“In response to the on-going situation at the Fukushima nuclear plant, a number of home-made “radiation clauses” have begun to circulate the market which contain provisions that are generally framed very much in favour of the party that drafted them. BIMCO is aware that some of these clauses give sweeping rights to owners to deviate from Japanese port calls almost on a whim and without any objective determination of risk. Such clauses are most likely being rejected out of hand by charterers. It is response to these home-made clauses that BIMCO has drafted a standard Radiation Risk Clause for Time Charter Parties. What we hope to achieve is a balanced contractual solution that addresses the potential risk of exposure to high levels of radioactivity based on thresholds established by competent authorities.
BIMCO is appealing for reports of accidents in the Straits of Malacca and Singapore.
Here’s its announcement:
At the 35th meeting of the Tripartite Technical Experts Group on “The Safety of Navigation in the Straits of Malacca and Singapore” held at Yogyakarta, Indonesia on 4-7 October 2010, the Round Table of international shipping associations (RTisa) agreed with Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore to initiate a project aimed at improving navigational safety within the Straits of Malacca and Singapore (SoMS).
This project will focus on an analysis of marine accidents and incidents that have occurred in the SoMS between 2000 and 2010. The analysis would serve well to identify the causes behind such incidents, and thereby enable the coastal states and other stakeholders to implement appropriate corrective measures.
Protected by a lack of data on lifeboat deaths and injuries the majority of flag states are dragging their collective feet on improving the chances of seafarers surviving lifeboat drills. BIMCO is recommending a go-it-alone strategy among its members to rig fall protection devices.
BIMCO’s views are supported by a vast swathe of the maritime industry, what it refers to as a “historical alliance of seafarers, shipowners and P&I interests”.
In a recent commentary to its members BIMCO says: “The IMO Intersessional Working Group on Lifeboat Release Hooks (ISWG LRH) met in London at the IMO headquarters from 20-22 October 2010. At the ISWG LHR the industry observers lead the flag states in a desire to save the lives of seafarers. Unfortunately, the unusual, even historical alliance of seafarers, shipowners and P&I interests did not mange to get their views heard by the majority of flag states. The fact that no international statistics were available made BIMCO feel that there was a need for more detailed knowledge about accidents with on-load release hooks on lifeboats and the use of fall preventer devices (FPDs).
The 3rd Edition of the shipping industry’s Best Management Practice to deter Piracy off the Coast of Somalia and Arabian Sea Area has been released
Updates to BMP3 include the expansion of on the High Risk Area beyond just the Gulf of Aden, to an area bounded by Suez to the North, 10o South and 78o East. This wider application of the BMP is essential to help counter the geographical spread of the threat from Somali-based piracy.
BMP3 contains further advice on Ship Protection Measures, a copy of the UKMTO Vessel Position Reporting Form, and Fishing Industry guidance. BMP3 encourages post-incident reporting to MSCHOA and UKMTO and additionally to the relevant Flag State.
Pirates are not the only ones to seize seafarers and hold them for ransom. Egypt is holding a ship’s master as a hostage, threatening up to three years imprisonment unless a rather imaginative assessment of damages caused when the his vessel struck an Egyptian navy ship. BIMCO has released the following details and request::
“A BIMCO member has reported a recent incident and has asked that we make other members aware of the potential risks of the detention of seafarers and inflated claims in certain parts of the world.
Following a collision with an Egyptian navy vessel, a vessel belonging to the above member has been arrested and the Master imprisoned in Port Said. A claim, which appears to be excessive given the age of the navy vessel in question and which is based on a joint survey in which only the member’s P&I Club representative was allowed to participate, has been presented by the Egyptian navy. It appears that no charges have been proffered against the Master, but he remains under arrest with no imminent prospect of release. Reports so far suggest that he may be imprisoned for up to 3 years or more unless the claim is settled.
The unreasonable or unlawful detention of seafarers is an ongoing problem which the shipping industry is striving to address. BIMCO is currently updating its 2006 Study of recent cases on Criminal Sanctions towards Seafarers to establish how widespread the problem is and to explore the extent of incidents that are not as widely reported in the media as, for instance, the Coral Sea and the Hebei Spirit have been. If members have any incidents to report, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. All responses will be dealt with in confidence if so requested.”