The Maritime Advocate online–Issue 640


1. NZ Courts take a Humanitarian View on Unpaid Crew
2. Container Weight Tolerance
3. Undeclared Weapons in UN Shipment Cause of Detention of Höegh
4. The Lowdown on Ocean Acidification
5. Spirit of the Bee Hive: UASC Barzan at DP World London 21Sep15
6. People and Places

Singapore – Unique Opportunity – Niche Law Firm For Sale

Are you contemplating a new office in Singapore or seeking to expand
your existing office in Asia or looking to break into shipping litigation?

Are you a Partner or Senior Associate looking to set up your own practice
in Singapore?

All from a running start, with minimal capital outlay or management

IF SO, read on:

Who are we?

** We are a niche shipping litigation firm.
** We have a 10 year plus track record of excellent profitability in
** Our clients are blue chip and mostly long standing (we have no need
to advertise).
** We are fully licensed in Singapore (as a foreign law practice) and
England & Wales (as an overseas practice).
** Our small team has a 1st class academic education from the UK and
substantial experience of both litigation and arbitration focusing primarily
on dry work with some wet shipping.
** We have an excellent professional indemnity and complaints record
** We have no loans or other liabilities.

If interested, please contact the Managing Director on a confidential

FOB Network News

The current count of Members is 3764.

We follow the ins and outs of people on FOB with great
interest and could not help but notice there has been a minor surge
in members of the English Bar joining the network. FOB is social networking
for the maritime classes. Members are visible to other members but not
the internet entire. There is no flaming and there is a group open for
most people’s taste. But not so far a group called “London Arbitration”.

Our new supply of news on the FOB News Page comes to us
from Sam Chamber and Co’s Splash 24/7 service for which we send many


Registration for FOB is gratis for individuals. Businesses
can take out a page for a small supporting contribution and we welcome
firms prepared to sponsor Group pages or advertise with us. This helps
to keep FOB a going concern and puts a smile on the face of our programmers
and accountants..

FOB is a project designed to adapt the new ways of using the internet
for the sorts of people who read The Maritime Advocate.

You are welcome to join

1. NZ Courts take a Humanitarian View on Unpaid Crew

Gavin Magrath, the editor of forwarderlaw has sent us
this note by our friend Pauline Barrett of Fee Langstone on what happens
to seafarers when a vessel is arrested?

Pauline Barratt discusses the current case of the Lancelot
V [2015] NZHC 1874, 10 August 2015, Davidson J. The ship was under arrest
since 22 June 201. It had a crew of 19. While some were receiving wages
as low as USD$20 per day, even those meagre wages had been unpaid for
two months prior to the arrest, and the crew lodged a caveat against
the release of the vessel and were granted intervenor status in the
proceedings. In its interim decision, the court considered commercial
and humanitarian arguments for payment of wages, including outstanding
pre-arrest wages.

Read the note here:-

2. Container Weight Tolerance

The fine old shipping institution of slackage, ullage, breakage, shrinkage,
spillage and so forth is coming to a weighbridge near you. The Loadstar
runs this story:-

Dutch shipper body EVO has warned of a flaw in the International Maritime
Organization’s (IMO) forthcoming regulation on container weight
with shippers obliged to provide a verified gross measurement of the
weight of export containers prior to loading on ships.

EVO policy consultant on maritime affairs and fiscal lawyer Lodewijk
Wisse told The Loadstar that part of the legislation, which becomes
law on 1 July 2016, allows individual countries to set their own weight
tolerance percentages for weighing equipment. This, he believes, will
result in a seriously unbalanced playing field.

For example, the UK’s maritime regulator, the Maritime and Coast
Guard Agency (MCA), has said it will accept weighing equipment that
has an accuracy of plus or minus 5% of the actual gross mass of a container.
The Dutch ministry of transport is advocating a similar tolerance level
and EVO is advocating that all countries adopt the same fixed difference
in stipulated allowance percentage. Mr Wisse said: “We have run
a test to find out what the real tare weight of a container is, while
establishing a particular tolerance percentage. The test was done on
a fully certified and calibrated weighbridge. Its outcome was an allowance
of 5%.” He added that the transport ministry will issue a concept
regulation to the effect in the weeks to come. The only other country
which has so far set its tolerance level is Denmark, which only went
as far as 0.5%. Dutch maritime industry sources suggested that leading
Danish shipping line Maersk may have lobbied for this low percentage.
EVO has also repeatedly argued that placing the entire responsibility
for providing the verified gross mass through weighing will pose a huge
administrative burden – while a shipper can establish the weight
of his product, it has more difficulty with packaging used wrap goods
or pallets on which cargo is carried.

