Hill Dickinson’s International Shipping Team Expands With Appointment Of Former Master Mariner As Partner

International law firm Hill Dickinson has appointed Ian MacLean as a partner to its London office, where he will focus on his international client base of ship owners, ship managers and their insurers.

This appointment provides the firm with five former mariners at partner level, with Ian joining the existing team of Mike Mallin, Tony Goldsmith, Phil Haddon and Andrew Gray. This team is further strengthened by another five ex-mariner assistants, two of whom are qualified solicitors.

Ian’s casualty practice includes pollution, total losses, collisions, fire, structural failure, engine and electrical system failure, salvage, unsafe ports and cargo damage including chemical tanker contamination. He also defends against casualty related criminal charges and advises on the contractual and third party disputes that arise from casualties, including those which flow from cargo damage. In addition, Ian advises on MARPOL issues, hull and machinery claims, piracy and ship management disputes.

Ian has extensive commercial experience as a former ship manager and ship-owning company director. He remains close to the shipping community, serving as a director and general counsel of InterManager, the international trade association for ship managers. Ian contributes to seminars and writes for the trade press on litigation risk management, casualty management, seaworthiness and the ISM Code.

Maria Pittordis, who leads Hill Dickinson’s marine, trade and energy group, states: “Ian’s wealth of legal, seafaring, ship management and commercial experience further strengthens our technically experienced and expanding admiralty team who, with the support more than 100 specialist shipping practitioners worldwide, are well positioned to deal with the full range of maritime casualties.”

Maria adds: “Ian has a practical and measured approach in the emotive environment that characterizes the immediate aftermath of a casualty and is recognised for his client focused and commercially pragmatic attitude to settlement negotiations.”


Notes to Editors:

· Stuart Kempson (Shipping, Liverpool) and Pawel Wysocki (Yacht Team, London) have also been elevated to partner. In addition, Mary Prentice (Shipping, London) and Susan Leonard (Commodities, London) have been promoted to legal director.

· All appointments take effect from 1 May 2013.

· Hill Dickinson traces its roots back to 1810 and represented the owners of the Titanic and Lusitania.

· With more than 190 partners and 1,400 people, the firm serves its client base from eight worldwide locations including Monaco, Piraeus and Singapore, in addition to its UK offices.

· The marine, trade and energy group headed by Maria Pittordis includes, in addition to the shipping team: yachts, (including two yacht masters); personal injury and regulatory; commodities and cargo, freight and logistics.

· Hill Dickinson works with clients across the entire breadth of the marine sector including leading ship owners, cruise and ferry operators, charterers, shipyards, P&I clubs, port and terminal operators, underwriters, traders, salvors, the energy/offshore sector and the cargo, logistics and warehousing industries. The firm also works with shippers, traders, commodities end-users and trade associations such as GAFTA and the RSA, as well as specialist yacht finance houses and banks, owners and borrowers.

· Ian MacLean’s LinkedIn profile: http://www.linkedin.com/in/icmaclean

· Maria Pittordis’s LinkedIn profile: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/maria-pittordis/25/523/8a9

Braemar Seascope Opens New Oslo Office

Braemar Seascope is pleased to announce that it is further strengthening its shipbroking division by opening a new tanker chartering office in Oslo. This follows the recent establishment of a deep sea tanker chartering desk in Houston.

The Oslo office will focus on the specialised tanker sector forming part of Braemar’s existing specialised team of 14 brokers. It will be led by Joachim Hagen-Hansen who will commence broking within the next three months. The office will be opened by Eirik Hagen with effect from 6 May.

James Kidwell, CEO of Braemar Shipping Services Plc, commented: “We are delighted to welcome two brokers of the calibre of Joachim and Eirik and to have the opportunity to extend our commitment in this important sector. They will develop our client services and market coverage in an exciting way.”

Crewsure Appoints G2 Crew Services as its Global Correspondent

Crewsure is delighted to announce it has appointed G2 Crew Services, the recently formed partnership between Griffin Global Group Limited and Gulf Agency Company Limited to act as its global Correspondent.

