The Maritime Advocate–Issue 829

Posted:

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1. Cultural differences
2. Admissibility of improperly obtained evidence
3. Obscured risks
4. IACS review
5. SAR and climate change
6. Drug abuse
7. Seafarers awards
8. Mooring safely
9. Happiness index
10. UAE abandonment
11. Green marine
12. Quiet enjoyment
13. Shipping corridors
14. Mauritian security
15. Biofouling

Notices & Miscellany

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


1. Cultural differences

By Michael Grey

The latest UK Marine Accident Investigation Branch Safety Digest arrived in the post the other day, packed with interest and lessons to be learned from reports compiled in recent months. There are no huge calamities reported on here, although any death or injury as a result of a marine accident is awful for those involved. But the accent, as always, is what can be usefully learned from the various incidents, which are simply explained and brilliantly summarised, in order to make people think.

As Chief Inspector Andrew Moll notes in his introduction, “it is how you deal with an incident, rather than what happens, that matters.” This particular digest demonstrates several events where people who had trained and even practised for emergencies found that this precautionary effort was fully justified after their practice had saved the day, when the incident actually happened.

The UK MAIB remains a thoroughly useful and practical organisation which could have been the model for accident investigation throughout the world, as its work is solely driven by the need to discover what happened after an incident, rather than attempting to identify who to blame. Rather sadly, in an era when too many authorities seem anxious to start criminalising anyone who might make an error of judgement, the more positive strategy of the MAIB in ascertaining the facts has not been widely followed.

And experience has demonstrated that those involved with a marine incident will be far more likely to fully co-operate with a non-judgemental professional inspector, than some law enforcer whose main task is to discover grounds for prosecution. The MAIB also makes the important point that it will refuse to permit its findings and the statements that might be made to them to be released to other agencies. What happened, and what we can learn from it, to prevent it happening again, is a far more useful strategy than the apportionment of “blame” and the gruesome machinations of legal procedure.

A recent example of these sort of differences in approach was perhaps identified in an incident in the US, where a vessel operated by the Washington State Ferry was involved in what might described as a “hard landing” on piles at its Seattle terminal, which caused some damage to the ship and the installation. The company undertook its own inquiry into the event and concluded that the captain of the ship “lost situational awareness” as the ship failed to slow as it approached its berth.

The company representatives came to this conclusion, despite the captain refusing to answer any questions about the incident. It might be assumed that he was exercising his legal rights to avoid incriminating himself, anticipating that he might find himself in a subsequent legal procedure. It is something that happens all too often these days. But it would surely have been helpful to the cause of safety if he had felt able to give his version of events without any fear. Maybe his recollections would have added no important maritime safety message, but it is possible to imagine an incident in which very important and safety-critical issues were lost or postponed, when they should have been immediately raised, because of this reluctance to speak. It is why the MAIB methodology is arguably so much better.  It was also revealed that there was no VDR evidence available as the ferry was not instrumented to record what went on in the wheelhouse. That too was a lesson to be learned.

Ports at risk

If you want to know what is happening around the UK coast, a regular perusal of the excellent journal Coastal Shipping is to be recommended. There may be little glamour in the fleet of small bulk carriers that wander around Europe, but if you just look at what they are carrying, as revealed by this journal, you get some idea of the importance of these trades.

In the latest issue, the editor draws attention to the perennial risk of the small ports that serve these ships, (and incidentally stop the roads being bunged up by trucks,) being closed by their owners, who see a better return in non-marine development. I can recall Preston, Colchester and Exmouth and that is just three which were taken out of commercial use. Now there are threats to berths on the Medway, while the future of the little port of Perth hangs in the balance, after the local council voted in favour of closure.

You can see the attractions of real estate, rather than the port estate, with all the maintenance requirements and trying to fit in bigger ships, but you can argue that ports, even little ones, are important parts of the national transport infrastructure and shouldn’t be interfered with by impatient local politicians. We should remember Dr Beeching, and the harm that he did to the rail network, although it might have taken a long time for it to sink in.

Michael Grey is former editor of Lloyd’s List.


2.   Admissibility of improperly obtained evidence

Brian Perrott of HFW (brian.perrott@hfw.com) has flagged up the issue  of what approach should be adopted where a party to civil proceedings objects to another party’s statement of case, or to an amendment to it, on the basis that the other party has allegedly used unlawfully or improperly obtained material?

