Thus, to avoid quarrelling that could waste valuable time, there arose the equitable practice whereby all the merchants whose cargo landed safely would be called on to contribute a portion, based upon a share or percentage, to the merchant or merchants whose goods had been tossed overboard to avert imminent peril. While general average traces its origins in ancient maritime law, still it remains part of the admiralty law of most countries. The first codification of general average was the York Antwerp Rules of 1890. American companies accepted it in 1949.
General average requires three elements which are clearly stated by Mr. Justice Grier in Barnard v. Adams: "1st. A common danger: a danger in which vessel, cargo and crew all participate; a danger imminent and apparently 'inevitable,' except by voluntarily incurring the loss of a portion of the whole to save the remainder. " "2nd. There must be a voluntary jettison, jactus, or casting away, of some portion of the joint concern for the purpose of avoiding this imminent peril, periculi imminentis evitandi causa, or, in other words, a transfer of the peril from the whole to a particular portion of the whole. "3rd. This attempt to avoid the imminent common peril must be successful". http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/General_average 2. ) RELEASE OF CARGO WITHOUT PRESENTATION OF THE CORRECT DOCUMENTATION There has been a noticeable increase in the unlawful or incorrect release of cargo, associated with one of the following release methods: a) Countries that require imported cargo to come immediately under the control of their Customs service, who then take on the responsibility for its release. ) Countries with legislation that permits the release of cargo without the presentation of the original bill of lading. c) Authorisation by the carrier’s agent to release cargo without the permission of the shipper or the issuer of the original bill of lading. There has been considerable coverage regarding the delivery of containerised cargo to locations such as Chile and Paraguay, whereby their Customs service takes immediate control of the cargo and subsequently release it, often without presentation of the original bill of lading.
Signum has recently encountered two situations whereby fraudsters have manipulated legislation that allows Customs, without consultation with the carrier’s agent, to release cargo without presentation of the original bill of lading. 1. The Dominican Republic legislation stipulates that a carrier must deliver all cargo to the Dominican Port Authority/Customs with the carrier’s liability ceasing at the point of entry. Cargo can be released upon presentation of the original bill of lading, accompanied by the commercial invoice.
In the absence of an original bill of lading, a bond to the value of the cargo, issued by a bona fide bank or insurance company, is acceptable. The bond indemnifies any party against a loss that may occur as a result of the of the cargo being released. Neither the carrier nor their agent needs to be made aware of such a bond. Signum was asked to enquire into a matter that involved a consignee who secured the release of his cargo by means of an insurance bond and then disappeared, having failed to make payment for the cargo.
Initially, the insurance company, who had supposedly issued the bond to the consignee, maintained that they could not account for itsexistence, suggesting that it had been fraudulently issued. Enquiries revealed that a member of their staff, who was authorised to issue such bonds, had done so on the instructions of her ex-supervisor and a Customs Agent. When these two parties were interviewed, they denied the clerk’s version of events. The Dominican Republic legislation stipulates that provided an authorised person issued the bond, it protects any party who suffered a loss, which applied in this instance.
This allowed the shipper to lodge a claim against the insurance company for the loss of the cargo. 2. A similar situation occurred when perishable cargo was released in Suape, Brazil, without presentation of the original bill of lading. The consignee made a fraudulent application to a court under the provisions of the Brazilian Importation Legislation on perishable goods to secure the cargo’s release. He alleged that the shipper had reneged on a contract that allowed him to partly pay for the cargo prior to its receipt and then pay the outstanding amount by instalments.
Due to the shipper’s refusal to release the cargo under the terms of the contract and his intention to re-ship it would cause him an irreplaceable loss. The court accepted this submission without seeking the view of the carrier’s agent and ordered the release of the cargo against security lodged with the court in the form of deeds to a property owned by a third party. After obtaining custody of the cargo, the consignee attended the court and produced a fraudulent document, showing that the shipper acknowledged the payment agreement.
This caused the court to cancel the security and return the deeds of the property. The court application and payment agreement were shown to be fraudulent and that the consignee had committed similar frauds. The only action that could be taken was to notify Customs and the law enforcement agency of this person’s activities. A more serious problem that continues to cause concern is where carriers’ agents disregard their legal responsibility in respect of the notified release instructions and authorise a party to receive their cargo without presentation of the correct documentation.
This lack of judgement is all too often influenced by their close association with the consignee or their agent, with whom they have no legal obligation. Such releases can cause serious financial implications to the other parties. The general methods used to secure the release of cargo are: 1. The consignee/agent promises to present the original bill of lading at a later date. 2. The production of a consignee/agent’s letter of credit. 3. Bank reference confirming sufficient funds exist in the consignee’s account. 4. The presentation of a forged document.
