Understanding GPS spoofing in shipping: How to stay protected

Knowing exactly where you’re sailing and where to sail next is the most important part of a vessel’s navigation which can be accomplished by the use of GPS. Yet, what happens when your GPS gets spoofed? GPS spoofing, often leading to GPS outages, causes major disruptions to the shipping industry impacting safe navigation, leading to paralyzed shipping lanes, collisions and untraceable attacks.

The US order, according to Reuters, states that federal agencies should implement a plant to test infrastructure systems within one year, commenting that “disruption or manipulation of these services has the potential to adversely affect the national and economic security of the United States.”

Following the agreement, the US Transportation Department will recommend a backup GPS system or systems by the end of the year, while the testing of 11 technologies in Massachusetts and Virginia will be completed by May.

Moreover, the Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) estimated in one study that “a hypothetical disruption to GPS could result in $30 day period.

Therefore, it is of great importance to test US’s GPS infrastructure. The Commerce Department is conducting its independent source of precision time available within 180 days to both the public and private sector to assist critical infrastructure owners and operators.







Ship Execution Plan (SEP)

India aims to reduce ships’ use of single-use plastic by 90% during stays in Indian ports in the next 12 months.

On 16 October 2019, the Indian Directorate General of Shipping (DGS) issued Order No.05 of 2019 prohibiting the use of single-use plastic items onboard ships. The order prohibits the carriage of any such items onboard Indian flagged ships while foreign flagged ships are only prohibited from using any such item while at places or ports in India.

While the initial plan was to implement the order in full by 1 January 2020, DGS later decided to postpone its implementation, to allow the shipping industry time to put in place the logistical arrangements needed to comply with the new requirements.

The following changes and clarifications to the original order should be noted:

Definition of single-use plastics

The original order defines single-use plastics as “disposable plastics which are used only once before they are thrown away”. The Addendum further clarifies that the prohibition applies only to such items used onboard ships and which are completely made of plastics. DGS provides the following examples of items not covered by the prohibition:

  • tetra pak cartons with plastic caps as used for milk and juice;
  • dispensers for liquids such as shampoo, cleaning products, etc. when these are repeatedly re-used/re-filled onboard and not discarded after single use;
  • items made of biodegradable plastic with a stamp, mark or certificate from the manufacturer or something similar;
  • cargo related items and packaging;
  • essential equipment such as personal protective equipment, medical equipment, lifesaving appliances and fire-fighting equipment; and
  • for the time being, crew and passenger personnel effects.

Please refer to the original order for a generic list of single-use plastic items covered by the prohibition.

New phase-out schedule – Ship Execution Plan (SEP)

All ships are eventually required to reduce their single-use plastic use by 90% during stays in Indian ports. This will be achieved by a stepwise implementation of the prohibition and will be based on ship type and each ship’s actual inventory of single-use plastic items. To summarise:

  • All ships when at Indian ports or places must be able to present an inventory list identifying all single-use plastic items onboard that are covered by the prohibition. The deadline for establishing the inventory list is 31 January 2020 for cargo ships and 31 March 2020 for passenger ships.
  • An inventory list should identify the different types of single-use plastic items onboard but need not specify the actual number of each item onboard. As an example, the DGS explains that all plastic bags irrespective of size will be considered as one single-use plastic item.
  • For cargo ships, 50% of the items in the inventory list will be prohibited from 1 April 2020, 75% from 1 July 2020 and 90% from 1 October 2020.
  • Passenger ships are given two extra months to comply with each step of the phase-out schedule.
  • Ship operators are free to decide which items in the inventory list to place in each ‘phase-out category’ and can therefore prioritize based on each ship’s operational requirements and crews’ needs.

The DGS states that the inventory list, once prepared, should not be changed unless there is a need to correct the list.

In accordance with the above order a “Ship Execution Plan” should be available onboard in order to provide guidance on crew for Single use plastics, and to list such items to inventories.

The following types of inventories should be created regarding Single Use Plastics:

  1. Initial Inventory (Single Use plastics onboard on 31st January 2020)
  2. 10 % Inventory (these items will be used onboard at the end of implementation date)
  3. Inventory A – 50% of items of initial inventory which will not be used  after 1st April 2020
  4. Inventory B – 75% of items of initial inventory which will not be used after 1st July 2020
  5. Inventory C – 90% of items of initial inventory which will not be used after 1st October 2020.

A Single Use Plastic Log is to be completed by the ship when entering or departing Indian waters, ports or places with an attached list of Single Use Plastics onboard.

