The Maritime Advocate–Issue 848

Posted:

IN THIS ISSUE

1.   Productivity afloat
2.   SIRE inspections
3.   Working at height
4.   General average
5.   Carbon capture
6.    UAE developments and Nigerian arbitration
7.    Piracy protection
8.    Ammonia standard
9.    Carbon countdown
10.   Seafarer safety
11.   Welfare initiative

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


1. Productivity afloat

By Michael Grey

There is endless angst about the inability of any British company or institution to improve its productivity from one year to the next, with a variety of reasons being given, from too many staff working from home, through a lack of investment, to gross idleness. When I read these agonised entreaties, my mind always flits to the complement of hard-working seafarers on modern merchant ships and the way that their numbers have been whittled away to the skeleton staff who rattle around today in big ships.

Half a century ago it would have taken some 50 to 100 officers and seamen to man a 10,000ton cargo liner on a deep-sea schedule to the furthest reaches of the Commonwealth. Today we have a crew of under 20 running ships ten times the size, that can be four or five times more productive than their break-bulk predecessors in terms of round voyages accomplished. You might suggest that this really is a cracking example of productivity improvement, driven by design, innovation, huge investment and for those 20 souls aboard their giant ships, a lot of hard work.

But the work aboard ship is, one could observe, quite unevenly spread, with the senior officers and mainly the masters driven mad by endless and quite pointless activity that distracts them from the main job of keeping their ships safe and on schedule. I always recall a conversation some years ago with an old shipmate, who a few years short of retirement had determined that rather than being on the receiving end of all the endless communications and reporting, and soul destroying pointless regulatory nonsense, he was going to become one of those dishing it all out. He had handed in his resignation and was going to become an auditor, who would be going aboard other people’s ships and keeping them awake.

He was not without a conscience and, as a result of his decades in command, would be more kind and understanding than some of the box-tickers who had stamped up his gangway demanding instant attention. But he said, “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em”. I also recall another master who corresponded with me before his too-early death telling me of his increasingly miserable life as every last bit of support was stripped away from his role by penny-pinching managers ashore. The radio officer (who had been his confidant and secretary) disappeared, leaving him to supervise the ship’s communication system. The electrician went, as did the cadets and junior engineers.

The crew were to become “Gee-Pees”, working in both engineroom and on deck, with all threatening mutiny as the sailors hated the noise below and the greasers hated the cold. The last straw was the removal of the chief steward, which left him (the multi-tasking master) with the job of what he wrathfully described as the “menu engineer,” sorting out what they were all going to eat on the voyage. And it wasn’t quite the final straw, as the company had just told him that he would no longer have the facility (and company) of a North Sea pilot on an eight port European rotation. It is those old friends who I think about when I read about the lack of productivity and its consequences.

A few weeks ago in the Spectator magazine the advertising guru Rory Sutherland had some useful reflections about the past, when “people who did useful work were given people to work for them so they could do useful things more easily”. There were PAs capable of making their bosses several multiples more productive, drivers, assistants – a whole cadre of people who were part of a productive machinery that really worked.

Now the few useful people are bowed under with demands from the box-tickers, the compliance staff, the HR gang, the administrators, the “pen pushers” says Sutherland “who demand that they must conform to a host of metrics and proxy targets so their contribution can fit into a cell in a spreadsheet.” The output of productive staff, now a distinct minority, can only suffer, as the demands of these leeches are met.

You might say that this is a feature of modern life and we are not going to change things for the better, even as the technology which is supposed to make life easier, puts even more demands upon us.

But back to our maritime world and wouldn’t it make a lot of sense if, instead of plotting to take even more people off the ships, the role of the few genuinely overworked people (chiefly the master) could be made easier, more fulfilling and infinitely more useful. Give them some sort of assistant, to (like old ROs, pursers and chief stewards did) keep the auditors, e-mail senders, box-tickers etc etc off the master’s back. That could preface an increase in productivity which otherwise will remain elusive.

Michael Grey is former editor of Lloyd’s List


2. SIRE inspections

The Oil Companies International Marine Forum (OCIMF) has commenced ‘Phase 3’ of the transition to its digitalised Ship Inspection Report Programme (SIRE 2.0), meaning all programme users can now participate in trial SIRE 2.0 inspections.

