The Maritime Advocate–Issue 856

Posted:

1.   A matter of priorities
2.   Contempt of court
3.    Immunity
4.    Supply chain costs
5.    Maritime Safety Committee
6.    Peer to peer support
7.    Truck stop initiative
8.    Adventure race
9.    Black Swan event
10.  Diversity benchmarking
11.  Baltic discharge
12.  IR class
13. Carbon capture
14. EU ETS challenges
15. Environmental crime directive
16. Heavy lift cargoes
17. Cabotage

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


1. A matter of priorities

By Michael Grey

There is a great deal of absolutism around any discussions about climate and common sense, you sometimes feel, rarely gets a look-in. I was reading about all these extra tonne-miles being racked up by the ships whose owners are responsible enough to avoid a passage through the Red Sea and avoid the risk of a Houthi drone or missile hitting the ship.

It ought to be a decent, uncontroversial decision, to keep a ship and its crew safe from danger of death and several days of real fear, in a situation where there is limited ability to tackle the situation at source. And the Houthi rebels, egged on by their Iranian paymasters, are not going anywhere soon, threatening to extend their area of outrage into the Indian Ocean, where the Somali pirates have re-activated their war on shipping.

But now there is all sort of angst from the climate NGOs and their tame activists about the additional emissions from all these ships on their extended voyages around the Cape, which threatens their march to the Nirvana of net zero. Even more appalling is the fact that many of the ships, carrying cargo whose owners hope to receive it sooner rather than later, have cracked open the throttles and speeded up. Think of all those horrible additional emissions!

You cannot argue with people who believe that science can ever be settled and appear to have priorities skewed by a single objective, driven on by their convictions that it is more important to “stop oil” and end the role of the internal combustion engine, whatever it may cost. The safety of seafarers and the need to keep their ships out of harm’s way probably fail to enter their stream of intensely focussed consciousness.

Ah… those priorities again. The arguments take me back to a meeting several years ago, when the idea of arbitrarily restricting a ship’s power, for environmental reasons, was being debated. All the speakers seemed to think it was a very acceptable means of reducing harmful emissions – a “low-hanging fruit” that could easily be plucked, before tackling more problematical matters like alternative fuels or new means of motive power.

But then there was a forceful interjection from a very senior shipmaster, who pointed out that power was not something idly supplied by ambitious engine manufacturers, but its availability could be a matter of life or death to a ship and those aboard her. He recounted an incident, when he had been master of a fully laden and damaged Capesize, when in a storm, he had needed every ounce of power to prevent being blown to leeward. If he had less power, and the coast had been rather closer, the ship, he said, would probably have been lost. His was not a lone voice and in the enthusiasm for lower power, or for de-rating machinery, it was acknowledged that there were balances to be struck over the need for power to be available in extremis. And this balance in our priorities surely resonates today.

That took place several years ago, but the relentless drive to lower emissions has continued, so maybe there is little surprise among mariners that there has been an upsurge in complaints about the various methods used to limit shaft power in existing ships. It is not just storms where reliable and powerful machinery systems matter; it can mean the difference between safety and very expensive accidents in restricted waters, when power is needed in a hurry if something unexpected happens. But, in the relentless pursuit of the green agenda, does this get sufficient emphasis among the regulators? And after the Baltimore bridge calamity, and plenty of evidence of power losses in embarrassing places, for a variety of reasons, some of which might be connected indirectly to the search for more sustainable shipping, there is a new urgency about these problems.

None of this is designed to identify me as a “denier” and enrage those of more feverish climate enthusiasms. Rather, it is a suggestion that we should examine priorities, at a time when in some parts of the world, the essential shipping upon which we all depend, is in a war situation and safety of seafarers today surely ought to take priority over cleaner air tomorrow.

Michael Grey is former editor of Lloyd’s List


2. Contempt of court

Brian Perrott & Stephanie Morton writing in HFW’s London Calling newsletter recent considered  contempt of Court.
 
Background
 
Contempt proceedings can be a powerful way to prompt compliance with court orders.
 
If bringing an application to have a person committed for contempt of court, it is usually a prerequisite that the person was on notice. This takes the form of a penal notice warning that breach of the order may be punishable as contempt of court.
 
Procedural Changes
 
On 6 April 2024, amendments to Part 81 (Contempt of Court) of the Civil Procedure Rules came into force concerning penal notices.
 
The updates clarify that penal notices do not need to be part of the order approved by the court, and can be added separately after. This was to reverse the effect of the recent High Court decision of Re Taray Brokering Ltd (2022) which held otherwise.
 
Comment
 
Whether breaching an order actually attracts contempt sanctions or not remains a separate question. Parties cannot transform an order into one attracting such sanctions just by adding a penal notice. However, if an order may be subject to contempt proceedings then a prominent penal notice should be included.
 
The recent case of ADM International Sarl v Grain House International SA and another (2024) further clarified that the court has an inherent power to make orders against directors for civil contempt committed by a company for which the director was responsible. This power was not affected by previous amendments to Part 81 in 2020.


3. Immunity

Brian Perrott and Maria Alexandroff of HFW considered the immunity issue in Argentum Exploration Ltd v Republic of South Africa [2024] UKSC 16.

