The Maritime Advocate–Issue 819


1. A very preventable tragedy
2. Safety awareness
3. Ammonium nitrate carriage
4. Lloyd’s Open Form
5. Collaboration is key
6. Seafarers documentary
7. Global Maritime Forum
8. Spirit of cooperation
9. IACS goes forward
10. Shipbrokers get together
11. Flying Angel campaign
12. Intercargo ambitions
13. Charterparty dispute
14. Blockchain development

Notices & Miscellany

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

1. A very preventable tragedy

By Michael Grey

There are some incidents which, for unknown reasons, lodge in the memory. It must have been thirty years ago when the Casualties columns in Lloyd’s List reported the deaths of four crewmen aboard a bulk carrier northbound from the Plate with a cargo of soya. A couple of them had gone into the hold, for some quite legitimate reason, and while the cargo space was filled with cargo, there was a lack of oxygen in it. The two others dived in to rescue their shipmates and in turn, were similarly overcome. Twenty per cent of the ship’s complement wiped out, just like that.

But what made that accident so memorable, to me, at least, was that just about five weeks earlier, the Casualty columns had reported an almost identical tragedy, on a bulker bound to Europe from the Plate, with the same cargo. The only differences were the flag of the ships and their owners. Same circumstances exactly. Same number of unnecessary deaths, in a hold depleted of oxygen by the otherwise innocuous cargo.

The second incident should have brought home the sad fact that as an industry we were just not very good at transmitting valuable safety information, not just within the national fleet or within a shipping company, but around the whole at-risk population. But if there was a more effective safety alerting system, would pre-occupied or ignorant people actually take any notice?

There has been no end of alerts, advice, regulations and appeals since then about the risks of enclosed spaces, but as was perfectly explained by InterManager, which has taken the trouble to collate these accidents, it is still clear that the message is not getting across.

There is something particularly awful about deaths which are so very preventable. This is not the fury of the seas or the violence of fire or explosion, but an unnecessary risk taken, a moment’s thoughtlessness, a short cut which led to only one destination. Other accidents stick in the mind because they were so stupid and …mundane. The  AB who, with his chums had been working in a hold the previous day, but had carelessly left his broom at the bottom of the booby-hatch. He lifted the hatch and there was the blooming thing. It was the work of a short minute to shin down and retrieve it, lest he incur the wrath of the bosun. But the hatches had been on all night, sufficient for the cargo to reduce the level of oxygen to a non-breathable level.

There was the annoying clank in the chain locker of a supply boat which was keeping the crew awake. It was easily sorted, with a light line to bind the cables together; the only surprise was that the interior of the locker was lethal, as the corroding chain had “eaten” the oxygen and two who went in, never came out alive.

It underlined the fact that no enclosed space whatever should be treated in a cavalier fashion, and all had the potential to kill the unwary entrant, along with the unthinking shipmate(s) who rushed heroically to the rescue without getting hold of the breathing apparatus. Maybe we should think about those words “unwary” and “unthinking”. A recent death reported by the excellent Marine Accident Investigation Branch Safety Digest was of an engineer on a trawler who had just popped into an empty refrigerated salt water tank to do some maintenance. What could possibly go wrong? He was found unconscious on the bottom some time later because freon refrigerant had leaked into the tank through a corroded pipe and when eventually brought out – after three fellow crew members had been similarly affected by the heavy gas when they had dived into help, the engineer could not be resuscitated.

A few years ago, there was a really excellent seminar on this miserable and recurring curse run by the UK Maritime & Coastguard Agency which gathered together so much of the information on the potential lethality of enclosed spaces and the need for real action on the problem. One of the “demos” was a glass bottle containing some rusty old bolts from which emerged a tube measuring the oxygen as the day progressed, gradually depleting to a level lower than that which would support life. The regulators preached the need for a disciplined approach to any entry into enclosed spaces and I’m sure it was taken on board by the shipping company representatives who were present.

But these tragedies are still happening. Dockers, seafarers, repairers, surveyors – there seems no particular category of person who cannot be struck down by this killer. A seafarer writes: “On the topic of enclosed spaces we reached a dead end sometime ago. Our renewed efforts at managing this problem only add to paperwork and nothing else”.

