The Maritime Advocate–Issue 752


1 B/Ls: presentation for signature
2 Telemedicine: traditional barriers eliminated
3 New U.S. guidelines on shipping and sanctions evasion
4 U.S investigates Canada’s ballast water regulations
5 English courts adapting to new normal
6 Guidance on Law and Arbitration provisions in charterparties…
7 …as new BIMCO Law & Arbitration clause gets underway
8 ECSA presses for ratification of the Hong Kong Convention
9. Be wary of heavy weather
10 People, Places and Events

And a miscellany

Readers’ responses to our articles are very welcome and, where suitable, will be reproduced: Write to:

1. Continuing on the topic of B/Ls, Sofia Papaspyropoulou of Reed Smith explains the latest case law on presentation for signature.

The Shipper’s presentation of a bill of lading for signature is merely an invitation to the Master to make his own assessment of the cargo’s apparent condition on loading: Priminds Shipping (HK) Co Ltd v Noble Chartering Inc, Tai Prize [2020] EWHC 127 (Comm).

On appeal by the Charterer, the High Court overturned the award of a London tribunal ordering the Charterer to indemnify the Disponent Owner for the payment it had made to the Owner of the vessel in settlement of the latter’s claim for a 50% contribution to the sum paid to cargo Receivers for damage to cargo. The cargo had been loaded heat damaged and the Shippers’ statement on the bill of lading (as agents for the Charterer) that the cargo was “clean on board” and “in apparent good order and condition” did not constitute a warranty in respect of the condition of the cargo, nor did it preclude the Master from taking reasonable steps to verify the condition of the cargo.


2. Telemedicine: Skuld asks what  removal of barriers in the U.S. mean for seafarers.

During the current global pandemic, telemedicine has emerged as an effective way for doctors and patients to interact without risk of spreading COVID-19. In the United States, recent legislation which was passed in response to the pandemic has expanded the availability of medical treatment delivered by telemedicine. This legislation has eliminated traditional barriers to telemedicine in significant ways, including:

Removing the requirement that there be a pre-existing doctor-patient relationship before the provider can provide telemedicine services;
Eliminating the requirement that telemedicine providers use audio-visual platforms, allowing patients to access medical providers using telephones;
Relaxing the requirements for the types of technology medical providers can use. Providers are now permitted to communicate with patients using non-HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) compliant technologies such as FaceTime, Facebook video chat, Google Hangouts, or Skype.

What does this mean for seafarers?

FULL ARTICLE:—standard-care-after-the-pandemic-has-passed/

3. U.S. guidance on illicit shipping & sanctions evasion practices: Freehill Hogan & Mahar reports

On May 15 the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) and the U.S. Coast Guard issued an advisory to provide those involved in the maritime industry and energy and metals sectors with guidance to counter current and emerging trends related to illicit shipping and sanctions evasion.
The advisory is detailed and should be reviewed in its entirety as it suggests specific measures to be adopted or considered by maritime insurance companies; flag registry managers; port state control authorities; shipping industry associations; financial institutions; ship owners, operators, and charterers; classification societies; vessel captains; crewing companies; and regional and global commodity trading, supplier, and brokering companies.


4. U.S. Federal Maritime Commission to Investigate Canada’s Proposed Ballast Water Regulations writes Mike Schuler for gCaptain.

The U.S. Federal Maritime Administration has agreed to investigate alleged discriminatory ballast water regulations imposed by Canada. The Commission voted unanimously to accept a petition filed by U.S.-based Lake Carriers’ Association to look into the matter. In accepting the petition, the Commission agrees to initiate an investigation of specific allegations set forth in the petition, to gather information and to solicit public comments.

The petition alleges that new ballast water regulations proposed by the government of Canada will discriminate against U.S.-flagged vessels.

Canada’s proposed ballast water regulations are meant to further protect Canadian waters from invasive species by requiring both domestic and foreign vessels to develop and implement a ballast water management plan and comply with a performance standard that would limit the number of organisms discharged by 2024. The regulations will require most vessels operating in Canadian waters, whether foreign or domestic, to install a ballast water management system (BWMS) to comply. Additionally, vessels would need to obtain a certificate, keep records of ballast water operations, and be subject to inspections to verify compliance.


