Latest updates

Ship arrests in Belgium – law and practice
Kegels & Co
  • Belgium
  • 24 February 2021

This article provides an overview of the law and practice concerning ship arrests in Belgium. It examines the procedure for arresting sea-going vessels under various laws and treaties and the consequences thereof, as well as the definition of a 'sea-going vessel' for arrest purposes.

Theft of semi-trailer and violation of safety instructions
Arnecke Sibeth Dabelstein
  • Germany
  • 24 February 2021

A recent Federal Supreme Court concerned a clause in a consignor's general terms and conditions, according to which loaded vehicles had to be monitored while parked or parked where sufficient safety was guaranteed. Following the theft of the cargo in question, the court held that this clause was not sufficiently clear as to impose on the carrier any duties of care beyond the legal requirements. This judgment has strengthened the position of carriers.

Exercise of maritime liens on cargo to secure credits for freight and demurrages
Dardani Studio Legale
  • Italy
  • 24 February 2021

The Civitavecchia Tribunal recently considered a vessel owner's application to exercise a maritime lien on a quantity of coal carried on board the vessel to secure its freight balance, demurrages and expenses towards the charterer after the charterer applied to open insolvency proceedings. The decision was based on two precedents of the Genoa Court and reinforces the principles that under Italian law, a lien on cargo can be placed under the authority of only the local courts.

Senders' disclosure and information duties under CMR
ThomannFischer
  • Switzerland
  • 24 February 2021

This article discusses an insightful judgment of the Geneva first-instance court. The court confirmed that consignors must inspect the goods to be transported and inform carriers of any associated risks even without being asked. Consignors must not assume transport as a single load or a direct transport route unless otherwise agreed. The clarification that consignors are experts on the goods while carriers are experts on transport matters is welcome.

Court orders extension of effects of flag injunction to security deposited by debtor
Fenech & Fenech Advocates
  • Malta
  • 17 February 2021

A Section 37 injunction allows creditors, in circumstances which give rise to a maritime claim attracting the jurisdiction of the Maltese courts in rem, to obtain a court order which prohibits the vessel from being sold or entering any further mortgages until the merits of the case have been decided in the appropriate jurisdiction. This has proven to be a useful and effective tool for protecting maritime claims.

Final phase of NTSB investigations
Wilson Elser
  • USA
  • 17 February 2021

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigates aviation, railroad, highway, marine and pipeline accidents to determine their probable cause and issues safety recommendations to reduce the risk of future accidents. This article considers the final phase of NTSB investigations, as well as the options available to interested parties thereafter.

Implementation of Freight Forwarders' Standard Terms and Conditions
Arnecke Sibeth Dabelstein
  • Germany
  • 10 February 2021

The list of associations which were involved in the negotiation of the Freight Forwarders' Standard Terms and Conditions (ADSp) 2017 and now recommend them is significantly larger than for the ADSp 2003. However, whether this alone is sufficient to affirm a comprehensive inclusion of the entire ADSp 2017 in a transport contract is doubtful. This article discusses a Heidelberg Regional Court decision which provides clarity on this matter.

Analytic phase of NTSB investigations
Wilson Elser
  • USA
  • 10 February 2021

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigates aviation, railroad, highway, marine and pipeline accidents to determine their probable cause and issues safety recommendations to reduce the risk of future accidents. This article considers the analytic phase of NTSB investigations, which follows the factual phase.

Admiralty Court delivers one of the first judgments relating to COVID-19 and its impact on shipping
Wikborg Rein
  • United Kingdom
  • 10 February 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on the shipping industry and led to many disputes. However, owing to the prevalence of arbitration in resolving shipping disputes, and the time taken for cases to progress through the courts, there have been few reported cases detailing the pandemic's impact on the industry. The Admiralty Court recently handed down one of the first judgments dealing with this matter.

Full City: key takeaways from limitation fund proceedings
Wikborg Rein
  • Norway
  • 10 February 2021

The limitation fund established following the grounding of the Full City near Langesund in 2009 was recently distributed. The limitation fund proceedings, which ran parallel to the proceedings concerning the limitation fund established following the Server casualty in 2007, have helped to clarify several procedural aspects of limitation funds. This article examines the key takeaways from the limitation fund proceedings now that they have come to an end.

