The Maritime Advocate-Issue 680



1. American P&I Club’s Centenary
2. SSI and Seafarers on-board Charter
3. Meeting in Las Palmas
4. New LMAA Terms 2017 Announced
5. IUMI Paper on Ro-Ro Car Fires
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. American P&I Club’s Centenary

Today marks the 100th anniversary of the foundation of the American P&I Club. To celebrate its first 100 years, a book entitled The American Club: A Centennial History has just been published.

The book tells the story of the Club across ten decades of maritime and marine insurance history both within the United States and across the world. Its author is Richard Blodgett, a former Wall Street Journal reporter whose previous credits include histories of the New York Stock Exchange, Kohler and Co. and JP Morgan Chase & Co.

The Club’s Chairman, Arnold Witte of Donjon Marine Co., Inc., commented:

“P&I clubs are one of the least known, yet significant, niches of the maritime world. The American Club: A Centennial History reveals the rich traditions of the clubs through the spyglass of the only P&I club in the Americas. I am delighted that we have been able to record for posterity the challenges the American Club has faced over the years, and we are very proud of all the achievements and benefits it has brought those who work in the global shipping industry and to marine insurance in general.”

The American Club was founded in February, 1917. War was raging in Europe when the Club began. At that time, P&I insurance was available primarily from clubs in the United Kingdom and Scandinavia. In consequence of UK government trade-related sanctions which had been imposed on certain US shipowners in 1916, the American Club was established to provide a reliable source of coverage in the United States.

The Club was the brainchild of W. H. LaBoyteaux, President of Johnson & Higgins, the leading US marine insurance broker in the United States at that time. The Club was an immediate success, enjoying the support of many of the foremost US steamship companies.

The size of the American merchant marine fluctuated in the 1920s and 1930s. It grew during World War II, but entered a prolonged period of decline thereafter. In the decades from 1950 onward, the worldwide merchant fleet grew steadily. But nearly all that growth was taking place outside the United States.

Although the Club only admitted its first foreign-flagged member in 1980, it had ambitions of further international growth over the years which followed. These ambitions gained momentum in 1995 when the Club implemented a major strategy for growth and diversification. Entitled Vision 2000, it called for new leadership, the expansion of the Club’s membership internationally, the establishment of overseas offices, the development of new insurance lines and many other initiatives designed to place the Club at the forefront of its industry peers.

In 1998 the American Club became a full member of the International Group of P&I Clubs. This alliance of leading insurers provides outstanding security and technical resources to the maritime community. It also supports the industry’s broader interests as one of shipping’s most influential voices.

Joe Hughes, Chairman and CEO of the American Club’s managers, Shipowners Claims Bureau, Inc., also commented:

“Today the American Club is thoroughly international in scope, offers a broad range of marine insurance products and is larger and more successful than ever. At present, members domiciled outside North America account for some 85 percent of the Club’s insured tonnage. What was founded in 1917 as an American Club serving the American steamship industry has successfully recast itself as an American Club serving the global maritime community, building on the enduring values of its long traditions.”

2. SSI and Seafarers on-board Charter

Alastair Fischbacher, Chief Executive of the Sustainable Shipping Initiative writes:-

Seafarers shoulder the responsibility of transporting 90 per cent of the world’s goods, and hold an indispensable role in driving the global economy. Though they are a vital part of the shipping ecosystem, they often go unnoticed. The lives of seafarers are often challenging, with long periods away from family and friends, months at sea with limited facilities and services, and demanding working conditions. As a result, recruitment and retention of skilled seafarers, as well as attracting potential workers from outside of shipping, has become a growing challenge for the industry. To address this, shipping needs to recognize the importance of improving seafarer welfare, and its critical role within sustainability of the whole shipping industry, as well as its commercial importance in driving operational and performance efficiencies within the global fleet.

