The Maritime Advocate–Issue 712



1. The Sanchi
2. Gender Diversity on Ships
3. Canadian Senate Committee Calls for National Autonomous Vehicles Strategy in New Report
4. RightShip – New Age Limit for Inspections
5. Who’s Afraid Of The Petextrian?
6. People and Places

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1. The Sanchi

The lawyers over at M. Taher & Co have sent in this update on some of the maritime challenges arising from the casualty and discusses the likely impact of sanctions on the claim process.


On 14 July 2015 Iran and the U.S. were among the seven countries which together with the EU signed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (“JCPOA”), whose implementation on 16 January 2016 saw, on terms, the lifting of the majority of nuclear-related sanctions against Iran. Other wide-ranging restrictions, for example as regards terrorism and those otherwise applying to particular individuals and bodies, however, remain. The JCPOA does not apply to widely-defined “U.S. persons”, and, absent specific licensing, all such are barred under U.S. law from transacting with Iranian interests.

The Trump administration has continued to threaten the subsistence of the JCPOA and related concessions and U.S. – Iran relations remain extremely difficult. On 12 January 2018 President Trump warned that he would for the last time waive sanctions under the JCPOA, and reiterated that unless provisions that allow Iran gradually to resume nuclear activities in the next decade (the so-called “sunset clauses”) are removed he will pull out of the accord.


On 6 January, about 260 km east of Shanghai and for reasons still unknown there was a collision between the Chinese bulk carrier “CF CRYSTAL”, laden with 64,000 tonnes of U.S. grain bound for China, and the “SANCHI”. The “CF CRYSTAL” and her crew reached Zhoushan, China on 10 January, but the “SANCHI”, which was carrying 136,000 tonnes of condensate, or ultra-light crude oil, caught fire, later capsizing and then sinking on 14 January.

Two of her complement of 32 are confirmed dead and the others are missing and presumed so. Escaping cargo and now heavy bunker fuel oil have formed several slicks. Closely monitored and said to be getting larger, these last week ranged in size from about 5.5 to 48, and totalled around 100, square kilometres. The vessels’ black boxes were opened yesterday in the presence of officials from China, Iran, and Panama.

This is the first major Iran-related casualty since the JCPOA, and managing the effect of relevant sanctions is likely to add further challenge to the considerable operational difficulties.


As ROVs survey a wreck that sits in only 115 metres of water, seeking to identify and later hopefully staunch leaks – and with recent suggestion of raising the vessel in some way from the sea floor – the various parties will be considering what marine conventions apply, any effective limitation (and how perhaps to break it) and looking to assess, quantify, secure, present and defend what will probably be very substantial claims.

These will include those of the families of the dead and missing crew, for the loss of the vessel and her cargo and bunkers, for attempts to contain, disperse or neutralise the escaped fuels, for any clean-up costs and for damage to the marine environment and fishing and other maritime losses.

They will be under the Bill(s) of Lading and perhaps also the charterparty, P&I Club rules and the H&M policy and perhaps also via the Bunkers (though maybe not the CLC) Convention and possibly under the Chinese COPC rather than the IOPC Fund.

While it is far too soon to appropriate liability, and much may depend on the accuracy of drift projections (whether and if so where and how much escaped material makes landfall), the claims could run into hundreds of millions of U.S. dollars. With NITC and Iranian cargo interests and nationals involved, such could be by and against numerous Iranian parties. Banks, insurers, claim representatives and many other entities will be wary and may be looking to their advisers.


There are likely to be three main areas of concern:

1. Sanctions surviving the JCPOA

We referred to these above. Those in the claim process and their advisers must comply with the non-nuclear restrictions that remain and avoid involvement with the numerous individuals and entities still subject to specific sanction.

On initial consultation, preliminary due diligence should screen appropriately and provide reassurance. If parties run what should be their usual rigorous checks there should be no problem with counterparty or client identity. These processes should, of course, be repeated for any other party later emerging as involved.

