The Maritime Advocate–Issue 716



1. Maritime Arbitration and Numbers
2. Maritime UK’s Breakfast Briefing on Brexit
3. Calls for the Revision of the Reporting Formalities Directive
4. Wista Appoints Diversity Committee
5. Fat Leonard’s Crimes On The High Seas [Navy Department]
6. People and Places

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1. Maritime Arbitration and Numbers

Glen Johnson of hfw has sent us the link to an a report by Craig Neame, George Eddings and Rebecca Warder which examines how the numbers stack up for international maritime arbitrations. He writes:-

The report found that London still utterly dominates the maritime arbitration market, despite suggestions that the Brexit vote would see power shift away from London to emerging maritime disputes hubs around the world.

Singapore is setting itself up as a disputes hub and is already operating as a major regional commercial maritime cluster, but its maritime arbitration case load is just 10% that of London’s, for example.

Dubai is also building itself into a regional and global maritime hub – the first specialist maritime arbitration centre in the Middle East was launched in Dubai in 2016 – while Paris has a long-standing reputation as a maritime arbitration forum, but they collectively hosted fewer than 20 maritime arbitrations in 2016. London held more than 1,700.

Download the report here:-

2. Maritime UK’s Breakfast Briefing on Brexit

To the Ivy Club we did go, not far from Cambridge Circus, for eggs bacon and briefings with David Dingle, the CEO of Maritime UK, to discuss such issues as the urgency of investment in connectivity and infrastructure around ports. Readers may recall that Maritime UK is a think tank which regularly publishes research and campaigns on behalf of the UK’s maritime cluster, a necessary function since the industry is nowadays subject to wide spread public and political obliviousness, not to say ignorance.

The group has done a good job over the years reminding the public that the industry adds a lot of value to the British economy {£14 billion], makes a total contribution to the economy of some £40 billion and provides some 950 000 jobs in the economy.

Much of the discussion centred around the implications of Brexit. In summation the perception that the UK was not really well prepared for her exit from the EU was not exactly pooh poohed at this meeting.

We jotted down some of the points made about what the future portends for these islands:-

A greater emphasis on growing exporting industries;

The rise of entrepot tasks and services;

Greater opportunities for industrial zones within ports;

New freeports;

A critical need to reverse the years of transport and infrastructure neglect to raise standards;

A need to plan for the successor to the European Investment Bank which at present has £7 billion invested in the UK;

What did the sages of Maritime UK think about the timing of the transition period to Brexit. They thought a better measure might be “as long as it takes”.

3. Calls for the Revision of the Reporting Formalities Directive

Anne Kappel of the World Shipping Council has passed us this short, meaningful message aimed at Brussels:-

The European Commission is expected to publish a proposal for a revision of the Reporting Formalities Directive (RFD) in early May 2018 that is intended to remedy the current costly, unharmonised and burdensome reporting requirements facing ships calling at EU ports. Current complex, repetitive and duplicative reporting requirements not only result in productivity losses for maritime carriers and their customers but also create unnecessary workload and stress for ship crews. A genuine “European Single Window” is required that will enable the same data to be submitted in the same way for the same operations and processes in all EU ports. European shipowners (ECSA) and World Shipping Council (WSC) call on the EU Institutions to propose, agree and implement a new European reporting formalities framework that benefits maritime carriers and the wider EU economy. This should be based on the following principles:

The adoption of a ‘harmonised maximum list’ of data reporting requirements for cargo and vessels that is valid in every EU port

Presently the data reporting requirements for vessels and cargo differ between EU States and even between ports in the same country. This must be remedied with the adoption of a maximum harmonised data set to meet the applicable reporting requirements. Data elements must be properly assessed and deleted if not essential. It is equally vital to harmonise the format and structure of the messages used to send these data elements so that the data can be resubmitted and re-used across the EU.

Facilitate Trade through A True European Maritime Single Window (EMSW)

A single EU interface to fulfil all reporting requirements is of clear interest to maritime carriers. There must be full agreement and legal guarantees from all relevant EU and national authorities that such filings, including declarations lodged by maritime carriers pursuant to the Union Customs Code, would be accepted via an EMSW. This would require an unprecedented level of integration between relevant national and EU level authorities, IT systems and processes.

The right framework for the submission, exchange and reuse of data

Key principles that should be incorporated into the new system include the ‘reporting once’ principle, single access point, data sharing and digitalization. These principles are the main tools for reducing the administrative burden for maritime carriers for complying with reporting requirements. The efficient use and reuse of data is key to the efficient flow of B2A (business to authorities) data that will in turn improve the working of the whole logistics chain and boost the competitiveness and use of environmentally friendly shipping routes in Europe.

4. Wista Appoints Diversity Committee

The Women’s International Shipping and Trading Association (WISTA) has announced the formation of its Diversity Committee. A member-driven project created as a next step after the #METOO campaign, the WISTA Diversity Committee will focus on providing practical solutions to increase opportunities for gender diversity in the maritime industry. The committee works as part of WISTA International’s 2018 theme: The Women Who Move the World.

“WISTA has always advocated for increased gender diversity in the maritime industry. Over the years our members and National WISTA Associations have taken significant steps in increasing the opportunities, support and roles for women in our industry,” said WISTA International president Despina Panayiotou Theodosiou. “In light of #METOO, our members felt it was time to challenge the industry to join us in advocating for increased gender diversity. The goal is to put forward recommendations on practical solutions for the entire industry.”

The Diversity Committee is mandated with three items. First, creating recommendations and guidelines for increasing the capacity of women in the maritime industry by promoting diversity, inclusion and open-mindedness. Second, to write a pledge challenging the maritime community to advance diversity and inclusion in the industry, which includes specific actions that organizations can take to enhance diversity, and finally, to recommend a forward strategy for WISTA International with practical solutions for increasing diversity and inclusion as next steps.

