The Maritime Advocate–Issue 767



1. Pushing the boundaries
2. ONE Apus footage
3. Heroes at Sea tribute
4. ITIC warning on emails
5. UAE legal changes
6. New Baltic investor service
7. Negligible risk of ship evasion? 
8. Young freight forwarder award
9. Counterfeit chart warning
10. New KR class rules for LNG
11. Puget Sound ruling overturned
12. Jurisdiction issues

Notices & Miscellany

Readers’ responses to our articles are very welcome and, where suitable, will be reproduced:
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1.Pushing the boundaries

By Michael Grey

Following the astonishing sight of the ONE Apus arriving in the port of Kobe, there has been plenty of speculation as to why half her deck cargo suddenly hurled itself into the sea. I don’t know any better than anyone else, but would venture a guess that it might just be the old story of a fatal flaw that eventually emerges with any clever departure from long established design norms.

There is nothing new about adventurous risk-takers skewing traditional design or operational compromises to what might appear to produce the best profit for the least capital cost. Think of the extreme clippers, which were lethal when handled badly, or the “hell or Melbourne” skippers who took ridiculous risks with their ships and the lives of those aboard, for a record-breaking passage.
“If you push your luck, you will come unstuck”, said one of those little rhymes we learned to instil in us the value of professional prudence. And if you have been around in the shipping industry for a good few decades, there is no shortage of examples where snags have emerged after the introduction of something new or clever. It seems almost inevitable.

I might go back to the late 60s, when nobody bothered about fuel price or emissions and to the fine-lined cargo liners that started to appear. Sure, they reached their destination faster and were greatly admired for their passage making. One of ours was roaring down the Atlantic off the Azores one night when she dipped her bow into a swell and about 2000 tons of sea ended up on the foredeck, which was set down a couple of feet, before they got the way off her. Then a Ben liner was bent like a banana and a Neptune ship lost most of the bow, so word got about that these beauties needed some rather careful handling, compared to their simpler predecessors.

With Suez closed and everyone screaming for oil, tanker sizes were extrapolated to extraordinary levels, somebody deciding that it was a great economy idea to equip these monsters with a single boiler and bring them up estuaries on the top of the tide to sit in holes dredged off a terminal. It worked a dream, until they started to break down off lee shores and spectacularly explode, when washing their tanks in the tropical microclimate of their vast internal spaces.

Roll-on, roll-off ships would have been prohibited in a more cautious age – class would never have permitted a huge hole in a shell plate- but they provided so many solutions to cargo-handling problems that old horrors of free surface or watertightness were thought easily manageable.  Boundaries were literally pushed and we soon saw ro-ros where the main deck was under the load waterline, so a few degrees of list with the ramp open could prove fatal, requiring a new understanding (better later than never) of this type’s vulnerability.

Big bulk carriers were the cat’s pyjamas; too large, alas, for  the crew to make the slightest impression on their maintenance requirements, while pliable regulators permitted deep loading, longer intervals between drydocks and a new and malevolent philosophy of “permissible levels of steel wastage” emerged. That took a lot of ships to the bottom, along with the lives of those who worked aboard them. And that’s before we considered issues of metal fatigue, weaker scantlings (who would pay for a stronger bulk carrier?) and cargo liquefaction.

Car carriers appeared to be a design that could be endlessly extrapolated , their specific vulnerabilities  of instability and fire spread, contributed to by too much haste in port, eventually becoming apparent – after they had grown to huge sizes.

Maybe we shouldn’t frighten potential passengers about what cruise ship operators have learned the hard way and to their cost, over the years. As a simple seaman it always seemed to me that there was something wrong when you couldn’t put the helm hard over without the grand piano carrying away and crushing half a dozen insufficiently nimble passengers. We won’t go into flammable balconies and careless captains getting too close to the shore.

And so to giant containerships, the current conduits of international trade, which have grown like Topsy, both in dimensions and capacity, where boundaries have been pushed in all directions. To somebody aged enough to have written about 1500 teu ships with “too many eggs in one basket”, and who can recall agonised debates about whether a third tier of boxes would be a hazard in the winter North Atlantic, it could be better to exercise caution about the current generation of monsters and their vicissitudes.

