The Maritime Advocate–Issue 826


1. A flag to suit your pocket
2. Safety MOU
3. Maritime casualty claims
4. Coal cargoes
5. Climate MOU
6. LMAA stats
7. Fuel law
8. Sales contracts
9. IMO audits
10. Net zero industry act
11. Port advice
12. ISU conference 

Notices & Miscellany

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

1. A flag to suit your pocket

By Michael Grey

“Quick registration of ships and mortgages – within 24 hours subject to receipt of all documentation.” That is the claim of one of the more thrusting ship registration organisations currently in the market and actively looking for more tonnage. I have never really been quite sure why there is this tremendous emphasis on speed when you need to register a ship, other than as a reaction to some of the old-fashioned and rather slower acting flags.

Some years ago there were complaints about maritime administrations that shut down at weekends and failed to take the slightest interest in time-zone differences, leading to charges of inefficiency. Hence the emphasis, led by the convenient or open registers (terminology depends upon your point of view) upon speed, offering services 24/7 – every day of the year, and registering your vessel well before your sailors have drawn the paint from the locker, slung a stage over and roughed out the port of registry on the stern.

If you keep an eye on the world’s waterfronts, it cannot have escaped your notice that there are rather more flags available for international shipping than there were, with ports of registry that will defy the knowledge of even the most advanced students of geography. There is no mystery as to why governments of remote island archipelagos and African micro-states have entered the ship registration business. It produces revenue, much in the way they may have made money in the past from the publication of postage stamps, except there will be more of it.

It might be suggested that there will be a requirement for some  relevant expertise when entering the ship registration market, but there will be lawyers and shipping experts readily available to undertake the necessary administration. And you can argue that in a free market, such opportunities should be open to every nation state, with the caveat that the services made available must be aligned with the requirements laid down by the IMO and ILO. Indeed, the former organisation makes available extensive technical assistance to help the less experienced entrants conform with their convention obligations, and qualify them for inclusion on the various “white lists” of approved flags.

Bearing all this in mind, what are we to read into the news that the ships of four of these convenient flags; Cook Islands, Palau, Sierra Leone and Togo have been identified as having what might be described as an excessive number of abandonment issues, with all the misery of unpaid crews, after the owners have walked away? Specifically, their ships are going to be inspected around the Mediterranean by port state control authorities in France and elsewhere by the International Transport Workers Federation, to check for compliance with the Maritime Labour Convention.

Without wishing to be “elitist” (which can get you cancelled these intolerant days), we maybe ought not to be too surprised that flags in which there will be a greater proportion of smaller and older ships will be populated by owners who might run into trouble and who might struggle to pay their crews. An engine breakdown requiring spare parts, an unexpected drydocking, an arrest engineered by a creditor, or a failed inspection might be all it takes to stop the ship trading with all that will mean to the owner’s finances. People used to talk about these marginal operators of ships in the autumn of their lives as running “on the smell of an oily rag” and you might argue that the industry is better off without them. But because of their parlous financial state, they will be drawn to the cheapest flags that can keep them legal at the lowest possible cost. Inspecting them more regularly and thoroughly, wherever they are, will encourage better practice and force the worst out for good.

And it is possible for a ship register to move from poor quality to a good international standard in a surprisingly short time. Many will recall the way in which, some years ago, the Belize registry redeemed itself, by adopting high standards, implementing a rigorous inspection regime and, almost overnight, ridding itself of a lot of floating rubbish that had been sheltering under its flag. There is such a thing as “reputation”, and while this is earned and may come with a price, it is worth it in the end.

And while on the subject of peculiar flags, it is also fairly unsurprising  that this astonishing tonnage of “dark” and sanction-busting tanker tonnage which is now alleged to be carrying oil sourced from Russia is registered in that ancient traditional maritime country of Cameroon. As the old saying goes – if you ask no questions, you will be told no lies.  