Factual background

In 1942, the vessel (‘SS TILAWA’) was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine in the middle of the Indian Ocean. Consequently the vessel, which carried a cargo of silver (purchased by the South African government for the purpose of making it into coin), sank. In 2017, the silver was discovered and recovered from the wreck of the vessel by Argentum Exploration Limited (‘Argentum’).

Legal issues

Argentum commenced an in rem claim (i.e., a claim against property) for salvage against the silver which was challenged by the South African government on the basis that it was entitled to immunity under English law. The immunity would mean that it will be difficult for a commercial party to enforce its contractual rights against that state.

Decision

The Supreme Court held that the use or intended use of the cargo was for the sovereign purpose of minting coins (i.e., non-commercial purpose) and therefore, the South African government could invoke immunity.

Essential message

This case is a landmark decision as it establishes an important precedent during a time where many more historic wrecks have and will become targeted by salvors. Any salvor intending to bring an in rem claim where the property was intended for use for a sovereign purpose, risks having their claim set aside or struck out.


4.  Supply chain costs

Global supply chains are braced for further disruption and increasing costs after US President Joe Biden announced new tariffs on Chinese imports recently.

The tariffs will be imposed on a wide range of Chinese imports including semi-conductors, batteries, EVs and solar cells, with the changes staggered to come into effect between 2024 and 2026.

Peter Sand, Chief Analyst at Xeneta, said: “The new tariffs under President Biden may be a case of history repeating. If so, businesses will be braced for increasing supply chain costs and ultimately it will be US consumers who pay for it.

“Back in 2018, we saw the US under President Trump impose a wide raft of tariffs on Chinese imports. China retaliated by imposing increasing tariffs of its own and this constant trading of blows saw ocean freight container shipping rates from China to the US West Coast increase by more than 160%.

“Rates began to fall away again towards the end of 2018 as the situation calmed, but they never returned to the same level, meaning a new status quo was established in the market at a higher cost level.”Sand believes businesses may look to alternative supply chain routes into the US in light of the latest tariffs.

Growth in demand for container shipping imports from China into Mexico in the first quarter of 2024 had already increased by 34% compared to 12 months ago, fueling suspicions it is being used by some shippers as a ‘back door into the US’.
Sand said: “The ocean freight container market has seen incredible increases in demand from China into Mexico and the latest US tariffs could see this rapid growth continue.

“In a purely hypothetical scenario, at the current growth rate, by the year 2031 there will be more containers imported from China into Mexico than the US West Coast.

“We may also see US shippers look to import goods from nations such as Vietnam as an alternative to China – as has increasingly been the case since the 2018 tariffs hike hit the market.

“However, these are immature supply chain routes compared to the established Transpacific trade direct from China to the US West Coast. This means more complexity, more volatility and increased cost.”

The announcement of tariffs also comes at a time when the ocean freight container shipping market is being impacted by major black swan events including conflict in the Red Sea and drought in the Panama Canal.

On May 14, the average spot rate for ocean freight shipping from China to the US West Coast stood at USD 3837 per FEU (40ft shipping container), which is an increase of 162% compared to 12 months ago.

From China into the US East Coast, average spot rates have increased by more than 100% compared to 12 months ago.
Sand said: “Ocean freight shipping routes from China to the US East and Gulf Coast are still being hampered by restrictions in the Panama Canal. The next best alternative is the Suez Canal, but this isn’t an option either for the majority of shippers due to the conflict in the Red Sea.

“More red tape and complexity in supply chains is the last thing the ocean freight shipping industry needs right now.”
Sand believes much will now depend on China’s response. He said: “There is no doubt this is an aggressive move by the US against China and, once again, we are seeing geo-politics impact global supply chains.

“The new tariffs will affect around $18 billion in annual imports, which is not a huge amount in the grand scheme of US trade, but if China responds in the same way as 2018 then we could be at the start of another spiral of escalating tariffs. That will mean yet more pain for shippers and ocean freight service providers to deal with.”


5. Maritime Safety Committee

Attacks on shipping in the Red Sea, regulating autonomous ships, piracy and armed robbery, safety of GHG reduction are amongst key issues on the agenda at the IMO’s Maritime Safety Committee, meeting from May 15-24.

The Committee deals with all matters related to maritime safety and maritime security which fall within the scope of IMO. This includes a wide range of issues, including enhancing maritime security, setting global safety standards and seafarer issues and the human element.  

The meeting is chaired by  Mayte Medina of the United States, supported by Vice-Chairman, Capt. Theofilos Mozas of Greece.  MSC 108 highlights include:
1.    Measures to enhance maritime security, including Red Sea security
2.    Development of a code for autonomous ships (Maritime Autonomous Surface Ships – MASS)  
3.    Development of a safety regulatory framework to support the reduction of GHG emissions from ships using new technologies and alternative fuels
4.    Revision of the Guidelines on maritime cyber risk management  
5.    Addressing violence and harassment in the maritime sector – training requirements to be adopted
6.    Training and certification of fishing vessel personnel – revised treaty and a new code to be adopted  
7.    Guidelines on the medical examination of fishers to be approved   
8.    Amendments to the 1974 SOLAS Convention and associated instruments to be adopted
9.    Piracy and armed robbery updates to be considered
10.    Reports from the Sub-Committees – approval of various sets of provisions.
For  details see the IMO website.


6.  Peer to peer support

Global maritime charity Sailors’ Society has just launched its 100th Peer-to-Peer Support Group.