I recall a friend who had been in at the very birth of containerisation telling me about the experiments he took part in where they piled loaded boxes on top of one another and tilted stacks to test their lashings and design fastenings. Now, of course they have computer aided design tools of remarkable sophistication, but you just wonder whether there is anything that really replicates the terrifying forces produced by an instantaneous 40 degree lurch, as the whole length of the ship finds itself unsupported, to stop dead and hurtle the other way, as green seas crash aboard and a hellish wind blows on the ten-high stack.

Maybe it would help a little if designers spent some time at sea. But looking at some of these recent incidents, it is surely not unreasonable to ask whether lashing rules and the equipment they prescribe are really fit for purpose aboard the ships on which they are now installed? Are the ships too long and the stacks too high? Or like so much else in an industry, where development is exponential and prototypes unknown, are the designers pushing their luck, in this case, too far?

Michael Grey is former editor of Lloyd’s List.

2. ONE Apus footage

W K Webster is now pleased to be able to share a selection of the unique drone media (video and stills) it commissioned which shows the ONE Apus transiting Osaka Bay towards Kobe Port as its port of refuge. The images were taken by two drones using ultra-high definition camera technology and show very clearly the scale and detail of the devastation on board. W K Webster believes this to be the only drone footage of the vessel as it sailed towards Kobe.

The company says it can be seen that there are 22 bays on deck of which 16 have collapsed to both port and starboard, leaving only 6 intact/partially intact. With 20 rows of containers per bay and with stack heights of between 6 and 8 containers, the company anticipates that approximately 2,250 containers have been lost or damaged. It will also be noted that the very vast majority appear to be 40 foot units and therefore equivalent to approximately 4,500 teu.

Readers can find the W K Webster footage by visiting the company’s website homepage at: 

3. Heroes at Sea tribute

To coincide with the deadline to log their completed distances for all those who walked, jogged, cycled or swam (or even played tennis!) in tribute to our Heroes at Sea, the organisers are putting together a celebratory live virtual concert, with artistes from all over the world appearing free of charge by way of adding their own thanks to seafarers.
This will take place on Monday 21st December at 9pm SGT (1pm GMT/UTC) and will be hosted by IMO Goodwill Maritime Ambassador, Carleen Lyden-Walker (USA) and Capt. Frederick Francis, Chairman (Sg).
Join the Zoom at
Chairman Capt. Francis said “This event has been a great success in terms of raising awareness of the selfless work of seafarers around the world in these strange times, and our thanks go to all our sponsors, supporters and participants.

We are extremely confident that the final kilometres tally will indeed show that collectively we have achieved our goal of ‘circumnavigating the globe’ and look forward to revealing the final total, along with full details of monies raised for seafarers’ welfare very soon.”


4. ITIC warning on emails

The danger of allowing important information to be sent to individual email addresses with no backup has been underlined by the International Transport Intermediaries Club.

The Club explains that in a recent case a shipowner advised its ship agent that a particular port they used regularly was no longer accepting the discharge of dangerous cargoes at certain berths. Unaware at the time, the agent accepted a booking for a cargo that contained a quantity of dangerous goods which contravened the port’s new regulations. However, after placing the booking, the shipper sent full details of the cargo which indicated the inclusion of those goods that were deemed to be dangerous. Unfortunately, the email was sent to a member of the agent’s staff who had recently left the company. His email address was not being monitored and his emails were not being forwarded – consequently, the message was missed. As neither the agent nor the shipowner were aware that the shipment contained dangerous goods, the consignment was accepted onto the ship.

It was only whilst the vessel was on passage that the owner discovered the consignment of dangerous goods and realised the problem the vessel would face at the destination port. The vessel was diverted to an alternative port where the dangerous goods were off loaded and transhipped. The shipowner then claimed US$52,000 from the agent to cover the deviation and transhipment costs – which were thought to be lower than the costs the vessel would have incurred if it had attempted to discharge the dangerous goods at the original destination.

This clearly shows the importance of keeping abreast with changing regulations and, importantly, implementing a system where communication with the agency is sufficiently robust so as to not fail when staff change roles or leave the company.

In this case, although the agency was at fault, the shipowner accepted part responsibility as the vessel’s master had accepted the cargo without objection. The claim was settled at US$25,000 which was covered by ITIC.


