The Maritime Advocate–Issue 763


Issue 763

October 24th, 2020


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Editor: Sandra Speares | Email:

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1. Remote testimony
2. Maritime trading platform
3. IMO bravery awards
4. Hinchliffe prize
5. Mentoring at sea
6. Piracy law
7. IDF disaster move
8. Sale and leaseback transactions
9. Liberian opposition to ETS
10. Crew commentaries
11. IBC Code amendments
12. IMSBC Code
13. Chinese crew changes
14. South African crime
15. Baltic Exchange extends escrow service
16. Covid impact survey

Notices & Miscellany

Readers’ responses to our articles are very welcome and, where suitable, will be reproduced:
Write to:

1. Remote testimony
Remote working has topped the bill in recent times, and law firm HFW acted for the owners of  a vessel recently which saw evidence provided remotely from on board a vessel at sea in a first for the UK Admiralty Court.

HFW advised the owners of the Sakizaya Kalon, a bulk carrier that was struck from behind by a vessel while stopped in the Suez Canal, causing it to then itself collide with another vessel. None of the vessels accepted liability for the collisions, leading to three separate claims, totalling US$18 million.

The three actions were heard together in July 2020, in a hearing that was fully-remote due to Covid-19 restrictions, with all documents in electronic format and the Judge, Assessors, counsel and solicitors all taking part from their homes.

HFW overcame significant technical challenges to enable the Sakizaya Kalon‘s Captain to provide his evidence directly from his vessel while still at sea. In a judgment handed down on 5 October 2020 – the Hon. Mr Justice Teare QC’s last as an Admiralty Judge – the owners of the Panamax Alexander, which struck the Sakizaya Kalon, were found “wholly responsible” for the collision. HFW’s team was led by Partner Jim Cashman and also included Master Mariner Paul Miller and Paralegal Richard Cooper.

According to HFW partner Jim Cashman “It is extremely rare with collision cases for one of the vessels to be found 100% liable. But this really was an open-and-shut-cut case and should never have gone to trial, as it was abundantly clear from the outset who was at fault.”

“The Covid-19 outbreak created some unique challenges throughout the process, and it was a real testament to the parties, counsel and all of the solicitors involved that the hearing completed on schedule, in four-and-a-half days. At the time of the trial, our Captain had moved on and was employed on a vessel managed by Aegean Shipping Management. They were strangers to the litigation process, but willing to assist us in all the arrangements that were necessary for the video link to the South Atlantic. We extend to Aegean Shipping our gratitude for their assistance.”

2. Maritime trading platform

ShipServ has launched its new platform   to help maritime buyers and suppliers seize the social, economic and environmental opportunities of the Blue Economy. The new platform has been enhanced to promote best practice in sustainable trade in line with the opportunities of the Blue Economy, and the desire to drive sustainability standards within the maritime industry to improve society and welfare, drive economic development, and reduce its impact on the environment. The new platform has also been developed to reduce the complexities of maritime trade, as well as utilising the latest standards and processes to ensure security in a digitalised shipping industry.
On the new ShipServ platform, maritime buyers will be able to see suppliers’ sustainability credentials more clearly, and  analyse a supplier’s performance, as well as their commercial, social and environmental capabilities. Maritime suppliers will also have the opportunity to promote their environmental and wider sustainability standards to increase their star rating and enhance their competitiveness in the eyes of their customers beyond the basic price of their products and services. As part of a phased approach, ShipServ will also look to further enhance the platform’s sustainability features, including reporting and benchmarking, as well as increasing the visibility of sustainably-conscious and accredited suppliers in front of buyers who are searching for their products and services.

For further details go to ShipServ’s website:

3. IMO bravery awards

Two Brazilian pilots who averted an environmental disaster and an officer from the Philippines who ensured the survival of fellow passengers from a sinking vessel while off-duty will receive the 2020 IMO Award for Exceptional Bravery at Sea.

Meeting for its 124th session (12-14 October), the IMO Council endorsed the recommendation from a Panel of Judges, agreeing that two nominations were worthy of the highest recognition this year.

The 2020 IMO Award for Exceptional Bravery at Sea will be awarded to Marcio Santos Teixeira and Fabio Rodrigues Alves de Abreu, members of the São Paulo Pilots, for averting a major oil spill event at the Terminal Almirante Barroso in São Sebastião Port. They were nominated by Brazil for their decisiveness, professionalism and ship-handling expertise in safely manoeuvring two oil tankers that had gone adrift during a ship-to-ship operation, in extreme weather conditions.