CEO Sara Bade said: “We are delighted to see how these groups, which provide a safe and confidential place to talk with those in the same boat, but not on the same ship, have grown and grown.

“We launched these groups because we know seafarers can face real feelings of isolation and anxiety and it’s not always easy to share this with your fellow crew or employers.”

In March 2022, the Society’s confidential WhatsApp groups were expanded to include those caught up in the Ukrainian conflict and since then the charity has added groups for female seafarers, those about to go to sea, captains, maritime pilots and families.
For more information or to join a Peer-to-Peer Support Group go to: https://sailors-society.org/peer-to-peer-support-new.


7.  Truck stop initiative

The UK’s Department for Transport (DfT) has set up an industry led Task and Finish Group (TFG) to explore raising standards in truck parking facilities and increasing the capacity of parking spaces across the country.  Freight insurance specialist TT Club is actively participating in the Group, in a determined attempt to improve driver welfare and cargo security.

In recent years TT has ramped up its campaign to increase awareness of the risks associated with overnight parking of trucks, not just in the UK but across Europe as a whole. The insurer emphasised in a recent joint report (with BSI*) it found that over 70% of cargo thefts in 2023 around the world were from trucks.

Mike Yarwood, TT’s Managing Director, Loss Prevention chairs one of the working groups looking at parking standards contributing to the DfT’s twelve-month long Task and Finish Group (TFG) project, “TT applauds the UK Government’s initiative and is grateful to add its experience of trends in cargo theft and the modus operandi of criminals in order to encourage adoption of standards at truck stop facilities,” he says.

The TFG offers an opportunity for a unique gathering of individuals from industry bodies, truck park and motorway service operators, Police, standards organisations, insurers and users to explore, identify and understand the blockers to, and opportunities for better security and safer rest facilities for those dubbed the ‘knights of the road’.
 
In 2022 the UK’s total freight movements by road amounted to 175 billion tonne-kilometres¹; not all admittedly required trucks to be parked overnight but break and rest periods are a legal requirement for most journeys..  Across the EU,in the same year 13.6 billion tonnes (nearly 2 trillion tonne-kilometres²) of freight moved by road.
 
“The extent that the UK and EU economies rely on trucking is staggering.  As industry stakeholders we must strive to both increase the safety of drivers and decrease the loss of cargo.  That is why it is hoped that this TFG will result in longer term strategies to improve the current truck parking landscape in the UK, and in addition that useful guidance can be offered to EU legislators,” comments Yarwood.
 
The TFG’s brief is wide-reaching but those aspects of the challenge that are taking priority on the standards workstream are:

  • A survey to better understand why those operators of secure facilities adopt current standards.
  • Mapping of highest crime locations across the last four years.
  • Exploring greater use of ANPR/CCTV equipment.
  • Mapping of violent crimes against drivers.

*BSI and TT Club Cargo Theft Report 2023
¹UK Govt Transport Stats
²European road freight stats


8. Adventure race

The Mission to Seafarers has launched its second Adventure Race Japan (ARJ), taking place in May 2025, with entries now open.

Kicking the event off in Tokyo at the end of Sea Japan, in Singapore at the end of Singapore Maritime Week, and finally in Hong Kong, more than 300 guests attended these exciting launch evenings for ARJ 2025.
 
Adventure Race Japan is an epic sporting and team building challenge, raising funds for seafarers’ welfare. The inaugural Adventure Race Japan took place last year, and was a huge success, generating over US$1.3 million, with US$950K going to support MtS’ vital frontline work. Sponsorship and team entries are now open for the 2025 event and organisations from across the global shipping industry are invited to take on the experience of a lifetime.
 
Building on last year’s event, ARJ 2025 will once again see teams take part in two days of trekking or running and other challenges. It is set in the beautiful mountain landscape and coastline of Japan’s Izu Peninsula, which is an area of outstanding natural beauty and designated UNESCO Geopark, with views of Mount Fuji.
 
Teams will consist of three competitors, who must start and finish the race together. MtS encourages participation from all ages, regardless of athletic ability. In 2023, participants ranged from 22 – 65 years old. There will be two levels of participation – hiking or running – giving competitors the option to choose the level that suits their fitness levels.
 
Just as importantly, ARJ offers an opportunity to develop business relationships against the background of mutual interest in seafarers’ welfare. This is also a great opportunity for team building – across teams, countries and job areas. With two days of running/hiking and three evening dinners, it presents an unparalleled opportunity to engage in networking whilst helping seafarers in need.
 
Andrew Wright, Secretary General of The Mission to Seafarers, commented on ARJ 2025:
“Adventure Race Japan 2023 was incredible. It showcased the overwhelming importance of crew well-being. It raised the profile of The Mission to Seafarers. It built a wealth of new partnerships. It raised an extraordinary amount of money to support our work at the frontline of maritime welfare. It facilitated superb networking. It was also huge fun. The sound of laughter and the sight of such happy faces, young and old, from across maritime lives with me still.”
 
“The challenges were testing, but suitable for a wide range of abilities, and left all feeling they had undertaken something truly worthwhile in a truly beautiful location. I was the oldest competitor. It was a struggle at times, but how good I felt at the end. The experience was fantastic, and it left an indelible mark on all who took part. Now we are looking to ARJ 2025, bigger and even better, we hope. We are excited and we hope you will join us. Don’t miss out!”
 