Is the equipment on board ship designed to detect oxygen depletion fit for purpose? The Confidential Hazardous Incident Reporting Programme director maritime Adam Parnell recently posed the question of whether poor design might be a contributor to any accident and this may well be true with some enclosed space accidents. Our seafaring contributor points out that a “core issue” is “how to detect oxygen depletion in that remote corner”, and how to refresh the space with 100% breathable air. The current tools for the job, he suggests, are not fit for purpose, offering the examples that the sampling pipe of the 4xgas detector cannot reach all the areas required while the ventilating fan supplied is a “piddling toy”. A technologically innovative product, he suggests, is needed. It is beyond my pay grade to know whether this will make a difference, but seafarers should not be anywhere near spaces that cannot be made safe for them to enter.

Paperwork, tick boxes, procedures and regulations are the best we can do at present it seems. Is there more that can be done in training. You all know, from your first day at sea that you shouldn’t step in a bight of rope, walk under a swinging load, or sit on the rail. But is it sufficiently ingrained into the seafarers’ psyche that death lurks in any enclosed space? I only ask.

Michael Grey is former editor of Lloyd’s List.

2. Safety awareness

P&I Club Gard recently issued some advice on bulk carrier safety, warning owners and operators to be aware of vessel structural limitations.

Not long ago, a member’s vessel was detained at load port because the density of the solid bulk cargo being loaded exceeded the maximum allowable cargo density for that particular vessel. Recently, Gard was  also approached by another member because the master of a capsize bulk carrier had refused the charterer’s request for alternative hold loading due to serious concern about the ship’s safety.

The above instances appear to have come about due to a lack of knowledge of the CSR-BC Class Notations, Gard said in its advice. For details see the Gard website

Gard and the Norwegian Centre for Maritime and Diving Medicine have also launched a new international digital medical guide to improve medical treatment on board and potentially save lives, the P&I Club said recently.

The new Mariners Medico Guide is an app which is designed and tailored for seafarers,   and provides stop-by-step guidance for treating crew on vessels.  To download the Mariners Medico Guide, visit the for more information.

3. Ammonium nitrate carriage

Global cargo handling association ICHCA International (ICHCA) focusses on helping ships transporting ammonium nitrate to manage risks in a whitepaper detailing guidance for fire prevention and mitigation.
The risks posed by poor conditions of storage of this common compound, which is used extensively in the fertiliser and explosives industries, have been well documented, but awareness of the dangers of fire during transportation by sea is less widespread.  The objective of this guide, entitled Ammonium Nitrate Fire Risk on Board Ships is to outline best practice with respect to the management of risk on vessels chartered to ship the compound through ports around the world.
Ammonium Nitrate, a white to grey odourless chemical has a melting point of 169 degrees C and decomposes at 210 degrees C. While it does not burn by itself,   it will accelerate burning of combustible material, producing toxic oxides of nitrogen and ammonia, which will support combustion, even in the absence of oxygen.
“These properties in particular demand careful consideration of how and where ammonium nitrate is stowed on board vessels that are used to ship large volumes around the world,” says the paper’s leading author Brian Devaraj, who is a member of ICHCA’s Technical Panel. “Ammonium nitrate fires can escalate out of control very rapidly. To mitigate consequential loss of life and damage, the provisions laid out in the International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code (IMDG Code) should be complied with at all times.”
The whitepaper outlines in detail ammonium nitrate’s peculiar reactions to heat and subsequent conflagration, as well as the nature of its decomposition.  These characteristics mean that the specifications of vessels’ equipment, including deck cranes, hatch covers, hold linings, fuel tanks and pumps, also forklifts and other handling devices, must be precise.  The whitepaper offers comprehensive guidance on these particulars.
Above all however from a fire prevention point of view emphasis is put on compliance with the IMDG Code, which typically requires ammonium nitrate to bestowed on deck only.  The Code does however allow an exception for certain forms of the compound and fertiliser containing it to be stowed under deck.  The rules for this are outlined in clause
“This seemingly unremarkable clause is in fact crucial to safe shipping of ammonium nitrate,” explains Devaraj in the white paper. “ states that certain UN Numbers of the product may be stowed under deck in a clean cargo space capable of being opened in an emergency, including need to open hatches in case of fire to provide maximum ventilation and to apply water.  This of course precludes a hold containing ammonium nitrate to be over-stowed with another cargo.”  
The white paper is at pains to underline that while all IMDG clauses are pertinent to fire risk, all ships and cargo operators must be particularly cognisant of Clause as it is crucial to the ability to respond effectively if an ammonium nitrate fire on board a ship is out of control and the risk of an explosion is imminent.
The intention of the clause is that all a vessels’ hatches – including tween decks- shall be openable in case of an ammonium nitrate fire. There is however potential to misunderstand this point and ICHCA is working with the IMO and stakeholders to clarify the wording of the clause.

