The Maritime Advocate–Issue 851

Posted:

1.   Leading with kindness
2.   Remoteness
3.   Making your mind up
4.    Public private partnership
5.    Seafarer support
6.    Emissions regulation
7.    Car carrier dangers
8.    Performance monitoring
9.    Opportunity green
10.  ECSA priorities
11.  BIFA case
12.  Collision ruling
13.  LMAA results
14. Tanker transparency
15. Cadet report
16. Tackling bullying

Notices & Miscellany

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


1. Leading with kindness

You would not think that in these enlightened times that you need to suggest that people who are treated better, deliver better, or that kindness and consideration can be a motivator for greater productivity. But, there again, we have seen the emergence of what might be termed the Sir Alan Sugar “kick ass” school of management, where aggression is regarded as an important asset and fear a useful catalyst for the promotion of profitability.

A few years ago, at some grand shipping dinner, my wife, a small and forthright New Zealand lady, found herself sitting next to the CEO of a large shipping company, who spent some time explaining his philosophy of management to her; which largely consisted of instilling terror 24/7 into those afloat, along with the shivering wretches who worked in his head office. Eventually her composure cracked and she gave him a salutary piece of her mind, suggesting that he might find that people would work more happily and productively for the company, if he was rather kinder and less of a b…….. He was not, she thought, the sort of person who would respond positively to such advice, but as she reported, it happily spoiled the enjoyment of his pudding and petit fours.

I thought of this encounter reading about a report from The Marine Professional Council of the UK on what they have identified as “Kind Leadership” and recommend as a key to improved productivity, the transformation of safety culture and an improvement of health and well-being in those who are exposed to it. It is well worth reading for its thought-provoking messages, redolent in common sense, as it discusses the whole basis of leadership training for the next generation, who frankly are put off by blame culture, authoritarian, top-down aggressive management, bullying and will only stay around until they can find something better.

Indeed, the recommendations of this report, which involved extensive interviews, research and a survey, suggest that Kind Leadership strategies are incorporated into the cadet curriculum, implanted in employers and shipping companies in their mentoring practices and used to improve teaching practice. It is timely because both the Merchant Navy Training Board and Maritime & Coastguard Agency have issued revised guidance for Human Element, Management and Leadership (HELM) training.

There are still people who strongly believe that leadership is something that is innate (the “leaders are born, not made” school), but this is hopefully dying out in the face of more enlightened ideas of leadership training. While the armed forces are very good at their development of leaders, the shipping industry has not historically offered anything other than what might be described as training by example, which can range from appalling, authoritarian and relentlessly hierarchical, down to very good, (if the recipient is very lucky with senior officers and a well-run management). The report recognises that leadership is something that is demonstrated by behaviour, skills, and mindsets.

It emphasises the qualities of the kind leader, as somebody who is people-centred, accountable, a role model, a good communicator; encouraging dialogue and establishing clear chains of command, while being caring and respectful of team members. It makes something of a distinction between the day-to-day routine leadership requirements and what might be needed to respond to a crisis of any kind, with the best leader able to effortlessly segue between the varying demands. It suggests that the ideal leader will create harmony and understanding, especially in the sort of multi-cultural/national situations that will be familiar in today’s environment.

All of which is sound common sense to anyone with an average intelligence and sensitivity, but how do you produce an atmosphere of kindliness and positive leadership in an environment of over-pressure, under-manning, remote management, casual employment, with shore and sea thinking, if not saying, unkind things about each other, with the charterer, port authority, regulators etc relentlessly following their “me first” philosophy. It probably makes things harder, when there is the facility of easy global communication with little attention paid to time-zones. As mobile telephony proves daily, it is a lot easier to be remotely unpleasant, than in a face-to-face encounter. There is, it is sadly suggested, no room for kindness in a pressurised, under-resourced existence. 

The responses from those surveyed by the authors are frank and realistic, incorporating a somewhat bleak picture of existing training in leadership. It is described as “patchy, poorly taught and insufficiently reinforced at important career stages.” Somebody says that what training there is currently available, is insufficient and ought to be more “immersive.” Sadly, one comment refers to a belief that company policy, culture aboard, commercial pressure and politics undermine the best leaders and it would not be difficult to find some measure of agreement for such a view.

 It is sensibly pointed out that training courses alone are not enough and there is a need to apply what has been learned. A certain cynicism is detected about company leadership programmes, and there is the suggestion that kind leadership will work only when it is ingrained in both the ship and the shore as a team. It is pointed out that blueprints from other industries may not transfer to the maritime world. There is clearly, to sum up, room for improvement, although the survey demonstrates an overwhelming support in favour of this fundamentally common-sense perspective of leadership. 

