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Arrested Development: Ship Released from Arrest Despite Pending Appeal

In Platypus Marine, Inc. v. TATU (TATU), the Federal Court of Canada (Court) ordered that the defendant ship be released from arrest because there was no outstanding judgment. Although the plaintiff was appealing a judgment dismissing part of the plaintiff’s claim, the ship owner had paid the full amount awarded against it. In those circumstances, the ship owner successfully argued that there was no legal basis to sustain the arrest once the judgment had been satisfied. The Court’s decision is a helpful reminder that plaintiffs who benefit from their procedural ...

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International Ports Back on Track after Global Cyber Attack

After a major cyber attack wreaked havoc on companies and governments worldwide in late June, international companies like A.P. Moler-Maersk have brought their IT systems back online. Maersk’s Asia Pacific chief executive Robbert van Trooijen has confirmed that all of Maersk’s affected ports were back to releasing cargo and that bookings have rebounded. The so-called “Petya” attack, which was originally targeted at Ukrainian businesses and government agencies, spread globally and ultimately affected international companies like Maersk. The attack did not affect the physical loading of goods but instead disrupted data-driven ...

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Nigeria: Legal Compliance For Transporting Crude Oil In Nigeria

With Nigeria’s position as a leading oil producing country, the transportation of crude oil from the country is a basic and foundational component of the international oil supply chain. The shock that greeted the ban of a number of vessels from trading in the country some time ago was therefore understandable. On the back of their subsequent unbanning and conditions put in place for compliance with local law, due diligence and risk management will require that vessel owners and parties with interest in ships operating in Nigeria are properly acquainted ...

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Does a Shipowner Have to Sell Its Ship in Order to Mitigate Its Loss? Supreme Court Says No!

In our client alert “Does a shipowner have to sell its ship in order to mitigate its loss?” in November 2016, we discussed the controversial Court of Appeal decision in The New Flamenco. On 28 June 2017 the eagerly anticipated UK Supreme Court judgment in The New Flamenco was handed down, reversing the decision of the Court of Appeal. The Supreme Court held that the shipowner did not have to sell its ship to mitigate the loss of the charterers’ repudiatory breach. The Supreme Court agreed with the High Court ...

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I see no ships – condition precedents under FOB contracts

A recent judgment of the Commercial Court suggests that a FOB buyer can be excused from nominating a vessel by an unaccepted renunciation of contract by a seller. This blog questions the court’s approach in this case and examines the basic principles engaged. Shipment under an FOB contract is a collaborative exercise between seller and buyer and it is well recognised that the nomination and provision of a vessel by the buyer, in accordance with the agreed shipment period, is a condition precedent to the seller’s obligation to ship the ...

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Ballast water saga: regulation requiring chlorination causes confusion

A number of indications suggest that shipping compliance in Argentina can be stressful. The requirements for operators regarding inward clearance are usually unclear and patience is required to understand how regulations are likely to apply. This is particularly true with regard to regulations concerning: the inspection of holds and tanks; garbage management plans; fumigation; and ballast water treatment. Ballast water treatment In this regard, and following the saga of ballast water treatment in Argentina (for further details please see “New regulation on ballast water treatment”), the Ministry of Environment and ...

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Indictments Against Shipping Executives Demonstrate DOJ’s Commitment To Individual Accountability

Almost one year ago, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that Norwegian Shipping company Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics AS (WWL) had agreed to pay a $98.9 million fine for its role in a conspiracy to control prices for roll-on, roll-off cargo (such as cars, trucks, and agricultural equipment) shipped to and from the United States. At the time, the DOJ acknowledged that, in addition to the fine, WWL was cooperating in ongoing investigations and affirmed the Department’s commitment to holding “companies and executives” accountable. Last week, the DOJ announced that the ...

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Greek Shipowners Extend Voluntary Tax

Greek shipowners have agreed to extend a voluntary tax contribution to the Greek government, which I previously blogged about, for an additional year due to the fact that Greece is still struggling with its debt crisis. Members of the Union of Greek Shipowners (EEE) approved the extension of the agreement for the voluntary tax payments, which was originally signed in 2013 and was set to expire at the end of 2017. The current measure will extend the agreement with the Greek state until the end of 2018. In 2013 it ...