Crewsure provides medical and personal accident insurance directly to crew and is underwritten by the Munich Group, one of the world’s leading Insurance Companies. The benefits provided are tailored to meet the needs of crew and the latest requirements of the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC).

“Crewsure complements our strategy of assisting clients in both the marine and offshore sectors to set new standards for the duty of care provided to their crew,” says Simon Morse, Executive Chairman of Griffin. “Historically the primary focus of marine services’ companies has been the owner, the vessel, or the cargo; and while contractually Crewsure’s client is the employer; the ‘door-to-deck’ service offered by us in partnership with GAC provides benefits directly to individual members of crew when in need.”

Robert Johnston, Managing Director of Crewsure, explains: “The aim of Crewsure is to improve the welfare of crew by replicating the same type of health insurance that is provided to key employees based ashore, rather than simply mitigating owners’ risks to large claims. By extending the breadth of cover, reducing the excess, simplifying the claim process and providing local on-the-ground support in over 1,000 ports we can significantly transform the level of service provided to onboard personnel while containing the cost of cover well within existing levels. We are pleased to have appointed G2 Crew Services as our Correspondent recognising the potential of the Crewsure product and its valuable role in handling crew in need of medical support and evacuations around the world.”

Lack of Due Process Breeds Fear of Criminalisation Among Seafarers

Seafarers’ suggestions on how to improve their situation when facing criminal charges were presented at the landmark 100th session of the Legal Committee of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) which met in London on 15 – 19 April, 2013.

The suggestions, which emanated from a comprehensive eight language survey conducted by Seafarers’ Rights International (SRI) over a 12-month period to February 2012, focus as much on fears of their own human rights being violated as on a lack of due process in the criminal process.

A total of 3,480 completed questionnaires were submitted by seafarers from 68 different nationalities.

According to the seafarers themselves, there is a frequent lack of due process for seafarers who face criminal charges. Seafarers are complaining of unfair treatment, intimidation and a lack of legal representation and interpretation services. Almost half of the seafarers in the survey said that they would be reluctant to co-operate fully and openly with casualty inquiries and accident investigators because of concerns they could be implicated in a crime; because they do not trust the authorities; and because they are concerned that co-operation would have a prejudicial affect upon their employment.

The findings in the survey strongly suggest that the rights of seafarers, as enshrined in the Guidelines on Fair Treatment of Seafarers in the event of a Maritime Accident, adopted by the IMO and the International Labour Organization (ILO) are often be subject to violation: itself causing widespread concern among seafarers.

As many as 85.04% of seafarers surveyed, said that they are concerned about facing criminal charges. The main reasons were that seafarers feel they are scapegoated. Also seafarers feel there are numerous regulations which make them more vulnerable to being criminalised.

To improve the situation, seafarers want more information on the risks they are exposed to in relation to criminal charges as well as their rights if they are defendants, complainants or witnesses. They also want good and free legal representation when facing criminal charges; a fair process and fair treatment when facing criminal charges; a greater network of support from all the various stakeholders in the maritime industry if they do face criminal charges; and more uniform laws and procedures given the wide range of different crimes to which they are exposed.

“The message from seafarers is loud and clear,” said Deirdre Fitzpatrick, Executive Director of SRI: “Seafarers are saying that their rights are theoretical and illusory; they need them to be practical and effective.

“Since criminal laws are largely tailored to nationals, they are an uneasy fit for foreign and temporary transnational workers. It is clear that seafarers are more exposed to criminal proceedings than many other workers and therefore need special assistance,” she added.

“The seafarers’ suggestions for what is needed to improve their situation, or their perception of their situation, offer a challenge to the maritime industry and to prosecuting authorities generally, if seafaring is to remain a viable option for young people.