It is well worth reading this report, which ought to make everyone, whether a current or future leader, think, which one supposes is one of its initial aims. It is not “woke” to think about the way people are treated, how a new generation is not turned out of our industry in disgust, and not least the conviction of the authors that Kind Leadership can pay for itself in so many different ways, from hard cash to the quality of working life in general. Its adoption would surely represent a culture change for the better.

Kind Leadership – a report for the Marine Professional Council of the UK. Interviews, research, survey and compilation carried out by Professor Carole Davis, Captain John Wright, Steve Cameron and the Nautical Institute. It can be accessed on https://www.mpc-uk.org/a-kinder-way-to-lead-at-sea/

Michael Grey is former editor of Lloyd’s List.


2. Remoteness

The UK Supreme Court considered remoteness in a recent case involving Royal & Sun Alliance, Tatham & Co reports in an online insight.

One of the longstanding traditions of English Law is that many of the legal decisions issued by the highest Court in the land involve very important legal principles, but very small amounts of money.

The Supreme Court will rule on important decisions which help develop our law, even if there is not much at stake in the case in question. However, the ramifications of a decision on a small amount of money can have very wide-ranging impacts.

The decision in Armstead v Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance Company Ltd [2024] UKSC 6, handed down on 14 February 2024, is one such case. As the Supreme Court stated, the case “raises some fundamental questions in applying the tort of negligence in a situation where economic loss, comprising a contractual liability to pay a sum of money, has resulted from physical damage to property”.

For the full story see:

https://tathamlaw.com/case-studies/the-uk-supreme-court-considers-remoteness-in-armstead-v-royal-sun-alliance-insurance-company-ltd-2024-uksc-6


3. Making your mind up

Global shipping regulators will soon have to decide whether and how to penalise the use of fossil fuel and whether and how to incentivise the use of greener fuel. Drewry provides a short analysis and comparison of policy discussions, including their possible shortfalls.

In July 2023, the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) set new decarbonisation targets and announced an aspiration that 5 to 10% of marine fuel would be low- or zero-greenhouse gas (GHG) by 2030.
 
At that time, Drewry and other industry stakeholders noted that the huge question of how to bridge the cost gap and level the playing field between conventional fossil fuel and new, more expensive greener fuel, has not yet been addressed by the IMO.
 
Green marine fuel currently costs 3 to 4 times conventional marine fossil fuel like Very Low Sulphur Fuel Oil, for the same energy. It is hard to ignore this huge economic disincentive.
 
The IMO is now expected to discuss in MEPC  81 in March “mid-term measure(s) including an economic element, namely a maritime GHG emissions pricing mechanism, for adoption by 2025 and entry into force by 2027.”

For the full story see https://www.drewry.co.uk/logistics-executive-briefing-article-browser/imo-ponders-new-ghg-policies-while-shipping-sector-awaits-low-carbon-economic-incentive


4. Public private partnership

Professional services firm Marsh McLennan, together with the Ukrainian government and Lloyd’s, recently announced a major expansion of its Unity insurance facility. Unity now provides affordable war risk insurance for ships carrying all non-military cargo – such as iron ore, steel, and containerised shipping – and underpins Ukraine’s wider maritime export ecosystem.

Launched in November 2023 to provide affordable war risk insurance for grain shipments and other critical food supplies globally, Unity offers hull and separate protection & indemnity (P&I) war risk insurance at significantly reduced premiums compared to standard market pricing. In addition to grain, Unity now provides cover for Ukraine’s other leading export industries including iron ore, steel, electrical equipment, and animal fodder.

Standby letters of credit created by the state-owned Ukrainian banks Ukreximbank and Ukrgasbank, each confirmed by DZ Bank, will continue to provide a first loss compensation fund to shipowners and charterers which is supported by the Government of Ukraine.

Underwritten by insurers based at Lloyd’s and other London-based insurers, and led by Ascot, Unity provides up to US$50 million in hull and P&I war risk insurance. Unity is available to clients of all Lloyd’s registered brokers, to provide added support to ongoing humanitarian efforts and alleviate continued pressure on supply chains and global food security.

John Doyle, President and CEO at Marsh McLennan, commented: “Marsh McLennan is dedicated in our support of Ukraine – helping it attract global investment to rebuild the country, and recover from the devastating impact of war on its people and economy. We’re pleased to expand this public-private partnership with the Ukrainian government. It will provide exporters with lower premiums to ship a wider range of goods through its Black Sea trade routes and deliver major economic benefits to Ukraine.”

Yulia Svyrydenko, First Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine and Minister of Economy, said: “Expanding insurance to cover ships carrying all non-military cargo is extremely important for Ukraine, especially in terms of exporting metallurgical products, as the full-scale invasion has heavily affected this sector. In 2023, compared to 2021, steel production decreased by 3.4 times, and exports of metallurgical products decreased several times.