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US – CBP proposes to extend Savannah port limits

On July 3, 2017, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) published in the Federal Register a notice of proposed rulemaking [Docket No. USCBP–2017–0017] to extend the geographical limits of the port of entry of Savannah, Georgia. The proposed extension will make the boundaries more easily identifiable to the public and will allow for uniform and continuous service to the extended area of Savannah, Georgia. The proposed change is part of CBP’s continuing program to use its personnel, facilities, and resources more efficiently and to provide better service to carriers, importers, ...

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Shipping: Getting ready for recovery

It has been a brutal few years in the shipping and offshore markets with overcapacity, declining demand and the dramatic fall in oil prices all contributing to historically low charter rates and plummeting asset values. It is no wonder that owners and operators have adopted defensive strategies in recent years. The recent bid by Borr Drilling for Transocean’s jack-up fleet is one of a number of transactions which could suggest that the arrow on the shipping and offshore barometer may no longer be locked between ‘stormy’ and ‘rain’ and could ...

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O.W. Bunker: Some Modest Considerations

Vessels cannot sail without fuel. This industry truth is recognized in contracts and under U.S. maritime law. In fact, enabling ship operators to efficiently obtain fuel is so important that U.S. maritime law purports to grant fuel suppliers a maritime lien over the vessels to which fuel is supplied. However, a recent series of cases demonstrates that the U.S. maritime laws establishing fuel suppliers’ rights are uncertain, creating risks for fuel suppliers, ship operators and shipowners. An analysis of these cases dictates better contractual practices to mitigate the legal (and ...

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International Shipping Executives Indicted for Colluding on Bids and Rates: Eleven Executives and Four Companies Have Been Charged in Ocean Shipping Investigation

An indictment of three shipping executives was unsealed in U.S. District Court in Baltimore, the Department of Justice announced yesterday. Anders Boman, Arild Iversen, and Kai Kraass have been charged with participating in a long-running conspiracy to allocate certain customers and routes, rig bids, and fix prices for the sale of international ocean shipments of roll-on, roll-off cargo to and from the United States and elsewhere, including the Port of Baltimore. A federal grand jury returned the indictment in November 2016. Boman, a citizen of Sweden, and Iversen, a Norwegian ...

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Shipowner Who Tried to Skirt Club Rules Runs Aground in Court

The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York recently issued a decision finding that a shipowner member was bound to a P&I Club’s board of directors’ decision to deny coverage for that member’s losses arising from a maritime casualty. In Transatlantic Lines LLC v. American Steamship Owners Mutual Protection and Indemnity Association, Inc., a shipowner (Transatlantic) had chartered a barge from McAllister Towing Co. Inc. (McAllister) that brought the barge under the coverage afforded by rules of a P&I club, known as the American Club. The American ...

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Choppy waters

The past few years have been among the worst in the global shipping industry’s history. Too many vessels chasing too little cargo have left hundreds of ships idle, forcing container lines to under-bid each other. This has resulted in record-low freight rates worldwide, barely covering the cost of fuel. In 2016, the shipping industry saw the demise of Hanjin Shipping, one of its biggest members. The South Korean mega shipping line declared bankruptcy in August, becoming the largest shipper ever to go insolvent. The downturn has also set off a ...

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Are you entitled to payment under your contract: have you dotted your ‘i’s and crossed your ‘t’s?

The general principles of contractual interpretation are easy to state, but the application of such principles appears to be deceivingly simple, given the recent string of differing English decisions that demonstrated the various judicial approaches to contractual interpretation. The current troubled state of the oil and gas industry creates a fertile landscape for disputes to arise. Such disputes frequently arise because contracts were not as clearly drafted as they ought to have been. The decision in Gard Shipping AS v Clearlake Shipping Pte Ltd1 gives a flavour of the current ...

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