The Maritime Advocate-Issue 651



1. Indonesian Language Law and its Effect in Shipping Contracts
2. Tianjin Losses
3. India’s GIC Re plans for China and a Place in the P&I
4. Letter from Ms Rachel Owen
5. Positive Lexicography
6. People and Places

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1. Indonesian Language Law and its Effect in Shipping Contracts

M Jagannath, writing in the newsletter of his Singapore based correspondents
firm NAU reports on a recent case in Indonesia:-

In August 2015, the Indonesian Supreme Court upheld the ruling of the
West Jakarta High Court in PT Bangun Karya Pratama Lestari v Nine AM
Ltd (“Nine AM Case”), which nullified and voided a loan agreement
between the parties. This was on the basis that the contract did not
have an Indonesian version of the contract and therefore ran foul of
the Law 24 of 2009 (“Indonesian Language Law”). This article
discusses the possible effect in Shipping Contracts with Indonesian

Art 31 (1) of the Indonesian Language Law states that “the Indonesian
language will be used in MOU’s and agreements involving state institutions,
government agencies of Indonesia, private Institutions and individual
Indonesian citizens". Art 31(2) of the same law provides that for
MOU’s and agreements involving foreign parties, the MOU / Agreement
may also be written in a foreign language and / or English. It therefore
suggests that whenever a contract is with an Indonesian Entity, there
must an Indonesian Version of the contract.

On the basis of the ruling of the Indonesian Supreme Court in the Nine
AM Case, a contract can be declared as null and void if an Indonesian
version of the contract is not available at the time of signing the
contract. Although Indonesian courts do not follow the system of judicial
precedent as in common law countries, given that this ruling has been
provided by the Indonesian Supreme Court, it is submitted that the lower
courts would follow it.

With respect to carriage of goods, contracts entered could be charter
parties (between Owners and Charterers) and / or Bills of Lading (between
Carriers and Cargo interests). Invariably, these contracts are in English
only. Accordingly, if these Charter parties / Bills of Lading in English
are signed with an Indonesian party, they will fall foul of the Indonesian
Language Law. It would therefore be possible for an Indonesian entity
to resile from this contract if it should benefit them.

Carrier/Owner’s Agent engaged in Indonesia will be Indonesian entities.
Art 31(1) of the Indonesian Language Law would therefore apply to govern
their relationship with Indonesian parties (shipper/consignee or charterer
as the case may be). It is accordingly submitted that any pre-booking
or post-shipment contracts between the Carrier/Owner’s Agent should
necessarily be in Bahasa Indonesia (and not in English) with the Indonesian
counterparties to ensure that they are valid under Indonesian Law.

Additionally, Indonesian parties may be able to resist any enforcement
action initiated against them in Indonesia either for an arbitration
award or a foreign judgment on the basis of the original contract (say
Charter Party of Bill of Lading Contract) falling foul of the Indonesian
Language law.

We would therefore suggest that Carrier/Owners’s that if they trade
to Indonesia, they seek further advice from Indonesian lawyers to ensure
that their contracts remain valid in Indonesia. We believe that the
easiest way to resolve this issue would be to provide an Indonesian
version of the contract together with the English Version (for say all
shipments being effected to and from Indonesia) and state the version
(either English or Indonesian) prevailing in the event of any inconsistency.


2. Tianjin Losses

To the 11th Floor in the Lloyd’s Building we did go to hear the views
of IUMI on various subjects, Insured losses from last year’s Tianjin
port explosion are likely to total $5bn-6bn with some 50 per cent likely
to fall under marine claims, they say.

Speaking at the trade body’s winter conference at Lloyd’s
yesterday (2 February), Patrizia Kern-Ferretti, chairman of IUMI’s
facts and figures committee, described the loss event as “the largest
marine loss ever”, adding that the Tianjin explosion was the last
opportunity that marine underwriters had to tackle the issue of accumulation
and how to assess the worst possible exposure.

Some unsettling features of this event. Surveyors and investigators
were kept out of the blast area for four weeks. Once inside the perimeter,
they found the clean up teams had destroyed much forensic evidence.

Recovery actions in China against the bodies charged with port or cargo
care and security are not very frequent. One of the sponsors of the
Avo, Mr Clark Zhou, who is an expat lawyer from China resident in London
in fact hails from Tianjin and, we opine might be consulted with profit
on this very issue.


3. India’s GIC Re plans for China and a Place in the P&I Firmament

From the Business Standard of Mumbai:-

"We will be opening our branch office in China within the next
2-3 months," Alice Vaidyan , the newly appointed chairperson and
managing director of GIC Re, told reporters on the sidelines of an insurance
summit here today.

India’s sole reinsurer is currently placed 14th in global rankings.

Earlier, Vaidyan had told PTI she wants to make GIC Re figure among
the top 10 global reinsurers.

The company is also planning to set up a Protection and Indemnity (P&I)
Club in association with all the four state-run general insurers in
the country.

"We have plans to set up a P&I Club here in association with
all the four state-run non-life insurance companies. The idea is to
provide insurance cover to shipping companies in the country,"
she said.

P&I Clubs are formed globally to protect their members against
large marine insurance claims which would be difficult to handle individually.