4. Lloyd’s Open Form

The Lloyd’s Open Form (LOF) contract for vessel salvage is undergoing a major revamp in response to declining use by the maritime community. The work focuses on three areas: The first being to examine costs and awards (to address a market perception that the LOF system is expensive); the second to raise the profile of the LOF in the Far East and Asia, where it is rarely used; and the third to position salvage in the context of the Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) movement that is gathering speed.

“The LOF is a prime example of a tool designed to save lives and avoid damage to the environment and is therefore extremely relevant from an ESG perspective,” explains Kiran Khosla, Principal Director (Legal) at ICS, which is participating in the review.

The changes are being designed to reignite demand for the LOF, which is losing momentum. “Some underwriters have been using other contracts as they feel LOF can give rise to unjustly high salvage awards that can be avoided through other contractual mechanisms,” explains Nick Coleman, chairman of the salvage forum at International Union of Marine Insurance (IUMI) and senior claims executive for marine claims at Gard. He added that there have also been fewer incidents, which may account for the reduced usage of the LOF.

Captain Nicholas Sloane, President of the International Salvage Union (ISU) and director at Resolve Marine, believes that the LOF is being judged unjustly. “The LOF is a document produced by property interests and underwriters to support them in their time of need – and was not produced by the salvors,” he says. Although he agrees that the LOF is due to evolve to meet client needs, Sloane believes that this must be accompanied by clear information about the benefits of using the form as there is “a lack of understanding and appreciation of the award / settlement process & procedures”.

Both Sloane and Coleman believe that the form revamp is timely given the adoption of alternative fuels by the global fleet. “In the first big casualties – with fuel being leaked or batteries on fire – there would be no idea of how long a salvage operation will go on or what assets will be required, so this uncertainty may make the LOF more popular in the short term,” Coleman says.
Sloane emphasises the need for a quick, professional response to incidents involving new-generation vessels and green cargoes He warns, “The intervention of professionals becomes even more critical since salvors deal with these scenarios weekly, whereas the local coastal state may be experiencing a disaster of this magnitude for the first time.”

5. Collaboration is key

A survey of shipowners conducted by design and engineering consultancy, Houlder, has highlighted that reliance on ad hoc collaboration between ship owners, and between technology companies and owners, is currently a major barrier to the decarbonisation of shipping. The research – based upon owner feedback from across the container, tanker, bulk, cruise and ferry sectors – uncovers that while the potential impact of more in-depth interaction is significant in achieving carbon reduction commitments, this is not currently being delivered in a way that owners need.

Every senior industry player interviewed confirmed that there is a willingness to collaborate and that it is critical to achieving rapid, fundamental change. However, collaboration is less evident in practice, as owners focus on achieving emissions reductions while safeguarding competitive advantage. The research unearthed two core areas for improvement: collaboration between owners and clean technology providers, as well as collaboration between owners themselves.

Owners identified a lack of good quality and relevant operating data as a key barrier to the uptake of clean technology. There is also a perceived shortage of independent corroboration for the claims made by some technology vendors. None of the participants accused technology providers of suggesting deliberately misleading results but reflected that the data in a brochure will inevitably relate to another ship. So the results, and the unintended consequences, of any technology intervention need to be recognised as a retrospective, and sometimes fundamental, design change.

Large shipowners, in particular, are doing a great deal to move the industry forward by creating clear demand for future green fuels, by setting up infrastructure to trial new technologies, and by sharing some of their findings. However, according to respondents, that only highlights the challenge for the smaller owners and medium-sized owners – where typically the scale and investment required for R&D and trialling was unattainable. To play their part, these smaller and medium shipowners need to draw in partners in order to access the knowledge, scale and resources to enable them to make changes.

Effective collaboration needs convenors to safeguard participants and break down barriers. Convenors can act as a central black box, bringing sensitive information together to paint the full picture while protecting the confidentiality of the data owners. They can also help ship owners share the cost of trialling a new technology while giving them all access to the benefits.