“Insuring vessels backs our efforts to increase the volume of all non-raw material product exports, in particular iron ore and steel. Strengthening the processing industry and developing non-raw material exports are priorities for the government to enhance our country’s economic resilience.”

John Neal, Lloyd’s CEO, added: “Since the invasion of Ukraine, Lloyd’s has partnered with the United Nations, governments, regulators and insurers to keep economies and supply chains moving in spite of difficult circumstances. New partnerships between the public and private sector, including the expansion of the Marsh Unity facility, are the hallmark of the Lloyd’s market, bringing insurance experts and policymakers together to solve complex risks.”


5.  Seafarer support

The vital role of seafarer welfare services in the United Arab Emirates and the importance of women in the maritime industry were celebrated by The Princess Royal, the President of The Mission to Seafarers, on her visit to Dubai.  

She took part in a number of engagements during her visit, which began with a tour of DP World’s Jebel Ali Port. This was followed by a conference on seafarer welfare, jointly hosted by The Mission to Seafarers, DP World and WISTA UAE, in conjunction with Stephenson Harwood. 

At Jebel Ali Port, the Princess was given a tour of Box Bay, an innovative solution for handling containers. Technological solutions such as Box Bay will play an important role improving safety, speed, and energy efficiency in the movement of containers.

The Princess joined a conference on Women in Shipping and Seafarers’ Welfare, held at the DP World Expo Centre. The event featured two panels, the first on seafarer wellbeing and increasing female participation in shipping, and the second on attracting and retaining the next generation of female seafarers.

She delivered a speech to delegates, where she highlighted the contribution that women can make in tackling the global crew shortage and the importance of ensuring that women in shipping are listened to and supported. The Princess also met with WISTA UAE Ambassadors, including Rania Tadros, President of WISTA UAE and Managing Partner of Stephenson Harwood in Dubai, as well as other members of the MtS Welfare team in Dubai.

Speaking after the event, Andrew Wright, Secretary-General of The Mission to Seafarers, said:

“Today’s visit by our President, Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal, has shone a deserved spotlight on the longstanding service of The Mission To Seafarers in the UAE. We have had a presence here since 1962 where our work included ‘the Flying Angel’, the first floating seafarers’ centre which operated in the Fujairah Anchorage, and for many years we were known as the Angel Appeal. Today, our welfare team visit ships in all major ports across the country, and we are deeply grateful to Her Royal Highness for recognising the crucial work that our team delivers every day.”

“Significant advances have been made in seafarer welfare in the UAE and we are grateful to everyone that has played a part in this, from our volunteers and supporters to the government and maritime authorities. The UAE is a globally important shipping hub, and we are optimistic that we can move forward together, deepening our cooperation, delivering world-leading welfare services for all seafarers, and strengthening the spirit of partnership between the UAE and the UK.”

DP World Group Chairman and CEO, Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem said: “ Since it was established in 1962 in the UAE, the Jebel Ali International Seafarers Centre has been at the heart of our port and continues to serve seafarers with the support of the country’s rulers. We take immense pride in providing a home away from home for seafarers, whose critical work connects the world and creates new possibilities for billions of people.”

For more details see the Mission website.


6. Emissions regulation

The EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) and FuelEU Maritime regulations will have far-reaching implications for shipowners, managers, and charterers with vessels trading to, from, or within the bloc Hellenic Shipping News says in its online newsletter on March 5, quoting a seminar by Lloyd’s Register. The system is complex and could lead to penalties for non-compliance but also, with careful management, opportunities for competitive advantages.

The EU ETS, in operation for maritime since 1 January 2024, imposes a wide range of obligations on owners, managers and their customers, and requires proactive risk management. This was the key message from a recent LR webinar – Optimising compliance under the EU’s new emissions regime.

The EU ETS will operate in parallel with FuelEU Maritime, due to enter force on 1 January 2025. However, in terms of operation, the two systems will complement each other.
Moderated by David Lloyd, LR’s Programme Director, Energy Transition and featuring insights from Jennifer Riley-James, Lead Regulatory Specialist, Tobias Groeger, Business Development Manager, Maritime Advisory, and Marius Suteu, LR OneOcean – Senior VP Product Performance, the webinar evaluated the challenges and potential opportunities relating to the new regulations. The key message was clear: the new system requires careful management at various levels, from strategic decision-making and emissions prediction through to careful fuel management using routing strategies and other voyage optimisation techniques.

