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Thursday, 27 April 2017

ITIC urges shipbrokers to check internal communications systems

International Transport Intermediaries Club (ITIC) says communication failings within shipbrokers’ organisations can result in important instructions from principals being overlooked, leading to potentially costly claims.

In the most recent issue of its Claims Review, ITIC cites an incident in which an off-duty member of a tanker broker’s operations staff received an individual phone and email message over the weekend from a colleague in a different office, asking for important instructions regarding the amount of cargo to be loaded to be passed on to a tanker owner. The operations person took no action, having wrongly assumed that the message had also been sent to the company’s general operations email address and that it would be dealt with by an on-duty colleague.

The message detailed a request by the charterer to change the discharge port rotation to avoid severe congestion at what was originally scheduled to be the first port of call. This revised rotation required a reduction in the vessel’s draft to enable it to discharge at what was now intended to be the first port of call. Because of the failure to pass on the message, however, the wrong quantity of cargo was loaded and there was no option but to remain with the original rotation. A significant amount of demurrage was subsequently incurred, which was passed on to the broker and ultimately reimbursed by ITIC.

ITIC says a large number of claims caused by messages not being forwarded involve communications between different offices of the same broking company. It urges brokers to ensure that they have systems in place to prevent such errors occurring in their business.

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, 19 April 2017

London P&I Club says consistent approach to publication management is essential

The London P&I Club says its inspectors have consistently noted negative findings in connection with the management of ships’ chart folios and associated publications, as well as concern over the approach adopted by deck officers to the management of external navigational warning information from SAT-C and Navtex.

The most common finding is the lack of application of Temporary and Preliminary Notices to voyage charts. The club’s loss prevention officer, Carl Durow, says, “Officers in charge of such activities are reminded that, while often temporary, T&P Corrections should not be regarded as less important to safe navigation than weekly permanent chart corrections. Ships’ ISM manuals should give clear and concise guidance on how the nautical publications are to be corrected to avoid inadequate and personal approaches being applied by ships’ officers.”

Another regular club finding relates to the poor or inconsistent application and management of permanent chart corrections. “This can be a very time-consuming task,” says Durow, “particularly when a global folio is maintained. Where paper charts are in use, they should be kept corrected to the latest onboard edition of ‘Notices to Mariners’. Owners should consider the time-saving and most accurate step of supplementing their notices with the appropriate tracings when they are not provided.”

The club believes that consistency of approach is the key to good publication management. It adds that the period of crew changeover is when consistency can either be maintained or lost, and where incoming officers with a potentially subjective approach to the task should take instruction from company policy and procedure and act accordingly.


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Moore Stephens warns on dangers of diving unprepared into shipping pools

International accountant and shipping adviser Moore Stephens has warned ship owners and operators to check carefully the financial, tax and jurisdictional implications of participating in shipping pool arrangements.

Shipping partner Michael Simms says, “Shipping pools can be an attractive option, particularly in difficult markets and during periods of economic uncertainty. Interest in the concept generally is increasing as a way to leverage money and maximise economies of scale. But while it might make good commercial sense for like-minded shipping interests to pool their resources to mutual advantage, traps may lie in wait for the unwary.”

Shipping pools can take a variety of forms, from incorporated entities or partnerships to joint-ventures and other forms of agreement. The jurisdiction in which the pool is established is of primary importance, since it will have fundamental tax and reporting implications.

Simms notes, “Historically, tax-friendly offshore jurisdictions have been a natural fit for many shipping pools, but the recent increased focus on general tax transparency and on proper governance and reporting procedures may serve as a catalyst for change in this regard. The existing structure of shipping pools established in offshore jurisdictions is unlikely to change, but it would be reasonable to expect the members of any new pool arrangements to at least consider the option of establishing the pool in a more traditional jurisdiction.

“A move towards greater corporatisation of shipping pools, which may grant access to trade finance solutions, might be a viable option for many owners, provided the terms of entry and exit are acceptable.”

Moore Stephens has advised on a number of pool agreements during the past 12 months. There are a range of tax issues to consider when setting up, amending or joining a pool. In the case of a new pool, it will be necessary to consider the tax position of each entity within the pool structure. Other important considerations include the terms of the pool agreement itself, the status of the pool under competition law, the effectiveness of the marketing strategy, and the way pool accounts are prepared and submitted.

