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Hague Visby

COGSA Trumps Hague-Visby in Complex Situation

In an awkward decision, the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit ruled that the US Carriage of Goods at Sea Act (COGSA) applies to a claim by a shipper against a carrier for goods damaged at sea on a voyage from Le Havre to Montreal. The goods were being shipped from Blanquefort, France to Detroit. They traveled overland from Blanquefort to Le Havre, where they were loaded aboard ship. The through bill of lading called for the goods to be shipped overland from Montreal to Detroit. The court held that COGSA would not normally apply since no seaport of the United States was involved in the shipment. Thus, the court found that the Hague-Visby Rules would normally apply, since both France and Canada subscribed thereto. The court then determined that the matter was properly before the court on cross-motions for summary judgment since there were no genuine issues of material fact in dispute. The court then launched into an extended discussion of how poorly drafted the various documents were and how they were susceptible to different interpretations. Eventually, the court decided as a matter of law that the parties had contracted to apply COGSA to this shipment. The court then proceeded to interpret the definition of package in favor of the shipper. If nothing else, this is an example of how the use of unclear language in contracts can lead to unexpected results. Royal Insurance Co. v. Orient Overseas Container Line, No. 06-1199 (6th Cir., January 30, 2008)(HK Law)

U.S. jurisdiction clause does not require application of COGSA

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled that inclusion in a bill of lading of a clause providing for U.S. jurisdiction does not require application of the U.S. Carriage of Goods by Sea Act (COGSA) where the goods were shipped from Spain to China and the General Paramount Clause provided for application of the Hague-Visby Rules. In the instant case, the goods were damaged en route and the shipper brought suit against the vessel and the carrier

North of England Warns Shipowners to Keep Close Watch on Surveys

The North of England P&I club has warned its members to keep a closer watch on draught surveys to avoid costly cargo shortage claims. According to Tony Baker, head of North of England’s loss-prevention department, ‘We have recently witnessed a number of incidents where draught surveys have been manipulated to show short delivery of bulk cargoes. Some of the resulting shortage claims have involved large sums of money  particularly as the values of some cargoes have risen

Slow-Steaming Through a Legal & Insurance Minefield

Image courtesy of UK P&I Club

The UK P&I Club’s publication ‘Hellas Hilights - Issue 28’ recorded Rod Lingard's attendance at the green4Sea Forum and his address on 'The Legal and Insurance Aspects of Slow-Steaming, excerpted as follows: What’s the problem? On one side the owner has an obligation to follow the charterer’s slow-steaming instructions under the charterparty yet on the other the owner has the usually implied obligation under the Bill of Lading to proceed with due dispatch

Northrop Grumman and Kockum/ HDW Partner Up

Northrop Grumman Corporation has signed a cooperative agreement with Kockums AB and its parent company, Howaldtswerke Deutsche Werft AG (HDW), under which Kockums will join a team assembled by Northrop Grumman's Ship Systems sector to compete for the U.S. Navy's Focused Mission Vessel Study. This study is expected to result in the development and construction of a Littoral Combat Ship (LCS), one element of the DD(X) family of surface combatants planned for construction by the Navy during the

Court to Rule on Costa Rica/Nicaragua Maritime Border Dispute

Reuters - Costa Rica will ask the International Court of Justice to settle a decade-old maritime border dispute with Nicaragua related to potential oil concessions, President Laura Chinchilla said on Monday. Costa Rica plans to file a complaint with the court at The Hague on Tuesday in which it will ask the court to determine its borders with Nicaragua in the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean, she said in a statement.

The Emirati Crew Leads Volvo Ocean Race

Photo: Volvo Ocean Race

 Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing had the Volvo Ocean Race trophy within their grasp as the seven boats entered the final lap on Saturday heading for Gothenburg after a one-day ‘pit-stop’ in The Hague, reports the Khaleej Times.   The Emirati crew, skippered by Briton Ian Walker, has an eight-point lead in the nine-month offshore sailing marathon and would need to finish last in the leg and accrue two penalty points to lose that advantage.  

HBG Unit Wins Offshore Order

Hollandsche Beton Group (HBG) reportedly won a $14 million order from Hague-based Elf Petroland BV to design and build an unmanned offshore gas platform.

South China Sea Hearing in Court

Map by  The American Center for Democracy

 The Philippines has sought to debunk China's claims to disputed islands in the South China Sea, court officials said Monday (November 30) as an international tribunal wrapped up a five-day hearing, says an AFP report.   The Philippines has asked the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague to affirm its right to areas within 200 nautical miles of its coastline, under the terms of a U.N. convention.  