For more information on Adventure Race Japan 2025, including how to sign up, please visit https://www.adventureracejapan.org.
 
To learn more about the wide range of corporate sponsorship options available for ARJ2025, visit https://www.adventureracejapan.org/sponsorship-packages.


9. Black Swan event

In the early morning of 26th March the container ship Dali struck the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore forcing its dramatic collapse which was captured and circulated on television and social media across the world. This is a textbook example of a Black Swan Event, an unexpected incident that has disproportionately created a social and economic impact on a local area. This incident also shines a light on the offshore industry, maritime insurance, and the importance of Marine Warranty Surveyors.

See the RINA website (https://rina.org.uk/publications/the-naval-architect/comment-the-baltimore-bridge-black-swan-event-and-its-effect-on-the-insurance-markets) for a comment piece from John Butler of Global Maritime.


10.  Diversity benchmarking

Leading ship operators Anglo-Eastern Ship Management, Ardmore Shipping and Dorian LPG have signed on as founding members of Diversity Study Group’s (DSG) newly launched Seafarer Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging (DEIB) Data-gathering and Benchmarking initiative.
The initiative tracks crew member demographics as well as data relating to psychological and physical safety and wellbeing, enabling members to take a granular look at the successes and challenges of onboard DEIB programmes while accounting for the unique constraints of a diverse global workforce at sea. Year-on-year tracking will identify emerging trends, successful outcomes and ongoing challenges, showcase best practice, and allow DSG to employ their expertise to strengthen supportive working cultures. 

DSG Founder Heidi Heseltine said, “It is important to understand that inclusion is about recognising and understanding everyone’s experiences and perspectives, which includes those from both dominant and under-represented groups onboard. It’s heartening to see numerous responsible ship operators institute DEIB programmes across their vessels to improve the safety and wellbeing of their personnel. But limited data on current levels of diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging onboard ships makes it difficult to track successes and assess real outcomes or value to businesses.”  
Addressing this gap in information will allow ship operators to implement strategic DEIB initiatives with greater potential for success, and maximise value for all stakeholders involved, inclusive of crew members. Improved onboard communication, increased trust in leadership,  with other crew members, and improved morale have significant benefits for the safety and efficiency of operations. This helps retain experienced and talented employees, while also attracting new candidates to the workforce.

Michael Sandaluk, Chief Human Resources Officer at Anglo-Eastern, said, “Our industry is driven forward by the strength and talent of our people, and it is of vital importance that we nurture their potential and leverage their full abilities in a positive environment. DSG’s new benchmarking system will bring fresh insight to Anglo-Eastern’s efforts on this front, and we look forward to working together to embed positive change for our crews.”

Acting as an independent third party, DSG has designed an anonymised online survey to gather data on seafarer demographics. This information will be analysed and relevant insights shared with members of the initiative through a secure online business intelligence dashboard. Each organisation will gain access to anonymised data specific to their onboard personnel, while also being able to measure it against the aggregated industry responses available.

Aideen O’Driscoll, Senior Vice President of Corporate Services at Ardmore, said, “Trust is a crucial component to working at sea — crew members need to be able to trust each other in order to operate safely and efficiently, and they need to be able to trust the company they work for to keep them safe and progress their careers effectively. Commitment and appropriate action are vital in this process, and we look forward to engaging with the results of DSG’s seafarer DEIB initiative to ensure our diverse workforce has what they need to thrive at sea.”

Anglo-Eastern Ship Management, Ardmore Shipping and Dorian LPG are also members of DSG’s parallel DEIB benchmarking initiative for shore-based personnel. The initiative, which has been running for over five years, reports an employee engagement rate of up to 80% with its surveys. Participating organisations have utilised these results to inform business strategies, Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for stakeholders, and Environment, Social, and Governance (ESG) reporting.

Alex Hadjipateras, Senior Executive Vice President of Dorian LPG (USA) LLC and Managing Director of Dorian LPG Management (Athens), said, “As an integrated shipping company, we seek to connect with our teams at sea at multiple touchpoints and build a strong bond that transcends just the basics of salary. We firmly believe that when you invest in young people and provide equal opportunities, they feel supported to grow together with the company and this leads to higher retention. For us, a strategy of jointly-led organic growth is far superior to consistently having to go to market to hire new crew members.”

Information on the Diversity Study Group’s Seafarer Data-Gathering and Benchmarking Initiative is available at https://diversitystudygroup.com/benchmarking/
 


11. Baltic discharge

Discharge from ships with scrubbers cause great damage to the Baltic Sea, a new study suggests. The study from Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, shows that these emissions caused pollution corresponding to socio-economic costs of more than EUR 680 million between 2014 and 2022. At the same time, the researchers note that the shipping companies’ investments in the much-discussed technology, where exhaust gases are “washed” and discharged into the sea, have already been recouped for most of the ships. This means that the industry is now making billions of euros by running its ships on cheap heavy fuel oil instead of cleaner fuel.
 
“We see a clear conflict of interest, where private economic interests come at the expense of the marine environment in one of the world’s most sensitive seas,” says Chalmers doctoral student Anna Lunde Hermansson, who is one of the authors of the new study, published in Nature Sustainability.

