3 my news and analysis, and 3 responses. Advise to Chinese Shipowners Association.

In last two days I published three news, adding some analysis and reaction to each of them. And what do you say – all three news and questions raised, have been, kind of, answered.
Kuwait, thankfully, returned to senses in about a day, and revoked its’ previously declared total ban on all ships arriving from China, Korea, Japan, Thailand, Italy, Singapore, Hong Kong and Iraq. http://www.maritimebulletin.net/2020/02/26/kuwait-radical-lockdown/
Kuwait’s Ministry of Communications has issued another circular stating that in order to contribute to the economic stability and to mitigate the effects of the spread of COVID-19, the Ministry of health recommends allowing ships carrying goods from the Republic of Korea, Italy, Thailand, Singapore, Japan, China and Hong Kong to berth.

I criticized IMO for holding meaningless summit in times when shipping finds itself in a critical situation, and doing nothing to assist shipping, let alone bash it with one more regulation/ban. http://www.maritimebulletin.net/2020/02/26/shipping-needs-urgent-actions-to-survive-virus-crisis-and-maintain-supply-chains/
And here the answer comes, in all IMO’s smelly glory:
The IMO has issued a circular related to the impacts of the control measures implemented following the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus.
https://www.standard-club.com/media/3266158/imo-circular-4204-add1.pdf
IMO and WHO have issued a joint statement (CL No.4204/Add.2) to assist States in ensuring that health measures are implemented in ways that minimize unnecessary interference with international traffic and trade in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.
https://www.standard-club.com/media/3266153/imo-circular-4204add2-joint-statement-by-imo-who.pdf
Anyone interested may read circulars, but surely enough, he will find there absolutely no meaning, nothing to be of any practical use and help. A mess of empty words and general phrases – it’s a virtue signaling: IMO and WHO are wide awake and respond, and here’s the proof. Circulars are signed by Comrade Director-General of WHO and Comrade Secretary-General of IMO.

I also wrote, that all in-force restrictions, caps and regulations of ships fuels, must be immediately suspended. Here’s Chinese response:
The China Shipowners Association (CSA) has called for a suspension of the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) global sulphur cap in local waters as the country’s shipping and logistics supply chain struggles to cope amid the outbreak of coronavirus.
https://splash247.com/coronavirus-spurs-china-shipowners-association-to-seek-lifting-of-the-sulphur-cap/

Here’s my advise to CSA and all other national shipowners association, providing they managed to stay independent both from IMO and international maritime bodies mob, and from major shipping companies:
Positive response (and effective suspension) from IMO is highly improbable. It’s IMO’s business, nothing personal. IMO’s business has nothing to do with shipping true interests, both national and international. So the only effective ways to deal with IMO Cap 2020 are the ways of doing what you deem necessary to do, in order to keep supply chains uninterrupted, without consulting, or addressing, or even as much as notifying IMO and its’ minions, on your actions.
There are some ways to bury the damn Cap and other restrictions – for example, you may suspend Cap in your coastal shipping, effective immediately. You may (and I believe, will have to) reach bilateral and multilateral (specifically regional) agreements with other nations – their shipowners and shippers will be more than happy to cooperate. So on and so forth.
Without slightest exaggeration, keeping shipping afloat and working is absolutely necessary to save people’s lives (whole nations), and keep their environment survivable. Anything obstructing shipping and making it ineffective and costly, under the circumstances, be it Sulphur Cap or any other regulation/restriction, is a crime against humanity.

Author

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My name is Mikhail Voytenko, I’m Russian, professional merchant marine navigator, by education and former experience. I own and run Maritime Bulletin website for more than 10 years. I've been involved in solving a number of piracy hijack cases, including the hijack of ro-ro FAINA, loaded with tanks. It was me who made public, and unravel, freighter ARCTIC SEA mystery. I've been also closely involved in a number of maritime disaster, one of them being MSC FLAMINIA major fire.