The EU ETS will initially apply to cargo ships and passenger ships of 5,000 gross tons and above. From 2025, offshore ships of 5,000 gross tons and above, as well as offshore and general cargo ships of 400 to 5,000 gross tons will have to report emissions under the monitoring, reporting, verification (MRV) system and will likely fall within the scope of ETS in the future. Offshore ships of 5,000 gross tons and above will then fall into scope of ETS from 2027.

EU ETS requires the same party to take responsibility for both MRV and ETS compliance, normally the shipowner, although there is an option to pass responsibility for compliance to the ISM company or Document of Compliance (DOC) holder.

The EU ETS is complex and has introduced an entirely new range of management challenges for those involved in shipping’s value chain. The first point, outlined by Riley-James, is the tight timetable of activity, which means that owners, managers or charterers will have to buy sufficient EU Allowances (EUAs) on the carbon market to cover the emissions from all ships mandated as under their responsibility for MRV and ETS compliance in the previous calendar year, surrendering them annually by each September at the latest.

Failure to surrender sufficient allowances to cover emissions will result in a fine. This will be in addition to the number of EUAs that have to be paid. One EUA is equivalent to one metric tonne of CO2 equivalent.

EUAs must cover 50% of voyages to and from the EEA (EU plus Iceland and Norway) and 100% of voyages within the EEA. The system will be phased in, with the surrender of EUAs covering 40% of verified emissions required in September 2025, 70% in September 2026, and 100% from 2027.

The EU will set a cap on the volumes of emissions allowed across all industrial sectors. Over time the cap will be lowered and the number of EUAs available for purchase reduced. This is part of the EU’s target of reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 55% by 2030 compared with 1990, and to achieve net-zero by 2050.

FuelEU Maritime will ensure that shipping companies prioritise improvements in the GHG emissions intensity of the energy they use. FuelEU enters into force on 1 January 2025 with data collection requirements (Monitoring Plans are required from 31 August 2024) and applies generally to ships of above 5000 GT.

FuelEU sets GHG intensity reduction targets for the energy used onboard compared to a 2020 baseline (from MRV data). Annually ships will need to meet the reduction target or be in a compliance surplus in order to comply. Failure to do so will result in a penalty to be paid. This is separate and in addition to any ETS penalty payment and EUA purchase and surrender.

FuelEU will also set onshore power supply requirements from 2030 for container and passenger ships at major Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) EU ports. Failure to comply with these requirements will result in additional penalties to be paid (in addition to all ETS penalties, allowance purchase and surrender and FuelEU penalties).The purpose of the regulations is to promote energy efficiency by penalising poor emissions performance, Riley-James said. The system will favour owners using low- or zero-carbon fuels. However, there are various strategies available to minimise the number of EUAs required.
 
There are also operational issues to consider. Groeger gave the example of a vessel discharging its cargo in Spain and then going to a Gibraltar anchorage for orders. If it was then fixed to load cargo in the US Gulf, for example, the ballast haul from the Gibraltar anchorage across the Atlantic would be considered as part of the ship’s cargo operations and the entire ballast haul would be subject to the 50% emissions calculation.

Just as there are challenges relating to ballast hauls, there could be opportunities too, the experts noted. Depending on the nature of the charter contract, there could be strategic port calls to minimise ETS liabilities. Weather routing and route optimisation, therefore, will be essential tools in helping to ensure that ships remain on their likely emissions performance targets.
 
LR OneOcean’s Suteu stressed the need for owners and operators to have tools to monitor the emissions performance of their vessels on a continuous basis. This will be necessary, he said, so that a sufficient number of EUAs can be purchased to cover the likely emissions performance of a ship or fleet. And, since these will be available for purchase in a dynamic market, timing and price could be major considerations.

To avoid the risk of container ships calling at ports close to but still outside the EEA, the regulations exclude certain neighbouring transhipment ports. This means that ships calling at such ports will not be deemed to have broken their voyage from the original port of departure. Therefore the 50% emissions from departure port into the EEA still applies to the full voyage, irrespective of a stop at a named transhipment port.
Only two transhipment ports have been designated so far – Port Said and Tangiers Med. However, Groeger stressed that the EU has said that it will keep this issue under regular review so the current arrangements could change.

The FuelEU regulation, which measures emissions on a well-to-tank basis, provides scope for ‘pooling’, the ability to reduce or offset a Fuel EU compliance deficit with one or more over-performing vessels. In one example, the LR experts cited a pool of ten container ships with identical fuel consumption that could be liable for FuelEU penalties of €277 million over a five-year period from 2030. However, if their owner added one single vessel to the pool fuelled by e-methanol, the liability could be reduced to zero.