The study has been prompted by the ongoing discussion on a potential ban of scrubber water discharge – where large volumes of polluted water is produced and discharged from the ships’ exhaust gas cleaning systems. The issue is on the agenda at multiple levels within the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and is also being discussed at EU level as well as on national levels such as the Swedish Parliament, although a Swedish decision on a ban is yet to be made.

Anna Lunde Hermansson and Chalmers colleagues Erik Ytreberg and Ida-Maja Hassellöv have been researching the environmental impact of shipping for many years and are contributing with their expertise in both international and national contexts. In a previous study, for example, they have shown that more than 200 million cubic metres of environmentally hazardous scrubber water is discharged into the Baltic Sea annually and that scrubber discharge water accounts for up to 9 percent of the total emissions of certain carcinogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) into the Baltic Sea.

Excluding oil spill costs

In the new study, the Chalmers researchers calculated both the external costs of scrubber water discharge, and the financial balance sheets of over 3,800 vessels that invested in the scrubber technology. As for the costs associated with the degradation of marine ecosystems, the study shows that between the years 2014 and 2022, scrubber water discharges have polluted at a cost of over EUR 680 million in the Baltic Sea area. The calculations are based on models for willingness to pay to avoid marine environmental degradation, but according to the researchers, the estimates should be regarded as an underestimate. For example, direct costs associated with heavy fuel oil spills from ships using scrubbers are not included. The multi-million euro sum that it costs to clean up oil after ships have grounded and leak oil, for example Marco Polo on the Swedish coast of Blekinge last autumn, are not included in the calculations.

“If the scrubbers had not existed, no ships today would have been allowed to run on this dirty residual fuel. That is why the scrubber issue is highly relevant to push the shipping industry towards less negative environmental impact,” says Lunde Hermansson.

Restrictions in several countries

In terms of the shipowner perspective, the researchers calculated the costs of installing and maintaining the scrubber systems, as well as the monetary gain from running the scrubber-equipped vessels on the cheaper and dirtier heavy fuel oil instead of the more expensive low-sulphur fuel alternatives. According to the calculations, the majority of the shipping companies that invested in scrubbers have already reached break even, and the total surplus by the end of 2022 for all of the 3,800 vessels, was EUR 4.7 billion. The researchers also note that more than 95 percent of the most common scrubber system (so-called open loop) are repaid within five years.

“From the industry’s point of view, it is often stressed that shipping companies have acted in good faith by investing in technology that would solve the problem of sulphur content in air emissions and that they should not be penalised. Our calculations show that most investments have already been recouped and that this is no longer a valid argument,” says Lunde Hermansson.

Recently, Denmark has decided to ban the discharge of scrubber water into so-called territorial waters, within 12 nautical miles of the coast. A number of countries around the world, such as Germany, France, Portugal, Turkey and China, have also adopted national bans or restrictions.
In Sweden, there is currently no general ban, although some ports, such as the Port of Gothenburg, have banned the discharge of scrubber water in their area.


12. IR Class
 

IRClass Systems & Solutions   (ISSPL), has announced the launch of ISSPL Development Foundation (IDF). Established in March 2024 as a not-for-profit entity under section 8 of the Companies Act 2013, IDF aims to promote and administer services essential for sustaining and uplifting industrial sectors by offering testing, inspection, and certification services aligned with national and international standards, ensuring safety, quality, and environmental compliance, among others.
 
IDF’s primary activities will include conducting vocational trainings/ seminars/ conferences for knowledge dissemination, providing updates in the field of Testing, Inspection and Certification. With specialized technical advisory services for marine, offshore, and land-based industries, coupled with innovative research and development initiatives, IDF aims to harness the power of information technology for industry development, propelling businesses forward into a dynamic future of growth and excellence.
 
Shortly after its formation, IDF in collaboration with the Indian Society of Non-Destructive Testing (ISNT) – Mumbai Chapter, organised a half-day knowledge-sharing session on Non-Destructive Testing during in-service inspection for the process industry. The session was inaugurated by Mr. Vinay Kshirsagar, Director ISSPL, and Mr. Arvind Sharma, Chairman ISNT Mumbai chapter.
 
The session was well attended by representatives from Indian Navy, renowned EPC companies, the process and paint industry, NDT consultants, industry leaders, ISNT members, and contributed to knowledge exchange and gain insights into industry best practices.
 
Highlighting the objectives behind IDF’s formation  Vinay Kshirsagar, Director ISSPL stated ‘IDF is dedicated to fortifying the Testing, Inspection, and Certification (TIC) sector through comprehensive services aimed at sustaining and uplifting industrial standards. By adhering to stringent national and international benchmarks across safety, quality, and environmental domains, we are poised to elevate the TIC industry to new heights of reliability and excellence.’


13. Carbon capture

Bureau Veritas  has released a report which assesses the technical viability of current carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology within the marine market, and highlights the vital role that shipping can play across the entire CCS value chain.

The technology report, entitled Onboard Carbon Capture: An Overview of Technologies to Capture CO2 Onboard Ships, details the current state of play regarding a wide range of emerging CCS technologies. The paper explores the technical and commercial viability of implementing CCS technology onboard vessels, highlighting the results from key feasibility studies that showed achievable capture rates between 82% and 90%.

The report also details the challenges to the wider adoption and integration of CCS technologies, such as regulatory frameworks that are yet to be consolidated at a global level, as well as from an operational perspective. Concerns have been raised regarding the available space onboard vessels to accommodate CCS technologies, as well as the safe handling of CO2 onboard.

