The Maritime Advocate–Issue 841


1.  Pedestrian progress
2.  Data sharing
3.  Block exemption regulation
4.  Diversity at work
5. Energy efficiency
6. New ISU president
7. Cyber risk report
8. End of the line
9. Dangerous goods
10. Cape Town Agreement

Notices & Miscellany

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

1. Pedestrian progress

By Michael Grey

Strategies that contribute to the saving of the planet ought to be cheered to the rafters, but I confess that when I read about the pedestrian pace on passage of some modern ships, it was with rather mixed emotions. According to those knowledgeable folk in BIMCO, the speed of containerships and bulk carriers on passage for the first eight months of this year was down by some 3% over the previous year to substantially less than 14 knots, as they saved fuel, emissions of CO2 and the aforesaid planet.

As somebody who cut his teeth as a technical journalist reviewing cargo liners designed for little other than speed, it really does not seem that we have progressed very much, although if this is what the punters of today want, there can be no argument. In my memory bank, there remains a long list of quite extraordinary ships that emerged in the ten years before the 1973 oil price hike required a lot of rapid second thoughts. Shippers were enthused by the prospect of getting their goods to market ever faster and in the heady competition joined by the first container consortia, the designers were given free rein.

Hull-forms of hydrodynamic perfection (sometimes, it has to be said, at the expense of sea-keeping) were found in these ocean greyhounds, but in their machinery spaces were crammed enormous horsepower, in the shape of huge steam turbines and slow speed diesels the size of which the world had never seen. I recall being astonished at one mighty Japanese monster in which there were three huge diesels alongside each other with three propellers. And if these ships had not managed at least 28 knots on trials, you had the impression that the owners would have refused to take delivery. The ultimate expression was the rather less elegant (somebody called them brutally crude) 33 knot SL7s of Malcom McLean, powered by the same machinery that drove the US Navy’s best battleships in WW2.

The surprising thing was that even after the two oil-shocks of the 70s the container lines still continued to market their speed on passage. True, the thirstier ships were re-engined, and McLean’s monsters sold off to the US military, but speeds came down only marginally. But with no environmental brakes being hung around the necks of designers, it was only since the start of the century that green pressures have begun to shame the shippers. They have piled on ever since and speed has been in remorseless decline.

But a 13.7knot average on a deep-sea passage is getting back to the days of the “low powered steamer” that required its own section in the “Ocean Passages of the World” publication. Perhaps the days of speed at sea will never return, which will cheer all those who wish us to stay at home and subsist on home grow root vegetables. Perhaps operators will talk to their ports and terminals rather more constructively and minimise all those wasted days at anchor awaiting a berth. Perhaps there will be some amazing new zero-emission fuel which will enable the chief to crack open the throttles. But realists will suggest that the speedy ship has no future.

And with no prospect that the various fuels being trialled at present will be available at prices that will facilitate faster passages, the old saying “more days, more dollars” will be the lot of the seafarers trundling around the sea-lanes at speeds with which their grandfathers would have been familiar. A fast day’s run was exhilarating on whatever ship you were sailing in. On the commonwealth cargo liners I sailed in, we would turn our caps back to front if we made 400 miles for the day.

Perhaps nuclear power might get up and running again, as there are already very capable small and micro-designs available for those brave enough. Just imagine going ten years between bunkering. But that is fanciful, as you can imagine the shrieks from the nay-sayers. Perhaps we are doomed, as some already say, to less trade, more “on-shoring”, a return to sail or its assistance. It is difficult not to be enthused by Cargill’s attempt to cut 30% of the emissions from the 43,291dwt Pyxis Ocean, fitted with two of the biggest sails ever seen. Could it be the start of something big? It won’t bring us back speed, but big ships chasing the great wind belts around the world, might restore some of the romance, which has been sadly lacking.

Michael Grey is former editor of Lloyd’s List.

2. Data sharing

A new report commissioned by Bureau Veritas (BV) calls for greater data sharing in the maritime sector, and outlines the benefits of a fresh approach to digital collaboration that will support shipping’s energy transition.

Written by maritime innovation consultancy Thetius, the report, titled Common Interest, benchmarks shipping’s progress on using digital solutions to collaborate on decarbonisation goals and shows how industry frontrunners are breaking down the technical, legal, financial and cultural barriers.

