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The Poseidon Principles: Shipping Emissions Reduction Efforts Steer Into New Waters

In June 2018, the International Maritime Organization (“IMO”) announced the adoption of an initial strategy to reduce total greenhouse gas (“GHG”) emissions attributable to the international shipping sector by at least 50% by 2050.[1] While the IMO and the EU are both considering expanding and adopting regulations that would create enforceable reporting and shipping emissions reduction standards, a group of global financial institutions have created their own voluntary framework to assess the alignment of their shipping portfolios with the IMO’s goal. Called the Poseidon Principles, this framework sets forth a ...

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US withdrawal from Hong Kong shipping tax treaty: effects and considerations

On August 19, 2020, the US Department of State notified Hong Kong authorities of the suspension or termination of the shipping tax treaty between the US and Hong Kong (the “Shipping Tax Treaty”). This step was mandated by Executive Order 13936, issued by President Trump on July 14, 2020, which ordered the State Department to send Hong Kong notice of intent to terminate the Shipping Tax Treaty. Termination of the Shipping Tax Treaty will affect Hong Kong and US taxpayers engaged in shipping. “There are three ways a jurisdiction can ...

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The Admiralty Jurisdiction of the Supreme Court

The Supreme Court of Cyprus has exclusive jurisdiction to act as Admiralty Court. By virtue of Sections 19(a) and 29(2)(a) of the Courts of Justice Law of 1960 (Law 14/60), the Admiralty Court is vested with and exercises the same powers and jurisdiction as those vested in or exercised by the High Court of Justice in England in its Admiralty Jurisdiction on the day immediately preceding the day of Independence. In the exercise of such jurisdiction it applies the Law as applied in England on the day in question subject ...

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Cyprus: Cyprus Tonnage Tax System

Cyprus is seen as one of the most attractive shipping hubs in the world. A number of ship management companies operating in Cyprus are considered amongst the largest of their type. Cyprus is a member of many international maritime organisations such as the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA). Services provided in Cyprus hold the highest level of quality and are monitored by the Maritime Administration which includes the Ministry of Communications and Works, the Department of Merchant Shipping and ...

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C Solutions announces management of Argo Singapore marine claims run-off

Legal and Claims Consultants C Solutions Group are pleased to announce an agreement with Argo Singapore to manage their marine claims run-off business. Meng Juan Lim (MJ) of Argo Singapore has joined the team at C Solutions with immediate effect to manage the run-off portfolio to ensure a seamless transition for clients. As well as managing the Argo run-off MJ will form an integral part of the C Solutions team. He has worked in marine claims since 2009, rising to a senior role at a leading general insurer and as ...

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WFW Athens Head George Paleokrassas named Global Maritime Sector Co-Head alongside Lindsey Keeble

Watson Farley & Williams (“WFW”) is delighted to announce that long-standing Athens Office Head George Paleokrassas has been named Global Maritime Sector Co-Head, alongside London-based Lindsey Keeble, who has led the sector since 2014. With over 70 active partners, WFW has the largest dedicated, full-service maritime legal practice in the world. George is universally recognised as one of the leading lawyers in the maritime sector both in Greece and internationally, and is the only lawyer listed in top legal directory Chambers Global 2020’s elite ‘eminent practitioner’ category for shipping finance ...

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Defective passage planning: unseaworthiness or a navigational decision? The CMA CGM LIBRA question sails on to the UK Supreme Court

The UK Supreme Court has granted leave to appeal the recent decision in Alize 1954 v Allianz Elementar Versicherungs AG (The “CMA CGM LIBRA”). While the decision involved General Average, we discuss the ramifications of the finding of unseaworthiness as it applies to the allocation of risk and liabilities in the wider context of the marine transport of goods. International law aims to apportion risk in the transport of goods between the ship interests and cargo interests. Simply put, shipowners are responsible for cargo claims caused by unseaworthiness of the ...

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U.S. Seizure of Three Websites Used by Iranian Front Company that Was Shipping Fuel on Four Tankers to Venezuela

The Justice Department announced the seizure of three websites used by three front companies: Mobin International, Sohar Fuel, and Oman Fuel, who arranged a multimillion dollar fuel shipment by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), a designated foreign terrorist organization, that was bound for Venezuela. On July 2, 2020, the United States filed a complaint seeking to forfeit all petroleum-product cargo aboard four foreign-flagged oil tankers, including the M/T Bella with international maritime organization (IMO) number 9208124, the M/T Bering with IMO number 9149225, the M/T Pandi with IMO number ...

