There has been a tendency for reference to be made to Regulation 18 (of Annex VI of the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, 1973 as modified by the Protocol of 1978) as containing ‘exceptions’ to Regulation 14 (of the same), which sets out the maximum sulphur content limits for marine fuels. While this
On 21 December 2018 we commented on the newly released BIMCO clauses intended to address the International Maritime Organization’s revised sulphur content limits with regard to the consumption and carriage of marine fuel (in accordance with Regulation 14 of Annex VI of the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, 1973 as modified by the Protocol of 1978, MARPOL), which enter into force on 1 January and 1 March 2020 respectively.
Continue Reading Update on BIMCO 2020 Fuel Transition Clause for Time Charter Parties
Last week, the Liberian flag state called for the IMO to issue a resolution or circular requiring early reporting of low-sulphur fuel availability by member states. From the flag state’s point of view, littoral states should be doing more to assist shipowners and, by extension, time charterers in planning for compliance with the 1 January 2020 deadline for the global reduction of sulphur content (down to 0.5 per cent m/m) in marine fuels.
Continue Reading IMO 2020 and Liberia’s stance
Transgrain Shipping (Singapore) Pte Ltd V Yangtze Navigation (Hong Kong) Co Ltd  EWCA Civ 2107
This was a further appeal, to the Court of Appeal, from an LMAA arbitration award, considering the true construction of the sweep-up provision at sub-clause 8(d) of the Inter-Club Agreement 1996 (“ICA ‘96”); specifically, whether the meaning…
In June this year BIMCO approved an updated version of the SUPPLYTIME form. The updated version includes a number of amendments which we have outlined in our client alert.
TRANSGRAIN SHIPPING (SINGAPORE) PTE LTD v YANGTZE NAVIGATION (HONG KONG) CO LTD  EWHC 3132
This was an appeal from an LMAA arbitration award, considering the true construction of clause 8(d) of the Inter-Club Agreement 1996 (“ICA”); specifically, whether the meaning of the term “act” in the phrase “act or neglect” should be restricted to a culpable act.
The dispute concerned a trip time charter where the charterers (also the shippers) had, for their own purposes, ordered the ship to wait off the discharge port for over four months before discharging the cargo. During this time part of the cargo was damaged due to overheating, which was found by the Tribunal to have been caused by a combination of the prolonged delay at the discharge port and the inherent nature of the cargo.Continue Reading Culpability and Clause 8(d) of the Inter-Club Agreement – The Yangtze Xing Hua
REGULUS SHIP SERVICES PTE LTD v (1) LUNDIN SERVICES BV (2) IKDAM PRODUCTION SA  EWHC 2674 (Comm)
In this case, the meaning of the term “in light ballast condition” came up for consideration by the Court for a second time. The irony being that the earlier precedent derived from another dispute that the same claimant had brought before the Commercial Court a decade earlier.
This latest dispute concerned the relocation of an FPSO from the Mediterranean to Malaysia. The claimant was the owner of a 1980 built AHTS, engaged on TOWCON terms to tow the FPSO to her new field for a lump sum payment. The respondents were the owner of the FPSO and its affiliate and disclosed agent.
The FPSO had started life in 1971 as an Aframax size tanker, before being adapted to serve as a shuttle tanker for North Sea production and then converted to an FPSO.
The conversion required, amongst the more obvious changes, the ‘chopping-off’ of most of her bulbous bow, so as not to interfere with the mooring pendant (and combined risers) that, when on station as an FPSO, were rigged from her bow. As a result of this modification, the remnant of her bulbous bow presented a blunt vertical face.
The claimant wanted the FPSO to be de-ballasted to reduce drag through the water and to achieve a significant stern trim in order to increase the directional stability of the tow. They had towed a similar FPSO and were confident that this was the optimum disposition.
However, the respondents considered that the FPSO would tow better with her blunted forward appendage submerged. They clearly also had in mind that this disposition might reduce the structural fatigue imparted upon (and thus prolong the life of) the already aged FPSO.
As the FPSO would be manned during the tow, adjustments to her ballast could be made on passage. Therefore, in the end, the TOWCON charterparty was agreed and the convoy set-off with the drafts (forward and aft, and thus the trim) of the FPSO still under discussion. The claimant apparently comforted by the warranty that the tow would be “in light ballast condition”.Continue Reading Court determines the meaning of “in light ballast condition” (again)
A recent decision provides authority for the broadly accepted understanding that a “unit”, for the purposes of limitation under Article IV Rule 5 of the Hague Rules, cannot apply to a bulk cargo – it can only mean a physical unit for shipment and not a unit of measurement or a customary freight unit (the unit of measurement used to calculate freight).
The cargo in question was 2,000 tonnes of fish oil, loaded into the ship’s tanks. The (disponent) owner contended that each tonne was a “unit” for these purposes and thus it had a right to limit its liability for damage to the cargo. The Commercial Court disagreed.
Had the Court found otherwise, presumably more bulk cargoes would be nominated by lesser units in future (e.g. kilogrammes).
This was one of those peculiarly academic arguments that amuse shipping lawyers, at least.
Although there was no Clause Paramount (or variant), the charterparty permitted the owner to rely upon the package or unit limitation in the same circumstances as it would have been entitled to do so, had the Hague Rules been incorporated in full. Therefore the decision has broad application. Albeit, not if the Hague-Visby Rules apply, as Rule 5(a) therein provides for an alternative weight-based limitation that is apt to include a bulk cargo, in any event.Continue Reading English Court confirms that package limitation under the Hague Rules excludes a bulk cargo