On 28 April 2019, the two pilots were alerted that the mooring lines of two tankers berthed in a ship-to-ship operation were breaking, due to extreme wind gusts of up to 70 knots. The situation was critical, with the vessels drifting while still connected by oil hoses and mooring lines. Despite poor visibility caused by heavy rain and high waves, the two pilots managed to board tankers Rio 2016 and Milton Santos.

With a pilot on each vessel, the Rio 2016 was navigated towards anchoring area, with the Milton Santos towed alongside, at a maximum speed of 1.5 knots. Meanwhile, the pilots had to coordinate the challenging evacuation of a seriously injured crew member, who sadly later passed away. After the wind speed decreased and the anchor of the Rio 2016 was dropped, the vessels were disconnected from each other and the two pilots skillfully manoeuvred the Milton Santos away from the Rio 2016. After more than five tense hours, the Milton Santos finally dropped her anchor.

The courageous actions of Pilot Teixeira and Pilot Abreu helped ensure more lives were not lost and prevented a major marine pollution incident and serious damage to pier structures and oil facilities.

The 2020 IMO Award for Exceptional Bravery at Sea will also be awarded to Petty Officer Second Class Ralph Ofalla Barajan of the Philippine Coast Guard, for helping to save the lives of all 62 people onboard the sinking passenger vessel Siargao Princess, on which he was also a passenger. He was nominated by the Philippines for his leadership and determination, even while he was off duty.

On the morning of 7 November 2019, PO2 Barajan was alerted by the battering of big waves and screams from other passengers. The cargo hold was quickly flooding, affecting the vessel’s stability. After calling the Coast Guard to request immediate assistance, Petty Officer Barajan, took charge of the situation and provided assistance and instructions to both passengers and crew members to grab life jackets, transfer to the other side of the ship and prepare for evacuation.

After he calmly but firmly persuaded the Captain to declare the “abandon ship” call, he assisted all passengers to jump off the vessel, making sure that no one was left behind. The Siargao Princess sank less than 10 minutes later. While floating on the water, Petty Officer Barajan tied the life jackets of passengers and crew members in groups for their own safety, and to facilitate the search and rescue operations by the Coast Guard, who arrived more than an hour later.

His courage and decisiveness ensured the survival of all 62 lives onboard, as well as contributing to the successful rescue by the Philippines Coast Guard.

The awards will be presented at an awards ceremony to be scheduled by the Secretary General.

4. Hinchliffe prize

The prestigious International Maritime Prize for 2019 is to be awarded to Peter Hinchliffe, former Secretary-General, International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), who participated in International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) meetings for many years, providing shipping industry leadership on a number of key regulatory developments.

In their nomination, the ICS highlighted Mr. Hinchliffe’s contribution to IMO’s work through the ICS, which he joined as marine advisor in 2001, becoming Secretary-General of ICS in 2011. In that role, he was a strong advocate for IMO and the role it plays as international regulator. He recognized the need for change and advancement on environmental issues, safety matters and other fronts.

The IMO Council decided to award the Prize to Mr. Hinchliffe in recognition of his invaluable contribution to the work and objectives of IMO and to the international maritime community as a whole.

5. Mentoring at sea

The Nautical Institute is launching an online campaign promoting mentoring at sea, thanks to generous funding from the TK Foundation.

Entitled ‘Mentoring at Sea – The 10 Minute Challenge’ the campaign features a series of five short films that cast a spotlight on the many ways in which mentoring improves life at sea while helping mariners to grow professionally. Each film documents seafarers of all ages, nationalities and ranks discussing the fundamental aspects of mentoring, whether giving or receiving. Participants speak passionately about the positive impact of sharing knowledge and experience with others.

Spearheading the campaign is NI Senior Vice-President, Captain André LeGoubin FNI, a long-standing advocate of the power of mentoring and author of The Nautical Institute’s popular publication Mentoring at Sea – The 10 minute challenge, who said: “Experiences can be good or bad, but the knowledge that comes from those experiences can only ever be good. At The Nautical Institute we have always believed in the power and necessity of mentoring at sea, and particularly during these difficult times where having good relationships onboard has never been so important. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to promote mentoring once again with the help of the TK Foundation.”

6. Piracy law

Nigerian law firm The Rock and Partners have recently produced a newsletter containing an update on court moves on piracy in the Elobey VI case which we reproduce here.

