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The use of drone technology in the maritime industry

Two years ago, Amazon promised that it would one day deliver packages by unmanned aerial devices, also known as drones. At the time it seemed quite a fantasy but now Google Wing has made similar pronouncements and Walmart is rumoured to be in discussions with the Federal Aviation Authority in the United States. With the recent announcement from South Africa’s Transnet National Port Authority (TNPA) that drone technology will be employed at South African ports, it seemed an opportune time to investigate how drones have been used in the maritime ...

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SPR Oil Sale Requires Use of Jones Act Vessels

On January 9, 2017, the Strategic Petroleum Reserve Project Management Office of the U.S. Department of Energy issued a Notice of Sale for eight million barrels of crude oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. Offers are due on January 17, 2017. The Notice of Sale requires the use of Jones Act-qualified U.S.-flag vessels unless an individual waiver is obtained for any oil shipped to a U.S. destination. The Jones Act generally requires the use of qualified U.S.-flag vessels to transport merchandise between two points in the United States. A number ...

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International Maritime Treaties Recognition and Trump: Protectionist or Progressive?

Much has been theorized in the past two months concerning whether the Trump Administration will follow through on President-Elect Donald Trump’s campaign pledge to “rip up” international trade deals such as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) or withdraw from the World Trade Organization. But what of potential treaties that have not been entered into yet? What can we expect from the Trump Administration? If the transportation infrastructure of the country is to be improved and modernized, the law governing transportation should be improved and modernized as well. Ratification ...

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United States: Federal Regulator To Accept Comments On Proposed Curbs To Late Charges For Containers

Less than a year after the West Coast ports of the United States recovered from labor disputes that resulted in significant transportation delays, the 2016 Hanjin Shipping bankruptcy created still more issues with late charges on delayed cargo containers in U.S. ports. Now the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC), which regulates ocean carriers, marine terminals, and ocean transportation intermediaries who do business in the U.S., is allowing concerned parties to comment on a proposed new rule on late charges. The Coalition for Fair Port Practices, an industry group led by the ...

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Greek shipping companies to pay $2.7M in penalties for ocean pollution

Two Greek shipping companies were sentenced Thursday to pay corporate penalties totaling $2.7 million after being convicted of obstructing justice, violating the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships, tampering with witnesses and conspiracy. Oceanfleet Shipping Limited and Oceanic Illsabe Limited will both pay a portion of the penalties to Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary. The case stems from an inspection of the M/V Ocean Hope, a large cargo ship, that was conducted by the US Coast Guard at the Port of Wilmington July 2015. During that inspection, senior engineers for ...

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Ince & Co opens in Marseille with double partner hire

International law firm Ince & Co has announced today the opening of an office in Marseille, France with the hire of two well respected partners that specialise in shipping and transport. The new office is open for business with immediate effect and is Ince & Co’s third in France, having opened in Paris and Le Havre in 2002. Ince & Co is the first international law firm to have its own office in Marseille, which is France’s main port and the city where most of France’s ship-owning companies are located. ...

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Singapore High Court discharges Hanjin Shipping’s interim stay order

At a case management conference held last Friday, the Singapore High Court granted an application by Hanjin Shipping’s foreign representative, Mr Suk Tai Soo, for leave to withdraw its proceedings in the Singapore High Court for, among other things, the recognition of Hanjin Shipping’s rehabilitation proceedings in Korea. As leave was granted for Mr Suk to withdraw the said proceedings, the High Court further discharged the interim stay order which was previously granted on 9 September 2016. The interim order was operative up to 25 January 2017 and included a ...

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Global Cybersecurity Threats to the Maritime Sector

As cybersecurity risks to the nation’s critical infrastructure – including those parts in the transportation and maritime sectors – continue to grow, the incoming Trump Administration has made it clear that cybersecurity is one of its top priorities. The administration’s new Cyber Review Team has been tasked with conducting an immediate review of all U.S. cyber defenses and vulnerabilities, including “vital” infrastructure in the transportation and maritime sectors. President-Elect Donald Trump also has publicly discussed focusing on a more offensive approach to cybersecurity around the world as well as a ...

