The Maritime Advocate–Issue 847



1.   Windows on the world
2.   New Year message
3.   Maritime security
4.   Hill Dickinson moves
5.   Global risks
6.   Freight crime supply chain
7.    Piping systems
8.   Commodities view
9.   Mental health needs
10.  Contract interpretation
11.  Cargo contamination

Notices & Miscellany

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

1. Windows on the world

Officers of the watch, usually after there has been a failure of navigation, leading to a near-miss, or worse, a collision, are often accused of being so focussed on their electronic screens that they fail to look out of the windows. One hesitates to ask such a question of a ship designer, but maybe this is the reason bridge windows have become large and without structural obstruction, giving the Mk.I eyeball a free reign around the horizon, to spot any incoming peril. In some ships, notably ferries and cruise ships, the windows are so large that a landsman might term them “picture” windows; the bridge resembling nothing less than a large conservatory, which if it was sited ashore, would be the repository of potted plants and rattan furniture.

These days, glass can be manufactured to be tougher than steel, so there should be no case for nervousness, should a large green sea be sweeping down on a ship in heavy weather. But it rather depends on where the windows are sited on the ship, as the power of the sea can never be under-estimated. Thus a few days before Christmas, with Storm Pia (bad mistake to start naming them) raging in the North Sea, the Hurtigruten cruise/ferry/expedition ship Maud encountered what was described as a “rogue” wave, which smashed its way into the wheelhouse and completely disabled the vessel.

It should be unsurprising in this electronic and digital age that water sloshing around the bridge of a modern ship can be quite devastating and with power lost to steering and navigation the ship was not going to get her 266 passengers to Tilbury as they had anticipated. Fortunately, nobody was hurt, some sort of limited power was restored and with jury steering from the machinery space and a couple of Esvagt anchor handlers helping, the damaged ship was taken slowly into the shelter of a German port. The accounts of the passengers to their neighbours and friends of this particular cruise, around their dinner tables, will be rather more lively than they might have been.

Maud, at 16,151grt, is by no means a small vessel, although in cruise ship terms she is something of a minnow, but she is by no means the first victim of a rogue wave in recent years. And invariably, the common feature of such incidents, some of which have been deadly, is the position of the navigating bridge on the ship, being well forward and far lower than it arguably ought to be.

You might suggest that when one is designing a cruise ship, the priorities will all revolve around the passengers. The navigation bridge cannot be described as revenue earning, so it has tended to move inexorably forward, once the naval architects persuaded themselves that the old virtues of controlling a ship from a position near to the mid-length was over-indulging the ship-handlers. And you will be wanting to place extravagant lounges and even bigger picture windows above the bridge, so this cannot be elevated above the bow too much. Your computers and tank-testing provide reassurance about sea-keeping, so everyone is happy, only traditionalists complaining about the overall appearance.

But, all too often, the power of the sea is underestimated by designers, who may never have experienced its awesome and elemental strength. There is nothing new in this, as people have been blaming “rogue waves” for as long as there have been survivors from such   incidents; well before the litany of climate change was identified as a handy excuse for the frequency of such incidents. There may, or may not, be more of this extreme phenomenon, but it is a valid question to ask whether the designers, with their enthusiasm for placing the controls of a ship in a more vulnerable location, might have rather lost the plot in their sense of priorities.

It is not just cruise ships that seem to be looking for trouble in heavy weather as there is now a growing number of dry cargo ships appearing with the accommodation right forward, like a stretched supply boat. Doubtless their designers have done the sums, tested their creations on their tanks and programs, thinking triumphantly of the cargo capacity available for the given dimensions. Old-fashioned sailors, who approved when accommodation was no longer situated in the forecastle, in a more generous age, might shake their wizened heads, but what do they know?

Michael Grey is former editor of Lloyd’s List.

2. New Year message

Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organization   Arsenio Dominguez gave a New Year address following the start of his first term in the IMO’s top job.

“And it’s this time of the year when we look back in reflection and excitement of the things that we have done, the things that we could have done, and the things that we’re yet to do. Here at IMO, we have a great trajectory of successes. But of course, we can always do more. I don’t need to tell you how vital the shipping industry is for the world. And IMO has done much to support its member states, seafarers, the industry and everyone who lives on the planet.