In Adjoin Ltd v Fortytwo House SARL,1 the key issue for the court was whether, in principle:
(i) if a stay of proceedings were granted; and
(ii) if that stay led to the disclosure of evidence that information had been passed to the defendant in breach of confidentiality i.e. provided to the defendant improperly,
there was any real likelihood that the court might not allow the defendant to amend its defence for that reason.

The court considered that a party may generally adduce evidence in civil proceedings if it is relevant, and (torture aside) the court is not to be concerned with how the evidence was obtained.

The parties’ arguments focused on the test for the admissibility of evidence, rather than on the court’s power to strike out where there has been misconduct. The claimant had not argued that it would no longer be possible to have a fair trial, or for the court to do justice if there had been a leakage of information. In this case, the court found that it was unrealistic that any facts might emerge which would result in the court refusing the defendant’s amendments. The claimant’s application for a stay was dismissed.

This case broadly highlights that evidence is evidence – even if it is obtained improperly (and should not be refused on this basis unless a fair trial is impossible).

1 Adjoin Ltd v Fortytwo House SARL [2022] EWHC 2710 (Ch)


3. Obscured risks

In an industry where many risks are very physical and immediately obvious, it is possible to overlook issues that can be hazardous and disruptive to activities. In its recent online newsletter, TT Talk, the TT Club focuses on two such examples; they both are recurrent and result in injury and death, but avoidance and mitigation are achievable.

The first of the two topics involves enclosed spaces, and the second the dangers of fatigue. As the club points out there are innumerable spaces found throughout the global supply chain that should be considered enclosed or confined and these spaces claim many lives each year when ill-prepared workers enter them. In addition workforce fatigue is a topic that has been considered in the context of the Covid pandemic and also in past editions of TT Talk, the club points out. It continues to be an important factor in keeping people safe and equipment and property protected.


4. IACS review

The 2022 IACS Annual Review is now available to download from the website at https://iacs.org.uk/about/iacs-annual-review/.

This year’s Annual Review includes a broad range of articles on IACS’ work in 2022, with a strong emphasis on the wide  range of decarbonisation initiatives being led by IACS in support of practical implementation of existing measures as well as longer-term projects, along with work at IMO highlighting the safety challenges that accompany the rapid introduction of new fuels and technologies.  Quality performance is another dominant theme while IACS’ unparalleled commitment to the full spectrum of IMO activity is also described as is IACS’ cross-industry collaboration across a range of key topics.

These themes are expanded upon in a series of detailed technical articles on wave data, ballast water, cyber safety and testing and maintenance services to name but a few.

The Annual Review also includes details of all the new, updated, and deleted IACS Resolutions in 2022, as well as information on IACS’s numerous submissions to IMO and IACS’  ‘Class Report’, which contains data on the IACS fleet.


5. SAR  and climate change

The International Maritime Rescue Federation (IMRF) has launched its #FutureSAR initiative that will look to identify the key challenges the global maritime search and rescue (SAR) industry will face as a result of climate change and propose guidance and best practices that will aid rescue operations in the future.

The initiative, which is being funded by Lloyd’s Register Foundation, is the world’s first SAR industry-wide response to the effects of climate change on the maritime SAR sector as coastal communities, maritime activity and the infrastructure that they depend on become exposed to increasing risks.

#FutureSAR will look at how SAR services may be able to deal with climate change-related challenges, such as new rescue scenarios like storm surges, implementing new technologies such as alternative fuels, and protecting infrastructure such as lifeboat facilities.

“Climate change and the climate transition will have a major impact on maritime industries and communities. The #FutureSAR project will evaluate how SAR services will need to adapt to these profound challenges and provide a blueprint for future research and resources to help the SAR sector continue to serve the maritime community effectively,” said Caroline Jupe, Chief Executive Officer of the IMRF.

“SAR services operate in a changing risk landscape and must continually evolve to keep pace with the risks facing the communities they serve and their own operations, staff and volunteers. We are pleased to partner with the IMRF on the #FutureSAR initiative, which contributes to our mission of securing appropriate technical, operational and performance responses to climate change to enhance safety of life and property at sea,” said Jan Pryzdatek, Director of Technologies at Lloyd’s Register Foundation.

The IMRF will launch a working group, consisting of SAR organisations, technical institutes and engineering specialists that will produce a report on the Climate Transition for Maritime SAR Services in 2024 that will be freely available to SAR organisations around the world to implement best practices for climate change-related challenges.

The #FutureSAR initiative will also look at ways the global maritime SAR community can contribute to the wider shipping industry’s drive to decarbonise and achieve net zero.