Michael Grey is former editor of Lloyd’s List

2. Safety MOU

A memorandum of understanding has been signed by five organisations with shared visions for the safety and security of global trade and aims to take advantage of unified information and data sources to bring greater awareness and understanding of issues with the goal of producing preventative output.
The five organisations include: the Cargo Incident Notification System (CINS), the Confidential Human Factors Incident Reporting Programme (CHIRP), the Container Owners Association (COA), the International Cargo Handling Coordination Association (ICHCA) and Ship Message Design Group (SMDG)
The plan is to create a framework for cooperation that enables each group to benefit from each other’s activities in respect of their strategies in areas of joint interest.  These will, in the immediate future, concentrate on improved safety during the global transport and handling of goods that have the potential to cause injury to the workforce and/or damage to the environment and the goods themselves.
John Beckett, Chair of ICHCA commented, “This unique grouping of industry leaders has the potential to coordinate data, research and best practices across the broad spectrum of the international movement of cargo.  A key goal is to create an awareness throughout the freight industry, amongst operators, regulators and policy makers as to practical and effective measures to improve safety.”
A fundamental part of the group’s output will be publications. According to deputy chairman of CINS, Dirk Van de Velde “As an example of where immediate attention is required, container ship fires are high on the list.  The combined knowledge, experience and database resource of the signatories to this MOU, managed in a coordinated manner, have massive potential to leverage change in safety processes.  We will be publishing guidance on the treatment of lithium-ion batteries, among other cargoes, in the near future.”
In search of practical changes that will alleviate such dangers, the MOU calls for coordinated efforts both on regional and international issues of common concern and engagement with relevant regulatory bodies including the IMO and other appropriate United Nations agencies.
Other stated aims include working together to initiate innovative worldwide surveys and studies that can assist with the furtherance of these organisations on behalf of their members and associates.  There will also be sharing of research findings and publications to strengthen information exchange, while avoiding duplication of effort by pooling resources.
“CHIRP Maritime is delighted to be part of the MOU. CHIRP Maritime will work with our partners to collect information on operational cargo-related accidents and incidents and share learning with the wider maritime community to promote best practices in the supply chain and reduce the number of cargo incidents on board ships and terminals” explained CHIRP’s David Watkins.

3. Marine casualty claims

The International Group’s Salvage Committee have drafted new guidelines jointly with the Joint Marine Claims Committee (JMCC) to help improve collaboration in the handling of shipping casualties. The protocol document seeks to promote more effective communication between the parties involved that will ensure the prompt deployment of emergency responses services to vessels in distress.

Amy Dallaway, Chair of the JMCC, said: “There is clearly a huge benefit to all parties by having effective early engagement between insurers and shipowners involved in major casualties, particularly where pressing decisions are required. There are many advantages in understanding the concerns of all interested parties and this collaborative approach will result in clearer lines of communication and will assist in the efficient management of claims.”  

The ‘Guidelines for casualty liaison between the JMCC and the International Group’ establish a high level structure to facilitate initial contact between London Market underwriters and individual P&I clubs. They also outline minimum details that should be sought for each case.

Ben Harris, Chair of the IG Salvage Committee, said: “The Guidelines are an important step forward, providing a clear framework for property underwriters and the International Group of P&I Clubs to work closely together in the interest of the assured in a casualty situation. By sharing information and knowledge we can ensure that all stakeholders are aware of what is happening and to the extent possible, there is joined up decision making that avoids delay and ensures the best possible response to a casualty, especially where there is a risk to life, property and the environment.”

Copies of the guidelines are available here: Guidelines for marine casualty claims.