Last year, President Buhari assented to the Suppression of Piracy and other Maritime Offences Act 2019 (SPOMO) to curb the spate of piracy, armed robbery and other maritime offences in Nigeria’s territorial waters. The SPOMO is the first legislation on piracy in the West African region and in August 2020, the first piracy case based on the SPOMO was heard at the Federal High Court in Port Harcourt, Rivers State in Nigeria. The court convicted three out of nine men charged with piracy and hijacking of an Equatorial Guinean flagged vessel, the Elobey VI in March and securing a ransom of $200,000 for the release of the crew.

The court also fined the convicts the sum of $52,000 (£40,000) each for hijacking. This conviction shows that the legal reforms and security measures, which are being introduced will help stem the rising attacks of piracy in Nigerian waters and the Gulf of Guinea (GoG).
One such projects is the Integrated National Security and Waterways Protection Infrastructure also known as the Deep Blue Project introduced to tackle insecurity, piracy and crime in Nigeria’s territorial waters. It is a partnership between the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), the Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA) and the security agents, the Navy and Airforce and involves the government taking total control of the country’s maritime security, which includes the anchorage, where all vessels calling at the various ports across the country berth, the Nigerian territorial waters and exclusive economic zone, where piracy appears to have defied solution over the years. The project is scheduled to start this month.

Shipping Companies Directed to Comply with Nigeria’s Export Procedure

The Central Bank stated that shipping companies have failed to comply with export procedures requiring bills of lading in respect of export cargos to carry the number of the NXP forms covering the cargo. The NXP form is processed electronically on the Trade Monitoring Systems (TRMS) accessible at Shipping companies are directed to access the TRMS platform to generate numbers for the NXP forms, which should be captured on the bill of lading for export cargoes. All shipment or export cargoes emanating from Nigeria must follow the stated procedures from the 6th day of October 2020.

Any vessel, which takes onboard cargo without duly completed and approved NXP forms, risks being sanctioned including being asked to refund the forex value of the goods illegally exported. All shipping companies, shipowners and shipping agents should take note of the new directives for cargo export.

7. IDF disaster move

The Insurance Development Forum (IDF), a partnership led by the insurance industry and supported by the UN, World Bank, NGOs and other international organisations, is calling for an international collaboration to share and propagate capabilities in disaster risk understanding where it is needed the most.

This call to action is the message of the IDF’s latest white paper – The Development Impact of Risk Analytics – a truly cross-sector report bringing together risk expertise from more than 30 organisations across the private sector, development agencies and specialists, academia and international NGOs.

Access the full report, executive summary and press release.

8. Sale and leaseback transactions

Watson Farley & Williams has penned an article to discuss how the ever-growing importance of sale and leaseback transactions as an alternative to financing ships by way of loan, makes it both timely and welcome that BIMCO has produced a standardised term sheet.

There was strong Asian representation on the drafting committee. Reflecting the position of Chinese leasing companies in the market, the committee included representatives from four of them. The term sheet is accompanied by explanatory notes, following the structure of the earlier BIMCO loan term sheets (SHIPTERM and SHIPTERM S).


9. Liberian opposition to ETS

The Liberian Registry opposes the recent proposal from the European Union Parliament on the implementation of a separate, unilateral set of regulations, in the instance of the Emissions Trading System (ETS) scheme for international shipping.

Alfonso Castillero, Chief Operating Officer of the Liberian International Ship and Corporate Registry says, “We understand the need for efforts to lower greenhouse gas emissions, and continue to push for a cleaner environment, as well as a more efficient maritime industry.  However, at least for international shipping, it is vital we work toward one set of requirements established by the International Maritime Organization (IMO), avoiding the creation of a fractured system of regional requirements that reach beyond their own waters, and assuring a unified global effort to confront this important issue.

Castillero continues, “The EU ETS scheme, if implemented, should be applicable only to those waters of EU members, and not become a global scheme. The EU ETS scheme, if applied extraterritorially beyond intra-EU voyages, will distort the global market situation because it will cover voyages not only within the EU, but also voyages to and from the EU as agreed by the EU Parliament.  Like many other IMO member states, we remain committed to working with the EU on a collaborative effort to address the environmental challenges posed by greenhouse gas emissions.”

Official Press Release

10. Crew commentaries

Safety4Sea has been running a series of commentaries on its website, check out Leadership at sea: What makes a great Captain. Leadership, as a special component of safe operations at sea, is a skill resulting from a complex combination of mind set characteristics which can be learned, argues Captain VS Parani, naming the key features he believes to be the most critical for a great leader at sea.