For example, during the COVID pandemic, we supported hundreds of individual cases of seafarers, we have greatly reduced accidents on ships in comparison to the 1990s. With a global sulfur cap introduction in 2020, we greatly increase air quality, and now we have a trajectory for the decarbonization of the industry. With me as the 10th Secretary General, I welcome you to join us in an era of progression of the organization, one that leads by example and with higher values from inclusion, diversity, and transparency. I look forward to working with you for the years to come into a new and exciting era to make this maritime sector a much better one. Thank you.”

The Secretary-General announced his leadership team one week after taking up his new position. The Senior Management Committee are:

Director of Administrative Division – Azara Prempeh

Director of Maritime Safety Division – Hiroyuki Yamada

Director of Legal Affairs and External Relations Division – Dorota Lost-Sieminska

Director of Marine Environment Division – Heike Deggim

Director of Technical Cooperation Division – Jose Matheickal

Director of Conference Division – Xiaojie Zhang

Chief of Staff – Damien Chevallier

3. Maritime security

The Nautical Institute has announced that its new compendium of essential maritime security advice, guidance and insights, Maritime Security – A Practical Guide for Mariners, is now available. It covers a wide range of topics, from a detailed examination of the ISPS Code and its implications to practical advice on key topics, such as cybersecurity, crime at sea and dealing with stowaways and migrants.

The book, which updates and expands the content of three existing texts, is aimed at Masters, CSOs, SSOs and anyone else who is involved with maritime security at any level. Topics covered include threats to seafarers, ships and maritime trade; evolution of maritime security; basic shipboard security procedures; elements and implications of the ISPS Code; cybersecurity; piracy; stowaways, migrants and rescue at sea, and crimes and criminality at sea.

Author and global security expert, Steven Jones AFNI FRSA, said: “I’ve been very proud to work with The Nautical Institute for almost 20 years on the subject of maritime security. This new and expanded book brings many of the themes that we’ve covered together to try and make the subject more accessible and to provide support and guidance to anyone at sea or ashore who may need it.”

Steven Jones continued: “The book tackles many of the issues that we have previously focused on within maritime security, such as coping with piracy, stowaways at sea and migrants. It also covers other challenges faced by officers such as cybersecurity and criminality at sea, in ports and across the entire supply chain. This has made it a real focal point; a book that can be relied upon to illuminate some of those darker issues within the industry.”

Orders for Maritime Security – A Practical Guide are now being taken at

4. Hill Dickinson moves

Maritime employment experts Spinnaker represented law firm Hill Dickinson in its recent recruitment of a specialist Ship Finance team of 10 from Ince & Co.
The project was handled by Spinnaker Chairman Phil Parry, himself an ex-Ince & Co maritime lawyer.

The new hires all moved from Ince & Co Hong Kong and the move strengthens Hill Dickinson’s marine and shipping practice across the region.

This move comes as the 157-year-old law firm Ince & Co went into administration in 2023. Spinnaker’s placement of 10 new staff includes 3 senior partners, 5 fee earners and 2 support staff.

The new team complements Hill Dickinson’s existing practice in Hong Kong, led by Damien Laracy, with a focus on shipping and commercial arbitration and litigation, ship sale and purchase, insolvency and restructuring.

Hill Dickinson’s CEO Peter Jackson told us “It was a pleasure to work with Spinnaker on our recent growth in Hong Kong. The market knowledge of Phil and his team, added to their knowledge of our vision, culture and values, enabled us to make a valuable addition to our services in the region.”

5. Global risks

Drawing on nearly two decades of original risks perception data, the World Economic Forum’s Global Risks Report 2024 warns of a global risks landscape in which progress in human development is being chipped away slowly, leaving states and individuals vulnerable to new and resurgent risks. Against a backdrop of systemic shifts in global power dynamics, climate, technology and demographics, global risks are stretching the world’s adaptative capacity to its limit.

These are the findings of the Global Risks Report 2024, released recently, which argues that cooperation on urgent global issues could be in increasingly short supply, requiring new approaches to addressing risks. Two-thirds of global experts anticipate a multipolar or fragmented order to take shape over the next decade, in which middle and great powers contest and set – but also enforce – new rules and norms.