To find out more about the #FutureSAR initiative, please visit the IMRF’s dedicated initiative homepage: https://www.international-maritime-rescue.org/futuresar.


6.   Drug abuse

ICS has announced that the new edition of Drug Trafficking and Drug Abuse On Board Ship has been published.   Considered the leading industry publication on the topic, the 2023-2024 edition has been fully updated by industry experts to assist shipping companies, masters and officers  with understanding how to respond when faced with drug trafficking and drug abuse at sea.

This guide provides the information necessary for seafarers to act responsibly and in accordance with appropriate advice to help combat drug trafficking at sea and to recognise the signs of drug use and dependence among crew members.

Use of these Guidelines can help to protect the shipping industry from the reputational and commercial damage that may be associated with drug incidents. They identify shipboard operational considerations and responses, as well as the training and procedures that are required both ashore and on board.

The new edition of Drug Trafficking and Drug Abuse On Board Ship is priced at £195.

ORDER YOUR COPY


7. Seafarers awards

The Mission to Seafarers says that nominations are now open for its  Seafarers Awards 2023. The 6th annual awards have become a focal point in the Singapore Maritime calendar, and honour individuals and organisations that have made significant contributions to enhancing the welfare of seafarers worldwide.

The awards ceremony will be held on 2 November 2023, and will take place at the Fairmont Hotel in Singapore, where guests will have the opportunity to network with industry colleagues and celebrate the contributions of seafarers, shore staff, and shipping companies worldwide.

Some of last year’s memorable winners include Capt. Rohit Minocha of Hafnia, who took home the Seafarer’s Award, and Easter Pacific Shipping who were winners of the Secretary General Award.

Recognition of seafarers’ welfare initiatives is of vital importance to raise the standards across the board. “We must not forget that seafarers continue to face unprecedented challenges and it is more important than ever to recognise those who go above and beyond to support their welfare. All are welcome to submit their nominations and help us honour those who have made significant contributions to seafarers’ wellbeing,” the Mission says.

The Mission to Seafarers invites individuals and organisations to submit nominations for the following categories:
•    Seafarer’s Award – The seafarer who has made a significant contribution to welfare at sea.
•    Shore-based Award – The shore-based person who has made a significant contribution to seafarers’ welfare.
•    Innovation Award – The company that has embraced a new programme, project, or training which has enhanced seafarers’ welfare.
•    Cadet Award –The Cadet or Trainee who has made a significant contribution to seafarers’ welfare at sea or ashore.
•    Rescue Award – The person or company who has coordinated a successful rescue operation to save lives at sea.
•    Secretary General Award – The person or company who has shown sustained efforts to improve seafarers’ welfare at sea or ashore.

Thanks to the generous donations and support from industry and community supporters, The Mission to Seafarers is able to help seafarers through practical, emotional, and spiritual guidance, as well as training, the provision of communication and connectivity solutions, and much more.

Andrew Wright, Secretary General, The Mission to Seafarers, said:“We are finding post-pandemic that seafarers continue to face challenges with access to shore-leave. We would like to take this opportunity to highlight the importance of shore-leave to mental health and wellbeing. Taking a short break from the harsh mechanisation of a ship to feel the grass beneath your feet, is unquestionably good for mental health. We urge more companies to prioritise the importance of shore leave. Seafarers have had to cope with many challenges over the past years and still the Ukrainian and Russian seafarers face a fraught and emotional future. We help them and hundreds of thousands of seafarers with whatever problems they have – 24/7 in 200 locations. The Seafarers Awards is an opportunity to raise awareness and show appreciation to the individuals and organisations who have made exceptional contributions to improving the welfare of seafarers.”

The 2022 Seafarers Awards ceremony held in Singapore marked the return of in-person events after two years of virtual ceremonies due to the pandemic, The Mission to Seafarers is looking forward to continuing to celebrate the contributions of those who support the wellbeing of seafarers around the globe.

For more information on The Mission to Seafarers’ annual Seafarer Awards, please visit the website. For sponsorship enquiries or to book your table please email Jan Webber.

To submit a nomination, please do so via the form available on the website. The deadline for nominations is Friday, 14 July 2023.


8. Mooring safely

Manjit Handa , Master Mariner and surveyor based in Australia has sent us some further comments on the mooring issues we covered in issue 828.

“Regarding mooring, ships’ risk assessments never address the hazards associated with inadequate number of crew at mooring stations.