While alternative fuels are generally seen as the key to ushering in a new era of sustainable shipping, the BV report recognizes that the role of carbon capture technologies in decarbonising the maritime sector cannot be overlooked. The paper also outlines the significant role that shipping can play in facilitating the development of a global carbon capture, utilisation, and storage (CCUS) value chain as a major mode of CO2 transportation, particularly given the growing interest in offshore CO2 storage sites. Globally, some 230 million metric tons of CO2 are already used in industrial applications every year, including in the production of fertilizers, steel, and food and beverages.

Marcos Salido, Environmental Project Manager (Strategy & Advanced Services) at Bureau Veritas Marine & Offshore and main author of the report, said: “When assessing the feasibility of carbon capture technology onboard vessels, it is vital to do so within the context of the entire CCUS value chain, taking into account the potential challenges related to the management of the captured CO2. With sufficient regulations and infrastructure in place, the maritime industry could benefit from the development of a truly circular CO2 economy, whilst contributing to the industry’s ambitious decarbonization targets.”

Onboard Carbon Capture: An Overview of Technologies to Capture CO2 Onboard Ships is the second report to be issued by Bureau Veritas’ Future Shipping Team initiative, and can be downloaded here: https://marine-offshore.bureauveritas.com/newsroom/onboard-carbon-capture


14. EU ETS challenges

A recent position paper by Belgian shipowners shows the implementation challenges of EU ETS and FuelEU Maritime, the Royal Belgian Shipowners Association says.

Against the backdrop of these significant regulatory milestones, the article was written by KBRV’s Head of Legal Affairs, Shipping Policy & Security, Elle De Soomer, and Head of Environmental & Technical Affairs, Celine Audenaerdt. It addresses the complexities of compliance responsibilities and the legal ambiguities that contribute to uncertainty and contractual risks for shipowners, operators, and charterers.

“It is vital that the shipping industry first understands the principles of the EU ETS so that they can better interpret which party should bear the compliance burden,” explains De Soomer. “While the inclusion of maritime in the Emission Trading System presents a significant shift towards better accountability and environmental responsibility in the industry, our analysis finds that there are significant complexities in the definition of the responsible entity.

“One example is the stipulation that the responsible entity must be the same for EU MRV and EU ETS where this is not always the case. Another is the challenges of applying the “polluter pays” principle across EU member states where each has its unique legal framework.”
By examining standard contractual clauses aimed at mitigating these challenges, the paper also provides strategies for navigating the regulatory environment and offers recommendations to achieve compliance.

As for FuelEU Maritime, companies are currently hesitant to prepare for it due to the absence of definitive legislative texts and unclear regulatory intentions. Audenaerdt states:

“There have been efforts to anticipate changes by integrating broad clauses into customer contracts, yet substantial education and discussions are needed. All of which depend on the final legislation.

“Additionally, a specific BIMCO clause is not yet available, and fuel certification rules, especially for fuels produced outside the EU, remain undefined. This uncertainty complicates industry readiness for the 2025 FuelEU implementation, challenging the notion that the industry can adapt in time without clear regulations and certification processes. The industry’s ability to make billions in investments hinges on having these elements in place.”

The path to greener maritime practices not only depends on regulatory adjustments but also on clarifying enforcement mechanisms, particularly in relation to the ‘polluter pays’ principle.

Addressing these challenges requires a concerted effort by Member States to ensure that the transition to environmentally sustainable shipping practices does not unduly burden those committed to leading the change.

To download a copy of the position paper “Charting Uncertain Seas: Legal Ambiguities and Compliance Strategies in EU ETS and FuelEU Maritime Regulations”, click here.


15. Environmental crime directive

West P&I  has published an opinion piece on the revised Environmental Crime Directive (ECD) which has now been published in the Official Journal of the EU, and comes into force on 20 May 2024, replacing Directive 2008/99/EC and Directive 2009/123/EC. Member States have until 21 May 2026 to adopt necessary national measures to transpose the revised ECD.

The purpose of the revision was to strengthen protection of the environment through criminal law by making activities most damaging to the environment subject to criminal penalties. The existing Directive 2008/99/EC was believed to not be dissuasive enough.

The scope of the revised Directive is now much wider. For example, breaches of rules on the spread of invasive alien species and illegal ship recycling are now included. Criminal sanctions for ship-source discharge of polluting substances have also been moved out of the Ship Source Pollution Directive into the ECD.

Criminal penalties for natural persons are set out in Articles 5 and include imprisonment for up to ten years. Under Articles 6 and 7 legal persons may be subject to criminal penalties of up to 5% of total worldwide turnover or EUR 40,000,000.

For pollution caused by ships to constitute an environmental crime under the ECD, it must be unlawful and intentional, or in certain cases, committed with “serious negligence”. The revised ECD does not define “serious negligence”-Recital 27 provides that its meaning should be interpreted in accordance with national law.

This means that the liability threshold under the ECD does not align with MARPOL, which requires an “intent to cause damage or recklessly and with knowledge that damage would probably result” and UNCLOS, which provides vessels with a right of innocent passage in territorial waters unless an act of “wilful and serious pollution” occurs. This lower and less precise threshold could result in a lack of uniformity in approach across Member States. As all member States have implemented MARPOL into their national laws and have already provided sanctions (including criminal), these may continue to be applied in relevant cases.