4. Letter from Ms Rachel Owen

My name is Rachel, my Father was a man called David Lycett who sadly
was killed in 1986 when the ship he was Captain of was bombed on its
way to Ras Tamurah. The ship was the Al Safaniya. I was only 10yrs old
when this happened and found it very difficult to come to terms with
his death. It is only now at 40yrs old that I feel ready to find out
who my Father really was and about his career. I have joined some forums,
sent off for his Naval/Merchant Navy records etc. I’ve also posted on
several Facebook pages (Merchant Navy etc) to see if I can find any
of his shipmates. I have had some response and the emails I have received
from men who sailed with him are slowly helping me piece together a
picture of my Father as a seaman.

One chap who has made contact with me suggested I write to you as the
Editor of The Maritime Advocate to see if you might put this email in
your magazine?? I am keen to find men who sailed on that last trip with
my Dad on the Al Safaniya.

My Dad originally joined the Navy and studied in Dartmouth, I have
been told that my Dad decided he was a Pacifist and wanted to join the
Merchant Navy. According to family the Navy would not allow my Father
to carry over the hours he had notched up in the Navy over to the MN
so my Grandfather took the Admiralty to court and won (how accurate
that is I do not know). Dad worked for T& J Harrison’s, Mobil and
then went Foreign Flag.

I hope there is some way you can help me with this quest or at least
point me in the right direction.

Contact Rachel at:-


5. Positive Lexicography

Courtesy of the Browser, we learn of the work of academic Tim Lomas
who in this piece supplies a list of expressions from many languages
for positive emotional states and concepts, many without immediate English

"Ah-un (Japanese): Unspoken communication between close friends.
Fargin (Yiddish): To glow with pride at the success of others. Gigil
(Tagalog): The irresistible urge to pinch a loved one. Sarang (Korean):
The desire to be with someone until death. Mudita (Sanskrit): To revel
in someone else’s joy"!alphabetical-lexicography/b5ojm


6. People and Places

Carol O’Brien has left the Steamship Mutual and is looking for a new
position as a marketing professional with insurers or a suitable law

Contact her at:-


From 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.

We found many references to Indonesia, including this one which appeared
in Issue 185 of 7th December, 2004:-


AS an accomplished linguist, your editor cannot understand why anybody
should be afraid to pronounce foreign words. There are few languages
your editor doesn’t speak fluently, and he believes that all languages
can be mastered with just a little application and concentration. Some
years ago, for example, he worked out that Indonesian is simply English
with every second word repeated, the whole delivered with a slightly
French accent, German is English spoken backwards with every third word
omitted and replaced by a diphthong (or diptych for the artistically
minded), and Dutch is soon cleared up with a good strong linctus.

Several years ago, somebody invented a language called Seaspeak, which
is one of the few tongues your editor has failed to master. Somebody
at the time (and it might have been your editor) said it was a good
idea. But it hasn’t caught on. You never hear it spoken these days.

A quick search of Amazon reveals that the Seaspeak manual is a "hard-to-find
title" that can be obtained for $1.95 from any good greengrocer.
The only review on the Amazon page reads, "I have read this book,
I think." And a Google search reveals, "This page does not
yet exist."

Your editor is left wondering what happened to Seaspeak. Perhaps the
clues are there, however. Take a simple line such as, "Tread softly,
because you tread on my dreams." Here it is in Seaspeak: "Belay
the scuppers, Jim, and trim the topsail, smart as paint." (If you
haven?t got a topsail, a ha’penny will do).

This is not to say that Seaspeak is dead. It may yet become the universal
language. If it does, your editor is going to make sure, this time,
that he concentrates, and that he gets a room overlooking the sports



How it Helps

A college physics professor was explaining a particularly complicated
concept to his class when a pre-med student interrupted him.

"Why do we have to learn this stuff?" one young man blurted

"To save lives," the professor responded before continuing
the lecture.

A few minutes later the student spoke up again. "So how does physics
save lives?"

The professor stared at the student for a long time without saying
a word. Finally the professor continued.

"Physics saves lives," he said, "because it keeps certain
people out of medical school."

[Source:Paul Dixon]


What’s Better: Work, Or Prison?

So asks Randy Cassingham, the aegis behind JumboJoke.Com:-

Just in case you ever get these two environments mixed up, this should
make things a little bit clearer:

In Prison: You spend most of your time in a 10X10 cell.
At Work: You spend most of your time in an 6X6 cubicle.

In Prison: You get three meals a day free of charge.
At Work: You get a break for one meal and you have to pay for it.

In Prison: For good behavior, you get time off.
At Work: For good behavior, you get more work.

In Prison: The guard locks and unlocks all the doors for you.
At Work: You must carry a security card and open all the doors yourself.

In Prison: You can watch TV and play games.
At Work: You could get fired for watching TV and playing games.

In Prison: You get your own toilet.
At Work: You have to share the toilet with people who pee on the seat.

In Prison: They allow your family and friends to visit.
At Work: you aren’t even supposed to speak To your family.

In Prison: All expenses are paid by the taxpayers with no work required.
At Work: You must pay all your expenses to go to work, and they deduct
taxes from your salary to pay for prisoners.

In Prison: You spend most of your life inside bars wanting to get out.
At Work: You spend most of your time wanting to get out and go inside

In Prison: You must deal with sadistic wardens.
At Work: They are called ‘managers’.

I’ll bet you think there is something wrong with this picture, but
get back to work: you’re not getting paid to look at joke sites


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