Ship Execution Plan (SEP)

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maritime coronavirus

Australia has extended its travel ban on foreign nationals travelling from mainland China to 22 February, with it continuing to impose a 14-day quarantine on vessels departing the country bound for Australian ports.

The Australian federal government is regularly reviewing the situation and may further extend the restrictions beyond 22 February.

The restrictions are causing scheduling issues for Australian energy and mineral shipments, which has been compounded by bad weather and cyclones on the east and west coasts of Australia over the past two weeks.

maritime coronavirus

Vessels must declare if any of the crew has a fever, breathlessness or flu-like symptoms. If there is any sickness on vessels from mainland China within the quarantine period, then the quarantine will be restarted for a further 14 days.

Source: Argus Media

maritime coronavirus


maritime coronavirus

Shipping volumes out of China are plummeting as the impact of the coronavirus outbreak takes a deeper toll on industrial production, and ocean carriers are bracing for financial blows from the diminished output.

“Substantially less cargo is being moved between China and the rest of the world” said Lars Jensen, head of Denmark-based maritime research group Sea-Intelligence. “Last week we had an additional 30 sailings canceled, with 23 across the Pacific and the rest to Europe.”

Mr. Jensen said the canceled trips, which have topped 50 since late January, will delay or reduce shipments into the U.S., where retailers may see a slowdown in their traditional restocking of inventories for the spring.

Five European and Asian container ship operators told the Journal they are preparing profit warnings for the first half or the full year.

Asking not to be named, senior executives at five European and Asian container ship operators told the Journal that their companies are preparing profit warnings for the first half or the full year.

Ocean cargo carriers had been hoping for a rebound in business with the easing of the trade showdown between the U.S. and China.

“If this continues you will see a sea of red this year. It’s really bad,” said the chief financial officer of a large Asian box-ship company, asking not to be named.

A Shanghai broker said at least one container ship that can move more than 20,000 containers left Shanghai for Northern Europe with only 2,000 full containers.

“It will pick up more at ports on its way, but loading data show it will reach Europe around 35% full,” this broker said. “That’s unprecedented, and a lot of money is being lost because it doesn’t even cover the fuel cost.”

Sea-Intelligence said in a report this week that more than 350,000 containers have been removed from global trade since the outbreak of the virus led China to impose large travel restrictions at the end of the country’s Lunar New Year holiday break.

maritime coronavirus

Companies exporting goods into China are also facing problems because only a fraction of workers are back at work to handle goods arriving at ports. That has backed up cargo at terminals and warehouses at big gateways including Shanghai, Tianjin and Ningbo.

“It [congestion] is due to inbound shipments that have either not been cleared by customs brokers or for which delivery and pick-up services could not be arranged,” said Resilience360, which monitors risks across supply chains and is owned by Deutsche Post DHL.

A broker in Singapore said there is an “acute shortage” of power plugs for refrigerated containers that move fresh produce in Ningbo because there are no workers at terminals. He said some cargo has been diverted from several mainland ports to Hong Kong, which some carriers and shippers are now using as an alternative entry point for goods that are then trucked into China.

A group representing U.S. agriculture exporters warned its members this week to ensure that ocean carriers can store their goods on arrival in China, particularly items like meat, vegetables and fruit that require refrigeration. American exporters are seeing cargo backed up even at U.S. hubs because of the congestion in China’s distribution networks.

Brokers said crude and natural gas shipments are down by nearly half across China’s main ports. Daily freight rates for big crude tankers have fallen to between $10,000 and $40,000, from up to $80,000 at the start of the year.

Norway-based BW Energy, which operates the world’s biggest fleet of gas carriers that move products like propane, this week cut its projected valuation for an initial public offering at the Oslo Exchange from $$700 million to $500 million.

“The offering period has coincided with significant volatility in the global financial markets due to the outbreak of the coronavirus in China, which has also triggered a material downward movement in the oil price,” the company said.

The China Association of the National Shipbuilding Industry said more than 200 deliveries of ships under repairs or retrofitting could be pushed back. China is the world’s biggest shipbuilder, with more than 960 vessels set to be delivered this year, according to data provider VesselsValue.