4. Coal cargoes

Europe’s ban on Russian coal is seeing cargo travel much longer distances, nearly doubling shipping demand and boosting vessel sizes.
Capesize freight rates are set for a period of upside volatility as the fallout from the war in Ukraine continues to spread across the energy markets according to a new report.
In its latest quarterly dry bulk market outlook, Maritime Strategies International points to the re-routeing of Russian exports to new destinations as a result of the EU ban on imports. At the same time imports to Europe are also travelling longer distances to reach the bloc from other sources.
With Russian exports subject to the European Union’s import ban, Russia has re-routed those flows to other destinations, in particular China, India and Turkey, a structural change to major coal trade that MSI believes will persist over its forecast horizon.
This is having a significant impact on the average distances over which Russian coal is being transported with the average laden distance for Russian coal cargoes increasing from 2,000-2,500km in 2018-20 to around 4,000km now. Away from any impact on Russian coal volumes, this suggests a near doubling of the shipping capacity required by the Russian coal trade.
While this is significant by itself, the impact on the freight markets is likely to be further amplified by the shift of that trade towards Capesize vessels. While only approximately 10% of the Russian coal trade was previously served by the Capesize market, that proportion is now closer to 25%. Given the typical seasonality in the coal trade, and the potential for short-term geopolitical shifts in the Russian coal trade in particular, these factors are likely to contribute to an increase in the volatility of Capesize utilisation rates.
With Europe at the epicentre of a global energy crisis since the withdrawal of Russian gas supplies, elevated demand for coal in Europe will persist for some time yet. MSI maintains an optimistic outlook for coal trade this year, forecasting growth of 2.7% yoy. Its expectations of a further increase in volumes is underpinned by persistent strong import incentives.
“The war in Ukraine is continuing to have disruptive effects on the dry bulk commodities markets and therefore dry bulk shipping, in this case the larger ship classes will be the ones to benefit,” says Plamen Natzkoff, associate director of dry bulk commodities at MSI. “There are of course  risks to this forecast but the shipping demand trend is likely to be only re-enforced by Europe’s increased reliance on coal imports which it must secure from longer-distance sources.”

5. Climate MOU

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed by the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the Ministry of Climate and Environment of Norway, and the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), with the intention to collectively undertake technical cooperation activities to assist developing countries in their efforts to reduce emissions from ships and in ports.
Participants will work together to exchange experience, knowledge and best practice, and undertake joint resource mobilisation with a view to cooperating and collaborating on actions to reduce greenhouse gas   emissions from ships and the activities of ships in ports, within the frameworks of the NextGEN Connect initiative and the GreenVoyage2050 Project.
The NextGEN Connect initiative was established between the IMO and the MPA in April 2022. The initiative aims to bring industry, academia and global research centres together, to offer inclusive solutions for maritime decarbonization for trials along shipping routes.
The IMO-Norway GreenVoyage2050 Project was established in May 2019 by the IMO, with funding from the Government of Norway to support developing countries, including Small Islands Developing States (SIDS) and Least Developed Countries (LDCs), in their efforts to implement the Initial IMO Strategy on the Reduction of GHG Emissions from Ships.
The MoU was signed on 20 March by Kitack Lim, Secretary-General of the IMO, Sveinung Oftedal, Chief Negotiator for Green Shipping of the Norwegian Ministry of Climate and Environment, and Teo Eng Dih, Chief Executive of the MPA, on the side-lines of the 14th Intersessional Working Group on the Reduction of GHG Emissions from Ships (ISWG-GHG 14), convened at the IMO Headquarters in London.
Kitack Lim commented, “IMO is pleased to combine the capabilities of the IMO-Norway GreenVoyage2050 project and the IMO-Singapore NextGEN Connect initiative to collectively implement green shipping activities, in particular those that can support development of low and zero-carbon fuels and related bunkering infrastructure.”
  Sveinung Oftedal added, “Joining forces through this cooperation will strengthen the support to decarbonizing the maritime sector in developing countries. We very much look forward to working together with Singapore in these supportive actions, as well as widening the cooperation with the IMO in their leading role to assist decarbonization of the maritime sector in developing countries.”
Teo Eng Dih, Chief Executive of the MPA, commented, “We are pleased to collaborate with the IMO and the Norwegian Ministry of Climate and Environment to accelerate decarbonisation efforts in the maritime industry. This MoU is an important partnership that brings together our projects with the mutual goal to test solutions along shipping routes. This will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions from shipping in an inclusive manner and with the support of like-minded States, aggregate demand along the supply chain.”