“Customs already inspect containers and their contents. To the
shipper’s mind, safety is not only about weight, but also about
stowage and lashing of cargo,” Mr Wisse added. “This should
not be laid solely upon shippers.” Jasper Nagtegaal, ifrastructure
policy consultant to Rotterdam-based port entrepreneurs’ organisation
Deltalinqs, agreed. “Transportation sectors will also be confronted
with these regulations. That is why Deltalinqs, [Dutch forwarders organisation]
Fenex, Transport & Logistics Netherlands, EVO and others strongly
advise dividing the administrative burden of compulsory
weighing across all modalities. Terminal operators specifically focus
on the spot weighing bridges should be positioned. All for the sake
of a smooth operation at terminals,” he said.

The Royal Association of Dutch Shipowners (KVNR) has supported both
container weighing and certified weight calculation methods, as well
as prohibiting containers without verification from being loaded onto
a vessel. KVNR managing director Martin Dorsman said: “Incorrect
container weight can cause serious problems during stacking layers of
containers at the terminal and when lashing them onboard ship. A heavy
weight stacked upon a light weight can cause the lower positioned container
to collapse.There is also the risk onboard, in case a heavy container
is stacked too high in a layer. In such a case
the vessel’s movements during the voyage can cause containers to
go overboard.”

One solution under currently development in the Netherlands is,
which has run a test using an axle load weighing system. The ContainerWeight
app can be used at the weighbridge and the results are filed to any
port community system. is also developing a worldwide
database of container tare weights to help shippers.

3. Undeclared Weapons in UN Shipment Cause of Detention of Höegh

Mike Elsom has sent in the following statement:-

Höegh Transporter has finally been released from detention in
Mombasa, Kenya, and has continued her ocean voyage to South Africa,
West Africa and Mexico, having suffered a delay of more than a week.
No crew have been arrested, no drugs found on board but a consignment
of undeclared United Nations weapons has been found.

On arrival in Mombasa on 17 September, the ship was boarded by Kenyan
authorities in search of weapons and drugs. After a short search, a
consignment of handguns shipped by the United Nations from Mumbai, India,
to Mombasa, in transit for the United Nations peacekeeping mission in
the Democratic Republic of Congo, was found. The vehicles had originally
been loaded by Indian military personnel.

It is Höegh Autoliners` policy not to load weapons on vessels
engaged in civilian traffic. Had we been aware of the presence of guns
inside this consignment of vehicles shipped by United Nations, the cargo
would neither have been booked nor loaded. The fact that the vehicles
contained guns which were loaded without our knowledge caused a breach
of Kenyan laws and our own strict policies. It is highly regrettable
that a grave mistake on the part of the shipper has caused major difficulties
and delays for other customers, the crew and ship.

A search for drugs yielded no results involving vessel or crew.

The cooperation with the local authorities has been good, and their
reaction understandable given the seriousness of the issue.

We can only regret that certain media has added to the tension by publishing
inaccurate and wildly speculative stories.

4. The Lowdown on Ocean Acidification

Maritime blogger Dennis L Bryant recently published this accomplished
essay in Marine Technology News:-

Scientists say that the world’s oceans are acidifying. This term
is correct, but somewhat misleading. Until recently, the oceans have
had (so far as can be determined) a pH level of about 8.4 for millennia.
A pH of 7.0 is neutral. Thus, the oceans are alkaline, not acidific.
But, since the beginning of the industrial age when emissions of carbon
dioxide started to rise, the oceans’ pH level has dropped to 8.3
and the waters have become less alkaline. Some argue that that is not
a big change in 200 years. But it is the largest change known to have
occurred in 20 million years. In addition, most of that change has occurred
during the past 50 years and the rate of change is accelerating, keeping
pace with the increase in carbon dioxide emissions. It has been estimated
that the average pH of the oceans will fall to 7.8 by the end of the
21st century if the carbon dioxide emissions trend continues.

Read the piece in full here:-

5. Spirit of the Bee Hive: UASC Barzan at DP World London 21Sep15

This elegant 90 second film shows all the action when the giant UASC
vessel Barzan docks and begins to offload over 4,000 containers containing
millions of import items from Asia to be distributed across the UK over
the coming days.

[Source: Handy Shipping Guide]

6. People and Places

Ariaen Zimmerman has been appointed Executive Director of Cargo 2000
(C2K), an IATA Interest Group established to lead the drive towards
enhanced quality throughout the air cargo industry.

Zimmerman is leading the group’s change program, which will see
C2K adopt a new auditing system, neutral benchmarks, and embrace a smarter,
wider approach to data analysis using Smart Data.


MacGregor has appointed Zhengyu Li (Frank) as Vice President, Head
of China business. Mr Li will drive the development of MacGregor business
in the most important market in the marine industry. He will be a member
of the MacGregor Group Executive Team and will be based in Shanghai.


NORTH P&I Club joint managing director Paul Jennings has been appointed
chairman of the International Group of P&I Clubs’ reinsurance
subcommittee, responsible for buying that body’s annual $3.0bn
collective reinsurance programme, one of the largest in the world.


