The Maritime Advocate online–Issue 628



1. Obligation to Pay Hire
2. New Tolls Structure for the Panama Canal
3. Maersk Tigris
4. Ballast Water–Cut Bait or Fish
5. The Boy who Loved Transit
6. People and Places

Situation Vacant

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1. Obligation to Pay Hire

The latest case added to the Shipping and Transport section of David Martin-Clark’s Case Notes is based on a note written by James Shirley, A barrister at Stone Chambers in Gray’s Inn,

It relates to a decision of the English High Court in the case of Spar Shipping AS v Grand China Logistics Holding (Group) Co. In this case, the judge, Popplewell J. took the view that the obligation to pay hire on time under the standard wording of the 1993 version of the New York Produce Exchange Form charterparty was an innominate term, rather than a condition. Thus, in order to establish a claim for loss of bargain, the Owner had to show that the Charterer’s failure to pay hire on time evinced an intention not to be further bound by the charterparty, that is to say, that it amounted to a repudiatory breach of contract at common law.

Popplewell J. thus declined to follow the reasoning in the case of Kuwait Rocks Co v AMN Bulkcarriers [2013] EWHC 865 (Comm), where Mr Justice Flaux had concluded that a simple breach of the obligation to pay hire on time amounted to a breach of condition, entitling the Owner to claim damages for loss of bargain, where he had suffered them.

To access the case note go to:-

2. New Tolls Structure for the Panama Canal

Our good friends at the Panama Canal Authority have sent us the following news:-

The Cabinet Council of the Republic of Panama has officially approved a proposal to modify the Canal tolls structure, following a recommendation from the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) Board of Directors.

The accepted proposal modifies the pricing structure for most Canal segments and follows more than a year of informal consultations with representatives from various industry segments, an open call for comments, and a public hearing to solicit industry feedback on these changes.

“After working in close cooperation with our partners in the maritime industry, I am pleased we will be able to provide a more bespoke pricing solution for our customers; one that recognizes their various needs and requests, while still appreciating the value and reliability provided by the route,” said Panama Canal Administrator/CEO Jorge L. Quijano.

Most segments will now be priced based upon different units of measurement to meet and align with the diverse traffic transiting the locks. For instance, dry bulkers will be based on deadweight tonnage capacity and metric tons of cargo. Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) and Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) vessels, will be based on cubic meters and tankers will be measured and priced on Panama Canal Universal measurement system (PC/UMS) tons and metric tons of cargo. Container ships will continue to be measured and priced on TEUs and passenger vessels will continue to be based on berths or PC/UMS. In addition, a new Intra Maritime Cluster segment has been created which includes local tourism vessels, marine bunkering and container transshipment vessels that do not compete with international trade.

The tolls restructuring will also be implemented alongside a customer-loyalty program for the container segment, a first for the ACP. Frequent container customers will now receive premium prices, once a particular TEU volume is reached.

The newly approved toll adjustments for all market segments are scheduled to go into effect on April 1, 2016, except for the new Intra Maritime Cluster Segment which go into effect with this approval.

For specific information about the newly approved tolls structure, visit the ACP’s website at: –

A rather good infographic is viewable here:-

3. Maersk Tigris

Our friend John AC Cartner has been interviewed on Maritime TV commenting on events in the Persian Gulf with the harassment of the Maersk Kensington and the boarding and arrest of the Maersk Tigris. A blog on this subject from Dr. Cartner accompanies the video.

[One wonders a little whether the excommunication of Iranian merchant shipping from the International P&I system has played a role here. The Iranian government has advanced a dispute relating to 10 containers which were uncollected and sold as the reason for the arrest of the Maersk ship. Be they ever so valuable, we all know that the resolution of cargo claims is devised and supported to avoid unecessary detentions and delays of merchant ships–ed]

4. Ballast Water–Cut Bait or Fish

The Round Table (RT) of International Shipping Organisations (comprising BIMCO, the International Chamber of Shipping, Intercargo and INTERTANKO) has announced it is deeply concerned if the international convention to regulate ships’ ballast water comes into force in the near future without a realistic implementation schedule that recognises the timetable for US type-approved Ballast Water Management Systems (BWMS) to be available in sufficient quantities.

[It is hard to it magine shipowners investing serious money in something which has yet to be put through its paces in the US of A –ed].

See the statement here:-

5. The Boy who Loved Transit

Courtesy of the Browser which took us to the piece by Jeff Tietz which appears in Harper’s, we learned of the career of Darius McCollum, a mildly autistic man obsessed with the New York public transit system to the point of impersonating employees, accumulating uniforms and work materials, inspecting tracks, driving trains, going to union meetings — and, inevitably, going to jail. A warning to us all lest we take an interest in shipping and transport to excess.

6. People and Places

Michel van Roozendaal (M.Sc. Aerospace Engineering; MBA INSEAD, Fontainebleau; b. 1963) has been appointed President of the MacGregor business area. He will be a member of Cargotec’s Executive Board and report to President and CEO Mika Vehviläinen.