“The SRI survey has brought the seafarers’ concerns to the fore and it is hoped it will create momentum amongst stakeholders – seafarers’ organisations, employers, regulators and non-governmental bodies, in addition to seafarers themselves – to better address the unfair treatment of seafarers. It seems that much remains to be done to protect this body of essential workers from unfairness and injustice but the effort is essential not only for the protection of serving seafarers, but also to improve the image of the profession for new recruits to come,” Ms Fitzpatrick concluded.

The 100th session of the IMO Legal Committee was attended by 88 member government delegations; 2 associate member delegations; 1 specialised agency; 2 intergovernmental organizations; and 20 non-governmental organizations.
The Committee agreed that the issue of fair treatment of seafarers in the event of a maritime accident should remain on its agenda and be discussed again in 2014.

A full copy of the SRI Survey is available at http://www.seafarersrights.org/category/sri-criminal-survey.

Shipowners And Unions Raise Concern At Casualty Reporting Failures

Shipowners and seafarers’ unions have joined forces to express concern at flag states’ failure to submit maritime casualty reports as required under international Conventions.

The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), which represents 80% of the world merchant fleet, and the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF), which represents seafarers’ unions worldwide, have made a joint submission to the International Maritime Organization (IMO) commenting on the apparent failure of some flag states to submit maritime casualty reports to IMO. This is a requirement under several international maritime Conventions, including the Safety of Life at Sea Convention (SOLAS).

ICS and ITF hope that governments will give consideration to this important issue at the next meeting of the IMO Maritime Safety Committee in June.

In accordance with SOLAS regulation I/21, maritime administrations undertake to conduct investigations into any casualty occurring to ships under their flag, and to supply IMO with pertinent information concerning the findings of such investigations.

In accordance with other Guidelines adopted by IMO, this is meant to include incidents defined as being a “very serious marine casualty” involving the total loss of the ship, a death, or severe damage to the environment.

“The lack of investigation and accident reports hinders the development of appropriate measures by IMO to address the cause of serious incidents in which seafarers may have lost their lives.” said ITF Acting General Secretary, Stephen Cotton.

“It also frustrates efforts by ship operators to learn from the reports and to amend or develop new procedures, or implement other measures to prevent or mitigate similar future incidents.” said ICS Secretary General, Peter Hinchliffe.

ICS and ITF have therefore suggested that further consideration might be given by IMO to what constitutes “a very serious marine casualty” and the extent to which flag states should retain the latitude which they currently enjoy when determining whether the results of any investigation should be submitted to IMO.

As a first step, they have suggested that, in consultation with ICAO (the International Civil Aviation Organization), IMO might consider whether any lessons might be learnt from the approach taken towards the submission and dissemination of accident reports within the aviation industry.

Jamaica Joins India To Celebrate 50th National Maritime Day

Rear Admiral (ret’d) Peter Brady, Director General of the Maritime Authority of Jamaica and former chairman of the International Maritime Organisation’s Standards of Training & Watchkeeping sub-committee, was guest of honour at the 50th anniversary National Maritime celebrations in Mumbai, India.

Admiral Brady joined the Honourable Union Minister of Shipping Shri G. K. Vasan and Indian Shipping Secretary Shri P. K. Sinha at the event, the theme of which was: Celebrating The Past And Charting The Future Of Indian Shipping.

Delivering the keynote speech, he outlined the recent Manila amendments to the STCW Convention and spoke of India’s important contribution towards the effort. Speaking afterwards, Admiral Brady said: “India plays an important role in the global shipping industry and provides a large number of officers and seafarers to the international fleet. It was a great honour to attend this event and to celebrate India’s commitment to crew welfare and standards of seamanship.”

He told guests: “As a maritime practitioner, I am cognisant of the needs of the shipping industry for highly qualified and capable seafarers on the one hand and, on the other hand, the needs of the seafarers themselves to be competent and confident in their work at sea, based on sound technical knowledge, training and experience. Competency achieved through the fulfillment of the requirements of the STCW Convention satisfies both the industry and the seafarer himself. It also provides for higher levels of safety, security and efficiency of shipping, along with the sensitivity to protect the marine environment.”