5.   UAE legal changes

Stevenson Harwood has issued a follow-on article outlining proposed changes to the UAE’s Commercial Companies Law. Federal Decree-Law No. 26/2020 sets out the  amendments and the law firm has issued guidance on some of the key amendments that will likely have an impact on foreign direct investment in the UAE as well as some amendments affecting limited liability companies.
In summary, these amendments include the following:

Removing the requirement of having at least a 51% Emirati national shareholding in a limited liability company or joint stock company in all sectors, except those listed as having a “strategic impact” by the UAE Cabinet. The UAE Cabinet is yet to define which sectors will be considered as having a “strategic impact”; resulting in a proportion of Emirati national participation in the ownership or board of directors of a company. Accordingly, until such determination is made, the “non-strategic” sectors cannot be identified;

Repealing the UAE’s Foreign Direct Investment Law;

Amending certain provisions of the Commercial Companies Law affecting the governance of limited liability companies; and

Repealing the requirement for an Emirati national to be the local service agent of a branch or representative office of a foreign company.

Many of the amendments will take effect as of 2 January 2021, except for the amendments removing the requirement of having at least 51% Emirati national ownership of a limited liability company or joint stock company and the repeal of the requirement for an Emirati national to be the local service agent of a branch or representative office. These changes will take effect six months following the publication of the Federal Decree-Law No. 26/2020 in the Official Gazette.

To read more about these developments and how they will affect your business, please click below to download the full update.

Download PDF

6. New Baltic investor service

The Baltic Exchange has launched a new service for shipping investors which provides a snapshot five-year view of the financial prospects of dry bulk carriers.

The Baltic Exchange Investor Indices are an easy to use online dashboard displaying data relevant to vessel investment decisions, residual value, health of earnings, spot and five-year timecharter earnings; purchase & recycling values; and running costs. It offers a high level of clarity and transparency for investors in capesize, panamax, supramax and handysize vessel types. Tanker and gas carrier assets will be added at a later date.

Subscribers to the Baltic Exchange Investor Indices are offered a health of earnings index which compares spot income with daily running costs; an investment index which provides a write-down value of the vessel over five years; and an implied residual risk assessment which gives the recycling steel value of the vessel as a ratio of its implied residual value.

Commenting on the new service, Baltic Exchange chief executive Mark Jackson said: “The Baltic Exchange is a credible, established and regulated provider of data for the shipping industry. The recent addition of operating cost assessments to our portfolio of spot, forward market, Sale & Purchase and recycling indices means that we now cover the financial lifecycle of the vessel. By splicing and dicing our data we are able to deliver an innovative new product which provides shipowners, banks, family offices and funds with an independent, easy to use benchmark which shows them the current and expected performance of key asset classes.”

Email: or see a video on the new service at:

7. Negligible risk of ship evasion?

Environmental lobby group Transport & Environment says EU regulators have little to fear from shipping companies evading the bloc’s carbon market if it is applied to long-distance voyages, a new study shows. The shipping industry has warned that operators would make evasive port calls in neighbouring non-EU countries to avoid buying pollution permits for the whole voyage. But, at most, 7% of ships calling at EU ports would benefit from avoidance at today’s carbon price, according to T&E.

The findings come as EU regulators prepare a proposal to include shipping in the emissions trading system (ETS) and weigh up the benefits of covering all emissions (known as ‘full scope’) or simply trade within the EU. A ship from Houston, for example, could stop at Morocco before it reaches Spain and then only buy pollution permits for the short, final leg of the voyage. T&E says its study of tens of thousands of port combinations shows the savings from evading a full-scope ETS would be just 7%, due to extra costs including fuel and port charges. With an ETS covering half the long-distance voyage (‘semi-full scope’), the benefits of evasion are non-existent, the study finds.

8. Young freight forwarder award

FIATA International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations and TT Club have announced the 2020 winner of the Young International Freight Forwarder of the Year Award (YIFFYA). Umair Aamir Sheikh from the Pakistan International Freight Forwarders Association, and Asia-Pacific regional winner, receives this year’s accolade.

The award demonstrates recognition by FIATA, and TT Club as a sponsoring partner, of the need to develop quality in the freight forwarding industry and reward young talent. For over 20 years, it has been providing valuable training opportunities for young freight forwarders in the industry.
“In the face of such a difficult year due to the pandemic, we are heartened to receive very high-quality dissertations from all four FIATA regions,” said Thomas Sim, FIATA Senior Vice President. “Candidates have demonstrated tenacity, versatility and high standards of research and application  in their various domains and areas of operations. FIATA’s continuous efforts towards nurturing and motivating the youth in logistics and freight forwarding will persist in the face of our industry’s disruption and digital transformation.”

