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Merchant Shipping (Safety) (Signals of Distress and Prevention of Collisions) (Amendment) Regulation 2016
Tuesday, June 28, 2016, Hong Kong
Amendments to the Merchant Shipping (Safety) (Signals of Distress and Prevention of Collisions) Regulations, Cap.369N (“the Regulation”) have been made to implement the recent amendments to the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea 1972 adopted by the International Maritime Organization. The Amendment Regulation will come into operation on 1 July 2016.In accordance with the application provisions of the Regulation, as well as Section 10 of the Shipping and Port Control Ordinance, Cap. 313 and Section 27 of the Merchant Shipping (Local Vessels) Ordinance, Cap.548, the Regulation applies to Hong Kong registered ships and local vessels wherever they may be and other ships while they are within the waters of Hong Kong.

A copy of the said amendments to the Regulation is available on the website of Marine Department:http://www.mardep.gov.hk/en/notices/notices.html

Shipowners, ship masters, coxswains, agents and operators are advised to note the above, and follow the new requirements accordingly.

(For information about operations in Hong Kong contact GAC Hong Kong at shipping.hongkong@gac.com)

Source: Government of Hong Kong SAR Marine Department Notice No.86 of 2016

Ramazan Bayrami holiday
Tuesday, June 28, 2016, Turkey
Due to the Ramazan Bayrami none-day holiday, all official insitutions and banks in Turkey will be closed fromSaturday 2 July until Sunday 10 July.Vessels calling at the country’s ports are urged to make arrangement for crew, spares, provisions, in advance in order to ensure timely delivery.

Some ports may be closed during the holiday and/or official services (pilotage, towage, mooring, cusomtsa) be subject to a 50% fee increase (pilotage, towage, mooring, customs).

For further details, and information about operations in Turkey contact GAC Turkey (which will be on duty during the holiday) at turkey@gac.com

Expanded Canal officially opened
Tuesday, June 28, 2016, Panama Canal, Panama
The expanded Panama Canal is now officially open for business……..During the official inauguration ceremony, Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela and Panama Canal Administrator and CEO Jorge L. Quijano spoke to a crowd of more than 25, 000… and nearly 1, 000 journalists. This is the first expansion of the waterway since its original construction…

…The inaugural transit began with the passage of Neopanamax vessel COSCO Shipping Panama through the Agua Clara Locks on the Atlantic side of the country and concluded with its transit through the Cocoli Locks on the Pacific side. The ship is en route to Asia.

Considered and analyzed with more than 100 studies, the expansion will provide greater economies of scale to global commerce. It will introduce new routes, liner services, and segments such as liquefied natural gas (LNG).

The Expansion Program is the Canal’s largest enhancement project. In 2006, more than 75% of Panamanians approved the project in a nation-wide referendum, and, in 2007, construction of the $5.25 billion project began. It included the construction of a new set of locks on the Atlantic and Pacific sides of the waterway and the excavation of more than 150 million cubic meters of material, creating a second lane of traffic and doubling the cargo capacity of the waterway.

In 2015, the original Canal set a tonnage record, transiting 340.8 million PC/UMS. It will continue to operate, transiting Panamax-sized vessels or smaller. While the Expansion’s locks are 70 feet wider and 18 feet deeper than those in the original Canal, they use less water due to water-savings basins that recycle 60 percent of the water used per transit.

COSCO Shipping Panama set sail June 11 from the Greek Port of Piraeus carrying 9, 472 TEUs and measuring 299.98 meters in length and 48.25 meters in beam. Originally named Andronikos, the vessel was renamed to honor and pay respect to the country of Panama and the Canal.

In line with its commitment to customer service, the Panama Canal will continue to provide the world with value for another century and beyond.

(For information about operations in the Panama Canal contact GAC-Wilford & McKay at gac-wilfordmckay.panama@gac.com)

Source: Extracts from Panama Canal Authority press release dated 26 June 2016

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