The research was conducted by Thetius, based on interviews with a series of maritime leaders and case studies from across the maritime sector’s digital landscape today.  

“The challenge can be thought of as a network optimisation problem, with many stakeholders in the chain,” says Matthew Kenney, Principal Research Consultant at Thetius and lead author of the report. “As the report describes, caution is understandable when it comes to sharing data, particularly with competitors. Collaboration is an awkward concept in a competitive market, and the challenges include legal, financial and practical issues such as a lack of data standards, data silos and human error.”

The report highlights key areas where digital collaboration has the potential to open new opportunities for growth and optimisation:

  •     Collaboration between different software providers and ship operators can provide more detailed ship performance analytics for fleet owners and managers.
  •     Digital synchronisation of the shipping ecosystem can help address “sail fast then wait” practices and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from voyages.
  •     Data sharing is critical to ensure seamless port visits and help deliver “just in time” arrivals, supporting decarbonisation and voyage efficiency.
  •     Large-scale data sharing can improve modelling of ship performance, with data pooled from multiple ships dramatically increasing the accuracy of modelling algorithms and digital twins.

Also identified are four main categories of challenge as the primary obstacles that hinder more effective data sharing in the maritime sector: competition laws; data siloes; costs; and cultural and behavioural resistance.  Through the lessons and insights shared in the report, it is hoped that maritime organisations can identify the most effective tools to overcome each of these obstacles. In turn, Bureau Veritas believes that this can lead to a fresh approach to digital collaboration.

“It should be viewed as an opportunity that shipping is simultaneously confronting the challenges of decarbonisation and digitalisation,” says Laurent Hentges, Vice-President, Digital Solutions & Transformation, Bureau Veritas Marine & Offshore. “This report shows that the time, technology, and trading environment are right to use digital collaboration to evolve and grow. Shipping can achieve its decarbonisation goals and deliver a greener maritime future by recognising the scale and depth of its common interests.”  

The report also details a wide range of examples of how collaboration is already working in practice for many partners across the industry, such as the Blue Visby Solution, which aims to eliminate ‘sail fast then wait’.

“We can see the realisation of our vision for shipping’s digital transformation through these frontrunners and the numerous ambitious projects in which BV is actively involved,” says Hentges. “Collaboration is possible, practical, necessary, and mutually advantageous. It is a powerful opportunity, if we can identify and remove barriers that inhibit data sharing, and one that should inspire optimism for the decarbonisation journey ahead.”

The report Common Interest can be downloaded here:

3. Block exemption regulation

Responding to the news that the European Commission has decided not to extend the Consortia Block Exemption Regulation (CBER), Steve Parker, director general of the British International Freight Association (BIFA) recently commented: “The sensible conclusion to the ongoing container market public consultation being conducted by the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) would be to introduce an ombudsman to arbitrate on complaints as a minimum. Ideally it would follow the EC’s lead and not retain the equivalent of a block exemption regime for the liner shipping industry in the UK, when the current one expires in April 2024.”

When the CMA announced the review in January this year, BIFA expressed its surprise that the CMA appeared to issue a provisional position which suggested the extension of a potentially modified CBER into UK legislation.

In the recent past, the UK’s main trade association for freight forwarding and logistics companies has said that its members are extremely concerned that practices undertaken by container shipping lines, as well as easements and exemptions provided to them, have been distorting the operations of the free market to the detriment of international trade.

Parker added: “BIFA, and its members, are not anti-shipping line. The association wants to ensure that there is a suitable balance between them as carriers, and our members as customers, points made during various meetings with the CMA.

“The EC has taken a sensible decision and the UK government should follow suit to ensure that shipping lines in future will be subject to competition law.
The Asian Shipowners’ Association backed the CBER is an important regulatory tool that yields significant benefits to a variety of stakeholders, with no downside from a competition or consumer welfare perspective, recommending that it be extended for another term without amendment.
“Therefore, the recent recommendation by DG COMP not to renew the EU Block Exemption for liner shipping consortia was met with disagreement, and ASA would like to once again emphasise that the importance of antitrust immunity for carrier agreements remains unchanged for the purpose of enhancing the economic efficiency of liner services with a wider range of services and port calls at a higher frequency without legal uncertainty,” ASA said.

