens and shipping companies wholly owned by Nigerian operating in the domestic coastal shipping, to purchase and maintain vessels and build shipping capacity. 

“Research shows that this fund has grown to about N44.6billion; and that due to its non-disbursement, financial institutions have repossessed some vessels, resulting in a 43% reduction of the number of operational indigenous shipping companies in Nigeria, in the past few years. 

“Without beating around the bush, to promote indigenous maritime development, prompt action must be taken by NIMASA to commence the disbursement of this Fund to qualified shipowners pursuant to the extant Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (“CVFF”) Regulations.

Mike Igbokwe (SAN)

“Indeed, as part of its statutory functions, NIMASA is to enforce and administer the provisions of the Cabotage Act 2003 and develop and implement policies and programmes which will facilitate the growth of local capacity in ownership, manning and construction of ships and other maritime infrastructure. Disbursing the CVFF is one of the ways NIMASA can fulfill this mandate.

“To assist in this task, there must be collaboration between NIMASA, financial institutions, the Minister of Transportation, as contained in the CVFF Regulations that are yet to be implemented”, the legal guru highlighted further. 

He urged the agency to create the right environment for its stakeholders to build on and engender the needed capacities to fill the gaps; and ensure that steps are being taken to solve the challenges being faced by stakeholders.

“Lastly, which is the main reason why we are all here, cessation of ministerial waivers on some cabotage requirements, which I believe is worth applause in favour of NIMASA. 

“This is because it appears that the readiness to obtain/grant waivers had made some of the vessels and their owners engaged in cabotage trade, to become complacent and indifferent in quickly ensuring that they updated their capacities, so as not to require the waivers. 

“The cessation of waivers is a way of forcing the relevant stakeholders of the maritime sector, to find workable solutions within, for maritime development and fill the gaps in the local capacities in 100% Nigerian crewing, ship ownership, and ship building, that had necessitated the existence of the waivers since about 15 years ago, when the Cabotage Act came into being. 

“However, NIMASA must ensure that the right environment is provided for its stakeholders to build and possess the needed capacities to fill the gaps; and ensure that steps are being taken to solve the challenges being faced by stakeholders. Or better still, that they are solved within the next 5 years of its intention to stop granting waivers”, he further explained. 

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Breaking News: The Funeral Rites of Matriarch C. Ogbeifun is Live

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The Burial Ceremony of Engr. Greg Ogbeifun’s mother is live. Watch on the website: www.maritimefirstnewspaper.com and on Youtube: Maritimefirst Newspaper.

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Wind Farm Vessel Collision Leaves 15 Injured

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…As Valles Steamship Orders 112,000 dwt Tanker from South Korea***

A wind farm supply vessel and a cargo ship collided in the Baltic Sea on Tuesday leaving 15 injured.

The Cyprus-flagged 80-meter general cargo ship Raba collided with Denmark-flagged 31-meter wind farm supply vessel World Bora near Rügen Island, about three nautical miles off the coast of Hamburg. 

Many of those injured were service engineers on the wind farm vessel, and 10 were seriously hurt. 

They were headed to Iberdrola’s 350MW Wikinger wind farm. Nine of the people on board the World Bora were employees of Siemens Gamesa, two were employees of Iberdrola and four were crew.

The cause of the incident is not yet known, and no pollution has been reported.

After the collision, the two ships were able to proceed to Rügen under their own power, and the injured were then taken to hospital. 

Lifeboat crews from the German Maritime Search and Rescue Service tended to them prior to their transport to hospital via ambulance and helicopter.

“Iberdrola wishes to thank the rescue services for their diligence and professionalism,” the company said in a statement.

In the meantime, the Hong Kong-based shipowner Valles Steamship has ordered a new 112,000 dwt crude oil tanker from South Korea’s Sumitomo Heavy Industries Marine & Engineering.

Sumitomo is to deliver the Aframax to Valles Steamship by the end of 2020, according to data provided by Asiasis.

The newbuild Aframax will join seven other Aframaxes in Valles Steamship’s fleet. Other ships operated by the company include Panamax bulkers and medium and long range product tankers.

The company’s most-recently delivered unit is the 114,426 dwt Aframax tanker Seagalaxy. The naming and delivery of the tanker took place in February 2019, at Namura Shipbuilding’s yard in Japan.

Maritime Executive with additional report from World Maritime News

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