2. “U.S. persons”

This might be more difficult. It will be straightforward to identify U.S. owned and domiciled bodies, but others might employ an individual who is a U.S. person as defined, and perhaps not know it. Any such would need to be sealed from the process in any action involving Iranian interests, or risk breaching U.S. law, with perhaps serious consequences. The sensible first step of identifying “U.S. persons” could in some cases raise privacy and data protection issues.

3. Banking and the transfer of funds

The U.S. financial system cannot be involved, and this presents practical difficulties, especially for payments denominated in U.S. dollars. Moreover it is notorious that, no matter the currency, Western financial institutions remain reluctant to transact Iran-related business, sometimes even if it is plainly legitimate and on the most precautionary basis. Having seen its possible consequences, many banks, insurers and similar will not risk breach and routinely decline.

Parties and their advisers have long been aware of what has been called banking paralysis. It is not a new thing. Thus, in these early days, preparatory steps should include a preliminary route-map of what might be paid, by and to whom and where. One cannot be certain at this stage, but claims will likely include those by the representatives of the crew, most of whom are Iranian nationals and probably domiciled in Iran, or perhaps by NITC on their behalf, by the vessel owner under the H&M policy and (depending on title and risk) maybe by NIOC as regards the cargo and also perhaps NITC in respect of the bunkers. Neither NITC nor NIOC is of course any longer a nuclear-sanctioned entity.

Alongside the common issues of liability, quantum and limitation, all might, therefore, (in readiness) focus on valid payment mechanisms, perhaps involving some of the banks who will handle Iran-related monies. In that way any later crystallised payments could hopefully proceed without the great difficulty and additional delay which is still the frequent fate of claims involving Iranian interests.

2. Gender Diversity on Ships

Our friends at WISTA International have sent in word that they too are working towards a new equilibrium:-

International Seafarers’ Welfare and Assistance Network (ISWAN) and Anglo-Eastern Ship Management Limited in cooperation with WISTA International have published a new booklet on building and maintaining gender diversity on board merchant ships. The booklet addresses critical social, cultural and interpersonal issues that can obstruct productivity of a shipboard team.

More than a manual, the booklet aims to sensitize junior and senior officers to the challenges women seafarers may face. From sexual harassment and bullying to negative attitudes faced by male colleagues, the booklet addresses a wide range of challenges reported by women seafarers.

“Shipping is a global industry that strengthens each year thanks to increasing gender diversity. This booklet represents an important collaboration between the corporate, welfare, and non-profit sides of shipping to create a global industry that is inclusive, diverse, and strong,” said Despina Panayiotou Theodosiou, president of WISTA International.

“Women form 39.3% of the workforce globally. However, women seafarers constitute only 2% of the total number of seafarers sailing on the high seas. There is a need to bridge this gender gap, and this can only happen if we bring more awareness of this profession to the general public and at the same time sensitize the male seafarers towards acceptance of women on board the ship as equals, giving due respect to their viewpoints and working well together as colleagues,” said Capt. K. N. Deboo, Anglo-Eastern Maritime Training Centre Director and Principal. “Keeping this in mind, Anglo-Eastern Ship Management Ltd. developed this booklet with valuable inputs from WISTA and ISWAN.”


3. Canadian Senate Committee Calls for National Autonomous Vehicles Strategy in New Report

Brad Hallowell, John Hunter and Robert Love of the Canadian firm of BLG-Borden Ladner Gervais write:-

On Monday, January 29, 2018, the Standing Senate Committee on Transport and Communications delivered its report on the regulatory and technical issues related to the deployment of connected and automated vehicles – “Driving Change: Technology and the Future of the Automated Vehicle”. The key message arising from this report is:

“Canada is ill-prepared for the fast-approaching future of transportation.”

Divided into two sections, the first part of the report looks at the potential advantages and challenges of autonomous vehicles (“AVs”) and connected vehicles (“CVs”). Part 2 provides in-depth recommendations, including the creation of a joint policy unit to coordinate federal efforts for the implementation of a national strategy. BLG is proud to have participated in the Committee’s consultation process with industry. We hope that this report will be a significant step forward for the development of federal policy and the deployment of AVs on Canadian roads.

