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Arrest of evidence in shipping disputes

Recent developments in Dutch case law have opened up possibilities to arrest documentation and/or other evidence. This conservatory measure to safeguard evidence can also be used on board of a vessel, for example to arrest documents such as deck logs, port logs and crew lists. An evidentiary arrest can be used in support of claims against the vessel, her owners and/or charterers, as the case may be. Background An evidentiary arrest provides a reprieve for inter alia charterers and cargo interested parties, when they have to deal with the reluctance ...

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Brazilian appeal court recognises Liberian ship mortgage

On 16 November 2017, the Superior Court of Justice (SCJ), Brazil’s highest court (in respect of non-constitutional claims) recognised a Liberian ship mortgage involving an FPSO (i.e. a floating, production, storage and offloading vessel) located offshore Brazil. The SCJ reversed the Appeals’ Court decision which had adopted a narrower approach and refused to recognise the validity of the Liberian mortgage on the grounds that (1) it had not been registered with the Brazilian Maritime Registry and (2) Liberia is not a signatory to any international convention pursuant to which Brazil ...

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Limited Recognition of Foreign Maritime liens in Australia

Factual background The “Sam Hawk” was owned and registered in Hong Kong, under Greek management, and operated by a Swiss company. It was under time charter to Egyptian Bulk Carriers (‘EBC’). EBC contracted with Reiter Petroleum for the provision of bunkers at Istanbul. The supply of bunkers was subject to Reiter’s general terms and conditions, which required that the contract was to be construed according to the law of Canada, However there was a further term that Reiter was permitted to assert a lien wherever it finds the vessel, and ...

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Arrested oil tanker sells on auction in Durban for R164-million

A large 2006 Korean built chemical and oil tanker has been sold on auction in Durban for R164-million by online auctioneers Clear Asset. The vessel, named ‘Pretty Scene’, belonged to the Parakou Group in Asia and was under judicial arrest in Durban. The vessel, purchased by a Chinese buyer, measures 183m in length, 32.2m in breadth and has a gross tonnage of 30,068. The auction was hotly contested and took over 45 minutes to reach a final bid price of US$12-million, approximately R164-million excluding the additional payment for Bunker fuel ...

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COSCO wins EU Clearance for buyout of container shipping rival OOIL

Reed Smith recently advised client Orient Overseas (International) Limited, OOIL, on its acquisition by COSCO Shipping. Both Lines are part of the Ocean Alliance and represent two of the biggest Shipping Lines in China. The Reed Smith competition team was led by partner Marjorie Holmes. COSCO was represented by Paul Hastings in Paris and Brussels. Source: Reed Smith

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Northumbria law academic advises Norwegian Government on international maritime safety laws

Research by a Northumbria University academic is helping an influential Norwegian Parliamentary Commission investigate and improve international maritime safety laws. Northumbria Law School lecturer Craig Laverick’s work and expertise is also contributing to the debate surrounding the legal case and defence of Francesco Schettino, the master of the Costa Concordia cruise ship that capsized off the Tuscan island of Giglio in 2012. The disaster cost the lives of 32 people. Craig and other international experts were approached to submit a statement to the Norwegian Commission, which as a leading maritime ...

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Procedures for securing cargo on board ro-ro vessels: let’s make some clarity

The need to shed light on the legal nature, in Italy, of the procedures for securing (lashing and unlashing) cargo[1] on board ro-ro vessels seems extremely topical at this time. It should be recalled that cargo securing procedures are regulated by the SOLAS[2] Convention, under which cargo units and cargo transport units must be loaded, stowed and secured throughout the voyage in accordance with the Cargo Securing Manual (CSM) approved by the competent authority of the IMO[3] Member State and drawn up to a standard at least equivalent to the ...

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WFW advises Italian shipowners on strategic partnership with Greek shipping group Gigilinis

International law firm Watson Farley & Williams (“WFW“) advised three leading Italian shipowners -Rimorchiatori Mediterranei, Gesmar and Fratelli Neri – on their partnership agreement with Thessaloniki-based Greek maritime operator Gigilinis Shipping Group. The deal closed on 29 November. The deal represents a strategic milestone in Italian ship owners’ expansion into the Greek and broader Eastern Mediterranean markets, most notably into the key port of Thessaloniki. Rimorchiatori Mediterranei is the leading player in the harbour towage sector in Italy, and number two in the Mediterranean, operating a modern fleet of more ...