The report, produced in partnership with Zurich Insurance Group and Marsh McLennan, draws on the views of over 1,400 global risks experts, policy-makers and industry leaders surveyed in September 2023. Results highlight a predominantly negative outlook for the world in the short term that is expected to worsen over the long term. While 30% of global experts expect an elevated chance of global catastrophes in the next two years, nearly two thirds expect this in the next 10 years.

“An unstable global order characterized by polarizing narratives and insecurity, the worsening impacts of extreme weather and economic uncertainty are causing accelerating risks – including misinformation and disinformation – to propagate,” said Saadia Zahidi, Managing Director, World Economic Forum. “World leaders must come together to address short-term crises as well as lay the groundwork for a more resilient, sustainable, inclusive future.”

Concerns over a persistent cost-of-living crisis and the intertwined risks of AI-driven misinformation and disinformation, and societal polarization dominated the risks outlook for 2024. The nexus between falsified information and societal unrest will take centre stage amid elections in several major economies that are set to take place in the next two years. Interstate armed conflict is a top five concern over the next two years. With several live conflicts under way, underlying geopolitical tensions and corroding societal resilience risk are creating conflict contagion.

The coming years will be marked by persistent economic uncertainty and growing economic and technological divides. Lack of economic opportunity is ranked sixth in the next two years. Over the longer term, barriers to economic mobility could build, locking out large segments of the population from economic opportunities. Conflict-prone or climate-vulnerable countries may increasingly be isolated from investment, technologies and related job creation. In the absence of pathways to safe and secure livelihoods, individuals may be more prone to crime, militarization or radicalization

Environmental risks continue to dominate the risks landscape over all timeframes. Two-thirds of global experts are worried about extreme weather events in 2024. Extreme weather, critical change to Earth systems, biodiversity loss and ecosystem collapse, natural resource shortages and pollution represent five of the top 10 most severe risks perceived to be faced over the next decade. However, expert respondents disagreed on the urgency of risks posed – private sector respondents believe that most environmental risks will materialize over a longer timeframe than civil society or government, pointing to the growing risk of getting past a point of no return

The report calls on leaders to rethink action to address global risks. The report recommends focusing global cooperation on rapidly building guardrails for the most disruptive emerging risks, such as agreements addressing the integration of AI in conflict decision-making. However, the report also explores other types of action that need not be exclusively dependent on cross-border cooperation, such as shoring up individual and state resilience through digital literacy campaigns on misinformation and disinformation, or fostering greater research and development on climate modelling and technologies with the potential to speed up the energy transition, with both public and private sectors playing a role

Carolina Klint, Chief Commercial Officer, Europe, Marsh McLennan, said: “Artificial intelligence breakthroughs will radically disrupt the risk outlook for organizations with many struggling to react to threats arising from misinformation, disintermediation and strategic miscalculation. At the same time, companies are having to negotiate supply chains made more complex by geopolitics and climate change and cyber threats from a growing number of malicious actors. It will take a relentless focus to build resilience at organizational, country and international levels – and greater cooperation between the public and private sectors – to navigate this rapidly evolving risk landscape.

John Scott, Head of Sustainability Risk, Zurich Insurance Group, said: “The world is undergoing significant structural transformations with AI, climate change, geopolitical shifts and demographic transitions. Ninety-one per cent of risk experts surveyed express pessimism over the 10-year horizon. Known risks are intensifying and new risks are emerging – but they also provide opportunities. Collective and coordinated cross-border actions play their part, but localized strategies are critical for reducing the impact of global risks. The individual actions of citizens, countries and companies can move the needle on global risk reduction, contributing to a brighter, safer world.”

6. Freight crime supply chain

The freight crime supply chain uses all of the same components as the legitimate one, from route planning to warehousing, with stolen goods marketed and sold using legitimate platforms to unsuspecting buyers. Freight insurance provider TT Club is promoting awareness of this supply chain ‘Black hole’.