11. IBC code amendments

Amendments to the International Code for the Construction and Equipment of Ships Carrying Dangerous Chemicals in Bulk (IBC Code) and International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution From Ships, 1973 as modified by the Protocol of 1978 (MARPOL) Annex II – Carriage of noxious liquid substances in bulk, will impact all stakeholders in the chemical and Vegetable oils trade. As the amendments enter into force on 1 January 2021, it is recommended that ships replace existing certificates as soon as possible, to make sure the vessels are operational come 1 January.

12. IMSBC Code

BIMCO has put together a series of articles, informing members of what to expect in the revised International Maritime Solid Bulk Cargoes (IMSBC) Code (Amendment 05-19), which will come into force on 1 January 2021. These include changes made to Bauxite cargoes in the IMSBC Code.

Read more

13. Chinese crew changes

China has eased crew change restrictions by opening up 10 ports and introducing a circuit-breaker mechanism.

The government has announced 10 Chinese ports will resume foreign crew change operations with certain requirements in place, taking into account the current Covid-19 situation. The 10 ports allowing for foreign crew change are Dalian, Tianjin, Qingdao, Shanghai, Ningbo, Fuzhou, Xiamen, Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Haikou.

BIMCO advises shipping companies to comply with the requirements outlined in the crew change requirements including those affecting crew signing off, disembarkation, health and quarantine records on board ships.

The new rules introduce a quarantine circuit-breaker mechanism which operates where there have been positive Covid-19 cases among the crew. BIMCO is continuously monitoring COVID-19 restrictions and its impact on the shipping industry in particular on crew changes. Below are some of the type of information  currently being provided by BIMCO:

Details about implementation measures
Overview of challenges to crew change challenges
Overview of extensions and exceptions to seafarers’ certificates

You can also view all information on their COVID-19 landing page.

14. South African crime

Having collaborated over the last three years to produce global reports on the incidence of cargo theft, international freight transport insurer TT Club and BSI, the business improvement company, have once again come together to highlight risk; this time, specifically focusing in on South Africa.

The report, entitled ‘Freight Crime in South African Supply Chains’ is made possible by fusing the threat and intelligence data and analysis from BSI’s Supply Chain Risk Exposure Evaluation Network (SCREEN) and TT Club’s insurance risk management and loss prevention insights.

The full report is downloadable here

15. Baltic Exchange extends escrow service

The Baltic Exchange is expanding its escrow service with an offering to mitigate counter party risk during the chartering process. Amongst various uses, the service can support a chartering deal by facilitating and holding a security sum in a dedicated escrow account.
The security sum typically represents a portion of a charter hire amount, which is pre-agreed between a shipowner and charterer, and held as collateral.

Crucially, the service provides assurance that contractual obligations are fulfilled before funds are released, and enables conditional release of the agreed security sum on pre-agreed terms.
The offering, which is available to members and non-members, can be used for both Time and Voyage Charters. For Time Charters, security sums will be paid by the charterer into an escrow account for the duration of the time charter, to be released after vessel redelivery.

For Voyage Charters, freight prepayments by charterers will be deposited into an escrow account as a security sum and released upon cargo discharge. Shipowners can be assured that the security sum is retained by an independent and trusted escrow service provider for the duration of the charter hire period, and can be called on in the event of non-performance during the hire period. The service offering would also help shipowners expand the pool of charterers that they can work with.
Charterers who are less familiar or new to the market can demonstrate their financial ability to pay the charter hire, while protecting their interests by having an independent escrow agent hold the monies instead of disbursing the funds directly to a shipowner before payment is due.

Click here to download the brochure.

16. Covid impact survey

The majority of traders and operators in the shipping sector feel that Covid-19 has negatively affected their revenue, employee headcount, and insurance premiums. However, their prospects for the future are bright, with only a third citing concerns about the sector’s ability to recover within the next two years, according to a new survey by DWF.

The survey, of 200 traders and operators working in the shipping and commodities sector, found that 63 per cent of respondents felt that Covid-19 and the subsequent lockdowns had a negative impact on their revenues. 60.5 per cent said that there was also negative impact on employee headcount, and 46 per cent said that there was negative impact on insurance premiums.

However, the outlook is more positive, with 42 per cent citing that they are not very concerned about the shipping and commodities sector’s ability to recover from the economic effects of Covid-19 within the next two years, as opposed to 36 per cent citing concerns.

Download the survey summary to find out more

Notices & Miscellany

Mary Ignarski (Sam’s wife) has an update regarding a racehorse syndicate she is setting up. Robert Hooke (named after Robert Hooke the scientist, born on the Isle of Wight) has now joined David Menuisier’s racing stables at Pulborough West Sussex. According to David, the colt has settled in, walks well and he is happy with him. So far, so good.