Following the EC’s repeal of the CBER, Yuichi Sonoda, the Secretary General of ASA, commented that “the European Commission recognises the value of liner shipping consortia and vessel sharing agreements and has now chosen to ensure the legal certainty of those carrier agreements under the general EU antitrust rules. At the same time, ASA continues to voice the importance of antitrust immunity in jurisdictions worldwide to ensure efficient and sustainable maritime transport for the global economy.”

4. Diversity at work

During this year’s annual conference held in Edinburgh, the International Union of Marine Insurance (IUMI) took the opportunity to explore and debate the question of diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging (DEIB) with the ambition of taking concrete steps to enhance its own representation and that of the marine insurance community more generally.

Patrizia Kern-Ferretti, Chair of IUMI’s Nominating Committee is driving the initiative and explained: “In 2010, after IUMI having been in existence for more than 135 years, I was only the second woman to chair an IUMI Technical Committee. Happily today, three of our Technical Committees are now chaired by women. Similarly, the last time our annual conference came to Edinburgh was in 1979 and back then there were no women delegates. Today, 35% of the 750 people attending last week were women. We have made significant progress but there is still more to be done.”

She continued:“This is more than statistics and counting genders. We need to embrace age, culture, ethnicity, background, education, sexual orientation and other factors. It has been proven that companies make better and more informed decisions if they receive input from a range of perspectives and that means they must be both diverse and inclusive in their make-up”.

It was understood that aside from diversity, employees must feel included in all aspects of business so that their views were received and accepted. To help achieve that, modern companies must have fair and equitable policies and processes in place to ensure all employees can enjoy identical opportunities. It was agreed that a strong sense of belonging was vital to encourage employees to stay with their employer and that was only likely to be achieved if individuals were able to exist as their authentic selves without fear of being victimised, villainised or marginalised.

A recent study* had reported that a high sense of belonging resulted in a 56% increase in job performance, a 50% reduction in job turnover and a 75% reduction in absence due to sickness. If applied to a 10,000 person company, it was thought   around USD52 million could be saved each year.

Patrizia Kern-Ferretti said:“The benefits are clear and we are beginning to debate a range of initiatives that IUMI will consider going forward. They might include setting clear ambitions for DEIB and actively encouraging young people of any gender or background to join our Technical Committees and attend our events, perhaps by offering scholarships or mentoring or introducing alternative fee structures, for example.”

“Ultimately, we want to reach out into the IUMI community. Many insurance companies are already doing great things to enrich their workforce and we believe that IUMI can help encourage this further. If we can demystify marine insurance and demonstrate, by example, that we are truly a diverse and inclusive community then our industry, as a whole, will benefit. We will become more effective and more sustainable as a result.”  

IUMI’s Executive Committee has recently agreed and published a DEIB statement: “Diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging are core to our mission and shall define who we are at IUMI. To address the challenges of a complex—and increasingly diverse—world, we must ensure every person has an opportunity for a voice and a seat at the table. We are committed to creating a diverse organisation where everyone feels represented and respected. We are working hard to embed these values across our work at IUMI.”

*Harvard Business Review: The value of belonging at work.

5. Energy efficiency

At what point will renewable energy begin to replace fossil energy in actual terms? How will the cost of renewable energy develop and when will emissions peak? DNV’s outlook provides a comprehensive analysis of the development of the global energy system towards 2050.

Here are some selected highlights of the forecast:

  • Global electric vehicles sales, solar and battery installations hit record highs in 2022. But renewables are still not replacing fossil fuels in the global energy mix, barely meeting growing energy demand. 
  • CO2 emissions will be only 4% lower than today in 2030 and 46% lower by mid-century.
  • The transition will still be massive with wind and solar growing 10-fold and 17-fold respectively between 2022 and 2050. Electricity production is set to double, requiring huge infrastructure investments.
  • Clean energy will account for 52% of the energy mix by 2050, up from 20% today.

Download the Energy Transition Outlook

6. New ISU president

The Annual General Meeting of the International Salvage Union (ISU) was held in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on 12 October 2023. At the conclusion of the meeting, John Witte Jr. of Donjon Marine, USA, became the new President of the ISU.  Witte succeeds Captain Nicholas Sloane of Resolve Marine, USA, who will continue as a member of the ISU Executive Committee.  