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Belgian tax measures for maritime transport approved by the European Commission

In March 2015, Belgium notified the European Commission of the extension of a support scheme for maritime transport, which had in 2004 been authorized until 2012. The aim of this fiscal measure is to encourage shipping companies to register their ships in Europe and thus to ensure higher social, environmental and safety standards. Such measures may be authorized in accordance with the Commission’s guidelines on State aid to maritime transport. During the procedure, the Commission applied modifications to the former scheme to prevent discrimination between shipping companies and registries from ...

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The Primacy of Language in the Construction of (Commercial) Contracts

We are grateful to Simon Rainey QC and John Russell QC of Quadrant Chambers for the following article discussing two recent cases: Gard Shipping v Clearlake Shipping [2017] EWHC 1091 (Comm) Sir Jeremy Cooke 12 May 2017; and Persimmon v Ove Arup [2017] EWCA Civ 373 Court of Appeal (Jackson, Beatson, Moylan LJJ) 25 May 2017; addressing the correct approach to the construction of contracts. The Gard Shipping case is the first application in a first instance decision of the recent Supreme Court decision in Wood v Capita Services, which ...

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WFW advises HSH Nordbank on a US$460m loan facility to Capital Product Partners

International law firm Watson Farley & Williams (“WFW”) advised a syndicate of seven international banks led by HSH Nordbank AG (“HSH”), in its capacity as agent and security trustee, in relation to a senior secured term loan facility of US$460m made available to Capital Product Partners L.P. (“CPLP”). The facility was arranged by HSH and ING Bank N.V., London Branch (“ING”), each acting as mandated lead arrangers and bookrunners. BNP Paribas (“BNP”) and National Bank of Greece S.A. (“NBG”), also acted as arrangers. The facility was used to partially refinance ...

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6 suspected Somali pirates transferred to Seychelles for possible trial

Six suspected Somali pirates have been transferred to Seychelles after they were caught attacking a container ship and a fishing vessel in the Southern Somali Basin, officials said. The suspects were apprehended by an Italian navy frigate, ITS Virginio Fasan, after they attacked a Seychelles-flagged 52-tonne container ship and a fishing vessel last week. The incident took place over a 24-hour period from Friday, Nov. 18 to Saturday, Nov. 19. The acting superintendent of prisons, Raymond St Ange, said the pirates have been transferred to Seychelles based on an agreement ...

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WFW advises Alpha Bank on US$250m shipping securitisation transaction

International law firm Watson Farley & Williams (“WFW”) advised Alpha Bank AE (“Alpha Bank”) on raising financing of US$250m from Citibank through the securitisation of part of its shipping portfolio. The upsize securitisation transaction follows Alpha Bank’s first shipping securitisation issuance which raised US$500m in 2014, and represented the first shipping securitisation transaction completed by a Greek bank. The financing is in the form of a non-recourse four-year term dollar funding with a unique structure and represents one of the very few shipping securitisation transactions which has been completed globally ...

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WFW advises Höegh LNG on ECA-backed US$230m debt financing for eighth FSRU

International law firm Watson Farley & Williams (“WFW”) advised Höegh LNG Ltd (“Höegh LNG”) on the US$230m debt financing for its eighth floating storage and regasification unit (“FSRU#8”) currently under construction at Hyundai Heavy Industries (“HHI”) in South Korea. The facility comprises a twelve-year export credit agency term loan of up to US$150m backed by Garantiinstituttet for Eksportkreditt and Eksportkreditt of Norway, and a five-year non-amortising commercial bank loan of up to US$80m funded by ABN AMRO Bank, Danske Bank, Nordea and Swedbank. ABN Amro also acted as Agent and ...

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WFW advises Teekay LNG on U$327m FSU and LNG carrier newbuild financing

International law firm Watson Farley & Williams (“WFW”) has advised Teekay LNG Partners L.P. (“Teekay LNG”) on the US$327m long-term financing signed in November 2017 to fund a floating storage unit (FSU) for the Bahrain regasification project, and one M-Type, Electronically Controlled, Gas Injection (MEGI) liquefied natural gas (LNG) carrier newbuilding. The FSU will be chartered over 20 years from the third quarter of 2018 and the MEGI LNG carrier has a 13-year charter contract with BP starting in early 2019. New York listed Teekay LNG is one of the ...

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