10 MAY 2022
As the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore continues to investigate HSFO bunkers found to contain harmful chlorinated hydrocarbons supplied in the first quarter this year, our authors review the imbalance between the position of time charterer vis-à-vis vessel owners versus the charterer’s recourse opportunities under the bunker sale contract.
27 APR 2022
Recurring enclosed space incidents serve as a stark reminder that entry into such spaces without proper training or following procedures can result in seafarers being killed or seriously injured. Far too often, we also see that seafarers who die in enclosed spaces do so in the course of attempting to rescue fellow crew members.
Torunn Biller White, Gard’s Chief Risk Officer, talks with Senior Lawyer Wan Jing Tan about the crisis in the Ukraine and how this has affected Gard and our Members and clients. In a discussion ranging from the extreme effect on seafarer well-being, the impact on global commodity markets and the economic fallout from sanctions, Torunn touches on the many challenges facing our industry yet reminds us that our thoughts are with those most affected by the crisis.
On March 17, 2022, the Shanghai Maritime Court (following approval from the Supreme People’s Court) issued a ruling confirming that English High Court judgments can be recognised and enforced in the People’s Republic of China. This is the first time that a PRC Court has, on the basis of acknowledging judicial reciprocity between PRC and English Courts, ruled that an English civil judgment is legally binding in the PRC.
The IMO Pollution Prevention and Response Sub-Committee (PPR) will meet on 4-8 April. Proposals to regulate the carriage of pre-production plastic pellets, so called “nurdles”, are on the agenda. Our authors discuss the cause and effect of nurdle spills and the specifics of the proposals on the agenda before the PPR. For additional insight into the environmental impact of nurdle pollution, we consulted GRID-Arendal, a non-profit environmental communications centre collaborating with the United Nations Environment Programme.
In the critical quest for decarbonisation of shipping, our guest author, Martin Crawford-Brunt, advocates for broader thinking in how to reach the goal. He cautions – Don’t let the great get in the way of the good as we transition to a zero-carbon emission future.
When loading or discharging bulk cargoes at Argentinean ports, many Masters have experienced the demand of cargo interests to use the shore scale figures to determine the loaded/discharged quantity arguing that only shore figures are recognized locally. But is this true and are owners, charterers and operators obliged to accept the shore scale figures blindly?
The deadline for compliance with the IMO’s Energy Efficiency Existing Ship Index (EEXI) is looming. Are charterparties flexible enough for the transition phase? How should parties approach the new time charterparties which they are entering into to cater for the vessel’s EEXI compliance? Gard takes a closer look at these questions.
Updated 6 April 2022
The war in Ukraine has led to a large volume of queries being received by our team of Defence lawyers. Some owners and operators have vessels currently at Ukrainian or Russian ports or bound for them whilstothers have concerns about whether they are contractually bound to go to Russian ports in the future.
Many Gard Members employ Ukrainian and Russian seafarers. We outline some of the Frequently Asked Questions related to employment terms and also the impact of the war on P&I cover for crew claims.
UPDATED 11 MARCH 2022
An original bill which has been carried on board has no practical value as evidence of title and the practice remains inherently risky because of the difficulty in verifying which party is entitled to possession of the cargo if none of the negotiated bills are available.
The Brazilian soya bean export season is underway with the bulk of the beans scheduled for export in March, April and May. The long voyage time to Chinese ports together with pandemic related delay in discharge increase the risk of natural deterioration and cargo claims. Documentation of care of the soya bean cargo during transit including ventilation records increase the chances of successfully defending claims in China due to inherent vice of the cargo.
17 FEB 2022
While the impact of COVID-19 on seafarers and port congestion have grabbed headlines over the past year, no single issue has dominated the maritime industry press more than decarbonization as climate change represents the greatest challenge of this century. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), transportation – including road, rail, air and marine – contribute about 14 percent of the global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Shipping alone transports close to 80 percent of global trade by volume and is estimated to contribute 2-3 per cent of GHG emissions. These numbers are propelling the shipping sector into the decarbonization limelight.
A series of incidents with exceptional container losses occurred during the winter season 2020-2021. The TopTier project was put in place by the industry to find ways to avoid similar incidents in the future. Initial Results show that parametric rolling in following seas was especially hazardous.
Sodium chloride found in seawater and as used to de-ice roadways is corrosive to steel. Silver nitrate testing of higher value steel cargos at the time of loading will detect chlorides present pre-shipment and can enable the Master to clause bills of lading as may be appropriate.
For the past several years, Gard has been using AIS data to better understand our Members’ trading patterns and to provide targeted loss prevention material when and where it may be needed. So far, we have focused on liquefaction of solid bulk cargoes loaded in known hot spots and connected with subsequent tragedies or near misses, as well as areas which have been identified by materials experts as areas of concern. We chose this risk to focus on because while the claim frequency is low relative to other claim types, the stakes are high. A feature of liquefaction losses is the speed at which a ship and crew can be lost, and in many liquefaction cases there have been red flags that were missed, misunderstood, or dismissed.
17 JAN 2022
It has been nearly two years since the Trans Carrier spill of plastic pellets, Gard’s first experience with a major “nurdle” spill. In this three-part series of podcasts, we spoke with those involved in the casualty and clean-up as well as an independent scientist and policy expert to learn from the experience and explore ways to prevent such spills in the future.
12 JAN 2022
Due to pandemic restrictions, Gard held its 16th annual Charterers and Traders Geneva seminar as a webinar. The topic of global maritime security threats was addressed through role play with panellists representing a shipowner and a charterer. To kick-off, our guest speaker from Risk Intelligence, took us through an overview of the current and emerging security risks for shipping.
Navigation on parts of the Yangtze River by international-trading vessels has come to an abrupt halt following the Covid-19 quarantining of local pilots.
21 DEC 2021
The English Court of Appeal upheld the Commercial Court in finding that the charterer’s payment of additional premium did not insulate cargo owners as the bill of lading holders from their contribution in general average. Our co-authors exchange views on a question the Appeal Court discussed but did not answer – was the Commercial Court correct in deciding that the charterer was a beneficiary of the war risk and kidnap and ransom policies?