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Marine Insurance P&I Club News

West of England appoints a new claims handler in Greece

The West of England P&I Club, a leading mutual marine insurer, is pleased to announce the appointment of a new Claims Handler, Lucie Ryan. She will be based in the Club’s Greek office which has just celebrated its 50th Anniversary. Lucie has a degree in Consumer Marketing from Manchester Metropolitan University and, for 10 years, worked at Clyde & Co’s Piraeus office where she qualified as a Legal Executive and gained extensive experience in admiralty. More recently Lucie, who is a fluent Greek speaker, was employed by another International Group ...

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Armed security to be provided for vessels anchoring at Douala, Cameroon

Our correspondent BUDD Group reports that each vessel calling at anchorage at Base Buoy (B9) at Douala Port, Cameroon will now be provided with an armed security team for their protection. This team will remain onboard the vessel throughout her stay at anchorage and will leave after berthing. This service will be free and will be conducted for an indefinite period. We attach a copy of this briefing from the Port Authority of Douala, as well as an article from BUDD, providing a port profile on Douala, Cameroon, for further ...

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Despite some positive indicators, concerns remain for offshore energy underwriters, reports IUMI

At today’s IUMI (International Union of Marine Insurance) conference in Toronto, Canada, James McDonald, Chair of the IUMI Offshore Energy Committee reported a further reduction in global offshore energy premiums. Global premiums in this sector were reported to be USD 3.4 billion which represented a 3% reduction from 2017. This continued the downward trend: premiums in 2017 were down 5% on the previous year and premiums in 2016 were down 21% on 2015. James McDonald explains: “the drop in premium income has largely followed the oil price which has dipped ...

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No growth for Ocean Hull insurance premiums in 2018 but indications might suggest a modest recovery

Yesterday’s IUMI (International Union of Marine Insurance) conference in Toronto, Canada heard from Rama Chandran, chair of IUMI’s Ocean Hull Committee who reported zero change in the sector’s global premium base in 2018. Global hull premiums were recorded at USD 7 billion which represented 24.4% of the total marine underwriting premium base. The regional split was reported to be: Europe 45.5% Asia/Pacific 41.3% Latin America 5.8% North America 4.2% Middle East 2.5% Africa 0.9% Although there was concern over the growing divergence between hull premiums and the growth of the ...

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New Zealand and Australia: Stink bug warning 2019-2020

Skuld would like to advise its members that the risk season for Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB) is from 1 September 2019 until 30 April 2020. Members with vessels trading to Australia and New Zealand should ensure that the crew onboard are aware and familiar with the BMSB seasonal management measures. Treatment or cleaning of cargos onboard in the country of origin may be required. Crew should report any presence of BMSB and other exotic insects upon detections onboard to the relevant quarantine authorities at the port of destination. There ...

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IUMI calls for more action to improve cargo theft prevention measures

IUMI (the International Union of Marine Insurance) has published a revision of its position paper containing recommendations aimed at improving the prevention of cargo theft and countering this growing issue. Cargo crime has reached alarming proportions, and IUMI urges further steps to better facilitate the safe and secure flow of goods within the global supply chain and minimise risk. In particular, efforts by law enforcement agencies to increase transnational cooperation to combat cargo theft must be further enhanced. IUMI’s Policy Forum Chair, Helle Hammer says: “Unfortunately, cargo theft continues to ...

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Marine cargo market characterised by “accelerating change” as underwriters take action to address continuing unprofitability, says IUMI

Speaking at yesterday’s IUMI (International Union of Marine Insurance) annual conference in Toronto, Canada, Sean Dalton, Chair of IUMI’s Cargo Committee reported a 2.5% increase in 2018 global premiums to USD 16.6 billion. However, the increase was largely attributable to growth in global trade and exchange rate fluctuations. Dalton characterised the marine cargo market as being in a state of “accelerating change” driven by underwriters taking action to address unprofitable results and to improve performance. He explained: “on a global basis, the cargo line is unprofitable and has been for ...