“The Chinese players are facing significant challenges in fulfilling their contracts because they are not able to operate at full capacity after the Lunar New Year holiday,” the shipbuilding group said.

maritime coronavirus
Source: Wall Street Journal



  • Flag State contact points for PSC matters, Casualty investigation services and Ships’ inspection services (including Secretariats of Memoranda of Understanding on Port State Control)
  • List of national operational contact points responsible for the receipt, transmission and processing of urgent reports on incidents involving harmful substances, including oil from ships to coastal states (see annex under Related Documents) – From January 2018 onwards, the official version of the updated list will be issued electronically and uploaded here on a quarterly basis (quarterly dates: 31 January, 30 April, 31 July and 31 October)
For ship inspection purposes, the only official version of the List of national operational contact points responsible for the receipt, transmission and processing of urgent reports on incidents involving harmful substances including oil from ships to coastal States annex is the updated version, which is issued electronically on a quarterly basis. The quarterly date for this official version is specified at the top of each page of the above list.
From January 2018 onwards, the quarterly dates for the official version of the updated list will be as follows:
31 January, 30 April, 31 July and 31 October. It will be available on the IMO website and can
be downloaded as stated in paragraph 5. In this connection, the next circular under this title
(MSC-MEPC.6/Circ.17) will be issued on 31 January 2019.


Updates from 1 November 2019 to 31 January 2020

Note: This summary page will appear on the Internet whenever changes or amendments are received by the Secretariat before the printed copy of the list is re-issued.


  MSC-MEPC.6Circ.17 Annex (SOPEP) - 31 Jan 2020 (497.4 KiB, 187 hits)

  sopep contact 31 jan 2020 (510.2 KiB, 159 hits)

Updates from 1 August 2019 to 31 October 2019



Updates from 1 May 2019 to 31 July 2019



  MSC-MEPC.6Circ.17 Annex (SOPEP) - 31 July 2019 (512.1 KiB, 175 hits)


EU Ship Recycling Regulation

Vessels over 500gt in EU waters will be required to carry a verified Inventory of Hazardous Materials on board…

Facilitating ratification of the IMO’s Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships, the EU Ship Recycling Regulation (EU SRR) aims to regulate the ship-recycling industry to ensure that end-of-life vessels are dismantled safely, with minimum impact to human health and the environment.

The regulation requires that any ship of 500gt and above, of any flag calling at an EU port or anchorage, will require a Certificate of Compliance (if EU flagged) or Statement of Compliance (if non-EU flagged) supplemented by a verified Inventory of Hazardous Materials (IHM) by the 31 December 2020.

The Certificate of Compliance means, among other things, that the vessel shall only be sent to recycling facilities included in the European List of Ship Recycling Facilities at the end of its life. The IHM provides ship-specific information on the actual hazardous materials present on board in order to protect health and safety and to prevent environmental pollution at ship-recycling facilities.

Many flag states have delegated the authority for the verification of compliance to their respective classification societies. As such, Lloyd’s Register has been supporting stakeholders throughout the recycling supply chain to ensure all activities are environmentally sound, compliant and safe.

Lloyd’s has reported an enormous uptake in on-board IHM certification as a consequence of the regulation and states that the demand put on certified material samplers will grow significantly in the near future. However, Lloyd’s advises that those requiring certification should make sure there is no conflict of interest, which has become apparent with some offerings of IHM certification.

“Flag and port states might be wary of IHM certification or statements, particularly when the required sampling of materials and certification is done by the same company – it is recommended to keep these clearly separate,” explains Engel de Boer, yacht segment manager at Lloyd’s Register.




Inventory of Hazardous Materials (IHM)

While much of the shipping world’s attention is focused on IMO’s sulphur cap entering into force on 1 January 2020, there is another important date for shipping coming up in the diary in 2020!

December 2020 will be a key month for the EU’s Ship Recycling Regulation (SRR). Adopted in 2013 and aimed at reducing negative environmental impacts associated with recycling ships flying the flags of EU member states, the regulation sets out requirements that ships and recycling facilities must fulfil.

A key element of this is the Inventory of Hazardous Materials (IHM), which since 31 December 2018 has been required for newly contracted vessels with a gross tonnage of 500 or more flying the flags of EU member states. From 31 December 2020, this requirement will be expanded to the existing EU fleet. But owners of non-EU flagged vessels also need to have an understanding of the SRR and IHM process as, from 31 December 2020, equivalent non-EU flagged vessels calling at EU ports or anchorages will also be required to carry and maintain an IHM.

The elements of the SRR relating to vessels coming to the end of their working life, applying to ships flying the flag of EU being sent for recycling, have been in force since 31 December 2016. Before delivery to a recycling facility, vessels should have parts 1, 2 and 3 of the IHM completed in order to receive an International Ready for Recycling Certificate from their class society.

