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EMAC in collaboration with the Ministry of Economy hosts seminar on UAE’s new Arbitration Law

An advancement in the UAE’s Arbitration Law is applauded by the arbitration community within the region. As part of a duty to ensure that the maritime and legal community understand the benefits of arbitration within the UAE under the new law, the Emirates Maritime Arbitration Centre (EMAC) partnered with the UAE Ministry of Economy to host a seminar in which key elements of the new law were highlighted and presented by prominent arbitration legal experts. The session was run in both Arabic and English, one after the other, to maximise ...

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Contaminated bunkers – “The Houston Problem”

The problem started with fuel supplied in the US Gulf region, particularly in the Houston area, but the problems quickly spread to Panama. More recently, similar problems have been encountered with fuel supplies out of Singapore.[1] So although the problem is now widespread, it is described in the industry as “the Houston problem”, Houston being the first location affected. Industry commentators estimate that in excess of 200 vessels have been affected by quality related issues following supplies of bunkers. By late August, Fobas alone have confirmed that they are involved ...

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Case update – The Songa Winds [2018] EWCA Civ 1901- The interrelationship between letters of indemnity and charterparty ‘time bar’ provisions

Introduction A recent English Court of Appeal decision provides important guidance on the applicability of charterparty time bar provisions to letters of indemnity (LOIs). Given the frequent use of LOIs in the shipping industry, this legal decision will likely be of relevance and interest to both the club’s owner and charterer members. Factual background Disponent owner of the Songa Winds fixed the vessel to voyage charterer to carry crude sunflower seed oil from Ukraine to Indian ports. Original bills of lading were not available at the discharge port. Voyage charterer ...

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Interlegal client returned 65,000 USD for bunker supply

Interlegal client – a large bunkering company – applied to Interlegal for legal assistance due to debt recovery for bunker supply. Case analysis resulted in the decision on ship arrest as maritime claim security as soon as possible, since the Debtor’s vessel had just called at one of the Ukrainian sea ports for loading. Interlegal experts filed in due time a relevant application on ship arrest and collected all the necessary evidence justifying the debt and, as foremost, the maritime claim. The court agreed with arguments and evidence stated in ...

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New partner for Campbell Johnston Clark further strengthens expertise as shipping specialist takes Singapore activities to the ‘next level’

Well-known maritime lawyer Gareth Williams has joined Campbell Johnston Clark (CJC) as a director of its Singapore office, sustaining the international shipping law firm’s drive to grow by attracting acknowledged experts. Williams, who is a specialist in dry work, joins CJC from HFW Singapore. The new appointment reflects the company’s ambitions for further expansion of its Singapore practice, which has been pivotal for growing the firm’s workload locally and throughout the Asia-Pacific region, according to CJC Director Ian Short. “Gareth has exceptional experience across shipping and international trade contracts, dealing ...

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Bad bunker fuel causes damage worth millions – but who is liable?

Since the beginning of 2018, shipping companies have experienced issues regarding bad bunker fuel. The bad bunker fuel first appeared in Houston and has since that spread to Panama and Singapore, leading to claims for millions of dollars. It has proved difficult to hold the suppliers liable for the losses incurred. One of the challenges is the bad bunker issues are often only discovered some time after delivery of the bunkers, when the contractual notification period has expired. Contractual limitation and notification clauses may prohibit buyers of bad bunkers from ...

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Further amended MARPOL Annex V – more rigorous requirements for recording of waste management offshore

Annex V, which applies to ships as well as fixed and floating offshore installations, was further amended recently to reflect modifications to the management and record-keeping of garbage on board a vessel. The changes came into force on 01 March 2018. The new requirements In accordance with Annex V, garbage disposal must be recorded in garbage management plans and record books. Annex V also requires placards to be put up notifying passengers and crew of the disposal requirements. Garbage includes all kinds of food, domestic and operational waste, all plastics, ...

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WFW advises Danaos on US$2.2bn debt restructuring and refinancing

Watson Farley & Williams (“WFW”) advised Danaos Corporation (“Danaos”), a leading international owner of container ships, on the comprehensive restructuring and refinancing of its US$2.2bn debt maturing 31 December 2018 with certain of its lenders including Citibank, Credit Suisse, HSH Nordbank and RBS. The refinancing strengthens Danaos’ capital structure and reduces its debt by circa US$551m while extending its maturity by five years to end 2023. New shares have been issued as part of the refinancing to certain lenders equalling a 47.5% stake in the company. Its largest shareholder, Danaos ...