The Indian shipping sector has seen tremendous growth since the country’s independence in 1947 when its merchant shipping fleet consisted of 59 ships with a total tonnage of about 0.19 MGT. Today the Indian fleet has increased to 1,162 vessels comprising 10.36 MGT.

Shipping Minister Vasan told guests that more than 250 Indian seafarers have been taken hostage by pirates since 2007 and eight Indian crew members are currently held hostage in Somalia. “I would like to reiterate that the Government of India is working hard to secure the early and safe release of our seafarers held hostage. We shall continue our proactive role, both domestically and internationally, in curbing the menace of piracy,” he said.

Sea Trial Success For Latest Version of Thomas Gunn’s Voyager

Thomas Gunn, the maritime services company and leading Admiralty distributor, today announced the results of sea trials of its new Voyager 4 on-board navigation data management system. The sea trials are the final stage in the development of the new service which will launch on 1 May 2013. This latest version will be the only chart updating tool to include global Navarea Warning information. It also provides a new route-planning tool to make it even easier to identify, update and download information needed for a vessel’s voyage as well as new time saving applications to help vessels navigate more safely and efficiently.

Voyager 4 has been installed on a wide range of vessels operating around the world to ensure the new system is thoroughly tested in live environments. More than twenty vessels have been involved with trials including USAC’s Hatta working out of Bahrain, Finner Shipping’s Red Fin, currently in Egypt, and Gulf Offshore’s Highland Eagle based in Aberdeen.

“Sea trials are an essential stage of our new product development programme. The Thomas Gunn Voyager team is made up of highly experienced mariners, navigators and technical experts, but at the end of the day it’s the experience on the bridge that determines our products’ success” said Mike Bailey, ex. Captain and ex. marine superintendent, and now Head of Product Development at Thomas Gunn. Sea trials feedback is essential in guaranteeing reliability, ease of use and ensuring Voyager is designed and developed to meet real-life operational requirements.”

Voyager is now leading the market in terms of chart management and updating tools. Shipping companies operating globally with tight port turnaround times all benefit greatly from being able to access safety and compliance information electronically and having a wide range of information at the fingertips of their crews.

“This latest Voyager release is even better than ever, including some excellent new services such as our new Navarea Warnings service and the Admiralty Vector Chart Service (AVCS) and Admiralty Information Overlay (AIO) viewer making Voyager the most comprehensive British Admiralty updating service on the market today. From the sea trials feedback we’ve been getting, it’s clear that our customers around the world really like Voyager and are enjoying exploring and getting even more from its new functionality” added Mr Bailey. “We’ve also had the opportunity to gain feedback on how customers would prefer to buy the additional modules and time-saving applications that are included in the new version which are helping us create innovative new purchasing options that really appeal to our different audiences.”

New Voyager 4 is the only system that provides a 100% complete BA Chart update service and has the one of best data compression rates available today – making data download times both fast and extremely cost effective. Voyager also includes a free Vessel Management Service to help ship owners and ship managers cut administration time, improve safety, better manage information and ensure compliance across the fleet – whether navigating with paper or using digital technology.

New Voyager 4 will be available from Thomas Gunn and its agents from May 2013.

Global Shipping Industry Slams Unworkable European Parliament Proposals

The world’s national shipowners’ associations in nearly 50 countries – represented by the European Community Shipowners’ Associations (ECSA), the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) and the Asian Shipowners’ Forum (ASF) – have united to condemn proposed amendments, to be voted on by the European Parliament this week (probably on 18 April), on a new EU Ship Recycling Regulation.

Shipowners especially object to the proposal by the EP Environment Committee to impose a tax on merchant ships of all flags calling at EU ports, in order to fund ship recycling facilities in the European Union.

“This is an unacceptable tax on trade and will cause grave offense to the EU’s trading partners, not just major ship recycling nations such as China and India, but to major shipping nations such as Japan and Singapore.  These proposals have simply not been thought through.” said ECSA Secretary General Alfons Guinier.  “As a matter of principle, it is wrong to impose a tax on one industrial sector in order to assist another, especially without proper consultation with the parties affected.  Shipping is a global industry operating under global rules.  The European Parliament should really not be contemplating measures which will work against the aim to improve recycling conditions globally, an aim which we fully support.”

