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Australia to inspect cargo securing practices on container ships

In a response to a number of incidents where containers have fallen off freight ships, such as that of the APL England incident in May, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) will launch a campaign inspecting the cargo securing practices on every cargo ship calling at all Australian ports between August and October. AMSA said recent incidents such as the APL England incident and the YM Efficiency incident in 2018 caused “significant damage to Australia’s iconic marine and coastal environment”. It also commented that “Incident investigations by AMSA discovered improper stacking and securing of cargo, and poor maintenance of securing equipment is likely to have been contributing factors to these incidents”.
All vessels calling at Australian ports are required to comply with cargo securing standards laid out in Chapter VI of the Safety of Life At Sea convention, which Australia has been a signatory to since 1983.

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Sydney M8 West Connex Tolls

With the recent opening of the Sydney M8 West Connex Freeway, and associated Toll costs, we have been advised by several courier companies that they will be introducing a toll levy of around 5% across the board to cover their toll fees. This toll levy will be in addition to their transport fuel surcharge, which is usually reviewed on a monthly basis.

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VIC Terminals in Melbourne to increase Infrastructure Levy

Effective August 1st, 2020 Victoria International Container Terminal (VICT) will increase it’s Infrastructure Levy for all full containers delivered to, or received from VICT to $131.03 per container.

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Shipping Lines looking to increase rates from Asia into Australia

Shipping lines have advised us that they will be seeking a Rate Restoration increase of U$300.00/20′ or U$600.00/40′ ex China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Korea and Japan to Australian ports for shipments sailing on, or after April 1st, 2020.




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Bee imports creating a buzz at the PEQ

A trial is underway at the department’s Post entry quarantine (PEQ) facility in Melbourne to prepare for imports of live queen bees from around the world.

Newly appointed biosecurity apiary officers have been working with industry partners since December to test PEQ operations for managing bee imports.

Head of the PEQ, Dr Peter Finnin, says the Queen bee domestic trial will provide huge benefits to the bee industry. This includes access to important genetics, particularly around preventative resistance to the devastating bee mite, Varroa destructor (an exotic National Priority Plant Pest not currently present in Australia).

‘The trial complements other genetic improvement programs aimed at improving the sustainability of local bee populations.’

‘Our new biosecurity apiary officers have had to learn about bee related functions including how to support the colonies, the inspection process, the hibernation of the queen, introduction of queen to nucleus hives, mite inspections and ongoing daily monitoring.’

Imports are expected to start Spring 2020.

Article courtesy of Biosecurity Matters, as published by the DAWE 11/3/20

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Methyl Bromide shortage in Singapore

It’s been recently reported in the media that due to a shortage in bromine, there has been a shortage of Methyl Bromide in Singapore, consequently leading to overseas treatment companies being unable to treat shipments for BMSB on their way to Australia. The main distributor of Methyl Bromide in Singapore does not expect the shortage to recover before March 2020. There have also been reports from industry bodies that this shortage is not specific to Singapore and is affecting supplies in other parts of the world.

Shipments may still be treated with Sulfuryl Fluoride, or Heat Treatment, to comply with the Department of Agriculture’s BMSB treatment requirements.

*** 4/2/20 Update. We have been advised that the Singapore Treatment Provider has now confirmed they have adequate supplies of MB, and have resumed full service capability.

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Shipping lines increasing rates by stealth?

Having recently received a bulletin from PIL regarding them increasing their LSR charges to cover their Low Sulphur compliance costs, one could be forgiven for asking is this just another excuse to push rates up without filing a rate increase! Shipping Lines are coming under increasing global pressure, from Industry bodies and Shippers alike, to be more transparent with their pricing structures and to move to an all-in tariff which covers BAF/LSR and other added components, instead of an often confusing and complicated way of arriving at a total price.Time will tell whether this has any real impact.

For the record, the increase on all Southbound East Asia & China rates into Australia is an additional A$49.00/20′ or A$98.00/40′ container effective February 1st, 2020.

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Australia-Hong Kong Free Trade Agreement to come into effect 17/1/20

The Free Trade Agreement (FTA)  between Australia and Hong Kong is scheduled to come into effect on the 17th of January 2020. Certificates of Origin can only be issued on or after the 17th of January, but importers, exporters, producers, or authorised representatives of those parties can produce a Declaration of Origin for each shipment as long as it is on company letterhead, dated and signed and is cross referenced to the consignment/invoice number. For more information please contact us, or refer to the DFAT website here

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Car carrier refused entry into Australian waters due to Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs

A Roll On / Roll Off (RO/RO) ship carrying more than 3500 new vehicles and heavy machinery, the Orca Ace, has recently been refused entry to Australian waters by the Department of Agriculture due to the presence of Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs (BMSBs). The ship has been directed to undergo fumigation at a foreign port and according to a confidential dealer bulletin circulated by one of the manufacturers of some of the vehicles the ship is estimated to return to Australia in “the middle of January 2020”. A Department of Agriculture spokesperson has said that due to strict biosecurity measures “Australia remains free from many pests and diseases including (BMSBs) that are present in other countries and have the potential to impact on our agriculture industries, the environment, plant, animal and human health”.

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Hoegh boosts services to Australia

Höegh Autoliners will increase the frequency of its services from Europe to Australia to five sailings per month.

From November, the additional sailing will accommodate the growing demand from manufacturers of breakbulk and high and heavy cargoes, as well as the automotive sector, said Höegh.

The shipping line currently deploys the New Horizon Vessel series on its service to Oceania. These ships are capable of carrying up to 8,500 cars and are built to cater for larger breakbulk cargoes. They offer up to 6.5 m of free deck height, a ramp width of 12 m and a ramp capacity of 375 tonnes.


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