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Monday, November 19, 2018

Un Court News

Turkish Ship Management Company, 2 Employees Plead Guilty

Ciner Gemi Acente Isletni Sanayi Ve Ticaret S.A., a ship management company in Turkey, pleaded guilty and was sentenced in federal court in Baltimore, Maryland, for violating the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships (APPS), announced Assistant Attorney General John C. Cruden for the Department of Justice’s Environment and Natural Resources Division and U.S. Attorney Ron J. Rosenstein for the District of Maryland. Ciner operated the M/V Artvin, a 44,635 ton bulk carrier ship that transported cargo to and from ports around the world, including the Port of Baltimore.

DoJ looks back at 2016

The Department of Justice’s Environment and Natural Resources Division has announced  the publication of its accomplishments in 2016, documenting one of the most successful years in its history of over a century, including the highest recoveries in environmental enforcement, record-setting recoveries in natural resource damages, and the highest criminal penalties handed down in individual vessel pollution and Lacey Act trafficking cases. “I am extremely proud and grateful to have led the men and women of this division through a landmark year in its long history of protecting…

(File photo courtesy of OW Bunker)

Former OW Bunker Manager Gets 18 Months in Jail

A Danish court on Wednesday sentenced the former manager of OW Bunker's Singapore subsidiary to 18 months in prison after he was found guilty of granting credit outside his mandate, contributing to the bankruptcy of the marine fuel oil supplier.The 2014 bankruptcy of OW Bunker, then the world's leading supplier of marine fuel oil with a 7 percent market share, sent shockwaves through the global shipping industry and left investors and business partners scrambling to cover their losses.The city court of Aalborg said it found Lars Moller…

Shipbroker Loses Interest, Secures Commission on Rival Broker Sale

International Transport Intermediaries Club (ITIC) has recently supported a claim for ship sale commission by a shipbroker wrongly accused by a shipowner of incompetence. The shipbroker had entered into an exclusive commission agreement with a shipowner, which provided for commission of 5 percent to be paid to the broker on the sale of any of its fleet of vessels, even if sold through another broker. The broker heard that two of the owner’s ships had been sold through another broker for Euros 3.3m each.

Highest Officer in US Navy Bribe Scheme Sentenced to 46 Months

A federal judge in San Diego on Friday sentenced a U.S. Navy captain caught in a $30 million bribery scandal to 46 months in prison, bringing to a close the case against the highest-ranking officer in the fraud scheme. Captain Daniel Dusek, 49, pleaded guilty last year to a charge of conspiracy to commit bribery after admitting he accepted services from prostitutes, luxury hotel stays, alcohol and other gifts in exchange for giving classified information to the Singapore-based company Glenn Defense Marine Asia.

Photo: Primorsk International Shipping

Primorsk Shelves Restructuring Plans

Russian tanker player Primorsk International Shipping has dropped its restructuring plans in favour of pushing through asset sales, reports WSJ. This is what Primorsk's lawyers told a bankruptcy court in Manhattan on Friday. Creditors have until Wednesday to object to the motion. Primorsk took the decision as Nordea Bank and other lenders, who are owed around $263m, are pushing the Cyprus-registered line to sell ships as they feel its restructuring plan is unrealistic. Two deadlines written into a routine cash-spending motion fast-track the sale and could prove controversial with creditors.

Maersk Tigris. Pic: Maersk Line

Iran Releases Seized Cargo Ship

Iran released a Marshall-Islands flagged container ship Maersk Tigris and its crew has been released by Iranian authorities after the cargo company that owns it resolved a financial dispute which had been the subject of a court order. “The Maersk container ship was released and it has left Iranian territorial waters,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham. It will now continue its scheduled voyage to Jebel Ali, in the United Arab Emirates, where it will be met by representatives from Rickmers and others.

Two narwhal (Monodon monoceros) surfacing to breathe in Admiralty Inlet, Lancaster Sound, Nunavut, Canada. Photo: WWF-Canada

WWF-Canada Brings Lawsuit Against Shell on Arctic

WWF-Canada, represented by Ecojustice lawyers, is taking legal action to quash Arctic oil and gas exploration permits that continue to obstruct conservation efforts in Lancaster Sound, Nunavut. The environmental group believes they “continue to obstruct conservation efforts” in Lancaster Sound, Nunavut, which is said to be one of the world’s richest areas for marine mammal and harbours one of the highest densities of polar bears in the Canadian Arctic. While the federal registrar has refused to delist the permits…

Shipping Company To Pay $800K For Dumping Oil

AML Ship Management GMBH, a German company, was sentenced in federal court today to pay a total of $800,000 in fines and community service payments for violating the Clean Water Act and the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships by intentionally discharging 4,500 gallons of oily bilge water into the ocean off the coast of Alaska and then presenting false records to the U.S. Coast Guard. AML was also ordered to implement a comprehensive Environmental Compliance Plan and was placed on probation for three years.