The shipowners’ groups also believe that, if adopted, the EP amendments will fatally undermine the entry into force of the International Convention for Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships (Hong Kong) which was adopted by the UN International Maritime Organization (IMO) in 2009 – with full industry support – to improve working and environmental conditions in the world’s ship recycling yards, most of which are located in Asia.

The IMO Convention has not yet entered into force, pending the development of detailed Guidelines on implementation that have only recently been finalised by IMO.  But the Convention has the full support of the global shipping industry, which has already produced its own recommendations so that shipowners can comply with the IMO requirements in advance of governments formally ratifying the Hong Kong Convention – see www.ics-shipping.org/recycling.htm

“If the proposed amendments are taken forward, it will be seriously damaging to the Hong Kong Convention.  The EP measures would therefore be completely counterproductive.” said ICS Secretary General, Peter Hinchliffe.  “It’s not just the tax.  Many of the other measures being proposed, such as sanctions against non-EU shipowners who don’t comply, and the creation of a unilateral list of recycling facilities that meet EU requirements, will almost certainly mean that Asian nations will be unable to ratify the IMO Convention.  This will undermine years of hard work by governments at IMO (including EU Member States) as well as by shipowners and ship recyclers to develop a binding global solution that will actually work.”

ASF Secretary General, Yuichi Sonoda, added, “It is important to understand that under the terms of the Hong Kong Convention’s entry into force criteria, it is  not possible for the Convention to enter into force unless it is ratified by the major ship recycling nations.   An opportunity to improve standards via the Hong Kong Convention will be lost for a generation by these astounding and incomprehensible proposals which are creating huge concern amongst industry and governments alike in Asia.”

If the proposals are taken forward by the European Parliament, the shipping industry will be working with EU Member States to ensure that the proposals are stopped before it is too late.  The international shipping industry is also working with governments in non-EU shipping nations, which can be expected to make strong representations in Brussels should the European Parliament vote the proposals through.

Cory Provides Solution For Weighty Transport Problem

International logistics expert Cory Logistics solved a weighty problem when it transported four 36 tonne, 20m long loading arms and ancillary equipment from UK fishing town Whitstable in Kent to Antwerp, Belgium, bound for Indonesia.

Cory provided a 100 ton mobile crane in order to lift the four loading arms, each measuring 19.3m in length with a maximum width of 2.83m and a height of 3.71m. Each piece weighed in at 36,450.00 kilos.  The loading arms form part of a for an offshore gas installation unit.

Special extendable, semi-low loader trailers were then used to accommodate the loading arms on their journey to Purfleet docks where they were transported to Antwerp for shipment on a charter vessel to Indonesia where they will be used for loading LNG from terminal. The loading arms had an awkward centre of gravity which meant special care had to be taken to ensure they were loaded safely on to the trailers. Once loaded, special cradles were used to support the loading arms.

Cory also provided four sliding roof mega-trailers to carry ancillary machinery, each piece measuring 919cm x 225cm x 275cm and weighing  8,900.00 kilos, and three 40ft high cube containers to load an additional 21 tonnes of machinery parts.

Project manager Steve Barnwell said: “As the cargo was extremely fragile and out of gauge it proved to be a particularly complicated load which required our dedicated attention throughout the two-day loading process.”

John Van Bergen, Managing Director of Cory Logistics, said: “Transporting large and unusual loads like this is what we excel at. We aim to meet our clients’ needs however challenging they may be and our dedicated logistics teams have excellent problem solving skills.”

More Must Be Done To Prevent Deaths In Enclosed Spaces, Says Videotel

As more needless deaths in enclosed spaces are reported this week – but yet again fail to make headlines – a call to action is needed and the industry must take note and bring this issue to the attention of each and every seafarer.