OCIMF has been rolling out SIRE 2.0 (the digitalised and enhanced version of the widely used tanker inspection programme SIRE) in a ‘phased approach’ over the past year. Phase 3, the industry-wide ‘beta-testing’ phase of the roll-out, provides the opportunity for all vessel operators, programme recipients and submitting companies to fully familiarise with the new inspection process under SIRE 2.0.

OCIMF has notified its membership and programme users that this will be the only opportunity to participate in SIRE 2.0 inspections and identify areas for improvement before SIRE 2.0 becomes the commercial tanker inspection regime at Phase 4 and SIRE (VIQ7) is withdrawn.

Aaron Cooper, Programmes Director, OCIMF, explains: “SIRE 2.0 represents a seismic shift in the way tanker inspections will be conducted which is why we have taken a gradual approach to rolling out the new programme. Having successfully completed end-to-end trial inspections with a sample group, we’ve now reached a critical milestone; giving all programme users the opportunity to trial SIRE 2.0 inspections in Phase 3 of the roll-out.

“Programme users have been working exceptionally hard to familiarise themselves with all the resources and training materials developed to support the new inspection regime, and for that we are very grateful. This trial inspection period coupled with the anonymisation of reports allows all users to put theory into practice with no commercial implications. We strongly encourage all programme users to participate.”

SIRE 2.0 inspections will be conducted in digital format, in real-time, with inspectors completing a Compiled Vessel Inspection Questionnaire (CVIQ) using a tablet device. The move to a digital solution means that every tanker inspection will be bespoke, with questions drawn from the ‘SIRE 2.0 Question Library’ using an algorithm to select questions based on the type of vessel, its outfitting and operational history to create a one-time Compiled Vessel Inspection Questionnaire (CVIQ).

As the CVIQ generated will be bespoke and specific for each inspection for each individual vessel, users of SIRE 2.0 should be prepared to respond to all questions within the SIRE 2.0 Question Library applicable to a particular vessel. Every question will require the inspector to give a response in relation to Hardware, Processes and Human Factors, and observations can be supported with photographs, where allowed.
OCIMF advises industry to use all the documentation and training resources made available on the OCIMF website to ensure that personnel at sea and onshore are fully prepared for SIRE 2.0 inspections.


 

3. Working at height

Falling from height is a leading cause of workplace fatalities and injuries.  International freight transport and cargo handling insurance specialist TT Club is warning of this danger in the transport, port and logistics industries, environments in which, unfortunately elevated working locations are often unavoidable.

Continuing with its series of TT Briefs aimed at simplifying complex risk issues by providing easily digestible information and guidance, TT has published its latest Brief, ‘Understand and mitigate the risks of working at height.’ In such working environments that are common throughout the supply chain, prioritising safety is of the utmost importance to prevent accidents and injuries. In this Brief TT looks at the steps that should be taken to reduce such risk, ensure the safety of the workforce when working at height, avoid exposure to injury claims and safety prosecutions, and reputational damage.

TT’s Managing Director, Loss Prevention Mike Yarwood pinpoints the relevance of the latest Brief, “Globally, there is no consistent regulation that outlines at which height a worker is considered to be at risk of serious injury should they fall. Therefore, simply complying with regulated safety provisions may not be enough to protect a workforce from potentially fatal accidents. Our advice therefore is a considered guideline on the minimum measures that employers, be they warehouse, port or terminal operators, road hauliers or other carriers, should put in place.”Recognising the range of operational conditions across the transport and logistics industry, the advice raises a number of points to consider relating to infrastructure design and improved working practices.

Safe stowage of cargo at various points in the supply chain is also discussed, as is the use of technology such as drones to carry out inspections or stocktaking, and deployment of fall prevention platforms.  Not least, training programmes and the encouragement of a strong safety culture should be in place throughout any operation.

Yarwood concludes, “When promoting best practices in working environments that have similar physical characteristics but are spread throughout the world, we believe effective communication is paramount. TT is always concerned with delivering relevant insight, based on the experiences of its insured, to best assist operators in avoiding situations of maximum risk. ‘Understand and mitigate the risks of working at height’ represents that commitment to safety that TT has at its core.

TT brief: working at height (ttclub.com)


 

4. General average

Hill Dickinson has produced a recent opinion piece on a Supreme Court judgment where cargo interests were found liable for general average contributions arising out of a piracy incident.

