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Monday, 27 April 2015

London P&I Club issues recommendations on bauxite cargoes

London P&I Club issues recommendations on bauxite cargoes

The London P&I Club has issued a list of recommendations to owners contemplating the carriage of bauxite cargoes in the wake of renewed concerns about the dangers of cargo mis-declaration and potential liquefaction.

In the latest issue of the club’s StopLoss Bulletin, Dr Martin Jonas, of international marine consultant and surveyor Brookes Bell, notes that grades of bauxite containing a high proportion of fines capable of retaining significant moisture are potentially at risk of liquefaction, resulting in cargo shift which may cause the capsizing of the carrying ship. Such cargoes are classed as Group A under the International Maritime Solid Bulk Cargoes (IMSBC) Code and should only be loaded if their moisture content is less than their transportable moisture limit (TML). The IMSBC Code does not explicitly identify bauxite as a potential Group A cargo, with the result that shippers may wrongly declare Group A bauxite as Group C, and may not provide the required TML and moisture certification.

Emphasising that shipowners should be alert to potentially mis-declared bauxite cargoes, the club has made a number of recommendations to its members. These include a warning that any cargoes which possess flow properties when wet, or which contain a high proportion of fine particles, should be considered as Group A. Moreover, any wet or damp cargoes which appear on visual inspection to contain a significant proportion of fine particles should be tested for flow properties prior to loading, even if shippers have declared them as Group C.

The club recommends that masters, officers and crew should conduct frequent and regular can-testing in accordance with the method set out in the IMSBC Code, and says that, in the event of a failed can test or the presence of splatter marks on bulkheads and/or pools of free water, loading should be suspended until the cargo has been properly tested in a laboratory for flow characteristics.

Among other things, the club also recommends that Group A bauxite cargoes should only be loaded with prior authorisation from the applicable competent authority, and in compliance with the detailed IMSBC Code regulations for sampling, testing and declaration of such cargoes.


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Thursday, 23 April 2015

Shipbroker loses interest but secures commission on sale by rival broker

International Transport Intermediaries Club (ITIC) has recently successfully 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 per cent 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. The owner refused to pay the broker’s commission of Euros 303,000, lawyers were appointed, and the commission claim was brought before the courts in January 2013. The court found for the broker and awarded it the commission of Euros 303,000, plus interest and costs.

The owner appealed the decision to the supreme court, alleging that the broker who had initially handled the sale had been incompetent. The owner also involved the local shipbrokers’ association in an attempt to demonstrate that the broker’s employee had fallen short of industry standards. The local association responded in favour of the shipbroker to the allegations of incompetence posed by the shipowner.

Before the expense of a trial in the supreme court had been incurred, the owner approached the broker with an offer of settlement at the commission amount of Euros 303,000 without interest and without the payment of costs. The shipbroker was willing to forgo the interest, and settlement was agreed at the commission amount of Euros 303,000 plus the costs awarded by the first instance court of $32,300. The costs incurred in the early stages of the supreme court proceedings were waived.

ITIC is managed by Thomas Miller. More details about the club and the services it offers can be found on ITIC’s website at www.itic-insure.com

For more information:
Charlotte Kirk
Tel. +44 (0)20 7338 0150
Fax. +44 (0)20 7338 0151

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Friday, 10 April 2015

Liberia number one open register for Greek owners and operators

Figures released by the Greek Shipping Co-operation Committee (GSCC) show that Liberia has further strengthened its position as the undisputed leading open registry of choice for Greek shipowners and operators.

The GSCC statistics show that, in the year to end-March 2015, the number of Greek-controlled ships in the Liberian Registry increased by a net total of 61 vessels, more than any other registry in the world. In the process, the Liberian Registry moved closer to the Greek flag, which recorded a net total of 20 new registrations in the twelve-month period.

The GSCC figures show a total of 739 Greek-controlled ships, aggregating 54.03m dwt, registered with Liberia, compared to 678 vessels of 49.05m dwt at end-March 2014. Eighteen per cent of Greek-controlled ships are now registered under the Liberian flag. This is an increase on the corresponding figure for the previous year and positions Liberia second only to the Greek national flag in this respect.

The GSCC findings provide the second independent verification in the past six months of the dominant role played in Greek shipping by the Liberian Registry. Figures produced recently by Marine Information Services (MIS) in Greece showed Liberia as the most popular and fastest growing flag for Greek owners and operators.

Scott Bergeron, CEO of the Liberian International Ship & Corporate Registry (LISCR), the US-based manager of the Liberian Registry, says, “The relationship between the Greek shipping community and the Liberian Registry is built on strong and long-standing foundations. It has grown stronger still during the worldwide economic downturn of recent years, during which shipowners and operators have looked to their ship registries for innovative solutions to help maintain efficiency and profitability.”