Sean McLaughlin, strategy consultant at Houlder, commented: “Collaboration has become a decarbonisation buzzword, much heralded as central to shipping’s energy transition, and critical to meeting the International Maritime Organization’s emissions reduction targets. This research highlights that, while the heart is willing, the head remains focused on safeguarding competitive advantage. This creates a fundamental barrier which has to be addressed if shipping is to achieve its decarbonisation goals.

“Collaboration is more than just ship owners sharing technical data on a new technology. It encompasses all stakeholders and often supply  chains as well. What is clear is that we cannot expect collaboration to “just happen” – there has to be more proactive convenors. Flag states, national chambers and the international chamber, industry coalitions and independent consultants all have a key convening role to play if significant barriers are to be overcome.”

The Houlder Navigator survey is the first in a series of projects aimed at identifying and addressing key decarbonisation challenges and supporting the energy transition. C-suite executives from both large and small shipping companies across the container, tanker, bulk, cruise and ferry sectors were interviewed and the anonymised output was collated into a white paper; Clean Technology and the decarbonisation challenge – a Houlder navigator white paper. The white paper includes owners’ perspectives and direct quotes on decarbonisation goals, choosing vessel efficiency (clean) technology, financial incentives and disincentives, evaluating alternative fuels, and making collaboration work.

Download the full whitepaper here:

6. Seafarers documentary

The recruitment of seafarers globally is proving to be a challenge. Therefore, the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) is planning to produce a 7-minute film focusing on the world of seafaring and encouraging people to pursue it as a career path.

ICS is calling for seafarers around the world, on all ships, to film themselves and their colleagues on their camera phones and submit this footage for the documentary. 

7. Global Maritime Forum

In September, over 200 high-level maritime leaders sought to turn climate ambition into action, increase the maritime industry’s appeal to the right talent, and safeguard the benefits of global seaborne trade. A new Global Maritime Forum report summarizes the ideas for collective action that emerged at the organisation’s New York Annual Summit.

“Braving the rough seas facing the maritime industry will require unprecedented levels of collaboration. To succeed, the maritime industry will need to broaden its circle of stakeholders to embrace new perspectives and ensure equity. It will require collective courage,” said Johannah Christensen, CEO of the Global Maritime Forum.

One of the focal points of the discussions was the need to fully decarbonize the maritime industry by 2050. Participants saw great promise in establishing Green Corridors to accelerate the introduction of green ships and fuels.

Key areas identified for further action:

  • Potential new ownership models of ships
  • Public and private support for Green Corridors
  • Ammonia safety demonstrations
  • Coordinated planning and implementation of Green Corridors

The participants stressed the crucial role of policy to enable the transition, and they suggested a basket of policy measures to reach zero emissions by 2050, including a carbon tax, a ban on new fossil-fuelled vessels by 2035, and a fuel emission standard.

After the Annual Summit, a group of participants released an eight-page insight brief detailing their recommendations for key actions at the IMO, including setting clear 1.5 degrees Celsius-aligned interim targets for GHG emissions reduction.

The Global Maritime Forum’s Annual Summit 2023 will take place in Athens on 18-19 October 2023. The full report, Braving Rough Seas, is available for download here

8.  Spirit of cooperation
Unions representing seafarers and maritime employer groups have come together to sign a new memorandum of understanding (MOU) to take forward the ‘spirit of cooperation’ that marked the shipping industry’s joint efforts throughout the pandemic.
The MOU’s signatories are the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF),   the International Chamber of Shipping and   the International Maritime Employers’ Council. The MOU is the beginning of a process of deepening dialogue, with the signatory organisations hopeful that more partners would join the common cause in months and years to come.

“Even with all the chaotic stories of supply chain issues during the pandemic, seafarers kept the world supplied with food, fuel and medicines at a critical time. Because of seafarers and other key workers, we were able to beat back the worst of the crisis and begin the long road to economic and health recovery. However, in too many cases, crews had their international and national rights blindly disregarded by national governments,” said David Heindel, chair of the ITF Seafarers’ Section.

“Our industry came together to advocate for seafarers during the crew change crisis, and we had important successes on their behalf. Now we want to take that spirit of cooperation forward and apply it to new, shared challenges,” said Heindel.