Adjuster Lloyd Warwick has strengthened its London operation with the addition of Spencer Clark who specialises in marine energy.

The board of directors of Odfjell SE has appointed Kristian Mørch as the company’s new president and CEO. He will succeed current president and CEO Tore Jakobsen by November 1, 2015. Mørch is a Danish citizen and presently holds the position as co-CEO of Clipper Group. He has previously been COO of Maersk Tankers, and has also held other management positions in A.P. Moller-Maersk. Mørch holds an MBA from IMD (Switzerland), and is an AMP graduate from Harvard Business School.

From the Avo Archive

The website of this newsletter contains all the editorial material since the inception of the Maritime Advocate as a print based quarterly in 1997 under the founding aegis of John Guy, Chris Hewer and Manfred Arnold. Readers can go to the site and search the database on the home page in its entirety. If you are looking for an old case, an old controversy or you would just like to see how many times you and your firm have featured in our annals feel free to access the archive. It is like this e-zine, free to Readers and we always appreciate the support of advertisers and sponsors.

Searching under the terms “obsession” and “obsessive”, we ran across this pungent item which appeared in Issue 495 dated September 15th, 2011:-

The Late Wilburn Boat

Graydon S. Staring of San Francisco. has sent in a clipping from Boston which will be of interest to marine underwriters with American interests and their counsel. Those unacquainted with the late Wilburn may find some background in the 1955 Supreme Court decision, Wilburn Boat Co. v. Fireman’s Fund Ins. Co., 348 United States Reports 310 or in any of several sites on line under that name.

[From the Boston Spectator]

WILBURN BOAT FOUND DEAD AT 53: Marine Insurance Figure

Boston, August 14.

A body found in 2008 and buried in Potters Field has now been identified as that of Wilburn Boat, well known in marine insurance circles and regarded by many as a crank or a sociopath. He is thought to have been born in Texas but otherwise his early background is murky. He was reportedly discovered as a foundling in 1955 and brought up by a sympathetic judge. There are news reports over the years of his intervening in judicial proceedings concerning marine insurance to advance an obsessive view that they should not be decided under maritime law. He was severely criticized for this view and bore scars of the attacks of some of his critics, most notably a local lawyer has said, a thrashing given him a few years ago by a Professor Goldstein. When the body was discovered in an alley near the federal courthouse the marks of old wounds were observed and a fresh cut, possibly self-inflicted, from which loss of blood alone would probably not have proved fatal but, in the view of the medical examiner, may have combined with obvious weakness produced by a dissolute life to cause death.

The police and coroner’s records have been drawn to the attention of Mr. Graydon S. Staring, who has followed the deceased’s history with interest and questions whether the authorities had carried their investigation sufficiently into activities in the adjacent courthouse. We understand that Mr. Staring is gathering evidence and will shortly publish an obituary in the Journal of Maritime Law & Commerce with an account of the deceased’s activities and the circumstances that may be related to his death.

The Devil’s Dictionary: V is for VDR

Chris Hewer has sent in the latest edition of Bottom Line, the newsletter from the shipping team at Moore Stephens, which also includes articles on tax avoidance, shipping pools, tonnage tax, CGT, and non-doms.

The twenty-second in a series looking at classic and alternative definitions of shipping and accountancy terms

Textbook definition A Voyage Data Recorder (VDR) is an onboard data recording system required under the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) convention.

The alternative VDR definition The VDR is frequently referred to as the shipping industry’s ‘black box’, because it is usually orange and round. It helps accident investigators to identify the cause of an accident. You will be required to have a VDR on board if your vessel is big enough to be called a ship rather than a boat. Interpretations may vary so check first with the most pedantic person you know. As a rule of thumb, a boat may be carried on board a ship, but a ship may not be carried on board a boat. There are numerous examples of ships’ officers failing to preserve VDR data following collisions, many of which involve lighthouses and people listening to football matches on VHF.
This is bad luck. Also, it compromises the ship owner’s position when it comes to laying blame, which is always apportioned 60:40 in favour of the give-way vessel.

Not all ships pass in the night.

10 Ways You Know Your Internet Connection Is A Little Slow

1. Text on Web pages displays as Morse Code

2. Graphics arrive via FedEx

3. You believe a heavier string might improve your connection

4. You post a message to your favorite newsgroup and it displays a week later

5. Your credit card expires while ordering online

6. ESPN Web site exhibits “Heisman Trophy Winner” …for 1989

7. You’re still in the middle of downloading that popular new game, “PacMan”

8. Everyone you talk to on the ‘net phone’ sounds like Forrest Gump

9. You receive e-mails with stamps on them

10. When you click the “Send” button, a little door opens on the side of your monitor and a pigeon flies out.

[Source: Paul Dixon]

Thanks for Reading the Maritime Advocate online

Maritime Advocate Online is a weekly digest of news and views on the maritime industries, with particular reference to legal issues and dispute resolution. It is published to over 15 500 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 45 000 Readers in over 120 countries.