The Maritime Advocate-Issue 677



1. Light Ballast Condition
2. Arrivederci Customs Reform in Odessa
3. Polar Code Enters into Force
4. New Emirates Maritime Arbitration Centre (EMAC)
5. Container General Average
6. People and Places

The Maritime Advocate–A Growing Concern

This publication, nicknamed “the Avo” passed a milestone last summer. It has passed the 20 000 subscriber mark, the highest total since its foundation in 2001. As a result of hand-ons and internal republications within firms, it is fair to assume a total readership of around 60 000 located in 120 countries. This gives the Avo a very wide footprint in the maritime world. If you have a message or product to promote or circulate, the Avo can promise to get the word out at affordable rates. Give us a try why don’t you..

1. Light Ballast Condition

In the latest edition of the Hill Dickinson Shipping Case Digest noting Regulus Ship Services PTE Ltd -v- Lundin Services BV [2016] EWHC 2674 (Comm), authors Beatrice Cameli, Chris Primikiris, Justin Draeger and Toby Miller report:-

In his recent decision Phillips J clarified the meaning of ‘light ballast condition’ and defined the scope and effect of a delay claim under the TOWCON form.

Background facts

By an ocean towage contract on BIMCO Towcon terms dated 21 August 2012, the claimant (Regulus) agreed that its tug, the “AHTS HARMONY 1”, would tow the FPSO “IKDAM” from Sousse, Tunisia to Labuan, Malaysia, on behalf of the defendants (Lundin), a voyage of over 12,500 nautical miles for the lump sum of US$2,750,000.

It was an express term of the contract that the “IKDAM” would be in ‘light ballast condition’. Regulus claimed that, in breach of this obligation, Lundin provided the “IKDAM” in heavy ballast condition, causing the voyage to take longer and the tug to use more fuel than should have been required.

Regulus claimed:

delay payments for those days in excess of the anticipated duration of the voyage; and
damages to reflect the cost of excess fuel, port demurrage and miscellaneous expenses.
Lundin counterclaimed damages on the basis that Regulus was in breach of an implied obligation under the contract (or otherwise of a collateral guarantee given by Regulus) that the convoy would maintain an average speed of 4.5 knots.

Towards the end of the voyage, Regulus diverted the convoy to Singapore in order to assert a lien over the “IKDAM” in respect of its delay claim referred to above. Each party claimed to have accepted the other party’s repudiation of the contract whilst at Singapore, following email exchanges. Lundin entered a new towage contract to complete the “IKDAM”’s voyage to Labuan.

To read the note in full go to:-

2. Arrivederci Customs Reform in Odessa

A recent report from Reuters suggests the path to customs reform in the Ukraine has grown thorny:-

The US Agency for International Development (USAID) has ended funding for a flagship customs reform project in Ukraine’s Odessa region, as the government’s ambitious plans to tackle bribe-taking at its Black Sea ports stalled.

USAID and other institutions have supported Kiev’s Western-backed government, which took power after the 2014 Maidan street protests, to fight endemic corruption and put an economy battered by an ongoing separatist war back on its feet.

But the saga around Odessa customs underscored what critics of the government say is its patchy record of delivering change.

Yulia Marushevska, a young Maidan activist with no prior civil service experience, was appointed to head Odessa customs in 2015. She quit in November, saying there was no real political will to support her reforms.

Mikheil Saakashvili, the former Georgian president who was parachuted in to become Governor of Odessa, accused President Petro Poroshenko and the government of sabotaging reforms, including at the customs. Poroshenko’s office said Saakashvili was deflecting blame for his own failures.

A USAID official, who did not want to be named, said Odessa had some early successes, such as introducing a single window clearance system at the customs, and stressed that feedback from businesses and regional officials had been positive.

Read the full report here:-

3. Polar Code Enters into Force

The IMO’s mandatory Polar Code, for ships operating in Arctic and Antarctic waters, enters into force on 1 January 2017.

Here is a link to the full text of the Code:-…………………….+44 (0)20 3326 4514

4. New Emirates Maritime Arbitration Centre (EMAC)

Samara Williams has handed this notice to us:-

The Emirates Maritime Arbitration Centre (EMAC) is now officially accepting applications for new members. Officially launched in Dubai on November 2, 2016, EMAC was established to offer an effective and efficient regional platform to settle maritime disputes using alternative dispute resolution. The Centre was established in response to the UAE’s evolving maritime industry as it grows into one of the world’s most advanced and accessible maritime hubs, with a vision to promote excellence in maritime dispute resolution and provide the region with a trusted global standard for maritime dispute resolution services.

EMAC provides a complete package of services which are designed to resolve maritime disputes through arbitration, mediation and other alternative dispute resolution processes. It connects parties with experienced arbitrators, mediators and experts from around the world, who are specialised in a wide range of maritime-related matters.

EMAC’s platform is based upon memberships which aims at bringing together maritime stakeholders across the globe. Applications are open for members from any profession irrespective of where they reside. Members can enjoy a wide range of benefits, from the exchange of knowledge among the sector’s most pre-eminent experts, to industry networking opportunities. Members have access to a pool of knowledge from industry leaders, who have a proven track record both in arbitration and alternative dispute resolution methods and practice in jurisdictions across the world.

