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In Alignment with International Standards Taiwan Enhances Safety for Maritime Routes AIS Goes Online MEOLUT Terminal Commences Test Operation
In Alignment with International Standards Taiwan Enhances Safety for Maritime Routes AIS Goes Online MEOLUT Terminal Commences Test Operation"> In Alignment with International Standards Taiwan Enhances Safety for Maritime Routes AIS Goes Online MEOLUT Terminal Commences Test Operation
The Maritime and Port Bureau (MPB) of the Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC) announced today (16) that it has taken the initiative to make a friendly maritime environment and reduce risk of accident. Actions include the establishment of 14 bases and 19 navigation stations in the Automatic Identification System (AIS) and providing dynamic status information for ships within 20 nautical miles of Taipei, Penghu, Kinmen, and Matsu. In addition, in compliance with the International Cospas-Sarsat Programme Agreement (ICSPA), the MPB has increased efficiency of search and rescue; it has initiated establishment of MEOSAT terminals, which have already entered the test operational phase. Such efforts have contributed to enhancing the safety of maritime routes. The MPB said in a statement that the AIS complies with standards from the International Association of Marine Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse Authorities (IALA) by incorporating modern technologies to assist ships in identifying bearing and position, which thereby reduce the risk of collision and contamination of the marine environment. The AIS includes electronic navigation and virtual buoy navigation assistance functionality; it also provides dynamic and static vessel status reporting, route tracking response, transportation flow analysis, and emergency alerts for route deviation and ship grounding; finally, it provides applications for maritime investigations. Coordinating with the establishment of navigation facilities for AIS, the MPB amended the Ship Equipment Regulations last year (2018), requiring that all vessels types with payloads of 20 tonnes or more must equip AIS transponders. For fishing vessels, the implementation is made per stage according to the plan of the Fisheries Agency. It is expected that AIS shore stations will soon be able to obtain dynamic status information on approx. 2,500 active Taiwanese ships. Overall, this will enhance the management of maritime routes and strengthen search and rescue for maritime incidents. Also, enhancing the safety of maritime routes and bettering international cooperation, Taiwan has participated in the Cospas-Sarsat under the name of the International Telecommunication Development Corporation (ITDC), and has established MEOSAT terminals, to maintain the normal operations of the search and rescue system and form a solid mechanism for mutual international aid in search and rescue efforts. The MCC, part of the terminal establishment plan, and hard-software systems for the MEOLUT were completed at the end of 2018; these facilities have now entered the test operation phase. The system is currently able to stably receive each type of warning information from beacons within the territory and monitor the coordinate position of beacons; its applicable range of reception is a radius of 8,000 km, and it can receive emergency beacon signals from—as well as determine the position of—distressed ships every 10 minutes. This is vastly superior to the 1.5 hours required by low-earth-orbit satellite systems in current use. Contact Person: Maritime Safety Division    Section Chief Liu Zheng-shan Contact Number: 02-89788098      0972-820100
MPB Promotes Accessibility in Friendly Seas Environment Initiative
MPB Promotes Accessibility in Friendly Seas Environment Initiative"> MPB Promotes Accessibility in Friendly Seas Environment Initiative
The Maritime and Port Bureau (MPB) of the Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC), in an effort to provide more benefits to the physically disabled, has made improvements to the accessibility of seagoing vessels. Beginning on March 26, 2018, the MPB has used assistive methods to encourage maritime operators to install accessibility facilities and equipment. Currently, 44 passenger vessels have lodged applications for such improvements. It is expected that 21 lines will be able to provide accessible passage to the disabled after the improvements are made this year. MPB Director-General David Hsieh said of the initiative that according to the latest statistics from the Ministry of the Interior, there were 3.26 million senior citizens (aged 65+) in Taiwan, representing 13.83% of the population, at the end of 2018. Accessibility facilities promoted through the Friendly Seas Environment initiative is not just aimed at benefiting the disabled; it also allows senior citizens to travel unimpaired by physical limitations. The MPB has spared no effort in helping local governments to improve their harbors and has urged maritime operators to make their facilities more accessible for the disabled. Liu Jin-zhong, representative director of the League for Persons with Disabilities, notes that the experience of going out to sea, with gentle sea breezes and fantastic sunsets, is truly wonderful. However, in the past, people with disabilities were unable to experience the sea since embarking, disembarking, and