“How many crew are adequate for mooring stations forward and aft?  The answer depends on a lot of factors such as mooring line dia (weight), and the numbers, type and layout of winches, the method and sequence of passing the mooring ropes etc. Further, factors such as extreme hot weather or cold weather can really slow you down. Try mooring your vessel at Akita, North Japan in the winters or in Doha, Qatar in the summer.

“Every mooring operation is different. If one is securing two vessels for an STS, it gets a bit more complex.
The pilot is usually in a bit of a hurry to tie up the vessel; the tugmasters even more so. As a Master and as a Chief Officer, I always pushed back against ‘Can we hurry up, Please?’ with “No, we shall not, Thank you, Mr Pilot.”

“If the conditions at mooring stations are more rigorous than normal, then the only solution is to reduce the speed of mooring ops.

“An analysis of mooring accidents will show that it all starts going wrong when you have an inadequate number of hands on deck but they are pressurised to hurry up.

“We are seeing a constant reduction in the manning strength onboard ships. It defies logic as to how the crew strength provided in the Safe Manning Document can justify the conduct of any mooring ops safely.

“Accident analysis reports then invariably side-step the manpower shortage and shift the root cause on to ‘human error’, a term that is most convenient to hide the reality of any tragedy.”


9. Happiness index

The Mission to Seafarers has published the latest Seafarers Happiness Index report for Q1 2023, revealing a decline in overall happiness levels among seafarers during the first three months of the year. The survey, which captures seafarers’ sentiments worldwide across a wide range of welfare issues, shows a fall from 7.69 to 7.1 out of 10, compared to Q4 2022.

The Seafarers Happiness Index (SHI) report covers ten key questions that provide insights into the challenges and opportunities facing seafarers. The Q1 2023 SHI was undertaken with the support of NorthStandard and Idwal, and identifies a return to growing frustrations among respondents, following a period of rising happiness.

Seafarers were relatively satisfied in the last quarter of 2022, but sentiment has since worsened. The average happiness level of seafarers in Q1 2023 was 7.1, which is lower than the levels recorded in Q2, Q3, and Q4 of 2022. In fact, nine out of ten areas surveyed showed a decrease in happiness levels. Despite an optimistic outlook for improvements to seafarer welfare in 2023, the latest report indicates that these expectations have not yet been met. As ever, there is still much room for improvement.

Q1 2023 data shows a decline in seafarers’ satisfaction against all questions, with the exception of connectivity. However, despite the rise in satisfaction, seafarers still reported connectivity issues at sea across different companies, as well as concerns about data allowances, internet speed, and connectivity limitations.

Shore leave and a desire to access welfare services ashore once more came to the fore as key areas for concern. Seafarers also reported growing frustration with owners who attempt to make seafarers sign on for longer periods than desired, as well as with the delays experienced in sign-off procedures. In addition, the challenges of coping with extended periods on board have reportedly been made harder due to inadequate food provisions, bureaucratic and unnecessary paperwork demands, ineffective shipboard leadership, and a sense of social isolation adding to the stress of life onboard.

The SHI report also identified several other challenges facing seafarers, including a growing wellness gap between companies that provide health and well-being programs and those that do not, access to dental care in some ports but not others, and limited access to mental health support, medical advisory services, and physical well-being consultations. Seafarers also expressed concerns about salaries, the cost of living, and potential obstacles to career advancement.

Despite the challenges, seafarers recognise the importance of positive onboard interactions for their well-being and job satisfaction. However, insufficient entertainment options on board are making it harder for them to find a reason to come together. Therefore, there is a need for improved social activities and shared spaces to encourage crew members to interact. This will not only enhance their overall experience but will also contribute to safer and more efficient operations on board ships. Prioritising crew interactions and relationships is crucial for mutual respect, effective communication, camaraderie, and teamwork on every ship.

The Revd Canon Andrew Wright, Secretary General of The Mission to Seafarers, said:“We saw the satisfaction of seafarers steadily grow throughout 2022, and this continued into the fourth quarter with a high-water mark of satisfaction at 7.69/10. Unfortunately, this positive trend came to an end in the first quarter of this year, as happiness levels have declined almost across the board. This illustrates how important it is to maintain momentum on seafarer welfare and why there can be zero complacency over the conditions in which our seafarers find themselves.

“We are committed to working with the shipping industry to address the challenges facing seafarers and improve their welfare. The SHI is an important tool in this work, and we are grateful to all the seafarers who participated in the survey.”