Priorities for the group include lobbying governments on improving training and career pathways, pushing for better recognition of seafarers, and securing support for the proposals put out recently in the Maritime Just Transition Task Force’s action plan

ICS Secretary General Guy Platten said the chamber was confident the MOU would bring benefits to shipowners and seafarers alike, including securing the clearer signals from regulators needed for investments in low and zero-carbon vessels, infrastructure and technologies.

“This MOU helps to take our important policy discussions to the next stage – industry action. Together, we are more effective at getting the practical commitments needed to drive decarbonisation.”
“This MOU is about showing seafarers, as much as anyone else, that our industry has not lost sight of what can be achieved on their behalf if we put aside small differences, stand back, and advocate together on crew’s behalf. In short: when it matters, shipping speaks as one.”

 IMEC chairman Captain Belal Ahmed also welcomed the memorandum. Maritime employers wanted to be involved with the training elements of the Just Transition work, in particular – engaging with governments, which provide much of the world’s seafarer training and regulate important domestic qualification standards.

“During the pandemic and crew change crisis it was clear just how important national governments are – for our global industry and its global workforce. It was their decisions which determined if seafarers could be relieved and go home. States will be equally as critical when it comes to formulating and resourcing the training systems of tomorrow. When we do have governments’ attention, we must make it count,” said Capt. Ahmed.

Captain Ahmed said that with the rapid introduction of new technology, “Our industry faces a huge challenge to have our seafarers ready in time. Engineering, tech and manufacturing companies involved in introducing new machinery on board ships have a responsibility to join Just Transition efforts,” he said.

“The signing of this MOU sends a clear signal that these important maritime communities are once again engaged in the kind of dialogue that brings strength of voice and stability to our sector’s future,” Capt. Ahmed concluded.

9. IACS goes forward

The 86th session of the International Association of Classification Societies’ Council (C86) focused on recent developments around its internal oversight of quality matters, recognizing that the restrictions imposed by Covid-19 and the associated responses, the challenges posed by the rapid introduction of new regulations and technologies in relation to decarbonisation and the ongoing development of IQARB make it essential for IACS to respond rapidly in these areas.

Accordingly, a sub-committee of the IACS Council has been established to develop future quality policy, to provide both high-level and in-depth review of ongoing performance and improvement, and to manage IACS’ engagement with external quality stakeholders such as the International Quality Assessment Review Body (IQARB).  This new Council sub-committee provides IACS with enhanced bandwidth to focus, at Council level, on quality- related developments while also facilitating faster responses to external developments.
Nick Brown, IACS Chairman and CEO of Lloyd’s Register, welcomed the Council’s decision “Maintaining the highest standards of quality performance remains at the core of IACS’ purpose – this dedicated sub-committee provides the space for both ongoing review and the innovative thinking necessary to ensure IACS Quality System Certification Scheme remains the gold standard for Classification Societies”.

The IACS Council also reaffirmed its commitment to supporting the safe decarbonisation of the maritime industry and welcomed the increasing recognition at IMO of the need for a practical and achievable implementation plan to accompany the delivery of its greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction strategy for shipping.  In this context C86 agreed to take a leading role to support IMO Member States in their development of a new output proposal to allow the Maritime Safety Committee to determine how best to address any identified safety issues.  C86 also welcomed the progress being made by its recently established Safe Decarbonisation Panel in developing an effective oversight arrangement for the safety of decarbonisation solutions, and also re-emphasised IACS’ unique ability to develop common technical requirements that can make a key contribution to the delivery of regulatory certainty.

C86 also saw IACS ready itself for future challenges by adopting a new six-year strategy that, in addition to quality, focuses on aligning its technical output with societal and industry demands, enhancing its stakeholder engagement, maintaining its role and visibility in the industry and underpins this with a drive to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of its internal processes to streamline the delivery of IACS outputs.

The gradual return to normal operating practices in most parts of the globe in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic allowed C86 to be held as an entirely physical meeting for the first time since 2019.  

Speaking after the meeting, Nick Brown said ‘At a time of global geo-political uncertainty, increasingly ambitious societal demands for the decarbonisation of shipping and ongoing rapid technological change, C86 reaffirmed IACS’ commitment to safety and its ability both to meet current demands while also preparing itself for future challenges”.

10. Shipbrokers get together

The shipping industry can overcome geopolitical challenges and thrive, said the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers Greek Branch at its 17th Annual Forum. The recent event, ‘Moving Forward with the World in Turmoil’, was held on December 7 at the Eugenides Foundation and was broadcast live around the world.