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Norton Rose Fulbright advises Citibank on $2.2 billion restructuring of major containership owner

Global law firm Norton Rose Fulbright has advised Citigroup and other lenders of Danaos on a $2.2 billion restructuring of NYSE-listed Danaos Corp (DAC), one of the world’s largest independent owners of modern, large-size containerships. Norton Rose Fulbright’s Athens, London and New York offices advised Citigroup and certain other lenders (including China Exim Bank and Eurobank) on new money, take out and refinancing facilities, restructuring support agreements, debt for equity arrangements, debt trading, Chinese ECA aspects and complex shared security and other intercreditor agreements. The transaction, which completed out of ...

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Dubai World Tribunal (“DWT”) rules on establishment of a limitation fund in the UAE

(1) Alize 1996, (2) CMA CGM SA v (1) DP World UAE Region FZE, (2) DP World Limited, (3) All other persons claiming or being entitled to claim damages for the incident, DWT-0001-2017 In a landmark judgment, the DWT (a special tribunal established by Decree (57) of 2009 (“Decree 57”) to deal with insolvency proceedings relating to Dubai World and its subsidiaries), confirmed its jurisdiction over maritime disputes by or against Dubai World entities and acknowledged that a ship owner is entitled to establish a limitation fund under the Convention ...

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WFW briefing: Do arbitration agreements in bills of lading bind their holders?

Bills of lading are a crucial part of the security package traditionally sought by trade finance providers. However, the nature and extent of the contractual rights and obligations transferred to a finance party holding bills of lading are complex. In addition to substantive rights, bills of lading commonly incorporate agreements to arbitrate all disputes. The English High Court decision in Sea Master Shipping Inc. v Arab Bank (Switzerland) Limited1, which concerned the effect of arbitration agreements incorporated in a bill of lading on its holder(s), therefore provides useful guidance on ...

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Islamic finance in the shipping industry

As the shipping industry continues to struggle with access to finance, Islamic finance may be a viable option for ship owners as other forms of finance remain scarce. Nevertheless, Islamic finance also brings its own challenges which are often misunderstood. This article will discuss the difficulties encountered in Islamic finance structures and the ways that they can be dealt with. Ship finance The situation with respect to ship finance globally and in the Middle East in particular remains challenging. The declined performance of shipping loans in the recent years have ...

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‘Beaching’ of vessels for shipbreaking – legal, illegal or somewhere in between?

Commercial vessels have a ‘lifespan’ and when they reach the end of it, they are recycled. The European Commission estimates that up to 1,000 ships are recycled each year world-wide. In addition to valuable and re-useable products like steel, ships also contain hazardous waste and pollutants that are harmful to people and the environment. There has been increasing public and political concern over the practice of some shipbreaking facilities to ram vessels onto tidal flats where workers break down the vessels in ways that are dangerous for the workers and ...

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WFW advises Taconic Capital on largest-ever Italian shipping debt portfolio acquisition with SC Lowy

Watson Farley & Williams (“WFW”) advised Taconic Capital on its joint acquisition with SC Lowy of a shipping portfolio of UTP secured and unsecured, valued[1] at circa US$160m, from Italy’s Monte dei Paschi di Siena group (“MPS”). Acquired via special purpose vehicles managed by the two companies, the portfolio comprises bad loans made to Italian shipowners relating to dry bulk shipping, crude oil carriers and an offshore support vessel. As part of the deal, Credito di Romagna (“CdR”), a bank in which SC Lowy acquired a majority stake in early ...

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Registering The Ship – Malta

1. Ownership 1.1 What, if any, are the restrictions on ownership of vessels registered under the flag of Malta? Vessels registered under the Malta flag may be owned by either: 1.1.1 European Union (EU), European Economic Area (EEA) and/or Swiss nationals residing in Malta and corporate bodies established in Malta; or 1.1.2 EU, EEA and/or Swiss nationals not residing in Malta and foreign (EU/non-EU) corporate bodies provided a local resident agent is appointed. 1.2 If registration by companies is limited to companies incorporated in Malta, is a local brass-plate company ...

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