6. LMAA stats

The London Maritime Arbitrators Association has reported statistics for 2022. Arbitrators reported 3193 new appointments under its Terms and Procedures in an estimated 1807 references. This represents an increase from 2021 of almost 15% in appointments and 9% in references.

Although there were fewer under the Small Claims Procedure, there was an increase in the number of appointments under the Intermediate Claims Procedure: 58, up from 54 in 2021. Subject to agreement between the parties, the ICP usually applies to claims between US$100,000 and US$400,000.

In LMAA references, arbitrators published an estimated 420 awards in 2022. The majority of LMAA arbitrations are conducted on documents and written submissions only. 93 awards were made after hearings, in comparison to 77 in 2021. LMAA President David Steward said: “We are very grateful to all the arbitrators who contributed to these statistics. They reflect the huge number of parties worldwide who choose international arbitration on LMAA Terms and Procedures to resolve their maritime disputes, not only in the shipping industry but also in offshore energy and international trade.”

7.  Fuel law

The EU has recently agreed to the world’s first green shipping fuels law. Ships will be required to increasingly switch to sustainable fuels and at least 2% of the bloc’s shipping fuels will need to come from e-fuels derived from renewable electricity by 2034 at the latest. With negotiations ongoing at the International Maritime Organization, the global shipping regulator, Transport & Environment (T&E) says this marks the beginning of the end for dirty shipping fuels and should provide inspiration for other countries around the world.

Delphine Gozillon, sustainable shipping officer at T&E, said: “Today’s decision marks the beginning of the end of dirty fuels in shipping. The EU is charting the way with the most ambitious package of green shipping laws ever adopted. This success should inspire other countries to do the same.”

The EU’s FuelEU Maritime law, agreed upon this month by all the EU bodies and member states, sends a strong signal to potential investors and fuel suppliers to start producing these green fuels for shipping, says T&E. E-fuels are one of the only options shipping has to decarbonise, where direct electrification for many vessels is not possible. However, the group warns that loopholes risk letting biofuels and low-carbon fuels in the backdoor. T&E has called on the EU to fix these when it revises the law by 2028.

The final agreement also includes stricter greenhouse gas intensity targets, as well as a bonus for the use of green e-fuels until 2035, with the so-called “multiplier of 2”. This should make e-fuels more attractive to use from the entry into force of the regulation in 2025.

Negotiators agreed new targets for shipowners to reduce the greenhouse gas intensity of the energy they use on board by two percent from 2025 and six percent as of 2030. The figure will rise to 14.5 percent from 2035, 31 percent from 2040, 62 percent from 2045 and 80 percent from 2050.

8. Sales contracts

Ince has produced comments on two recent court cases on which readers can find details on the company website. The first is Glencore Energy UK Ltd v. NIS J.S.C. Novi Sad (Ottoman Equity) [2023] EWHC 370 (Comm).

This dispute related to a sale contract for a cargo of crude oil. It was accepted by the parties that the cargo was contaminated. The issue, however, was whether and the extent to which the settlement agreement they subsequently entered into limited the buyer’s right to claim reimbursement for storage fees it incurred to the terminal operator in respect of the contaminated cargo.

The Court was required to construe the terms of the settlement agreement in their commercial context, to consider the scope of the parties’ contractual duty to discuss and agree level of reimbursement in good faith and to determine the prevailing market rate for storage fees based on expert and other available evidence. See: Court construes settlement agreement in contaminated oil dispute (

In the second case, the Court declined further adjournment of a contempt application against a sanctioned defendant. Navigator Equities Ltd & another v. Oleg Deripaska [2023] EWHC 457 (Comm).