5. English Courts “adapting quickly” to Covid-19’s “new normal”. Report by Insurance Marine News.

The unique challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic have seen English Courts adapt quickly, and generally effectively, according to a new article from Hatty Sumption (Partner) and Alexander George at legal firm Clyde and Co. The writers observed that events which increased market volatility and counterparty risk tended also to drive a spike in litigation, often on an urgent basis, with parties taking steps to preserve and enforce legal remedies.

The Covid-19 pandemic had proved to be no exception, and had seen a sharp rise in disputes reaching – or in the process of reaching – the English Courts. The unique difference in the current crisis is that there has been a concomitant disruption to systems of justice, at precisely the time that they are being subject to increased demand from businesses across the globe.

“With restrictions on our daily lives seeming likely to last for some time yet, one of the unique challenges posed by Covid-19 is whether it remains possible to turn to the Courts for effective redress”, Sumption and George wrote. The good news was that the English Courts were adapting quickly to keep the wheels of justice turning.

In response to the disruption affecting parties to litigation caused by Covid-19, the Civil Procedure Rules Committee published two new Practice Directions, 51Y and 51ZA, which amend the CPR with the aim of providing greater flexibility in English Court proceedings.


6. Guidance on incorporation of standard form “law and arbitration” provisions in charterparties by way of email fixture recaps. George Viopoulos of Reed & Smith reports.

In London Arbitration 2/20 the tribunal determined that it had jurisdiction under a standard “Gencon 94” form “law and arbitration” provision, which had been incorporated into the charterparty through the wording of the parties’ recap email.

The charter was evidenced by a fixture recap email. The email contained various detailed provisions relating to the description of the vessel, volume of cargo, laycan, loading and discharge ports, laytime, demurrage et al. The email’s final sentence read as follows: “owise as clean Gencon 94 cp incl cls paramount … to be amended / altered as per above main terms agreed.”

When a dispute subsequently arose, the Owners appointed an arbitrator in accordance with the law and arbitration clause in the standard Gencon 94 form. The Charterers disputed the arbitrator’s jurisdiction over the matter, arguing that the provision was not a “main term” agreed in the email and therefore did not apply.


7. New BIMCO Law & Arbitration clause underway.

BIMCO has started work to develop a new Law & Arbitration Clause. The new clause will provide a short and “one size fits all” approach to dispute resolution, while adding Hong Kong as the fourth named arbitration venue. The addition of Hong Kong reflects its increased popularity as a centre for dispute resolution and that it is currently ranked among the top maritime arbitration centres in the world.

The goal is for the new clause to be suitable for London, New York, Singapore, and Hong Kong arbitration. It will be available in a generic digital version, where the parties can make their choice amongst the named arbitration venues listed in a dropdown menu, as well as in freestanding versions for each arbitration venue. An “Other” option will remain for parties to fill in the law and arbitration venue of their own choice.

As part of the development of the new law and arbitration clause the mediation provision, which currently forms part of the BIMCO Dispute Resolution Clause, will be singled out and republished as a freestanding clause. The new clauses will be presented for adoption by the Documentary Committee at its next meeting on 22 September.


8. ECSA presses for ratification of the Hong Kong Convention, explains West’s Paul Andrew.

In a letter entitled “Contribution ECSA Roadmap and Inception Impact Assessment of Waste Shipments (Waste Shipment Regulation, WSR)”, the European Community Shipowners Associations (ECSA) has called on European Union (EU) governments to ratify the Hong Kong Convention in order to promote equitable treatment by all states on waste shipments.

One of the many consultations of the European Commission on environmental topics concerns the Waste Shipment Regulation. In consultation with the chair of the Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) and Gudrun Janssens, Head of Environmental & Technical Affairs of Koninklijke Belgische Redersvereniging vzw (KBRV), the ESCA secretariat has produced a short document responding to the consultation. The response once again stresses the importance of the entry into force of the Hong Kong Convention (HKC) as the best way to guarantee sustainable ship recycling globally.