7. Car Carrier Dangers

The shipowner of the Felicity Ace, and its insurer have filed separate lawsuits in Germany against Volkswagen over the blaze and subsequent sinking of the car carrier. Mitsui OSK Lines and Allianz have identified what they believe to have been a faulty battery in a Porsche electric vehicle as the cause for the fire, which saw 3,965 vehicles be lost with the ship two years ago off the coast of Portugal. The fire that broke out on the 6,400 ceu ship lasted for three weeks with the damage from the incident estimated to cost anywhere between $400m and $500m. Onboard were a number of luxury cars.

Electric vehicles use lithium-ion batteries which, when on fire, can reach temperatures of more than 2,700 degrees Celsius. Splash has been reporting on more and more battery-related fires at sea in recent years in line with the growth in demand for electric vehicles around the world. The dangers of carrying lithium-ion batteries on ships were highlighted in an Allianz Global Corporate & Speciality report, which ranked fire and explosion as the number one cause of marine insurance losses by value from 2017 to 2021. “The debate about EVs in the shipping industry is ongoing, with conversations about whether there is a need for dedicated roro vessels for EVs,” Allianz noted in the report.


8.  Performance monitoring

Design and engineering consultancy Houlder has developed a new tool for analysing ship performance and evaluating efficiency options, including energy efficiency technologies – also known as energy-saving devices or clean technologies.
 
The Houlder Optimisation & Modelling Environment, HOME uses the latest digital twin technology to create a virtual world which can be used to analyse tweaks to the operations of existing ships, to design brand new vessels, or to outline various ways to save fuel and cut associated greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions on specific voyages or across all operations.
 
Using HOME, shipowners are able to analyse the emissions performance of efficiency technologies for their specific vessel and its unique operating profile. Fundamentally, each ship has different efficiency requirements impacted by route, cargo, design and so on, and will benefit from a different technology or blend of technologies. The key is to start with the ship, not the technology being offered.
 
Rupert Hare, CEO of Houlder, commented: “The vessel efficiency opportunity is well understood; if you save fuel, you save money and GHG emissions. If you save emissions, you save the planet. It’s a virtuous circle in that regard. However, uncertainty about the performance of efficiency technologies remains a barrier to final investment decisions and wider uptake. Clear data from an independent and objective source on the specific fuel and emissions savings of green solutions can help build the commercial case required. Good decisions need good data and it’s always a smart idea to get a second opinion.”


9. ECA expansion demand

Opportunity Green, Transport & Environment, Green Alliance, the Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union (NABU), Fundación Ecología y Desarrollo ECODES, ZERO, and the Clean Arctic Alliance are calling on the UK Government to extend the North Sea and English Channel ECA in UK waters.

Opportunity Green and the other signatories, sent a letter which calls for the Government to expand its Emissions Control Area (ECA) in UK waters and collaborate with neighbouring coastal states to establish an ECA beyond UK waters. 

An ECA currently exists in UK waters to the east and south in the English Channel and the North Sea, in which a sulphur cap of 0.1% and a NOx limit for newbuild ships (built after 2021) apply. As there are already existing ECAs in the North Sea, elsewhere in Europe, and in North America, most ships will already be equipped to comply with the regulations. A forthcoming study from the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) estimates that 88% of ships sailing in the North Atlantic, including UK waters, also sail in other existing or proposed ECAs. It will therefore be easy to comply with an extended ECA and add minimal costs to any journey, the signatories say.

Opportunity Green and the above-listed organisations have responded to a UK Government call for evidence, in addition to the joint letter, to detail these benefits of expanding an ECA in UK waters, and, in collaboration with other coastal states, beyond UK waters.

The full letter can be accessed here.  


10. ECSA priorities

Ahead of the 2024 European elections, ECSA has launched its policy priorities for the next five years. The four pillars are climate and energy transition, people-centred green and digital transition, ship finance and competitiveness and trade.

Europe is facing an existential transformation as it strives to meet climate neutrality by 2050 while maintaining industrial leadership at global level.

European shipping has been a cornerstone of Europe’s energy, food, and supply chain security. European shipping, representing 39.5% of the world fleet, enables Europe to play a leading role in the international supply chains. Shipping delivers the goods and energy we need, supports EU exports and connects European citizens within Europe and with the rest of the world.

“Shipping has been a European success story amid growing geopolitical instability. It has been a cornerstone of the economic security of our continent, delivering the energy we need and supporting the exports of our goods. Shipping has enabled Europe to remain a leader in the international supply chains.

“At the same time, the uptake of clean fuels and technologies has emerged as the new battlefield of international competition. The EU has set up the most ambitious climate targets internationally laying out a pathway to net zero by 2050. However, without proper access to finance and without immense public investments, the energy transition and the competitiveness of the industry are at stake.