This general average dispute arose out of a piracy incident in the Gulf of Aden in October 2010, whereby the vessel was not released for ten months and only after a ransom was paid. The following issues arose: (i) whether the additional war risks and Gulf of Aden clauses in the voyage charterparty were incorporated into the bills of lading and, if so; (ii) whether their effect was to exclude the bill of lading holder’s liability for cargo’s contribution in general average in case of piracy risk.

The Supreme Court has found that there was no agreement, whether in the charterparty or bills of lading, precluding the Owner’s right to claim the general average (GA) contribution from cargo interests.

While the context was piracy risks in the Gulf of Aden, which risk has reduced significantly in recent years, this decision is a significant one for those affected by and advising on war risks and other contract of carriage issues arising out of the Red Sea attacks on commercial shipping, as well as the Russia/Ukraine war.

Legal impact of Red Sea attacks

Recent and ongoing attacks by Houthi rebels in Yemen on commercial vessels transiting the Red Sea in response to the situation in Gaza have resulted in UK and US forces launching air strikes on the rebels. This is one of the world’s busiest shipping routes, because any vessel transiting through the Suez Canal to or from the Indian Ocean must pass via the strait of Bab al-Mandab and the Red Sea. The Suez Canal is the shortest and the fastest sea route between Asia and Europe, as Hill Dickinson explains in a second opinion piece.

However, the escalating and increasingly dangerous situation has led shipowners to avoid the area, diverting their vessels by the longer Cape of Good Hope route. It has been estimated that the alternative shipping route avoiding the Red Sea could take an additional 14-25 days approximately (for example an additional 24 days for a cargo going from the Black Sea to the ports in the Indian Ocean).

The situation is rapidly evolving from one where the original stated intention was to disrupt shipping linked to Israeli interests, and has recently widened to include targeting UK and US interests. There is little guarantee that the disruption will continue to focus only on disrupting those interests, and there is no certainty whether a vessel, crew or cargo may be targeted.

The Red Sea attacks have serious political and commercial considerations. The press has repeatedly reported on the disruption to global supply chains and the impact on consumers. There are also a number of legal implications for the shipping industry, some of which are highlighted in the article  including deviation, frustration, force majeure and the effect of War Risks clauses.

For further information on both viewpoint pieces see the Hill Dickinson website.


5. Carbon capture

Carbon capture and storage (CCS) is a long-established technology but its profile has grown as a potentially significant solution to achieve rapid decarbonisation. In an opinion piece by Gard, the P&I Club asks what  the associated risks and opportunities for the shipping industry are.

Traditionally, CCS has most often been used for the enhanced recovery of oil from depleted reservoirs. More recently, its profile has grown as a necessary solution to decarbonise hard-to-abate industries such as energy, cement and steel production. Shipping can be added to this, as onboard carbon capture is likely to be required as alternative zero emission fuels are unlikely to be available in the necessary quantities and prices to achieve the IMO’s 2050 and interim targets. That captured CO2 will need transporting from the capture site – whether this is an industrial installation or onboard a vessel – to the injection site, where it will be permanently stored in a subterranean or subsea geological formation.

It is estimated that global CCS capacity must increase 120 times from current levels by 2050, rising to at least 4.2 gigatonnes per annum, for countries to achieve their net-zero commitments. Whilst pipelines will generally offer a more cost-efficient option where there is sufficient scale and regularity of supply of CO2, carriage by sea is more appropriate for longer distance transport (over approximately 350km), flexibility of quantity, source and injection locations. Estimates of global offshore storage capacity range from 2,000 to 13,000 gigatonnes of CO2. Regions such as Korea, Japan and the North Sea, which have subsea storage locations and coastal-based emissions, are likely to be suitable for seaborne carriage of CO2. If onboard carbon capture is widely adopted, this will require carriage by sea from temporary port-based to permanent storage locations.

One of the leading CCS schemes is the Norwegian government-sponsored Longship project. This includes capturing CO2 from industrial sources in the Oslo-fjord region (from cement, chemicals and energy) and shipping liquid CO2 from these industrial capture sites to an onshore terminal. From there, the CO2 will be transported by pipeline to an offshore subsea storage location in the North Sea. It has recently signed contracts to receive about 1.2 million tonnes CO2 annually from the Netherlands (Yara Sluiskil) and Denmark (Orsted power stations). Northern Lights is responsible for developing and operating the CO2 transport and storage facilities for the project. Phase one is due to be operational in 2024 with an annual storage capacity of up to 1.5 million tonnes of CO2.

For the full story see the Gard website.