The Baltic Exchange has announced that its Chief Executive, Jeremy
Penn will step down from the position next summer after over 12.5 years
in the role.

“Jeremy advised the Board some time ago of his plans and we will
of course be sorry to lose him. We are now in a position to launch a
formal search for his successor, which will be managed by Odgers Berndtson,”
said Guy Campbell, Chairman of the Baltic Exchange.

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.

There are too many references to the United Nations to mention, but
we found the one below fun to reread, It appears in Back Issue 8 of
July 1999:-

Starling revelations

IT is generally a mistake to write a letter to the press complaining
about an item that has been published. Wise counsel will prevail upon
you to write the letter and throw it away. That way you will feel better,
rather than the rest of the world feeling better at your expense.

That said, the maritime press must have fewer good readers’ letters
than any other trade sector. I don’t know why that should be. Ennui,
perhaps? Complacency? Complete satisfaction with everything that is
printed? I doubt it.

All the more reason, then, to give wide circulation to a good letter
when one appears. Here is Michael Marks Cohen, of New York law firm
Burlingham Underwood, writing recently to the editor of Lloyd’s List,
about an article which compared certain members of the shipping industry
to various animals.

“I note that (the author) failed to mention maritime journalists.
I personally see an analogy between maritime journalists and starlings.
These noisy birds, you will recall, are well-fed by friendly people
who in some cases get only a large cleaning bill to show for their generosity.”

Those who know Michael – and who doesn’t? – will know that his tongue
will have been fairly deep in his cheek as he wrote these words, probably
in fountain pen, probably on an interesting postcard, probably postmarked
at the United Nations building in New York.

Michael has always been friendly to journalists, has always gone out
of his way to help them, has very often made the first move, the initial
introduction, the offer of lunch. He does it, too, without vainglory
and without seeking editorial favour.

As far as I know, Michael’s cleaning bills are not too heavy. He enjoys
– more than he would admit – being at good-natured loggerheads with
industry pundits. I can do no better than recommend to him the immortal
verse of Humbert Wolfe, who wrote:

“You cannot hope
to bribe or twist,
Thank God! the
British journalist,
But seeing what
the man will do
unbribed, there’s
no occasion to.”


TWO letters in the same publication on the same day is a bit much,
but it’s true. There, alongside Michael Cohen’s starlings, was a letter
from the managers’ agents of the UK P&I Club in the north-east of
England, taking objection to the use of the term “the world’s first
super-mutual” to describe the proposed merger between the Britannia
and Standard clubs. This is an example of a letter best left unwritten,
and not for the reason that the merger subsequently fell flat on its

There is nothing is to be gained by complaining about a finite term
being applied to one of your competitors, particularly when the term
relates to mere size, and not to quality. Bleating on about your own
innovative service that others can only copy, and claiming for yourself
the meaningless, empty accolade accorded your competitor, is as good
a way as any to debase yourself in front of an international readership.
This is a situation which calls for style and judgment, not preciousness
about size.

A Definition Of Globalization for Everyman

Question: What is the truest definition of Globalization?

Answer: Princess Diana’s death.

Question: Why?


An English princess
riding with her Egyptian boyfriend
crashes in a French tunnel,
driving a German car
with a Dutch engine,
driven by a Belgian
who was drunk on Scottish whisky,
followed closely by Italian Paparazzi,
who were riding Japanese motorcycles.

Di was treated by an American doctor,
using Brazilian medicines.

This message is sent around by Anglo-German-Polish American,
using American technology,
and you’re probably reading this on your
computer that uses Taiwanese chips,
and a Korean monitor,
assembled by Bangladeshi workers
in a Singapore plant,
transported by Indian lorry-drivers,
hijacked by Indonesians,
unloaded by Sicilian longshoremen,
and trucked to your retailer by Mexican illegals.

Such is Globalization.


The Sainted Bill Smith

A man walked out into the street and managed to get a taxi just going
by. What luck, he thought, as he slid into the cab.

“Perfect timing,” the cabby said. “You’re just like
Bill.” “Who?”

“Bill Smith. There’s a guy who did everything right,” the
cabby said. “Like my coming along when you needed a cab. It would
have happened like that to Bill every time.”

“Nah,” the man said to the cabby. “There are always
a few clouds over everybody.”

“Not Bill,” said the cabby. “He was a terrific athlete.
He could have gone on the pro tour in tennis. He could golf with the
pros. He sang like an opera baritone and danced like a Broadway star.”

“Bill was really something, huh?”

“Oh, yeah,” continued the cabby. “Bill had a memory
like a trap. Could remember everybody’s birthday. He knew all about
wine, which fork to eat with. He could fix anything.

Not like me. I change a fuse, and the whole neighborhood blacks out.”

“No wonder you remember him,” the man said.

“Well, I never actually met Bill,” said the cabby.

“Then how in the world do you know so much about him?”

“I married his widow,” replied the cabby.

[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.