Signum was asked to enquire into the activities of an agency, whereby it appeared that over a period of time some 150 containers laden with cargo had been released in non-compliance to their release procedure. This procedure required both the Shipping Manager and another member of staff to authorise the release of containers, upon production of the correct documentation. The Shipping Manager, due to his status and guile, was able, over several months, to authorise the release of these containers without complying with the agencies directive. Only when it became impossible for him to continue to deceive others as to his actions, did he decamp.
Prevention is simple. If the original bill of lading is not produced, or there is doubt as to whether it is genuine, then advice should be sought from the issuer of the document. If the matter cannot be resolved satisfactorily and safely, assistance should be obtained from the Club’s local correspondents or the Members’ usual contact at the Club. Signum is always available to investigate serious cases. http://www. ukpandi. com/fileadmin/uploads/uk-pi/LP%20Documents/Signum_Reports/Signum%20release%20of%20Cargo. pdf 3. ) USCG Load Line Regulations and Policies (46 CFR parts 42--47) 46 USC chapter 51) Overview The principal Coast Guard office responsible for load line regulations and policy is the Naval Architecture Division (CG-ENG-2). In general, most commercial U. S. vessels that are 79 feet (24 m) in length or longer (or more than 150 gross tons if built before 1 Jan 1988 on domestic voyages, or built before 21 Jul 1968 if on foreign voyages) must have a valid load line certificate when venturing outside the U. S. Boundary Line, whether on a domestic or international voyage. Domestic voyages are coastwise, offshore, or high seas voyages that return directly to a U. S. ort (including "voyages to nowhere"). There are a few limited categories of vessels excluded from load line requirements. For example, small passenger vessels (i. e. , less than 100 gross tons) that only operate on domestic voyages are excluded. Refer to 46 USC 5102 for vessel applicability specifics. IMPORTANT NOTE CONCERNING U. S. FISHING VESSELS: Previously, all U. S. fishing vessels were statutorily excluded from domestic load line regulations, regardless of size or length (although some fishing vessels that also process their catch beyond certain stages are required to obtain load lines).
However, in the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2010, Congress revoked that exclusion for new fishing vessels built on/after July 1st, 2012. Subsequently, in the Coast Guard and Marine Transportation Act of 2012 (signed into law on 20 Dec 2012), Congress postponed the load line compliance date to July 1st, 2013. Consequently, fishing vessels built on/after 1 July 2013, that are 79 feet or longer, and that operate outside the Boundary Line, are required to have a load line. Load line assignment includes pre-construction review and approval of plans by the assigning authority.
Therefore, after 1 July 2013, fishing vessel designers/builders who intend to re-use construction plans for previously-built fishing vessels are cautioned that the plans might not comply with all load line requirements. If the owner intends to operate the new vessel outside the Boundary Line, then designers/builders are advised to submit the plans to the assigning authority in a timely fashion. Existing fishing vessels (i. e. , built before 1 July 2013) remain exempted from load lines for the time being.
However, they will eventually have to meet the requirements of an alternate load line compliance program to ensure their continued seaworthiness beyond a certain age. The safety requirements for this alternate program, and the age at which the fishing vessels will need to comply, will be developed in cooperation with the commercial fishing industry and established by future regulation. ("Built" for these purposes means the date on which the vessel's keel is laid, or the assembled weight of the vessel is at least 50 metric tons (49. long tons) or one percent of the estimated mass of all structural material, whichever is less. ) How is load line length measured? Where is the Boundary Line? Purpose of Load Line Assignment The purpose of load line assignment is to ensure the seaworthiness of the intact (undamaged) vessel. This is accomplished by: •Ensuring a robust hull that can withstand severe sea conditions (i. e. , structural design, construction, and maintenance) •Ensuring weathertight & watertight integrity (i. e. , coamings; exposed doors, hatches, hull valves, etc, are in good working condition) Ensuring that the vessel has reserve buoyancy and is not overloaded (by limiting the maximum loaded draft) •Ensuring that the vessel has adequate stability for all loading & operating conditions (by approved stability documentation & instructions) •Ensuring rapid drainage of water on deck (boarding seas) (by adequate arrangement of freeing ports in bulwarks) •Ensuring safety of crew while working on deck (by increased freeboard to reduce boarding seas, guardrails) •Ensuring that modifications to vessel do not compromise seaworthiness (modifications must be approved by LL assigning authority) Periodic inspections (afloat and drydocked) to verify that the above are properly maintained (by LL assigning authority) Obtaining a Load Line International load line certificates are issued to vessels that meet the requirements of the IMO International Convention on Load Lines (ICLL); ICLL certificates are required on U. S. vessels that go on voyages to foreign ports or waters. Domestic load line certificates are issued to vessels that meet the requirements of U. S. load line regulations (which are found in 46 CFR Subchapter E).