In the recent case of PJSC National Bank Trust v. Boris Mints, the Court confirmed that sanctioned entities have a fundamental right of access to the English courts. Where a sanctioned entity has a good arguable claim that is subject to English Court jurisdiction, defendants will not be permitted to use international sanctions as a means of escaping liability for their wrongs.

In this case, the Court has made it clear that a defendant will not be permitted to delay any legitimate proceedings against him beyond what is reasonable on the basis that his sanctioned status may prevent him getting a fair trial. See: Court declines further adjournment of contempt application against sanctioned defendant | Ince (

9. IMO audits

One hundred of IMO’s 175 Member States and three associated Members have now been audited under IMO’s Member State Audit Scheme (IMSAS). The milestone was reached in March 2023. The audits continue to be rolled out, with 23 audits scheduled to be completed during 2023 and 25 in 2024. The first audit cycle is set to be completed by 2025.

The Scheme became mandatory in January 2016 and covers a number of important IMO treaties relating to safety, marine protection and seafarer training. Audits are coordinated by the Member State Audit (MSA) section of the Department for Member State Audit and Implementation Support (MSAIS), in the IMO Secretariat. Audit teams are formed from qualified officials, nominated as auditors by IMO Member States, and Audit Officers from the IMO Secretariat, where necessary. Through the implementation of the Scheme, the MSA promotes the consistent and effective implementation and enforcement of mandatory IMO instruments, which assists Member States to improve their capabilities and their compliance with the requirements of instruments to which they are a Party. 

IMO’s Tatjana Krilic, acting head of MSAIS said, “We are pleased to reach this important milestone. We are grateful to the Member States for showing their commitment to the audits, through their preparation for their own audits and in nominating qualified officials and making them available for audits of other Member States.”  The outcome of the audits to date has played an important role in identifying and addressing areas where Member States can improve their performance. The audit process enables Member States to implement corrective actions identified by the audit. In addition, audits provide feedback on lessons learned which can be shared with all Member States, and audits analysis enables IMO to identify areas for future regulatory and technical assistance work. The latest Consolidated Audit Summary Report is available here.

10. Net zero industry act

European shipowners, under the aegis of the European Community Shipowners’ Associations,  have given their seal of approval to the EU’s proposed Net-Zero Industry Act, which seeks to enhance Europe’s security and to support the energy transition of European industry.

However, ECSA says:  “the new Act must properly recognise the strategic role of shipping for Europe’s security. The shipping industry is a cornerstone of European security: energy security, food security, security of supply of goods. This is a unique opportunity for Europe to foster the sector’s competitiveness.”

The new Industry Act aims to accelerate the decarbonisation of the European economy. As shipping is one of the most difficult to decarbonise sectors, the upscaling of affordable low- and zero-carbon fuels and technologies for the sector is key.

 For this reason, renewable fuels of non-biological origin (RFNBOs) should be included within the Act’s definition of ‘strategic net-zero technologies’, so that dedicated production capacity can be swiftly developed, the association says. In addition, ECSA warmly welcomes the inclusion of offshore renewable technologies and carbon capture and storage in the list of strategic net-zero technologies.

“European shipowners believe that the Net-Zero Industry Act can be instrumental in supporting the competitiveness of European industry while accelerating the energy transition. The strategic role of shipping for Europe’s energy security, food security and security of supply of goods must be properly recognised. In this context, we welcome the support for the faster uptake of offshore technologies, for which shipping already plays a critical role. But the industry is still missing a clear plan for the development of a European supply chain for clean marine fuels and technologies” said ECSA’s Secretary General Sotiris Raptis.

11. Port advice

The New Zealand Port Health and Safety Leadership Group – made up of unions, ports and stevedoring companies, the Port Industry Association, Maritime NZ and WorkSafe – has released its advice to the Minister of Transport, a multi-year Port Sector Insights Picture and Action Plan to make ports safer.