The IHM covers fifteen substances and is aimed at controlling and documenting hazardous materials on board ships. It requires expert knowledge to compile and will be produced by a third-party inspection specialist and validated by class.

Inventory of Hazardous Materials (IHM)

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IMO 2020 Global Sulphur Limit

In order to effectively implement the IMO’s 2020 global sulphur limit, China Maritime Safety Administration (MSA) has issued the attached notice – a translation of which has been provided by the China Classification Society (CCS). The requirements are summarized in the tables below.

Table 1 – Brief on fuel oil sulphur content(m/m) limit for international ships entering China waters

Effective date
Inland waterway ECA
Hainan waters within ECA
Other waters
1 January 2020
1 January 2022
Table 2 – Ban on carriage of non-compliant fuel oil and discharge of wash water from open-loop scrubbers
Effective date
1 January 2020
ships are prohibited to discharge wash water from open-loop scrubbers in China emission control areas.
1 March 2020
international ships entering waters under the jurisdiction of China are prohibited to carry non-compliant fuel oil onboard.
In accordance with MEPC.1/Circ.881, from 1 March 2020 onward, a foreign ship carrying non-compliant fuel oil in the Chinese waters may be required to:
·  discharge the non-compliant fuel oil
·  if permitted by the MSA of calling port, to retain the non-compliant fuel oil on board with a commitment letter stating it will not be used in waters under the jurisdiction of China.
The circular mentions that the fuel oil sampling and testing may be taken by MSA for supervision and enforcement. Judgment on the testing result will be made in accordance with MEPC.1/Circ.882.
The circular also provides guidance for ships using or carrying non-compliant fuel oil due to the non-availability of compliant fuel oil and a template of Fuel Oil Non-Availability Report (FONAR).
MSA will carry out site inspection and review/examine the completeness and authenticity of the FONARs submitted by the ships. Penalty could be imposed on ships infringing this regulation or if the submitted FONAR is examined to be not compliant and true.
IMO 2020 Global Sulphur Limit


BIMCO And ICS Publish New Cyber Security Guide For Crew On Board.

The digitalisation of maritime operations and the reliance on technology and network connectivity for daily onboard and on shore operations means that shipping is vulnerable to the threat of cyber incidents.

To help crew prepare, both on the bridge and in the engine room, the new “Cyber Security Workbook for On Board Ship Use” includes several checklists of how to protect, detect, respond and recover from a cyber incident, and thereby offers a practical and easy to use guide for the master and the officers.

BIMCO is continuously raising awareness to shipowners on issues such as the cyber threat and helps lead the work by issuing industry guidelines to assist companies in formulating their own approaches to cyber risk management onboard. Based on contributions by BIMCO, IMO recently decided to identify cyber risks as specific threats, which companies should try to address to the same extend as any other risk that may affect the safe operation of a ship and protection of the environment. Guidance on these issues can be found in the Guidelines on Cyber Security Onboard Ships.

To protect multimillion-dollar floating assets, cyber risk should be managed as any other risk that may affect the safe operation of a ship and jeopardize the protection of the environment. The new workbook gives an easy introduction to incorporating cyber security into the ship’s management system.

“Cyber security risk management is not just an IT issue. Managing the complex interactions between technology and humans correctly will be key to avoid a cyber incident, and to recover from them, should an incident happen,” says Aron Frank Sørensen, Head of Maritime Technology and Regulation at BIMCO.

“I see the workbook as a valuable tool that will help officers manage cyber risks while carrying out their daily routines on board,” Sørensen says.
Source: BIMCO



Maritime cyber security, threats, trends, and relevant safeguards

Milan – Even more than within other sectors, across the maritime domain’s evolving landscape of real-time connectivity requirements, which provides data in order to optimize maritime operations and customer experience, there are increasing vulnerabilities onboard vessels, potentially leading to ever more disruptive incidents; in what follows, Giuseppe D’Agostino, Associate Cybersecurity & Privacy Partner at PwC, talks about the subject.

Maritime cyber security

Cyber Security is increasingly becoming a topic of great interest across all economic sectors. After all, the statistics speak for themselves: 30% of businesses believe there’s a high probability they could be target of a cyber attack (source: PwC Digital Trust Insights 2018); proceeds from cyber crime, particularly those of drug smuggling operations, are estimated to be close to 3,000 billion dollars (source: Serious & Organized Crime Threat Assessment); around 15% of companies indicated they had uncovered over 50 cyber incidents over the past year (source PwC Digital Trust Insights 2018), marking a trend that’s on the rise.