9. Operating in conditions of heavy weather

With reports of operators directing ships through the Straits of Magellan and round The Cape of Good Hope in order to save on canal dues and take advantage of the suppressed fuel prices, a reminder to Masters of the considerations that should be taken into account when operating in areas of adverse weather conditions.

When considering whether it is safe to allow crew on deck in conditions of heavy weather the Master must first ask himself whether the work (or task) to be carried out is necessary to preserve the safe operation of the ship. If the answer is “no” then it may be sensible to delay this work until the vessel reaches calmer waters.


10. People and Places

North P&I enters blue-water H&M market.
North P&I has started a new product line, North Hull, which is designed for larger ocean-going vessels and will complement the H&M insurance already available from Sunderland Marine for fishing vessels and other small craft. North said it expected the new line to be taken up by a number of Members, whilst it was also open to non-Members.

North has added underwriting expertise from within Lloyd’s to its H&M insurance teams with the appointment of James Sutton (Class Underwriter) and Alex Fuller (Senior Underwriting Executive). They will be based in North’s London office at 5 Lloyd’s Avenue.

And Nick Wolfe has been appointed as an underwriting department Director. He joins from Aon, where he was the global broker’s Head of Shipping for Asia, based in Singapore. Also, Andrew Hearne has been appointed as Director responsible for members, traders and charterers in the Europe region. Hearne has been at North since 2017.

The Association of Average Adjusters has chosen as its new chairman, Michiel Starmans, director of the legal department at Amsterdam-based Spliethoff Group. The appointment takes effect for 12 months from May 2020. Burkhard Fischer of Albatross Adjusters, Limassol, has agreed to continue as vice-chairman.

Among specific issues likely to confront average adjusters was the impact of Marpol Annex VI regulations which from January 2020 reduced the global limit of sulphur content in bunker fuels on board ships from 3.5% to 0.5% (with tighter restrictions in designated emission control areas).
It remained to be seen what consequences these new environmental regulations might have, “but it is not unthinkable that this might lead to an increase or a new type of engine damage with engines that were designed and built to burn high sulphur fuels. There will be new challenges for adjusters to deal with claims for excess costs of running the engines on low sulphur fuel after a scrubber broke down and is awaiting repairs”.

Brookes Bell expands marine casualty capability.
Brookes Bell – the global technical and scientific consultancy – has strengthened its marine casualty capability with the addition of two listed Special Casualty Representatives (SCRs) boosting the total number of SCRs within the company to five. SCRs are highly specialist salvage and wreck removal consultants and, as such, number only around 50 globally. They are appointed by the Lloyd’s of London’s SCOPIC Committee for their exceptional level of expertise in the field of salvage and wreck removal.

Joining the Brookes Bell team are William Leschaeve and Michael Riddell.
Michael Riddell is a senior master mariner, based in Brookes Bell’s Singapore office. Following an initial career at sea with Safmarine, he later served on ocean-going salvage tugs responsible for ocean towage and emergency response. Ashore, Michael has extensive experience in emergency response, wreck removal, ship stability, condition surveys and other related work.
William Leschaeve operates from the Brookes Bell London office and is a senior naval architect. He has significant experience working for a classification society as well as a number of notable marine consultancies. William specialises in marine casualty investigations including groundings, collisions, capsizes, cargo and total losses.

UK P&I Live Webinar – Series 3: An Overview Of P&I Clubs and Claims
Thu, Jun 4, 2020 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM BST
There is often an unclear understanding with shipping professionals of What do P&I clubs cover? What don’t they cover? In this webinar we clarify what exactly a P&I club is and how it operates. Exploring why these clubs are so valued throughout the shipping industry, we dive deeper into the assistance they can provide during and after incidents.

Join us for a conversation where we cover the history of the origins of P&I clubs, the structure of the Clubs, the International Group and an overview of how reinsurance works. An extensive Q&A session will then discuss the main risks covered by the P&I clubs are discussed along with the main issues that Marine/ Ops / Technical teams need to keep in mind when dealing with the vessel and the Club.