With minor exceptions, the U. S. requirements for an unrestricted domestic load line (suitable for high seas voyages) are the same as the requirements for an international ICLL load line. For this reason, an ICLL certificate is acceptable in lieu of a domestic certificate. Load line certificates (domestic or ICLL) are issued on behalf of the United States by the American Bureau of Shipping or one of several other USCG-approved classification societies. The choice of assigning authority is made by the vessel owner/operator.
The Coast Guard itself does not issue load lines other than a "single voyage exemption certificate. " In order to be issued a load line (whether domestic or international ICLL), the vessel must be constructed to meet the load line requirements. This entails pre-construction review and approval of the vessel's design by the assigning authority. Surveyors then periodically visit the shipyard to verify that it is being constructed according to the approved design. Upon completion of construction, the vessel is inclined so that its stability documents can be approved and issued.
The freeboard assignment is calculated, and the load line marks are inscribed on the hull. Upon final verification that all of these steps have been properly accomplished, the vessel is issued a load line certificate. A load line certificate is normally issued for a 5-year term, subject to annual "topside" surveys to verify that hatch covers, doors, vent covers, and other critical closures are in good working condition, and that there have not been any damage or unauthorized modifications that would compromise the vessel's seaworthiness.
At the end of the 5-year term, the vessel must be drydocked to inspect the underwater hull, seachests and valves, etc, before a new certificate can be issued. Load Line Enforcement and Violations U. S. vessel owners and operators are subject to fines and penalties if a vessel is overloaded such that the load line marks are submerged, or the vessel is operated in violation of any restrictions on its certificate. Penalties are set forth in 46 USC 5116. Foreign vessels in U. S. waters are required to have a valid international (ICLL) load line certificate.
A foreign vessel may be detained in port if the Coast Guard determines that it is overloaded, or unseaworthy due to poor condition. The vessel won't be released to depart until the deficiencies have been corrected: excess cargo is offloaded, repairs have been made and a surveyor from the assigning authority has attended the vessel to confirm its compliance with ICLL regulations. 4. ) BP Shipping safeships On the face of it, BP Shipping is one of the safesttanker operators around, regularly achieving topquartile safety results in the industry and rarelymaking headlines for the wrong reasons.
But as the organization’s fleet has grown rapidly to more than 80 vessels today, so the realization has spreadthat truly world-class safety performance is about more than lowering headline safety numbers or beating industry benchmarks. For safety performance to really move to a new level, it has to become self sustaining and therefore sustainable. “Day in, day out, the safety message has to be made and remade so that it becomes engrained at every level everywhere, in every action, in every decision and in every way.
The entire organization has to be safety empowered and constantly on the lookout for new hazards,” says Dave Williamson, director of fleet operations for BP Shipping. “We’re beginning to make the turn towards constant improvement and the sort of restless state of mind that we need, but there is still some way to go. ” In the past, most emphasis has been put on numbers and performance based on: ‘days away from work case’ incidents, lost time injuries, near misses, oil spills and other serious incidents. These performance matrices continue to be monitored very closely and show continuous improvement.
But now the push is on to move safety performance to another level, motivated in no small measure by a fear that some of the cultural and operational factors that led to the Texas City refinery explosion in 2005 might be present in some parts of BP Shipping’s activities. The key to this has been to get everyone in the organization to think about safety in a new way, one that focuses on experience, leadership, training, processes and relationships rather than numbers. Intrinsic to this more open approach is the importance of driving safety back into the ’line’ – to people with asset management capability.
In parallel, new emphasis is being placed on safety leadership on vessels and ashore to engender a stronger sense of inclusiveness and team bonding around safety behaviour. “Safety is not just about trips or falls. It’s about exactly the same things you also need to achieve great operational performance and the same motivations that give us the continuous drive to have the best people, processes, equipment and leadership. ” Williamson concludes: “At the moment we’re not able to say we’re the best, we still have areas where we believe there is significant room for improvement.
But ‘the best’ is a relative state and safety is a never ending journey. Mysense is that we’ve made significant changes andadvances in the past couple of years. ” Measuring safety All injuries by activity, October 2006 All injuries by location onboard, October 2006 Other 23 % Office work 2% Cargo operations 2% Shipyard 5% Navigating 2% Engine operations 9% Bunkering 7% Maintenance 36% Mooring 7% Drills and exercises 2% Domestic 5% Other 6% Enclosed space 2% Steering gear 2% Store rooms 6% Bridge 2% Engine room 41% Mooring areas 4%
Lifeboat Accommodation 11% embarkation 4% Main deck 22 % Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Rush escorts the suspected high seas drift net fishing vessel Da Cheng in the North Pacific Ocean on August 14, 2012. Photo Credit: U. S. Coast Guard Liberian fishery observers toured a shrimp vessel as part of the two-week observer training program supported by NOAA Fisheries to combat IUU fishing. IUU fishing is a global problem that threatens ocean ecosystems and sustainable fisheries.