Much freight crime is perpetrated by organised crime with profit, similar to commercial businesses as the ultimate aim. The process of storage, transport, distribution and marketing of stolen goods often shadow those of legitimate supply chains with criminals acquiring sophisticated logistics skills.  Their knowledge assists them in targeting shipments at a multitude of points; from truck hijackings to pilfering items from unsecured warehouses. Needless to say such theft not only results  in significant financial losses but also disrupts the flow of goods, leading to delayed deliveries and dissatisfied customers.

“At TT we are striving to highlight the responsibility that landlords in particular have to properly vet tenants of storage facilities and how they can prevent their properties being used to warehouse stolen goods” says Josh Finch.

“In a recent operation, police in the UK discovered a warehouse, at a location in Bradford that held hundreds of pallets of stolen goods. With the assistance of the National Vehicle Crime Intelligence Service (NaVCIS) the goods found were linked to known cargo theft incidents which spanned the previous six years and  amounted to several million pounds in value,” continues Finch.

“The warehouse itself was an unassuming commercial unit, which blended seamlessly with other legitimate businesses and exemplifies the duty landlords have to ensure that the sites they own and lease are not being used by their tenants for illegal purposes.”

TT Club is endeavouring to pinpoint the warning signs, and the nature of due diligence that is essential in preventing such properties from being exploited by criminals. Such measures include:

Background checks to scrutinize the business operations, financial stability, and track record of potential tenants

Inspection of premises regularly to ensure they are being used for legitimate purposes

Monitoring tenant activity, employing modern monitoring technologies, such as security cameras and access control systems

Collaborating with law enforcement at a local level to share information and report any suspicious activity promptly

Review lease agreements to include clauses specifying the permissible uses of the property and outline the consequences for illegal activities

Engagement of professional services such as security experts with experience in identifying and preventing criminal activities

Increasing evidence from law enforcement agencies is confirming that a shadow supply chain operates alongside the legitimate transport of goods, using all of the same components from route planning to warehousing, with stolen goods marketed and sold using legitimate platforms to unsuspecting buyers.

“As TT helps operators to navigate the complex world of cargo theft and freight crime, it becomes increasingly clear that shedding light on this black hole requires a collective effort from all stakeholders in the supply chain, from law enforcement agencies to warehouse landlords. Only through such collaboration can we hope to mitigate this ongoing threat and safeguard the integrity of the supply chain,” concludes Finch.

7. Piping systems

IACS has announced the launch of a new recommendation, Rec.177, to enhance the quality of machinery piping systems in shipbuilding.

The purpose of machinery piping systems is to convey different fluids at various temperatures and pressures to all parts of the ship, including to nearly every enclosed space on a vessel.  As such, and because these systems are a means through which many of a ship’s control systems operate, it is crucial that these systems are designed to meet high quality standards in order to mitigate against the possibility of failure.

In recognition of the need for uniform quality standards to be implemented across the shipbuilding industry, IACS has developed Rec.177 which provides comprehensive guidance on shipbuilding quality standards for machinery piping systems for use during a ship’s new construction phase. This recommendation is designed to improve the quality standards of machinery piping systems in terms of fabrication, installation, commissioning and function tests as well as incorporating remedial standards to address situations where the prescribed quality standards have not been met.  Furthermore, these standards can be applied to cover repairs/modifications and piping system retrofits onboard ships in service, so ensuring a through-life approach to enhancing and maintaining the quality standards of machinery piping systems.

Rec.177 focuses primarily on machinery piping systems covered by those Classification Society rules which address critical functions such as ship propulsion, electricity generation and navigational safety. Furthermore, this recommendation builds upon, and complements, IACS current Rec.47 which sets down guidance on ship-building quality standards for the hull structure itself.

Commenting on the new Rec.177, IACS Secretary General,   Robert Ashdown said ‘The publication of Rec.177 is yet another example of IACS’ ongoing commitment to supporting the maritime industry through the development of guidelines that improve safety across all aspects of ship construction’.

8. Commodities view

With plenty of uncertainty over global growth, ING holds a cautiously optimistic view for commodities in 2024. 2023 was meant to be a year of strength for   commodities. Commodities were the best-performing asset class in 2021 and 2022, and coming into this year, it was a potential contender to be the top performer again, particularly with fears around gas supply over the 2022/23 European winter, and heightened geopolitical tensions.