Topics to be covered:

  • Background of P&I Clubs
  • The International Group and reinsurance
  • Overview of various claims covered
  • Current issues affecting the maritime industry such as COVID19, LOI’s, Ship shore difference etc.

This webinar is especially relevant to Insurance, Technical and Marine teams, Ship Operations, Ship staff and also other Maritime stake holders who will benefit from the discussion.

BIMCO, Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers and Videotel partner in unprecedented online education collaboration
BIMCO, Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers and Ocean Technologies Group subsidiary Videotel have partnered to create a high-quality, accessible educational resource to help maritime students across the globe to continue their studies remotely during the coronavirus pandemic

BIMCO, the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers and Ocean Technologies Group maritime eLearning subsidiary Videotel have joined forces to provide access to a wealth of self-study material via the institute’s learning management system. The ICS Online Academy is free for all registered students until the end of July 2020 and will enable them to use eLearning material jointly produced by use BIMCO and Videotel in preparation for Institute exams by giving them greater access to quality education and maritime resources.

“ICS Online Academy is a really unique project which has allowed BIMCO and Videotel to collaborate with the Institute for the benefit of the maritime community, especially students who are struggling to stay on track with their learning during the current crisis. The combined technical, educational and subject-specialist skills that have gone into building the Academy really demonstrates the dedication to quality of learning rather than a purely commercial focus,” said Julie Lithgow, Director of the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers.

Russia’s export controls – what you need to know
WorldECR is delighted to announce the next in a series of planned webinars on the export control regimes of key economies. This month, in association with Baker McKenzie, we present:
Russia’s export controls – what you need to know.
Wednesday, 27 May 2020, 16:00 – 17:00 GMT
In this 40-minute webinar, Moscow-based Baker McKenzie partner Alexander Bychkov will present on key elements of Russia’s export control regime, walking participants through recent developments and tools and illustrating with reference to specific developments.
By the end of the session, web attendees will have a clear understanding of:

  • Russia’s export control system: an overview
  • Procedures and requirements to export controlled dual-use items
  • Import controls
  • FSTEC practices
  • Russia’s peculiarity: the system of import clearance for encrypted goods and technologies

The duration of the webinar will be ca one hour (40 minutes plus 15 minutes for questions).

To purchase tickets for £99 plus VAT, click here:

Alexander Bychkov is the co-head of Baker McKenzie’s CIS Tax Practice Group and the head of the CIS International Trade and Customs group, which includes professionals working in the Moscow, St Petersburg, Kyiv and Almaty offices. In addition, he is a member of the Pharmaceuticals & Healthcare group. Since 2006 he has been consistently recognised as one of the leading professionals in the tax field within Russia and across the CIS. His practice is recognized by Chambers and International Tax Review.
Bychkov focuses his practice on advising local and multinational clients on tax, customs, currency, and general commercial matters, with a particular emphasis on Russian direct and indirect tax advice, distribution structuring, customs regulatory matters, product valuation and classification, international trade compliance, import and export control requirements and sanctions, WTO and anti-dumping issues, and tax/customs dispute resolution (including representation of clients in related criminal investigations).


The Export Compliance Manager’s Handbook, 2nd Edition has been updated and expanded
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And a few more things to think about, courtesy of Paul Dixon.

  • If the police arrest a mime, do they tell him he has the right to remain silent?
  • If all the world is a stage, where is the audience sitting?
  • Why do ‘overlook and ‘oversee’ mean opposite things?
  • Why is phonics not spelled the way it sounds?
  • Why does “slow down” and “slow up” mean the same thing?
  • Why is an alarm clock going “off” when it actually turns on?
  • Why are they called stairs inside but steps outside?
  • I know you can be overwhelmed, and I know you can be under-whelmed, but can you just be whelmed?
  • If love is blind, how can we believe in love at first sight?
  • What’s the opposite of opposite?

Finally, you may be interested to learn of the three maritime crimes that inspired my Angus McKinnon thrillers, Sea of Gold, Dark Ocean and Black Reef:

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.