The Maritime Advocate–Issue 730



1. MSC Flaminia and Fire Liability of Shippers
2 .FMC Interim Report on Demurrage and Detention
3. International Group Issues New Wording
4. Wista Middle East Event
5. Blockchain Primer
6. People and Places


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1. MSC Flaminia and Fire Liability of Shippers

The lawyers at Lyons and Flood have sent in word of a favorable decision on behalf of MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company, S.A. (“MSC”), a major container shipping line, in the ongoing litigation concerning the July 2012 explosion and fire aboard the MSC Flaminia which resulted in three deaths and several hundred million dollars in property damage.

They write:-

After a two-week bench trial the Court determined that MSC was entirely free from liability and further that MSC was entitled to full indemnity from the party at fault for causing the explosion and fire: Deltech Corporation, the manufacturer of a chemical cargo known as divinylbenzene (“DVB”), and Stolt-Nielsen USA, Inc. / Stolt Tank Containers B.V., the non-vessel operating common carrier (“NVOCC”) that booked the DVB shipments with MSC.

The Court’s decision is notable for several reasons. First, it is one of the few reported U.S. decisions explicitly awarding indemnity to a carrier based on a shipper’s breach of the terms in the contract of carriage. This decision thus supports the enforceability and utility of certain form clauses commonly inserted into contracts of carriage.

Second, in keeping with modern practices in the container shipping industry, the Court correctly put the burden of communicating information concerning dangerous goods on shippers rather than requiring carriers to discern such information from prior shipments. As the Court noted, due to “the number of cargo containers and diverse types of cargo” it would be unreasonable to expect that a carrier “could or would undertake a research project with regard to any particular container.”

Consequently, we believe that this decision could prove quite helpful to carriers and vessel interests (and their P&I Clubs) in defending and/or prosecuting claims relating to similar casualties in the future.

The Court’s decision also provides helpful guidance and clarity to shippers and their agents (such as freight forwarders and NVOCCs) about the type and degree of information that is required to be provided to ocean carriers at the time of booking. Finally, the Court confirmed that the Dangerous Goods Declaration (“DGD”) form is the most appropriate means to convey such information and/or warnings to ocean carriers.

The case remains ongoing with respect to the determination of the extent of damages recoverable by MSC and the other vessel interests. The decision is published by Westlaw as In re M/V MSC Flaminia, No. 12-CV-8892 (KBF), 2018 WL 4301368 (S.D.N.Y. Sept. 10, 2018). The Lyons & Flood trial team consisted of Edward Flood, Jon Werner, John Foster, and Martin West.


2. FMC Interim Report on Demurrage and Detention

Gavin Magrath, the editor of the Forwarderlaw e-zine has sent in his note:-

In March, following receipt of a petition made to the FMC by the Coalition for Fair Port Practices, the FMC instituted an investigation into practices relating to charges for demurrage and detention. The interim report was produced on 5 September and lays the framework for December’s final report. For an outline of the views arrived at, read his report here:-


3. International Group Issues New Wording

Our friends at the Steamship Mutual have sent us their circular:-

To the Members

Dear Sirs,

New charterparty clause promoting the use of the Inter-Club New York Produce Exchange Agreement 1996, as amended September 2011

Reference is made to Circular L.166 referring Members to the Inter-Club New York Produce Exchange Agreement 1996 (the “ICA”), as amended in September 2011, that provides a mechanism whereby liability for cargo claims arising under the New York Produce Exchange Form (NYPE) or Asbatime charterparties and/or contracts of carriage authorised under such charterparties can be swiftly and fairly apportioned between owners and charterers.

In order to promote the application and incorporation of the 2011 Agreement into all NYPE/Asbatime charterparties, Circular L.277 referred Members to a recommended charterparty clause drafted by the International Group of P&I Clubs.
However, a recent London arbitration finding has given the International Group cause for concern,with the tribunal finding that the charterparty clause only incorporated the liability provisions of theICA and not the requirement to provide security as contained in clause 9 of the 2011 Agreement.As a result, the International Group has amended the recommended charterparty clause wording issued in 2016 in order to take account of this recent finding and to encompass the 2011
Agreement requirement for security to be provided. The amended clause for recommendation is as follows:-

“Cargo claims as between Owners and the Charterers shall be governed by, secured, apportioned and settled fully in accordance with the provisions of the Inter-Club New York Produce Exchange Agreement 1996 (as amended 2011), or any subsequent modification or replacement thereof. This clause shall take precedence over any other clause or clauses in this charterparty purporting toincorporate any other version of the Inter-Club New York Produce Exchange Agreement into this charterparty”.