Thom Herbert, Idwal Senior Marine Surveyor and Crew Welfare Advocate, commented:“The dip in the Seafarers’ Happiness Index in the first quarter of 2023 is a worrying sign after the steady increase last year and we will watch Q2’s results with interest to see whether this is the start of a downward trend. Hopefully not! It’s very frustrating to hear about ongoing issues with lack of shore leave and sign-off procedures being delayed. Moving out of the pandemic does not make lack of shore leave any less of an issue and we need to keep a spotlight on this to ensure it improves. I was particularly interested to hear about the challenges related to onboard meals, food budgets and quality, etc. As a former seafarer, I know how important good nutrition and good food is to keep you healthy and motivated. Good meal times together can also go a long way to help the onboard culture and camaraderie. Getting food right for people is basic and we should be doing better.”

Capt Yves Vandenborn, Director of Loss Prevention at NorthStandard, added:
“It is unfortunate to see a dip in satisfaction levels from 7.69/10 to 7.10/10 in Quarter 1 of 2023, following the incremental rise reported throughout 2022. Persistent frustrations with shore leave and challenges with extended periods on board appear to have had a negative impact on scoring as the pace of industry-wide improvement to these areas has been slow. There is also a growing awareness amongst seafarers of the disparities in terms of provision of connectivity, access to mental health support and wellbeing programs offered to crew by companies across the industry. NorthStandard will continue raising awareness of these important wellbeing aspects to support positive change, improve job satisfaction, productivity, and retention among seafarers.”

To read the latest Seafarers Happiness Index report, click here


10. UAE abandonment

As recently as December 2022, the UAE was listed as the country with the highest incidence of abandonment in the world – the International Chamber of Shipping says in a viewpoint piece. ICS recorded 29 such cases during the course of the year. Fast forward less than four months and welfare groups have noted, despite increasing prevalence worldwide, a significant drop in the number of UAE cases, with just one case reported in the first quarter of 2023.

Abandonments rose dramatically during the global pandemic as a result of the economic dislocation caused by widespread port closures. Despite the gradual resumption of international trade since the latter part of 2021, wider economic and geo-political instability combined to make 2022 the worst year on record for abandonment cases reported to the International Maritime Organization (IMO), with 103 vessels abandoned globally, affecting 1,682 seafarers.

Talking to Leadership Insights, Ben Bailey, Director of Programme at The Mission to Seafarers explained how the UAE may have bucked the global trend. While crediting the UAE government for passing legislation in 2021 to deter abandonment, he questioned if market conditions had also contributed to the reduction, “many of the ships we have dealt with in the past have been in the offshore energy sector. With energy being in such high demand, I wonder if it’s also to do with the fact that these vessels are needed more than ever.” He added that “certainly, in the past we have seen a rise in cases when prices have dropped.”

The UAE’s success in reducing the incidence of abandonment demonstrates the impact that national legislation and robust enforcement mechanisms can achieve in a limited timeframe. However, whilst cautiously optimistic about the situation in the UAE, Bailey remains concerned that cases may “have gone elsewhere, perhaps to countries where there is absolutely no welfare provision”. Explaining what was required to end the scourge, he added that  “ultimately, abandonment will only stop when every port state has ratified the MLC and has robust inspection regimes.”

Abandonment can have devastating consequences on seafarers, with some left without basic necessities, support, and shore access for protracted periods becoming wholly reliant on charities for survival. Citing the UAE as an example, abandonment at sea can be tackled but success requires political will at the national level. In addition, States should commit to implementing the 2022 ILO-IMO guidelines and make a concerted effort to ratify existing international regulations in order to safeguard the rights of seafarers.

Interested parties can pre-order the ICS publication Guidelines on the Application of the ILO Maritime Labour Convention, Fourth Edition which addresses the wide range of MLC provisions including the 2022 updates entering into force in December 2024.


11.  Green marine

A joint UK-EU project to develop retrofit carbon capture solutions and other technologies for ships to reduce their emissions and fuel consumption has got underway.
Although existing waterborne vessels provide the lowest contribution to the total European transport GHG (Green House Gas) emissions, international regulatory bodies such as the International Maritime Organization (IMO) aim to reduce waterborne emissions further.

The Green Marine project, led by the Cyprus Marine & Maritime Institute (CMMI), brings together 10 partners from industry and academia from all over Europe and UK, including the University of Strathclyde’s Department of Naval Architecture, Ocean and Marine Engineering, who share the vision of providing the wider maritime community with effective and efficient ways of onboard retrofitting solutions leading to the decarbonisation of the maritime industry.The project will run until January 2027 with an EU/UK funding of almost €5 million.