Sheikh joined the freight forwarding industry four years ago and comes from a country where 64% of the population is under 30 years old – emphasizing the relevance and timeliness of this award. His dissertation took into account the effects of digitalization on freight forwarding activities and concluded that, despite the technology currently available, the role of the freight forwarder remains essential.
“This year more than ever we at TT want to pay tribute to the freight forwarding fraternity across the world that have helped keep essential global supply chains flowing,” said Mike Yarwood, TT Club’s Managing Director, Loss Prevention. “In turn the young, talented employees of these regional and international companies have excelled. The entries into YIFFA and particularly the finalists have exemplified this talent and dedication.  In addition to Sheikh, I want to congratulate them all, and in particular the regional finalists: Femke Marie Fürst (DSLV – Germany) ; Vimbai Loreen Manyumbu (SFAAZ – Zimbabwe) and Anastasia Gureeva (CIFFA – Canada)

9. Counterfeit chart warning

The UK Hydrographic Office (UKHO) is reissuing a warning for the industry to be aware of the dangers of counterfeit versions of Admiralty charts and publications, after observing an increase in the number of counterfeit products in circulation.

These counterfeit items pose a significant danger to crew, vessels and cargo, as they have not been assessed by UKHO experts nor supplied by an authorised Admiralty Chart Agent, who both perform vital quality assurance to ensure the integrity of information in genuine products.

UKHO is also calling on mariners and inspectors to use extra due diligence to ensure products held are genuine, as some sellers of counterfeit products have been found to ‘mix’ genuine charts and information with fake publications and vice versa.

The information contained within these counterfeit products has not been issued officially by, or on the authority of, any national Government, authorised Hydrographic Office, or relevant Government institution. They therefore do not satisfy the carriage requirements of the International Convention on the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), meaning that users could be in breach of their compliance obligations.

The carriage of counterfeit charts and publications may also not satisfy – and might even directly contravene – the laws of Flag State Authorities and their Port State Control bodies. This means that any vessel found to be using counterfeit charts could be found deficient or even detained by the relevant authorities.

Furthermore, under the Berne Convention, which has been signed by 179 countries around the world, authorities have the power to seize counterfeit documents.

To support mariners during this uptick in counterfeit Admiralty products, the UKHO has updated its Guide to Identifying Counterfeit Admiralty Products. The Guide contains visual examples and explanations to help users and inspectors identify official Admiralty products.

The UKHO has also taken a range of further preventative measures to help users identify genuine products, including:
•    Clear watermarking of genuine products
•    Hologram covers
•    Certificates for publications

UKHO’s updated Guide to Identifying Counterfeit Admiralty products can be downloaded here:

10. New KR class rules for LNG

The Korean Register (KR) has developed new class rules that completely revise the existing structural rules for membrane-type LNG carriers.

The new class rules apply the concept of EDW (Equivalent Design Wave) based on direct load analysis to determine structural arrangements and scantling that meet the structural strength, buckling and fatigue strength criteria for various load scenarios, and re-verify it by applying direct structural analysis.
The newly developed rules cover not only the general sizes of LNG carrier, but also the ultra-large LNG carriers – the 210,000 to 266,000 m3 (Q-Max) by analyzing and reflecting the motion characteristics of these vessels. The new rules have also been developed to fully comply with the IGC Code (International Gas Carrier code).

In order to test and improve the rules, KR has conducted an impact analysis on an LNG carrier working in collaboration with Hyundai Heavy Industries, Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering, and Samsung Heavy Industries and applying world-class LNG carrier building technology. As a result of verifying the rules for the latest design of 170,000 m3 class membrane-type LNG ship, each shipyard also evaluated the rules as highly competitive rules in terms of structural safety and optimized design.      
It is anticipated that the structural design time for LNG carriers will be drastically shortened through the inclusion of the new rules in KR’s structural scantling and strength evaluation program ‘SeaTrust-HullScan’, which is already widely used by many design companies and shipyards.