moving onboard were all very challenging. Now, with more government effort to improve onboard accessibility, there are far fewer obstacles to disabled people who want to travel by sea: lower thresholds, accessible gangways, more wheelchair rests, and more facilities and equipment for accessible disembarking. The MPB said in a statement that ships need to consider such elements of safety as structure, stability, and watertightness. Cabin doors should be adapted with appropriate thresholds to deal with turbulence from choppy waters. Ship bodies should be slender, which helps to reduce water resistance. Cabin and lifesaving facilities are necessary, making the design of the overall space complex. And after the completion of a ship, it is rather difficult to make changes to the existing structure. Such conditions make realizing onboard accessibility a challenge. The Passenger Ship Accessibility Subsidy Program, implemented by the MPB, encourages passenger ships to carry wheelchairs specially customized for onboard use, ramps for passage through cabin doors, and other facilities and equipment necessary for onboard accessibility. Currently, 39 vessels on 18 lines support accessibility services, including: Taipei-Pingtan, Budai-Magong, Kaohsiung-outlying islands of Penghu, Tainan-Penghu, 2 lines in the outlying islands of Penghu, Keelung-Matsu, 2 lines in Matsu Mini Three Links, 3 lines in the outlying islands of Matsu, Kinmen Mini Three Links, the outlying islands of Kinmen, 2 lines in Taitung-Orchid Island-Green Island, Houbihu-Green Island, and Dadaocheng-Guandu-Danshui; in addition, 5 ships on another 3 lines, namely Penghu Baisha-Cho Island, Baisha-Daiso, and Baisha-Yuanbei, are expected to be ready this year. Onboard surveys will be conducted this year by disabled committee members, who are invited by the MPB to assess the actual state of accessibility onboard. This will be followed by the initiation of the QR code inquiry system for vessel information, which will provide accessibility information for disabled passengers when choosing transportation.   Contact Person: Vessel Management Division     Section Chief Lin Guan-hong Contact Number: 02-89786296      0932-220231
Returning clean air to the people, seven major, international commercial ports adopt the low-sulfur fuel policy for implementation next year
Returning clean air to the people, seven major, international commercial ports adopt the low-sulfur fuel policy for implementation next year"> Returning clean air to the people, seven major, international commercial ports adopt the low-sulfur fuel policy for implementation next year
The Maritime and Port Bureau, MOTC expresses that, according to MARPOL, ships on international routes should fully adopt low-sulfur fuel with a sulfur content of less than 0.5% beginning January 1, 2020. In order to improve the air quality in Taiwan's ports and surrounding areas sooner, the Ministry of Transportation and Communications has adopted Article 75 of the Commercial Port Law on July 31, 2018 to require that ships from international routes that enter Kaohsiung, Taichung, Keelung, Taipei, Hualien, Suao, and Anping international commercial ports use low-sulfur fuel with a sulfur content of 0.5% or less, or a device or alternative fuel with equivalent abatement effects beginning on an earlier date of January 1, 2019. Maritime and Port Bureau Director-General David Hsieh indicates that, from next year, international route ships will be required to attach oil change records, bunker delivery notes, and the names of the last 10 ports of calling and respective arrival and departure dates prior to entering the port. Ships equipped with the same emission reduction effect (such as Scrubber) will need approval by the accreditation body (RO) and documented in the certificate. The port state control inspectors will select the target ship according to the selection system to perform spot checks on the vessel. The inspection focuses on the documents, relevant data records, and reports which should be prepared, whether the crew is familiar with the operation of the facility, and whether the oil tank outlet valve has a switchover and whether the fuel heater outlet temperature and viscosity meet the requirements of the oil change procedure. The Maritime and Port Bureau has established the Inspection Procedure for Vessels Using Low-Sulfur Fuel (Chinese and English version) on October 25, 2018 for the industry's reference. Considering that ships are unable to purchase qualified fuel or have temporary equipment failure at the ports within the scheduled voyage such that the use of low-sulfur fuel or the safe use of low-sulfur oil is not an option, those who can provide certified plans for alteration or replacement issued by an authorized institution may be exempt by means of a special project as processed by the Maritime and Port Bureau; the latter can apply before the implementation of the convention. At present, the exemption stipulations are being added to the Regulations on Port Services at Commercial Ports. It is hoped that with the completion of relevant supporting measures, the shipping industry will pay attention to the air pollution problem in the port area and work together to improve it. Contact Person: Vessel Management Division, Section Chief Yu-Hsin Huang ContactNumber: 02-89782625, 0933-843-435

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