Michalis Pantazopoulos, Senior Vice-President of the Liberian International Ship & Corporate Registry (Hellas) SA in Piraeus, says, “The latest figures from the GSCC are good news both for the Greek fleet and for the Liberian registry. Greece remains the undisputed number one shipping nation in the world. Almost 16 per cent of the world fleet in deadweight terms is now controlled by Greek interests, and the average age of that fleet is 2.5 years below the world average. The total amount of Greek-controlled ships in the world fleet is now at its highest level since 2008 / 2009, and the fact that Liberia has played such a leading role in this quality growth is testament to the mutual trust and respect which exists between the Greek shipowning community and the Liberian Registry.”

The Liberian Registry is one of the world’s largest and most active shipping registers and has long been considered the world’s most technologically advanced maritime administration. It has a long-established track record of combining the highest standards of safety for vessels and crews with the highest levels of responsive service to owners.


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Moore Stephens / Chantrey Vellacott merger creates a perfect partnership

Mid-tier accountancy firm Chantrey Vellacott DFK LLP is to merge with Moore Stephens LLP.

The firms, which together have been providing services for over 330 years, will use the Moore Stephens name and brand. The combined partnership will become members of the Moore Stephens International network, which has a turnover of $2.7 billion and offices in 103 countries.

“The merger provides a platform for continued, sustainable growth,” explains Simon Gallagher, managing partner of Moore Stephens. “There are real synergies, not just in terms of the services and sectors but a coming together of similar philosophies and values to form a strong combined firm.”

The primary focus of the firm will be to provide valuable services to owner-managed and global businesses across a broad range of sectors, including both domestic and international private clients.

“This provides an important strategic development for both firms,” says Mike Tovey, Chantrey Vellacott’s managing partner. “The combined firm will provide our clients with a broader range of expertise, along with an increased depth of sector knowledge and experience. Clients will also benefit from access to much wider UK and global capabilities through the Moore Stephens UK and international network.”

Simon Gallagher believes the firms’ people will make the merger a success. “The partners and staff are central to our strategy going forward. The merger provides genuine career and development opportunities through innovation, growth and financial success. It’s going to be a really exciting time for our people, and I’m sure this will translate into the service we provide to clients.”

Moore Stephens’ senior partner and chairman of Moore Stephens International Limited, Richard Moore, added: “The merger is a fantastic opportunity, not just for the two firms but the Moore Stephens International network, which will be stronger as a result.”

The merger will complete on 1 May, at which point the combined partnership will begin trading as Moore Stephens LLP, with the London offices consolidating into 150 Aldersgate Street over the coming months. Current Moore Stephens managing partner Simon Gallagher will lead the amalgamated firm, with Richard Moore remaining as senior partner. Chantrey Vellacott’s managing partner Mike Tovey will be joining the firm’s Partnership Executive Committee.

About Moore Stephens and Chantrey Vellacott

Moore Stephens is the UK’s 10th largest independent accounting and consulting network, comprising over 1,300 partners and staff in 34 locations. Chantrey Vellacott is the UK’s 21st largest accountancy firm.

The merger consolidates Moore Stephens UK’s position as a significant mid-tier firm, with a total UK turnover of £156m and over 1,700 partners and staff.

Moore Stephens LLP is an independent member firm of Moore Stephens International Limited, one of the world's major accounting and consulting networks with 667 offices in 103 countries. It is widely acknowledged as a leading adviser in a broad range of industries, including shipping and offshore maritime.


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Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Liberian Registry establishes Istanbul regional office

THE Liberian Registry has established a regional office in Istanbul, Turkey, as part of the continued expansion of its global presence in major centres of international shipping and trade.

Erhan Esinduy has been appointed Regional Representative of the office and will be joining the Registry’s dedicated Special Agent Tevfik Çelepöven. Having gained a wealth of practical seagoing and shore-based experience during a ten-year career with P&O Containers / P&O Nedlloyd, Erhan subsequently held a number of executive positions in the shipping industry before setting up and serving as managing director of ESKO Marine Trading Ltd Co in 2014.

Erhan says, “A regional office of the Liberian Registry in Istanbul is a most welcome development for owners and management companies, who will be able to handle all their flag administration matters and ship registration issues locally.

“It's a great challenge for me personally, and I am proud to be involved in this exciting venture. I relish the opportunity to use my contacts and industry knowledge to the advantage of those owners and managers whose ships already fly the Liberian flag, and to help significantly increase the number of Turkish-owned vessels in the Registry. Building strong, long-lasting relationships is essential to achieving good results.”