In recent years there has been increased effort to raise awareness for this issue and implement change. In 2013, a key piece of legislation – the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC) – came into force, which is an internationally binding agreement that sets out the minimum working and living standards for all seafarers. The MLC has now been ratified by 81 member states covering 91 per cent of the world’s shipping fleet. The standards laid out in the legislation include minimum age, employment agreements, hours of work or rest, paid annual leave and repatriation at the end of a contract. The convention also covers on-board medical care, the use of licensed private recruitment and placement services, accommodation, food and catering, health and safety protection, accident prevention and the handling of seafarers’ complaints. It has had a positive impact on seafarer welfare, but more needs to be done.

Seafarer welfare is one of the six core areas of the Sustainable Shipping Initiative’s “Vision”, which is to create a sustainable shipping industry by 2040. In a survey conducted by SSI, findings still showed that seafarers often face stress while at sea, compounded by the emotional challenges of being away from their families for long periods of time. The need for suitable living spaces for relaxation and rest were also highlighted in the findings.

Building upon the foundations laid by the MLC, the SSI have developed a ‘Seafarers on-board Charter’, a best practice charter that can be adopted by ship owners and operators to further enhance the welfare of seafarers beyond the basic requirements set out in part A of the MLC.

The charter is spilt into five subcategories. These are:

1. Accommodation: Strive to enhance habitability, considering environmental quality factors, such as light, heat, moisture, noise, vibration, air quality and aesthetics to promote rest and relaxation.

2. Recreational and social activities: Provide recreational spaces that encourage social activities on board vessels; provide a welfare fund to each vessel to be spent as decided by the seafarers; encourage a cohesive on-board community through regular social activities; ensure that port agents provide information on available shore facilities when requested by the Master; and encourage shore leave wherever practical and possible in port and at anchor.

3. Communication and support: Provide internet connectivity to seafarers; conduct seafarer satisfaction surveys to monitor developments, capture concerns as well as progress, and respond to feedback with actions where appropriate; consider the opportunity to engage and align themselves with a charity such as the Sailors’ Society that promotes seafarer wellbeing.

4. Food and catering: Ensure that potable water is of suitable quality, is fit to drink and is tested regularly.

5. Management and policy: Ensure that there are equal opportunities for seafarers and shore staff; encourage a harmonious workplace on board vessels led by senior officers; encourage and value the retention of seafarers; and review manning procedures to encourage industry best practice as far as is practical.

Workplace welfare is key to psychological wellbeing and happiness. It is a principle that is well understood on land, and the same goes for those employed at sea; even more so. By adopting the charter and going beyond the basic requirements of the MLC, the shipping industry will not just ensure a happier and healthier workforce, they will also realise increased productivity, more efficient operations, higher retention rates, as well as attracting people from outside of shipping to come and work within, and bring new skills to the industry. It is a critical part of ensuring the sustainability of the industry, and we need to work together to enforce a culture of welfare, and protect shipping’s most valuable asset.

3. Meeting in Las Palmas

Ida Stier has sent us news of the ” I O&G Meeting Day in the Canary Island” to be held in Las Palmas on March 16th.

The event is in the nature of an open day on the subjects of “The Environment, Quality, Safety, Health & Competency”, and brings together local authorities and representatives of international companies to discuss the offshore sector and key aspects for the future of this industry that is going through the natural cycle of life, facing the new challenges and changes to adapt itself to the market’s needs. The Forum Registration fee: 150 euros.

The registration deadline closes on February 20th, 2017.

Citizens of Countries requesting Visas should handle formalities at their respective Spanish Embassy. Please keep us posted on Visa requests to speed up the procedure at our end.

4. New LMAA Terms 2017 Announced

The London Maritime Arbitrators Association (LMAA) has published revised Terms and Procedures applying to arbitration proceedings commenced on or after 1 May 2017.

The LMAA says it is the world leader in international maritime arbitration with approximately 2,000 new arbitrations commenced under its Terms each year.