However this has not been the case, with the sector down on the year. Europe had an unusually mild 2022/23 winter, which left the gas market very comfortable. Markets also underestimated the ability of trade flows to adjust to sanctions and bans related to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, while China’s reopening story has not gone as planned, with a number of weak spots in the economy, particularly the property sector. Meanwhile, central bank tightening and a stronger US dollar have provided strong headwinds to commodity markets.

The company holds a moderately supportive view on large parts of the sector for 2024. Fundamentals for most commodities range from neutral to mildly bullish. In addition, the heightened geopolitical environment will likely persist through 2024. Expectations that the US Federal Reserve will reverse policy tightening and start to cut interest rates next year, along with a weaker USD should also provide some tailwinds to commodities. However, there are clear demand risks given expectations for softer global growth next year.

Download report

9. Mental health needs

Hellenic Shipping News on January 5 quotes comments from Mental Health Support Solutions saying that seafarers are encountering growing mental health struggles as drone attacks and pirate threats escalate in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden.

Seafarers once again find themselves on the frontline of one of the world’s conflicts as they pass through the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden, with potential attacks coming by both air and sea; all on top of an escalation of the risk already posed by pirates.

Ship owners and managers should not underestimate the impact this situation can have on the mental health of seafarers according to Charles Watkins, Founder of Mental Health Support Solutions (MHSS).

“The feeling of not knowing what could happen and the uncertainty of travelling into the unknown may lead to anxiety and exhaustion, even amongst the most seasoned mariners.

“And the more seafarers hear about other ships being attacked, the more reluctant they will be to join a vessel that will be taking that route,” he warned.
Furthermore, if they are caught up in an attack, while seafarers may exhibit symptoms of trauma immediately, there is also the possibility that, having initially appeared to have dealt with their distress, there may be a delayed response that could show up months later.

“The emotions felt at the time of the ordeal such as the fear of death, extreme anxiety, helplessness, sadness, anger, a strong longing to escape the situation, and a sense of being out of control, can all lead to short- and long-term effects,” he said.

In response to this escalating crisis, MHSS is stepping forward to offer critical mental health support to vessels operating in these high-risk areas on a pro bono basis. Mr Watkins added: “These times are exceptionally demanding for seafarers who find themselves in such challenging situations, risking their lives to support their families and keep trade flowing. It’s our responsibility to stand by them, especially when they have no alternative but to navigate these hazardous waters which is why we are offering free psychological support to assist them in taking care of their mental well-being.

“When fear takes over, it’s easy to forget techniques that can bolster mental resilience. We will provide guidance on calming techniques and mental self-care routines, which can be invaluable in overcoming anxiety and unease. For those who have experienced an attack, we will be there to support them as they come to terms with their ordeal. Our aim is to help seafarers realise that their reactions are entirely normal, and there’s a personal journey of adjustment that everyone goes through at their own pace,” he stressed.

MHSS’s clinical psychologists will be available to assist and support seafarers, on a pro bono basis, who may be suffering from traumatic stress symptoms stemming from the ongoing drone attacks and pirate threats. The services are designed to help seafarers cope with the psychological toll of these traumatic events, offering them a safe space to process their experiences and emotions.

10. Contract interpretation

To celebrate the New Year, HFW have written a new London Calling pack entitled: Emojis and the Interpretation of Contracts.
This pack (co-written with leading barrister Donald Lilly) explores the likely approach taken to their interpretation.  Context is King, HFW says.
In the same pack, HFW casts an eye over the emerging world of visual contracts.  What are they and how can they help?  Those interested in obtaining further informaiton should contact Brian Perrott and Lee Forsyth at HFW.

11. Cargo contamination

P&I Club Gard is warning that  costly liquid cargo contamination can arise when the last cargo onboard was coconut oil, palm oil, or other edible oils.

Gard has handled a number of liquid cargo contamination claims arising from previous cargo residues. These claims can be significant, not only entailing loss of value to the cargo, but also the cost of lost time and other related expenses. A review of just two recent claims illustrates the need for particular caution when the last cargo was edible oils, residues of which can be more difficult to remove before loading the next cargo due to a high melting point. Cargoes with high melting points are more likely to solidify at ambient/cold temperatures if not properly cared for.