Michael Simms concludes, “Shipping pools have clear advantages for some. But it is a challenging market, and one subject to increasingly stringent evaluation. It would be a mistake to just dive in without careful consideration.”

Moore Stephens LLP is noted for a number of industry specialisations and is widely acknowledged as a leading shipping, offshore maritime and transport & logistics adviser. Moore Stephens LLP is a member firm of Moore Stephens International Limited, one of the world's leading accounting and consulting associations, with 626 offices of independent member firms in 108 countries, employing 27,997 people and generating revenues in 2016 of $2.7 billion. www.moorestephens.co.uk

For more information:
Michael Simms
Moore Stephens LLP
Tel: +44 (0)20 7334 9191

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Tuesday, 4 April 2017

London P&I Club guidance on reducing risk of bulk cargo liquefaction

The London P&I Club, working in co-operation with leading classification society Bureau Veritas and its casualty and salvage subsidiary TMC Marine, has produced an operational guide designed to reduce the risk of liquefaction in potentially volatile bulk cargoes such as ore fines and concentrates.

Reducing the Risk of Liquefaction is intended to provide general guidance and practical advice to masters, shipowners, shippers and charterers on the loading and carriage of bulk cargoes which may liquefy, the risks associated with liquefaction, and the precautions which should be taken to minimise those risks.

Despite an improvement in the awareness of the risks associated with the carriage of cargoes such as iron ore fines, coal, manganese ore fines and nickel ore, incidents involving liquefaction continue to occur, sometimes with catastrophic and tragic results. The main, mandatory requirements for the safe carriage of solid bulk cargoes are stipulated in the IMSBC Code, but Reducing the Risk of Liquefaction supplements this by explaining the precautions that should be taken before accepting cargoes for shipment and the procedures to be followed for their safe loading and carriage.

Carl Durow, Loss Prevention Manager at The London P&I Club, says ‘Bulk carriers represent a significant proportion of the tonnage entered in the London P&I Club, and we continue to see evidence of incidents involving cargo liquefaction, most notably involving shipments from South-East Asian ports. The club is therefore committed to providing advice which improves an understanding of how liquefaction occurs and its effect on the stability of a ship. Key decision-makers are generally to be found on board ships, and the advice in the guidance which we have produced in co-operation with BV and TMC is therefore aimed primarily at seafarers.”


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Monday, 3 April 2017

Liberian Registry makes key appointments in Tokyo

The Liberian Registry has appointed Eiji Okazaki as president of the Tokyo office operated by its US-based manager, the Liberian International Ship & Corporate Registry (LISCR).

Mr Okazaki was formerly president and CEO of Japanese ship owner and ship manager IMECS Co Ltd, a subsidiary company of the Japanese major trading house, ITOCHU Corporation. He has nearly forty years’ experience of working at an executive level in the shipowning and ship sales and purchase sectors in Japan, Korea, and Europe. He replaces Takeshi Okamoto, who will return to ClassNK in June after more than five years at the Liberian Registry.

The Liberian Registry is also pleased to announce that Yoshimi Uraguchi has joined LISCR from ClassNK, as technical manager of its Tokyo office. Mr Uraguchi has accumulated extensive experience of class and statutory surveys, condition and risk assessment programmes, and class maintenance surveys since joining the Japanese classification society in 2003.

Alfonso Castillero, Global Vice-President of the Liberian Registry and LISCR Japan Executive Chairman, says, “We are naturally sorry to be losing Takeshi Okamoto back to ClassNK, with whom we continue to enjoy an excellent relationship. Takeshi did an outstanding job of helping to strengthen LISCR’s presence in Japan, and he leaves with our very best wishes for his future career.

“Meanwhile, we are delighted to welcome Eiji Okazaki and Yoshimi Uraguchi to LISCR, and are very confident that their experience, expertise and global contacts will serve to strengthen still further LISCR’s strong presence in Japan and the Far East generally.”

The Liberian Registry broke all records in the Japanese market during 2017 and is the second largest open registry in the world. It has long been considered the world’s most technologically advanced maritime administration. The Registry 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. Moreover, it has a well-deserved reputation for supporting international legislation designed to maintain and improve the safety and effectiveness of the shipping industry and protection of the marine environment.


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