This follows the tragic deaths of two port workers in 2022, after which the Minister of Transport asked the Port Health and Safety Leadership Group for advice to address health and safety in ports.

The plan pulls together information from fatalities, injuries, incidents, near-misses, regulatory notifications, investigations and assessments, worker surveys, and worker interviews and workshops to build a picture of what drives serious harm in ports – who it is happening to, and why. It lays out six key interventions where changes can have a real impact:
•    Implementing the Fatigue Risk Management System: Good Practice Guidelines to reduce the risks associated with worker fatigue.
•    Putting in place an Approved Code of Practice around loading and unloading of cargo to implement more consistent regulatory standards in relation to some of the highest risk activities in ports.
•    Recommending the Government extend the Maritime NZ designation to cover the whole port.
•    Work to improve incident reporting, notifications, insights and learning across the ports, so the sector can get better real time understanding of harm and take necessary action.
•    Action to improve training and workforce issues.
•    Actions to ensure there are easier ways of sharing good practice that the sector is doing here, or overseas, to encourage continuous improvement in ports.

 “We owe it to those working in ports every day, the people who have died, their families, and those who have been injured, to improve safety on ports,” says Port Health and Safety Leadership Group Chair and Maritime NZ Chief Executive Kirstie Hewlett.
“We have built a comprehensive picture of why and where harm is happening in ports. All port and stevedoring companies, regulators, and many workers, have contributed significant data, insights and time to develop this picture, which is the foundation for our multi-year harm prevention programme. This is already providing valuable insights to sector participants on where to target their effort.”

Maritime Union of New Zealand National Secretary, Craig Harrison, says the plan is a crucial step in improving safety on ports.
“While research shows that over time serious injuries in ports have declined, there is still more work to do. Hearing workers’ voices and including workers’ experiences has been vital.
Ports of Auckland Chief Executive, Roger Gray says the sector is making a firm commitment to its workers and their families. “The leadership group has already started implementing the action plan. We have published fatigue risk management guidelines, started training and want all organisations employing workers in ports to have at least started a fatigue risk-management system by September.

“Work on an approved code of practice for loading and unloading cargo is well underway, and there is a lot more to come.” The group has presented the plan to the Minister for Workplace Relations and Safety, and Transport, Michael Wood, who has endorsed it. Port Sector Insights Picture and Action Plan[PDF: 2.19MB, 32 pages]

12. ISU conference

The International Salvage Union held its associate members’ day on Wednesday 22 March with a number of key issues on the agenda for discussion including the future promotion of Lloyd’s Open From as a contract, and the need for a close relationship between marine insurers and those undertaking the salvage work. As Frederic Denefle, president of IUMI put it, one issue that needs to be addressed is whether LOF has improved a situation, with statistics needed to establish how expenses and losses were mitigated by the use of Lloyd’s Open Form. “Insurers must not be afraid when LOF comes on the table,” he told delegates at the ISU conference. IUMI has a key role to play in showing that salvage is the best way to get out of big casualty situations.

The need for salvage and P&I interests to trust each other was also very important, said Andrew Cutler, chairman of the International Group of P&I Clubs. One friction point is cost and there needs to be good connectivity between salvors and insurers. The International Group has a desire to maximise the outcome of salvage. He highlighted the recent report produced by former SOSREP Hugh Shaw which pointed to conflicting advice on casualties, and emphasised that the more delay in an operation, the more pollutants. 

The decline in the use of LOF has continued over recent years, but the risk of losing the Lloyd’s Salvage Arbitration Branch has been averted. 

As Peter Aylott, policy director at the UK Chamber of Shipping pointed out, some 80% of shipping companies in the UK Chamber are internationally owned. He expected more consolidation to be on the cards for shipping companies. A number of large companies own ships with third party management and these affected how the decision-making process in companies actually happened in practice. In terms of risk management, he emphasised the importance of education while transparency was still an issue and the lessons learned from salvage incidents needed to be shared more readily and more rapidly.