“More must be done,” says Nigel Cleave, CEO of Videotel. “Every seafarer should be made aware of the risks of enclosed spaces – indeed have the message reinforced at every opportunity – there is no justification for another death. The legislation is in place; by law vessels should have the proper equipment in place, and yet time and time again seafarers fail to use the protection available to them and another preventable death is in the news.”

Of course with such a history of repeated, tragic accidents – reported almost routinely in the maritime press – something must change.  The Marine Accident Investigators International Forum has identified that accidents in enclosed/confined spaces continue to be one of the most common causes of work-related fatalities on board ships today.

“The psychological imperative to rescue a fallen seafarer is very strong,” explains Mr Cleave. “So often we see multiple casualties, with the first seafarer collapsing and his colleagues immediately rushing to his aid and subsequently being overcome.   This is the very reason we choose video as the medium for Videotel’s courses in this area. It makes a unique emotive connection with the seafarer, ensuring that the proper safety procedures – and the reasons for them – stay in the mind even under the stress of an emergency situation.”

Ironically, the psychological make-up that causes the seafarer to rush in after colleagues, fails to kick-in to prevent the casualty in the first place. Seemingly innocuous cargoes – timber, charcoal, steel – have all taken their toll on the lives of seafarers and continue to do so. Training each and every individual is absolutely paramount – humans do not possess an intuitive fear of some of the most dangerous cargoes, and it is essential that they are properly trained to be cautious.

Videotel Marine International has a history of commitment to this very issue. It has worked in partnership with a number of industry bodies, including Mines Rescue, to develop the Entry into Enclosed Spaces series, a comprehensive programme consisting of the original six modules, an accompanying CBT course and a soon to be released video covering working in enclosed spaces.  Videotel is continuing to develop programmes in this important area to ensure maximum impact on its seafarer audience, and to raise awareness of this serious issue with ship owners and ship managers around the world.

Maritime Lawyers Join Forces With Shipowners To Promote Ratification Of International Maritime Conventions

New Brochure highlights importance of FAL Convention, as IMO Facilitation Committee meets in London.

A copy of the new ICS, ISF and CMI Campaign Brochure is attached, and contains additional information about the international Conventions to which this PR refers.  It can also be downloaded at www.ics-shipping.org

The Comité Maritime International (CMI) – the international association for maritime lawyers – has joined forces with the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) and the International Shipping Federation (ISF) – which represent the operators of over 80% of the world merchant fleet – to promote those key international maritime Conventions which they believe are vital for governments to ratify and implement as soon as possible.

As part of their joint campaign, ICS, ISF and CMI have today published a new brochure, which their respective member national associations will be distributing to governments worldwide in order to encourage more widespread ratification of a number of instruments adopted by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the International Labour Organization (ILO).

“Shipping is an inherently international industry dependent on a global regulatory system to operate efficiently.” explained ICS/ISF Secretary General, Peter Hinchliffe. “It is crucial that the same regulations governing matters such as safety, environmental protection and liability apply to all ships in international trade, and that the same laws apply to all parts of a ship’s voyage.  The alternative would be chaos.”

CMI President, Stuart Hetherington, added “I am delighted that CMI is co-operating with ICS and ISF members to assist those countries where there has been limited ratification of some of the more important maritime Conventions.  Our hope is that all of the instruments we have identified for promotion will eventually enjoy the same level of universal acceptance amongst governments as Conventions such as SOLAS and MARPOL.”

The launch of the brochure has been timed to coincide with a meeting of the IMO Facilitation Committee (8-12 April) given that the brochure now includes the IMO Convention on the Facilitation of International Maritime Traffic (FAL) as one of the key international instruments whose wider ratification the industry organisations wish to promote, especially amongst developing countries.  The FAL Convention makes life easier for ships and their crews by reducing reporting formalities when ships enter the ports of other nations.