6.   UAE   

With new maritime legislation coming into force shortly in the UAE, law firm HFW has been considering the significant changes to come.

The much anticipated Federal Decree-Law No. 43 of 2023 on the Maritime Law (the “New Maritime Law”) was issued on 28 September 2023 and is due to enter force on 29 March 2024, thereby repealing and bringing about a broad number of deviations from the current Federal Law No. 26 of 1981 (the “Old Law”).

HFW says of particular interest to P&I Clubs and their members should be the changes concerning vessel arrest and most importantly, the acceptance of P&I Club LOUs as an adequate form of security for releasing vessels from arrest whilst in UAE waters.

Whereas the definition of “guarantee or other security” within article 118 of the Old Law has been deemed sufficiently vague to result in the local Courts historically rejecting requests for Club LOUs to trigger the release of vessels under arrest, article 57(3) of the New Maritime Law is much clearer and expressly states that (our emphasis added): “Letters of guarantee issued by protection and compensation clubs or by financial institutions that are accepted by the competent court are considered a reason for lifting the provisional seizure in accordance with the provisions of Clause (2) of this article. The Implementing Regulation specifies the provisions for accepting letters of guarantee.”

This is indeed a positive development and, in theory, brings the local framework into line with international standards. Whereas Clubs and Owners were often forced to deal with the impracticalities and costs of obtaining Bank Guarantees, or putting up cash security where timeframes demanded an even swifter response, this welcome change should streamline the process for releasing target vessels and reduce the financial risk of delays often associated with the arrests. It is also important to note that unpaid insurance premiums are now considered as a “maritime debt” claim for the purpose of supporting an arrest under article 53(q) of the New Maritime Law. However, in circumstances where a vessel is arrested for such debts, or in the case of unpaid “commissions, brokerage or agency expenses” (in accordance with article 53(r)), then a Club LOU shall not be deemed as adequate security for the arrest to be lifted (article 57(2)). The “Implementing Regulation” referred to in sub-paragraph 3 of Article 57 is expected to be released soon and should provide greater clarity on the form of the LOUs and other guarantees that will be acceptable to the local Courts.

Nigerian arbitration

In a further article, HFW considers the lessons to be learned from the case of Nigeria v P+ID . As the law firm explains, This was a quite extraordinary matter in which an offshore, “briefcase” investor (P&ID) took advantage of corrupt government officials in Nigeria to obtain a 20- year concession in respect of a gas project on very favourable terms. When Nigeria defaulted under the concession agreement the investor commenced an international arbitration claim and was ultimately awarded USD 6 billion plus interest by a distinguished majority comprising Lord Hoffman and Sir Anthony Evans.

Steps were then taken by P&ID to enforce the arbitration award via the English Commercial Court. There followed a series of applications for disclosure by Nigeria, in various jurisdictions around the world. [Case commentary – The Federal Republic of Nigeria v Process & Industrial Development Limited [2023] EWHC 2638 (Comm)] .

The documents and information that were obtained ultimately culminated in Nigeria’s successful challenge to the arbitration award in the English Commercial Court pursuant to section 68 of the Arbitration Act 1996 (s68AA96) (on the grounds of a serious irregularity). The judge, Mr Justice Knowles, found that the arbitration award had been obtained by fraud and the way in which it had been obtained was contrary to public policy.

For the full story see the HFW website.


7.  Piracy protection

West P&I Club has recently launched West Piracy Protection to help owners manage the evolving threat of piracy in high-risk waters.

The new product provides cover for vessels entering a War & Piracy ‘breach’ area, such as the Gulf of Aden or the Gulf of Guinea, where there is a heightened risk of vessels being seized.

This innovative offering is tailored to provide insurance protection for piracy events where the traditional War policy coverage does not respond adequately to indemnify clients for the typical seizure situations that can take place in these geographic areas. This includes incidents when ships are sometimes held for just a few hours at a time.

Indemnities are provided for ransoms, including loss of transit of a ransom, and the costs of response consultants and legal experts, including reputational risk expenses. Expert support is provided for employees directly impacted by the seizure. Additional coverage is available for Loss of Hire related to a seizure, and for a maximum period of 14 days after release of the vessel.

This product has been developed in partnership with the Hamilton Global Specialty (“Hamilton”) underwriting platform written by Syndicate 4000 at Lloyd’s. Embedded emergency expertise is provided by Crisis24, one of the industry’s largest exclusively retained crisis response teams, and global law firm HFW, a market leader in the specialist field of piracy response.