4. Wista Middle East Event

Our friends at Fichte & Co have sent in advance word of the Conference on the Power of Gender Diversity scheduled to take place on October 31st in Dubai:-

Shipping has historically been a male-dominated industry and that tradition runs long and deep.

Social perceptions even today lean to indicate that such jobs require skills more associated with men. Both families and society do not encourage women to choose seafaring as their career. Absence of relevant educators and of organizations further contribute to the lack of stimulus for women.Women’s International Shipping & Trading Association (WISTA), UAE Branch is hosting a session, discussing

Is the industry still reluctant to give equal opportunities to women?
Is smart shipping a threat or an opportunity for women?
What are the negative stereotypes against women in maritime and how can they be overcome?
How would your business benefit from gender equality?
How to empower more females in the maritime sector?

Endorsed by H.R.H. Princess Sarah Al Saud, WISTA-UAE Royal Ambassador


H.E. Hessa Bint Ahmad Al Malik, Executive Director of Maritime Transport Sector, Federal Transport Authority for Land and Maritime(FTA)
Julian Abril Garcia, Head Facilitation, Subdivision for Maritime Security and Facilitation, International Maritime Organization
Dr. Noura Al Dhaheri, Chief Executive Officer, Maqta Gateway, Abu Dhabi Ports
Mohammed Al Muallem, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director UAE Region, DP World
Ali Shehab Ahmad, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Kuwait Oil Tanker Company (KOTC)
Ksenia Zudinova, Director of Emirates Zone
Jasamin Fichte, Managing Partner at Fichte & Co and President of WISTA, UAE

Session moderator:

Eithne Treanor, Founder and Managing Director, E Treanor Media
Effat Mostafa, PR & Communication Manager, Tactics Marketing Management

Register now (For free) and join us on 31st October from 02:00 pm to 04:00 pm at the Seatrade Maritime Middle East 2018, as they put forward their thoughts on the power of gender diversity in the shipping industry.


5. Blockchain Primer

According to the Browser, in A Distributed Systems Primer, Kevin Sekniqi provides an explanation of the concepts and jargon of the blockchain, as short and simple as any such explanation could be while still retaining some practical value. When you reach the end — as you surely will, the technical bits are quite brief — you will be rewarded with a reassurance: “This is basically it. You’ve gone through the topics that a PhD student studying distributed systems will have to go through in excruciating detail. You are now a confident, well-informed reader of the blockchain world”

A should read for those few readers who are still not up to speed on the topic.


6. People and Places

Jon Elvey, well-known to many readers for his nearly 40 years at Ince and Co, retired from the firm in April and now sits as an arbitrator on LMAA terms. He can be reached on:


Claudia Grant, Deputy Director General of the Maritime Authority of Jamaica (MAJ), has been elected chairman of an important sub-committee of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the Sub Committee on Implementation of IMO Instruments (III), having been elected during the 5th session of the Sub Committee held September 24-28, 2018 in London. She has served as vice chair for the past year.


Nick Shaw, formerly with the law firm Reed Smith, has been appointed new ceo of the International Group of P&I Clubs, to succeed Andrew Bardot who is due to retire next July. He will join the team at the London-based Group secretariat in April 2019, working alongside Bardot during a three-month handover period.

Separately, Paul Jennings, ceo of the North of England P&I Club, is due to become new International Group chairman in November, succeeding Hugo Wynn-Williams, chairman of the UK P&I Club.


The new Britannia office is to be located in the iconic Ionian Building off Akti Miaouli and will be headed by David Harley who recently returned to the London office having established and worked for over 5 years as head of Britannia, Hong Kong. David has extensive P&I and FD&D claims handling experience and will be assisted by newly appointed Konstantinos Samaritis, who joins from a leading Greek shipowner, having previously worked for both Standard and Skuld Clubs’ Greek operations.