Sloane said: “It has been an absolute honour and privilege to have been the president of ISU these past two years, and to represent the interests of all our members as we have tackled the major issues facing our industry. The ISU’s own statistics show that our members are facing difficult economic times but we are a vibrant industry and we continue to provide vital services. The ISU members are critical partners for insurers and owners to help meet their ESG requirements.

“In the past two years we have made good progress on issues such as the SCOPIC rates and the creation of new guidelines for Special Casualty Representatives and on the BIMCO 2023 WreckStage contract. We have maintained good relations with the clubs, owners and property insurers. I am delighted to be handing over to John Witte who comes from a family with a long and proud tradition in salvage. John has much experience of the industry – both as a salvage master and operational manager – and has demonstrated great commitment to marine salvage and the ISU of which he is a past President and I am sure the leadership of our association will be in good hands.”

Commenting on his appointment, Witte said: “I would like to thank Nick for all that he has done for the ISU over the past two years: he has shown great dedication to the role. For my part it is a great honour to be the President of the ISU and I look forward to leading the association as it continues to address the current challenges, in particular, enhancing the reputation of the industry and strengthening further our relationships with shipowners and insurers.”

At the same time, Captain Leendert Muller, managing director of Multraship Towage & Salvage, The Netherlands, was confirmed as the vice president of the ISU. Muller is a past president of the association.

7. Cyber risk report

New research has found that the maritime industry remains an “easy target” for cybercriminals, and that the cost of attacks and demand for ransom payments across the sector has skyrocketed over the past 12 months.

The report, which was produced by  law firm HFW and maritime cyber security company CyberOwl, reveals that the average cyberattack in the maritime industry now ends up costing the target organisation US$550,000 – up from US$182,000 in 2022.

It also shows that demands for ransom have increased by more than 350%, with the average ransom payment now US$3.2m – up from US$3.1m last year.

The report is based on a survey of more than 150 industry professionals – including C-suite leaders, cyber security experts, seafarers, shoreside managers, and suppliers – and reveals significant gaps in cyber risk management that exist across shipping organisations and the wider supply chain.

The research was carried out by the maritime technology research agency Thetius.

Key findings include:

  • The financial cost of a maritime cyberattack can be extreme:
    • they now end up costing the target organisation US$550,000 on average (an increase of 200% from 2022)
    • ransom demands have increased by more than 350% over the past 12 months, with the average ransom payment now US$3.2 million (up from US$3.1m in 2022)
    • 24% of the victims of cyberattacks were tricked into transferring funds to criminal organisations
  • Despite these eye-watering costs, most shipping organisations significantly under-invest in cyber security management:
    • a third spend less than US$100,000 per year
    • 25% of survey respondents said their organisation does not have insurance to cover cyber risk
  • Although overall levels of preparedness seem to be improving:
    • 80% of survey respondents understand what actions would be required of them in the event of a cyber security incident (up from 74% in 2022)
    • 64% said their organisation has cyber risk management procedures for dealing with suppliers (up from 55% in 2022)

HFW partner Tom Walters commented: “Our findings show that while maritime cyber security has improved, the industry remains an easy target. Shipping organisations are being subject to more cyberattacks than ever before, and the cost of attacks and demand for ransom payments have skyrocketed. And as the use of technology continues to increase across all aspects of shipping – from ship networks to offshore installations and shoreside control centres – so does the potential for cybersecurity breaches.

“Maritime operational technology and fleet operations management are now almost entirely digital, meaning that a cyberattack could compromise anything from vessel communication systems and navigation suites to the systems managing ballast water, cargo management, and engine monitoring and control. Failure of any of those systems could result in a vessel being stranded and potentially grounded, and we saw from the Ever Given the impact that can have on global supply chains. This is a critical issue for all parties involved in the shipping sector, and it’s clear that the industry has to do more to protect itself against cyberattacks.”

Daniel Ng, CEO, CyberOwl:”The good news is that the conversation on vessel cyber risk management has clearly shifted away from the ‘why’ towards the ‘how’. There is less scepticism about the need to manage the risk, more thoughtfulness on how best to spend each dollar in shoring up defences.