Richard Turner, Head of Product Development at West said: “West Piracy Protection responds to the realities of the evolving piracy threat faced by owners in such locations as the Gulf of Aden and the Gulf of Guinea. We have seen a pattern of incidents where a vessel is hijacked for just a few hours, meaning that current market wording on Loss of Hire may not be triggered, or ceases as soon as the vessel is released, with little regard for the knock-on consequences, which may include crew changes or vessel repairs.

“Our new product will stand out from the market, not just for the extended coverage but also the embedded expertise we can offer with Crisis24 and HFW. Through this new offering, we look forward to providing West Members and other shipowners with the support to manage the ever-present threat of piracy.”

Mark Mathews, Deputy Head of Underwriting (London) added: “We are excited to launch West Piracy Protection. We have worked closely with Hamilton to develop an innovative product that addresses a number of identified needs in the market where existing cover falls short. This new product enables West to offer a tailored piracy protection solution alongside our existing West War policy (launched in March 2023).”

Ship owners and operators can purchase West Piracy Protection as an extension to the West War policy, or as a product on a standalone basis. It is also available to non-West clients.

West Piracy Protection joins other specialist products offered by West, including West Hull (H&M) and West War, both launched by West in 2023. West also provides other diversified products, delivered with expert partners such as Nordic Marine Insurance, Qwest and Astaara, ensuring Club Members are fully supported at every stage of their voyage.


8.  Ammonia standard

The International Association of Classification Societies (IACS) has recently adopted a  New Unified Requirement (URH1) on Control of Ammonia Releases on Ammonia Fuelled Vessels.

As the maritime industry forges ahead with its efforts to meet the goal of net zero emissions by 2050, IACS continues to provide strong support by facilitating the safe adoption of the technological innovations, zero carbon fuels and alternative energy sources that are fundamental to achieving this ambitious target.

In recent years, ammonia has emerged as one of a number of promising carbon-free fuels due to its high energy density and its ability to be liquefied at ambient temperatures. While ammonia therefore has a significant potential as a marine fuel it also presents safety challenges as it is highly toxic to human and aquatic life and it is therefore imperative to address the permissible limits to human exposure in ensuring the safety of onboard personnel.

In light of this and with the aim of guiding the industry in its development of early projects using ammonia as fuel, IACS has developed a Unified Requirement (URH1) covering the release of ammonia from the onboard systems for bunkering, storing, preparing and using ammonia as fuel.

IACS URH1 aligns with the Recommendations from U.S. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and establishes that an Ammonia concentration of 300 ppm or more is immediately dangerous, and a concentration of 25 ppm or more is dangerous if the exposure is longer than 8 hours. Additionally, it requires the system dealing with ammonia to be designed so as to prevent a direct release of ammonia to the atmosphere during normal operations and also, when possible, during any reasonably foreseeable abnormal scenario.

In situations where a direct release is unavoidable under either a normal or abnormal scenario (such as the activation of a tank pressure relief valve), the points where ammonia is expected to be released are required to be identified by the designer in a risk assessment and to be listed in the ship design documentation. The concentration resulting from such releases must not exceed a safe concentration (25 ppm) at locations of the ship accessible to the crew and this is to be demonstrated through gas dispersion analysis.  This requirement is expected to result in the establishment of “toxic areas” (similar to hazardous areas on tankers) with access restrictions and other precautions, such as the absence of air intakes in that area.

URH1 further requires the point at which ammonia is released to the atmosphere, (e.g. outlet of vent mast) to be provided with audible and visual alarms, which are to be activated when the discharged gas has an ammonia concentration of 300 ppm or more, to warn people to promptly leave the area and seek refuge.

Gas dispersion analyses are required to be carried out for abnormal and emergency scenarios identified by way of a risk assessment. Depending on the results of these analyses, measures will have to be taken to prevent the crew onboard from being exposed to dangerous concentrations of ammonia. The spaces where all reasonably foreseeable ammonia leaks may occur (e.g. secondary enclosure, fuel preparation room), even if not normally manned, are to be monitored and the source of the release should be shut down when a concentration exceeding 300 ppm is detected.

In other work relating to the use of ammonia as a fuel, IACS is also working on requirements for ammonia treatment systems (equipment intended to reduce the concentration and/or quantity of released ammonia), and Requirements for Gas dispersion analysis.