However, the campaign is also seeking to encourage the ratification by governments of a number of other instruments dealing with international liabilities and insurance cover, which are of special interest to CMI, as well as to ICS.   These include: the 1996 Protocol to the International Convention on Limitation of Liability for Maritime Claims (LLMC), whose limits were increased by IMO last year; the 2002 Protocol to the Athens Convention on passenger liability (PAL); the 2010 Protocol to the HNS Convention; and the (UNCITRAL) Rotterdam Rules on cargo liability.

Following discussion between ICS and CMI, the brochure also includes the IMO Convention governing liabilities for wreck removal which was adopted in 2007.  The Nairobi Convention has now been ratified by six countries, only two of which have so far elected to apply it into their territorial sea.  In order to encourage international uniformity, this Convention is now being promoted actively by industry, although only on the basis that ratifications should always include governments opting to apply the Convention’s provisions into their territorial sea.

The new brochure also refers to the IMO Ballast Water Management Convention. However, while it is explained that ICS supports the eventual entry into force of the BWM Convention, it is not currently being actively promoted for additional ratification by governments, pending the resolution of important questions about implementation prior to its entry into force.

The other maritime instruments highlighted by the brochure include: MARPOL Annex VI, which governs atmospheric pollution and CO2 emissions; the IMO (Hong Kong) Ship Recycling Convention, which is in danger of being undermined by a proposed EU regulation currently being debated by the European Parliament; the ILO Maritime Labour Convention, governing employment conditions for seafarers and which enters into force this August; and ILO Convention 185, which concerns access to shore leave and crew visas (which will also be a topic of discussion at the IMO Facilitation Committee, this week, as it considers changing references in the FAL Convention to the theoretical prohibition on Parties requiring crew to have visas).


Notes to Editors

  • CMI is a non profit NGO whose membership consists of 53 National Maritime Law Associations, comprising some 11,000 individual members, established in Antwerp in 1897, the object of which is to contribute by all appropriate means and activities to the unification of maritime law in all its aspects. CMI’s membership works closely with ICS member national shipowners’ associations. CMI has Observer delegates at all meetings of the IMO Legal Committee and the IOPC Funds.
  • ICS is the principal international trade association representing all sectors and trades of the shipping industry. Together with representatives of its member national shipowners’ associations, ICS participates actively at virtually every committee meeting of the IMO, and contributes significantly to the development of all IMO regulations which impact on international shipping.
  • ISF is the principal international organisation for maritime employers.

SSA Strengthens Its Call For A Unified ‘Asian Voice’

Singapore will continue its drive to be a leading international maritime centre and will work even more closely with countries and shipping associations in the region to realise its goal of creating a unified ‘Asian Voice’ in the shipping industry.

This was the message given by Singapore Shipping Association (SSA) President Patrick Phoon at a press conference held at the start of Singapore Maritime Week.

“World shipping is moving east, that is clear, so it is important for the SSA to work more closely with other organisations in Asia to ensure the Asian message is heard internationally. The industry is going through difficult times but we must all ensure that shipping is fit and strong when the crisis ends,” Mr Phoon said.

The need for a unified ‘Asian Voice’ was never more important than in the area of shipping regulation, he stressed, where it was essential that the views of Asian shipowners were heard loud and clear on issues such as Piracy and Armed Robbery as well as Greenhouse Gas emissions.

Shipping’s image in Asia and internationally is also crucial which is why the SSA values its work with the Singapore Maritime Foundation (SMF), Asian Shipowners’ Forum (ASF), the Federation of ASEAN Shipowners’ Associations (FASA), the Association of Asian Class Societies (ACS) and ASEAN Ports Associations (APA).

The SSA, through its President, Mr Patrick Phoon, chairs the ASF Safe Navigation and Environment Committee and leads very active discussions on safety, security and environmental issues to safeguard shipowners’ interests while at the same time ensuring safe navigation of ships and the protection of the marine and atmospheric environments.

Mr Phoon added: “We strongly support the education of young people with a potential interest in shipping through a number of initiatives – including our support of the MaritimeONE initiative, the provision of scholarships by both the Association and our members and through our support for our SSA YEG (Young Executives Group) which is incidentally celebrating its seventh anniversary this year. Encouraging the young to join our industry is absolutely a key objective of the SSA.”