Natalia Margioli Komninou , managing director of the ICS Greek Branch and Hellenic Management Centre  explained how this year’s theme aimed to capture the many challenges facing stakeholders.  “Shipping companies have continued to advance the skills of their human resources and this has contributed to the resilient character and progression demonstrated by Greek professionals. Continuous professional development and education is integral to navigating an increasingly complex world.”

Nicolas Tsavliris,  chairman of the ICS Greek Branch and Tsavliris Salvage Group  said: “The shipping industry remains resilient, robust and adaptable. Historically, it always emerges stronger after challenging times and the ICS has an important role play in these unpredictable times.”

A special address was made by the. Minister of Maritime Affairs and Insular Policy, Ioannis Plakiotakis who noted the importance of the transport sector in ensuring resilient supply chains and creating reliable mechanisms for vessels to move smoothly and safely worldwide. He remarked that we are undergoing a radical transformation towards non-fossil fuel-based shipping.

11. Flying Angel campaign

The Mission to Seafarers has launched its new Flying Angel Campaign 2023 with the goal of raising US$700,000 (£600,000) to respond to the changing needs of seafarers’ welfare. The funds generated will enable the Mission to not only maintain its vital lifeline to seafarers and their families but also, to expand into new services in response to the evolving global needs.

Proceeds from the Flying Angel Campaign 2023 will be used to address the following areas of needs:

Ship Visiting Fund –– For the development of ship visiting programmes in new and existing locations to reach more seafarers and enhance the mental health first aid training of frontline staff, including that of suicide awareness.

Seafarers Centres Fund –– For the modernisation of Seafarers Centres to ensure a wider service can be offered. As the Mission develops and implements its own ESG principles, centre modernisation will involve sustainable and environmental solutions, the enhancement of green spaces, and the maximisation of renewable energy usage.

Seafarers Awareness Fund –– To ensure all seafarers know where and how they can access help and support, especially in relation to mental health and suicide awareness, via targeted marketing campaigns and the dissemination of information through organisations, associations, companies, and conferences.

Justice & Welfare Fund –– Advocating for seafarers in urgent need of practical, emotional or financial assistance, or representation – particularly those who are abandoned. The Mission’s Justice & Welfare services are a vital tool for seafarers in obtaining outstanding wages, repatriation, food and water, as well as assistance for families surviving without income.

General Fund –– To be spent where most needed in support of the Mission’s global operations, including areas to further diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). Seafarers and their families face unprecedented tribulation because of ongoing stressors caused by global events, necessitating the allocation of unrestricted resources in unforeseen areas of need.

There are a range of benefits in recognition of donors’ sponsorship which include media announcements, impact reports and exclusive updates with key Mission personnel, as well as providing support for the donor’s own corporate social responsibility (CSR) policies and goals.

Jan Webber, Director of Development, at the Mission, commented: “We were extremely grateful to the industry donors who stepped up during the pandemic to assist our emergency work through our two previous campaigns. We appeal to industry once again to help us with whatever size donation they can manage. Seafarers’ welfare needs are continuing to evolve. Without the Mission, many seafarers would suffer more mental health and emotional issues, so we believe we are contributing to the safety of seafaring globally, but we need the funds to do this.

“The range of funds available will ensure we reach seafarers in ports and centres, but also raise awareness as new generations of seafarers join the 1.7m workforce, so they too can access our services more immediately. If we can provide the mental health support to just a few seafarers, and this helps save lives then we will have achieved our goal. We are deeply grateful to those who donate to the Mission. Please join them in helping shipping’s greatest asset – its seafarers.”

Donations can be made here.

The Flying Angel Campaign 2023 brochure can be found here for further details.

12.  Intercargo ambitions

INTERCARGO continues to fully support the ambition to achieve net zero emission shipping by 2050, the organisation has said in a statement. “It is important to stress, however, that this goal can only be achieved by providing the shipping industry with alternative zero carbon fuels. The responsibility for decarbonisation cannot be placed solely on the shoulders of the ship operator at the end of the line – it is a challenge that must be dealt with holistically by the entire shipping industry.”

INTERCARGO says it is essential that appropriate policies are included in the Revision of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) GHG Strategy to ensure that green fuels are secured as well as the necessary infrastructure to ensure availability and bunkering in ports around the world. Unfortunately, these aspects are not sufficiently discussed and addressed despite their critical role.