Other safe decarbonisation-related work underway in IACS includes developing requirements for the selection and testing of materials and equipment, including portable tanks, for the use of hydrogen as fuel, and requirements on electrical energy storage systems, including a Type Approval standard for Lithium-based batteries.

Commenting on the publication of URH1, IACS Secretary General, Robert Ashdown said “URH1 on the control of ammonia releases on ammonia fueled vessels is a first, but significant, step in providing industry with enhanced levels of assurance for this new fuel type and will be supplemented with further complementary guidance in due course.  This work, together with the other work-streams underway within our Safe Decarbonisation Panel, demonstrates IACS’ strong commitment to ensuring that safety remains at the forefront of the maritime industry’s efforts to meet its decarbonisation targets.”


9. Carbon countdown

SEA-LNG has produced an overview of the current position regarding the use of LNG in decarbonisation. This resource outlines the progress anticipated in 2024. The document includes data, infographics and facts about the LNG pathway.

SEA-LNG says the reality of the magnitude of the decarbonisation challenge has started to hit home for many in the maritime industry during the past year. From 1 Jan 2024, there were only 312 months – 1,356 weeks or 9,497 days – until 2050, when shipping must achieve its net-zero target. Regulations such as the IMO’s CII (effective from 2023), the inclusion of shipping into EU ETS (2024) and FuelEU Maritime (2025) are putting immediate and growing pressure and added costs on ship owners and operators in relation to their GHG emissions. How to meet these goals with practical, realistic and safe solutions in 312 short months is a dilemma the industry must address in a concerted and coordinated manner, the organisation says.

A View from the Bridge 2023-2024 will   shine a light on some of the grey areas from alternative fuel discussions in 2023 and important considerations for 2024.

There is a growing awareness of the fact that all the alternative fuels being discussed today share the same generic pathway: from fossil to bio-derived fuels, (or blue fuels using carbon capture and storage) and eventually to electro-fuels produced from renewable electricity. There is also a recognition that all these fuels are currently fossil, also known as grey.

The use of grey methanol, grey ammonia and grey hydrogen as marine fuels will generate more GHG emissions than the traditional marine fuels they are looking to replace. This means they are not viable solutions for decarbonisation even in the short term. By contrast, grey LNG offers an immediate reduction in GHG emissions of up to 23%, after accounting for methane slip, for the two-stroke engines which are fitted to the vessels that move most of the world’s shipping tonnage.

Consequently, the methanol, ammonia and hydrogen used by shipping will need to be green, or at least a blend with large volumes of green fuels, simply to achieve parity with VLSFO (Very Low Sulphur Fuel Oil) and comply with regulations such as FuelEU Maritime.

With scaling green fuel supply a clear barrier to decarbonisation, we must make efficient use of scarce resources. With practicality in mind, we must also recognise that fuel availability is linked to the scale of supply infrastructure. Acknowledging these truths, it is clear the LNG pathway from LNG to bio-LNG to e-LNG represents the practical and realistic pathway to net-zero shipping emissions.


10. Seafarer safety

Seafarer safety is paramount in the context of the Red Sea and attacks on international shipping. During a meeting with shipping industry representatives on January 18, IMO Secretary-General Arsenio Dominguez reiterated the message that seafarers are innocent victims in the volatile Red Sea situation.

Secondly, freedom of navigation must be upheld, to guarantee global trade and the flow of goods by sea. Further, there must be caution and restraint to avoid further escalation of the situation in the Red Sea and broader area, Dominguez said, referencing the  UN Security Council Resolution 2722 (2024) on the Red Sea.

Shipping industry representatives emphasized that the safety of crew is paramount. The meeting provided the opportunity to exchange views and look ahead to the steps that the International Marime Organization (IMO) can take, including sharing information and potential future discussions during the next scheduled Maritime Safety Committee (MSC 108, 15-24 May 2024).

The meeting was attended by representatives of: International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), BIMCO, Oil Companies International Marine Forum (OCIMF), Association of Independent Tanker Owners (INTERTANKO), International Association of Dry Cargo Shipowners (INTERCARGO), Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) and World Shipping Council (WSC).

Earlier in the week (16 January) Secretary-General Dominguez had a productive meeting with representatives of the Member States of the Djibouti Code of Conduct to discuss the situation in the Red Sea, focusing on the need to enhance the maritime security capabilities of the countries in the region. The key areas of safety of seafarers, freedom of navigation and de-escalation were reiterated by countries in the region.