“The new rules for LNG carriers will be applied to membrane-type LNG ships over 150m in length and our LNG technology development work will continue as we work alongside leading shipyards both domestic and abroad, providing the best technical services possible for our LNG customers,” says Kim Yeon-tae, Executive vice-president, Technical Division, KR.

11. Puget Sound ruling overturned

Many thanks to Dennis Bryant for bring the following case to our attention. The US District Court for the District of Columbia has ruled that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) authorization for the State of Washington to declare Puget Sound a No Discharge Zone (NDZ) was arbitrary and capricious because its determination that adequate facilities for the safe and sanitary removal and treatment of sewage from all vessels are reasonably available was arbitrary and capricious because EPA failed to consider compliance costs; did not demonstrate that it had assessed the adequacy of sewage treatment facilities; and did not justify its reliance on an “appropriate” ratio of pumpout facilities to vessels. The court remanded the record to EPA for reconsideration. American Waterways Operators v Wheeler, No. 18-cv-02933 (APM) (November 30, 2020).

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12. Jurisdiction issues

TT Club’s Legal Eagle newsletter discusses WECO PROJECTS APS v LORO PIANA & OTHERS (‘My Song’) [2020] EWHC 2150 (Comm) – a complex conflicts of laws judgment that provides guidance on a broad range of issues beyond the innate jurisdictional dispute. This is relevant for freight forwarders and shipping agents to consider, the club says.

Listen now at TT Live.

Notices & Miscellany

UK Chamber shipping course
The UK Chamber of Shipping Understanding UK Shipping online course is an engaging and interactive one day course which will give participants an understanding of how the UK shipping industry operates, the regulations, constraints and current issues. The event is due to take place on January 26, 2021 at a cost of £125 to members and £200 to non-members.

If you would like more detail please contact Priya Birk, Events Manager.
The World of the Seafarer

Open access book – The World of the Seafarer – authored by staff and alumni of the Seafarers International Research Centre has recently been published with support from The Nippon Foundation.  The open access nature of the book means that it can be read by anyone, anywhere in the world free of charge. To access the book please follow this link.

Notations advice
ABS has published the Guide for Sustainability Notations to help marine and offshore operators meet the Environmental, Social, and Operational requirements outlined in the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The guide focuses on sustainability aspects of vessel design, outfitting and layout that can be controlled, measured, and assessed. The guide also offers two new sustainability notations – SUSTAIN-1(2020) and SUSTAIN-2(2020) – to help marine and offshore operators demonstrate alignment with the SDGs and establish a pathway for sustainability certification and reporting.

Middle East bunkering conference
The Middle East Bunkering Convention Virtual Conference and Exhibition is set to take place on 26-27 January, 2021. MEBC 2021 will focus on how shipping, energy, and bunker markets are navigating recovery in the wake of the disruption wrought by the coronavirus pandemic, both in the Middle East and worldwide.


Containership fires
TT Club and UK P&I Club are once again coming together to discuss containership issues, addressing the worrisome issue of ship fires.  Over a series of three webinars, we will take different perspectives, firstly focusing on specific issues relating to the cargo loaded on board, looking into practices to combat non-declaration and mis-declaration, as well as profiling the risk-based stowage approach. The second webinar will delve into the firefighting capabilities on board container ships and the final session will discuss what is important after an event in terms of investigations and preparing for inevitable litigation.

The first webinar will take place on January 13, 2021. If you have any questions, get in touch.

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


And finally,

With thanks to Lawrence Black


A very successful attorney parked his brand new Lexus in front of his office, ready to show it off to his colleagues.

As he was getting out, a truck came along too closely and completely tore off the driver’s door.

Fortunately, a cop in a police car was close enough to see the accident and pulled up behind the Lexus with his lights flashing.

Before the cop had a chance to ask any questions, the attorney started screaming hysterically about how his Lexus, which he had just purchased the day before, was completely ruined and would never be the same, no matter how any car body shop tried to make it new again.

After the lawyer finally wound down from his rant, the cop shook his head in disbelief. “I can’t believe how materialistic you lawyers are,” he said. “You are so focused on your possessions that you neglect the most important things in life.”

“How can you say such a thing?” asked the lawyer.

The cop replied, “Don’t you even realize that your left arm is missing? It was severed when the truck hit you!”

“OH, MY GOD!!!” screamed the lawyer….

“My Rolex!”

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.