He also said: “In fact we are trying very hard to glamorise the shipping industry to make it more ‘sexy’ to attract young people to join our shipping industry. We are achieving success in this. I am pleased to note that even young Singaporean women have taken up a seafaring career with some of them already onboard ships as deck officers and engineers.”

Key to Singapore’s continued growth as an international maritime centre is the close co-operation between the SSA and the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA). “We will continue to work in tandem with the MPA with whom we have excellent relations, in our joint efforts to promote Singapore as a leading maritime centre,” he said.

Mr Phoon added: “We strongly welcomed the speech by Mr Masamichi Morooka, Chairman of International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) today, where he praised the support that the Government of Singapore gives to shipping. His message that the work of the ICS would be made much easier if other governments followed Singapore’s lead in supporting the shipping industry was well placed; and we as an association will look to build on that relationship in the years to come.”

Mr Phoon further commented: “For us in Singapore, we are fortunate that we have a government who listens very closely to the shipping industry. As an island state without any resources and very limited waters, we have nothing to lose but to exploit our advantages – of being blessed with a deep water harbour, strategically located at the crossroads of East and West, and in the fastest growing region in the world – to the fullest.

We see today’s ICS Forum in Singapore as an affirmation of the ICS’ recognition of our efforts and we in turn will continue to work for a close and constructive relationship between the ICS Secretariat and the entire SSA membership,” he said.

Jamaica Signs Bilateral Investment Treaty With Kuwait

Jamaica has signed a Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) with Kuwait that will encourage and guide future investments into the Caribbean country.

The agreement signed between Anthony Hylton, Jamaican Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, and Kuwaiti Minister of Finance, His Excellency Mustafa Al-Shemali, is part of a broader high-level Ministerial Trade Mission to the Middle East Gulf States of Kuwait, Dubai and Abu Dhabi. It forms a crucial part of the Government of Jamaica’s push to create Jamaica into one of the world’s top four logistics centres.

The Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) between Jamaica and Kuwait will seek to provide fundamental protection for Kuwaiti investments in Jamaica, ranging from the usual national treatment and most favoured nation treatment, as well as guarantees for fair and equitable treatment for investors of either state.  It provides companies with the necessary legal standing in dispute settlement matters and also makes specific reference to corporate social responsibility for companies operating in either country.

The purpose of the Ministerial Mission to the Gulf States is to engage potential partners and investors in the region, as well as to promote investment opportunities in the logistics and other sectors in Jamaica.  In addition, the delegation is seeking to gain insight and greater perspective on global best practices in logistics in developing the Master Plan for Jamaica’s logistics industry.

The Ministerial Mission to the Gulf States follows similar Jamaican Government-led delegations to Panama as well as to China and Singapore to both benchmark Jamaica against its proposed developments in the logistics sphere and to pursue potential partnerships with investors in the logistics area.

The Minister’s visit to the Emirate State of Dubai will focus on the aviation aspect of the logistics project.  Securing investments into the project is also a significant aspect of the mission and is the basis of a number of the meetings planned during the mission.  While Dubai, is the main focus of the mission, the team will also take advantage of being in the region to hold meetings in Kuwait and Abu Dhabi with potential financiers and investors in the projects, as well as, other business opportunities that require investor support.


Notes to Editors:

Specific objectives of the Mission are:

  • To sign the Jamaica-Kuwait Bilateral Investment Treaty to establish the parameters to guide investments into Jamaica
  • To achieve a clearer understanding of the major considerations in establishing Jamaica as a regional logistics hub, particularly in respect of the area of aviation
  • To explore potential partnerships with Sovereign Wealth Funds and other potential private sector investors for the development and operation of the various aspects of the  Jamaica Logistics project
  • To meet with the private sector and present business opportunities in all focus sectors, particularly in infrastructure and real estate/tourism
  • To engage Ministerial counterparts in Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates with a view to deepening commercial and industrial relations between Jamaica and each country.