11.  Welfare initiative

The Seafarer Hospital Society’s maritime key performance indicator (KPI) toolkit will be unveiled at its upcoming conference focused on changing regulations, training and upskilling, recruitment and retention, DEI and ESG, and health and welfare for maritime workers.

Seafarers Hospital Society is addressing maritime’s goals of embedding greater resilience, collaboration and sustainability across the supply chain by bringing together industry leaders, experienced healthcare providers, HR and crew management specialists, and young cadets at an in-person conference. Entitled ‘Sustainability at Sea: Why Seafarers’ Health Matters,’ the event will take place on 16 February 2024 at London’s Trinity House, and launch SHS’ KPI toolkit  to help organisations track regulatory compliance and year-on-year impact on seafarer health and welfare.

The event will feature an opening address by Nusrat Ghani, UK Minister of State for Industry and Economic Security, in addition to a presentation on key findings from the recent research report into seafarer rosters and fatigue by the UK Department for Transport.

Sandra Welch, CEO of the Seafarers Hospital Society, said “The maritime industry is increasingly turning to benchmarking and data-led solutions to demonstrate value and progress to a wide variety of stakeholders — and crew capacity and resilience underpins these endeavours and our wider global supply chains. Benchmarking the health and welfare of maritime workers will ensure that our industry is tracking its successes, proving value and identifying gaps so that these can be addressed. In addition to benefiting organisations and their workers, collecting this data will increase transparency, clearer communication and greater collaboration between stakeholders.”

With panels offering a mix of high-level oversight of industry issues and practical methods to support the health and welfare of maritime workers, discussions at the Sustainability at Sea event will consider key issues for the sector. These include what the future of the maritime workforce looks like, ongoing challenges and opportunities when developing new recruitment hubs, creating and implementing good workplace policies and company cultures, supporting the physical and mental health of maritime workers, and best practices when it comes to advancing maritime worker careers.

Speakers sharing their insights will include representatives from the International Maritime Organisation, The International Chamber of Shipping, the UK Chamber of Shipping, Nautilus International, InterManager, HFW, Inmarsat, Ocean Technologies Group, The Nautical Institute, TogetherAll, and more.
The event is free to attend and open to the press and members of the maritime industry. Find more information on the programme on the SHS website and register to secure a place here.


 


Notices & Miscellany

Maritime transition summit
The Maritime Energy Transition Summit is due to take place on February 8.  On the agenda will be:

  • Market Drivers – Cargo owner driving the energy transition
  • Regulatory updates – Regulations the driver for change and innovation?
  • Pathways to decarbonization in a decisive decade
  • Fuel availability – Marine fuels that can decarbonize international shipping
  • Managing todays fleet in the wake of changing circumstances – The role of technology and fuels
  • Wind Assisted Propulsion
  • Technical transparency for effective decarbonization measures
  • Safe decarbonization – The human element
  • Breakout sessions for deep dives on selected services

REGISTER NOW to secure your place.

Meet the arbitrators

The LSLC and the LMAA invite the younger generation of maritime practitioners to meet LMAA arbitrators for a discussion of issues encountered in the practice of arbitration. The event will take place in London on Feburary 16 at 1800 hrs.

 

REGISTER NOW.

Specific Issues for discussion:

  • The role of the LMAA – common misconceptions
  • When do the LMAA Terms apply
  • Approaches to disclosure and issues of specific disclosure
  • Use of expedited procedures
  • Approaches to the LMAA Questionnaires and time tabling
  • Conduct: what do arbitrators find helpful or unhelpful
  • How to improve submissions/who signs submissions
  • Powers of arbitrators/ interim relief
  • How to become an arbitrator

REGISTER TO ATTEND

 

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)

A distraught man went to a psychiatrist and exclaimed, “Doctor, I believe that I am possessed by an evil spirit.”

After talking to the patient at some length, the psychiatrist said, “You do appear to have a problem. I’d like to see you again next Wednesday.”

After a second session of psychotherapy, the psychiatrist pronounced his patient completely cured.

For the next nine months, the psychiatrist sent the man a monthly statement for his professional services, but the man wouldn’t pay and refused to acknowledge the debt.

Finally, the psychiatrist took the man to court and had him repossessed.


Thanks for Reading the Maritime Advocate online

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