Overseas news:

IMO 2020 raises fear of slowing down world trade

The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) has established a new regulation that shipping companies will have to comply as from the 1st January 2020.

The IMO 2020 rule as the press calls it, will make it mandatory for vessels to use fuels with a maximum sulphur content of 0.5% (compared with 3.5% now). The objective is to reduce harmful emissions from ships and protect the environment.

If this measure is implemented in less than 13 months’ time, it will lead to an increase in the transportation costs of goods to and from Mauritius.

Sea carrier Hapag-Lloyd has estimated that the compliance to the IMO 2020 rule, will result in an approximately additional $ 1 billion compared to cheaper heavy fuel oil the shipping company is currently using for its fleet of 220 containerships.

These supplementary expenses will certainly be recovered from the shippers through surcharges.
During the end of October 2018, the International Maritime Organization rejected a proposal -- supported by both the U.S. and shipping groups -- for an experience-building phase. Analysts have warned that the firm implementation of the IMO 2020 regulation will undermine world trade.

Moreover, several countries such as the Bahamas, Panama, Liberia and the Marshall Islands have also supported the phased implementation of the IMO 2020 rule.

A spokesman from the administration of the American President Donald Trump stated to the press that “the United States supports an experience building phase, which has been proposed by several other countries in IMO 2020 in order to mitigate the impact of precipitous fuel cost increases on consumers”.

This phase-in approach would mean that the IMO 2020 rule would not have to be fully complied with until at a later date to be specified.

Posted by: Editor on Tuesday, 30th Oct 2018

Escalating trade war between the United States and China

The trade war between the United States and China is escalating. It is expected to slow down global economic growth.

The Chinese government has announced that it will impose customs tariffs on US goods worth US $ 60 billion, in retaliation of President Donald Trump’s decision that new tariffs will be levied on $ 200 billion worth of Chinese goods.

The US tariffs which will be applied on the 24th September, will start at a rate of 10%, before rising to 25% as from the 1st January of next year.

Thousands of products from China, from food seasonings to network routers and parts of industrial machinery, will be affected.

On the other hand, the Chinese government will implement new tariffs at 5% or 10% depending on the product, entering the People’s Republic of China.

More than 5 000 goods will be impacted, including meat, alcoholic drinks, chemicals, clothes, machinery, furniture and auto parts from the United States.

The office of the US Trade Representative (USTR) stated to the press that the latest move was “part of the United States continuing response to China’s theft of American intellectual property and forced transfer of American technology”.

Posted by: Editor on Monday, 5th Nov 2018

Posted by: on Wednesday, 31st Dec 1969