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US: Iranian Tankers Are a Floating Liability

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…As HH Ferries Launches Battery-Powered Ferry Duo***

From the Suez Canal to the Strait of Malacca and all choke points in between, Iranian tankers are now a floating liability, U.S. Department of State’s Special Representative for Iran, Brian Hook, said in a press briefing.

Hook argued that now that sanctions have been reimposed on Iran’s shipping sector, Iranian tankers calling at international ports and passing through waterways pose a major risk.

Namely, since the U.S. sanctions also cover the provision of underwriting services, insurance, and re-insurance, Iranian vessels have lost access to insurance on the international market.

As a result, Iran is likely to turn to domestic insurance providers such as Kish P&I. However, Hook believes that the ability of Iranian insurers to cover damages for major losses such as those caused by oil spills would be inadequate.

“Should there be an accident involving an Iranian tanker, there is simply no way these Iranian insurance companies can cover the loss,” he pointed out.

“This is especially important for Iran’s crude oil tankers, which are usually insured for amounts of USD 1 billion or more. (…) Countries, ports, and canal operators, and private firms should know they will be likely responsible for the costs of an accident involving a self-insured Iranian tanker.”

The reference is being made in the wake of a major oil spill caused by the sinking of Iranian oil tanker Sanchi in the East China Sea in January this year, which claimed the lives of 32 mariners.

Furthermore, Hook claims that there are increasing reports that Iranian tankers are switching off their AIS transponders at sea.

” Under international maritime law, vessels have been required since 2004 to use transponders to broadcast their identity and location. Based on credible data, we now know that up to a dozen Iranian tankers have recently disabled their maritime transponders and have effectively gone dark,” he said.

“Turning off these transponders makes tankers harder to track and is a tactic that Iran has used in the past to evade sanctions. In 2012, a majority of vessels in the National Iranian Tanker Company’s fleet turned off their transponders in the run-up to the imposition of U.S. oil-related sanctions. This tactic is a maritime security threat.”

Eight jurisdictions have been temporarily exempted by the Trump administration from US sanctions for importing Iranian oil. The six months period of exemption is granted to China, Greece, India, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Turkey.

The allotments were given because the said parties demonstrated “significant reductions in their crude oil and cooperation on many other fronts and have made important moves towards getting to zero crude oil importation.”

In the meantime, Swedish HH Ferries Group has inaugurated the two ferries Aurora and Tycho Brahe as the world’s largest battery-powered passenger ferries on the route between Helsingborg, Sweden and Helsingör, Denmark.

Held on November 9, the inauguration marks a milestone for the company’s green strategy, according to HH Ferries. The project reduces the company’s total emissions of CO2, NOx and particles by 65% when the two high-frequency ferries are powered by green electricity.

The battery project on Tycho Brahe and Aurora has lasted more than three years, and with a financial scope of around SEK 300 million (USD 33.1 million), it represents HH Ferries Group’s largest single investment ever.  INEA, the European Union’s executive agency for innovation and network, has supported the project with around SEK 120 million.

In each port, automatic land-based charging stations equipped with industrial robots perform the
connection and maximize the charging period to enable efficient charging of each vessel’s 640 batteries within a few minutes.

The batteries are located on top of the ferries along with two deckhouses for transformers, converters and cooling systems.

HH Ferries operates the Helsingborg-Helsingör ferry route, transporting up to 50,000 passengers and 9,000 cars across Öresund on a daily basis.

Separately, the company announced that, in an effort “to show that the journey towards becoming the most sustainable transport company in the region is serious,” it will also change its name to ForSea.

“With battery-driven ferries we are taking a big step forward for less emissions, smoke and noise. And we will not compromise on efficiency,” Johan Röstin, CEO at HH Ferries Group, said.

World Maritime News

Health and Safety

MMA Customs Intercepts N5.7b Ammunition, Tramadol, Others

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The Murtala Muhammed Airport command of the Nigeria Customs Service has, in its anti-smuggling drive intercepted offensive items with duty paid value of N5.794 billion.

The seized items include fifty pieces of 9mm live ammunition which was discovered in a joint examination conducted by the service and the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).

The Area Controller of the command, Comptroller Muhammed Sani Yusuf disclosed this at a press conference in his office on Monday.

According to him, other first-quarter seizures in the command are 1,164kg of sea cucumbers, 58kg of donkey genitals and 17 packages of Tramadol.

He noted that all the seized items contravened some of the provisions of the extant laws as enshrined in the Nigeria Customs Service Act 2023. 

Three persons, he said, were arrested in connection with the seizures.

The command also achieved an increase of 111.7 per cent in its revenue collection in the first quarter of 2024 when compared to the revenue generated during the same period in 2023.

Comptroller Yusuf stressed that despite certain challenges, the command collected N45,232,483,528.00 between January and March this year against N21,362,752,676.44 generated in the corresponding period of last year.

The controller stated that this year’s first quarter collection is N 23,869,730,851.56k higher than 2023 first quarter collection which is a 111.7 per cent increase.

On stakeholder engagement, the controller noted that the command has maintained its open-door policy and resolved a lot of issues of common interest with concerned stakeholders.

Yusuf thanked critical stakeholders, sister agencies and the media for their collaborative efforts and synergy while carrying out the command’s statutory mandate in the state.

He also expressed his appreciation to the Comptroller General of Customs, Bashir Adewale Adeniyi MFR and his management team for their continued support as well as officers and men of the command.

The controller enjoined his men to remain focused and steadfast in discharging their assigned responsibilities.

