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Thursday, January 18, 2018

Hague Visby News

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.

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. The carrier argued that the jurisdiction clause in the bill of lading required application of COGSA, greatly limiting the maximum recovery. The court held that the jurisdiction clause could not override the specific provisions of the General Paramount Clause. Foster Wheeler Energy Corp. v. M/V AN NING JIANG, No. 03-30038 (5th Cir.

When is a Master Entitled to Refuse Damaged Cargo? A Reminder from the Standard Club

Image: Standard Club

A master’s authority to clause bills of lading issued by or on his behalf can sometimes become the cause of disagreement between shippers, charterers and carriers. Under Article III Rule 3 of the Hague/Hague Visby Rules after receiving the cargo, and on the demand of the shipper, the master is obliged to issue a bill of lading evidencing the quantity and apparent order and condition of goods to be carried. The buyer of cargo, the consignee in an international trade, will want the subject bill of lading to be  accurate and contain unambiguous remarks as to the quantity…

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. In the latest issue of its loss-prevention newsletter Signals, the club says masters in some regions are being asked to stamp and sign initial draught figures in such a way that allows a third party to falsify final draught results. ‘Subsequent allegations of shortage are then difficult to defend as they are supported by a signed and stamped draught survey…

Slow-Steaming Through a Legal & Insurance Minefield

Image courtesy of UK P&I Club

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. Due dispatch means the most direct route at the fastest speed. There is legal authority that an unreasonable delay is a deviation. A deviation in this respect is a departure from the contractually agreed voyage that deprives the carrier of the defences and rights of limitation that are usually available under The Hague or Hague Visby Rules.

Safe Carriage of Dangerous Goods in Containers

Photo: CMA CGM

The International Group of P&I Clubs and the shipping line members of the Cargo Incident Notification System (CINS) have recently produced a new set of guidelines for the carriage of calcium hypochlorite in containers. UK Club risk assessor, David Nichol, discusses why it was considered necessary to update guidance for a cargo with a history of being implicated in ship fires as well as the wider problem of the mis-declaration of dangerous goods. If a fire breaks out at sea, the crew do not have the option of simply evacuating the building and waiting for the fire brigade to turn up.

Volvo Ocean Race Yacht Team AkzoNobel Christened

Photo: AkzoNobel

Sailing fans flocked to a harbor in the Dutch city of The Hague yesterday to welcome team AkzoNobel’s new Volvo Ocean Race yacht, which was officially christened by the city’s Mayor. With the start of the race just four months away, skipper Simeon Tienpont and his crew arrived in the Netherlands from Lisbon to a rapturous welcome, when dignitaries and supporters caught their first glimpse of the newly built boat. “It’s a very special moment to have our new boat christened here in The Hague,” said Tienpont. “In many ways, the race starts right here and now for us.

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 next quarter century. HDW covers business opportunities for the design, development, construction and sale of Visby-class ships and/or derivative technology to the U.S. government for the LCS and other U.S.

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 dispute dates back to 2002 when Nicaragua published maps detailing oil concessions, some of which were in waters claimed by Costa Rica. Nicaragua published the maps of the disputed concessions again in 2013, reviving the issue. The Central American countries already have an open dispute at The Hague related to an area of wetlands known as Isla Portillos.

Bolivia's Morales Accuses Chile of Restricting Access to Ports

Bolivian President Evo Morales told the United Nations Human Rights Council on Friday that Chile had restricted access to ports on its coast in violation of free passage treaties, in the latest flare-up of tensions between the traditional rivals. "Hundreds of testimonies of affected Bolivian men and women - poorly treated and victims of recurring violations of their human rights - tell a story of racist and discriminatory practices," Morales said in a speech to the council in Geneva. Chilean authorities denied they had impeded transit by Bolivians to the ports. Chile and Bolivia have long had thorny relations, starting with a war in the 19th century that left Bolivia landlocked.

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. Since the re-start from The Hague pit-stop on Saturday…

ICS Deliberate on “Legal Issues relating to Shipping & Ports”

Conference in session Photo ICS

ICS, East India Branch conducted conference on Legal matters pertaining to Maritime Sector prior to joining hands with M/s Hinode Events a Knowledge Partner to serialise this an Annual Conference on Legal Maritime Legal matters. The Branch takes pride to state that "The Ministry of Shipping" &  "The Directorate General of Shipping" have taken the view of the Branch in several legislative matters. Capt.K.G.Ramakrishnan,FICS, Past  Chairman acted as the Convenor for this Conference. Capt.

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.