Beijing Must Obey Ruling on Sea Dispute

South China Sea (Pic by CFR)

 China has to comply with any ruling on competing territorial claims with the Philippines in the South China Sea even if it will not take part in case before Hague court, opined Philippine judge, reports Bloomberg.  Philippine Supreme Court Justice Antonio Carpio said that it doesn’t matter if China doesn’t appear, if the tribunal finds that there is jurisdiction, the tribunal will proceed. His country doesn’t want anyone

Hague Court Begins Hearing On South China Sea Issue

Map by USC US-China Institute

 A United Nations arbitral tribunal in The Hague heard some of the Philippines’ territorial claims over the disputed Spratly Islands in the South China Sea on Tuesday.    A delegation of nearly 50 lawyers and representatives for the Philippines gathered to present their case

Philippines Takes South China Sea Claim to Hague

Could bolster claims by other countries against China; China boycotting proceedings, rejects court's authority. The Philippines asked global judges on Tuesday to recognise its right to exploit waters in the South China Sea, a case that could bolster territorial claims by other countries against

Philippines Warns China: World is Watching You

President Benigno S. Aquino III joins fellow world leaders for the 22nd Asia-Pacific Economic APEC Leaders Meeting. Photo by Philippines Govt

 China came under renewed criticism over its rising profile in the South China Sea at Asia-Pacific summit when Philippines  President Benigno Aquino III  warned China that “the world is watching” you, reports Reuters.  

Indonesia Asks China to Clarify South China Sea Claims

Indonesia has asked China to clarify its claims over the South China Sea but has yet to receive a response, the Foreign Ministry said on Thursday, a day after Indonesia's security chief said Jakarta could take Beijing to court over an island dispute.  

China Says Unaware of Plan to Discuss Sea Dispute at APEC

China is not aware of any plan to discuss the disputed South China Sea at an Asia Pacific leaders' summit next week, a senior Chinese diplomat said on Tuesday, amid tensions between China and the Philippines over the waters.   For its part

APM Terminals Pact with Qingdao Port

Left to right: Standing:  APM Terminals CEO Kim Fejfer and Qingdao Port Group Chairman Zheng. Seated: APM Terminals CFO Henrik Lundgaard Pedersen and Wang, Head of Business Development for Qingdao Port Group. Photo: APM Terminals

 Leaders from Qingdao Port Group met with APM Terminals executives in The Hague to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the APM Terminals Vado, Italy port project.    Terms and investment amount were not disclosed. The MOU will create a new joint venture to invest in and

Shell Plans Second LNG Terminal in India

Image: Hazira LNG and Port

The Hague-based global energy giant Royal Dutch Shell is planning to establish a floating liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility on the east coast of India at Kakinada in Andhra Pradesh.    Shell already has a 5 million tonne LNG terminal at Hazira in Gujarat set up nearly a decade back

Maritime Tribunal Rejects Plea to Free Italy's Marines

An international maritime tribunal on Monday rejected Italy's request that India provisionally release two marines accused of killing two Indian fishermen, a setback for the Italian government after a three-year legal battle. However the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea in Hamburg

Egypt to Allow 24-hour Access to East Port Said with New Waterway

Egypt plans to allow smaller vessels in the Mediterranean direct access to East Port Said around the clock instead of just eight hours a day by building a side channel near the Suez Canal, which will speed up shipping movements in the area.  

Filipino Fishermen Remove Chinese Buoys near Disputed Shoal

South China sea Photo Wikipedia

  Filipino fishermen found several buoys with Chinese markings near the disputed Scarborough Shoal and towed the devices back to shore northwest of the capital, Manila, Philippines officials said on Sunday. China seized control of the rocky outcrop in the South China Sea in 2012 after a

China: U.S. Influencing Philippines' Case Outcome

China's Foreign Ministry said on Friday the United States was trying to influence a South China Sea arbitration case filed by the Philippines after a senior U.S. official said China would be obligated to abide by the tribunal's decision. China has for years insisted that disputes with rival

Buoys in Disputed Waters Roil South China Sea Dispute

Buoys stretched "as far as eye could see" - Philippine sailor. The Philippine navy recently found a large steel marker bearing Chinese inscriptions and hundreds of yellow buoys in waters near the Reed Bank, an area of the South China Sea where Manila has long explored for oil and gas

Ship Design: Survivability Measures to Quantify Combat Capability

Alion’s MOTISS solution identifies susceptible weapons impact locations and analyzes the impact of the impact to mission capability by examining structural integrity, damage to mechanical and electronic systems, and crew survival.  Image © Alion Science and Technology

VISBY, ZUMWALT, INDEPENDENCE, FREEDOM, TORNIO, SAN ANTONIO, INCHEON, SIGMA, FREMM ... ... these ships are not only capable, tested and proven warships, they are extremely complex. ZUMWALT alone carries 16 Electronic Module Enclosures that contain 235 electronics cabinets each supporting a complex

Team Alvimedica Wins Lorient In-Port Race

Team Alvimedica. Photo credit by Ricardo Pinto, Volvo Ocean Race

 Though Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing extended their lead in the Volvo Ocean Race in-port series French town Lorient on the coast of Brittany, it was Team Alvimedica who took the victory, serving up a perfectly constructed race as they selected the best wind.   

Baltic Military Shadow-boxing Said to Reach Cold War Levels

A daily game of Cold War cat-and-mouse is ratcheting up tensions in the Baltic and drawing the biggest military presence into the region for over 20 years, Swedish military officials say.   Eye-to-eye encounters with Russian combat jets and reports of suspected submarines in Swedish and

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