The Maritime Advocate online–Issue 641


1. US Tonnage Clause not for Terminals
2. American Hellenic
3. Silk Road hits Speed Bumps
4. Tianjin Loss Estimates
5. Unmanned Ships
6. People and Places

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1. US Tonnage Clause not for Terminals

Dennis L Bryant’s Maritime Blog reports on the case of
Maher Terminals v. Port Authority of NY/NJ, No. 14-3626 (3rd Cir., October
1, 2015) in which the US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit affirmed
the district court’s dismissal of a plaintiff marine terminal’s suit
against defendant port authority challenging various lease provisions
for alleged violations of the Constitution’s Tonnage Clause and two
related federal statutes. In a 42-page decision discussing standing
and zone of interest, among other things, the court concluded that the
plaintiff was not an intended beneficiary of the Tonnage Clause and
was outside its zone of interest.

[ It is always interesting to see the kind of rent charged
to stevedores like Maher. They are charged a fixed amount (like a minimum
and deposit] based on acreage and a variable amount depending on turnover
–ed ]

2. American Hellenic

The American Club has announced a strategic investment in a new Cyprus-based
hull insurance company, American Hellenic Hull Insurance Company, Ltd.
(American Hellenic), as part of its continuing global expansion and
diversification initiative. The new company will be managed by an experienced
team of executives with over twenty years in the hull & machinery
insurance market.

American Hellenic will be a Cyprus-based and licensed, Solvency II
compliant, wholly-owned American Club subsidiary. It will be managed
from Piraeus, Cyprus and New York, utilizing the expertise of long-standing
professionals in the marine insurance market and will be serviced through
specialists in offices located in seven major global shipping hubs with
the ability to provide local market know-how and service to its customers,
and to communicate in no less than eleven languages.

Chairman of the American Club’s Board of Directors, Arnold Witte,
in highlighting the significance of this strategic investment, said:
“The Board of Directors carefully assessed the value of this business
opportunity and voted unanimously in favor of supporting the American
Hellenic hull insurance initiative. This is an historic moment in the
Club’s long history and, through the dedication and ingenuity of
the Club’s Managers and Board Directors, sparked by the idea of
Board member Angelos Kostakos, represents a unique opportunity to prudently
expand our market footprint, and bodes well for the future of the American

Here is a circular issued by Joe Hughes:-

[ The P&I world is dividing between those Clubs who continue to
believe that they have a secure future as monoline insurers and those
who are adding new products and services to their traditional offerings.
It is perhaps easier to make a success of diversification outside the
London market where there seems always to be a tendency for established
players to defend their turf against newcomers with great vigour. –ed

3. Silk Road hits Speed Bumps

This publication is always game for an article on shipping infrastucture.
Courtesy of the Browser we ran across this article which appears in
The Diplomat written by Moritz Rudolf of the Mercator Institute for
China Studies. There is a very good graphic which charts the various
initiatives which are advanced under the four character maxim One Belt,
One Road” (OBOR). The idea is to create China-centered infrastructure
networks in order to expand the country’s economic and political influence
in Eurasia and Africa. Current financial difficulties are not helping.

4. Tianjin Loss Estimates

The October edition of the JLT Energy Newsletter has a laconic item
on Tianjin which speaks volumes:-

Insured losses from the explosion in Tianjin port in August are now
expected to amount to USD 2 billion – USD 3 billion,
according to a number of market sources. Very provisional estimates
in the immediate aftermath of the disaster had implied that losses would
be in the region of USD 1 billion – USD 1.5 billion, but the market
is now expecting a much higher figure.

It has been suggested at the IUMI conference in Berlin that growing
fears of cyanide contamination to containerised cargo
could see the total loss figure balloon to USD 5 billion to USD 6 billion,
although this was confirmed as pure conjecture at this point as large
areas of the port are still under lockdown preventing access to surveyors
and loss adjusters to assess the damage.

[ The thought arises here. China is a jurisdiction with little experience
of class actions or mass litigation seeking damages to compensate civil
damages. If authority deems such things as not in the public interest,
the likelihood of successful litigation on this scale diminishes rather.
The mind is carried back to the times after the large earthquake in
Sichuan Province when claimants alleging culpable failure to build public
buildings in line with legal codes were not able to claim damages–ed

5. Unmanned Ships

Bridget Hogan has sent in this note:-

Unmanned vessels are already a reality in today’s shipping industry,
and will play a larger role in future, delegates to The Nautical Institute’s
latest seminar were told. More than seventy people attended London Branch’s
two-day event in Bristol “Autonomous ships; what does the future
hold?”, where a wide range of speakers from class, regulatory authorities,
developers and operators outlined what might be in prospect for the

“Automated ships are here today, already, in all sorts of shapes
and sizes, used for science, for research, for defence and in the oil
and gas industry, among other things,” said James Fanshawe, chair
of the UK’s Maritime Autonomous Systems (MAS) regulatory working
group, in his keynote address. As vessel sizes increase, they will have
to be integrated into a well-established maritime world with many complexities
in place, he warned. “The MAS is determined that they should be
brought in sensitively and recognising the concerns of all involved.”

