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Containership fires: it is time to take action, says IUMI

This year has already seen an alarming number of container ship fires including Yantian Express, APL Vancouver, Grande America, E.R. Kobe and KMTC Hong Kong. The escalation is of growing concern to IUMI (International Union of Marine Insurance) who used a recent forum to call for an urgent improvement to onboard firefighting systems. At a conference in Arendal, Norway, organised by marine insurer and P&I Club, Gard, and attended by IMO, flag states, shipowners, salvors, class, and insurers, IUMI strengthened its position on this global issue. Helle Hammer, Chair of ...

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Mystery oil spill pollutes Brazil’s north-eastern coast

Since early September, the shorelines of Brazil’s North-Eastern region have been polluted by an oily substance in the form of lumps of tar. On 10 October 2019, our local correspondent Representações Proinde Ltda. reported that more than 130 tonnes of oil waste had been collected on the many affected beaches and at the time of writing, Brazil’s environmental agency IBAMA reports of at least 120 locations in 77 municipalities in the nine north-eastern states that are affected by the oil spill. Affected areas IBAMA regularly updates maps of beaches and ...

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Learning as we go: challenges with the use of exhaust gas scrubbers

IMO 2020 is fast approaching and it is estimated that nearly 3,000 vessels will have scrubbers installed by 2020. For the majority of owners and their crew members, scrubber systems are new technology and, as with any new system, teething problems can be expected. Compliant fuels too, would bring about their own challenges. Gard has handled a few scrubber related claims and in this article we look back at cases where there has been a breakdown of or damage to or by the scrubber. Fire during retrofitting of scrubber Scrubber ...

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P&I Clubs Likely To Take Their Cue From The First Renewal Announcements

In the financial year ending February 2019, the average combined ratio for the IG clubs was 110%, indicating a substantial underwriting loss. The IG as a whole recorded a loss before tax well over $200 million. However, capital at most of the IG clubs still exceeds the ‘AAA’ benchmark in S&P Global Ratings’ capital model. During October, the IG clubs–mutual associations that provide protection and indemnity insurance to 90% of the shipping industry–traditionally announce the level of general (premium) increase that members can expect to be quoted to renew their ...

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Underwriting Leadership Appointments for North

A number of appointments have been made in recent weeks to strengthen and clarify the provision of service to Members and brokers from the underwriting team at North. With effect from the 1 June 2019, Thya Kathiravel has taken up the position of Chief Underwriting Officer for North and Sunderland Marine based in Newcastle. At the same time, Thya’s predecessor in the role, Savraj Mehta, has been appointed to the role of Chief Commercial Officer, a new position which will operate from North’s London office and one which enables a ...

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Britannia returns more funds to Members and moves away from a General Increase

The Britannia Steam Ship Insurance Association Limited declares a USD15 million capital distribution to its mutual Members. Highlights • Britannia remains in robust financial health, allowing a further capital distribution of USD15 million to be paid to P&I mutual Members • Going forward, Members’ renewals will be underwritten on their individual records, with Britannia moving away from the concept of a General Increase (GI) for both P&I and FD&D Overview In August 2019, S&P re-affirmed Britannia’s A (stable) rating with capital well above the AAA level and an ‘exceptional’ liquidity ...

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Do you know your weakest link?

Opening or closing of certain valves could be triggered by electronic signals received from a remote location on board the vessel. The convergence of Information Technology (IT) and Operation Technology (OT) requires us to look at the cyber security of all our systems. A breach in any one can have a collateral breach of others thereby impairing the vessel’s performance or in worst cases causing blackouts on board the vessel. Identify all vulnerable areas for a safer cyber environment on board your vessels.” Source: Gard (http://www.gard.no/web/updates/content/28507903/do-you-know-your-weakest-link)

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Use of IMO 2020 Compliant Fuels

With only a few months to go until the introduction of 0.50% global sulphur cap, club members should have a clarity on their compliance strategy for the IMO 2020. For members who have chosen to achieve compliance by using low sulphur fuel oil, this article serves to understand the specific aspects and variabilities of the 0.50% fuels. Multiple fuels are expected to bring uncertainty post-2020 and running engines reliably/safely will inevitably require greater understanding and more sophisticated fuel handling strategies than today. Members will need to implement a proactive approach ...