Both the International Group and the International Chamber of Shipping engaged extensively with the EU Commission in an effort to dissuade them from creating the misalignment between the ECD and MARPOL, as well as drawing attention to the lack of legal definition around the phrase “serious negligence”. Regrettably, those efforts proved to be unsuccessful.

The full text of the ECD can be found here.


16. Heavy lift cargoes

Skuld has written a piece on the safe stowage of heavy lift cargoes and the insurance and legal implications of getting it wrong. The project cargo trade, as with many segments of the shipping industry, experienced a boom during the pandemic owing to the constraints on available tonnage to match demand. This development emphasised the importance of careful stowage of multifaceted cargoes, as contracting parties sought to optimise cargo space on vessels. Whilst market conditions may have changed somewhat, correct stowage remains vital to charterers involved in this trade. Strict compliance with the vessel’s cargo securing manual is essential.

See https://www.skuld.com/topics/legal/pi-and-defence/stowage-of-heavy-lift-cargo-legal-and-insurance-implications/.

Force majeure

Skuld has also written a piece on the recent Supreme Court judgment on force majeure clauses.

See https://www.skuld.com/topics/legal/pi-and-defence/force-majeure-clauses—certainty-wins-the-day-over-pragmatism/


17. Cabotage

Australia can impose substantial fines on foreign shipowners if they fail to pay additional ‘top up’ crew wages when a ship carries cargo between ports in Australia, Gard warns in an opinion piece.

In a shipping context, cabotage refers to transporting goods/passengers between two ports or places within the same country by a vessel registered in another country. While the definition is the same around the world, specific cabotage laws and regulations can vary significantly between different countries.

Foreign ships may legally carry cargo from one Australian port to another (Coastal Voyage) provided that a Temporary Licence is obtained. In the liner trade, however, it may not always be obvious to owners that cabotage is being undertaken and they would rightfully expect that the charterers have arranged the necessary licences. However, that may not always be the case. Owners should therefore, through their charter party clauses, ensure that they are not being exposed to additional liabilities because of the cabotage. Worst case, they could end up facing significant fines, as Gard’s correspondent Aus Ship recently warned.

Licenses for Coastal Trading are regulated under the (Revitalising Australian Shipping) Act 2012 (Coastal Trading Act). Such licences are generally quite easily and commonly obtained by charterers and shipping agents. They can also be obtained by a sub-charterer or a sub-sub-charterer without informing the owner. More information about the licensing system can be found here.

Australian law requires a copy of the license to be displayed on board, but this can be difficult to comply with if sub-charterers have not informed the owner that such a license has been obtained. See https://www.gard.no/articles/cabotage-australia-can-issue-substantial-fines/


Notices & Miscellany

Comment
A comment from master mariner and marine surveyor Manjit Handa on MA 855 story Taking the Weight.

“The OCIMF publication Mooring Equipment Guidelines (MEG4) addresses all the issues of mooring rope management in great detail. Unfortunately, few officers / crew ever get around to read it. The publication just adorns the shelves in the ship’s library.

“In 2015, the IMO agreed to revise SOLAS Regulation II-1/3-8 for safe mooring operations of all ships in order to prevent unsafe and unhealthy working situations during mooring operations. This led to the adoption of the amended SOLAS II-1/3-8 regulation (resolution MSC.474(102)), which entered into force on 1 January 2024 and the approval of new and revised guidelines.
 
“There is a serious issue of lack of training of crew for mooring operations. Most seamen learn mooring rope handling on the job.
 
“There is also a need to have a common training on ship’s mooring operations for tugboat masters, longshoremen, ship’s crew and pilots. Everyone needs to know what risks the other team is exposed to.
 
“Mooring accidents have killed a larger number of crew on the poop deck than on the forecastle. This is because of inadequate number of crew aft (thanks to the Minimum Safe Manning) , relative inexperience of the 2/offr and a less open field of view on the poop deck. When under pressure to hurry up, things can go wrong very fast and with horrible consequences.”

In an additional comment he says: “The comparison between forecastle deck and poop deck for mooring operations has never been studied in detail. The subject deserves serious research. I can offer only a few inputs:-
 
1. The forecastle deck may be enclosed but the bulwark provides a measure of safety too. More importantly, from the bridge/bridge wing, the Master and the pilot can see the forecastle better than they can monitor the poop deck. The Master is therefore dependent on radio reports from the 2/officer for an appreciation of the progress of mooring ops on the poop deck. This adds to the complexity for the 2/officer.
 
2. The overall crew experience level on the forecastle (with Ch/Offr and Bosun) is higher than that on the poop deck (with the 2/Officer in charge).
 
3. There is little that can be done to reduce the density of mooring equipment on the poop deck. A point to note is that the total equipment on the poop deck for a handymax is almost the same as that for a panamax/capesizer, hence the density of equipment is higher for a handymax. Only adequate manning can ease the situation.
 
4. In my experience, 2/officers tend to take more risks in the way they move about on the poop deck. A good Master should invest a little time with his 2/officer to curb his enthusiasm. A proper briefing before the mooring stations is an important step to reduce the risk of an accident.

