Latest updates

Decision on shipbrokers' informative obligations
Dardani Studio Legale
  • Italy
  • 06 November 2019

A significant recent judgment by the Genoa Court of Appeal examined the extent and nature of the informative duties imposed on shipbrokers under Italian law. The decision applies to shipbrokers the principles outlined by the Italian courts for general brokerage activities (in particular, real estate brokerage for which the case law is richer and more consistent). Consequently, a general and uniform legal framework has been extended to shipbrokers.

New regulations on fees and dues for ocean-going commercial ships
Elias Neocleous & Co LLC
  • Cyprus
  • 06 November 2019

The Shipping Deputy Ministry recently issued the Merchant Shipping (Fees and Dues with respect to Ocean Going Commercial Cyprus Ships) Regulations, which contain the new fees and charges payable for ocean-going commercial ships registered in Cyprus. In particular, the regulations cover fees concerning the registration of ships and other transactions with the shipping registry (eg, ship certificates and applications for the transfer of ownership or name change of a ship).

What do caveats have to do with ships?
Akabogu & Associates
  • Nigeria
  • 06 November 2019

A caveat registered in the courts serves to prevent a ship's arrest by committing to pay a bond for any sum claimed against the ship which is equal to or less than the amount stated in the caveat. Entering a caveat against release does not automatically entitle the caveator to the security flowing from a ship in respect of which a caveat has been entered. A request for security can be made only when there is a subsisting claim against the ship in respect of which the caveat is entered.

CMNI statute of limitations also applies to ship damage
Arnecke Sibeth Dabelstein
  • Germany
  • 23 October 2019

The Budapest Convention on the Contract for the Carriage of Goods by Inland Waterways (CMNI) states that all claims arising from contracts regulated thereunder become time barred one year after the day on which the goods were or should have been delivered to the consignee. A Higher Shipping Maritime Court decision serves as a useful reminder that Article 24 of the CMNI applies to all claims relating to transport, regardless of which party raises them or whether they concern tortious or enrichment matters.

Flying the Dutch flag: opportunities for shipowners
AKD The Netherlands
  • Netherlands
  • 23 October 2019

Flying the Dutch flag has unfortunately become less popular with shipowners over the past 10 years. Although the exact reasons for this fall in popularity are unknown, the presumption that flying the Dutch flag is limited by the location of the vessel's owner may be a contributing factor. However, although on the face of it only European shipowners appear to be able to obtain a nationality certificate, the scope for flying the Dutch flag is actually much wider.

Court examines scope of multimodal transport
Arnecke Sibeth Dabelstein
  • Germany
  • 02 October 2019

Federal Court of Justice case law suggests that, in multimodal transport cases, voyages always have a series of sections and there are no stages without sections. However, a recent Hamburg Regional Court decision suggests that there may be transport stages in a multimodal transport system that cannot be attributed to a particular section.

New maritime code offers a way forward
Franco & Abogados Asociados
  • Colombia
  • 25 September 2019

The National Maritime Authority recently published the first draft of what could become the new Colombian maritime code. The draft aims to consolidate the main regulations applicable to maritime activities at the domestic level in a single piece of legislation (ie, a maritime code). Among other things, it incorporates regulations on subjects such as navigation-related issues, contracts for vessel exploitation and court procedures for resolving traditional maritime incidents (eg, collisions).

Court removes need for bailiffs to board ships to execute arrests
AKD The Netherlands
  • Netherlands
  • 25 September 2019

The Netherlands has long been considered one of the most favourable jurisdictions in which to arrest a ship. A recent Aruba Court ruling is set to enhance this reputation by further liberalising the procedural rules, removing the need for a bailiff to board a ship in order to execute an arrest. The decision is expected to play a role in ship arrest cases throughout the Kingdom of the Netherlands where bad weather conditions, or even deliberate obstruction, may prevent bailiffs from boarding ships.

Calculating carriers' contributory negligence
Arnecke Sibeth Dabelstein
  • Germany
  • 25 September 2019

In a decision which conflicts with the examination sequence typically preferred by the Federal Court of Justice, the Hamburg Higher Regional Court ruled that a carrier's liability had been miscalculated and that that contributory negligence should have been examined before the limitations of liability. The court opined that, in view of Section 254 of the Civil Code, contributory negligence should be considered after or in conjunction with determining concrete damages and before the limitations of liability.

Ministry of Infrastructure announces programme to encourage maritime cabotage
Kincaid | Mendes Vianna Advogados
  • Brazil
  • 25 September 2019

The Ministry of Infrastructure recently announced a new programme to encourage maritime cabotage. To achieve this aim, the programme will introduce measures to increase the volume of goods transported by cabotage, increase the number of cabotage vessels, increase the competitiveness of Brazilian shipping companies and develop Brazil's shipbuilding industry.