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Lessons learnt from crew injured in heavy weather– UK P&I Club comments

Stuart Edmonston, Loss Prevention at UK P&I Club, discusses an incident in which crew were injured whilst on deck in heavy weather: “In conditions of heavy weather, a fully loaded bulk carrier was proceeding at full sea speed on a south-westerly course in the Mediterranean sea. A bosun and a cadet had been instructed to wash down the vessels main deck and hatch covers to remove grain cargo dust remaining from the previous loading operations. “The wind was blowing from a south-easterly direction at about 30 knots, equivalent to 4 ...

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Agents encouraged to act quickly on shippers’ instructions, warns ITIC

International Transport Intermediaries Club (ITIC) warns agents to respond to shippers’ requests in good time, or face the possibility of financial penalties. The insurer cites a recent case where a container of frozen beef was being carried on a liner service from Australia to China. Seven days after the vessel had departed, the shipper noticed that it had failed to obtain the necessary health declaration from the Australian authorities. The shipper immediately contacted its agent and instructed them to return the container to Australia upon its arrival in China and ...

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Insurance implications of the latest Middle East oil tanker crisis

Amidst heightened tensions in the Middle East, an Iranian oil tanker ‘Sinopa’ has been damaged by what Iranian media said was a rocket attack. Whilst the explosion caused an oil spill into the Red Sea, this was brought under control, according to Iranian news agency, IRNA and the crew was reported to be safe. However, what will be the implications for the insurance industry? Jonathan Moss, Head of Marine & Trade at DWF, explores the cost to the insurance market. He said: “Marine insurance, Cargo and Hull & Machinery cover ...

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North P&I Club Hosts Early Intervention Event in Newcastle

North P&I Club hosted an Early Intervention event in Newcastle on Thursday, 10th October, attended by around 120 guests from P&I Clubs, shipping law firms, mediators and recoveries agents to discuss the benefits of early resolution. Endorsed by North, SeaMediation Chambers’ Early Intervention product is an additional, well established tool, that has been used more than 250 times since its launch in 2014. The process encourages participants to resolve disputes at an early stage, in line with established case management planning and The Law Society’s best practice guidance. By acting ...

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S&P reaffirms Skuld’s ‘A’ rating with stable outlook

On 4 October 2019, Standard & Poor’s ratings services reaffirmed its ‘A’ rating on Assuranceforeningen Skuld (Gjensidig). The outlook is stable. Report highlights: • Skuld is one of the consistently strongest performers in its sector • The club has very strong levels of capital adequacy, as per our risk-based model • The club has historically recorded less volatility in results compared with peers “Norway domiciled Skuld will continue to be one of the stronger performers in its sector. We expect Skuld will continue to record results that are in the ...

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The impact of sanctions on the maritime world

In the past two years, the use of international economic sanctions has returned to the forefront of international relations and global geopolitical landscape. Driving this trend has been the United States’ (US) return to an aggressive foreign policy during the Presidency of Donald Trump. This has involved the re-imposition of sanctions previously lifted in countries such as Iran, Myanmar and Cambodia, and targeting new sanctions at countries deemed hostile to the Trump Administration. The United Nations (UN) and European Union (EU) have also continued with their own sanctions programmes. Effect ...

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North P&I Club expands into fixed premium market

North P&I Club has yesterday launched its Owners’ Fixed Premium P&I product, designed for operators of vessels up to 10,000 GT who value dependable cover and service excellence. Under the Sunderland Marine trading name, the fixed premium product has been developed specifically for shipowners and operators who want both insurance cost certainty and market-leading service, supported by an experienced team with an exceptional reputation in the market. All policies are secured by North, with certificates, blue cards and guarantees issued by North. Policyholders will benefit from North and Sunderland Marine’s ...

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