“To meet the challenge of the digital transition and to match the uptake of clean fuels, we need to address the skills gap. Up to 800,000 seafarers will have to be upskilled or reskilled internationally by the mid-2030s” said Sotiris Raptis, ECSA’s Secretary General.

Read the ECSA Priorities 2024-2029 here.

Download the ECSA Priorities 2024-2029 here.


11. BIFA case

In an opinion piece, Hill Dickinson recently considered a trade dispute involving the British International Freight Association (BIFA). The Court has recently considered an application for summary judgment based on the interpretation of Clause 27(B) of the British International Freight Association (BIFA) Standard Trading Conditions.

The case relates to a dispute regarding John Good Logistics’ (JGL) provision of services as a customs agent to handle Tornado Wire Ltd’s (TWL) importation of steel wire products from the EU. TWL alleged that JGL had mishandled its use of HMRC’s CHIEF system, resulting in TWL facing a large tax bill.

Clause 27(B) of the BIFA Standard Trading Conditions provides that the company shall be discharged of all liability unless suit and written notice is given within nine months of the event alleged to have given rise to the cause of action. It was accepted by both parties that the BIFA Standard Trading Conditions were incorporated.

JGL argued that as the final import entry was entered on CHIEF in June 2021, any claim brought after March 2022 was time barred in line with Clause 27(B). TWL contended that it was not aware of the tax liability until August 2022 when it was notified of this by HMRC, and that it filed its claim within nine months of that notification.

JGL sought summary judgment against TWL on the basis of precedent in which the reasonableness of the time bar under BIFA Standard Trading Conditions had been upheld. TWL opposed this application on the basis that the nine-month time bar was unreasonable under the Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977 (UCTA), and thus unenforceable.

The Court, presided by HHJ Worster, refused JGL’s application for summary judgment by ruling that there was a real prospect of establishing that the nine-month time bar was unreasonable based on these specific facts.

The Court’s judgment in this case drew upon the Court of Appeal’s decision in Last Bus -v- Dawsongroup Bus and Coach Limited [2023] EWCA Civ 1297 to emphasise the need for each case to be determined on its own facts with regard to the reasonableness of standard terms. As such, summary judgment was ruled to be inappropriate in circumstances in which the Court wished to hear evidence as to the reasonableness of the nine-month time bar.

The matter is now awaiting a directions hearing, with a trial expected to be listed in 2025.


12. Collision ruling 

In the first reported Admiralty Court decision for 2024, liability for a collision between two vessels in the Bay of Bengal has been apportioned 70/30, Hill Dickinson reported recently. Rather unusually for collisions that come before the Court, in this instance both vessels had been lying to anchor prior to, and had anchors deployed at, the time of collision.

Both vessels were geared Supramax bulk carriers which had been lying to anchor off Chattogram, Bangladesh, and engaged in the discharge of cargo to barges. 

“This is a helpful judgment, providing guidance on what should be expected of both a master whose vessel is dragging her anchor and the master of a vessel upon which a dragging vessel is bearing down.

“This case also highlights the importance of accuracy in documents generated following an incident. Whilst the production of documents following an incident should always be limited to those which are absolutely necessary, all information recorded should be accurate and truthful, so as to avoid ‘gifts’ to opposing counsel later. Where possible, witness evidence should be recorded by a legal professional, in accordance with the requirements under PD57AC of the Civil Procedure Rules,” Hill Dickinson said in its comment on the case (see the Hill Dickinson website.)

Find out more about the judgment here.


13. LMAA results

The London Maritime Arbitrators Association has published a strong set of case load statistics for 2023. Arbitrators reported 3,268 new appointments under its Terms and Procedures in an estimated 1,845 references. This represents an increase from the numbers of appointments and references in 2022, which were themselves significantly higher than those of the previous year.
In LMAA references, arbitrators published an estimated 436 awards in 2023. 69 awards were made after oral hearings, in comparison to 93 in 2022. Given that the total number of awards is up from 420 in 2022, this may indicate that more cases were resolved by reference to documents and written submissions only, a particularly efficient and cost-effective procedure in appropriate cases.

LMAA President David Steward said: “The LMAA’s case statistics continue to reflect the huge number of parties worldwide who choose international arbitration on the Association’s Terms and Procedures to resolve their maritime disputes, not only in the shipping industry but also in offshore energy and international trade. We are very grateful to all the arbitrators who contributed to these statistics.”


14. Tanker transparency

As the EU continues to take measures to restrict Russia’s ability to trade its crude oil and petroleum products, it has moved to try and introduce greater transparency into the second-hand tanker market, law firm HFW says in an opinion piece.

