Marine Surveyors at Peril, Unless ...

By George Backwell
Monday, June 09, 2014
File photo

Having an excellent set of Standard Terms and Conditions (Terms) in your desk drawer or on your website, is all very well, but unless you have incorporated them into your dealings with your client, they will not form part of your legal relationship with your client and you will not be able to rely on the terms should a dispute arise.  It is therefore very important that you incorporate your Terms into your dealings, advises intermediaries professional indemnity insurer ITIC.

In the latest issue of its Claim Review, ITIC cites the case of a marine surveyor instructed by the shippers of a cargo of wheat to survey and certify the holds of a bulk carrier as fit for loading. The surveyor issued a certificate of fitness to load, and 70,000 metric tonnes of wheat was loaded.

Following the arrival of the ship at the discharge port, the local authorities ordered the stevedores to stop discharge operations because they suspected that the cargo was heat-damaged. A subsequent survey report, obtained by the shippers, indicated that the cargo was contaminated by de-laminating paint, rust, dirt and paint powder from the ship’s holds.



The shippers negotiated a reduction in price with the receivers as a result of the deterioration of the cargo, and pursued a claim against the shipowners under the terms of the contract of carriage. That dispute was resolved at mediation, but the shippers then brought a separate claim against the surveyor.

They were seeking to recover alleged losses in excess of $1m, including loss of sale proceeds, additional hire paid to the owners, and costs, on the basis that the surveyor had negligently certified the vessel as fit for loading in circumstances when it was not.


ITIC says it appointed lawyers, and expert evidence was sought. That evidence suggested that the damage may have been caused by bobcats used in cargo discharge operations. The surveyor had terms and conditions which – if properly incorporated into its business dealings – would have reduced its liability to a fraction of the shipper’s claim. Unfortunately, the surveyor had not explicitly made the shipper aware of the terms and conditions, so it was unlikely that a court would find that these had been incorporated into the business dealing.



It also became apparent that, after the surveyor had inspected the vessel, customs inspectors had carried out their own inspection and had ordered that the vessel be cleaned prior to loading. This was both helpful and unhelpful for the surveyor: while it was a strong indication that the surveyor had failed to properly carry out its survey, it also arguably meant that it was not the surveyor’s report that the shippers were relying on, but rather customs’ approval to load.



A mediation took place, but the claim could not be settled. Negotiations continued nevertheless, and the matter was resolved with the surveyor contributing to around 30 per cent of the claim, which was covered by ITIC. 


Source: Maritime London/ITIC

Maritime Today


The Maritime Industry's original and most viewed E-News Service

Maritime Reporter January 2016 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

People & Company News

MHI's Entity to Oversee Material Handling Equipment, Engine and Turbocharger Businesses

Today Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI) decided in principle to launch a new wholly owned entity to integrally oversee its current businesses in material

Globus Maritime Reclassifies Board Member

Globus Maritime Limited, a dry bulk shipping company, announced today that when Georgios Karageorgiou, a Class I director of Globus Maritime Limited  resigned on December 28,

First Panama Canal Water-Saving Basin Filled

The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) announced that the first water-saving basin of the Agua Clara Locks’ upper chamber has been filled to the required level in order

Legal

Globus Maritime Reclassifies Board Member

Globus Maritime Limited, a dry bulk shipping company, announced today that when Georgios Karageorgiou, a Class I director of Globus Maritime Limited  resigned on December 28,

Antietam, McCampbell Build Relationships at IFR 2016

Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Antietam (CG 54) and Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS McCampbell (DDG 85) arrived Feb. 4 in India

COSCO Plans European Transhipment Hub

China's COSCO is forging ahead with a plan to build a European transhipment hub, reports Reuters. The state owned shipping giant is expected to make an offer for

Insurance

Glencore to Lift Iranian Fuel Oil at Bandar Mahshahr

Anglo-Swiss commodity trader Glencore has chartered a ship to load Iranian fuel oil at the Iranian port of Bandar Mahshahr in a move that signals the return of

Norbulk Selects Parker Kittiwake’s Cat Fines Test Kit

Parker Kittiwake, a leading global supplier of asset control and protection technology, has today announced a significant order of its recently launched Cat Fines

Boxship Aground Near Port of Hamburg

A Chinese container ship that is one of the world's largest has run aground on the river Elbe near Germany's largest port Hamburg but shipping to the harbour continues as normal,

Surveyors

DNV GL, RS Ink Cooperation Deal

DNV GL’s Maritime CEO Knut Ørbeck-Nilssen recently met with Konstantin Palnikov, Director General of the Russian Maritime Register of Shipping (RS), at the RS head office in St.

Drones Allow Surveys Without Scaffolds

DNV GL has completed several tests using drones to support hull surveys of vessels. Using drones to visually check the condition of remote structural components

Dual Class: RS and DNV GL Partner

In a January 28 meeting between RS Director General Konstantin Palnikov and DNV GL Maritime CEO Knut Ørbeck-Nilssen at the Head Office of Russian Maritime Register of Shipping,

 
 
Maritime Security Maritime Standards Naval Architecture Offshore Oil Pod Propulsion Port Authority Salvage Ship Repair Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Sonar
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.1733 sec (6 req/sec)