The UK Club is providing a package of the International Shipping Federation’s (ISF) guide publication “Guidelines on the Application of the ILO Maritime Labour Conventions (2nd edition)” and the Lloyds Register/UK Club “ILO MLC pocket checklist” free to all its members
Both publications focus on helping employers ensure compliance with the ILO Maritime Labour Convention (MLC), which enters into force in six months time on the 13th August.
An important feature of the ISF Guidelines booklet is the insight it provides of the MLC certification process. The booklet includes a completed example of the new Declaration of Maritime Labour Compliance (DMLC) to demonstrate ongoing compliance as required by the ILO Convention. Guidance on the Port State Control procedure includes the list of standards that are inspected, a summary of the inspectors’ powers and explanation of the grounds for more detailed inspections, or detention.
The Lloyds Register/UK Club checklist is enclosed in hard copy notebook format but it can also be downloaded as a smartphone app. The pocket checklist app serves as an interactive tool that enables ships’ crews and their managers to view the requirements of the ILO MLC and check off required activities as they are completed. The app is free and available for iPhone, iPad, Android devices, Windows phone and BlackBerry.
The package addresses MLC requirements relating to seafarers’ contractual arrangements, oversight of manning agencies, work and rest hours, health and safety, crew accommodation, catering standards and new requirements concerning on board complaints procedures. Compliance with all relevant standards can also be checked with a detailed checklist which can be printed via an accompanying CD.
UK Club members will be able to buy further copies of the guidelines with the benefit of a twenty per cent discount from the ISF headquarters (www.ics-shipping.org).
SSA Points to Differences Between Piracy and Armed Robbery
It is important to distinguish between armed robbery and piracy when reporting incidents in South East Asia waters, says the Singapore Shipping Association (SSA) which has commissioned a study to determine the scale of threat posed to seafarers in the area.
The findings reveal that in the first quarter of this year the vast majority of incidents in this region fall under the category of armed robbery (which is within the territorial waters and under the jurisdiction of the sovereign state) not piracy (which is on the high seas).
The distinction determines whether a merchant vessel can seek protection from the navy/coast guard of the littoral state or from the navy/coastguard of the vessel’s flag of registry.
The findings revealed that only 14% of attacks on merchant vessels were classified as piracy. Of the remaining incidents, 85% were cases of armed robbery with almost half of these (46%) occurring while in port or at anchorage. The vast majority of incidents (68%) involved “petty theft” by unarmed perpetrators where crew members were unharmed and economic loss was low.
SSA stresses that, with an estimated 50,000 – 90,000 vessels transiting SOMS (Straits of Malacca and Singapore) each year and further numbers sailing around the South East Asia and South China seas, it can be calculated that the likelihood of a merchant vessel, which exercises high vigilance and conducts anti-boarding watch, being attacked is between 0.012 and 0.07%.
The situation in the South China Sea is vastly different to the situation in the Gulf of Aden where heavily armed pirates board vessels in open seas with the intention of taking the ship and its crew hostage for ransom payments.
The report undertook a detailed analysis of the quarterly reports of the International Maritime Bureau of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC IMB) and the Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia (ReCAAP) for the first quarter of 2015 (1 Jan to 31 March).
FIVE HUNDRED DOLLAR PER PACKAGE LIMITATION LIVES ON
By Daniel W. Raab, Esq.
The package limitation continues to be litigated under the Carriage of Goods by Sea Act. An example of this is a case that was decided on May 13th, 2014 entitled Outokumpu Stainless USA, LLC v. M/V VEGALAND, 21 F.Supp.3d 816 ( 2014).
In this particular case, the Plaintiff sent industrial machinery from Genoa, Italy to Houston, TX. The type of machine in question was a 63- ton tilt drive industrial machine for installation which was sent by Outokumpu Stainless USA to its facility in Alabama. The particular piece of equipment was prepared at Siemens-VAI Metal Technologies location. The value of the machinery was not declared by the shipper. When the ship transporting the machinery, the M/V VEGALAND, reached the Port of Houston, the cargo was found tipped over and on its side in damaged condition.