Figures regarding the consequences of cyber attacks are equally dire. For instance, data breaches at Yahoo in 2016, and at Equifax in 2017, resulted in 320 million dollars being knocked off its sale price, and in a 32% drop in its share value, respectively. Danish shipping and logistics giant Maersk fared not much better, following an attack employing NotPetya ransomware. It’s estimated that the significant impact on business that followed that incident translated to around $300 million in lost revenue. Analysis of concrete incidents such as these sheds some understanding on the potential economic aspects of a cyber attack, and indeed quantifies them.

The introduction of new technologies has opened new vulnerabilities for enterprises, which, therefore, require innovative approaches to cyber security. An overview of the global picture shows that by 2020 some 50 billion devices will be interconnected (Internet of Things), a trend that is reflected across the maritime domain, with exponential growth expected in the use of wearable devices and integrated sensors; 100% of new cars will, moreover, be connected by 2022; similarly the piece of news that stands out in the maritime sector has to be the upcoming launch of the world’s first autonomous ship, the Yara Birkeland.

Cyber criminals will try to exploit the vulnerabilities that new technologies inevitably carry, and companies are starting to plan for new control regimes as these new developments are rolled out. An analysis of this data clearly shows an increase in vulnerabilities and threats regarding Cyber Security, which results in a need to develop and implement a holistic approach to cyber security incidents, by acting on three separate levels: prevention, identification, and response.

In terms of prevention, for example, it is essential to integrate the principles of security and privacy within evolving business models, such as developing new services and systems (security by-design and by-default). Many studies have shown how the costs for the mitigation of a vulnerability grow exponentially as time elapses; solving a security bug in the development phase, for example, is clearly much easier and cheaper than working on a system in full operation. Another aspect related to the prevention of security incidents concerns external suppliers.

Maritime cyber security

The services provided by companies are becoming increasingly integrated within complex and geographically dispersed value chains, in which relations and data exchanges with third parties assume a predominant role. A company’s security, therefore, hinges on the security of the entire value chain. In addition, less structured suppliers increasingly constitute an entry point for attackers, making no company, however mature, immune from an attack.

No matter how effective the countermeasures implemented may be, it’s essential to be able to detect attacks in a timely manner. An example of how companies are addressing this need is in the setting up of ad hoc structures to perform monitoring and alerting; these structures are usually termed Security Operation Center (SOC) and are responsible for the collection, correlation and analysis of data in order to generate alerts and detect possible security breaches.

The GDPR, particularly the measures concerning data breach (which oblige violations of personal data to be reported within very short times), gives even greater emphasis to the importance of effective monitoring. The response to incidents, that is the containment and restoration of the components impacted, is crucial for damage containment. It is important to make use of adequate professional skills that can contain the incident quickly, ensure the collection of exhaustive data that can stand up in court, and understand the root cause as soon as possible, to ensure that it will not happen again in the future (lesson learned).

Figures show that in this context there are considerable possibilities for improvement, given that it’s estimated that, on average, it takes 197 days time to identify a data breach, and 69 days to contain it (source: 2018 IBM – Cost of a Data Breach Study). The growth in threats and attacks has made cyber threats one of the top 5 priorities for CEOs. In fact, firms often feel unprepared, and 57% of firms in Italy consider action in the field of Cyber Security & Data Protection a priority (source PwC Digital Trust Insights 2018).

In conclusion, the following 5 basic steps should form the basis of a strategic security program: 1. Ensure that Cyber Security strategy is aligned with business objectives and is adequately supported by the company management. 2. Identify the most critical data resources, and prioritize investments through risk analysis to anticipate threats. 3. Be aware of threats (Intelligence), their motivations, resources and methods of attack, to reduce the time between detection and response to an incident 4. Evaluate Cyber Security of third parties and partners across the value chain, ensuring compliance with security policies and procedures 5. Provide training for employees and collaborate with others to raise awareness of Cyber Security threats and response techniques. Increasing knowledge and understanding of the threats and actions to be taken will allow companies and enterprises to improve their resilience. The ability to respond effectively to these challenges will increasingly be a key distinguishing factor in the future, which will reward companies able to provide reliable cyber-ready services on the market, thus turning measures aimed at avoiding risks into true business opportunities.

Maritime cyber security, threats, trends, and relevant safeguards



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