08 JUN 2021
Today is the United Nations World Oceans Day and in conformity with the theme of Life and Livelihoods, we focus on collisions between merchant vessels and fishing vessels, which have caused multiple and tragic loss of life. What are the causes and what can be done to prevent such accidents?
One of key highlights of the 103rd session of IMO’s Maritime Safety Committee (MSC 103) was the completion of the MSC regulatory scoping study for maritime autonomous surface ships (MASS). The IMO Legal and Facilitation Committees regulatory working groups, that deal with the financial and liability issues, are still underway and have not yet concluded their recommendations.
Alice Amundsen heads up Gard’s global People claims area. This group is responsible for handling the thousands of crew claims received each year from Gard’s membership. We caught up with her to share some of her insights which provide a snapshot of Gard’s experience to date with the Covid crew crisis and the challenges moving forward with crew vaccination.
Commercial carriers are not willing participants in the trafficking of drugs, but they may be exposed to various losses including fines if drugs are found on-board. The P&I cover for fines arising out of smuggling was changed at the start of the 2021 insurance policy year. It is important that Members are aware of the change, the increased exposure and how to deal with the challenges related to smuggling when operating ships.
Cefor represents marine insurers in the Nordic countries. The association serves its members by promoting quality marine insurance and knowledge sharing and a considerable part of Cefor’s activities take place within its nine member forums. The Cefor Technical Forum recently published a report summarizing the operational experience with the very low sulphur fuels produced to meet the MARPOL 2020 sulphur limit. We are pleased to re-publish the report in full.
Recent US Court of Appeals decision reinforces the enforceability of broad arbitration clauses subject to the New York Arbitral Convention and the applicability of such arbitration clauses to non-signatories in certain circumstances under the US doctrine of collateral estoppel. The decision adds additional support to the enforcement of foreign choice of law and arbitration provisions in commercial contracts.
In an exciting new development Gard is now offering internal mediation, including informal intervention, and early neutral evaluation services to help resolve disputes in conflict cases involving two or more Gard members or clients. Such dispute resolution tools can be instrumental in reaching a compromise that promotes a continuing relationship between business counterparties while saving time and money for all.
The Tai Prize decision is unsurprising in result in that it reaffirms the Master’s obligations under the Hague-Visby regime. It is, however, a demonstration of a failed attempt by a time charterer to pass liability to the voyage charterer for damage to soya beans due to pre-shipment conditions. Following their breakdown of the case, our authors discussed the options in such cases for Owners, Time Charterers and their P&I Clubs with Solicitor Darryl Kennard of Penningtons Manches Cooper LLC.
Gard, as a liability insurer for shipowner and charterers, has faced several large value soya bean damage claims in Chinese courts for damage to soya beans carried from Brazil. Shipowners ought not to be held liable for damage when the damage results from microbiological instability, a natural process that occurs due to moisture content of the beans, their temperature at loading and the time in the stow. Christopher Mackrill, Gard’s leader for cargo claims and Louis Shepherd, a Senior Claims Adviser and solicitor in our London office, discuss the legal and commercial landscape underpinning these claims.
Plastic persists in the ocean and causes damage to wildlife. Although legislation was first introduced in 1988 to prevent pollution by garbage from ships the issue of plastic waste in our oceans is unfortunately still very much with us.
We outline steps to be taken when vessels arrive with damaged soyabeans in China or when experiencing delays to discharge.
Gard receives many questions about the use of COVID-19 antigen tests onboard ships. But how accurate are these tests - and are ship operators recommended to roll out antigen test kits across their fleets? In this article, Dr. Ingrid H. Johansen outlines some basic principles for ship operators to consider prior to implementing the use of antigen tests as part of their onboard prevention and outbreak management strategies.
Michael Stephenson, Associate Director of The Renewables Consulting Group spoke during Gard’s 2021 Lillehammer Energy Claims Conference (LECC). The Conference was established in 1996 and chaired ever since by Jan-Hugo Marthinsen, Vice-President responsible for Offshore Energy Claims.
The checklists identify the type of evidence that should ideally be gathered to best demonstrate that there was no lack of cargo care on the part of the Master and crew.
In our second video of a three-part series, we speak with Dr. Tim Moss of Brookes Bell who explains the cause and effect of ship sweat. He sets out the two alternative Rules – the Dew Point Rule and the 3 Degree Rule that inform the Master and crew when and when not to ventilate during the ship’s passage. As further explained in our article – Introducing the Master’s Checklists for Loading and Carriage of Soya Beans - proper ventilation and record keeping, are important to defend claims. The third and final video in the series will explore the commercial and legal landscape underpinning the spate of high value claims arising from microbiological instability in shipments of soya beans from Brazil to China.
Over the course of the last several years, Gard has experienced an alarming increase in large claims arising from damage to soya beans shipped in bulk from Brazil to China. Shipowners and their Clubs have faced detentions and high demands for security resulting in Letters of Undertakings being issued in the millions of dollars. In these cases, the damage is most often caused by microbiological instability and resulting self-heating of the cargo. In our first video of a three-part series, we speak with cargo scientist, Dr. Tim Moss of Brookes Bell who explains the causes and effects of microbiological instability.
On 19 February 2021 the United Kingdom Supreme Court handed down its decision in the first collision case to reach the UK’s highest court in nearly 50 years, in the The “EVER SMART” and The “ALEXANDRA 1”  UKSC 6. Faz Peermohamed of Stann Law gives his reflections on the case.
In September 2020, the state legislature in California enacted a statutory amendment to its marine oil pollution law (AB 3214), which greatly enhanced the monetary penalties that can be imposed after such incidents. The law came into effect in January 2021.
22 FEB 2021
Updated 28 April 2021
Masters and crews operating along the US/Canadian East Coast must maintain a good lookout for right whales and follow the speed restrictions in force at any given time.
During the pandemic, our Members have faced many challenges, and we see claims that are somewhat different than those we have seen before. It is not always easy for our Members to differentiate between operational expenses and recoverable insured costs, so we summarize here the key elements of cover and guidance on the best practices for preparing claims documentation.