China, Russia Navies to hold S. China Sea Drills

China and Russia will hold "routine" naval drills in the South China Sea in September, China's defence ministry spokesman Yang Yujun told a news conference on Thursday. The drills come at a time of heightened tension in the contested waters after an arbitration court in the Hague ruled this month that China did not have historic rights to the South China Sea and criticised its environmental destruction there. China rejected the ruling and refused to participate in the case. Reporting by Ben Blanchard

Japan, Vietnam Agree South China Sea Ruling Must Be Observed

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe agreed with his Vietnamese counterpart that an arbitration court's decision this week on the South China Sea must be observed, Japan's Kyodo news agency said on Friday.   The court in The Hague ruled China has no historic title over the waters of the South China Sea and that it has breached the Philippines' sovereign rights with its actions, infuriating Beijing, which dismissed the case as a farce.   Abe and Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc were in Mongolia for a summit of Asian and European leaders, known as ASEM.   (Reporting by Kiyoshi Takenaka)

China: 'Illegal' Fishing in S.China Sea to be Met Harshly

China's Supreme Court said on Tuesday people caught illegally fishing in Chinese waters could be jailed for up to a year, issuing a judicial interpretation defining those waters as including China's exclusive economic zones. An arbitration court in The Hague ruled last month that China had no historic title over the waters of the South China Sea and that it had breached the Philippines' sovereign rights with various actions in the sea, infuriating Beijing which dismissed the case. None of China's reefs and holdings in the Spratly Islands entitled it to a 200-mile exclusive economic zone, the court decided. China's Supreme Court made no direct mention of the South China Sea or The Hague ruling, but said its judicial interpretation was made in accordance with both Chinese law and the U.N.

Philippines Mulls Bilateral Sea Talks with China

The Philippines may consider two-way talks with China to resolve a territorial dispute in the South China Sea but only if it wins its case with Beijing at an arbitration tribunal in The Hague, Manila's foreign minister said on Friday. China claims almost the entire South China Sea, believed to have huge deposits of oil and gas. Brunei, Malaysia, Vietnam, the Philippines and Taiwan also claim the waterways where about $5 trillion of ship-borne goods passes annually. China refuses to recognise the case lodged by the Philippines with the tribunal and says all disputes should be resolved through bilateral talks. Philippine Foreign Minister Albert del Rosario, who has resigned effective next month due to health reasons, said the court may hand down a ruling before May.

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. Although Beijing has refused to take part in the hearing before the Permanent Court of Arbitration…

EU's Statement on South China Sea Reflects Divisions

The European Union issued a statement on Friday noting China's legal defeat over the South China Sea but avoided direct reference to Beijing, reflecting discord among EU governments over how strongly to respond to the court ruling. While the European Union is neutral in China's dispute with its Asian neighbours in the South China Sea, Britain, France and Germany want to make clear that Beijing must uphold international law as it seeks a bigger global role. But speaking with one European voice has become difficult as some smaller governments, including Hungary and Greece, rely on Chinese investment and are unwilling to criticise Beijing despite its militarisation of South China Sea islands.

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, any state to resort to armed force in settling this dispute, he affirmed.

UK Ship in Trouble Baltic: Escorted to Port

MV Scot Isles: Photo credit Scotline

A British merchant vessel, listing in rough seas in the Baltic, was escorted to safety by a Swedish coast guard vessel. The crew of the Scot Isles sent out a distress call Christmas Eve close to the Swedish island of Gotland, reports UPI. A rescue helicopter was sent from Visby and remained on the scene until a Swedish Coast Guard ship arrived. The Scot Isles' captain decided to return to Latvia and turned down an offer to evacuate his vessel, being escorted into Latvian waters by the coast guard, where Latvian coast guard vessels took over.

Port-Evo Proposes Hefty Bangladesh Port Development Investment

British Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs and Northern Ireland William Hague made the proposal when he met the Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at her hotel suite. She is in London to attend the Olympics. The proposal was made to develop the Mongla port under joint venture with Mongla Port Authorities. Port-Evo wants to invest for river dredging, procurement of new harbour cranes, container terminals, oil tank storage and water treatment plant. They also proposed establishing an oil and gas-fired power station costing $ 450 million and a special economic zone. Sheikh Hasina said the UK, the third largest destination of Bangladesh’s exports, is a time-tested friend and major development partner of Bangladesh.

Dijkstra Wins HISWA Award

Gerard Dijkstra of Dijkstra & Partners Naval Architects is the winner of this year’s HISWA Excellence Award. The naval architect received the award from the Dutch Minister of Economic Affairs Maria van der Hoeven at the World Forum in The Hague during the Maritime Awards Gala on 6 November. Coming from a racing background, Gerard Dijkstra has been a key player in the revival of the J-class. Other nominees for the award were Henk de Vries of Koninklijke De Vries Scheepsbouw (Feadship) and Lex Keuning from the Delft University of Technology. The HISWA Excellence Award honours the most prominent and pioneering innovator in the watersports industry. This year marked the second time it was granted by the HISWA Holland Marine Industry during the Maritime Awards Gala.

Maritime Reporter Magazine Cover Dec 2017 - The Great Ships of 2017

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