The Britannia office is further augmented by the relocation from London of experienced claims executives Denise Dellow and Vasilios Koukamakis.


The Avo Archive

The website of this newsletter contains all the editorial material since the inception of the Maritime Advocate as a print based quarterly in 1997 under the founding aegis of John Guy, Chris Hewer and Manfred Arnold. Readers can go to the site and search the database on the home page in its entirety. If you are looking for an old case, an old controversy or you would just like to see how many times you and your firm have featured in our annals feel free to access the archive. It is like this e-zine, free to Readers and we always appreciate the support of advertisers and sponsors.

Work is underway to lodge the Archive within a new site for this publication.



According to Paul Dixon the above term was coined by Mr. Robert Half, founder of RHI Consulting’s parent company, to describe the unintentional bloopers that often appear on job candidates’ resumes, job applications and cover letters.
Here are some examples:

“I perform my job with effortless efficiency, effectiveness, efficacy, and expertise.”

“Insufficient writing skills, thought processes have slowed down some. If I am not one of the best, I will look for another opportunity.”

“Seek challenges that test my mind and body, since the two are usually inseparable.”

“My compensation should be at least equal to my age.”

“I am very detail-oreinted.”

“I can play well with others.”

“Married, eight children. Prefer frequent travel.”

“Objection: To utilize my skills in sales.”

“My salary requirement is $34 per year.”

“Served as assistant sore manager.”

“Work history: Bum. Abandoned belongings and led nomadic lifestyle.”

“Previous experience: Self-employed – a fiasco.”

“I vow to fulfill the goals of the company as long as I live.”

“Reason for leaving last job: Pushed aside so the vice president’s girlfriend could steal my job.”


Sweet Goodbyes

Below are a few resignation letters written by disillusioned staff to their managers:-

An offer of 1 million pounds plus free sex with a page three girl could not convince me to stay with your company. A position of junior goat herder in Mongolia would be a more positive career step, than staying here. What a shame. Our group has worked well but, as yet, has been criminally overlooked.

Finally: If you pay peanuts, you get monkeys.


Dear Unpersonable Bitch

As per the piece of crap I signed on my first day of this dreaded job, hereby give 2 minutes notice of my intention to leave this awful company I want to thank you for all you have not done for me in my employment here. It has been sheer torture working for you and representing this crappy company.

It is now time for me to move on and I have accepted a position as a garbage person. This decision was quite easy and took little consideration. However, I am confident that this new role represents a step up from this piece of crap job. I wish the company would go to pieces and hope one day you too will realize that you couldn’t manage your way out of a paper bag.

Glad to be gone,


Dear Editor,

I would like to confirm my status as the latest rodent to vacate your increasingly leaky vessel.



Dear John:

Please take note of the fact that I am hereby tendering my resignation from, effective, September 1, 2000. While I have a high degree of personal respect for you and the opportunities you have offered me, I am no longer comfortable working for a technology organization largely populated by politocrats, vengeful rivalries, and fiefdoms reminiscent of imperial Chinese literature. In fact, I dare say that I would rather be tied in a leather bag with ravenous, rabid ocelots than remain at this company any longer than the next two weeks.

It was my sincere hope that the reptilian extraterrestrial tyrants who clandestinely own and operate the Technology Group would reveal themselves during my tenure here, but it appears they are far cannier then I ever gave them credit for. Hopefully, their insidious plot to befoul the American financial industry with foolish and ill-advised technology policies will eventually be revealed, but until then it seems their plans may march on uncontested. I give you due credit, for choosing to remain here to fight this hideous alien menace from within.

God’s speed, and may the Force be with you.



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Maritime Advocate Online is a weekly digest of news and views on the maritime industries, with particular reference to legal issues and dispute resolution. It is published to over 21 000 individual subscribers each week and republished within firms and organisations all over the maritime world. It is the largest publication of its kind. We estimate it goes to around 60 000 Readers in over 120 countries.