Factual phase of NTSB investigations
Wilson Elser
  • USA
  • 03 February 2021

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigates aviation, railroad, highway, marine and pipeline accidents to determine their probable cause and issues safety recommendations to reduce the risk of future accidents. This article outlines the NTSB's investigation process within the initial 30 days following an incident.

Offshore floating wind turbines and deep-water fish farms: different frameworks for success
Wikborg Rein
  • Norway
  • 03 February 2021

The regulatory framework that exists within the shipping and offshore industries is long established. The general principle is that maritime assets above a certain size must be registered in a national ship registry, and vessel registration plays an important role in the financing of maritime and offshore assets. While the existing framework effectively extends to the offshore floating wind sector in Norway, the same cannot be said for deep-water fish farms.

BIMCO publishes new indicative term sheet
Wikborg Rein
  • International
  • 03 February 2021

The Baltic and International Maritime Council recently published the new indicative term sheet "Shiplease". This was drafted to provide the first set of standard terms and conditions for sale and leaseback transactions involving second-hand vessels. The term sheet is a timely and much-needed effort to standardise sale and leaseback transactions, providing a solid and well-balanced base for negotiation.

Withdrawal of wreck removal order following consideration of proportionality
Wikborg Rein
  • Norway
  • 27 January 2021

In a recent administrative appeal decision, the Norwegian Coastal Administration (NCA) Head Office reversed the wreck removal order issued by the NCA Emergency Response Centre in respect of a cargo ship which sank in northern Norway in 2017. The decision confirms that the pollution authorities will consider the proportionality of the measures ordered when exercising their administrative discretion.

Anticipating NTSB investigations – how best to prepare
Wilson Elser
  • USA
  • 27 January 2021

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigates aviation, railroad, highway, marine and pipeline accidents to determine their probable cause and issues safety recommendations to reduce the risk of future accidents. This article provides companies with an overview of how they can best prepare for NTSB investigations into transport accidents.

Can interveners apply to set aside a warrant of arrest of a vessel on non-traditional grounds?
Shearn Delamore & Co
  • Malaysia
  • 27 January 2021

In a recent case, the Admiralty Court considered whether, in an admiralty action, an intervener (ie, a party other than the proper defendant) can apply to set aside a warrant of arrest of a vessel on non-traditional grounds. The court's decision shows that it has the inherent power to lift, discontinue or set aside a warrant of arrest on account of the arresting party's failure to comply with an order of the court.

Navigating floating LNG projects – hints and tips for owners
Wikborg Rein
  • International
  • 27 January 2021

Often the procurement of a floating asset will be on a public or private competitive procurement basis and vessel owners will be asked to compete with others in the market. This article explores some of the key issues facing vessel owners when bidding for and negotiating floating liquefied natural gas projects, whether for floating liquefaction or floating storage and regasification units.

Court rules that parking of goods trailer on lit roadside constitutes gross negligence
WSCO Advokatpartnerselskab
  • Denmark
  • 27 January 2021

The Maritime and Commercial Court recently determined whether a Danish carrier was liable for the theft of €172,000 worth of toys which had been stolen from a subcarrier's trailer while it was parked at night. In its decision, the court considered whether the parking spot complied with the safety arrangements set out in the transport agreement.

Congress confirms that Jones Act applies to offshore wind farm activities
Wilson Elser
  • USA
  • 20 January 2021

The US wind energy sector has been growing, with a substantial focus on offshore wind farm development. One significant factor in such developments is the regulatory requirements applicable to vessels involved in the construction and maintenance of the offshore wind farm structures. Until recently, a significant question remained unresolved: whether the Jones Act coastwise trade requirements apply to vessels involved in wind farm construction.

Beefing up emission and fuel standards in the Arctic
Wikborg Rein
  • Norway
  • 20 January 2021

The 75th session of the International Maritime Organisation Marine Environment Protection Committee recently approved a ban on the use and carriage of so-called 'heavy fuel oil' in the Arctic. The proposed amendments are expected to be formally adopted in June 2021. However, more stringent standards have already been proposed by the Norwegian government for the area surrounding Svalbard.