The Green Marine team will develop retrofitting protocols and solutions to enable the future of shipping to be energy and fuel efficient, capture the carbon it emits to de-acidify oceans and have closed air circulation systems that are virus free.To aid the different stakeholders in their decision making, a software tool catalogue will be made that gathers knowledge on these and other solutions. The project will demonstrate these tools and the innovative solutions onboard Caledonian MacBrayne (CalMac) vessels.

Dr Iraklis Lazakis and Professor Evangelos Boulougouris will lead this effort from Strathclyde, contributing to all technical work packages, especially in the demonstration of retrofitting existing fleets of ships and the exploitation and dissemination activities of the project.

The project objectives are as follows:
•    Develop and validate retrofitting protocol tools suitable for adapting engines, flue gas carbon capture and utilisation, and integrated energy saving solutions for ships worldwide.
•    Develop and validate a software tool containing an up-to-date catalogue of suitable solutions for a wide variety of ship types and operation scenarios.
•    Tailor a (nano)particle and virus removal solution suitable for gaseous steams.
•    Tailor commercially available gas-gas separating membranes for CO2 and water capture.
•    Develop and implement a carbon capture solution based on an alkaline solution with Ca- and Mg from sea water.
•    Replicate project learnings to all stakeholders; Stimulate software tool use and further enrich its data; Cooperate with global marine community of ship owners, operators, shipyards and equipment providers.
•    Firmly position the retrofitting, software tools as a sustainable solution, offering a realistic and competitive new alternative in the Carbon Capture Utilisation and Storage (CCUS) market.

Dr Lazakis said: “Shipping contributes a small extent to carbon emissions globally therefore if we can develop solutions that can capture these emissions, we can accelerate the climate neutrality of existing fleets.

“As part of Green Marine project, the different technologies will be tested and verified onshore first for their marine application and, based on the results, a demonstration of the technology will be performed onboard one or more CalMac vessels.

“This will take place towards the end of the project including a full process and consultation period with Classification Societies on the feasibility and risk assessment and qualification of the application of these technologies onboard the vessels.”

The other partners in the project are: Cyprus Marine & Maritime Institute; Smart Material Printing; Wind plus Sonne ; University Polytechnic of Marche; BlueXPRT; SINTEF; PDM; CalMac Ferries Limited; and Carbon Capture Machine.

For more information visit the project website: https://greenmarine-project.eu/ and LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/green-marine-project/


12. Quiet enjoyment

At a meeting on 25 and 26 April at BIMCO President Sabrina Chao’s offices in Hong Kong, the drafting team tasked with the development of BIMCO’s new standard Quiet Enjoyment Letter finalised a first draft of the form which is intended for use in ship financing.

The drafting team has been working hard across multiple time zones to complete a draft Quiet Enjoyment Letter as well as a short-form version.

“It has been a great pleasure to chair this sub-committee and work with such dedicated subcommittee members. We were very pleased to meet in person in Hong Kong at the offices of Wah Kwong Maritime Transport Holdings Ltd to finalise these draft documents which will now go out for industry consultation,” said Catherine Smith of Oldendorff (formerly of Wah Kwong), who is chairing the drafting team.

The QEL is intended to be a bilateral agreement in so far as it will be issued by the mortgagee to the charterer, who will then acknowledge the granting of quiet enjoyment with a separate collateral assignment of its rights on terms acceptable to the mortgagee. While a bilateral QEL will be most common, the drafting team considers that it might be useful also to develop multilateral and unilateral versions once the bilateral QEL has been published.

The draft QEL includes the traditional BIMCO box layout with key provisions dealing with the following:

•    The mortgagee’s undertaking to grant to the charterer quiet enjoyment of the vessel
•    The charterer’s acknowledgement of the assignment of rights, title and interest to the mortgagee
•    Charterer’s undertakings to the mortgagee
•    Reservation of charterer’s right to terminate the charter party in accordance with the charter terms
•    The mortgagee’s ability to enforce any rights under the mortgage and facility agreement
•    The charterer’s cooperation with the mortgagee to facilitate transfer of ownership or control of the vessel and assignment, novation or replacement of the charter party in connection with an enforcement process
•    The charterer’s obligation to fulfil its obligations under the charter party and the QEL as a requirement of quiet enjoyment
•    Termination
•    Law and jurisdiction.
The short form will be a simplified version of the full QEL which only includes key elements dealing with the charterer’s quiet enjoyment, reservation of the charterer’s and mortgagee’s rights respectively and termination.

“It is hoped that these drafts will become a useful tool for lenders and charterers,” added Ms Smith.