“The EU’s 12th package of sanctions against Russia, introduced by Council Regulation (EU) 2023/2878 dated 18 December 2023 (the Amending Regulation)  inserted a new Article 3q which made it mandatory for any (i) national of a Member State, (ii) natural person residing in a Member State, and (iii) legal person, entity or body which is established in the European Union to notify the competent authorities of any sale or other arrangement entailing a transfer of ownership to any third country of any tanker engaged in the transport of crude oil or petroleum products listed in Annex XXV, falling under the HS [harmonised system] code ex 8901 20. The notification must be made to the competent authorities of the Member State in which the ship owners (i.e. the Sellers) are a citizen, resident or established. Several Member States have already published forms to be completed by Sellers in their jurisdiction. The notifications must include details of the tanker in question, including its IMO number and call sign and the Sellers and Buyers’ identity (if corporates, details of their ultimate shareholders, any intermediate shareholders and management along with supporting corporate documentation),” HFW says. 

Whilst there is some ambiguity as to when the obligation to lodge the notification arises, we currently consider that because the obligation to make notification is linked to the transfer of the vessel, the notification does not have to be made upon the signature of the memorandum of agreement (MOA) but, rather, immediately upon the transfer of title in the vessel, i.e. at completion. In addition, the sale of any tanker falling into the category described above concluded between 5 December 2022 and 19 December 2023 should have been notified to the competent authorities in the Sellers’ jurisdiction by 20 February 2024.

“According to the recently published guidance from the EU, the Amending Regulations apply where the registered owner is owned (or ultimately owned) by an entity or individual meeting the jurisdictional requirements described above . If any Sellers are in doubt as to their notification obligations, we strongly recommend they obtain legal advice confirming the position. The Amending Regulation is not explicit on the point, but we consider that the obligation to make the notification is sufficiently widely drafted as to impose an obligation on every person or entity who or which is subject to EU jurisdiction and which is involved in the transfer, including brokers, lawyers, notaries, etc. We do not consider it applies where the Sellers are not subject to the jurisdiction of an EU member state (even if the brokers and / or lawyers are) but we do think that, if the Sellers are subject to the jurisdiction of an EU member state and do not make the necessary notification, then the brokers or lawyers may feel that it is incumbent on them to do so. Going forward, for tankers sold to Buyers outside of the EU, we would expect MOAs to include a clause expressly permitting the Sellers to notify the competent authorities of the transaction and obliging the Buyers to share with the Sellers the information needed to do so. We would further expect those professionals supporting the sale of second-hand tankers to require the Sellers for whom they are working to make such notification and to be advised that in the event of a failure to do so, the professionals may be required to make their own notification,” HFW says. See the HFW website for more information.


15. Cadet report

Providing a unique window into future seafaring, international maritime charity Sailors’ Society has launched its 2023/4 cadet report: Generation Z – the future of maritime.
 
The report uses data on topics including retention, wellbeing and diversity collected from more than 4,000 cadets at the charity’s global Wellness at Sea Maritime Schools’ Conferences in North Asia, South East Asia, Africa and, for the first time, the UK.
 
Answers from British cadets reveal some significant regional differences, and the global data demolishes the perception that women do not see seafaring as a long-term career.
 
Launching the report, produced with funding support from Norden and Orient’s Fond, Sailors’ Society CEO, Sara Baade, said: “Each generation of cadets has its own characteristics and that’s certainly true of our Gen Z seafarers. By examining these in detail through the report we can reveal what makes tomorrow’s workforce and future maritime leaders tick – what motivates them, what worries them and what the industry needs to do to retain and support them.
 
“By sharing this insight with the wider industry, we are giving unrivalled knowledge that will help shape the future of maritime for the better.”
 
Andrew Roberts, Executive Director, EMEA, of Rightship – one of the industry experts featured in the report – added: “This data only confirms the social and cultural paradigm shift that is presently at play in the industry while highlighting some of the challenges that continue to threaten the ability to attract and retain talent.
 
“It is clear from this report that there is a lot to learn from this younger generation.”
 
While the biggest concern for the majority of cadets is not getting a job after training, in the UK cadets said their predominant fear was not being able to cope at sea.
 
African and Asian cadets said that the offer of permanent employment would keep them in the industry along with higher salaries. But, in contrast, UK cadets wanted shorter contracts allowing a more fluid approach to employment.
 
On some issues though, all cadets were in agreement.
 
Across all the regions, the overwhelming majority – up to 91 per cent – placed the treatment of seafarers as their utmost priority when choosing their future employer. And the primary motivation for cadets leaving the maritime industry would be their treatment.
 
More than 76 per cent of the cadets had never been to sea and were hoping to join a vessel once they had finished their studies or training. And, highlighting the evolving landscape of the maritime industry, 76 per cent of both male and female cadets saw seafaring as a long-term career.
 