The conference also raised the issue of the increased cost of mobilising equipment. Richard Gunn, legal adviser to the ISU, considered the issue of LOF and also the effect that sanctions and other measures might have on the ability of salvors to do their job effectively on the day. He also highlighted changes in regulation and guidelines relating to Special Casualty Representatives (SCRs), as well as the revision of SCOPIC and LOF charges. There were also studies taking place on why LOF is not used and whether cultural issues have a part to play in this. The industry needed to recognise the importance of LOF as a contract and there needed to be more education on the benefits of LOF.  Another issue Gunn highlighted was that of funding salvage.

Members of the ISU provided 186 services to vessels carrying 2.6 million tonnes of potentially polluting cargo and fuel during operations in 2022, clearly showing the critical role of professional salvors in protecting the marine environment. The data come from the results of the ISU’s Annual Pollution Prevention Survey for operations in 2022.

President of the ISU, Captain Nicholas Sloane, said: “We are all now so much more aware of, and careful about, the environment. But we all need shipping and incidents like the Suez Canal blockage demonstrated that reliance. The shipping and insurance industries recognise their responsibilities and the importance of maintaining their “licence to operate” and the availability of emergency response services is a critical part of meeting those responsibilities.

“The number of services fell last year and each year there can be significant variations in the quantities of pollutants in each category. But, overall, the amount of pollutants has stayed consistent. The number of containers is lower than last year but, after bulk cargo, still represents the most significant category with our members providing services to vessels carrying 50,000 TEU amounting to some 747,270 tonnes of cargo. It compares with 141,000 tonnes of crude oil, confirming the shift over the past decades as oil trades have become safer. Boxes stuffed with harmful and dangerous goods including plastic pellets (nurdles) represent one of the biggest threats to the marine environment. They are potentially very damaging and, with the added issue of mis-declaration of contents, dangerous to deal with.”

Sloane added: “The ESG (Environment, Social and Governance) agenda is so important for shipowners and insurers and we need to ensure that the capability, and willingness, of commercial salvors to provide vital services around the world is valued and not eroded.” Cargoes of refined oil products in 2022’s numbers were similar to crude oil at 144,808 tonnes. Chemical cargoes rose to 79,319 tonnes in 2022. Bulk cargoes increased significantly to 1,235,741 tonnes in 2022 compared to 424,719 last time. This category includes products such as coal, scrap steel, grains, soya and cement. A number of bulk cargoes are not included as potential pollutants and ISU members also provided services to bulkers carrying 113,926 tonnes of non-hazardous dry bulk – mainly metal ores. 11 cases had more than 2,000 tonnes of bunkers on board and the total of bunkers involved was 108,112 tonnes. A number of the services noted in the survey did not record the quantity of bunkers or the cargo-type meaning the reported totals likely represent a more modest total than the reality. ISU is transparent about the fact that not all these potential pollutants were at immediate risk of going into the sea. Some cases will have had limited danger, but others will have carried a real risk of causing substantial environmental damage. In an era of “zero tolerance” of any pollution, even the smaller cases represent a significant concern.

As James Herbert, ISU secretary general said at the conference environmental matters were at the forefront of the association’s work, as environmental interest continued to build, with the transition to greener means of operation needing to be managed in an appropriate way. In their presentation to the conference Ben Harris of the International Group of P&I Clubs and Amy Dallaway stressed the importance of responding to casualties swiftly and efficiently, without delays being caused by conflicting interests. Industry players needed to work together in this respect with casualty liaison guidelines placing an emphasis on working together, streamlining processes and engaging with other people involved in the process at the earliest opportunity. Guidelines aim to encourage collaboration, with the appointment of joint experts to provide analysis in a casualty situation.

