The Club recently reported on calls made by various organisations including the IMO, the ILO and the ICAO for urgent action to be taken on crew changes and for sea and air workers to be designated as key workers so that they can be relieved, and safely repatriated during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Club’s correspondents in Australia, HWL Ebsworth Lawyers, advise of an increase in fines for those polluting Australian waters. Please see below. HWL Ebsworth Lawyers’ latest article on this subject can also be viewed on their website here.
BIMCO has produced a COVID-19 Crew Change Clause for Time Charter Parties in response to the difficulties faced by many owners whose crew have had to remain on board during the COVID-19 “lockdown” for periods often extending beyond their contracts of employment.
The Convention on Limitation of Liability for Maritime Claims 1976 (the “Convention”) sets uniform rules relating to the limitation of liability for maritime claims. At the same time, the Convention is not a complete “code”.
The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) has updated its guidance, Coronavirus (COVID-19): Guidance for Ship Operators for the Protection of the Health of Seafarers. This document provides comprehensive recommendations on safe port entry, shipboard measures to address risks associated with COVID-19, managing an outbreak of Covid-19 onboard ship and on other medical issues arising during Covid-19.
The European Commission (EC) has published its 2019 annual report (dated 19.05.20) on CO2 Emissions from Maritime Transport. The same makes for interesting reading.
Following on from the Club’s recent update, “IMO endorses new protocols designed to lift barriers to crew changes” the heads of the maritime (IMO), labour (ILO) and aviation (ICAO) organisations of the United Nations have issued a joint statement pleading for urgent action on crew changes and for sea and air workers to be designated as key workers, so that they can be relieved and repatriated in a safe way during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The question of whether environmental claims in Brazil are subject to time bars, and if so, what the prescription periods would be, has finally been put to rest. Loggers had filed an appeal to the Supreme Court (STF), Brazil’s constitutional court, to challenge the judgments of the Superior Court of Justice (STJ), Brazil’s highest court for non-constitutional issues. The latter had repeatedly ruled that environmental damage could not be barred by the passage of time.
The Club would like to remind Members that commercial vessels calling at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach will, in addition to complying with the U.S. federal government’s enforcement of MARPOL Annex VI and the California Air Resources Board’s enforcement of its low-sulphur and shore power connection (At-Berth) regulations, also have to ensure compliance with the rules of the South Coast Air Quality Management District (“AQMD”).
The coronavirus outbreak is causing concerns for the cruise industry, but this is of course not the first time the industry has been faced with a breakout of a viral infection onboard. Members may find our Victoria Brown’s 2015 article, “People Claims - Norovirus on board” in which she discussed the Judge’s decision in Nolan -v- TUI UK Ltd (2015), of particular interest.