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Smoother Sailing Ahead for Shippers After OFAC Clarifies Cuba Sanctions

On Friday, 6 January 2017, the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) revised its Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), adding five new FAQs (numbers 86-90) pertaining to vessel transactions with Cuba. The new FAQs come on the heels of a general licence issued by OFAC in October 2016 that significantly narrowed the scope of the so-called ‘180-day rule’— a restriction that prevents foreign-flag vessels from calling at U.S. ports for at least 180 days after calling at a Cuban port. See Reed Smith Client Alert, 17 October 2016. ...

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Ship Recycling: The European List Published – Only Facilities Contained In The List Can Recycle Ships Flying The Flag Of An EU

As the Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships (the “Hong Kong Convention”) is yet to enter into force, the European Union (“EU”) has surpassed the Hong Kong Convention in implementing controls and criteria applicable to ships and ship recycling facilities with the Regulation (EU) No 1257/2013 (the “Regulation”). The aim of the Regulation is to facilitate early ratification of the Hong Kong Convention both within the EU and in non-member states by applying proportionate controls to ships and ship recycling facilities on the ...

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WFW advises Nordea Bank AB on US$409.5m loan facility to Euronav

International law firm Watson Farley and Williams LLP (“WFW”) advised Nordea Bank AB (publ), filial i Norge (“Nordea”) in relation to a US$409.5m revolving credit loan facility for Euronav. The loan will refinance a US$500m facility signed in 2014 on which WFW also acted for Nordea and will provide Euronav with funds for general corporate and working capital purposes. Mandated lead arrangers are ABN AMRO Bank NV, Danish Ship Finance, DNB (UK) Limited, ING Bank, Nordea Bank AB (publ), filial i Norge and Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken AB (publ). The facility ...

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Turkey: Revised Environmental Marine Pollution Fines For 2017

Pursuant to Article 20 of the Turkish Environmental Code no. 1983 (the “Code”), fines are imposed on vessels for causing pollution in Turkish waters through discharge of petroleum products, dirty ballast, garbage and sewage into the sea. The quantum of the fines are determined by a tariff that is revised annually. The tariff below contains the updated rates for the year 2017 and will enter into force on 1 January 2017. 1. Petrol and petroleum products discharged by tankers: Up to 1,000 (inclusive) gross tons TRY 84.91 per GT Between ...

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Implied Good Faith – Lost at Sea Following Court of Appeal Shipping Case?

This article considers the commentary on implied obligations of good faith in the recent Court of Appeal decision in MSC v Cottonex Anstalt [2016] EWCA CIv 789 (“Cottonex”) which suggests that the recent trend in favour of an implied obligation to act in good faith in English contract law is not good law. Is there an implied duty of good faith in English contract law? Just over a year ago, before the recent Cottonex appeal, Ashfords wrote an article on the emerging principle of an implied duty of good faith ...

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Choice of Venue and Maritime Lien Claims

Preferred maritime liens can raise challenging issues during maritime disputes—especially during bankruptcy. Creditors may encounter problems when filing for seizure due to their unique nature, with venue is becoming a determining factor. Importantly, parties involved in maritime cases are often not immediately evident. Unlike mortgages, maritime liens are unpublished, only attaching to a vessel once credit exists. Thus, a claim that can appear to be paid off may be subordinated by previously invisible claims after the vessel is arrested. Moreover, maritime laws vary according to location—making venue and local counsel ...

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Maritime greenhouse gas emissions – legal update

In our April update on this subject, we reported on the outcome of the sixty-ninth meeting of the Marine Environmental Protection Committee (MEPC) of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) (MEPC 69) and on what to expect from the next MEPC meeting (MEPC 70). This update outlines the outcome of MEPC 70 (which took place on 24-28 October 2016), the global monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV) system to be introduced by the IMO across the shipping sector and next steps towards an international deal on maritime greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Outcome ...

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