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Wednesday, June 20, 2018

CHARTER PARTY INFORMATION

INTERTANKO's Deputy Managing Director & General Counsel, Svein Ringbakken, is now based at INTERTANKO's London office. He will be joined by INTERTANKO's solicitor, John Fawcett-Ellis, who will also be working from our office at the Baltic Exchange with effect from 19 February 2001.

INTERTANKO's Legal & Documentary services will thus be concentrated in London, dealing with chartering, insurance and documentary issues including the Freight and Demurrage Information Pool. The move will bring the current total of staff in London to five and is a step in the strengthening of INTERTANKO's presence in the City.

The Legal & Documentary section can be contacted on:

Svein Ringbakken

Tel: +44 207 623 4311

Fax : +44 207 626 7078

e-mail: LegalandDocumentary@intertanko.com

John Fawcett-Ellis

Tel: + 44 207 623 4311

Fax: + 44 207 626 7078

e-mail: john.fawcett-ellis@intertanko.com

Novorossiysk – tanker berths – call for their recognition as open sea berths

There are certain ports in Europe where it has been accepted by charterers for many years that the berths there are open sea berths due to their exposed position, and weather delays to a greater or lesser extent are almost inevitable. Examples of such ports include: Ravenna, Falconara, Fiumicino, Ancona, Gaeta, and Santa Panaghia Bay. The tanker berths at Novorossiysk are no exception and should be treated in the same way as other sea berths. For these weather ports charterparties usually contain a weather clause which allocates to charterers the risk of delay due to weather.

An example of a weather clause is:

"If discharge Ravenna/ Falconara/ Fiumicino/ Ancona/ Gaeta/ Novorossiysk/Santa Panaghia Bay/Portugal/ Spanish Atlantic any delays due to bad weather to count in full as laytime or demurrage if on demurrage and any unberthing/ reberthing time and expenses to be for charterers account"

International Group P&I Clubs issues revised letters of indemnity

The P&I Clubs that are members of the International Group (“IG”) have issued revised letters of indemnity for use where discharge of the cargo is requested without production of the original bills of lading and/or at a discharge port(s) other than that named in the bill of lading.

INTERTANKO’s Documentary and Insurance Committees have engaged in a dialogue with the IG’s Bills of Lading Sub-Committee over recent years and have liased with the International Chamber of Shipping on this issue. The revision of the letters of indemnity has been a lengthy process. Some of shipowners’ concerns have been taken on board in these revised drafts. Most notably from the tanker perspective is the inclusion of a provision whereby requested delivery of a bulk liquid or gas cargo to a terminal or facility, or to another ship, lighter or barge is to be deemed to be delivery to the party to whom delivery has been requested.

The major changes concern the provisions for a bank to join in the indemnities. The IG has held protracted discussions with the British Bankers Association (“BBA”) to ensure an acceptable form of wording is used.  The BBA will endeavour to promote this agreed standard wording within the international business community.

Members should have received a circular from their P&I Club about this. Copies are also available from john.fawcett-ellis@intertanko.com

Wreck removal and pollution – vessels in Greek waters – new legislation

The Greek Parliament has recently passed a law which will require all vessels entering Greek waters to prove they have cover for wreck removal. This will involve vessels carrying a certificate evidencing that they have the required cover in place. This new law will enter into effect once Executive Orders have been passed. The International Group of P&I Clubs is presently considering its response to these measures.

The Parliament has also passed a new law dealing with liability for oil pollution and the requirement for vessels to carry certificates of financial responsibility. The details of this new law have not yet been published.

Please see below for further details on these issues:

Under the new law, all vessels will be required to carry a certificate from a P&I Club or an insurance company (or, alternatively, provide a bank guarantee) stating that, in the event of the vessel becoming a wreck, the removal expenses will be covered by the issuer.

Vessels which fail to have the certificate on board will be fined between GRD 200,000 and GRD 10 million and will be detained until the certificate is obtained.

We expect the law to be published in the Greek Government Gazette within the next 2-3 weeks. The Ministries of Mercantile Marine, Environment and Finance will then decide on the exact form of the certificates and issue the Executive Orders which will bring the legislation into effect. Given the number of ministries involved we expect it will be 3-4 months before the scheme will be implemented.

Although the form of the Certificates has not yet been prescribed, it appears that they may include provisions for direct action against the insurer or guarantor.

The International Group is presently considering its response to these measures. However, there is little doubt that there will be strong opposition to the issue of Certificates which give rise to direct action. The International Group is concerned to see that these matters are dealt with on an international basis - a principle which Greece has been known to support wholeheartedly

Parliament has also adopted new provisions dealing with liability for oil pollution. The new law will require vessels to carry some form of certificate of financial responsibility. This legislation is apparently based upon CLC, but it is not yet clear what the new requirements are in relation to certificates. As in the case of wreck removal, there will be penalties for failure to have the certificates on board the vessel.

We will keep members informed of developments on this issue. We are most grateful to Skuld’s Piraeus office for bringing them to our attention.