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RAMADAN IFTAR: Customs CG Hosts Bigwigs, Calls for National Unity

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RAMADAN IFTAR: Customs CG Hosts Bigwigs, Calls for National Unity

…In-Line with Ramadan Teachings

The Comptroller-General of Customs, Bashir Adewale Adeniyi MFR, on Tuesday, 2 April 2024, urged Nigerians to embrace the teachings of Ramadan, reiterating that only through eschewing bitterness, accommodating one another, and living with one another in peace and harmony can people achieve a prosperous country.

CGC Adeniyi made this revelation during the breaking of the 23rd Ramadan fast with the Chairman of the Trade Modernization Project, Saleh Ahmadu, and other distinguished personalities at the Nigeria Customs Management Estate in Abuja.

He said, “As a responsible organisation, the Nigeria Customs Service will continue to uphold the spirit of Ramadan.”

“It is not by coincidence that just a few hours ago, we as a nation, celebrated Easter – and we are approaching the end of Ramadan, another remarkable Eid. What these events tend to show us is that in this country, what unites us is far more than what divides us,” he added.

The CGC, who recounts the message of Islamic teachings about the synergy of diligence and devotion to showing love among one another during Ramadan, harps on the significance of devoting oneself to intensive prayers, giving charity and alms to the poor, and serving mankind, among other things.

“These are the basic teachings of Ramadan, and they are also the same in all religions that we know. Because I do know that there is no religion that does not emphasise bringing people together and helping the needy or giving charity,” the Comptroller-General of Customs said.

Speaking further, CGC Adeniyi also used the avenue to call on Nigerians to embrace the teachings of Ramadan in their daily activities. “We have a big social problem in Nigeria where many people are going hungry every day; so many people are fasting but don’t even know where they will break their fast due to food insecurity in the country.”

According to him, addressing the challenge of food security is a collective responsibility for all, adding, “The president is leading the charge through his various programs and policies to curb food insecurity in Nigeria.”

He also stressed the Nigeria Customs Service’s commitment to extending a generous hand to Nigerians in this trying time by implementing measures that will make food abundant to Nigerians. “I therefore enjoin all of us to eschew bitterness and accommodate one another in peace and harmony,” he added.

On his part, the representative of the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Economy, Wale Edun, Director of Finance at the Ministry of Home Finance, Aliyu Muhammad, appreciated the Comptroller-General for organising the Iftar – which, according to him, signifies the unity and diversity of Nigeria.

He re-echoed the commitment of the Finance Minister to continue partnering with the Nigeria Customs Service to implement policies that will boost the economic stability of Nigeria further.

Among the prominent figures who attended the Iftar ceremony were the representatives of the Honourable Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Mr. Wale Edun, Corps Marshal of the Federal Road Safety Corps, DCM Kazeem,  Professor Tunji Ola, Chairman of the Federal Civil Service Commission, Mr Bamanga Usman, Managing Director of the Oil and Gas Authority, and members of the Trade Modernization Project team led by Chairman Saleh Ahmadu.

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Q1 2024: Apapa Customs Collects N489bn As Revenue, Exceeds 2023 Figure By Over 100%

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Q1 2024: Apapa Customs Collects N489bn As Revenue, Exceeds 2023 Figure By Over 100%

…Comptroller Jaiyeoba commends stakeholders for cooperation

The Apapa Command of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has collected N489,614,095,022.15 as total revenue for the first quarter of 2024 , which is over a 100 per cent higher than the  N212.5billion collected same period of 2023

Customs Area Controller (CAC) of the command, Comptroller Babajide Jaiyeoba, commended the officers and port stakeholders for their cooperation towards the attainment of the laudable feat and called for sustained compliance by government and private sector stakeholders. 

The Controller reminded them that the Apapa Command of the NCS is playing a critical role towards the realisation of the N5.7tr annual target of the NCS in 2024 and as such all hands should be on deck to achieve it. 

According to him, the almost N2 trillion target the command is expected to collect in 2024 is attainable through diligently abiding by the service books of instructions like the Nigeria Customs Service Act (NCSA) 2023, government import/export prohibition lists, Common External Tariff and Federal Government approved Standard Operating Procedures (SOP)

While thanking the officers for their punctulity, diligence, and non compromise in the discharge of their responsibilities, Jaiyeoba reminded them of the CGC Bashir Adewale Adeniyi and Customs Management confidence vested in them. 

The CAC reminded them that the present customs management has created room for multiple benefits for those who operate in compliance with the rules. He stated that the recently launched AEO is one of such benefits. 

He described the command’s first quarter collection as a bold step towards the realisation of the target and reminded all port users about the importance of compliance, which, according to him, comes with multiple benefits. 

Jaiyeoba said, “I want to urge all stakeholders in Apapa Port to keep supporting us in achieving an efficient system where everyone plays by the rules to achieve smoother, seamless, and faster import/export cargo clearance.”

“Making honest declaration puts the declarant at a vantage position to have a credible reputation and enjoy the benefits that come with earned integrity such as fast track and possible migration to the authorised economic operator(AEO).”

” Such attitude of compliance saves time and money as examination officers would find the cargo less cumbersome to process and other units of the service including sister government organisations would not need to flag such cargo for seizure or arrest of the importers/exporters. The cargo gets cleared on time, and payments for penalties after demand notices are not necessary as no DN is issued on compliant import/export.”

” I will continue my weekly engagement of stakeholders at various levels to sustain the tempo of our achievements and consolidate on the gains from regular enlightenment of every member of the port community.” 

“As we step into the second quarter to end the first half of 2024, I am convinced we will do better in revenue collection, facilitate more trade through our port and prevent smuggling under any guise” the CAC said.

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