The organisation’s  position is that a combination of core elements of previous proposals on medium-term measures is the best way forward, and therefore welcomes the ICS revised proposal (paper ISWGGHG 13/4/9). Specifically, INTERCARGO believes that a flat rate contribution per tonne of CO2 emitted on a Tankto-Wake (TtW) basis – and subject to the outcome of the ongoing discussions at IMO on fuel emissions’ Life-Cycle Assessment (LCA) – should be combined with an International Maritime Sustainability Funding and Reward (IMSF&R) mechanism where ships of 5,000 GT and above will make an annual contribution per tonne of CO2. Under such a scheme only ships that use ‘eligible alternative fuels’ would receive a reward for CO2 emissions prevented.

A combination of technical and economic measures should be accompanied by appropriate policies and commitments from the Member States, in order for fuel suppliers to secure the required alternative fuels in ports around the world in sufficient quantities. On CII (Carbon Intensity Indicators),  INTERCARGO believes that the current Carbon Intensity Indicator (CII) framework should not be used as a benchmark for IMO’s medium-term measures. During the Association’s recent deliberations during  meetings, INTERCARGO members expressed their belief that CII cannot be used to achieve the desired decarbonisation goals as under real life operating conditions it will not deliver equitable, transparent and non-distorting emissions’ reductions.  

A number of factors can have a significant adverse impact on a vessel’s CII rating, most of which are outside the vessel’s control. Examples include adverse weather, voyage distance, port waiting times, port infrastructure, and charterers’ orders. Paradoxically when considering voyage distances and port waiting times, vessels with longer travel distances can produce more emissions but have a better CII rating when compared to vessels travelling shorter distances and producing less emissions.

INTERCARGO does not therefore believe that CII, in the current format, would achieve the desired decarbonisation goals or targets. While generally supportive of the operational short-term measure, there are significant flaws that need to be addressed in order to make CII fit for purpose.

13. Charterparty dispute

In DHL Project & Chartering Ltd v. Gemini Ocean Shipping Co Ltd (Newcastle Express) [2022] EWHC 181 (Comm), the Court of Appeal has held that a proposed charterparty which was expressly stated to be ‘subject shippers/receivers approval’ did not contain a binding arbitration agreement conferring jurisdiction on the Tribunal to determine whether the charterparty had been properly concluded.

In reaching its decision, the Court of Appeal has approved the recent case of the Leonidas [2020] EWHC 1986 (Comm) relating to ‘subjects’ in charterparty negotiations. It has also considered in detail the authorities relating to the ‘separability principle’, i.e. that an arbitration agreement is, or must be treated as, a contract which is separate from the main contract of which it forms part.


14. Blockchain development

In the first of its kind for a shipyard, DNV has awarded a Statement of Fact (SoF) to Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) for applying blockchain technology to its own SAS (Samsung Autonomous Ship) and SVESSEL eLogbook data streams on an operating vessel.

The project was accomplished by interfacing SHI’s data stream and eLogbook with the VeChainThor blockchain to demonstrate the technology’s potential for secure data stream applications on ships.

As the shipping and offshore industry becomes more digitized, yards, shipping companies, manufacturers and class societies worldwide are actively developing and verifying smart and autonomous ships amid rising need to strengthening cybersecurity. This is increasingly important for real-time data transmissions from ship to shore, remote monitoring, and equipment maintenance.
The blockchain application for the SHI data stream pertains to Samsung Autonomous Ship’s navigation information, particularly the Collision Risk Index and Distance to the Closest Point of Approach. Also, the SVESSEL eLogbook satisfying IMO MEPC.312(74) were released via blockchain technology.

SHI’s Director of Ship and Offshore Research Institute, vice president Dong Yeon Lee, said: “The maritime industry is paying attention to cybersecurity as another key to the digital revolution of ships. Blockchain technology is ground-breaking in data security for autonomous ships. We are grateful for DNV’s cooperation and look forward to vitalizing blockchain technology as a new business in the future.”

“We are delighted SHI has become the first shipyard certified by DNV in applying blockchain technology for its evolving SAS automatic navigation system and the digital asset management system of our SVESSEL eLogbook. We deeply appreciate DNV for their hard work in this collaborative research,” said Dr. Hyun Joe Kim, vice president of SHI’s Ship and Offshore Performance Research Centre at an award ceremony at Samsung Heavy Industries’ Daejeon R&D Center. “This is only the beginning, but we are eager to demonstrate and verify blockchain technology as it impacts cybersecurity on real ships.”