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The End of the US Shipping Tax Exemption for Hong Kong

On 19 August 2020, the US State Department announced the “suspension or termination” of various agreements with Hong Kong, including the termination of the bilateral, US-Hong Kong International Shipping Agreement, which relates to the tax treatment of shipping income. This is the one of the most recent examples of the Trump Administration’s ongoing efforts to eliminate certain differential treatment of Hong Kong compared to the People’s Republic of China. The US State Department made the announcement following President Trump’s Executive Order 13936 (July 14, 2020) which, among other things, required ...

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HFW Acts On Sale Of Almost Half Of Swiss Maritime Fleet

Global, sector-focused law firm HFW has acted on the sale of almost half of the entire Swiss maritime fleet. HFW advised Swiss shipowner Massoel Shipping SA on eight separate vessel sale transactions, representing 40% of all Swiss-flagged commercial maritime vessels. The firm also provided completion services on each of the transactions, assisting Massoel and the purchasers with closing and the holding of deposit and balance. HFW’s team comprised Olivier Bazin, Michael Buisset, Patrick Myers, Emma Bud, Francis Walters and Johanna Ohlman, of the firm’s Geneva office. Olivier Bazin, Geneva Office ...

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Hill Dickinson Sadly Announces The Death Of Patrick Hawkins

International maritime law specialist Hill Dickinson announces the death of Patrick Hawkins, head of its office in Greece, and pays tribute to this industry giant. It is with great sadness that Hill Dickinson announces the untimely passing of the managing partner of its Greek office, Patrick Hawkins. Patrick died in hospital on Thursday 20 August 2020, having suffered a heart attack in early July. His funeral took place in Athens on Monday (August 24). Announcing his death, David Wareing and Tony Goldsmith, heads of Hill Dickinson’s Marine and Trade Group, ...

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Test of seaworthiness findings

The Supreme Court recently granted an owner permission to appeal in respect of the Court of Appeal’s decision in the CMA CGM Libra case. The appeal will raise issues concerning the scope of a shipowner’s obligation under Article III rule 1(a) of the Hague and Hague-Visby Rules to exercise due diligence to make the ship seaworthy before and at the commencement of the voyage. The appeal represents the first time in almost 60 years that the legal test for seaworthiness will be considered by the UK’s highest court. While the ...

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Earlier Discharge Of A Seafarer Under Cyprus Law

This article will examine the Merchant Shipping (Masters and Seamen) Laws of 1963 to 2002 and the amendments introduced by Law 233(I)/2002 together with the repeals effected on 20/08/2013 by Ratification Law 6(III)/2012 regarding the ILO Maritime Convention 2006 in relation to earlier termination by the shipowner and/or the master of a Cyprus flag ship of a Seafarer Employment Agreement (hereinafter referred to as the “SEA”). To do so, we will examine a hypothetical scenario where a seafarer working on board of a Cyprus flag ship under a valid SEA ...

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Legal eagle: know the shipper

This judgment sets out a useful analysis of contracts where a court will examine the conduct of the parties and surrounding circumstances to reach a conclusion. Carriers should be alerted to the importance of knowing who they are dealing with, ensuring that the shipper on a bill of lading is correctly identified. The facts MVV contracted with RockSolid BV to carry consignments of waste (unprocessed incinerator bottom ash) from its electricity production plant in Plymouth, England to RockSolid’s plant in the Netherlands for treatment and disposal. Risk and title transferred ...

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Coronavirus Force Majeure Declarations by LNG Buyers: a Negotiating Tool or a Legitimate Case of Force Majeure for LNG SPAs Governed by English Law?

Before the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak, Asian spot liquefied natural gas (LNG) prices were already at historic lows due to a warm winter and oversupply. Now, with multiple Chinese cities under quarantine, drops in local demand in China have resulted in further price declines, pushing prices to record lows. In response to the epidemic, major Chinese buyers are reportedly instructing their immediate LNG deliveries to either delay their arrival (for example, by decreasing LNG vessel speeds) or to wait in anchorages on arrival. These companies are apparently also considering diversion solutions ...

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