Meanwhile Grant Hunter of BIMCO reported back on the revision of the organisation’s wreck  removal contracts, including the delivery and disposal of wrecks. Wreckstage, after consultation, is due to be published this summer with other wreck removal contracts to come out next year.

SCR guidelines are also being considered including the roles and responsibilities of the SCR including work on site and what is expected of the SCR. SCR assistance and the role on board the casualty is also being considered. The aim is for the SCR to have full knowledge of the operation and open and frank cooperation with the salvage master as well as independence from the instructing parties.

For more information on the conference, see the ISU website at

Notices & Miscellany

Training commitment

In response to edition 824, reader William Riley has commented that “The US Maritime Administration has a long term project with the goal of building a training ship for each of the state maritime academies and the US Merchant Marine Academy, which will be designed to double as hospital/relief ships to be dispatched to the scene of future disasters.”

Admiralty law competition

Law students are being invited to enter the 2023 Federal Bar Association (FBA) Admiralty Law Section’s Writing Competition. This annual contest presents an excellent opportunity for those interested in Admiralty and Maritime Law to showcase their creative and analytical skills in written submissions to the FBA. The prizes include an opportunity to be published in the FBA’s magazine, The Federal Lawyer, and the Section’s newsletter Admiralitas.

For more information, including eligibility and submission requirements see

For any questions regarding this competition contact Michelle Otero Valdés, at
The deadline for submissions has been extended to April 28, 2023.

DNV appointment

DNV has appointed Torgeir Sterri as new offshore classification director for DNV Maritime, with effect from 1 March 2023. Lucas Ribeiro, former Area Manager for Iberia, Italy and Malta,  succeeds Sterri as regional manager for West Europe.  

UK Ports conference

As the main political parties talk up the importance of growth to the UK economy in the coming years, industry leaders will convene on 24-25 May to discuss innovative growth strategies, as well as provide essential updates for the ports sector.

The annual UK Ports Conference 2023, which returns for its 15th year with keynote addresses from industry and  policymakers, will take place at Congress Centre in London.

The key themes to be explored at this year’s conference will be, implementing growth strategies – the areas for expansion, and how to deliver infrastructure to support these and maximise opportunities in new digital technologies.

For more information and to register for the 15th UK Ports Conference 2023 visit the event website at or for other Waterfront events visit


The International Antifouling Conference 2023 will be held on September 13-14 in the iconic Eriksberg shipyard area in Gothenburg, Sweden. The conference is sponsored by Stena Teknik and Lanxess. Keynote addresses will be delivered by representatives from Jotun, Stolt Tankers, Hapag Lloyd, Arxada, and the Florida Institute of Technology.

In addition to the full two-day conference program, delegates of the International Antifouling Conference 2023 will also enjoy an optional visit to the research facilities of RISE which is included in the conference ticket.

For more information about the International Antifouling Conference 2023, visit:

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

And finally,

(With thanks to Paul Dixon)

Recently, when a Panel of Doctors at our local hospital was asked to vote on adding a new wing, this is what happened….

The allergists voted to scratch it..
The dermatologists preferred no rash moves.
The gastroenterologists had a gut feeling about it.
The neurologists thought the administration had a lot of nerve.
The obstetricians stated they were laboring under a misconception.
The ophthalmologists considered the idea shortsighted.
The pathologists yelled, “Over my dead body!”
The pediatricians said, “Grow up.”
The proctologists said, “We are in arrears.”
The psychiatrists thought it was madness.
The surgeons decided to wash their hands of the whole thing.
The radiologists could see right through it.
The internists thought it was a hard pill to swallow.
The plastic surgeons said, “This puts a whole new face on the matter.”
The podiatrists thought it was a big step forward.
The urologists felt the scheme wouldn’t hold water.
The anesthesiologists thought the whole idea was a gas.
And the cardiologists didn’t have the heart to say no.
The HMOs killed it anyway.

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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.


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