Five Common Mistakes in Maritime Contracts
“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” – Henry de Bracton, DeLegibus, ~1240Often clients or prospective clients come to me with a commercial contract issue perched on the precipice of full-blown litigation or arbitration. When I ask to see the contract, often times I see errors in drafting that either (1) give rise to the problem before me or (2) could create a bigger problem for the client in the future.The risk of drafting error is higher for Europeans looking to contract with American companies.
Who Should Pay to Prevent Further Damage of Stricken Ships?
Who – shipowner or insurer – should bear the costs of any action taken to prevent a stricken vessel from getting into further costly difficulties? A seminar organized jointly by the Association of Average Adjusters and the International Underwriting Association heard that the market had long wrestled with the arguments, and that considerable uncertainties remain. The London event was given an outline of the main provisions of what could count as ‘sue and labor’ – a clause in marine policies under which the assured can recover reasonable expenses for minimizing or averting an insured loss.
AMS Presents 2014 Safety Awards
Nonprofit maritime trade association American Maritime Safety (AMS) held its 25th Annual Membership Meeting at The Yale Club of New York City on Thursday, October 23, honoring five member companies with Maritime Safety Awards in recognition of their dedication to promoting safe vessel navigation, preserving the marine environment and for their proactive efforts toward achieving safe maritime working practices. Bouchard Transportation Company, Inc. received the Tug and Barge Safety Award…
DGS Marine Orgainses 1st BE&O P&I Seminar
DGS Marine, a leading global P&I management provider and exclusive manager for the British European and Overseas (BE&O) P&I facility, has held the first BE&O P&I Seminar in Limassol, Cyprus. Hosted by Captain Andreas Efthimiades, Head of DGS Marine’s Cyprus office and Director of Claims, the seminar was attended by delegates from Cyprus’ shipping and insurance community, with the goal of providing them with a better understanding of some of the most topical and important P&I-related issues.
Seminar Delivers P&I Insights in Cyprus
DGS Marine held the first BE&O P&I Seminar in Limassol, Cyprus. Hosted by Captain Andreas Efthimiades, Head of DGS Marine’s Cyprus office and Director of Claims, the seminar was attended by delegates from Cyprus’ shipping and insurance community, with the goal of providing them with a better understanding of some of the most topical and important P&I-related issues. The agenda for the day covered an array of topics, including charter party disputes and NYPE Clause 8, the future of General Average…
When is a Ship Not a Ship?
Does your insurance coverage fit your operation? No business likes to hear the word “denied” from their insurance company. But when a business purchases an insurance policy, it enters into a contract that carefully outlines what insurance protection is being offered to the business, and what is not. To avoid being caught off guard, it is especially necessary for marine businesses, and those that provide service to them, to make sure their insurance coverage fits their operations, and the scope of work they are providing. Consider the hustle and bustle of a shipyard operation.
VOYLAYRULES Get Makeover
The standard charter party laytime definitions known as 'VOYLAYRULES' are being updated to reflect developments in case law & commercial practice. VOYLAYRULES, which are jointly produced by BIMCO, FONASBA, INTERCARGO and CMI, last published in 1993, provide a set of standard definitions for commonly used charter party laytime terms which can be incorporated in whole or part into charter parties. Their purpose is to help reduce charter party disputes on matters of interpretation of laytime provisions.
UK Statutory Residence Test Does Away with Grey Areas
International accountant and shipping adviser Moore Stephens says the introduction by the UK of a statutory residence test will bring much greater certainty to an area previously decided largely on the basis of case law and government practice. The UK is introducing the statutory residence test with effect from 6 April, 2013. Gill Smith, a tax partner with Moore Stephens, explains, “At present, there is no statutory definition of residence, but rather case law and HMRC practice. Under the new test, individuals will always be resident if they spend 183 days in the UK.
INTERTANKO launches PhD Fellowship
INTERTANKO launches PhD Fellowship in Marine Pollution Law at World Maritime University. INTERTANKO is to fund a three-year PhD study into the emerging law and policy on criminal liability for marine pollution and the effects of this on seafarers. INTERTANKO will be working with the World Maritime University (WMU) and with the individual student chosen to undertake this important work. INTERTANKO’s Council has identified criminalisation as a high priority item for the INTERTANKO Work Plan.
Charter Party Laytime Definitions Updated
Uncertainties in laytime definitions currently used in charter parties have been addressed in the latest Laytime Definitions of Charter Parties 2013, created by a shipping industry working group consisting of BIMCO, the Baltic Exchange, Comitė Maritime International (CMI) and the Federation of National Associations of Shipbrokers and Agents (FONASBA). The new document sets out statements of meaning of words and phrases commonly used in the context of laytime and reflects contemporary market understanding based on the current state of English law.
Slow-Steaming Through a Legal & Insurance Minefield
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.
ICS Comments on EU’s Maritime Antitrust Guidelines
The European Commission has been conducting a review of its sector-specific Maritime Antitrust Guidelines, that were issued when the EU abolished liner conferences in 2008, and which the Commission suggests are no longer required. The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) is pleased to respond to the Consultation on the Future of the Maritime Antitrust Guidelines as addressed in the Staff Working Document issued on 4 May. ICS is the principal international trade association for shipowners…
5 ‘Gotchas’ of Marine Insurance
“Gotchas” are pitfalls, catches, bait and land mines – a kicker, snare or snag. They are surprises and, in the world of insurance, surprises are rarely a good thing. ‘Gotchas’ can be caused by different things. It may be the age of the coverage forms; it may be case law has moved on beyond the policy’s intent. Or, it may be there is a ‘disconnect’ between policy wording and current business practices. Sometimes, these things occur simply because some insurance contracts are impenetrable. Insurance policies are a distinctly difficult set of documents to understand.