Scott Bergeron, CEO of the Liberian International Ship & Corporate Registry (LISCR), the US-based manager of the registry, says, “Establishing a regional office in Istanbul is a natural step for the Liberian Registry. Istanbul is one of the great shipping centres of the world, at the crossroads of Europe and Asia, and its influence is growing all the time. Having an office there will bring the registry even closer to this vibrant market.

“Erhan Esinduy is the ideal choice as the registry’s representative in Istanbul. During a long and varied career ashore and afloat he has gained first-hand experience of the sorts of issues which shipowners and managers typically encounter, including supervision of drydockings, carrying out vessel inspections, and overseeing and co-ordinating external inspections by Port State Control and other regulatory bodies. He is a shipping person for a shipping city.”

The Liberian Registry is one of the world’s largest and most active shipping registers, and has long been considered the world’s most technologically advanced maritime administration. It has a long-established track record of combining the highest standards of safety for vessels and crews with the highest levels of responsive service to owners. www.liscr.com

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Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Ship manager fined for breach of US sulphur emissions regulations

International Transport Intermediaries Club (ITIC) has confirmed that a ship management company has been fined over a quarter of a million dollars in connection with a breach of clean air regulations in the United States.

ITIC reports that an inspector of the California Air Resources Board, the clean air agency of the state of California, boarded a ship in July 2011 at a terminal in Los Angeles. The chief engineer was asked if he was aware of the revised 2009 California clean air regulations which required vessels to switch main engine, auxiliary engines and auxiliary boilers to low-sulphur fuel when in California-regulated waters. The chief engineer said he was only aware of the requirement to switch auxiliary engines to low-sulphur fuel in accordance with regulations effective from 1 January, 2007.

The master checked the vessel’s Safety Management System (SMS) but was unable to locate the 2009 requirement. The inspector then examined the records of fuel switchover for the vessel’s main engine, auxiliary engines and auxiliary boilers, and ascertained that the ship had called at California ports seventeen times between 2009 and 2011 without switching over the main engine or the auxiliary boilers. A penalty of $283,500 was duly imposed on the shipowner for failure to switch fuel during the seventeen port calls. The owner claimed against the manager, maintaining that the manager had been negligent.

ITIC says, “In 2009, a fleet circular had been sent to all vessels by the manager, setting out the change in regulations, and asking that it be displayed in a prominent position. The manager therefore initially rejected the claim on the ground that it had resulted from crew negligence, which was excluded under the BIMCO management agreement. The owners, however, did not accept this rejection, maintaining instead that the manager had failed to update the SMS. As it was considered unlikely that the manager would successfully defend a claim resulting from its failure to update the SMS, the claim was paid in full.”

ITIC is managed by Thomas Miller. More details about the club and the services it offers can be found on ITIC’s website at www.itic-insure.com

For more information:
Charlotte Kirk
Tel. +44 (0)20 7338 0150
Fax. +44 (0)20 7338 0151

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Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Piracy and terrorism specialist partner joins Tatham Macinnes from Ince

Stephen Askins, a leading expert on piracy and terrorism issues, is joining the specialist maritime law firm Tatham Macinnes LLP from Ince & Co LLP as a partner in its London-based offices.

Stephen, a former Royal Marine, is well-known as one of the leading experts on casualty response and in particular piracy, maritime terrorism and the use of armed guards at sea. He has managed many of the more serious piracy and hostage incidents in recent times. He was also part of the drafting committee which produced GUARDCON, the BIMCO standard contract for the employment of security guards on board merchant ships - widely recognised as contributing to a significant reduction in piracy incidents around the world

Stephen is also acknowledged as an expert adviser on the legal and practical issues arising out of operating in complex environments, including Libya, Crimea, the Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Guinea. More recently, he has been dealing with the issues arising out of trading to Ebola-affected areas - helping to develop specific charter party clauses to cover the risks associated with the virus.

Stephen says, “I am delighted to be joining Tatham Macinnes. It’s a great team with a surprising depth of legal and technical knowledge. The legal market is changing rapidly. The chance to provide innovative and flexible solutions and services to our clients is very exciting.”

Tatham Macinnes partner Simon Tatham says, “Stephen’s reputation speaks for itself. His energy and enthusiasm, combined with his all-round shipping experience is a perfect fit for us. Tatham Macinnes has gone from strength to strength over the last three years, and we are very proud that Stephen recognises that and has taken the decision to join us.”

Tatham Macinnes LLP is a London-based maritime law firm set up three years ago, specialising in maritime law and, in particular, in large-scale casualty response. In that time it has dealt with numerous collisions, groundings, wreck-removals and pollution incidents. www.tatham-macinnes.com

For more information:
Simon Tatham
Tatham Macinnes
Tel: D. +44 (0)20 7469 2553

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