“The challenge for the change agents in shipping is that they are dealing with new risks in a new domain under sector-specific constraints,  all of this in an environment where shipping companies are still too secretive to share benchmarks and best practice widely. The sector must make the most of the specialist expertise available. And those with specialist maritime cyber security knowledge must do more to share knowledge of risks and best practice.

“What works in other sectors may not work in shipping. And applying a generic approach could lead to expensive wastage.”

Nick Chubb, managing director of Thetius added: “Our research shows that the industry has improved dramatically in a short space of time. But it also shows that cyber criminals are evolving faster. The costs of cyber attacks are growing. The impact that can be created in the global supply chain by exploiting a single easy target means the entire maritime industry needs to raise the bar.”


8. End of the line

The issue of a carrier’s period of responsibility ending on discharge is discussed by Brian Perrott and Patrick Knox of HFW.

JB Cocoa SDN BHD & others v. Maersk Line AS trading as Safmarine (Maesrsk Chennai) [2023] EWHC 2203 (Comm) was a case involving the carriage of cocoa beans in containers from Nigeria to Malaysia.  Following discharge, almost two months passed before the containers were collected by cargo interests, at which time the cocoa beans were found to be suffering from condensation and mould damage – something that could have been avoided had the containers been opened up and ventilated following discharge.


The claimant cargo interests maintained that the damage to the cargo was caused by the carrier’s failure to take reasonable care of the cargo until the point of delivery/collection of the containers, and in particular from the time of discharge until the time of delivery.  Accordingly they maintained a claim for that damage.

The defendant carrier maintained that the terms of the bill of lading exempted it from any liability, and that in any event it took proper care of the cargo.

It was common ground between the two sides’ experts that there was a heightened risk of excessive condensation when containers had been discharged from a vessel and then exposed to sunlight for extended periods before being unstuffed.  The view of the cargo interests’ expert in the present case was that the damage to the cocoa beans had occurred during the period between discharge and unstuffing, and this was also the conclusion reached by the judge. 

Critical issue

The question then was up until what point in time the carrier bore responsibility for the cargo.

The decision

The bill of lading provided for the carrier to perform carriage from the port of loading to the port of discharge; that the liability of the carrier for loss of or damage to the goods occurring between acceptance of the custody of the goods at the port of loading and the time of the carrier tendering the cargo for delivery at the port of discharge would be determined in accordance with Articles 1-8 of the Hague Rules; and that the carrier would have no liability for any loss or damage to the goods if this arose after the carrier tendered the cargo for delivery.

As noted in the earlier decision of the Court of Appeal in The Giant Ace (Fimbank Plc v KCH Shipping Co Ltd [2023] EWCA Civ 569), discharge is not the same as delivery, the Court of Appeal holding that the Hague Rules apply only in respect of the period from loading to discharge, with any liability for matters occurring before or after these points being a matter of contract.

Nevertheless the carrier sought to argue that the terms of the contract in the present case had the effect of extending the application of the relevant provisions of the Hague Rules after discharge of the cargo until a later point in time when this was formally tendered for delivery to the party entitled to delivery.


The judge disagreed, holding that on the proper construction of the contract these provisions of the Hague Rules ceased to apply after the cargo was discharged from the vessel, discharge being the point in time at which the cargo could be treated as having been tendered for delivery. As the carrier’s responsibility to care for the cargo ended on discharge, it was not liable for damage occurring after discharge. The cargo interests’ claim therefore failed.

9. Dangerous goods

In an online comment, TT Club considers new dangerous goods regulations which apply from the beginning of next year.

The biennial cycle of maritime Dangerous Goods regulations, the next Amendment of which enters mandatory application on 1 January 2024, provides a valuable opportunity to consider the trajectory of changes or improvements in safety for the freight supply chain, the TT Club warns in an opinion piece on its website.

The provisions relating to the transport of Dangerous Goods are revised regularly. While the overall governance of the regulations and the Dangerous Goods List is centred in Geneva and housed in the United Nations Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods, commonly known as the UN Model Regulations, the IMO, domiciled in London, has responsibility for the implementation of these regulations in the maritime mode.

The next version of the International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code (IMDG code), being Amendment 41-22, will shortly enter mandatory application. Consequently, TT has, in conjunction with UKP&I, updated the well-established ‘Book it right, pack it tight’ publication to provide general assistance and route map to the industry in these important matters.