Finance leasing: from resolution to lapse
  • France
  • 18 September 2019

A Court of Cassation decision relating to a finance lease agreement for a truck has brought longstanding jurisprudence in line with recent legislation. As such, finance lessors must ensure that indemnity provisions are ring-fenced and protected from the voiding of the finance lease agreement if the underlying sales contract disappears.

Brazil expands its maritime border
Kincaid | Mendes Vianna Advogados
  • Brazil
  • 18 September 2019

In March 2019 the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea's Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf partially approved Brazil's April 2015 southern margin request, which will allow Brazil to add 170,000km2 to its continental shelf in addition to its exclusive economic zone. As a result, Brazil will be able to exercise its sovereign rights for the exploitation of mineral resources and other non-living seabed resources in its expanded maritime territory.

Additional place of jurisdiction clause in ADSp 2017
Arnecke Sibeth Dabelstein
  • Germany
  • 18 September 2019

The Freight Forwarders' Standard Terms and Conditions (ADSp) are general terms of service recommended by several trade associations. In a recent non-published decision, the Dresden Higher Regional Court addressed whether, in addition to the place of jurisdiction specifications in Section 30.3 of the ADSp 2017, the place of jurisdiction rules set out in Section 30(1) of the Code of Civil Procedure also apply in legal disputes against freight forwarders.

Tribunal of Genoa examines jurisdiction issue in pre-trial proceedings regarding court surveyor's appointment
Dardani Studio Legale
  • Italy
  • 11 September 2019

A recent Tribunal of Genoa case concerning a yacht lost during carriage examined whether the Italian courts have jurisdiction to appoint court surveyors and order survey operations to take place in Italy where the merits of a dispute are not subject to Italian jurisdiction. According to the tribunal, the fact that the merits of the dispute in question were to be decided in London did not deprive the Italian courts' jurisdiction to order inspection and survey operations on goods located in Italy.

Flag injunctions: practical alternative to ship arrests
Fenech & Fenech Advocates
  • Malta
  • 11 September 2019

Maltese law is straightforward in terms of who has a right to arrest and which claims can be secured by means of an arrest. However, while ship arrests are a powerful legal remedy for creditors, they have one major limitation: they are possible only where the targeted vessel actually enters Maltese waters. As such, the legal system has introduced the Section 37 injunction, which provides creditors with an interesting, cost-efficient remedy where a ship arrest is not possible.

Brexit's potential impact on shipping in Cyprus
Elias Neocleous & Co LLC
  • Cyprus
  • 21 August 2019

In an effort to minimise disruption to the shipping industry deriving from Brexit, the Shipping Deputy Ministry has undertaken a number of contingency measures. However, the ministry has emphasised that affected parties must also make their own preparations for the United Kingdom's withdrawal from the European Union and that where new authorisations, licences or certificates will be required post-Brexit, each party will be responsible for applying in good time.

Doing maritime business in Nigeria's $10 billion charter market
Akabogu & Associates
  • Nigeria
  • 21 August 2019

The general Nigerian economic landscape could be seen as challenging, but its robustness and potential make it worthwhile for parties that do their research. As the Nigerian ship charter market is estimated to be worth at least $10 billion, there is a lot of potential for interested parties to benefit.

Suppression of Piracy and Other Maritime Offences Act 2019: a review
Akabogu & Associates
  • Nigeria
  • 31 July 2019

The president recently assented to the Suppression of Piracy and Other Maritime Offences Bill, successfully concluding almost a decade of advocacy to implement such a law in order to curb and deter sea piracy, armed robbery and other unlawful acts at sea. The new law has ended the controversy around whether the crime of sea piracy is defined in any local legislation and bestowed on the Federal High Court exclusive jurisdiction to determine matters of armed robbery and other unlawful acts at sea.

How to prepare for new Incoterms
AKD
  • International
  • 31 July 2019

The International Chamber of Commerce is set to launch a new version of the Incoterms rules – the globally used, standardised set of trade terms for the international sale and delivery of goods. Although the new rules will not take effect until 1 January 2020, parties involved in the international sale and delivery of goods should use the impending introduction of the new rules as an opportunity to review their existing contracts and standard delivery terms and determine whether they are being used correctly.

Wrongful vessel arrest in collision claim
Shearn Delamore & Co
  • Malaysia
  • 31 July 2019

In a recent case, a plaintiff claimed that the defendant's vessel had collided into its vessel. To stop the plaintiff from arresting the vessel, the defendant obtained a letter of undertaking from the London Protection and Indemnity Club. However, notwithstanding the issue of the first letter of undertaking, the plaintiff arrested the vessel. The defendant subsequently asked the court to, among other things, declare the first letter of undertaking binding on the parties and set aside the warrant of arrest.

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