Gard has also put out a couple of insights on EU ETS which readers will find useful

EU ETS impact on EU MRV reporting
Ships of 5,000 gross tonnage and above, carrying out voyages to and/or from ports in the European Economic Area, must submit a revised and verified monitoring plan for carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions to the administering authority by 1 April 2024.

Since 1 January 2018, large ships of 5,000 gross tonnage (GT) and above loading or unloading cargo or passengers at ports in the European Economic Area (EEA) have been required to monitor and report related CO2 emissions and other relevant information to the European Commission (EC) under its Monitoring, Reporting and Verification of Maritime Transport (MRV) Regulation (2015/757). In order to ensure the effective functioning of the EU Emission Trading System (ETS) at an administrative level, the scope of the EU MRV Regulation has been amended and now includes requirements for additional greenhouse gases and emissions from additional ship types.

A consolidated version of the amended EU MRV Regulation is available on the EC website. A “questions and answers page” further guides shipping companies in understanding the application of the regulation.

EU ETS: important compliance clarifications

As of 1 January 2024, vessels over 5,000 GT operating within EU waters are subject to the EU’s Emission Trading System (ETS). A recent implementing regulation has clarified how a shipowner may transfer responsibility for compliance – but some important questions still remain.

Launched in 2005, the EU’s Emission Trading System is a “cap and trade” scheme where carbon emitters in certain sectors have to purchase allowances to cover their emissions during the relevant trading period. The number of allowances at any one time are fixed, but they generally reduce each year, so that emissions covered by the scheme gradually decrease. Allowances can be bought and sold within the scheme, depending on who has a surplus and who has higher emissions. The key features of the EU ETS’s application to shipping include:

  • Application to all vessels over 5,000 GT trading within EU waters, irrespective of flag
  • Start date of 1 January 2024
  • A phased-in implementation, with 40% of emissions covered in 2024, 70% in 2025 and 100% in 2026
  • All  emissions from voyages within EU must be completely covered by the scheme, whereas EU in-bound/out-bound voyage emissions must be covered at 50%
  • The system covers carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide
  • 30 September is the deadline for surrendering allowances for the previous calendar year – for example, 30 September 2025 is the deadline for 2024 emissions
  • Non-compliance can lead to penalties and expulsion orders

Notices and Miscellany

Nigerian Legislation

Dear Editor,

By way of an update on the Nigerian shipping sector, the Federal High Court (the court of first instance for maritime matters) has passed the Admiralty Jurisdiction Procedure Rules 2023 (the “AJPR 2023”). The AJPR 2023 embraces several innovative provisions to ensure a progressive outlook and conformity with international best practices that meet contemporary market needs. See this link for our commentaries on the new rules:

Kind regards,

ADEDOYIN AFUN, Partner, Bloomfield LP

And finally,

With thanks to Paul Dixon

Now that I’m ‘older’ but refuse to grow up, here’s what I’ve discovered:

1. I started out with nothing and I still have most of it.
2. My wild oats have turned into prunes and All Bran.
3. I finally got my head together, now my body is falling apart.
4. Funny, I don’t remember being absent minded.
5. If all is not lost, where is it?
6. It is easier to get older than it is to get wiser.
7. The only time the world beats a path to your door is when you’re in the bathroom.
8. If God wanted me to touch my toes, He’d have put them on my knees.
9. It’s not hard to meet expenses, they’re everywhere.
10 These days I spend a lot of time thinking about the hereafter… I go somewhere to get something and then… wonder what I’m hereafter
11. Now I think you’re supposed to send this to 5 or 6, or maybe 10.
12. Send it to a bunch of your friends if you can remember who they are. Then  something is supposed to happen, I think. Maybe you get your memory back. Even  worse, you may get mine.
13. Did I send this to you already?

Thanks for Reading the Maritime Advocate online

Maritime Advocate Online is a fortnightly digest of news and views on the maritime industries, with particular reference to legal issues and dispute resolution. It is published to over 20,000 individual subscribers each edition and republished within firms and organisations all over the maritime world. It is the largest publication of its kind. We estimate it goes to around 60,000 readers in over 120 countries.