4. RightShip – New Age Limit for Inspections

Gavin Ritchie of the Charterers Club writes:-

RightShip is a ship approval system which was formed to improve dry bulk safety and quality standards, to identify suitable vessels for trade and draw on the significant ship vetting expertise of global commodity companies.

Effective from January 2018 RightShip has published a new regulation which changes the age trigger for a dry cargo inspection for vessels over 8,000 dwt downwards from 18 years to 14 years, after which an annual acceptable RightShip inspection will be required.

Click on the link below for our comments on the amendment and also a charterparty clause that could be considered to protect a Charterers position.

5. Who’s Afraid Of The Petextrian?

Courtesy of the Browser we read the thoughts of Jordan Fraade in the Baffler as he speculates on the shifts attendant upon the end of the hegemony of the combustion engine era:-

Modern car culture is about to confront an enormous shift in the balance of civic and technological power—one that threatens to permanently upend the relationship between drivers and pedestrians. Autonomous vehicles will require a new bargain, in which humans reclaim priority over machines. “Take an aggressive, entitled jerk driving a souped-up BMW and replace him with a law-abiding computer. What happens next?

6. People and Places

Rui Fernandes has sent in details on the upcoming marine and energy seminar in Toronto on April 18-20 and writes:-

On behalf of the MESA 2018 Planning Committee, I am delighted to announce the inauguration of the Marine & Energy Symposium of the Americas. MESA 2018 will be held at the historic Omni King Edward Hotel on April 18-20, 2018 in Toronto, Canada.

Please take a look around the MESA 2018 website. We hope you’ll join us at this annual, international event showcasing legal and industry developments in the marine and energy sectors in the Americas and around the world. We have an exciting roster of topics and speakers planned over the course of 1 ½ days, as well as ample time for participants to meet, dine, network and explore Toronto, our sophisticated, world-class host city.

MESA 2018 seeks to bring together legal, insurance and industry professionals from the marine and energy sectors with a view to discussing timely and pressing issues from all three of these perspectives. It is also one of the hottest marine and energy networking events of the year, where participants from all over the world can converge on Toronto for a few days of meetings, marketing and more!

Participants from all over the world are encouraged to attend. Register early – space is limited! We can’t wait to meet you in Toronto next year and show you around.

Rui Fernandes, Chair
MESA 2018 Planning Committee


The American Salvage Associations Bi-Annual elections were held at the Associations meeting where general members voted for a newly constituted Executive Committee and Leadership Committee. The 2017 election resulted in Lindsay Malen – Habib, of Resolve Marine Group as the new Secretary Treasurer, and, the first female ever on the ASA’s Leadership Committee.

David DeVilbiss, Global Diving and Salvage, was made Vice President of the ASA where he will support the organization’s goals and the new organization’s new President, Jim Elliott.


Nominations for the third Freight Transport Association (FTA) Multimodal Awards, which this year will champion warehouse innovation, are open until Friday, 2nd February 2018. The awards recognise excellence in air, road, rail, maritime, and freight forwarding services, as well as rewarding a Young Logistics Professional, and a Shipper of the Year.

Nominations for the services awards are voted for by the thousands of readers of the Multimodal newsletter, as well as FTA members, and exhibitors at Multimodal 2018.

The Young Logistics Professional and Shipper Categories are judged by a panel of industry leaders, which this year includes Ariaen Zimmerman, Executive Director, Cargo iQ, David Wells, Chief Executive, FTA, Peter MacSwiney, Chairman, Agency Sector Management (ASM Ltd.), Dave Howorth, Executive Director, SCALA Consulting Group, and Robert Jervis.

Nominations can be made online at:


Carleen Lyden Walker writes:

On March 15th, the Maritime Global Technology Innovation Center (MGTIC) will host a Reverse Pitch at the SUNY Maritime College campus in Throggs Neck, New York. We hope some of your Readers can attend this unique opportunity to hear from industry what the needs/challenges are, and how new ideas could be developed to meet them. Developers and finance sources will be on hand to respond. This is the day after the close of the CMA Shipping 2018 conference.