While there have inevitably been numerous changes embedded in this IMDG Amendment, a number of consequential debates remain underway at this inter-governmental level. IMO committees are, for example, currently seeking to reach finalisation on how to fashion a revised safety framework regarding the transport by sea of Charcoal / Carbon (UN 1361). This vexed issue, frequently resulting in fires while in the supply chain, has encountered protracted debate. As previously reported, the concerns relate essentially to lump charcoal that is intended for burning on barbecues and the like – sometimes having been treated with accelerants to boot.

While tests and research are ongoing to determine certain particular hazards, it appears that there is agreement over key safety measures that may be adopted. These will, however, only become mandatorily applicable from 1 January 2026 in Amendment 42-24. There remain some concerns relating to the differentiation between this cargo and Activated Carbon (UN 1362), which is produced from the raw material. Further, there are non-lump forms of Charcoal, such as produced for artists materials, that have quite distinct burning, cooling and packaging processes; deft handling of such issues will be required by regulators, carriers and enforcement agencies.

The topic arguably giving rise to most debate in the transport and logistics industry – lithium ion batteries, in their various forms – has yet to reach centre-stage at regulatory level. It is, however, almost a year ago that TT published the joint whitepaper on this, raising a number of calls to action. Subsequent papers, such as the guidance produced by CINS or the best practices from IUMI, have demonstrated both developing safety thinking and the need for further robust research.

The global need for decarbonisation and related demand for effective battery storage drive research towards power output and speed of recharge, but not necessarily enough towards safety through the supply chain and end-to-end life cycle. TT continues to lobby for engagement between manufacturers and the transport industry to reach a common understanding of the hazards presented and how these can best be controlled. In part, this requires thorough independent scientific research – as much for the existing and legacy chemistries as for what is emerging, since the former will continue in circulation for many years, including in increasing states of degradation.

Incident investigations – such as following the serious fire aboard ‘Freemantle Highway’ – will doubtless shape diverse regulatory change, but there must surely be opportunity to get ahead and in the meantime implement safety innovations to protect seafarers, broader workforce, assets and the environment.

What is changing?

The UN agencies are necessarily constrained by the submissions that are raised, either by member states or affiliated organisations. Relevant here are the container inspection findings that are reported to IMO annually. Those lodged for 2022 continue to be too sparse to guide decision-making (and well below the annual average count over the last decade), while demonstrating continuing concerns in key safety issues such as placarding (the external alert) and effective packing.

It is heartening that the National Cargo Bureau (NCB) are repeating a broad-based inspection initiative to shed more light on general container packing safety. Indeed, the work of the Cargo Integrity Group, where TT was a founding partner, continues to be highly important in promoting safe packing practices, linking to the IMO/ILO/UNECE CTU Code.

Perhaps a ground-breaking initiative is the Cargo Safety Program recently announced by the World Shipping Council that seeks to standardise cargo screening across the liner shipping industry, combining this with container inspections and creating a machine learning powered feedback loop, linking also to a ‘Verified Shipper Database’. There are a number of technology providers who deliver parts of such a matrix, but combining all elements has the potential not just to tackle non- or mis-declaration, but also beneficially segregate and reward those actors who habitually adopt good practice.

It is in everybody’s interest to improve certainty of outcome; innovations and initiatives such as these have the potential to deliver far beyond regulatory change.

TT regularly focuses on regulatory compliance and the adoption of sound safety practices. In this regard, the club reminds readers of the judgment statement in ‘MSC Flaminia’ that regulations set the baseline for safety. In other words, it is insufficient merely to comply where there is  reason to believe that other factors need to be taken into account.

Using a simple universal analogy,  traffic speed restrictions are not intended to urge the driver to adopt a given speed, the club says. Good driving practice requires that all hazards are continually and fully assessed, and appropriate actions taken accordingly.

10. Cape Town Agreement

The Republic of Nicaragua’s accession marks major step for the 2012 Cape Town Agreement entry into force and improved fishing vessel safety.

A crucial milestone has been reached on the path towards global regulation of safety standards for large industrial fishing vessels across the world, and those working onboard, the International Maritime Organization said.