The revisions of the LMAA Terms, LMAA Small Claims Procedure and LMAA Intermediate Claims Procedure have been made by a committee of experienced arbitrators under the chairmanship of David Owen QC and follow extensive consultation with users. The changes are designed to ensure that the Association’s procedures are maintained in line with current and best practice to ensure an efficient resolution of disputes referred to LMAA arbitration in London.

One of several important changes is an increase in the recommended limit for the application of the LMAA Small Claims Procedure to USD100,000. Details and a comparison of the 2017 terms and procedures with the previous 2012 terms and procedures, together with an explanatory note, can be found on the LMAA website:

For further information please contact:

Clive Aston, President
The London Maritime Arbitrators Association at:

5. IUMI Paper on Ro-Ro Car Fires

Bill Lines has sent us the position paper released by the International Union of Marine Insurance (IUMI) voicing its concerns with fires on ro-ro passenger vehicles. Marine underwriters have witnessed an increase in the frequency of fires in the car/ro-ro passenger vessel segment and IUMI have put forward recommendations to mitigate the risks.

Read the paper here:-

6. People and Places

Peter Wölk has joined bMC as CEO based in Hamburg.

Peter Wölk is a fully qualified German lawyer and member of the Hamburg bar association but also an engineer for maritime transport, who studied Nautical Sciences. Peter Wölk has gained considerable industry insight throughout his career. First nautical experiences he collected on board of the “GORCH FOCK” of the German Navy, later also on commercial vessels. Prior to joining bMC, he worked for nearly five years as the Claims Director of Hanseatic Underwriters, a leading fixed premium P&I and FD&D provider. Prior to this he gained deep experience in maritime law as well as large casualty handling while first working as a maritime lawyer in a law office followed by more than six years working for a leading P&I correspondent. This was followed by his time as Senior Operations Manager and Legal Consultant for a major international Flag State Administration.

Apart from his office duties, Peter Wölk regularly acts as a lecturer e.g. at the Bucerius Education GmbH and the University of Applied Sciences in Bremen. He also acts as an arbitrator at the German Maritime Arbitration Association (GMAA). He is a member of the German Association for International Maritime Law (DVIS) and the German Society of Travel Law (DGfR).


Swedish arbitration lawyers Hans Bagner and Christer Söderlund have joined the re-launched Swedish boutique law firm of Morssing & Nycander. Morssing & Nycander is a boutique law firm specializing in dispute resolution, shipping (transportation) and insurance. Established in 1880, Morssing & Nycander is one of the oldest law firms in Sweden.

After a period of dormancy, Morssing & Nycander was re-established last year by Lars Boman, Anders Höglund and Sören Thorlin, who had previously worked together at the firm. The practice has since grown rapidly with both shipping-related cases and international arbitration.


The British International Freight Association (BIFA) has announced that Rachel Morley has joined its Board of Directors, replacing Carson McMullan who has stepped down having been on the Board since 2009.

Rachel is general manager for operations at BIFA member company, Spatial Global based at Castle Donnington in the East Midlands and is a graduate member of the Institute of Exports.

She joined Spatial in 1998, having earlier gained extensive trade experience in the shipping department at Boots and also worked for HSBC, where she qualified as a Certified Documentary Credit Specialist.


Hiro Nagai has sent in details about the 30th IAPH (International Association of Ports and Harbors) World Ports Conference 2017 to be held in Bali, Indonesia on 7th to 12th May, 2017. He says this will be the biggest port conference in 2017, attracting nearly 1,000 participants from across the world – port managers and directors, scholars, experts and other stakeholders in the port industry.

For details, please visit the conference website 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.

Looking for references to the American Club, we ran down these thoughts by the then editor Chris Hewer which appeared in Issue 346 dated May 13th, 2008:-

Group thoughts

IT was good to read that Joe Hughes, chairman and chief executive of the American Club’s managing company, was last week moved to defend the International Group of P&I Clubs at the Tradewinds 2008 Marine Risk Forum in Singapore. He was responding to the questions, “Does competition within the International Group truly exist? If so, what form does it take? Does co-operation within the IG equally exist in a true form and, if so, how does this manifest itself. And how are you?’