Admission is free, but reservations must be secured. To register online, RSVP at:-


We were sad to learn of the death of Sir Peter Miller on 30th January 2018

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.

With more than usual number of items relating to matters Canadian we went in search of references to the place and found one anchored in the final words of Issue 171 of 31st August 2004:-

Say Cheese

SARAH McGurk, of Calgary, in Canada, writes, “It has been a while since I’ve felt compelled to reply to this most excellent weekly newsletter”. (Your editor had decided to take this as a compliment).

Sarah continues, “Your cheese poem (last week) has driven me to unprecedented creativity and I’d like to add my own, extremely humble offering”.

There is nothing humble about Sarah’s verse. Judge for yourself.


Feta Complis

Dessert wines and cheeses, I always feel
Are perfect companions to a gluttonous meal.

Care must be taken when choosing the pairs
If you don?t want to risk guests’ questioning stares.

Take as your guide the matrimonial cue,
Something old, something new, and perhaps something blue

The “old” can only be a smooth, mature port
Which should, it is felt, be drunk with Roquefort.

The “new” could be ice wine, Muscat or Sauternes
With a rich creamy brie to allay your concerns.

As far as what counts towards something ?blue?,
Stilton suffices?with Tokaji Aszu.

Something well-rounded is a Gouda dea
But don’t mix with Riesling, the effect is quite queer.

Muscat should stay well away from Gruyere,
And please don’t be tempted to skip Camembert!

My final note of warning to those in a jam,
Frankly, Madeira, don’?t give Edam.

(Sarah McGurk)

New Office Slang

World Wide Wait – The real meaning of www.

404 – Someone who is clueless. From the Web error message, “404 Not Found,” which means the document requested couldn’t be located. “Don’t bother asking John. He’s 404.”

Chips and Salsa – Chips = hardware, salsa = software. “First we gotta figure out if the problem’s in your chips or your salsa.”

Cobweb – A WWW site that never changes.

Cube Farm – An office filled with cubicles.

Egosurfing – Scanning the Net, databases, etc., for one’s own name.

Keyboard Plaque – The disgusting buildup of dirt and crud found on some people’s computer keyboards.

Mouse Potato – The online generation’s answer to the couch potato.

Oh-no-second – That minuscule fraction of time during which you realize you’ve just made a terrible error.

Open-Collar Workers – People who work at home or telecommute.

Plug-and-Play – A new hire who doesn’t require training. “That new guy is totally plug-and-play.”

Seagull Manager – A manager who flies in, makes a lot of noise, dumps on everything and then leaves.

Stress Puppy – A person who thrives on being stressed-out and whiny.

Under Mouse Arrest – Getting busted for violating an online service’s rule of conduct. “Sorry I couldn’t get back to you. AOL put me under mouse arrest.”

Xerox Subsidy – Euphemism for swiping free photocopies from one’s workplace

[Paul Dixon]

New Liquor Liability Warning Labels

1. The consumption of alcohol may leave you wondering, “What the hell happened to your bra and panties?”

2. The consumption of alcohol may make you think you are whispering when you are not.

3. The consumption of alcohol is a major factor in dancing like a looney.

4. The consumption of alcohol may cause you to tell your friends over and over again that you love them.

5. The consumption of alcohol may cause you to think you can sing.

6. The consumption of alcohol may lead you to believe that ex-lovers are really dying for you to telephone them at four in the morning.

7. The consumption of alcohol may make you think you can logically converse with members of the opposite sex without spitting.

8. The consumption of alcohol may create the illusion that you are tougher, smarter, faster and better looking than most people.

9. The consumption of alcohol may lead you to think people are laughing WITH you.

10. The consumption of alcohol may cause pregnancy. The consumption of alcohol may be a major factor in getting your ass kicked.

11. The crumsumpten of alcahol may mack you tihnk you can tipe real gode.

12 The consumption of Alcohol may leave you clothesless.