ISM Code

The International Safety Management (ISM) Code is a key mandatory requirement for merchant ships, and the safety management system (SMS) is a critical mechanism for ensuring safe and environmentally responsible operations on board ships.  ISM-related deficiencies are in the top three most-reported deficiencies by port state control authorities globally. 

The ICS Guidelines on the Application of the IMO International Safety Management (ISM) Code helps shipping companies comply with the code and provides practical guidance for designated persons ashore (DPAs) and crew to develop, implement and maintain an effective, user-friendly SMS.

The sixth edition adds a brand new chapter on internal audits, to assist companies with ongoing compliance, reduce delays at port and stay on top of continuous improvement goals. Packed with helpful tools and tips from some of the world’s leading shipping companies, it includes an enhanced toolkit of checklists for familiarising crew, writing procedures and checklists, and conducting internal audits, with templates for standard operating procedures and questions to assist the internal auditor during interviews of shore and ship based personnel.

It is strongly recommended that a copy is in every shipping company office and carried on board every ship worldwide. This includes shipping company executives, DPAs, masters and all other personnel – shipboard and shore-based – with ISM-related responsibilities. The sixth edition replaces and supersedes the Guidelines on the Application of the IMO International Safety Management (ISM) Code, Fifth Edition.

This fifth edition is priced at £170 and is available in print and e-book formats.

Read the full description, contents, foreword and introduction on the ICS Publications site – Find out more and order.

Ammonia report

DNV says that in response to the anticipated delivery of ammonia engines, fuel producers are announcing production plants for ammonia that is clean from well to wake.

So, how will ammonia supply and demand develop towards 2030 and beyond? How will different industries compete for ammonia? And which ammonia types will prevail?

Discover the future of ammonia and examine the supply and demand of green and blue ammonia in DNV’s latest white paper.

Download our latest publication

Shipping conference

Shipping UK, the UK Chamber of Shipping’s new conference, has announced Paddy Rodgers (previous CEO of Euronav and Director of the Royal Museums Greenwich) as moderator and Laure Baratgin (Head of Commercial Operations, Rio Tinto) and Steve Gordon (Managing Director of Clarksons Research) as two of the four panellists who have kindly agreed to participate in the first panel discussion on 8th October at the QEII Centre in Westminster, London. For more details see the Chamber website.

London Club

The London P&I Club has announced that Ian Gooch will be stepping down during the year from the role of Chief Executive Officer after 15 years as CEO and 21 years as a Director of A.Bilbrough & Co., the company that manages the London P&I Club. Subject to regulatory approval, Ian Gooch will be succeeded by James Bean, from NorthStandard P&I Club.
A qualified Solicitor, James Bean has worked within the marine insurance industry since 2005 and was appointed to the NorthStandard’s senior leadership team in February 2023. Prior to that he was the Group Managing Director at the Standard Club.
To ensure an orderly transition, Ian Gooch will continue as a member of the A Bilbrough & Co. team, providing support to James and the senior management team.

Cyber resilience

The NIS2 directive introduces new awareness requirements that are pivotal for organizations striving to enhance their cyber resilience. The broadened scope encompasses a range of requisites linked to behavioral components  – from foundational cyber hygiene practices to the nurturing of cyber security awareness through training, and the strengthening of human resources defences, class society DNV says.

It is important for organizations to have a proactive approach towards these changes and adapting to the increased requirements. But the human factor goes beyond complying with the new regulations. People serve as the bedrock of effective cyber security and embracing it within the company culture means empowering individuals with the right knowledge, skills, and capabilities to seamlessly embed the right behaviour on their day-to-day work.

DNV’s  upcoming webinar will give insights on the essential cyber security awareness components of NIS2 compliance and key factors to consider when developing your cyber security awareness roadmap.

Register now

Chinese impact

The impact of China on the global energy transition cannot be underestimated with China’s enormous green energy shift and its 33% share of the world’s emissions.

In a report on China’s energy transition, and part of DNV’s Energy Transition Outlook series, DNV finds that China:

•    is set to increase its renewable energy installations five-fold
•    shifts its power mix from 30% renewables today to 88% by mid-century
•    in less than a decade has increased its solar power generation from 1 to 5%, but this will increase to 38% of electricity production by 2050.
•    will reduce annual emissions by 8Gt between now and 2050, which is three times as much as Europe’s emissions reductions.
 
Download your copy
 

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)

Top Ten Things You’ll Never Hear From a Management Consultant

10. You’re right; we’re billing way too much for this.

9.  Bet you I can go a week without saying “synergy” or “value-added”.

8.  How about paying us based on the success of the project?

7.  This whole strategy is based on a Harvard business case I read.

6   Actually, the only difference is that we charge more than they do.

5.  I don’t know enough to speak intelligently about that.

4.  Implementation? I only care about writing long reports.

3.  I can’t take the credit. It was Ed in your marketing department.

2.  The problem is, you have too much work for too few people.

1.  Everything looks okay to me.


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 week 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.

**

You are currently subscribed to martimeadvocate as: avo2024@mikeosbornecreative.co.uk.

To unsubscribe click here: https://cts.lmsslsecure.com/u?id=123090315.dd614683ee901c4eacc24a10f15f60d0&n=T&l=martimeadvocate&o=6420788

(It may be necessary to cut and paste the above URL if the line is broken)

or send a blank email to leave-6420788-123090315.dd614683ee901c4eacc24a10f15f60d0@lyris.dundee.net