29 OCT 2020
The U.S. Department of Justice aggressively prosecutes shipowners and operators of foreign-flag vessels calling at U.S. ports for MARPOL violations. These prosecutions are often the result of an initial inspection and investigation by the U.S. Coast Guard. Our authors both served as US Coast Guard attorneys before moving to the private sector. They share their insights into the rights and responsibilities of shipowners and crew when interacting with U.S. Coast Guard inspectors and investigators.
22 OCT 2020
Biofuels may not become the zero-carbon solution of choice in the shipping industry’s decarbonization process in the longer term, but could have a significant role to play to accelerate the process. In a recent article DNV GL summarizes the regulatory issues, safety and other operational issues faced by those using these new fuels or fuel blends.
Migrants continue to put their lives at risk to make their way across the Mediterranean to Europe in hope of a better future. The small boats are crowded with people. Often the rafts are in bad condition on the verge of sinking. Fortunate migrants are rescued by merchant vessels or by Non-Government Organizations (NGO) vessels. An unknown number of migrants do not make it - they drown at sea. The situation is a human tragedy which needs to be addressed on the political level, but it is also represents a major problem for shipowners as experienced by our member Maersk Tankers A/S.
01 OCT 2020
Gard (North America), is honored to be a co-sponsor of the American Bar Association Admiralty and Maritime Law Committee Annual Writing Competition.
24 SEP 2020
Twice yearly Gard’s Arendal based employees gather to clean Merdø, our adopted island in Raet National Park. Gard also sponsors local youth groups who fan out over the southern Norwegian coastline to pick up litter as part of the Hold Norge Rent (Keep Norway Beautiful) beach cleaning days. Given the magnitude of the problem with plastic in the ocean, do such efforts make a difference? A recently published study suggests they do - but there is certainly more to be done to stem the flow of plastic litter into our ocean.
Updated 1 October 2020
While access to coronavirus testing for seafarers is now becoming more widely available, ship operators should bear in mind that no test is 100% accurate. As explained by Dr. Ingrid H. Johansen, a two-week quarantine for on-signing crew at the place of embarkation should still be the primary measure to prevent infected seafarers from joining a ship.
Many predictions were made in the run up to the imposition of the MARPOL 2020 sulphur cap, none of which was that the transition to Very Low Sulphur Fuel Oil (VLSFO) would be smooth sailing. From Gard’s experience, the transition has been smoother than many predicted but not without challenges.
More than 20 years ago, the case came to Gard lawyer, Kelly Wagland, in our London office and now it has a final resolution. We thank lawyers, Amitava Majumdar, Damayanti Sen & Tripti Sharma of the law firm Bose & Mitra & Co, for providing the details of the Indian Supreme Court’s decision in the case of The Chairman, Board of Trustees, Cochin v. M/s Arebee Star Maritime Agencies Private Ltd. & Ors (“Arebee”). The judgment is a significant positive development for liner operators trading to India.
The UK Supreme Court has granted leave to appeal the recent decision in Alize 1954 v Allianz Elementar Versicherungs AG (The “CMA CGM LIBRA”). While the decision involved General Average, we discuss the ramifications of the finding of unseaworthiness as it applies to the allocation of risk and liabilities in the wider context of the marine transport of goods.
In the early morning hours of 23 March, the laden bulk carrier, KAAMI grounded in bad weather in the Little Minch channel between the islands of Skye and Lewis off Scotland. Gard insured the KAAMI for both P&I liability, and Hull & Machinery. Our authors, Gunnar Beisland and Påsan Vigerust handled the casualty and tell the story as their case went from salvage to wreck removal and, ultimately, sustainable recycling of the vessel and cargo.
Soya beans are big business and Brazil has now become the world’s leading producer, surpassing the United States. We looked to consultant scientist, Dr Stephanie Heard for insight into carriage of soya beans in bulk between Brazil and China and some of the problems that may be encountered due to moisture content at loading.
There have been many grounding incidents in the waters within the Indonesian archipelago over the past few years and many have involved depth anomalies. Grounding incidents on charted obstructions are avoidable, but what about when obstructions such as shoals, reefs or rocks that are not charted? Through case studies we consider how such groundings occur and what can be done to minimize the risk of such incidents.
It was mid-May and the member’s vessel was enroute from Port Kelang, Malaysia to Xiamen, China when the crew noticed a monkey scampering on a container stack.
On this Day of the Seafarer, we stand with the IMO to call for universal designation of seafarers as key workers to enable crew rotation. Seafarers deserve respect and dignity for the essential work they do. Their physical and mental wellbeing is essential to safe vessel operations and they need to be able to sign-off ships to be repatriated to their home countries in the usual course of their employment.
Collapse of on-deck container stacks represent a grave threat to crew and ship safety and to the environment. The shipping community and their insurers have suffered substantial financial losses during the last years as the number of container stack collapse cases resulting in loss of containers at sea is increasing both in terms of frequency and severity.
10 JUN 2020
Well before the novel coronavirus appeared on the horizon making life difficult for seafarers, Gard Claims Executive Osmund Johnsen happily accepted an invitation from Gard Member Kristian Gerhard Jebsen Skipsrederi (KGJS) to sail with the SKS MOSEL during a bunkering voyage from Las Palmas to Algeciras. He wrote about his experience for KGJS’s newsletter which we are pleased to republish. We thank KGJS and the crew members of the SKS Mosel for sharing the experience and hope that in the not too distant future, we will once again have the opportunity to visit aboard.
Regardless of whether a buyer purchases fuel directly from physical suppliers or via brokers or traders and whether sale is under a global framework agreement or ad hoc on a port by port basis, a common feature is that the seller’s terms generally prevail.
The COVID-19 pandemic is still ongoing. It presents major challenges to seafarers and shipowners due to the lockdown of countries, travel restrictions, changes in local regulations, problems accessing healthcare ashore when needed, and worries if crewmembers develop COVID-19-like symptoms while at sea. In some countries and regions, the infection numbers are still rising while in others, the infection rate is declining with many countries and regions slowly opening to greater human interaction. One of the critical features in addressing the pandemic as well as easing lockdown has been testing for the disease. Gard receives many questions about the use of tests, and has sought the assistance and expertise of doctors at the Norwegian Centre for Maritime and Diving Medicine to help answer some of the questions.
In this article, we interview Torunn Biller White, Gard’s Chief Risk Officer and talk about how Gard manages risk and the methodology for identifying emerging risks in the medium and long term.
COVID – 19 lockdown and social distancing rules and recommendations have made traditional legal proceedings all but impossible. Rather than postpone court hearings, arbitrations and mediations, video streaming platforms have been pressed into service. Gard lawyers, Louis Shepherd and Fredrik Falck-Knutsen review the practices in various jurisdictions and comment concerning their own experiences with the technology.