Photo: Robert Kunkel

STX Shipbuilding Likely to Enter Court-lead Restructuring

South Korean shipbuilder STX Offshore & Shipbuilding Co Ltd will likely need to enter court-supervised receivership due to financial difficulties, the firm's lead creditor Korea Development Bank said on Wednesday. STX Offshore's creditors took control of the company in 2013 after the shipbuilder was hit by falling ship prices following the global financial crisis. A Korea Development Bank spokesman said the firm's creditors will decide on how to proceed with the court receivership process by the end of the month…

Photo: STX Offshore & Shipbuilding Co.

Korean Shipbuilder Could Be Liquidated

South Korea's STX Offshore & Shipbuilding Co. has filed for receivership, following massive losses that have mounted up over the past two years, says a report in the WSJ. According to multiple sources from the shipbuilding industry, creditors and STX Offshore & Shipbuilding have decided to put Goseong Offshore & Shipbuilding under court management early next month and have begun taking necessary steps. The decision has been made after judging that it would be difficult for the…

Ferry Workers Block Calais Port Again in Dispute

Employees of a ferry service recently sold by Eurotunnel renewed a blockade of the northern French port of Calais on Monday after a court rejected their bid to extend the service's charter contract with Eurotunnel. Access to the boats on the docks was not possible in the afternoon, said union and port sources. Strike action by around 400 workers last week led to major traffic jams of lorries, prompting migrants around the port to try and stowaway on trucks bound for Britain. Eurotunnel…

File Image: a Hanjin Boxship underway (CREDIT: Hanjin)

Hanjin Shipping: No Cash to Pay Creditors

Hanjin Shipping Co., the South Korean shipping company that caused havoc when it filed for bankruptcy, is struggling to raise enough money to repay $10.5 billion in creditor claims, WSJ reported. Hanjin has raised only $220 million by selling ships, stakes in seaport terminals and other assets to repay its more than 180 creditors. A trustee charged with Hanjin Shipping’s Korean bankruptcy case in in Seoul said Hanjin has raised about $220 million since filing for bankruptcy nearly a year ago. At least 180 creditors were present for the court hearing on June 1, 2017.

South China Sea Disputed Areas Map courtesy AFP

Vietnam Urges "Fair" Ruling from Court Handling S. China Sea Case

Vietnam has called for an international tribunal in The Hague to deliver a "fair and objective" ruling in an arbitration case lodged by the Philippines that challenges China's expansive claims in the South China Sea. In a carefully worded statement two days after the court announced July 12 as the verdict date, Vietnam's foreign ministry said it hoped the ruling would provide a basis for peacefully resolving rows. Vietnam is not a direct party to the case but stands to gain if the verdict favours Manila.

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BP Puts Tab for Gulf Disaster at $62 Bln

BP announced today that following significant progress in resolving outstanding claims arising from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon accident and oil spill, it can now reliably estimate all of its remaining material liabilities in connection with the incident. As a result, taking into account this estimate together with other positive tax adjustments, BP expects to take an after-tax non-operating charge of around $2.5 billion in its second quarter 2016 results. This charge is expected to include a pre-tax non-operating charge associated with the oil spill of around $5.2 billion.

Where Arbitration Began: Maritime Arbitration in New York

In March 1656, Andrew Kilvert brought suit against Jan Geraerdy in the Court of Burgemeesters of the colony of New Netherland, demanding the release of his vessel, which had been arrested to obtain payment for the sale price of Kilvert’s ship. The practice of arbitration of maritime matters in New York, therefore, has its beginnings in Dutch law. Dutch rule in New Netherland (New Amsterdam) lasted less than 50 years. With the English takeover in 1664, most of the Dutch settlers elected to stay in what its new rulers named New York.

Dry Bulker: International Chamber of Shipping

Global Maritime Files for Bankruptcy

Dry-bulk shipper Global Maritime Investments Cyprus Ltd. filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection New York  Tuesday in order to liquidate its business due to a continued industry downturn, reports WSJ. The bankruptcy filing of the international shipping company came in New York, where Global Maritime has faced lawsuits. Most of the estimated $169 million in debt the company carries is unsecured, court papers say. The amount includes losses from 2014 worth $47.8 million and about $67.6 million from 2015 fiscal year.