Nicaragua is the 22nd state to become a party to the agreement, thus fulfilling one of the two required criteria for the entry into force of the 2012 Cape Town Agreement (CTA).

The second condition – that the states which are party to the treaty must have an aggregate of at least 3,600 fishing vessels of 24 metres and over operating on the high seas – is yet to be met. The agreement will enter into force 12 months after the date on which both requirements have been satisfied. 

IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim welcomed the deposit by Nicaragua.  “I congratulate Nicaragua on its deposit, which takes us a step further to meeting the entry into force criteria for this vital treaty on fishing vessel safety. I encourage and urge States which have not yet done so, to take the necessary steps to become a party to the Cape Town Agreement.”

“We cannot afford to be complacent when it comes to addressing safety of fishers and fishing vessels. It is time to ensure the Agreement enters into force as soon as possible, to complete the missing pillar for safe, sustainable and legal fishing,” Lim said. 

 Luis Erick Rodríguez Lanuza, the new Ambassador of the Republic of Nicaragua to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, deposited his country’s instrument of accession on 19 October 2023. 

The purpose of the Cape Town Agreement is to improve safety standards in the sector thus reducing loss of life, and to ensure improved working conditions for fishers. Additionally, its provisions are designed to tackle illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, reduce marine pollution and enhance protection of polar waters, as well as decrease risks for search and rescue services.

Once in force, the Agreement will introduce minimum requirements in the design and construction of fishing vessels of 24 meters or more in length, or the equivalent in gross tons, as well as in the inspection of those vessels by port States. It includes mandatory international requirements for stability and associated seaworthiness, machinery and electrical installations, life-saving appliances, as well as for communications equipment and fire protection.

Notices & Miscellany

Trending topics
AKD is holding a Trending Topics in Transport seminar on 28 November 2023. 

  • Barbara Wilbrink, lawyer at the AKD Transport and Trade team, will discuss the position of digital logistics platforms from a civil liability perspective, also taking into account new EU legislation on this topic.
  • Sophie Hendriks, lawyer at AKD’s Intellectual Property, ICT & Privacy team, will elaborate on data protection and privacy matters, which are becoming more and more important to platforms and their users.
  • Marielle van Winden, partner at AKD’s Employment team, will discuss employment law aspects of platformization.


Tuesday 28 November

TT Club
Kamel Tlili took up the role of Regional General Manager Asia-Pacific for international freight and logistics insurer, TT Club based in its Singapore office from 3rd October.

LSLC’s event
The Electronic Trade Documents Act: possession, reliability and international legal harmony  will be discussed on  24th October 2023. for details email

Computer applications
ICCAS 2024 – International Conference on Computer Applications in Shipbuilding  will be held on 10-12 September 2024 in Genoa, Italy.

Ocean tenders
BCOs and shippers now planning their 2024 ocean tenders will no doubt be hoping to secure lower rates and at the same time the capacity they need at an acceptable level of carrier service. But what are the tools and ’other areas’ where there may be scope to improve bid results and reduce risk?
In this Logistics Executive Briefing, Drewry’s Supply Chain Advisory team share some tips, innovations and practical views based on their recent experience of running outsourced global tenders. For more details see the Drewry website
MarTrust appointment

Recognising the vast opportunities and challenges in the ever-evolving maritime payments market, MarTrust has announced the appointment of Stuart Gregory as CEO. Stuart will be based in London and report directly to Jens Poulsen, Group CEO of Marcura.

Tanker guide
The ICS Tanker Safety Guide (Liquefied Gas), fourth edition, is out now. Place your order today. This comprehensive guide, a carriage requirement under the national regulations of many flag States, has been fully updated to align with the latest edition of the International Safety Guide for Oil Tankers and Terminals (ISGOTT 6).

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

And finally,

(With thanks to Paul Dixon)

I just received this from my broker. Do you hold any of the following stocks?
Dear Sir:
We have been informed that you hold shares in the following companies:
American Can Co
Interstate Water Co.
National Gas Co.
Northern Tissue Co.
Due to the uncertain market conditions, at this present time, we advise you to sit tight on your American Can, hold your Water, and let go of your Gas.
You may be interested to know that Northern Tissue touched a new bottom today, and millions were wiped clean.
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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 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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