In addition to Ms Smith, the drafting team is comprised of: Sarah Jane Thompson of BHP in Singapore, Gitte Vannus Kragelund of Danish Ship Finance in Copenhagen, Jay Shi of CMB Financial Leasing Co., Ltd. in Shanghai, Olga Petrovic of Linklaters in London and Gerald Morrissey of Holland & Knight in New York.

Documentary Committee review and industry consultations will take place shortly, with the target date for completion of the project in late 2023.


13. Shipping corridors

A proposal from the Lloyd’s Register (LR) Maritime Decarbonisation Hub for the “Development of a Route-based Action Plan Methodology based on The Silk Alliance” has been selected as the winner of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) NextGEN Connect Challenge.

Organised by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) and the IMO, the IMO NextGEN Connect Challenge  was an invitation for submissions to develop a robust methodology that stakeholders could use to develop specific, route-based action plans to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions between specific points along a shipping route in the Asia Pacific region.

Launched at the Singapore Maritime Week last year, the organisers received several high-quality submissions. The LR Maritime Decarbonisation Hub’s winning proposal has been selected for pilot implementation in collaboration with the IMO.

With the experience of initiating The Silk Alliance green corridor cluster, the LR Maritime Decarbonisation Hub will also leverage its ‘First Mover Framework’ methodology and experiences from green corridor initiatives to work with the MPA and IMO on the NextGEN Connect Challenge. The implementation of this methodology aims to generate a spillover effect of knowledge, capability and investment into the wider region, contributing towards a just and equitable transition that also benefits Less Developed Countries (LDCs) and Small Island Developing States (SIDS) in Asia Pacific.

Initiated by the LR Maritime Decarbonisation Hub in collaboration with partners across the maritime supply chain, ‘The Silk Alliance’ is a green corridor cluster initiative focused on a fleet predominantly bunkering in Singapore and trades across the wider Asia region. The Alliance identified a feasibility scenario for in scope container ships and continues to engage with key stakeholders to increase its impact to drive significant emissions-savings within the intra-Asia container trade.

Nick Brown, Lloyd’s Register CEO said: “This endorsement by the IMO NextGEN Connect Challenge judging panel is proof that the LR Maritime Decarbonisation Hub’s green corridor methodology provides a clear focus in estimating the critical mass needed to drive much-needed infrastructure investments, such as port and fuel production infrastructure for alternative fuels, in preparation for shipping’s decarbonisation.”

Teo Eng Dih, Chief Executive of MPA said, “We extend our warmest congratulations to Lloyd’s Register Maritime Decarbonisation Hub for their winning proposal in the IMO-MPA NextGEN Connect Challenge. This proposal reaffirms the pragmatic and inclusive approach needed to accelerate the adoption of low and zero-emission solutions through the development of green and digital shipping corridors. MPA looks forward to collaborating with Lloyd’s Register, IMO and other partners to implement the proposal to help decarbonise the maritime industry.”

IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim said: “Maritime needs innovation and through trials and pilot projects, we can all learn and take on board best practices. IMO is supporting this through various projects, in partnership with many stakeholders. I am pleased that through the Singapore-IMO NextGEN Connect project we have seen exciting proposals presented. I congratulate the winner and I look forward to receiving the results of the trials at IMO, to share with the Member States.”

Charles Haskell, Director of the LR Maritime Decarbonisation Hub, added: “With this pilot implementation, we not only aim to reduce emissions from the cargo trade in the region, but also incentivise the development of alternative fuel supply infrastructure in strategic positions, including those in the region’s developing countries. Once we are able to implement a successful green corridor within the intra-Asia route, we hope that the spillover effect can provide the methodology and momentum needed for shipping to fulfil its 2050 zero emissions goal.”


14. Mauritian security

IMO is working with the Mauritian maritime administration to put in place a legal framework that gives full and complete effect to IMO instruments dealing with maritime security. A three-day workshop (2-4 May) in Port Louis, Mauritius, hosted by the Shipping Division, under the Ministry of Blue Economy, Marine Resources, Fisheries and Shipping, brought together 30 participants from key national agencies.

Opening the event, Sudheer Maudhoo, the Mauritian Minister of Blue Economy, Marine Resources, Fisheries and Shipping, welcomed the capacity building initiatives provided under the project on Port Security and Safety of Navigation in Eastern and Southern Africa and the Indian Ocean. In his key-note address, he stressed the need for enhanced cooperation at both regional at international level, to be able to respond to maritime security threats.

