Ship agent failed to verify disposal costs in advance

Mutual insurer ITIC, a major provider of professional indemnity insurance to the entire transport sector, including marine, reports in its latest claims review of a case where a ship agent in Australia was asked by their principal to arrange for the disposal of dunnage and other materials related to the packing of cargo upon the…

Liberia adopts law amendments for ship finance

The Republic of Liberia has amended Liberian maritime law to allow lease financing structures to be recorded as mortgages. Liberia said that it was now the only flag state with preferred status in China able to record financing charters. Scott Bergeron, CEO of the US-based manager of the Liberian Registry, Liberian International Ship & Corporate…

Prestige pollution damage claims “progressing slowly” says London Club

The pollution damage claims arising from the Prestige oil spill in November 2002 (2002/03 policy year) continue to progress slowly, said London Club in its report on policy year 2017/18. London Club was the insurer for the 81,000 dwt Aframax tanker. The Club said that this was a consequence of the civil claims being determined…

Broker’s error meant owner not informed of second-leg option

In its recent claims review, ship broker and agent P&I mutual insurer ITIC, managed by Thomas Miller, has reported on a case in which ship brokers fixed a charter party that contained an option for a second voyage. Unfortunately the brokers failed to pass on the charterer’s message requesting a second-leg option, which as a…

Singaporean shipping company fined $1M for vessel oil pollution

Singapore-based shipping company Hai Soon Ship Management has been fined US$1m fine and to serve a two-year year probation period for failing to maintain an accurate oil record book and making false statements concerning the illegal dumping of bilgewater-contaminated oil at sea. The company pled guilty to the charges on June 14th; US District Court…

USCG holds public hearing on Bouchard tank barge explosion

The US Coast Guard will open a formal public hearing today, July 16th, to consider evidence relating to the explosion and fire aboard  Bouchard No 255 tank barge, resulting in the deaths of two people, off the coast of Port Aransas, Texas, on October 20th 2017. The barge was said to have been carrying 140,000…

Hong Kong to impose low sulphur emissions from start of next year

New Hong Kong air pollution control regulations will enter into force on January 1st 2019, one year ahead of the IMO imposition date for ocean-going vessels. The Hong Kong Government has been implementing the Air Pollution Control (Ocean Going Vessels) (Fuel at Berth) Regulation (the “Fuel at Berth” Regulation) (Cap 311AA) since July 1st 2015,…

Former USS Fitzgerald Commanding Officer pleads not guilty

The former Commanding Officer of destroyer USS Fitzgerald has pleaded not guilty to charges related to last year’s collision of the vessel with ACX Crystal 64 miles southwest of Yokosuka, Japan, on June 17th last year. Seven US sailors lost their lives in the incident. The USS Fitzgerald suffered extensive damage and flooding. Cmdr. Benson…

French damages law “being reshaped”

French law is currently being reshaped in a modernization project designed to increase legal certainty and efficiency, reports Pierre-Louis Merer on the Shipowners’ Club web site: “Hopefully this will pay dividends for Members operating in the country, in terms of more certainty over their liabilities and, in time, lower overall claims costs”, he wrote. France…