Johan Smith, head of wellness at Sailors’ Society, said: “The maritime industry needs to note a clear shift in priorities for these Gen Z seafarers, recognizing them as crucial anchors for attracting and retaining top talent.”

Readers can download a copy of the report at https://sailors-society.org/cadetreport23


16. Tackling bullying

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) is developing training requirements to combat bullying and harassment, including sexual harassment, in the maritime sector.

Opening a joint meeting between the IMO and the International Labour Organization (ILO) on the issue recently in London, IMO Secretary-General, Mr. Arsenio Dominguez said:

“We remain steadfast in our commitment to creating a safe and respectful working environment on board. Recognizing that this is not only a moral imperative but also a practical necessity for the industry’s sustainable growth, we are committed to preventing and combatting bullying and harassment in the maritime sector.”

The Joint ILO/IMO Tripartite Working Group (JTWG) works to identify and address challenges seafarers face in their line of work. The group recently considered future steps, for example, legislation, mechanisms and policies for reporting and addressing of bullying and harassment, including sexual assault and sexual harassment (SASH), in the maritime sector.

The joint working group will consider draft amendments to the Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW) Code, to prevent and respond to bullying and harassment in the maritime sector, including sexual assault and sexual harassment (SASH).  

Findings and recommendations of the JTWG will be submitted to the IMO’s Maritime Safety Committee at its next meeting in May 2024 and to the ILO Governing Body.

Read the Secretary-General’s full speech.



Notices and Miscellany

Mission Secretary General
The Mission to Seafarers has announced that its new Secretary General will be Peter Rouch. He will succeed Andrew Wright, who will retire from the role in September this year, after almost twelve years of leading the organisation.   He will join the Mission on 1st July, enabling a period of handover between himself and Andrew.

Arbitration seminar
Over the past 12 months, there has been a veritable spate of Court cases concerned generally with arbitration practice of direct interest to clients, solicitors, Counsel and arbitrators. The London Shipping Law Centre will be holding an event on March 14th in London to discuss the issues.

REGISTER TO ATT

Monaco forum
The inaugural Monaco Ship Energy Forum taking place on November 4th is open for delegate registrations.With its headline theme of ‘Understanding Decarbonisation: Turning Challenges into Opportunities’, the conference will focus on the impact on shipping of recent and upcoming global and European environmental regulation, the future fuel supply chain, the shipping technology ‘revolution’, corporate decarbonisation and ESG strategies, and how to access the finance needed to deliver the maritime sector’s energy transition.

Take a look at the Forum agenda

A delegate pass, which includes access to the Forum and all networking events, is just £495. Register here

Find out more and register her

Women in Shipping
The All About Shipping list of top women in shipping was announced recently, headed by Mia Krogslund Jørgensen, Head of People, Culture and Strategy at HAFNIA, (Denmark), Sabrina Chao, Wah Kwong Maritime Transport, Hong Kong, Semiramis S. Paliou, CEO Diana Shipping Inc, Melina Travlos, head of Neptune Lines Shipping and Managing Enterprise and Elina V. Papageorgiou, Lloyd’s Register Global Strategic Growth Director.

For details see https://allaboutshipping.co.uk/2024/02/21/the-allaboutshipping-co-uk-100-top-women-for-shipping-for-2023/

New IMO member

The Kyrgyz Republic has become the latest State to join the International Maritime Organization (IMO). IMO now has 176 Member States. 

Kyrgyzstan deposited its instrument of acceptance to the IMO Convention with the United Nations with effect from  27 February 2024.  

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


And finally,

With thanks to Paul Dixon

The printing of newspapers, magazines and books offer limitless possibilities for error, human and mechanical. When goofs do occur, editors scurry to print corrections, even though we often prefer the misprint to the corrected version.

Here are  just a few samples:

IMPORTANT NOTICE: If you are one of hundreds of parachuting enthusiasts who bought our Easy Sky Diving book, please make the following correction: on page 8, line 7, the words “state zip code” should have read “pull rip cord.”

It was incorrectly reported last Friday that today is T-shirt Appreciation Day. In fact, it is actually Teacher Appreciation Day.

From a California bar association’s newsletter: Correction — the following typo appeared in our last bulletin: “Lunch will be gin at 12:15 p.m.” Please correct to read “12 noon.”

There are two important corrections to the information in the update on our Deep Relaxation professional development program. First, the program will include meditation, not medication. Second, it is experiential, not experimental.

Our article about Jewish burial customs contained an error: Mourners’ clothing is rent, that is, torn — not rented.

In the City Beat section of Friday’s paper, firefighter Dwight Brady was misidentified. His nickname in the department is “Dewey.” Another firefighter is nicknamed “Weirdo.” We apologize for our mistake.


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