Vidar Dolonen, DNV’s regional manager, Korea & Japan, added: “Blockchain technology is an essential requirement for future ships and to respond to upcoming maritime regulations. This collaboration with industry leaders has become a meaningful milestone in the digitisation of ships and their safety, and we are proud to be part of it.”

Notices & Miscellany

Baltic chairman

Lord Jeffrey Mountevans has been appointed Chairman of the Baltic Exchange Council with effect from 1 January 2023. He succeeds Denis Petropoulos, who has held the position since June 2019.

A former Lord Mayor of London (2015/2016) and ex-Clarksons shipbroker, Lord Mountevans is an elected hereditary cross-bench member of the House of Lords where he plays an active role on maritime, defence and Reserves and Cadet issues.


The International Maritime Rescue Federation (IMRF) has announced the appointment of Caroline Jupe as the organisation’s new CEO,  effective from 1 February 2023.

She will replace Theresa Crossley who will be retiring next year following a five-year tenure but remaining in a support role to help with preparations for the IMRF’s World Maritime Rescue Congress, which will be held in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, in June 2023.

Tatham expansion
Maritime and commercial law firm, Tatham & Co., has announced its expansion into the Greek market with the addition of a senior Athens-based lawyer,   Ioanna Vitta, who brings with her over 30 years of experience, specialising in dry shipping.   The move comes following the addition of Chris Farmer, a solicitor Master Mariner, who joined the team earlier in the year to increase the firm’s Admiralty capability
STCW publication

ICS  announces that pre-orders of the new edition of Guidelines on the IMO STCW Convention are now available. Featuring infographics and visual aids showing mandatory parts of guidance and exactly what training is needed for seafarers, this updated and improved edition sets out the obligations for shipping companies and includes guidance on how to ensure compliance on board.

Pre-order your copy of the book. Guidelines on the IMO STCW Convention, Fourth Edition, is available in both print and ebook versions and is priced at £135. It will be officially launched in February 2023. 
GHG emissions

A major discussion is taking place at MEPC 79 in December 2022 centred round the revision slated for July 2023 of the GHG ambitions as well as possible future carbon pricing and requirements. These ambitions and requirements will impact the way ships are built, operated and fuelled in future, and have significant technical, financial and commercial implications.  DNV is holding an event to discuss the issues on 20 December:

Choose session and sign up

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

And finally,

(With thanks to Paul Dixon)

Signs in America:

On a Septic Tank Truck in Oregon:
Yesterday’s Meals on Wheels

On a Septic Tank Truck sign:
“We’re #1 in the #2 business.”

Sign over a Gynecologist’s Office:
“Dr. Jones, at your cervix.”

At a Proctologist’s door
“To expedite your visit, please back in.”

On a Plumber’s truck:
“We repair what your husband fixed.”

On a Plumber’s truck:
“Don’t sleep with a drip. Call your plumber..”

At a Tire Shop in Milwaukee:
“Invite us to your next blowout.”

On a Plastic Surgeon’s Office door:
“Hello. Can we pick your nose?”

At a Towing company:
“We don’t charge an arm and a leg. We want tows.”

On an Electrician’s truck:
“Let us remove your shorts.”

On a Maternity Room door:
“Push. Push. Push.”

At an Optometrist’s Office
“If you don’t see what you’re looking for, you’ve come to the right place.”

On a Taxidermist’s window:
“We really know our stuff.”

In a Podiatrist’s office:
“Time wounds all heels.”

On a Fence:
“Salesmen welcome! Dog food is expensive.”

At a Car Dealership:
“The best way to get back on your feet — miss a car payment.”

Outside a Muffler Shop:
“No appointment necessary. We hear you coming.”

In a Veterinarian’s waiting room:
“Be back in 5 minutes. Sit! Stay!”

At the Electric Company:
“We would be delighted if you send in your payment.
However, if you don’t, you will be.”

In a Restaurant window:
“Don’t stand there and be hungry, Come on in and get fed up.”

In the front yard of a Funeral Home:
“Drive carefully. We’ll wait.”

And don’t forget the sign at a Chicago Radiator Shop:
“Best place in town to take a leak.”

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 edition 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.


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