Alan Ganoo, Minister of Land, Transport and Light Rail, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade, also welcomed the initiative. Emphasising the importance of establishing a framework in the region, he stated that port security and safety of navigation remains a top priority for Mauritius.

Topics discussed during the event include flag, port, and coastal State obligations relevant to the ISPS Code, as well familiarity with the content of IMO circular MSC.1/Circ.1525 on Guidance for the development of national maritime security legislation.

It is anticipated that future workshops will involve further IMO collaboration with implementing partners, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and INTERPOL, with coordination from the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC) and funding from the European Union.

The workshop is the latest in a series of activities under the EU-funded project on Port Security and Safety of Navigation in Eastern and Southern Africa and the Indian Ocean. Under the project, IMO aims to assist the nine beneficiary countries to enhance maritime security and safety within the region in line with the 2050 Africa’s Integrated Maritime Strategy.


15.  Draft biofouling guidelines

The IMO Sub-Committee on Pollution Prevention and Response has approved the revised Guidelines for the control and management of ships’ biofouling to minimize the transfer of invasive aquatic species. It came during the Sub-Committee’s 10th session (PPR 10, 24-28 April) and follows a comprehensive review of the Guidelines.

Biofouling is the accumulation of aquatic organisms on wetted or immersed surfaces such as ships and other offshore structures. Good biofouling management can help protect marine biodiversity by preventing the transfer of invasive aquatic species (read more here). Keeping a ship’s hull clean can also reduce the ship’s greenhouse gas emissions by improving fuel efficiency (see the report Analysing the Impact of Marine Biofouling on the Energy Efficiency of Ships and the GHG Abatement Potential of Biofouling Management Measures).

The 2023 Guidelines, which expand on and update the previous version, with a view to strengthening it and increasing its uptake, will be submitted to the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 80) for adoption.

The Sub-Committee also agreed to develop guidance on in-water cleaning at a future session. In this regard, the Sub-Committee recommended to MEPC 80 that the target completion year for the guidance should be extended to 2025, and that it should be renamed as “Development of guidance on matters relating to in-water cleaning”. The Sub-Committee invited concrete proposals on the separate guidance.

The Sub-Committee also invited Member States and international organizations to submit relevant information on best practices for biofouling inspections and cleaning actions to the Organization as it may become available in the future.

The Biofouling Guidelines were first adopted in 2011. The MEPC 72 session (2018) decided to initiate a review, to take into account best practices and experience as well as the latest research. In implementing this review, PPR 8 (2021) agreed that the Guidelines should be revised.

A separate guidance document provides advice relevant to owners and/or operators of recreational craft less than 24 meters in length. (Guidance for minimizing the transfer of invasive aquatic species as biofouling (hull fouling) for recreational craft – MEPC.1/Circ.792).

The GEF-UNDP-IMO GloFouling Partnerships Project and the related TEST (Transfer of Environmentally Sound Technologies) Biofouling Project, Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad) support developing countries to implement the Biofouling Guidelines.

Read a full summary of PPR 10 here.


Notices & Miscellany

Marine insurance
LSLC in association with 7KBW is holding a seminar on May 10 to discuss recent cases in the law of marine insurance. The event will take place in London at the IDRC at 1800. To register go to the following link.

PLEASE REGISTER HERE

Oscar Dragon Boat Race
The 8th OSCAR Dragon Boat Race will take place on Friday 15th September 2023 in London This annual event has already raised over £900,000 towards the total raised by the OSCAR Campaign which now exceeds £2.25m and which funds essential research and treatment for children with leukaemia and related diseases at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children.

Some 25 teams compete against one other and the top six teams battle it out in a final. There is a bar, food, quayside games and activities and a DJ to get everyone in the mood. It’s an excellent networking event and good fun. Most importantly, no training is required for those who want to race.

For information on the OSCAR Dragon Boat Race contact Phil Parry or visit the Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity website where you can sign up your team.

 

Please notify the Editor of your appointments, promotions, new office openings and other important happenings: contactus@themaritimeadvocate.com


And finally,

(With thanks to Paul Dixon)

The pilot was sitting in his seat and pulled out a .38 revolver.  He placed it on top of the instrument panel, and then asked the navigator, “Do you know what I use this for?”

The navigator replied timidly, “No, what’s it for?”

The pilot responded, “I use this on navigators who get me lost!”

The navigator proceeded to pull out a .45 and place it on his chart table.

The pilot asked, “What’s that for?”

“To be honest sir,” the navigator replied, “I’ll know we’re lost before you will.”


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