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IUMI remains a steadying force amongst the “chaos” currently confronting marine insurance, says Richard Turner

“Confronting the chaos for a sustainable future” is the common theme being debated at this year’s IUMI (International Union of Marine Insurance) conference in Toronto, Canada this week. IUMI President, Richard Turner, opened the world’s largest and most influential gathering of marine underwriters by attempting to understand whether today’s market was truly characterised by “chaos”. He began by identifying the current painful period of adjustment that most insurers were facing: “For many years, supply has outstripped demand and a sustained period of unprofitability has resulted in a reduction of capacity. ...

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The Mediterranean ECA

The Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment and the Coastal Region of the Mediterranean (commonly referred to as the ‘Barcelona Convention’) was adopted with the aim of reducing pollution and protecting the marine environment in the Mediterranean Sea. The convention now has 22 contracting parties, all of whom have committed to take measures to assess and reduce pollution from ships travelling through the area. In particular, several parties to the Barcelona Convention have supported the idea of creating an emission control area (or ‘ECA’) in the Mediterranean Sea. ...

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The IMB NVOCC Register – protection against fraudulent bills of lading

Our Insight guest author is Pottengal (Muku) Mukundan, Director of the ICC International Maritime Bureau (IMB) and Director/CEO of its holding body ICC Commercial Crime Services, a specialised division of the International Chamber of Commerce. The IMB acts as a focal point for the industry in respect of trade fraud and believes that the prompt dissemination of relevant information is key to successful prevention and control. It has amongst its members many of the world’s largest banks, insurance companies, shipping companies and traders. We thank Muku for his introduction to ...

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The West of England P&I Club celebrates 50 years in Greece

The West of England, a leading mutual marine insurer, was this week celebrating the 50th Anniversary of its Greek office. To mark the event, an evening reception was held at Balux, Glyfada and was attended by current and previous Club Members along with representatives from the West of England Board of Directors. From relatively small beginnings, the Greek office grew steadily and began offering claims handling services in the late 1970s. Today, under the leadership of Ian Clarke, Head of Claims & Regional Director (Hellas), the office employs 15 members ...

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Increasing piracy risk at Douala anchorage, Cameroon

The effect of piracy on crew and their safety continues to be a cause for concern and transiting West African waters remains particularly difficult. In the first half of 2019, 73% of all kidnappings at sea, and 92% of hostage-takings took place in the Gulf of Guinea. While reports from previous years have shown that most attacks have occurred outside Cameroon waters, the IMB Piracy Reporting Centre has recorded three cases of piracy at Douala anchorage so far in 2019, all involving abduction of crew members. In an effort to ...

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United States Sanctions on the Government of Venezuela and Petroleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PdVSA)

On 5 August 2019, the United States (US) administration increased its sanctions programme against the Government of Venezuela, when President Trump issued Executive Order 13884. This Executive Order essentially blocks all property in the US of the Government of Venezuela, and prohibits US persons from engaging in any transaction with the Government of Venezuela. However, on the same day, a number of General Licenses were issued, which appliy directly to US persons. These include: (a) General License 28 which gave US persons until 4 September 2019 to wind-down their operations, ...

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S&P Global Ratings affirms Britannia’s rating as ‘A’ (stable)

Britannia P&I Club’s overall credit rating has been re-affirmed as ‘A’ (stable) by S&P Global Ratings, the world’s leading independent credit ratings provider. S&P added that Britannia’s outlook remains stable over the next two years, based on its view that the Club’s current capital buffer well exceeds S&P’s ‘AAA’ level requirement. S&P based its findings on Britannia’s continued high level of capitalisation and its technical profitability over the past five years, which is better than the sector average. The stable outlook reflects S&P’s view that “Britannia will sustain its competitive ...

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Guidance On OFAC: Iran Sanctions As They Relate To Bunkering Operations

On September 4, 2019, OFAC issued an “Advisory to the Maritime Petroleum Shipping Community” setting forth sanctions’ risks related to shipping petroleum and petroleum products from Iran. For a copy of the Advisory, see: OFAC has emphasized that shipowners, charterers, or traders must be aware of the significant sanctions risk for providing bunkering services to vessels transporting petroleum or petroleum products from Iran. According to the Advisory, the US is “aggressively enforcing” sanctions against Iran and is targeting shipments of petroleum and petroleum products from Iran as a “critical element” ...

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