There are two types of membership: Individual Membership, priced at US$100, or Corporate Membership at US$200, which includes up to three subscriptions from the corporate member’s officers, with additional members at US$50 per person. EMAC Members benefit from numerous resources at the Centre, including a calendar of events which focuses on the maritime and legal sectors, as well as a resource library. Parties are also supported through auxiliary services at the Centre, such as translation, meeting room rental and case secretaries.

Additionally, applications are open to join the EMAC Panel, consisting of renowned arbitrators and mediators from across the globe. Potential panel members are invited to apply through an online or offline form, which outlines their experience. All panel applications are reviewed by the EMAC Executive Committee.

“Since our launch, one of our key aims at EMAC is to unite experts from across the maritime dispute resolution sector, both regionally and internationally,” says Mr. Majid Obaid Bin Bashir, Vice Chairman and Secretary General of EMAC. “We are pleased to invite new members to join EMAC, who will not only benefit from our services, but will become an essential facet in our mission to create a regional Centre of excellence and best international practice for maritime arbitration and alternative dispute resolution, on a par with other global maritime hubs.”

Interested prospective members can download the EMAC membership form online at:-

5. Container General Average

One thing we learned in a life spent in and around marine insurance is that it is easy to bring any meeting to a confused halt by interjecting that noone present has focused on the general average implications of the matter at hand.

Just in comes this thoughtful piece from P&I correspondent M.Jagannath of NAU Pte Ltd in Singapore who not only raises the issue but also puts forward some suggestions to avoid the ponderous aftermath of a GA declaration. Worthwhile reading.

6. People and Places

Former HFW Partner James Gosling (previously head of the Admiralty department and now a Consultant ) has been appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the New Year’s Honours announced on 30 December 2016.

An OBE is a Queen’s honour given to an individual for a major role in any activity such as business, charity or the public sector. This honour relates to James’s role in pioneering the global shipping industry’s response to maritime piracy in Somalia. Over a period of 11 years, James and the HFW team, including in particular Partners Richard Neylon and George Lamplough and Associate Michael Ritter, worked with organisations in the City of London and the global shipping industry to bring about the release of more than 1,750 seafarers, many of whom were subjected to mistreatment and torture during their ordeals. This included providing pro bono legal services and support to secure the release of the 48 “forgotten” seafarer hostages from four vessels, some of whom had been held hostage on land in Somalia for more than four years.


Rick Rountree

We are very sorry to learn of the death of Rick Rountree who headed the firm of Dundee Internet Services in Michigan, the company responsible for the distribution of this ezine around the world. Our condolences we send to his wife Pat and the Rountree family. Here is a link to the obituary which appeared in the local paper:-

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 a reference to Polar matters, not exactly gravitas, by Chris Hewer, in edition 283 of 12th December 2006:-

Polar thinking

HERE’S a good one. American scientists say the ice is melting so fast in the Arctic that the North Pole will be in the open sea within the next thirty years, and ships will be able to sail over the top of the world and tourists will be able to visit what was, until climate change, one of the planet’s most inaccessible landscapes. Emissions are to blame, of course, and smoking, too.

The same scientists make no mention of the fact that sailing over the top of the world (something which romantics have until now only SAT upon) would be the long way round to get to anywhere hospitable. They say the Arctic will be ice-free by 2040 or earlier, which is quite exact, for scientists. Very soon, the only ice to be had will be that found in the highballs and expensive cocktails of the belted gentry.

In shipping, February 20 will be replaced by something similar, because the Baltic will be open all the year round, with non-members and their spouses welcome, provided they are wearing a tie. P&I clubs which have not already done so will fall into disrepair through neglect.

A scientist described the findings as ‘worrying’.

Dear Darling Son & That Person You Married

Merry Christmas to you, and please don’t worry. I’m just fine considering I can’t breathe or eat. The important thing is that you have a nice holiday, thousands of miles away from your ailing mother.

I’ve sent along my last ten dollars in this card, which I hope you’ll spend on my grandchildren. God knows their mother never buys them anything nice. They look so thin in their pictures, poor babies.

Thank you so much for the Christmas flowers, dear boy. I put them in the freezer so they’ll stay fresh for my grave.

Which reminds me — we buried Grandma last week. I know she died years ago, but I got to yearning for a good funeral so Aunt Viola and I dug her up and had the services all over again.

I would have invited you, but I know that woman you live with would have never let you come. I bet she’s never even watched that videotape of my hemorrhoid surgery, has she?

Well son, it’s time for me to crawl off to bed now. I lost my cane beating off muggers last week, but don’t you worry about me.

I’m also getting used to the cold since they turned my heat off and am grateful because the frost on my bed numbs the constant pain.

Now don’t you even think about sending any more money, because I know you need it for those expensive family vacations you take every year.

Give my love to my darling grandbabies and my regards to whatever-her-name-is — the one with the black roots who stole you screaming from my bosom.

Our World in Data

Cheer Up. Courtesy of the Browser we include a piece by Max Roser which appeared before Christmas. He says the quality of life is better by far than it has ever been — at least for the average human being. The proportion of the world’s population living in extreme poverty has fallen from 75% to 10% since 1950. The literacy rate has risen from 30% to 85% since 1930. Child mortality has fallen ten-fold since 1800. Colonialism has all but disappeared. Half the world’s population lives in a democracy, and most of the other half lives in China.