Of course one of those questions was just made up, by your editor. Nobody in their right mind would ask if competition existed among group clubs. It would have been good to know who was asking the real questions, however, never mind that it was good also to hear such a spirited response, and from Joe Hughes, who is a good man. That’s a lot of good.

The general drift of Joe’s argument was that, big or small, all thirteen IG member clubs benefit from the system, as do their shipowner members. Pluralism and diversity are encouraged by the structure, which is a good thing for the shipping industry at large. And both genuine competition and real co-operation exist within the IG, both having ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ elements.

The only people who think the International Group is a bad thing are those people who are outside it trying to get in, or at least to get access to the EU breaks, such as they are, enjoyed by the clubs. That is their tragedy. And the only bad thing about the International Group is that, every passing day, it becomes more and more the sort of organisation which doesn’t tell anybody about the very worthwhile work it is doing, thereby increasing the scope for the sort of criticism it doesn’t deserve. That is the International Group’s tragedy.


The Sunday before Christmas, a pastor told his congregation that the church needed some extra money. He asked the people to consider donating a little more than usual into the offering plate.

He said that whoever gave the most would be able to pick out three hymns. After the offering plates were passed, the pastor glanced down and noticed that someone had placed a $1,000 check in the offering.

He was so excited that he immediately shared his joy with his congregation and said he’d like to personally thank the person who placed the money in the plate. A very quiet, elderly, saintly looking lady all the way in the back shyly raised her hand. The pastor asked her to come to the front. Slowly she made her way to the pastor. He told her how wonderful it was that she gave so much and in thanks asked her to pick out three hymns.

Her eyes brightened as she looked over the congregation, pointed to the three most handsome men in the building and said, “I’ll take him and him and him.”

[Paul Dixon]

How to speak New Zealand

Milburn -Melbourne. capital of Victoria

Peck -Pack. to fill a suitcase

Pissed aside -Pesticide chemical which kills insects

Pigs -Pegs for hanging out washing with

Pug -Pig large animal with a curly tail

Nin tin dough -Nintendo. computer game

Munner stroney -Minestronie. soup

Min -Men. male of the species

Mess Kara -Mascara eye makeup

McKennock -Machanic. person who fixes cars

Mere – Mayor

Leather -Lather foam produced from soap

Lift -Left. departed

Kiri Pecker -Kerry Packer. famous Australian businessman

Kittle crusps – potato chips

Ken’s – Cairns

Jumbo – pet name for someone called Jim

Jungle Bills – Christmas carol

Inner me – enemy

Guess -Gas. vapour

Fush -Fish. marine creatures

Fitter cheney -Fetticini. type of pasta

Ever cardeau – avocado

Fear hear -Fair hair. blonde

Ear -Air mix of nitrogen and oxygen

Ear roebucks -Aerobics. exercise at the gym

Duffy cult -Difficult. not easy

Amejen – Imagine.visualise

Day old chuck -Chick very young poultry

Bug hut -Big Hit. popular recording

Bun button – been bitten by insect

Beard -Bed a place to sleep

Sucks Peck -Six Pack. Half a dozen beers

Ear New Zulland -Air New Zealand. an extinct airline

Beers -Bears. large savage animals found in U.S. forests

Veerjun – mythical New Zealand maiden

One Doze -Windows. well known computer program

Brudge -Bridge. structure spanning a stream

Sex -Six. one less than sivven

Tin – more than nine

Iggs Ecktly – Exactly.Precisely

Earplane -Aeroplane. large flying machine

Beggage Chucken -Baggage checkin. place to leave your suitcase at the earport Sivven

Sucks Sivven -Six Seven. large Boeing aircraft Sivven Four Sivven – larger Boeing aircraft

Cuds -Kids. children

Pits – Pets.domestic animals

Cuttin -Kitten. baby cat

Munce -Mince. usually served on toast

[Paul Dixon]