IUU products often come from fisheries lacking the strong and effective conservation and management measures to which U. S. fishermen are subject. IUU fishing most often violates conservation and management measures, such as quotas or bycatch limits, established under international agreements. By adversely impacting fisheries, marine ecosystems, food security and coastal communities around the world, IUU fishing undermines domestic and international conservation and management efforts. Furthermore, IUU fishing risks the sustainability of a multi-billion-dollar U. S. industry.
NOAA’s Role in Combating IUU Fishing Because the United States imports more than 80 percent of its seafood, NOAA Fisheries is working to ensure that high demand for imported seafood does not create incentives for illegal fishing activity. Working in partnership with other U. S. Government agencies, foreign governments and entities, international organizations, non-government organizations, and the private sector is crucial to effectively combating IUU fishing. We work with other fishing nations to strengthen enforcement and data collection programs around the world aimed at curtailing IUU fishing.
We have put measures in place to restrict port entry and access to port services to vessels included on the IUU lists of international fisheries organizations with U. S. membership. For recent news on IUU fishing, visit our IUU stories page. In addition, U. S. legislation allows us to take action on our own. The Magnuson-Stevens Reauthorization Act, which amends the High Seas Driftnet Fishing Moratorium Protection Act, requires NOAA to identify countries that have fishing vessels engaged in IUU activities. Once a nation has been identified, we consult with the nation to encourage appropriate corrective action.
If the identified nation receives a negative certification, we can impose trade restrictions on that nation. The Lacey Act also provides the United States with the authority to impose significant sanctions against individuals and companies engaged in trafficking illegally taken fish and wildlife. Learn more about action NOAA is taking to combat IUU fishing. For more information or questions on IUU fishing, please visit our frequently asked questions page or contact David Pearl (david. [email protected] gov). 5. ) passenger ship safety certificate - for all passenger ships •cargo ship safety radio certificate - for cargo ships, oil tankers, chemical tankers or gas carriers and large commercial yachts over 300gt on international voyages only •cargo ship safety equipment certificate - for cargo ships, oil tankers, chemical tankers or gas carriers and large commercial yachts over 500gt on international voyages only •cargo ship safety construction certificate - for cargo ships, oil tankers, chemical tankers or gas carriers and large commercial yachts over 500gt on international voyages only •cargo ship safety certificate - for cargo ships, oil tankers, chemical tankers or gas carriers and large commercial yachts over 300gt •load line certificate - for passenger ships in non-UK waters, cargo ships, oil tankers, chemical tankers or gas carriers and large commercial yachts over 24 metres in length (if built on or after 21 July 1968) or of more than 150gt and for passenger ships in UK waters over 80 net tonnes •oil pollution prevention certificate - for fishing vessels, passenger ships, cargo ships, chemical tankers or gas carriers and large commercial yachts over 400gt and oil tankers over 150gt •minimum safe manning document certificate - for passenger ships, cargo ships, oil tankers, chemical tankers or gas carriers and large commercial yachts over 500gt •safety management certificate - for all passenger ships and for cargo ships, oil tankers, chemical tankers or gas carriers and large commercial yachts over 500gt •ship security certificate - for passenger ships, cargo ships oil tankers, chemical tankers or gas carriers and large commercial yachts on international voyages only •sewage pollution certificate - for fishing vessels, passenger ships, cargo ships, oil tankers, chemical tankers or gas carriers and large commercial yachts of 400gt or more, or carrying 15 persons or more on international voyages only •air pollution certificate - for fishing vessels, passenger ships, cargo ships, oil tankers, chemical tankers or gas carriers and large commercial achts of 400gt or more •anti-fouling declaration - for fishing vessels under 24 metres in length or of less than 400gt •anti-fouling certificate - for fishing vessels, passenger ships, cargo ships, oil tankers, chemical tankers or gas carriers and large commercial yachts of 400gt or more •certificate of fitness (chemical or gas) certificate - for all chemical tankers or gas carriers •dangerous goods certificate - for passenger ships built after 1 September 1984, and for cargo ships after a certain date of build on international voyages only •certificate of compliance for a large charter yacht - for all large passenger yachts •UK fishing vessel certificate - for fishing vessels between 15 and 24 metres in length •international fishing vessel certificate - for fishing vessels over 24 metres in length •small commercial vessel certificate - for pilot boats and small commercial vessels under 24 metres in length •certificate of registry - mandatory for all fishing vessels, optional for pilot boats and small commercial vessels •international tonnage - for fishing vessels under 24 metres in length