Over two days of presentations and discussion, some of the most important
points to come out included:-

• Autonomous ships are not a thing of the future; in many sectors
small autonomous vessels are already a reality for both subsea and surface
• The move towards fully automated vessels is likely to be driven
by insurance and the increasing public demand that no accident is acceptable.
However, while it reduces risk in some areas, including keeping seafarers
out of harm’s way, it may increase it in others.
• Interaction between manned and unmanned vessels is likely to
be a major point of risk.
• Existing conventions and regulations will need to be updated
to take the existence of autonomous vessels into account, including
Colregs, SOLAS and national regulations
• While autonomous merchant vessels are unlikely to be a reality
for many years yet, onboard systems are increasingly becoming automated,
which demands a new set of skills and aptitudes from seafarers.

While it will be many years yet before fully unmanned merchant ships
become a reality – if they ever do – it is vital that the
industry starts thinking about the implications of the potential change
at an early stage. Only this way can it ensure that the training, skills
and knowledge are in place to maintain the safety and profitability
of the industry.

Bridget writes:-

We reported live from the conference on twitter where quotes, discussions
and more information on the conference can be found:-

[ Kudos to the NI for thinking about the future. Mobile ships and sedentary
humans. Masters working nine to five sitting in front of screens pulling
on joysticks in an air conditioned building in Nevada? We can’t wait.
–ed ]

6. People and Places

Captain Sivakumaran Divakaran has joined ACE as its new marine risk
manager for Asia Pacific.

Divakaran joins from Charles Taylor Marine, Malaysia, where he specialised
in marine risk management. He has more than 20 years of shipping industry

He will be part of the Asia Pacific marine team, which provides marine
cargo insurance and risk management solutions. He will also play an
active role within the firm’s project cargo practice and multinational
client division.

Divakaran will be based in Kuala Lumpur


Terry Weston has been confirmed as Chief Executive of Maritime and
Engineering College North West (MECNW) following the retirement of his
predecessor, Jim Teasdale, at the end of September.

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.

Looking for the term “unmanned”, we turned up this short
piece in Back Issue 22 of April 03:-

Unmanned command

A NICE piece appeared in the Maritime Items email of Haight Gardner
Holland & Knight recently, in which Dennis Bryant explained, Yesterday’s
Maritime Items indicated that the Coast Guard Authorization Act would,
if adopted, allow US unmanned barges operating outside the US to be
owned by non-citizens. My friend in the coastguard advised me that I
should have said that the bill, if adopted, would allow US unmanned
barges operating outside the US to be under the command of a non-citizen.
When asked how an unmanned barge can be under the command of anyone,
he responded that it is a metaphysical thing. Seriously, though, the
master of the tug towing the barge is considered to have control of
the barge. One wonders if the law recognises that this may not be true
in bad weather?

In the Ravine

One day, Jim and Bob are out golfing. Jim slices his ball deep into
a wooded ravine. He grabs his 8-iron and proceeds down the embankment
into the ravine in search of his ball.

The brush is quite thick, but Jim searches diligently and suddenly he
spots something shiny.

As he gets closer, he realizes that the shiny object is in fact an
8-iron in the hands of a skeleton lying near an old golf ball.

Jim calls out to his golfing partner in excitement, “Hey Bob,
come here, I got trouble down here.”

Bob comes running over to the edge of the ravine and calls out, “What’s
the matter Jim?”

“Throw me my 7-iron,” Jim shouts back. “I just realized
you can’t get out of here with an 8-iron!”


Party Favour

A lady is throwing a party for her granddaughter, and had gone all
out… a caterer, band, and a hired clown. Just before the party started,
two bums showed up looking for a handout. Feeling sorry for the bums,
the woman told them that she would give them a meal if they will help
chop some wood for her. Gratefully, they headed to the rear of the house.

The guests arrived, and all was going well with the children having
a wonderful time. But the clown hadn’t shown up. After a half an hour,
the clown finally called to report that he was stuck in traffic, and
would probably not make the party at all.

The woman was very disappointed and unsuccessfully tried to entertain
the children herself. She happened to look out the window and saw one
of the bums doing cartwheels across the lawn. She watched in awe as
he swung from tree branches, did midair flips, and leaped high in the
air. She spoke to the other bum and said, “What your friend is
doing is absolutely marvelous. I have never seen such a thing. Do you
think your friend would consider repeating this performance for the
children at the party? I would pay him $50!”

The other bum says, “Well, I dunno. Let me ask him – HEY WILLIE!

[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 19 500 individual subscribers each
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