David incidentally recently won two Group One races and his reputation as a good trainer continues to grow. Mary has a few places left in the syndicate including an option to purchase a number of share part ownerships in Robert Hooke. Anyone interested in joining the syndicate should visit for further details or email Mary at

The near 1,000 delegates attending the launch were told that London International Shipping Week 2021 (LISW21) will progress on its charge of propelling world trade with an exploration of its overarching theme of ‘Driving growth and recovery in a disrupted world’.

For the first time ever, LISW21 will be both face-to-face and virtual, opening its doors to thousands of visitors who are expected to attend the physical events during the week while also utilising online conferencing technology to open up LISW21 to an even wider and more varied global audience.

Operating as a hybrid event, combining the best in class of physical and virtual experiences, LISW21 expects to draw not only the thousands of visitors to London who joined the event  in 2019, but also thousands more online who may be otherwise prohibited from attending in person by resource or distance.Further information about LISW21, as well as the official launch video reel, can be found on the dedicated event website:

Survitec Anniversary
Survitec, a global provider of survival solutions, has partnered with the Museum of Godalming, located in Surrey, England, to curate a first-of-its-kind virtual museum to mark the company’s 100-year anniversary.

The museum showcases inventions and patents that have played a pivotal role in maritime, energy, defence and aviation safety, often helping to shape international safety rules and guidelines.

The Godalming Museum is located where Survitec’s founder, Reginald Foster Dagnall, established his first liferaft production facility. Survitec, then known as RFD, supplied survival products during the Great War and is credited with inventing the world’s first infant lifejacket, the first fast jet anti-G trousers, and even helped develop the first Apollo space suit for NASA.

The virtual museum can be visited at

Mare Forum
Dutch Smart Finance for Shipping will be the topic up for discussion at Mare Forum on Thursday, October 29, 2020 · 11:00 AM CET (90 min).
The webinar will include leading players on the Dutch Ship Finance scene, to discuss the influence of Covid-19, economy and new forms of financing on the shipping industry.

For more information, please follow the registration link below.


Virtual Chamber conference
The UK Chamber of Shipping have announced its first ever virtual UK Shipping conference.

The conference, titled ‘Creating Pathways to 2030’, will take place on 3 February and will look at the key challenges facing the UK shipping industry. There will be a keynote speech from a leading industry figure as well as break out events for delegates to discuss issues affecting their business.  

Nicholas Fairfax has retired from Sovcomflot. He is now contactable at

As we mentioned in issue 762 the Singapore Chamber of Maritime Arbitration (SCMA) has launched its Specimen Directions for Virtual Hearings to provide guidance to arbitrators, tribunals, and users of SCMA maritime arbitrations. The specimen directions can be adapted and customised to suit the circumstances. Key points in the specimen directions include the platform of hearing, how the hearing will be conducted and where necessary, how electronic hearing bundles might be organised. Please note the correct website details for further information are

Please notify the Editor of your appointments, promotions, new office openings and other important happenings:


And finally,

Thanks to Lawrence Black for the following contribution:

Priest’s Retirement Speech

A Priest was being honoured at his retirement dinner after 25 years in the parish. A leading local politician and member of the congregation was chosen to make the presentation and to give a little speech at the dinner.

However, he was delayed, so the Priest decided to say his own few words while they waited: Thank Goodness we Catholics have a wonderful sense of humour!

“I got my first impression of the parish from the first confession I heard here. I thought I had been assigned to a terrible place. The very first person who entered my confessional told me he had stolen a television set and, when questioned by the police, was able to lie his way out of it. He had stolen money from his parents; embezzled from his employer; had an affair with his boss’s wife; had sex with his boss’s 17 year old daughter on numerous occasions; taken illegal drugs; had several homosexual affairs; was arrested several times for public nudity and gave VD to his sister. I was appalled that one person could do so many awful things. But as the days went on, I learned that my people were not all like that and I had, indeed, come to a fine parish full of good and loving people.”

Just as the Priest finished his talk, the politician arrived full of apologies at being late. He immediately began to make the presentation and gave his talk:

“I’ll never forget the first day our parish Priest arrived,” said the politician. “In fact, I had the honour of being the first person to go to him for confession.”

Moral: Never, Never, Never Be Late.

Thanks for Reading the Maritime Advocate online

Maritime Advocate Online is a fortnightly digest of news and views on the maritime industries, with particular reference to legal issues and dispute resolution. It is published to over 20,000 individual subscribers each week and republished within firms and organisations all over the maritime world. It is the largest publication of its kind. We estimate it goes to around 60,000 readers in over 120 countries.