Recently, on April 28, 2021 the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) distributed a letter to the cruise industry in which it notified the industry regarding clarifications and amplifications of the CDC’s Conditional Sailing Order (“CSO”) (the Letter). The CSO provided guidelines for the resumption of cruises from the United States. Notably, following the Letter, the CDC’s spokesperson stated that passenger voyages from the United States could resume in mid-July depending on pace and compliance with the CSO. Continue Reading
Obtaining security for a party’s claim on the one side or security for a party’s costs on the other can be crucial remedies in times of a global pandemic where there may be issues with enforcement due to the closures of courts, delayed processes and a general lack of available assets.
Security and enforcement interact closely with each other where unless security has been obtained in advance, the process of issuing enforcement proceedings may be disproportionately expensive or time-consuming, particularly where it is difficult to locate assets. In practical terms, it is often pointless to arbitrate if the claim is not secured. Continue Reading
Reed Smith recently acted for a mortgagee client who successfully purchased a vessel at a judicial auction, following default by a borrower under a loan facility and the vessel’s subsequent arrest. Continue Reading
Under English law, charterers’ obligation to pay hire as it falls due is absolute but the right to withdraw a vessel in case of default in charterers’ obligation to pay does not arise automatically. An express term will therefore be required. Continue Reading
In CVLC Three Carrier Corp and Anor v Arab Maritime Petroleum Transport Company ( EWHC 551 (Comm)), Reed Smith (Nick Austin, Charles Weller, Alfred Perkins, Vassilis Mavrakis) represented two shipowning companies in successfully overturning an arbitration award which held that there was an implied term in a performance guarantee that the beneficiary would not seek further security beyond that created by the guarantee itself, thus protecting the guarantor’s vessels from arrest. Continue Reading
At nautical college mariners are taught about the importance of communication, particularly in emergency situations. Similar to the tale of Goldilocks, the trainers teach you, not too much, not too little, just enough. This is drilled into seafarers in all their courses such as firefighting, sea survival, Bridge Resource Management etc. But it must be remembered that communication goes two ways. A Master on a ship that is experiencing an emergency is often communicating with a person who could be many time zones away and it may be that person may not actually have any marine experience, so explaining the situation can be a difficult and time consuming event. It is also not something that is commonly practised in drills, unlike the physical donning of suits and practising with a fire hose for example, even though it is a crucial part of the emergency process. Continue Reading
Beginning in May 2021, California Air Resources Board (“CARB”) enforcement staff will begin additional analysis of fuel samples taken during ocean-going vessel inspections. CARB is seeking to improve compliance due to changing international regulatory sulfur limits, which has created situations where a vessel’s fuel may meet international and California regulatory sulfur limits, but not meet distillate grade fuel standards, as required by California law.
On 19 February 2021 the Supreme Court delivered its very first judgment in relation to a collision action. While the Supreme Court was only established in 2009, it is almost half a century since the highest appellate court in England and Wales has decided such a matter. In this eagerly anticipated decision, the Court had to consider the application of the International Regulations For Preventing Collisions At Sea 1972 (the ‘COLREGS’), in relation to a collision between the 7.030 TEU container ship Ever Smart and the laden 153,044 DWT VLCC Alexandra 1 off the dredged access channel to Jebel Ali in the late evening of 11 February 2015. Continue Reading
Congress recently affirmed that the Jones Act applies to offshore windfarms. It did so via amendment to the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (the “OCSLA”), in a brief section near the end of the annual omnibus National Defense Authorization Act. Continue Reading
Reed Smith (Charles Weller and Nick Wright) recently acted for the successful claimants (“WFS”) in two in rem claims against cruise ships “Columbus” and “Vasco da Gama”. The claims derived from WFS providing multiple bunker stems to the cruise ships, for which WFS remained unpaid.
The decision of the Admiralty court provides useful guidance on recovery under secondary contractual obligations in a claim for the supply of necessaries to a ship. Continue Reading