India Ups Import Tax on Petcoke in Blow to US Refiners

India has raised the effective import duty on petroleum coke to 10 percent from 2.5 percent, according to a government order, days after the government told a court it was in favour of curbing the use of the dirty-burning fuel. The duty has gone up after the government ended an exemption to tax payable on importing the fuel that emits 11 percent more greenhouse gases than coal and also releases several times more sulphur dioxide, which causes lung diseases. The Supreme Court in October banned the use of petroleum coke…

Walter J. Brudzinski (Photo: Chuck Fazio)

Insights: USCG Can Suspend and Revoke Merchant Mariner Credentials

A primer for mariners: U.S. To promote safety at sea, Congress authorized the U.S. Coast Guard to suspend or revoke Merchant Mariner Credentials for acts of incompetence, misconduct, negligence, violations of law or regulation, and use of dangerous drugs. The Coast Guard initiates 400-600 suspension and revocation (S&R) cases each year. Full understanding of the suspension and revocation (S&R) process should therefore be more than a casual requirement for the working professional mariner.

Environment Group Wins Challenge Against Port Melville

An Australia court overturned on Saturday government approval of a A$130 million fuel depot and port at Port Melville, off the country's north coast, handing a major victory to environmental activists. The facility, being developed by a unit of Singapore-based AusGroup, includes a 30-million-litre oil depot on Melville Island, one of the Tiwi Islands, 120 km (75 miles) north of Darwin, the capital of Northern Territory. Justice Richard White ruled in favour of the Environment Centre Northern Territory…

Photo: Hapag-Lloyd

Slam Dunk in the Cargo Hold

Basketball? You can (sometimes) even play it on board a containership at Hapag-Lloyd. Some of the world’s best basketball players learned to dribble and shoot on the streets or in small “cages”, like the legendary West 4th Street Courts in New York’s Greenwich Village. The team on board the Bremen Express have now shown that a containership can also serve as a basketball court. To help pass the time while waiting for a place in the dry dock in Qingdao, China, the crew took advantage of the empty cargo holds to have a tournament – and no doubt to perform plenty of slam dunks.

Trawler Dolgoschele Courtesy Arctic Info

Norwegian Authorities Release Murmansk Trawler

The detained Norwegians Murmansk trawler "Dolgoschele" returned to its home port and was preparing to set sail again. As reported today by the CEO-owner of the vessel of "Perseus" Alexander Chumakov, the Norwegian authorities did not agree to their explanation. The ship and crew were released on bail. However, the court proceedings are inevitable. Norwegians have estimated a damage of 1.2 million kroons to aquatic bioresources . Captain was fined 50 thousand crowns. The captain and the company pleaded guilty…

Appointment of Dorothy Thompson CBE as non-executive Chair of Tullow Oil plc Photo Tullow Oil

Thompson takes over from Founder Heavey, Tullow Oil

Tullow Oil plc (Tullow) announced the appointment of Dorothy Thompson as independent non-executive Director and Chair-designate of Tullow with effect from the conclusion of the Group’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) on 25 April 2018. It is anticipated Thompson will succeed Aidan Heavey, Tullow’s current Chairman and Founder, as Chair at the conclusion of the Board meeting scheduled for 20 July 2018. Aidan will retire from the Board at the same time. Thompson (57) brings extensive experience to Tullow having served for 12 years as CEO of Drax Group plc…

Image: Standard Club

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

© Shaun Robertson / Adobe Stock

Kenyan Fishermen Win Millions for Loss of Rights to New Port

Activists hailed a Kenyan court for ordering that almost 5,000 fishermen at a 14th century World Heritage Site receive millions in compensation for the loss of traditional fishing rights due to the construction of a major port.The fishermen in Lamu, the oldest Swahili settlement in East Africa, won 1.76 billion shillings ($18 million) in compensation this week from a court in the nearby town of Malindi, which also said their rights to culture and information had been violated."We were happy with the judgment…

Christophe Sirugue (Photo: Gouvernement.fr)

France May Step in on Shipyard Sale

France may intervene in the sale of the Saint-Nazaire shipyard by bankrupt South Korean shipbuilder STX if the French government's conditions are not met, Industry Minister Christophe Sirugue said. "The government is fully mobilised and will not hesitate to use all of the levers at its disposal," Sirugue told French daily Les Echos in an interview published on Friday. The French state, which owns a third of STX France and its western Saint-Nazaire shipyard, has a right of refusal on the sale of STX Offshore & Shipbuilding's majority stake once a winning bid has been selected…