Committee findings and recommendations will be announced publicly and posted on the WISTA International website. Additionally, the Committee will develop a robust list of resources, including training, online workshops, kits and materials for the general public to use related to diversity and sexual harassment/assault in the workplace.

The Diversity Committee includes women from 11 National WISTA Associations, in acknowledgement of the global nature of the shipping industry. The members are: Lucrecia De Boutaud Bernal, WISTA Argentina; Tami Ray, WISTA Bermuda; Fabiana Simões Martins, WISTA Brazil; Agatha Savvidou, WISTA Cyprus, Asana Owu, WISTA Ghana; Katerina Konsta, WISTA Greece; Preetika Mehrotra, WISTA Hong Kong; Tiziana Murgia, WISTA Italy; Cecilia Osterman, WISTA Sweden; Maryana Yarmolenko, WISTA Switzerland, and Sarah Brennan, WISTA USA.

Members of the WISTA Executive Committee, Jeanne Grasso, Sanjam Gupta and WISTA International President, Despina Panayiotou Theodosiou will be co-ordinating the committee.

5. Fat Leonard’s Crimes On The High Seas [Navy Department]

This zine has covered the amazing career of Leonard Glenn Francis and his Singapore-based agency Glenn Marine Defense Asia on numerous occasions. Courtesy of the Browser we discover that Jesse Hyde, writing in Rolling Stone has covered the story well. Hard to believe but true in all essentials:-

The life and crimes of a defence contractor who built up a $250 million business provisioning US Navy ships on port calls in Asia. “He held claim to nearly the entire Pacific, a region spanning 48 million square miles, with a Naval presence of some 70 ships and 20,000 personnel”. Unhappily for the Navy, he also corrupted 30 of its 200 admirals along the way, with cash, drink, and sex. “In terms of someone infiltrating the military, we’ve never seen anything like it”

6. People and Places

Independent Lloyd’s broker AFL Insurance Brokers Ltd (AFL) has launched a commercial Marine division and appoointed Alex Mott as Director of Marine. A senior marine insurance professional with 16 years international experience, Mott previously managed the Ed / CGNB Marine broking team as Head Broker.


Blank Rome Partner Keith B. Letourneau has been appointed to serve as co-chair of the firm’s Maritime & International Trade practice group. He will collaborate with Partner John D. Kimball, Chair, and Partner Jeanne M. Grasso, Vice Chair, to lead the group.


Japan Marine United has appointed Chiba Kotaro as its new chief executive, replacing Mishima Shinjiro, who remains at the firm as an an advisor.

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 had a look for references to Brussels to see if the zine had a certain sceptical quality before its time. This item appeared in Issue 164 dated 13th July 2004:-

1. Hot air tackles hot gases

THE Environmental Council of the European Commission, a well-known generator of localised hot air, has given a fair wind to a proposed EU directive on reducing sulphur dioxide emissions from ships. The directive now goes back to the European Parliament, then the Commission has a fiddle with it, and then it will come back to the Council again, some time next year. After that, with a grand flourish and another year or so of delay, the EU will put in place sulphur reduction rules which broadly match those already agreed by IMO, and which are now set to enter into force from mid-2005, when Annex VI to Marpol starts to operate.

Typically, the EU wants to go a little further than IMO, by making ships in ports burn very low sulphur fuel. Just as typically, it has given the ageing Greek ferry fleet a long derogation from that onerous requirement.

In a statement released last week, environment commissioner Margot Wallstrom says, “The new limits will dramatically reduce sulphur dioxide emissions in the EU, with reductions targeted to deliver the greatest possible benefits in and around populated ports and coastlines and in acid-sensitive ecosystems. I believe that EU countries can and must do more internationally to improve environmental standards for ships. Twenty EU countries have still not ratified the IMO 1997 convention on air pollution.” Margot said nothing about Greek air quality.

To date, only five EU countries have ratified Annex VI – Denmark, Germany, Greece, Spain and Sweden. When maritime nations like the UK backslide on putting international regimes into place, it creates a vacuum into which the hot air from Brussels can inflate. We all want clean air, and shipowners are quite happy to burn cleaner fuel. What we don’t much need is a plethora of regional rules, which can be quietly bent for countries with ageing fleets.

Oldie Pick Up Lines

“What’s a nice girl like you doing in a place like…where exactly are we again?”

“Do you smell that? That’s either love, or I used too much ointment this morning.”

“Yes, I’m 92… but I have the body of a 78-year-old.”

“WHO’S your granddaddy?”

“Your beautiful blue eyes are like limpid sapphire pools. Your blue hair, too.”

“Hey babe, looking for a good time? How’s about coming home with me and…

[Paul Dixon]

One Line Reflections

1) I can please only one person per day. Today is not your day. Tomorrow isn’t looking good either.

2) Never put off until tomorrow what you can avoid doing altogether.

3) Everyone has a right to be stupid. Some just abuse the privilege.

4) On the keyboard of life, always keep one finger on the escape key.

5) Please, Lord, let me prove that winning the lottery won’t spoil me.

6) Does vacuuming count as Aerobic Exercise?

7) Young at Heart. Slightly Older in Other Places.

8) Time is Nature’s way of making sure that everything doesn’t go wrong all at once.

9) The trouble with being in the rat race is that even if you win, you’re still a rat.

10) I loathe people who keep dogs. They are cowards who haven’t got the guts to bite people themselves.

11) If swimming is so good for your figure, how do you explain whales?

12) There’s no speed limit on the Information Superhighway.

13) It is much easier to apologize than to ask permission.

14) There are two rules for ultimate success in life. Never tell everything you know.

15) Do unto others, then run…………………