Subsequently, a lawsuit was filed in admiralty claiming $566,740.80 in damages to this machine which is also referred to as a melt shop. During the course of the litigation, both the Plaintiff and Defendant filed Cross-Motions for Summary Judgment. The Defendant filed a Motion for Summary Judgment to limit its damages to $500.00. The Plaintiff contested this assertion.
Judge Miller found that the packaging of the melt shop and the contents of the bill of lading were not in dispute. What is interesting is that the space for the number of packages was left blank on the bill of lading. The court noted that the melt shop was fully enclosed in a crate made of wooden slats and was attached to H-beams in order to facilitate shipping. The Judge felt that the shipper had the best knowledge of the packing and that the shipper had the responsibility of declaring a higher value and was given the opportunity to do so by the Defendant. The Plaintiff contended that it did not have an opportunity to declare a higher value. The District Court rejected that argument and noted that there was a space in the bill of lading for declaring a higher value.
As a practical matter, shippers rarely declare a higher value on a bill of lading as it is usually less expensive to purchase cargo insurance. The court also stated that the incorporation of a published tariff within the bill of lading also adequately gave notice regarding a chance to declare a higher value.
The Plaintiff also asserted that there was a geographic deviation and that this would negate the $500.00 per package limitation. Such a deviation must be unreasonable and cause material damage to the cargo interest. The court did not find that the Plaintiff had established a genuine issue of material fact on this issue as it referred to its tariff on its website to rebut this contention. As the Judge found that the crate was a package, there was an opportunity to declare a higher value and there was no deviation, he issued a Summary Judgment for $500.00 in favor of the Defendant.
When litigating a case under the Carriage of Goods by Sea Act, it is a good strategy to test the $500.00 per package limitation early on before other types of discovery need to be done on liability. The parties should find out early on the amount of the damages at issue. In this case, the court felt that the parties were dealing with a $500.00 case not one for $566,740.80. This decision also demonstrates why it is a good practice for a shipper to purchase cargo insurance.
Daniel W. Raab, Esq. is an attorney with offices in Miami, Florida and handles cases throughout the State of Florida.
Nautical Dates in July
July 4th, 1776 Unites States declares independence
July 17, 1858 U.S. Sloop Niagara departs Queenstown, Ireland to assist in laying first Trans-Atlantic telegraph cable.
July 25, 1956 Italian luxury liner, “Andrea Doria” sank after colliding with the Swedish liner “Stockholm” on its way to New York. Nearby ships came to the rescue saving 1,634 people.
Items of Interest
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A Side Note to All… For a number of years now, the club has made it a practice to send all communications to our members via email. Recently a number of club members have expressed that they are having problems receiving some or all club emails. If you have any reason to believe that you are not receiving these emails please check the following:
1. Your membership profile
• Log into your membership profile through the club website: www.ftlmc.org • Check to see that your email and other contact information in your profile is correct. • Check to see that the it says “Yes” next to “Allow Club Email”
If you are having trouble logging in or don’t recall your log in username or password, please contact the First Mate, Bryan Emond, for assistance. (Contact information below.)
2. Your email spam filter setting
• Make sure the email address below is on your spam filter’s list of allowed addresses. • Be sure to add the email address below to your “safe sender” or “white list” with your e-mail provider. firstname.lastname@example.org • Make sure the following IP addresses are listed in your email system’s “white list”: 188.8.131.52 184.108.40.206
If you have checked the items above and are still having trouble receiving emails, please the First Mate, Bryan Emond, for assistance.
Bryan Emond FLMC First Mate email@example.com 954-777-4790
The Ft. Lauderdale Mariners Club Proudly Supports:
Boys & Girls Club of Broward County Fort Lauderdale Sea Cadets, Spruance Division Marine Industries Association of South Florida MIASF Waterway Cleanup MIASF Plywood Regatta ReThink + ReUse Center South Broward High School Skills USA Program Seafarer’s House Fort Lauderdale Shake-A-Leg Miami Women’s International Shipping & Trading Association